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Encyclopedia > History of the Persian language

Persian is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Iranian family. The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... Indo-Iranian can refer to: The Indo-Iranian languages The prehistoric Indo-Iranian people, see Aryan This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

History of the
Persian language
Proto-Iranian (ca. 1500 BCE)

Southwestern Iranian languages Persian (Local names: فارسی Fârsi or پارسی Pârsi)* is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan as well as by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... The Iranian languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family with an estimated number of 150-200 million native speakers today. ... The Southwestern Iranian languages include some 16 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects spoken by about many people in Asia; this language family is a part of the Western Iranian language family. ...


Old Persian (c. 525 BCE - 300 BCE)

Old Persian cuneiform script See Aryan Language or Old Persian For more information visit: *[Ancient Iranian Languages & Literature The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS) ... Old Persian cuneiform is the primary script used in Old Persian writings. ...


Middle Persian (c.300 BCE-800 CE)

Pahlavi scriptManichaean scriptAvestan script Pahlavi is a term that refers: (1) to a script used in Iran derived from the Aramaic script, and (2) more broadly, to Middle Persian, the Middle Iranian language written in this script. ... The Pahlavi script was used broadly in the Sasanid Persian Empire to write down Middle Persian for secular, as well as religious purposes. ... The Manichaean script is a variant of the Syriac script designed to record the Middle Persian language. ... Yasna 28. ...


Modern Persian (from 800)

Perso-Arabic script Persian (Local names: فارسی Fârsi or پارسی Pârsi)* is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan as well as by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing the Arabic language, which is the language of the Quran, the holy book of Islam. ...

The history of the Persian language spans three chronologically related languages: Old Persian, Middle Persian and Modern Persian, the last of which has been around since at least 900 AD. See Aryan Language or Old Persian For more information visit: *[Ancient Iranian Languages & Literature The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS) ... Pahlavi is a term that refers: (1) to a script used in Iran derived from the Aramaic script, and (2) more broadly, to Middle Persian, the Middle Iranian language written in this script. ... Persian (Local names: فارسی Fârsi or پارسی Pârsi)* is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan as well as by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... Persian sfuckentist, Rhazes, distinguished smallpox from measles in the course of his writings. ...

Contents

Old Persian

Main article: Old Persian language

Old Persian and the Avestan language represent the old stage of development and were spoken in ancient Bactria. The Avestan language is called Avestan because the sacred scriptures of Zoroastrianism, the Avesta, were written in this old form. Avestan died out long before the advent of Islam and except for scriptural use, not much has remained of it. Old Persian, however, is much better documented. There are many written records of Old Persian, written in a cuneiform script called Maikhi, that have been found in Khorasan. Old Persian was spoken until around the third century BC. It is known to have been a highly inflected language. Sketch of the first column of the Behistun Inscription Old Persian is the oldest attested Persid language. ... Yasna 28. ... Bactria, about 320 BC Bactria (Bactriana, Bākhtar in Persian, also Bhalika in Arabic and Indian languages, and Ta-Hia in Chinese) was the ancient Greek name of the country between the range of the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya (Oxus); its capital, Bactra or Balhika or Bokhdi (now... Zoroastrianism is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). ... See Avesta Municipality for the Swedish town Yasna 28. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... The cuneiform script is one of the earliest known forms of written expression. ... Khorasan (Persian: خراسان) (also transcribed as Khurasan and Khorassan; Horasan in Turkish) is a region located in eastern Iran. ... (4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events The first two Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome over dominance in western Mediterranean Rome conquers Spain Great Wall of China begun Indian traders regularly visited Arabia Scythians occupy... Inflection of the Spanish lexeme for cat, with blue representing the masculine gender, pink representing the feminine gender, grey representing the form used for mixed-gender, and green representing the plural number. ...


