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Dr. Arash Zeini


Institute of Iranian Studies

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Fabeckstr. 23/25
Room 1.1020
14195 Berlin
arash.zeini (at) fu-berlin [.] de

Main Research Areas and Interests

  • Zoroastrianism from antiquity through to early-islamic times
  • History of Iran from antiquity to the modern era
  • Old and Middle Iranian languages and literatures
  • Old and Middle Iranian epigraphy
  • Exegesis of the Avesta in antiquity and late antiquity
  • Pahlavi documents
  • Aspects of Digital Humanities

Habilitation Project

Arash works on a new edition of the Epistles of Manuščihr, a set of three missives from the ninth century. The letters address the ritual innovations introduced by Manuščihr's brother, Zādspram. Beside a fresh edition of the letters, the habilitation will also look at the historical and religious background of the controversy that caused a rift in the community and between the two brothers.

  1. Published
  2. In Preparation
  3. Lectures
  4. Workshops Organised
  5. Other Experiences


  • Zeini, Arash. 2016. A Unique Pahlavi papyrus from Vienna (P.Pehl. 562). With an introductory note by Dieter Weber. Studia Iranica 45(1). 39–52.
  • Zeini, Arash. 2015. Preliminary remarks on Middle Persian <nc> in the Pahlavi documents. In Anna Krasnowolska & Renata Rusek-Kowalska (eds.), Studies on the Iranian World I: Before Islam, 67–73. Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press.
  • Zeini, Arash. 2015. Preliminary observations on word order correspondence in the Zand. DABIR 1(1). 31–35.
  • Zeini, Arash. 2013. ‘The Everlasting Zoroastrian Flame’: An interview with Dr Sarah Stewart. Published at IranWire.com: http://en.iranwire.com/features/3954/
  • Zeini, Arash (ed.). 2012. The Avestan manuscript Pt4_400 (Iranian Pahlavi Yasna) of the Bodleian Library (Avestan Digital Archive Series 39). Digital Publication.
  • Zeini, Arash. 2010. Review of Hinnells, John & Alan Williams (eds.): Parsis in India and the Diaspora. Numen 57(2). 258–263.
  • Zeini, Arash. 2008. Review of A. Cantera: Studien zur Pahlavi-Übersetzung des Avesta. Bibliotheca Orientalis 65(5–6). 785–790.

In Preparation / Press

  • Zeini, Arash. 2022. Multiple Translation Activities: Translation in Iranian Cultures. In Sonja Brentjes (ed.), Routledge Handbook on Science in Islamicate Societies. Routledge.
  • Zeini, Arash. Review of Sarah Savant: The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran: Tradition, Memory, and Conversion. For DABIR.
  • Review of A.C.S. Peacock & D.G. Tor: Medieval Central Asia and the Persianate World: Iranian Tradition and Islamic Civilization. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.
  • Review of Juano Ferrer-Losilla: Final –y in Non-Manichaean Parthian and the Proto-Parthian ‘Rhythmic Law’. Journal of the American Oriental Society.
  • Entries for Encyclopædia Iranica: Niyāyišn, Saddar Nasr, Saddar Bondahešn
  • Review of Louise Marlow. 2016. Counsel for kings: Wisdom and politics in tenth-century Iran, vol. I & II. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.
  • Review of Reza Zia-Ebrahimi. 2016. The Emergence of Iranian Nationalism: Race and the Politics of Dislocation. DABIR.


  • 2021      "Is there a Middle Persian epistolary tradition? A survey", Islamicate Manuscripts & Texts Colloquium (IMaT) 2021: Letters, Invisible East, The Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, 30 November 2021.
  • 2020      "From Yasna to Yazišn: On the (in)significance of the ritual in late antique Zoroastrianism", NES 160: Religions of Ancient Iran, University of California, Berkeley, 19 November 2020.
  • 2019      “From Yasna to Yazišn: On the (in)significance of the ritual in late antique Zoroastrianism”, ECIS9, Freie Universität Berlin, 11 September 2019.
  • 2017      “Editing the Pahlavi Yasna”, Editing Avestan Texts in the 21st Centtury: Problems and Perspectives, Freie Universität Berlin, 24 March 2017.
  • 2016      “Capital and Yield: Sasanian Legal Terminology in Religious Context”, Freie Universität Berlin, 16 June 2016.
  • 2014      “Aspects of Zoroastrian Exegesis in the Late Antique Era”, WZO Seminar on Zoroastrian Religion, History and Culture, The World Zoroastrian Organisation, 8 June 2014.
  • 2014      “Secrecy and Canonisation in Sasanian Iran: A Scholastic Reading of the Zand”. Bahari Lecture Series: “Sasanian Iran in the Context of Late Antiquity”, Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity, University of Oxford, 20 May 2014.
  • 2014      Vortragsgsreihe: “Kingship in Ancient Iran”, School of Classics, School of History and Institute of Iranian Studies, University of St Andrews.
  • “The Return of the Avesta”. 14 May 2014.
  • “The Sasanian Empire and Religious Authority: The Case of Zoroastrianism”. 07 May 2014.
  • “Mythical Kings, Empire and Multiculturalism: The Case of the Achaemenids”. 30 April 2014.

Workshops Organised

  • 2014      “Kingship in Ancient Iran: An Interdisciplinary Workshop”. University of St Andrews, June 12–13, 2014.
  • 2014      “Introduction to TEI and oXygen”: An introductory workshop, discussing text encoding and the oXygen XML editor. The Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge, 25 January 2014.

Other relevant Experiences

  • 2015      TEI Simple workshop: Working with TEI Simple and its processing model. University of Oxford, 27 May, 2015.
  • 2015      Founded “Bibliographia Iranica”, a bibliographic blog: www.biblioiranica.info.
  • 2014      Editor at DABIR Online Journal: www.dabirjournal.org
  • 2014      Assistant Editor at De Gruyter Open in Theology and Religious Studies.
  • 2012      Participated in the ‘Fourth Summer School on Pahlavi Papyrology. On the Threshold of Islam: Documents in the Pahlavi Cursive Script’. Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Iranistik, September 24–28, 2012.
  • 2012      Conceptualised and collaborated on a pilot project (SOAS) to investigate the pathway from text encoding to the printing of a critical edition, May–June, 2012.
  • 2010      Participated in the ‘2nd Summer School on Pahlavi Papyrology’. Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente (IsIAO), Rome, September 06–09, 2010.
  • 2010      Participated in the Summer School ‘New Western Iranian and Early Judaeo-Persian Dialectology’. University of Hamburg, Department of Iranian Studies, August 16–27, 2010.
  • 2009      Participated in the first ‘International Summer School in Pahlavi Papyrology’. Austrian National Library, Vienna, September 20–26, 2009.