- Parthian language
Middle Persianfrom the 3rd century
iso2=|iso3=xprThe Parthian language, also known as Arsacid Pahlavi, is a now-extinct ancient
Northwestern Iranian languagespoken in Parthia, a region of northeastern Greater Iran, to include a significant portion of Greater Khorasan.
Parthian was the language of state of the Arsacid Parthians (248 BC-224 AD).
Parthian was a Western Middle Iranian language that, through
language contact, also had some features of the Eastern Iranian languagegroup, the influence of which is attested primarily in loan words. Some traces of Eastern influence survives in Parthian loan words in the Armenian language.citation|chapter=Aparna|title=Encyclopedia Iranica|chapter-url=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v2f2/v2f2a023.html|volume=1|year=1983|location=Costa Mesa|publisher=Mazda Pub|last=Lecoq|first=Pierre]
Taxonomically, Parthian belongs to the
Northwestern Iranian languagegroup, while its close relative, Middle Persian, belongs to the Southwestern Iranian languagegroup.
The Parthian language was rendered using the Pahlavi writing system, which had two essential characteristics: First, its script derived from Aramaic, the script (and language) of the Achaemenid chancellery (i.e. Imperial Aramaic). Second, it had a high incidence of Aramaic words, rendered as
ideograms or logograms, that is, they were written Aramaic words but understood as Parthian ones (See Arsacid Pahlavi for details).
The Parthian language was the language of the old Satrapy of Parthia and was used in the
Arsacidscourts. The main sources for Parthian are the few remaining inscriptions from Nisa and Hecatompolis, Manichean texts, Sasanian multi-lingual inscriptions, and remains of Parthian literature in the succeeding Middle Persian. Among these, the Manichean texts, composed shortly after the demise of the Parthian power, play an important role for reconstructing the Parthian language [Josef Wiesehfer, "Ancient Persia: From 550 Bc to 650 A.D.", translated by Azizeh Azado, I.B. Tauris, 2001. pg 118.] .
In 224 AD,
Ardashir I, the local ruler of Pars, deposed and replaced Artabanus IV, the last Parthian Emperor, and founded the fourth Iranian dynasty, and the second Persian dynasty, the SassanianEmpire. Parthian was then succeeded by Middle Persian, which when written is known as Sasanian Pahlavi. Parthian did not die out immediately, but remains attested in a few bi-lingual inscriptions from the Sasanian era.
* cite encyclopedia|title=Parthia|editor=Hugh Chisholm|encyclopedia=Encyclopaedia Britannica|year=1911|volume=20|pages=871|location=London|publisher=Cambridge University Press
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Parthian language — Middle Iranian language that originated in the ancient province of Parthia (the northeastern portion of modern Iran) and became the official language of the Arsacid period of Persian dynastic history (2nd century BC–3rd century AD). Among… … Universalium
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Parthian — I noun 1. a native or inhabitant of Parthia • Hypernyms: ↑Asian, ↑Asiatic • Member Holonyms: ↑Parthia 2. the Iranian language spoken in the Parthian kingdom (250 BC to AD 226) • Hypernyms: ↑ … Useful english dictionary
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