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Food, Purity, and Pollution: Zoroastrian Views on the Eating Habits of Others

Wed, Mar 28, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
IMU Persimmon Room

Join us as Dr. Touraj Daryaee discusses the use of food as a mode of differentiation and identification according to Zoroastrian Middle Persian and Persian texts of the late antique and early Medieval period. In these texts, the list of foods consumed by Arab Muslims and the Indians are juxtaposed with that of the Iranian diet, and each group is given anthropological treatment. The article contends that the Zoroastrian dietary law, based on the Middle Persian texts, provides a mode of purity and impurity vis-a-vis others. Finally, Dr. Daryaee touches upon the idea of moderation and the consumption of wine as dealt with in some Middle Persian sources.


About the presenter: Touraj Daryaee is the Howard C. Baskerville Professor in the History of Iran and the Persianate World and the Associate Director of the Dr. Samuel M. Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at the University of California, Irvine. He is the editor of Name-ye Iran-e Bastan: The International Journal of Ancient Iranian Studies and the creator of Sasanika: The Late Antique Near East Project.