Middle Persian

Middle Persian was spoken from the 3rd century to 9th and is closely related to several other Central Asian tongues such as Sogdian, Chrosmian and also Parthian languages. Parthian was the language of the Arsacid Dynasty of Parthia. Parthian, though it left some influences on Middle Persian, declined when the Sassanid power expanded. Middle Persian had a simpler grammar than Old Persian, and was written in multivalent letters (Pahlavi script). Middle Persian declined after Arab conquest of Persia in the 7th century and much of its rich literature was lost or destroyed by the Arab conquerors.[citation needed] However, a lot of it was also translated into Arabic. Middle Persian or Pahlavi is the Iranian language spoken during Sassanian times. ... // Overview Events 212: Constitutio Antoniniana grants citizenship to all free Roman men 212-216: Baths of Caracalla 230-232: Sassanid dynasty of Persia launches a war to reconquer lost lands in the Roman east 235-284: Crisis of the Third Century shakes Roman Empire 250-538: Kofun era, the first... As a means of recording the passage of time the 9th century was the century that lasted from 801 to 900. ... The Sogdians were an ancient people of Central Asia, who inhabited the region known to the West as Sogdiana. ... The Iranian languages are a part of the Indo-European language family with estimated 150-200 million native speakers. ... Iran Under the Arsacid Dynasty. ... Parthia[1] (Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was a civilization situated in the northeast of modern Iran, but at its height covering all of Iran proper, as well as regions of the modern countries of Armenia, Iraq, Georgia, eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, the Persian Gulf... Sassanid Empire at its greatest extent The Sassanid dynasty (also Sassanian) was the name given to the kings of Persia during the era of the second Persian Empire, from 224 until 651, when the last Sassanid shah, Yazdegerd III, lost a 14-year struggle to drive out the Umayyad Caliphate... The Pahlavi script was used broadly in the Sasanid Persian Empire to write down Middle Persian for secular, as well as religious purposes. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Islamic conquest of Afghanistan. ... The 7th century is the period from 601 - 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... Arabic ( or just ) is the largest living member of the Semitic language family in terms of speakers. ...


New Persian

Main article: Persian language

Modern Persian began to develop by 9th century. It is a continuation of the Khorasanian standard language which had considerable Parthian and Middle Persian elements. It has much simpler grammar than its ancestral forms. Because it developed after the Islamic conquest, it is written in Arabic script with some modification, and has absorbed a vast Arabic vocabulary. Persian (Local names: فارسی Fârsi or پارسی Pârsi)* is an Indo-European language spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan as well as by minorities in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... Persian (فارسی), also known as Farsi (local name), Parsi (older local name, but still used by some speakers), Tajik (a Central Asian dialect) or Dari (an Afghan dialect), is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. ... As a means of recording the passage of time the 9th century was the century that lasted from 801 to 900. ... The Iranian languages are a part of the Indo-European language family with estimated 150-200 million native speakers. ... Pahlavi is a term that refers: (1) to a script used in Iran derived from the Aramaic script, and (2) more broadly, to Middle Persian, the Middle Iranian language written in this script. ... The Arabic alphabet is the script used for writing languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and others. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Perso-Arabic script. ...


Literature

Main article: Persian literature

Persian literature is one of the richest in the world. After the Arab conquest of 7th century, Islam gradually replaced Zoroastrianism and Arabic became the language of law, religion and culture in Khorasan. However with the rise of Samanids and the political revival of Khorasan, Persian reemerged as a literary medium and developed into the established literary form of Persian language. During the period of Samanids a new era of literary activity began. The ancient traditions of Khorasan and Islam merged together. Persian was especially instrumental in freeing Islam from an exclusive attachment to Arabic culture, universalizing, and thus helping preserve it. Persian literature (in Persian: ‎ ) spans two and a half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Zoroastrianism is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). ... The Samanids (875-999) (in Persian: Samanian) were a Persian dynasty in Central Asia and eastern Iran, named after its founder Saman Khoda. ...


