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the language of the Parthians from the beginning of the first millennium B.C. to the fifth and sixth centuries A.D. Parthian belonged to the Northwestern subgroup of Iranian languages and was similar to the ancient Median dialects. As one of the official languages of the Parthian kingdom, it was spoken far to the west of Parthia proper. Although there are no direct descendants of Parthian among the modern Iranian languages, the vocabulary of Parthian penetrated numerous Iranian languages, especially Persian, and Armenian as well. The script was derived from the Aramaic alphabet in the late second century B.C. The oldest written records, archives from ancient Nisa in southern Turkmenia, date to the first century B.C. One of the versions of the Sassanid inscriptions was composed in Parthian in the third century. Manichaean texts, the earliest of which date to the third and fourth centuries, are not written with ideograms and are very important to the study of Parthian phonetics, grammatical structure, and vocabulary.

Phonetic differences between Ancient Iranian and Parthian include the change of [θw] to [f], [dw] to [b], [θr] to [hr], and postvocalic [č] to [ž]. The grammatical structure of Parthian is characterized by the affinity of Ancient Iranian nominal stems, the absence of inflected case forms, and the use of analytic verb forms to replace the ancient system of past tenses. Dialect differentiation may be inferred from several historical phonetic differences; for example, the Ancient Iranian [d] yielded the Parthian [—δ] and [—h]. The vocabulary exhibits similarities with Eastern Iranian languages and has a stratum of borrowings from Sakian dialects, evidently associated with the penetration of Sakian tribes into Parthia in the mid-third century B.C. The Parthian language was assimilated by Persian, which spread under the Sassanids in the fifth and sixth centuries throughout what used to be Parthia.


Livshits, V. A. “Iranskie iazyki narodov Srednei Azzii.” In Narody Srednei Azii i Kazakhstana, vol. 1. Moscow, 1962.
Ghilain, A. Essai sur la langue parthe. Louvain, 1939.
Henning, W. B. “Mitteliranisch.” In Handbuch der Orientalistik, division 1, vol. 4. ch. 1: “Linguistik.” Leiden-Cologne, 1958.
Gignoux, P. Glossaire des inscriptions pehlevies et parthes. London, 1972.


References in periodicals archive ?
from Medes to Parthians, was followed by three important urbanism styles: Pars Urbanism Style, Persian-Hellenized middle Style, and Parthian Style.
The protagonist, Marcus Corvinus, is a private detective who is called in by Roman authorities when an attack is made on the life of an exiled Parthian (one of those no-longer--in-existence countries) prince.
Although there is archaeological evidence for bone and wood composite bows from Parthian contexts, corresponding evidence from the Sasanian period is limited to arrowheads.
Close to the Carrhae, Parthian cavalry led by Surena, Iranian commander, defeated the Romans.
The archaeological team led by Mohsen Hosseini also discovered many intact pieces of pottery and a large number of shards at the mound, leading them to surmise that most likely, there was a large pottery workshop at the site during the Parthian era.
Some eager booksellers put them on the shelves on Saturday, so we could be looking at reprints very soon," said Dominic Williams of Parthian.
In his Parthian shot, he made Lance Wright editor of the AR, Sherban Cantacuzino executive editor and Colin Boyne(7) Chairman of Editors of the Architectural Press.
The piece of writing that I sent to Parthian Books before being commissioned to write The Blues Are Back in Town was titled "The Sad Crew", and to some extent the idea was that this was kind of a parody of the bestselling book about the Soul Crew, although the person I was sending up the most in the book turned out to be myself.
embraced such diverse topics as Akkadian bird names, Parthian history, and amethysts.
The end of the Parthian Dynasty in 224 CE did not mean the end of Parthian contribution to history.
The six-year-old showed some very decent bumper form when trained by Liam Corcoran, and it looks significant that Philip Hobbs has snapped up the Parthian Springs gelding.
London, October 14 (ANI): A team of archaeologists has discovered the remains of a Parthian city in the North Khorasan Province of Iran.