Persian Language

The linguistic Setting of Old Persia

Old Persian "" The linguistic Setting of Old Persia. Old Persian is the name applied to the Persian language used in the cuneiform inscriptions of the Achaemenian dynasty; it can be localized as the language of the southwestern Persia, or Persis in the narrower sense, and was the vernacular speech of the Achaemenian rulers. The OP inscriptions are commonly accompanied also by translations into Elamite and Accadian, engraved in other types of cuneiform writing, and sometimes by an Aramaic version or an Egyptian hieroglyphic version. Linguistically, OP belongs to the Iranian branch of Indo-Iranian or Aryan, which is one of the main divisions of the Indo-European family of languages.

Read More

Persian Language and Literature

NETBible: Persian Language and Literature (Ancient) The Persian language, ancient and modern alike, is an Aryan tongue. In its ancient forms it is more closely connected with Vedic Sanskrit than with any other language except Armenian. Most of its roots are to be found also in Slavonic, Greek, Latin and other tongues of the same stock. Dialects: There were two main dialects in the ancient language of Iran (Airyanem), (1) that of the Persians proper, and (2) that of the Medes. The former is known to us from the inscriptions of the Achemenian kings, the latter from the Avesta, and a few Median words preserved for us by Herodotus and other Greek writers.

Read More

Ancient Persian Alphabet

When the Persian king Darius I the Great (522-486) ordered the Behistun inscription to be made, he also ordered the making of a special, Persian alphabet, which he called 'the Aryan script'. It consists of thirty-six signs indicating syllables and eight ideograms for the words 'king', 'country' (2x) 'good', 'god', 'earth', and 'Ahuramazda' (3x). A slanting wedge (\) is used as a word divider. This alphabet was mainly used for royal inscriptions; the last text in the 'Aryan script' can be dated to the fourth century BCE.

Read More

Old Persian (Aryan)

Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav. Linguistically, Old Persian is the oldest attested Persid language, which is classified in the group of Western Iranian languages. The Middle-Persian (Pahlavi) and New Persian, are the direct continuation of the Old Persian evolution. Old Persian was the vernacular tongue of the Achaemenid monarchs, but had already been spoken for a few centuries prior to the rise of the Achaemenid dynasty. Old Persian script was called Aryan (OP. ariyÃ-) by the Achaemenids. It is largely known from an extensive body of cuneiform inscriptions "" especially from the time of Darius the Great (r. 522-486 BCE) and his son Xerxes (r. 486-465BCE). However, some scholars believe that Aryan was invented by the first Iranian dynasty, the Medes (728-550BCE), and then adopted by the Achaemenids as the imperial script. Old Persian script continued to survive, though in a corrupt form described by Skj¿rv¸ as "˜post-Old-Persian', as late as the first century BCE.

Read More

Persian Language

Persian language, also known as Farsi, is the most widely spoken member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian languages. It is the official language of Iran and is also widely spoken in Afghanistan and, in an archaic form, in Tadjikistan and the Pamir mountain region.

Read More

Ancient Scripts: Avestan

Avestan was an Iranian language in which the earliest Zoroastrian hymns were orally transmitted since 1500 BCE. Due to lingusitic change, fluency in Avestan as spoken a thousand years earlier was deteorating, and hence the need to write the language became increasingly apparent. By the 3rd century CE an alphabet was created to write down the ancient Avestan language...

Read More

Ancient Scripts: Old Persian

The first Persian Empire of the Achaemenid dynasty rose to power in the middle of the 6th century BCE and quickly conquered an area that stretched from Mesopotamia to Afghanistan. Early in the history of the dynasty, a syllabic script to write the Old Persian language was developed. This script was not a direct descendent of the Sumerian and Akkadian systems, because even though the physical appearance of Old Persian signs are cuneiform, or in the shape of wedges, the actual shape of the signs do not correspond to signs in older systems with similar phonetic values. Old Persian only kept the cuneiform appearance of its characters simply out of tradition, and the actual shape of the signs were completely original.

Read More

Iranian Scripts: Old Persian Cuneiform

Darius I [522 - 486 BCE] claims credit for the invention of Old Persian Cuneiform in an inscription on a cliff at Behistun in south-west Iran. The inscription dates from 520 BCE and is in three languages - Elamite, Babylonian and Old Persian. Some scholars are sceptical about Darius' claims, others take them seriously, although they think that Darius probably commissioned his scribes to create the alphabet, rather than inventing it himself...

Read More