Poetry

Persian poetry had began sporadically in Khorasan in 9th century. The earliest main genres are the epic, qasida (ode of praise), ghazal (lyric), and masnavi (long narrative poem). By 10th century Persian had become an important and melodious medium for poetry, as the surviving works of Rudaki demonstrate. Rudaki is regarded as the father of Dari (Persian) poetry. After Rudaki's death the epic tradition, with its sources in Avestan and Middle Persian texts, bloomed. The first epic poet was Marvazi Samarqandi who composed a Shahnameh (Book of Kings) in 910. Daqiqi Balkhi another poet of tenth century wrote a better known Shahnameh in 975. The best known Shahnameh, however, and the one that is most commonly known by the name Shahnameh was composed by Firdowsi Tusi in 1010. This work is considered the apex of Persian epic poetry, and includes the works of other epic poets, such as Daqiqi, as well. Qasida (also spelled qasidah) in Arabic قصيدة, in Persian قصیده, is a form of poetry from pre-Islamic Arabia. ... This article is about the poetic form. ... The masnavi (Persian: معنوی, also transcribed as mathnawi; Turkish: mesnevî) is a poetic form in Persian and Ottoman literature. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 10th century was that century which lasted from 901 to 1000. ... Rudaki depicted as a blind poet, here on this Iranian stamp. ... Abul Hasan Abu Ishaq Kisai Marvazi was a 10th century poet of Persia. ... Events Foundation of the Benedictine monastery of Cluny Chinese Zhou dynasty monarch 懿王 yi4 wang2 is succeeded by 孝王 xiao4 wang2 Hashavarman I succeeds Yasovarman I as ruler of the Khmer empire Gabriel I of Alexandria becomes Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church Garcia I of Leon becomes... Abu Mansur Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Daqiqi (935/942-976/9801), sometimes refered to as Daqiqi (also Dakiki, Daghighi, Persian: دقیقی) was an early Persian poet, from Tus, Bukhara, Samarkand or Balkh (sources vary). ... Events Coronation of King Edward the Martyr Births Deaths July 8 Edgar of England Categories: 975 ... Shâhnameh Shāhnāmé, or Shāhnāma (Persian: )(alternative spellings are Shahnama, Shahnameh, Shahname, Shah-Nama, etc. ... Ferdowsi Tousi (فردوسی طوسی in Persian) (more commonly transliterated Firdausi, Ferdosi or Ferdusi) (935–1020) is considered to be one of the greatest Persian poets to have ever lived. ... Events The Ly Dynasty in Vietnam is established (or 1009). ...


Persian qasida were also first written by Rudaki. Mostly qasidas are panegyrics, sometimes elegiac, didactic and occasionally they deal with philosophical or biographical literature. The average length of qasida is between sixty and hundred lines and they are written in couplets. Long qasidas, over two hundred lines, were also frequently written. The earliest exponents of this form of poetry Unsuri Balkhi, Asjadi, and Farrukhi Sistani, were the greatest poets of their time. Of many panegyrists in the history of Persian literature, Anvari is regarded as the foremost. In philosophical qasidas Naser-e Khosrow was very well regarded. Omar Khayyám was another poet of this era who is considered to be of astonishing originality. A Panegyric is a formal public speech delivered in high praise of a person or thing, a generally high studied and undiscriminating eulogy. ... Abul Qasim Hasan Unsuri (d. ... Abu Nazar Abdul Aziz ibn Mansur Asjadi was a 10-11th century royal poet of Ghaznavid Persia. ... Abul Hasan Ali ibn Julugh Farrukhi Sistani was a 10-11th century royal poet of Ghaznavid Persia. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... ÉÀ ... Ghiyās ol-DÄ«n Abol-Fath Omār Ibn EbrāhÄ«m Khayyām NeyshābÅ«rÄ«, (Persian: غیاث الدین ابو الفتح عمر بن ابراهیم خیام نیشابوری, born: May 18, 1048 in Nishapur, Iran (Persia) – died: December 4, 1131), was a Persian poet, mathematician, philosopher and astronomer. ...


Persian poetry blossomed again in the 13th and 14th centuries which are often called its golden age. This was the period of the three great lyric poets, Mawlana Rumi, Saadi and Hafez. They were excellent in a form o poetry called ghazal, a passionate mystical lyric form that is composed on a single rhyme. Ghazals usually consist of five to fifteen couplets and they could be in any of a variety of meters. (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... This 14th-century statue from south India depicts the gods Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right). ... Mawlana Rumi Celâladin Mehmet Rumi or Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi (Persian:مولانا جلال الدين محمد بلخى , Arabic: جلال الدين محمد رومي) (September 30, 1207 – December 17, 1273 CE) (also known as Mawlvi Mawlana, meaning our guide or our lord in Arabic and Persian, or Mevlana meaning our guide in Turkish) was a Sufi , Persian poet , jurist, theologian... Saadi may refer to one of the following: Saadi (poet), the medieval Persian Sufi poet Saadi Dynasty, the Moroccan dynasty Vicente Saadi, the Argentine politician Saïd Sadi, the Algerian political activist Abd ar-Rahman as-Saadi, Islamic scholar of fiqh and tafsir Category: ... Hafez, detail of an illumination in a Persian manuscript of the Divan of Hafez, 18th century. ...


