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Fall-Winter 2023-2024 | T & R 11 – 13




The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (Language)
St. George
Room: BF 315
Miguel Ángel Andrés-Toledo

This course surveys the grammar and syntax of the language of the Young Avestan corpus, belonging to the Old Iranian linguistic group. The Avesta was a compendium of Zoroastrian texts composed orally in northern Iran and Central Asia in two dialects spoken in different periods: Old Avestan (2nd millennium BCE) and Young Avestan (1st millennium BCE). Most foundational texts of Zoroastrianism were composed in Young Avestan language, which attests a more simplified grammar than Old Avestan and in this regard is closer to Old Persian. Knowledge of Young Avestan provides access to the mythical and ritual context of pre-Islamic Iran and Central Asia. Students will be introduced to the main phonological, morphological, and syntactical features of the Young Avestan language; its script; its most important texts; and its connections with Old Persian and Middle Persian, or Pahlavi.