Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT020T (AF:333882 AR:177566)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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The course completes the training of students of the Persian language and culture through the philological and linguistic investigation of the Middle-Iranian languages (Parthian and Middle-Persian) and of the pre-Islamic Iranian culture. Furthermore, it is part of the various courses of languages and cultures provided in the LICSAAM (Near-Eastern, Indological and Central-Asian fields), allowing students to broaden the spectrum of their philological knowledge to the vast area of Iranian languages, and to various contact phenomena (Aramaic and Mesopotamia; Indian, Turkic and Chinese area). The historical-linguistic approach is combined with the textual-literary and religious traditions of a large interactive area (between Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam)
The course aims at introducing the student into a knowledge of the Middle Iranian languages, in their typology and area attestations. Specifically centered on Middle-Persian and Parthian idioms, it intends to initiate to the reading and understanding of scriptures and texts of the Iranian heritage that merged into Islam (epic-courtly literature, the sapiential genre andarz) and of the religious traditions of Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism
A basic knowledge of the Persian language can facilitate the understanding of the lexicon and morphological and syntactic aspects too. A former learning from Indological (Sanskrit, Indo-European studies) or Semitic studies can help in understanding the Old-Iranian (Avestan, Ancient-Persian) or the Arameograms of the Middle Iranian
Approach to the knowledge of writings, languages and texts of the Middle Iranian (Parthian and Middle-Persian), to complete the student's learning in New-Persian. We will take into consideration, mainly, inscriptions and texts useful for understanding themes and aspects of the royal and courtly sphere of the Sassanian culture, then transmitted to the Islamic world.

Philologies of pre-Islamic Iran: Central Iran (Persia) and Eastern Iranism (Khorasan, Central Asia).

Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian languages and the Semitic world: compared perspectives.

Ancient-Iranian (Old-Persian and Avestan) and Middle-Iranian (Bactrian, Parthian, Middle-Persian, Sogdian, Khotanese).

Writing, formulae, orality and performative aspects of textuality. Linguistic and thematic parallel.

Relevance of the Aramaic for graphic systems and its lexical heritage in Middle Iranian.

Guide to reading of the Introduction to Pahlavi by Oktor P. Skjærvø (download from the web).

Epigraphic texts. Sassanid royal inscriptions: Šābuhr's inscription to the Ka’aba i Zardusht; Šābuhr's inscription in Hajiabad. Reading and comment.

The diffusion of Middle-Iranian epigraphy: the inscription of Costantinopoli, Xi'an and Bugut.

Epic-courtly Pahlavi texts: The "Book of the Ardašīr’s Feats".

Manichaean Texts: reading and commentary of Parthian and Middle-Persian texts.

Coins, seals, amulets, monograms: between epigraphy, iconography, decoration and symbolic uses.
I. M. Oranskij, Le lingue iraniche, Naples 1973 (Italian edition, ed. A.V. Rossi).
N. Sims-Williams, "le lingue iraniche", in Le lingue indeuropee, ed. by A. Giacalone Ramat and P. Ramat, Bologna 1993, pp. 151-179.
W. B. Henning, Il medioiranico, Naples 1996 (Italian edition, ed. by E. Filippone).
A. Panaino, “Scrittura e scritture nell’Iran tardo-antico fra tradizione e innovazione”, in Lettere come simboli. Aspetti ideologici della scrittura tra passato e presente, a c. di P. Degni, Udine 2012, pp. 31-59.
P. O. Skjærvø, "Aramaic Scripts for Iranian languages", in The World's Writing Systems, ed. P. T. Daniels & W. Bright. New York-Oxford 1996, pp. 515-535.

Further bibliography on targeted aspects will be recommended during the course
The exam consists of an interview to verify the learning of the subject and the analytical and critical ability of the student
traditional lesson (oral) supported by multimedia technologies (PowerPoint, websites, images)

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Natural capital and environmental quality" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 02/02/2023