The first mystic masnavi is believed to have been written by Hakim Sanai of Ghazna and is known as Hadiqat al-Haqiqa (The Walled Garden of Truth). He was followed by Attar and Rumi. Rumi's Masnavi-e-Manavi consists of six books that contain 30,000 couplets. Masnavi's basic theme is love and Rumi's verse is concerned with problems bearing on the conduct, meaning and purpose of life and the longing of the human soul for union with God. Rumi's Masnavi is a deeply moving work, and one of gigantic stature in Persian literature, and in Islamic literature in general. The Masnavi is often called Quran-e-Sani meaning the second Qur'an. The masnavi form of poetry was also suitable for epic and romantic stories. Nezami was the best known practitioner of this style, Khosrow o Shirin and Leyle o Mæjnun being his most famous works. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. ... Farid al-Din Attar (b. ... The Masnavi or Masnavi-I Manavi (Persian: مثنوی معنوی), also written Mathnawi or Mesnevi, written in Persian by Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, the celebrated Persian Sufi saint and poet, is one of the best known and most influential works of both Sufism and Persian literature. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Nezami (1141–1209) Nezāmi-ye GanjavÄ« (Persian: ; Azerbaijani: ;‎ 1141 – 1209), or NezāmÄ« (Persian: ), whose full name was Nizām ad-DÄ«n AbÅ« Muhammad Ilyās ibn-YusÅ«f ibn-ZakÄ« ibn-Muayyid, is considered the greatest romantic epic poet in Persian literature, who brought a colloquial... Chosroes and Shirin (Originally Persian خسرو Ùˆ شيرين pron. ... Majnun in the wilderness Layla and Majnun (ليلى ومجنون), or Leyli and Madjnun, is a classical Middle Eastern love story. ...


Prose

During the Samanid era the foundation of Persian prose was also laid. Several pieces of literature demonstrated the suitability of Persian language for sacred texts. Al-Bal'ami, a vizier in the court of Mansur I of Samanid, in 963 published a translation of the Annals of Tabari. Also at the same time, a group of theologians made a Persian copy of Tabari's commentary on the Quran. These works and works of a similar nature produced a clear demonstration that Persian was very suitable for religious works. In fact, these works brought to an end the absolute domination of Arabic as the language of Islamic religious literature. Mansur I also commissioned the pharmacopoeia of Abu Mansur Muwaffak of Herat, the first Persian book on medicine. An extensive technical vocabulary, applicable to philosophy and science were also coined with the patronage of Samanids. A Vizier (Arabic,وزير - wazīr) (sometimes also spelled Vazir, Vizir, Vasir, Wazir, Vesir, or Vezir - grammatical vowel changes are common in many oriental languages), literally burden-bearer or helper, is a term, originally Persian, for a high-ranking political (and sometimes religious) advisor or minister, often to a Muslim monarch... Abu Salih Mansur (d. ... Events Holy Roman Emperor Otto I defeats Mieszko I of Poland, compels him to pay tribute Luxembourg is founded, and the Belgium area becomes part of the United Provinces of the Netherlands. ... The History of the Prophets and Kings (Arabic: تاريخ الرسل والملوك Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk, popularly Tarikh al-Tabari) is a history by Tabari from the Creation to AD 915, and is renowned for its detail and accuracy concerning Arab and Muslim history. ... Balamis 14th century Persian version of Universal History by al-Tabari Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari 838–923 (father of Jafar, named Muhammad, son of Jarir from the province of Tabaristan, Arabic الطبري), was an author from Persia, one of the earliest, most prominent and famous Persian... The commentary on the Quran (Arabic:Al-musammá Jami‘ al-bayan fi ta’wil al-Qur’an), popularly Tafsir al-Tabari is a classic Sunni tafsir by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari. ... Back cover of the Chinese pharmacopoeia First Edition (published in 1930) Pharmacopoeia (literally, the art of the drug compounder), in its modern technical sense, is a book containing directions for the identification of samples and the preparation of compound medicines, and published by the authority of a government or a... Abu Mansur Muwaffak ibn Ali al-Harawi was a 10th century Persian physician. ... Herāt (Persian: ‎ ) is a city in western Afghanistan, in the province also known as Herāt. ...


 
 

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