Iranisches Personennamenbuch. Vol. V/5a: Iranische Personennamen in der griechischen Literatur vor Alexander d. Gr.

AuthorSkjaervo, Prods Oktor
PositionBook review

Iranisches Personermamenbuch. Vol. V/5a: Iranische Personennamen in der griechischen Literatur vor Alexander d. Gr. By RODIGER Saimm. osterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philoso-phisch-historische Klasse. Sitzungsberichte, vol. 823. Vienna: VERLAG DER OSTERREICHISCHEN AKADEMIE DER WISSENSCHAFTEN, 2011. Pp. 431. C56 (paper).

This magnificent book contains, it would seem, in nuce all of Professor Schmitt's vast knowledge in any way connected with persons of alleged Iranian extraction mentioned in Greek sources until the end of the Achaemenid empire, including the works of the historians Herodotus, Ctesias, Xenophon, and Thucydides, the playwrights Aeschylus and Aristophanes, the philosophers Plato and Aristotle, and others.

The limitation to these sources, as well as the exclusion of later sources for the same persons, is explained and justified in the preface (p. 5, 7), where Schmitt also explains the way he conceived the entries, notably why he differs so strongly from Ferdinand Justi, Iranisches Namenbuch (Marburg: N. G. Elwert, 1895), and how the material in the book was accumulated over the last forty years (pp. 6-7).

Each entry contains three sections: B[elegstellen], P[rosopographie], and D[eutungl, i.e., where attested, prosopography, and linguistic (morphological-etymological) interpretation (pp. 7-8).

The size of the volume has been kept down by references to the author's many Vorarbeiten. The book is printed in a 12 point-size font, which is a boon to those of us whose eyesight is no longer what it was.

The lists of abbreviations (p. 16) are followed by a comprehensive bibliography (pp. 17-61). The onomastic corpus occupies pp. 63-401, followed by indexes of personal names: Old Iranian (attested and reconstructed), Middle Iranian, and New Iranian; in the Nebenuberlieferung: Greek, Elamite, Assyrian-Babylonian, Aramaic, Latin, Egyptian and Demotic, Lycian, others, and Armenian; non-Iranian: Greek names and names in Greek form, Old Indo-Aryan (Vedic), Semitic, others; theonyms, geographical names, and ethnonyms. These indexes give a good idea of the material explored.

The corpus includes quite a miscellany of names. Some are definitely not Iranian, but have been included because they have been thought to be Iranian at some time by some scholar; some look Iranian, but an Iranian original cannot be found or reconstructed; some are clearly, or at least probably, Iranian, although maybe only a part of the name can be explained; some just "make an Iranian impression"...

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