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Web Links of Interest


The following carefully selected links will be helpful to your study of Parthia:

Organizations
General Sites for History and Archaeology of Parthia
Publications
Miscellany
Parthia in the News
Search Engines


Organizations

American Numismatic Association

American Numismatic Society

Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies at the School of Oriental & African Studies

Iranian Cultural Heritage Foundation
 
Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN)

Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization

Oriental Numismatic Society

Royal Numismatic Society - United Kingdom


General Sites for History and Archaeology of Parthia

Also see the Collections of Parthian Coins page for links to virtual collections on the Internet.

  Ancient Hatra has excellent pictures of the Parthian palace taken in 1984 by Thomas Twohey.

Ancient History Sourcebook has the goal to provide and organize texts for use in classroom situations. Links to the larger online collections are provided for those who want to explore further. The distinctive feature of the Sourcebooks is the avoidance of images and multiple "clicking" to find texts.

Ancient World Web is the place to start your research of web resources for the world before A.D. 1000. It is carefully maintained by Julia Hayden and leads to all the other important online resources.

ANS & HBRF Searchable Resources -- Search engines for the American Numismatic Society coin cabinet, the ANS library and the Numismatic Indexes of Periodicals. NIP offers computer readable and searchable indexes of several  periodicals that have been published over a span of more than a hundred years.
 
The Arsacid King Chronicle (BCHP 19) -- The Chronicle Concerning an Arsacid king, or Arsacid King Chronicle (BCHP 15), is one of the historiographical texts from ancient Babylonia. The cuneiform tablet, which is in the British Museum (BM 34124 = Sp. 226), can be dated to the Parthian period. Bert van der Spek of the Free University of Amsterdam and Irving Finkel of the British Museum propose a reading.
 
Assur -- Information about the year 2000 and 2001 archaeological activities in Assur. There is some discussion of Parthian finds. The German excavation in Assur restarted in the Spring 2000 in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities and Heritage in Iraq . This project was supported by Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft and Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.

The Atrium - For Devotees of Ancient Greece and Rome -- An ambitious and outstanding web site that provides features such as "This Day in Ancient History;" "The Ancient World on Television" weekly listings; "Commentarium," a weekly electronic index of web-accessible ancient world articles in the popular press; and "Bibliotheca," links to quality web material of interest to classicists, ancient historians, and classical archaeologists; and much more.

Babylonian Texts of the First Millennium B.C. -- Issuing from one of the three best-documented epochs of the Mesopotamian History, these texts represent an enormous database for the research on the every day life history. The texts (mostly administrative, juridical and economic) permit us an analysis of the material divided by temple, familial and personal archives. Total number of dated texts from the Seleucid Era: 255; from the Arsacid Era: 23.
 
Berlin-Bradenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
The manuscripts kept in the Turfan division of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin are on the web.
The Mainz-Signaturen and the Texte in manichäischer Schrift include (besides fragments in Middle Persian, Sogdian and some others) the Parthian text fragments kept in Berlin. A most important source.

The British Museum Compass site has some excellent images of Parthian artifacts in the British Museum collection.

Classics Archive with over 400 mainly Graeco-Roman works by 59 different authors (some Chinese and Persian), all in English translation. Sponsored in part by the MIT Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies. Searches for "Parthia" and kings' names will locate many references.

Edessa - Parthian Period -- an excellent overview of the history of the main city in Osrhoene.
 
Gertrude Bell Project -- The Gertrude Bell papers consist of about 1,600 detailed and lively letters to her parents, of her 16 diaries, which she kept while she was traveling, and of c. 40 packets of miscellaneous items. There are also about 7000 photographs, taken by her c. 1900-1918. Those of Middle Eastern archaeological sites are of great value because they record structures which have since been eroded or, in some cases, have disappeared altogether, while those of the desert tribes are of considerable anthropological and ethnographical interest. The letters and diaries were transcribed in automated form between 1982 and 1988, and a catalogue of the photographs was published in 1982, with a second edition in 1985. A web-site search on "Parthian" retrieves about 75 items.
 
Glassware and Ceramic Museum of Iran -- with many photos of Parthian artifacts.
 
Hajar am-Dhaybiyyah archaeological campaign of 1993 was inspired in part by the find of a decorated silver hilt of a long iron sword with obvious Parthian/Sassanian influence.

History of Turkmenistan -- A web site with information on the history of Parthia and much more. Modern Turkmenistan was geographically part of the Parthian empire.

India: A Webpage for the Ancient Coins
-- An excellent numismatic web site, this one focused on India with photos of coins from rulers whose areas of authority bordered Parthia to the east, from the personal collection of Dr. Nupam Mahajan. However, there are no Parthian coins.

The Kelsey Museum -- Ann Arbor Michigan. In addition to a significant Parthian coin collection, the Kelsey has the largest collection of Parthian ceramics outside Iraq.

Kuh-e Khwaja: The treasures of Lake Hamun -- by Soroor Ghanimati, a doctoral student in Near Eastern history and archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley. Kuh-e Khwaja is an archaeological complex in Iran, astride the southern branch of the great Silk Road. It is located 30 kilometers southwest of Zabol, very near the Afghanistan border.

