CORPUS INSCRIPTIONUM IRANI­CARUM (C.I.I.), an association devoted to the col­lection and publication of Iranian inscriptions and documents. The C.I.I. was founded in 1955, in response to a resolution of the 22nd International Con­gress of Orientalists at Cambridge, with W. B. Henning as its first chairman and Sayyed Ḥasan Taqīzāda (Taqizadeh) as its honorary president. The first secre­tary was Mary Boyce. The activities of the C.I.I. are directed by a council and an international committee of up to forty members; it is registered in England as an educational charity and as a nonprofit company lim­ited by guarantee. The funds to subsidize its publica­tion program are derived in part from grants by such national and international bodies as the British Acad­emy and the International Academic Union, in part from capital sums contributed by the Persian government and the other original sponsors (listed in the frontmatter of each C.I.I. publication).

The aim of the C.I.I. is to publish a comprehensive and permanent record of Iranian inscriptions, defined in the broadest sense. The plan of the work includes inscriptions and documents (as opposed to literary texts) in Iranian languages, whether actually found in Iran or elsewhere, and those in non-Iranian languages if they were found in Iran or are versions of texts also occurring in an Iranian language. In order to set manageable limits to the project, Persian inscriptions later than the early Safavid period are excluded, but a supplementary series provides for the inclusion of relevant works, like glossaries and grammars, that fall outside the scope of the main series. The first publica­tions of the Corpus were portfolios of facsimiles printed on loose plates; more recent volumes, whether consist­ing of plates, of texts with translation and commentary, or of both together, have usually been bound in book form. During the years 1955-92 a total of thirty-three volumes have been published in the following catego­ries: inscriptions of ancient Iran (4 vols.), inscriptions of the Seleucid and Parthian periods and of eastern Iran and Central Asia (15 vols.), Pahlavi inscriptions (8 vols.), Persian inscriptions down to the early Safavid period (4 vols.), and the supplementary series (2 vols.). The following is a complete list in chronological order (all but one published in London): The inscription of Sar-Mašhad, ed. W. B. Henning, 1955; The Inscrip­tion of Naqš-i Rustam, ed. W. B. Henning, 1957; Ostraca and Papyri, ed. J. de Menasce, 1957; Saka Documents I, ed. H. W. Bailey, 1960; Saka Documents II, ed. H. W. Bailey, 1961; Minor Inscriptions of Kartīr, Together with the End of Naqš-i Rustam, ed. W. B. Henning, 1963; Dokumenty s gory Mug (Documents from Mt. Mugh), Moscow, 1963; Saka Docu­ments III, ed. H. W. Bailey, 1963; Saka Documents IV, ed. H. W. Bailey, 1967; Saka Documents. Text Volume, by H. W. Bailey, 1968; The Parthian and Middle Persian Inscriptions of Dura-Europos, ed. R. N. Frye, 1968; Kushan and Kushano-Sasanian Seals and Kushano-Sasanian Coins. Sasanian Seals in the Brit­ish Museum, ed. A. D. H. Bivar, 1968; Saka Docu­ments V, ed. R. E. Emmerick, 1971; Sasanian Seals in the Collection of Mohsen Foroughi, ed. R. N. Frye, 1971; Glossaire des inscriptions pehlevies et parthes, by P. Gignoux, 1972; Saka Documents VI, ed. R. E. Emmerick, 1973; Parthian Economic Documents from Nisa. Plates I, by I. M. Diakonoff and V. A. Livshits, 1976; Parthian Economic Documents from Nisa. Plates II and Texts I (pp. 1-80), by I. M. Diakonoff and V. A. Livshits, 1977; Khorasan I, ed. W. L. Hanaway, Jr., 1977; Eastern Mazandaran I, ed. A. D. H. Bivar and E. Yarshater, 1978; The Bisitun Inscription of Darius the Great. Babylonian Version, by E. von Voigtlander, 1978; Parthian Economic Documents from Nisa, Plates III, by I. M. Diakonoff and V. A. Livshits, 1979; The Bisitun Inscription of Darius the Great. Aramaic Ver­sion, by J. C. Greenfield and B. Porten, 1982; Old Persian Inscriptions of the Persepolis Platform, ed. A. Sh. Shahbazi, 1985; Rajasthan I, by M. Shokoohy, 1986; Haryana I. The Column of Fīrūz Shāh and Other Islamic Inscriptions from the District of Hisar, by M. Shokoohy, 1988; Sogdian and Other Iranian Inscrip­tions of the Upper Indus I, by N. Sims-Williams, 1989; Documents turco-sogdiens du IXe-Xe siècle de Touen­houang, by N. Sims-Williams and J. Hamilton, 1990; The Manichaean Hymn-Cycles Huyadagmān and Angad Rōšnān in Parthian and Sogdian, by W. Sundermann, 1990; The Bisitun Inscriptions of Darius the Great. Old Persian Text, by R. Schmitt, 1991; Sogdian and Other Iranian Inscriptions of the Upper Indus II, by N. Sims-Williams, 1992; Ostraca, Papyri and Pergamente. Textband, by D. Weber, 1992.



H. S. Nyberg, “The New Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum,” BSOAS 23, 1960, pp. 40­-46.

(Nicholas Sims-Williams)

Originally Published: December 15, 1993

Last Updated: October 31, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VI, Fasc. 3, p. 286