- Course Code:
- Course Not Running 2013/2014
- Unit value:
- Taught in:
- Full Year
An introduction to the Old Persian language, based primarily on the trilingual inscriptions (Old Persian, Babylonian, Elamite).
There are no formal preconditions for entry, but since Old Persian is a language with a complex morphological system, some prior knowledge of a highly inflected language such as Latin, German or Russian is a great advantage. No knowledge of any specific language other than English is required, though a general familiarity with standard grammatical terminology and concepts (e.g. preposition, subject, accusative case, perfect tense) is essential. (Intending students who are not confident of their grounding in this area are advised to attend the week of classes on "Language about language" at the beginning of the session.)
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
The aim is to provide an elementary knowledge of old Persian in its historical context.
By the end of the course the student should be in a position to read and understand any Old Persian text with the aid of the standard works reference.
WorkloadThe course normally entails two hours of classes per week. Between classes, students are expected to devote some time to the study of Old Persian grammar and to prepare the texts to be read in class.
Scope and syllabus
The course covers the Old Persian cuneiform writing system, morphology and syntax. A considerable proportion of the extant Old Persian texts is read, chiefly in transcription. By the end of the course the student should be in a position to read and understand any Old Persian text with the aid of the standard works of reference.
Method of assessmentOne three-hour written examination in May-June
- R. G. Kent, Old Persian: Grammar, texts, lexicon, 2nd edn, New Haven 1953
- R. Schmitt, The Bisitun Inscriptions of Darius the Great: Old Persian text, London 1991