Kush, A Parthian, Sasanian and early-Islamic tell in the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, UAE.

LacusCurtius: Into the Roman World -- This is the ancient Roman supersite, with great content and links to many other major resources. Among much else, includes the RomanSites Archives, a gateway to over 1500 web sites on the history, art and literature of ancient Rome and, of course, Rome's relations with Parthia.

Latin Texts -- The best updated and most thorough list of on-line Latin texts and translations is found on the Forum Romanum web site.

The Lost City of Arabia
-- Nova Online's fascinating web site with information about the Shisur site in modern Oman, from the public television series. In an interview (September 1996), Dr. Yuris Zarins discusses evidence of Parthia's influence in the Arabian peninsula.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art -- where a search on the term "Parthia*" will return over 200 pages related to the items in the Met's collection. There is a special page for art of the Parthian Empire.
 
The National Museum of Iran - Now some 60 years old, the National Museum of Iran not only constitutes Iran's largest archaeological and historical museum, but also ranks among the large museums of the world in terms of the volume, diversity and quality of the artifacts in its custody. Considered the country's mother museum, the museum comprises two buildings : the Iran Bastan Museum, established in 1937, and the Islamic Period Museum, established in 1996.
 
The National Museum of Ras al-Khaimah (Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates) -- Excellent web site on Gulf-region archaeology. There are images of Hellenistic and Parthian Period (300 BC to 300 AD) from the northern part of Ras al-Khaimah. Several pre-Islamic sites were found during surveys conducted by the Department of Antiquities and Museums, as well as the remains of burials, found in Shimal, Asimah and in Wa’ab/Wadi Muna’i. These were single burials, that very often re-used older tombs.
 
The National Museum of Turkmenistan (Saparmurat Turkmenbashy Museum) -- focuses on the culture of Parthia in the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. It has the most complete collection of rhytons, horn-shaped vessels made of ivory with splendid artistic fretwork and a range of other designs. All of them were found in the vicinity of Ashgabat during the excavations of Old Nisa, the royal residence of the Arsacid dynasty. In addition to the rhytons, there are marble sculptures and silver, gold and bronze metalwork articles from Nisa, fine examples of Parthian art during the period closely associated with Hellenistic tradition.

The Nippur Expedition -- The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago began digging at Nippur (in modern Iraq) in 1948; the Patterns of Occupation at Nippur and Nippur - Sacred City of Enlil pages include some very interesting information on the Parthian presence in Nippur.

The Nisa Expeditions 2000-2009 -- The University of Turin archaeological expeditions in Nisa have resulted in some wonderful photographs of the digs, artifacts and the surrounding countryside, not to mention snapshots of the team.

Parsik/Pahlavi پارسیک / پهلوی  - web site on Middle Persian script, texts, and literature

Les Parthes - Chronologie historique et la civilisation parthe (en français)

II Parthian Legion -- Web homepage of Rome's II Parthian Legion, with some information on the I and III Parthian Legions as well.
 
Parthians In Nineveh: Identifying a Nomadic Administration - a web site by Dr. Murray Eiland on the history and archaeology of the Parthian levels at Nineveh

Persepolis and Ancient Iran : Catalog of Expedition Photographs -- The Oriental Institute's on-line version which includes 957 photographs of archaeological materials in Iran with an emphasis on the  archaeological program at Persepolis and Naqsh-i Rustam, but also substantial documentation on the prehistoric mound at Tall-i Bakun and the Islamic remains at Istakhr. The 165 Aerial Survey images include those sites as well as views of Pasargadae, Firuzabad, Sasanian Gur, Qasr-i-abu Nasr, Shapur, Band-i-Amir, Isfahan, Savah, Rayy, The Caspian Gates, Bustam, Damghan, Turut, Kamtarlan Mounds, Dar-i-Shar, Susa, Shushtar, Shahr-i-Bilqis, Jajarm, "Alexander's Barrier", Turang Tepe, Mazarliq Tepe, Tabriz, Dadan Rock, Takht-i-Sulaiman, Hamadan, Taq-i-Bustan, Rock of Bisitun, Kangavar, Mount Damavand, and many others.

"Return to Dura Europos" -- Short article in History Today about the 'Pompeii of the East' because of its marvelous finds.

Roma antica e moderna: il contrasto tra Romani e Parti,un rione di Roma (Monti) e le problematiche storico-archeologiche relative all'area della "IV Circoscrizione". [Ancient and modern Rome: the contrast between Romans and Parthians, a district from Rome (Monti) and the problematic historical-archaeological relative to the IV area of Rome.]

Seleucids -- Summary biographies of all the Seleucid kings in The Catholic Encyclopedia, with brief mentions of some Parthian campaigns.
 
SeleukidEmpire.org -- An online sourcebook for the history, numismatics, epigraphy, art and archaeology of the Seleucid Empire, by Oliver Hoover

Silk Road Travelogue - The Ultimate Road Trip -- Charming and interesting account of trip along the Karakoram Highly in July 2004, by Gabriele Greenwald.

