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Old Persian



The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (Language)
St. George

This course introduces students to the grammar and syntax of Old Persian, the language of the main epigraphical texts dating from the period of the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BCE); the simplified cuneiform script it was written in; as well as its connections with Old and Young Avestan (belonging, like Old Persian, to the Old Iranian linguistic group), Middle Persian (Pahlavi), and New Persian languages. Students will read the Old Persian version of the famous trilingual inscription of Darius I at Bisotun, dated 520–519 BCE, and related inscriptions in the original Old Persian cuneiform script, and discuss the Achaemenid historical context and political ideology they reflected.