character in which are written the
See also:translations of their sacred books and some other
See also:works which they preserve (see
See also:PERSIA: Language) . The name can be traced back for many centuries; the
See also:great epic poet Firdousi (second
See also:half of the loth Christian century) repeatedly speaks of
See also:Pahlavi books as the
See also:sources of his narratives, and he tells us among other things that in the
See also:time of the first Khosrau (
See also:Chosroes I., A.D . 531–579) the Pahlavi character alone was used in Persia.' The learned
See also:Ibn Mokaffa` (8th century) calls Pahlavi one of the
See also:languages of Persia, and seems to imply that it was an official language.' We cannot determine what characters, perhaps also dialects, were called Pahlavi before the Arab
See also:period . It is most suitable to confine the word, as is now generally done, to designate a kind of writing—not only that of the Pahlavi books, but of all inscriptions on
See also:stone and
See also:metal which use similar characters and are written on essentially the same principles as these books . At first sight the Pahlavi books
See also:present the strangest spectacle of mixture of speech . Purely Semitic (Aramaic) words—and these not only nouns and verbs, but numerals, particles,
See also:demonstrative and even
See also:personal pronouns—stand side by side with Persian vocables . Often, however, the Semitic words are compounded in a way quite unsemitic, or have Persian terminations . As read by the
See also:modern Zoroastrians, there are also We cannot assume, however, that the poet had a clear idea of what Pahlavi was . 2 The passage, in which useful facts are mixed up with
See also:strange notions, is given abridged in Fihrist, p . 13, more fully by Yakut, iii . 925, but most fully and accurately in the unprinted Mafalik al-'
See also:alum.many words which are neither Semitic nor Persian; but it is soon seen that this traditional pronunciation is untrustworthy . The character is cursive and very ambiguous, so that, for example, there is but one sign for n, u, and r, and one for y, d, and g, this has led to mistakes in the received pronunciation, which for many words can be shown to have been at one time more correct than it is now .
But apart from such blunders there remain phenomena which could never have appeared in a real language; and the hot strife which raged till recently as to whether Pahlavi is Semitic or Persian has been closed by the
See also:discovery that it is merely a way of writing Persian in which the Persian words are partly represented—to the
See also:eye, not to the ear—by their Semitic equivalents . This view, the development of which began with Westergaard (Zendavesta, p . 20, note), is in full accordance with the true and ancient tradition . Thus Ibn Molpffa`, who translated many Pahlavi books into Arabic, tells us that the Persians had about one thousand words which they wrote otherwise than they were pronounced in Persian .3 For
See also:bread he says they wrote LHMA, i.e. the Aramaic lalcma, but they pronounced nan, which is the
See also:common Persian word for bread . Similarly BSRA, the Aramaic
See also:beard, flesh, was pronounced as the Persian gosht . We still possess a glossary which actually gives the Pahlavi writing with its Persian pronunciation . This glossary, which besides Aramaic words contains also a variety of Persian words disguised in
See also:antique forms, or by errors due to the contracted
See also:style of writing, exists in various shapes, all of which, in spite of their corruptions, go back to the
See also:work which the statement of Ibn Molpffa' had in view.' Thus the Persians did the same thing on a much larger scale, as when in .
See also:English we write £ (
See also:libra) and pronounce " pound " or write b° or & (et) and pronounce " and." No
See also:system was followed in the choice of Semitic forms . Sometimes a noun was written in its status absolutus, sometimes the emphatic d was added, and this was sometimes written as s sometimes as ^ . One verb was written in the perfect, another in the imperfect . Even various dialects were laid under contribution . The Semitic signs by which Persian synonyms were distinguished are sometimes quite arbitrary . Thus in Persian khwesh and khwat both mean " self "; the former is written NFShH (nafsha or nafsheh), the latter BNFShH with the preposition be prefixed .
Personal pronouns are expressed in thedative (i.e. with prepositional 1 prefixed), thus LK (lakh) for tu, " thou," LNH (
See also:land) for ama, " we." Sometimes the same Semitic sign stands for two distinct Persian words that happen to agree in sound; thus because
See also:hand is Aramaic for " this," HNA represents not only Persian e, " this," but also the interjection e, i.e . " 0 " as pre-fixed to a vocative . Sometimes for clearness a Persian termination is added to a Semitic word; thus, to distinguish between the two words for
See also:pit and pitar, the former is written AB and the latter ABITR . The Persian
See also:form is, however, not seldom used, even where there is a quite well-known Semitic ideogram.5 These difficulties of
See also:reading mostly disappear when the ideographic nature of the writing is recognized . We do not always know what Semitic word supplied some ambiguous
See also:group of letters (e. g .
