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Dr. Benedikt Peschl


Institut für Iranistik


Fabeckstr. 23/25
14195 Berlin

Benedikt Peschl's main research interests concern the philology of Old and Middle Iranian languages, with a focus in the field of Zoroastrian Studies. He is working on the Zand literature (Middle Persian annotated translation of the Avesta) as part of the DFG-funded project "Zoroastrian Middle Persian: Digital Corpus and Dictionary".


  • BA General and Indo-European Linguistics, with minor “Antike und Orient” (2013, University of Munich)
  • MA Religions of Asia and Africa (2015, SOAS University of London)
  • PhD Study of Religions (2021, SOAS University of London)


  • My PhD project (“The first three hymns of the Ahunauuaitī Gāϑā: The Avestan text of Yasna 28–30 and its tradition”) aimed at establishing a methodology for editing texts in Old Avestan language in the context of a large-scale re-edition of the Zoroastrian Yasna liturgy (Multimedia Yasna Project, SOAS London).
  • Based on the edition of three chapters of the liturgy, I examined aspects of their past and contemporary ritual setting and of their reception history in the Zoroastrian exegetical tradition.

Scholarships and funding

  • 2012–2015 Max-Weber-Programm Bayern
  • 2017–2018 DAAD Jahresstipendium für Doktorandinnen und Doktoranden
  • 2017–2020 PhD scholarship provided by the European Research Council through the Multimedia Yasna Project, SOAS University of London

Previous appointment

  • Research associate (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at the Department of Historical and Indo-European Linguistics at the University of Munich (2015–2017)

Areas of Research

  • Philology and linguistics of Old and Middle Iranian languages.
  • Zoroastrian Studies
  • Pre-modern history of ideas and religions in Iran and Central Asia
  • Historical / Indo-European linguistics
  • Rigveda, Vedic Sanskrit

Selected conference presentations

  • “Yasna 28.11, Yašt 1.26 and the Warštmānsar Nask: untangling an intertextual network in the Zoroastrian textual tradition” (9th European Conference of Iranian Studies, Berlin, September 9–13, 2019)
  • “Umlaut im sogdischen Verbalsystem” (33. Deutscher Orientalistentag, Jena, September 18–22, 2017)
  • Baγān ud yazdān: words for ‘god’ in Parthian” (9th International Conference of the International Association of Manichaean Studies, Torino, September 11–15, 2017)
  • “Simple thematic presents with root vowel ā in Avestan: textual corruption, genuine Avestan innovation or PIE archaism?” (Corpus Avesticum Meeting, Berlin, March 23–24, 2017)
  • “Root Semantics and Stative Present Perfects in Vedic” (15. Conference of the Society for Indo-European Studies, Vienna, September 13–16, 2016)

Invited talks

  • “Avesta quotations in an old Pahlavi manuscript (M 51) and the role of the learned priesthood in medieval Zoroastrianism” (Webinar on Iranian Studies, Department of Ancient Culture and Languages, University of Tehran, January 21, 2021)
  • “Zu den Reflexen uriranischer Präsentien des Typs R(ā)-aya- im Sogdischen” (University of Cologne, April 20, 2018)
  • “Avestisch als Sprache der zoroastrischen Liturgie” (University of Cologne, April 19, 2018)
  • “The Pahlavi Version of the Gāthās” (Annual Seminar of the World Zoroastrian Organisation, London, June 17, 2018)

2019 [with Ville Leppänen]. Adpositional phrases in Indo-European: aspects of grammaticalization. In: Cotticelli Kurras, Paola and Sabine Ziegler (eds.): Tra semantica e sintassi: il ruolo della linguistica storica. Zwischen Semantik und Syntax: Die Rolle der historischen Sprachwissenschaft. Roma. 143–154.

2022 [under review]. The first three hymns of the Ahunauuaitī Gāϑā: The Avestan text of Yasna 28–30 and its tradition. Book publication of parts of my thesis in the Corpus Avesticum Series (Leiden: Brill), final layout in progress.

2022 [with Almut Hintze and Martin Kümmel, accepted]. Avestan. In: Keydana, Götz, Saverio Dalpedri & Stavros Skopeteas (eds.), A Handbook ofAncient Indo-European Grammars. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2022 [accepted]. Zoroastrianism and Ecology. Accepted for publication on the website of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology (https://fore.yale.edu/).

[under review] Avestan-Middle Persian tense mismatches in the Zand and the Middle Persian “performative preterite”.

[in preparation] Avesta extracts in the 14th–century Pahlavi manuscript M51 and the role of the learned priesthood in post-Sasanian Zoroastrianism.

Reviews (selection)

2017. Rev. of Pirart, Éric (ed.). 2013. Le sort des gâthâs et autres études iraniennes in memoriam Jacques Duchesne-Guillemin. Leuven. Kratylos 62. 208–218.

2017. Rev. of Goldman, Leon. 2015. Rašn Yašt. The Avestan Hymn to ‘Justice’. Wiesbaden. Indo-Iranian-Journal 60. 285–291.

2018. Rev. of Bichlmeier, Harald. 2011. Ablativ, Lokativ und Instrumental im Jungavestischen. Hamburg. Kratylos 63. 198–202.

2019. Rev. of Brust, Manfred. 2018. Historische Laut- und Formenlehre des Altpersischen. Innsbruck. Kratylos 64. 163–168.

Non-academic publications

2018. Who says what in the ‘Lament of the Cow’? Hamazor, Issue 3 2018. 14–15.

2019. Azerbaijan – a treasure trove of little-known languages. Hamazor, Issue 1 2019. 31–32.

2021. The Gāthic origins of the Aməša Spəntas. FEZANA Journal. Spring Issue 2021. 45–46.