Middle Persian literature

Middle Persian literature

Middle Persian literature also called Pahlavi literature[1] is Persian literature of the 1st millennium AD, especially of the Sassanid period.


Literature of Pahlavi

Pahlavi Literature can be divided in three parts:

  1. the Pahlavi version of the Avesta, generally known as the 'Zend-Avesta'.
  2. Pahlavi texts on religious subjects.
  3. Pahlavi texts on non-religious subjects.

Pahlavi translations of Avesta texts

This includes several major Pahlavi texts which are translations of Avesta texts. It includes also some Afringan, Yasht and Niyayishn.

Some major Pahlavi books of this kind are:

  1. Vendidad
  2. Afringan-i Gahanbar
  3. Yasna
  4. Haptan Yasht
  5. Nirangistan
  6. Srosh Yasht Hadokht
  7. Vishtasp Yasht
  8. Sirozak I, II
  9. Visperad
  10. Frahang-i Oim-evak
  11. Khurshet Nyayish
  12. Ahuramazd Yasht
  13. Aban Nyayish
  14. Bahram Yasht
  15. Afringan-i Dahman
  16. Hadokht Nask
  17. Afringan- Gatha
  18. Aogemadaecha
  19. Khurshet Yasht
  20. Chitak avistak-i gasan
  21. Mah Yasht
  22. Ataxsh Nyayish
  23. Vichirkart-i Denig
  24. Afaringan Fravartigan
  25. Mah Nyayish

Pahlavi texts on religious subjects

It includes several major Pahlavi texts about different Zoroastrian religious subjects such as cosmogony, cosmology, eschatology, creation of the world, ceremonies, rituals, Andarz, Pandnamak, Patit etc.

Major 9th-century texts include the encyclopedic Denkard; Manushchihr's Dadestain-i Denig ("Religious Decisions") and Epistles; the treatises of Manushchihr's heretical brother, Zat-Sparam; and Bundahishn ("Original Creation")[2].

Some other Pahlavi books of this kind are:

  1. Rivayat accompanying
  2. Shikand-gumanic Vichar
  3. Shayast ne-shayast
  4. Bundheshn the creation
  5. Dana-i Menog Khrat
  6. Mah farvardin Ruz khordad a notable evidents in a date
  7. Arda-Viraf Namag
  8. Jamasp Namag
  9. Zand-i Wahman yasn
  10. Matigan-i Yosht-i Fryano
  11. Shabuhragan
  12. Andarz Ushnerdanak
  13. Andarz-i Bozorgmehr Bukhtegan the advices by Burzoe.
  14. Matigan-i gujastak Abalish

Pahlavi texts on non-religious subjects

This includes several major Pahlavi texts which fall into the categories of Pahlavi glossaries, stories, poems, Geographies, etc.

P literature.svg This literature-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Some major Pahlavi books of this kind are:

  1. Matigan-i Hazar Datistan (Judicial code)
  2. Cities in the land of Iran
  3. Karnamak-i Artaxshir-i Papakan
  4. Shahrestanha-ye Eranshahr
  5. Vizarishn- i Chatrang ud nahishn-i new Ardashir (invent of chess)
  6. Yatkar-i Zariran
  7. Drakht-i Asurig
  8. Khusro-i Kavatan and his Page
  9. Frahang-i Pahlavig
  10. Wonders of the land of Sagastan
  11. Forms of Epistles
  12. Namak-i Tenser the letter by Tenser
  13. Shah zanan the king of women

We have to add several other Pahlavi books which are now lost, and of which we are only aware through references in other Arabic and Persian texts, such as Ayyatkar-i Anushirvan the Arabic translation of which can be found in 'Tajarob-al Omam' of 'Ibn-i Muskuye', or 'Khvatay Namak' that is completely lost.

See also


  1. ^ C. G. Cereti, MIDDLE PERSIAN LITERATURE, Encyclopedia Iranica [1] accessed August 2010

External links

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