See also:PUN for pa, "to," or HT for agar, "if" ); but we always can tell the Persian word—which is the one important thing—though not always the exact pronunciation of it in that older stage of the language which the extant Pahlavi works belong to . In Pahlavi, for example, the word for "
See also:female" is written matak, an ancient form which afterwards passed through madhak into madha . But it was a
See also:mistake of later ages to
See also:fancy that because this was so the sign T also meant D, Fihrist, p . 14,
See also:line 13 seq., cf. line 4 seq . The former passage was first cited by
See also:Quatremere, Jour . As . (1835), i .
256, and discussed by Clermont-Ganneau, ibid . (1866), 1 . 430 . The expressions it uses are not always clear; perhaps the author of the Fihrist has condensed somewhat . '
See also:Editions by Hoshangji, Jamaspji
See also:Asa and M .
See also:Haug (Bombay, 187o), and by C . Salemann (
See also:Leiden, 1878) . See also J .
See also:Olshausen, " Zur Wiirdigung der Pahlavi-glossare " in Kuhn's Zeit. f. vergl . Sprforsch., N.F., vi . 521 seq . For examples of various peculiarities see the notes to Noldeke's
See also:translation of the
See also:story of .4rtakhshir i Papakan (
See also:Gottingen, 1879)., and so to write T for D in many cases, especially in
See also:foreign proper names .
That a word is written in an older form than that which is pronounced is a phenomenon common to many languages whose literature covers along period . So in English we still write, though we do not pronounce, the guttural in through, and write laugh when we pronounce laf . Much graver difficulties arise from the cursive nature of the characters already alluded to . There are some groups which may theoretically be read in hundreds of ways; the same little sign may be ti, n', i n, 'n, Hu, nu, and the n too may be either h or kh . In older times there was still some little distinction between letters that are now quite identical in form, but even the
See also:Egyptian fragments of Pahlavi writing of the 7th century show on the whole the same type as our
See also:MSS . The
See also:practical inconveniences to those who knew the language were not so great as they may seem; the
See also:Arabs also long used an equally ambiguous character without availing themselves of the dia- critical points which had been devised long before . Modern MSS., following Arabic
See also:models, introduce diacritical points from time to time, and often incorrectly . These give little help, however, in comparison with the so-called Pazand or transcription of Pahlavi texts, as they are to be spoken, in the character in which the Avesta itself is written, and which is quite clear and has all vowels as well as consonants . The transcription is not philologically accurate; the language is often modernized, but not uniformly so . Pazand MSS. present dialectical variations according to the taste or intelligence of authors and copyists, and all have many false readings . For us, however, they are of the greatest use . To get a conception of Pahlavi one cannot do better than read the Minai-Khiradh in the Pahlavi with
See also:constant reference to the Pazand.' Critical labour is still required to give an approximate
See also:reproduction of the author's own pronunciation of what he wrote ..
The coins of the laterSassanid
See also:kings, of the princes of Tabaristan, and of some
See also:governors in the earlier Arab period, exhibit an
See also:alphabet very similar to Pahlavi MSS . On the older coins the several letters are more clearly distinguished, and in
See also:good specimens of well-struck coins of the
See also:oldest Sassanians almost every
See also:letter can be recognized with certainty . The same holds good for the inscriptions on gems and other small monuments of the early
See also:Sassanian period; but the clearest of all are the
See also:rock inscriptions of the Sassanians in the 3rd and 4th centuries, though in the 4th century a tendency to cursive forms begins to appear . Only r and v are always quite alike . The character of the language and the system of writing is essentially the same on coins, gems and rocks as in MSS.—pure Persian, in
See also:part strangely disguised in a Semitic garb . In details there are many differences between the Pahlavi of inscriptions and the books . Persian endings added to words written in Semitic form are much less common in the former, so that the
See also:person .and number of a verb are often not to be made out . There are also orthographic variations; e.g. long a in Persian forms is always expressed in
See also:book-Pahlavi, but not always in inscriptions . The unfamiliar contents of some of these inscriptions, their limited number, their
See also:bad preservation, and the imperfect way in which some of the most important of them have been published 2 leave many things still obscure in these monuments of Persian kings; but they have done much to clear up both great and small points in the
See also:history of Pahlavi.3 Some of the oldest Sassanian inscriptions are accompanied by a text belonging to the same system of writing, but with many variations in detail,' and an alphabet which, though derived 1 The Book of the Mainyo-i-Khard in the
See also:Original Pahlavi, ed. by Fr . Ch . Andreas (
See also:Kiel, 1882) ; idem, The Pazand and
See also:Sanskrit Texts, by E . W .
