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Dr. Benedikt Peschl


Institut für Iranistik


Zoroastrian Middle Persian: Digital Corpus and Dictionary (MPCD)

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".

Previous appointments

  • Research associate at Ruhr-University Bochum, Center of Religious Studies (2021–2022)
  • Research associate at the University of Munich, Department of Historical and Indo-European Linguistics (2015–2017)


  • 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)

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

Courses taught in Summer Semester 2024

Courses taught in Winter Semester 2023/24

The Literature of Pre-Islamic and Early Islamic Iran in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Khanna Usoyan.

Courses Summer Semester 2023

Courses previously taught at the University of Munich (2015–2017):

Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics I; Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics II; Historical Linguistics of Italic (Early Latin, Oscan, Umbrian); Historical Linguistics of Anatolian (Hittite); Readings in Ancient Indo-European Languages – Rigveda; Readings in Ancient Indo-European Languages – Vedic Prose.

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

  • The formation of a Zoroastrian Middle Persian meta-liturgical terminology” (34. Deutscher Orientalistentag, Berlin, September 12–17, 2022)
  • Preterite formations in Niya Prakrit and Khotanese: a case of substratum interference” (with Francesco Barchi; 25th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Oxford, August 1–5, 2022)
  • “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

  • Zoroastrian Middle Persian literature and the Avesta: current research perspectives” (2022 Society of Scholars of Zoroastrianism Conference, online, November 19, 2022)
  • Devatā dvandvas in Middle Iranian onomastics and the Bactrian personal name Mihrāmā̆n” (Workshop “Tocharian and Iranian in the Tarim Basin and beyond”, Leiden, June 23–24, 2022)
  • “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)

Monograph and articles:
Forthcoming [accepted] “Avestan morphology”, “Avestan syntax”. In: Keydana, Götz, Saverio Dalpedri & Stavros Skopeteas (eds.), A Handbook of Ancient Indo-European Grammars. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2023. “Avestan-Middle Persian tense mismatches in the Zand and the Middle Persian ‘performative preterite’.” Indogermanische Forschungen 128. 9–64. (https://doi.org/10.1515/if-2023-0002).

2022 [with Francesco Barchi]. “Preterite formations in Niya Prakrit and Khotanese: a case of grammatical interference?” Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 75(3). 405–437. (https://doi.org/10.1556/062.2022.00223)

2022. The first three hymns of the Ahunauuaitī Gāθā. The Avestan text of Yasna 28–30 and its tradition (Handbook of Oriental Studies — Corpus Avesticum 32/4). Leiden – New York: Brill.

2022. “Zoroastrianism and Ecology”. Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology (https://fore.yale.edu/World-Religions/Zoroastrianism/Overview-Essay).
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.

Reviews (selection):
2018. Rev. of Bichlmeier, Harald. 2011. Ablativ, Lokativ und Instrumental im Jungavestischen. Hamburg. Kratylos 63. 198–202.
2017. Rev. of Goldman, Leon. 2015. Rašn Yašt. The Avestan Hymn to ‘Justice’. Wiesbaden. Indo-Iranian-Journal 60. 285–291.
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.

Other publications:
2021. The Gāthic origins of the Aməša Spəntas. FEZANA Journal. Spring Issue 2021. 45–46.
2019. Azerbaijan – a treasure trove of little-known languages. Hamazor, Issue 1 2019. 31–32.
2018. Who says what in the ‘Lament of the Cow’? Hamazor, Issue 3 2018. 14–15.