Silver Sogdian Coins -- An interesting web page illustrating the Parthian design elements seen in 4th and 5th century A.D. Sogdian coins.
 
Tal-e Malyan Archaeological Excavations - Digs focused on earlier periods, but evidence of later occupation includes Parthian and Sasanian coins found in burials (see the Kaftari deposits), a Sasanian pottery kiln, and surface evidence for Sasanian and Islamic occupations.

Tell Tuneinir, Syria -- Report on the 1987-1997 campaigns at Tell Tuneinir, Syria. Rescue excavations have been conducted in ten different areas of the site. Finds include Parthian artifacts in the pre-Islamic strata.

The Turanian Horse -- Web site which gives the history and importance of this breed to the Parthians. The author postulates it was the acquisition of this horse from the Scythians that made Parthia a military force that Rome could not overcome.
 
UAE Interact -- Official web site of the Ministry of Information and Culture in the United Arab Emirates, with information on late pre-Islamic period in the Gulf states.

Varzesh-e Pahlavani -- This traditional Iranian martial art flourished during the Parthian Empire and was influenced by Mithraism rituals.


Publications

Berytus -- Among the AUB Digital Documentation Center's feasibility projects are several digitized issues of Berytus that have Parthian topics:
     Vol. I, 1934 - Neilson C. Debevoise, "The Essential Characteristics of Parthian and Sasanian Glyptic Art"
    Vol. VIII, 1943
         FASC. I - A. R. Bellinger, "The Numismatic Evidence from Dura"
         FASC. II - Elias J. Bickerman, "Notes on Seleucid and Parthian Chronology"

Bulletin of the Asia Institute -- Studies in the art, archaeology, numismatics, history, and languages of ancient Iran, Mesopotamia, and Central Asia and connections with China and Japan along the Silk Route are presented in this scholarly journal.

The Celator -- Popular journal for ancient coin collectors is published by Wayne G. Sayles. A complete index of past articles, including several about Parthian coins, is maintained on their web page.

Encyclopaedia Iranica
-- This is the electronic publication of Encyclopaedia Iranica through the Internet. Included are all volumes through the last two fascicles (5 and 6) of Volume XII which were completed in the Summer and Fall of 2004, completing the entries through letter 'H'. Some letter 'I' entries are beginning to appear online. Special font required

Mesopotamia - è la rivista scientifica pubblicata dal Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino. Diffusa in ambito internazionale, ospita contributi di studiosi impegnati in ricerche di carattere archeologico, epigrafico e storico sulle civiltà dell'Oriente antico. Articles in English, Italian, German and other languages are indexed here from 1991 forward. Index to Mesopotamia 1966-1990
 
De Muntmeester -- the periodical of the numismatic society Diestse studiekring voor numismatiek. Publication commenced in March 2006. This Flemish numismatic society is located in Diest, one of the four Orange Cities, to promote numismatic study. The society organizes numismatic courses, lectures and coin auctions for its members.

Numismatic Chronicle - articles, notes, reviews, and notices of selected new publications. See the Index to the Numismatic Chronicle covering articles and notes: Seventh Series, volume 11 (1971) through volume 20 (1980) (listed by author); volume 141 (1981) through volume 158 (1998).
 
Parthica : Incontri di culture nel mondo antico - journal edited by A. Invernizzi and published by the Istituti editoriali e poligrafici internazionali, Pisa.
    Volume 4 (2002) - full text online version
    Volume 5 (2003) - full text online version


Miscellany

  A Dictionary of the Iranian Verb -- "The aim is to have a root-based dictionary at our disposal. Proto-Iranian roots and their corresponding prefixed formations are reconstructed on the basis of Old, Middle and, to a lesser extent, New Iranian, Skt. or IE material found in the standard reference works." The Parthian and Manichean Middle Persian sources for the database are: A. Ghilain, Essai sur la langue parthe. Louvain 1939; W. Sundermann, Mittelpersische und parthische kosmogonische und Parabeltexte der Manichäer. Berlin 1973; W. Sundermann, Der Sermon vom Licht-Nous. Berlin 1992; W.B. Henning, Selected Papers, 2 Vol. Acta Iranica 14, 15. Leiden, etc.

Partherdenkmal aus Ephesos -- The "Parthian Monument", the most important relief work of Roman times in Asia Minor, commemorates Lucius Verus' victory in the war against Parthia, A.D. 161-165. It is in Ephesos, Turkey, where the Roman troops were headquartered. [Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna]
 
Mithraism: The Legacy of the Roman Empire's Final Pagan State Religion -- by David Fingrut, 1993

Selected Fragments of Ancient Greek Numismatics -- Petr Veselý An interesting site on numismatics which includes statistical analyses of metrics.

Ships sailing under the name Parthia or Parthian -- Nothing to do with Parthia beyond an interest in finding ships which used a great historic name.


This page last updated 18 Apr 2008

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