See also:Stuttgart and
See also:London, 1871) . 2 See especially the great work of F . Stolze,
See also:Persepolis (2 vols., Berlin, 1882) . It was De Sacy who began the decipherment of the inscriptions . 3 Thus we now know that the ligature in book-Pahlavi which means " in," the original letters of which could not be made out, is for I'7, " between." It is to be read andar . Thus pus, " son," is written 'nn instead of nnn; posh, " before," is written nnnip, but in the usual Pahlavi it is ']'17='}'y.,}.from the same source with the other Pahlavi alphabets (the old Aramaic), has quite different forms . This character is also found on some gems and
See also:seals . It has been called Chaldaeo-Pahlavi, &c . Olshausen tries to make it probable that this was the writing of
See also:Media and the other that of Persia . The Persian dialect in both sets of inscriptions is identical or nearly so .5 The name Pahlavi means
See also:Parthian, Pahlav being the
See also:regular Persian transformation of the older Parthava.6 This fact points to the conclusion that the system of writing was
See also:developed in Parthian times, when the great nobles, the Pahlavans, ruled and Media was their
See also:main seat, "the Pahlav
See also:country." Other linguistic, graphical and
See also:historical indications point the same way; but it is still far from clear how the system was developed . We know, indeed, that even under the Achaemenids Aramaic writing and speech were employed far beyond the Aramaic lands, even in official documents and on coins . The Iranians had no convenient character, and might
See also:borrow the Aramaic letters as naturally as they subsequently borrowed those of the Arabs .
But this does not explain the strange practice of writing Semitic words inplace of so many Persian words which were to be read as Persian . It cannot be the invention of an individual, for in that case the system would have been more consistently worked out, and the appearance of two or more kinds of Pahlavi side by side at the beginning of the Sassanian period would be inexplicable . But we may remember that the Aramaic character first came to the Iranians from the region of the
See also:Euphrates and
See also:Tigris, where the complicated cuneiform character arose, and where it held its ground long after better ways of writing were known . In later antiquity probably very few Persians could read and write . All kinds of strange things are conceivable in an Eastern character confined to a narrow circle . Of the facts at least there is no doubt . The Pahlavi literature embraces the translations of the
See also:holy books of the Zoroastrians, dating probably from the 6th century, and certain other religious books, especially the Minoi-Khiradh and the Bundahish.7 The Bundahish
See also:dates from the Arab period . Zoroastrian priests continued to write the old language as a dead
See also:tongue and to use the old character long after the victory of a new
See also:empire, a new religion, a new form of the language (New Persian), and a new character . There was once a not quite inconsiderable profane literature, of which a good
See also:deal is preserved in Arabic or New Persian versions or reproductions, particularly in historical books about the time before
See also:Islam?' Very little profane literature still exists in Pahlavi; the
See also:romance of
See also:Ardashir has been mentioned above . See E . W . West's " Pahlavi Literature," in Geiger and Kuhn's Grundriss der iranischen Philologie 41896), vol. ii.; " The Extent, Language and Age of Pahlavi Literature" in Sitzungsber. der k .
Akad. der wiss . Phil. u. hist . Klasse (
See also:Munich, 1888), pp . 399–443 and his Pahlavi Texts in Sacred Books of the East (188o-1897) . The difficult study of Pahlavi is made more difficult by the corrupt state of our copies, due to ignorant and careless
See also:scribes . Of glossaries, that of West (Bombay and London, 1874) is to be recommended; the large Pahlavi,
See also:Gujarati and English
See also:lexicon of Jamaspji Dastur Minocheherji (Bombay and London, 1877–1882) is very full, but has numerous false or uncertain forms, and must be used with much caution . (Tu .
PAHARI (properly Pahari, the language of the mounta...
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