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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an overview of Pahlavi literature. It surveys a wide variety of genres and texts, which were composed in the form that has reached us mainly in the ninth and tenth century, though some of the works and many of the themes date back to the Sasanian period and even earlier. Much of this literature was composed by Zoroastrians in Iran, and the chapter looks at the Zoroastrian contexts of literary production. Important texts such as the Dēnkard and the Bundahišn are discussed at length. The chapter also examines non-religious literature and other literary traditions with which Pahlavi authors came into contact. No doubt a large part of Sasanian non-religious literature was translated into Arabic and later also into Persian, contributing to the blossoming of Islamic culture.

Keywords: Middle Persian, Persia, Iran, literature, Sasanian, Zoroastrianism, Avesta, Islam, Dēnkard, Bundahišn

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