Avesta, Pahlavi, Pazand etc.

Iranian languages Avesta, Pahlavi, Pazand etc – An introduction 

Iranian languages are the group of languages which belong to the Indo-European and Indo-Iranian family of languages.

The languages belonging to the Iranian family which are especially connected to Zoroastrian studies are Avesta, Old Persian Inscription Pahlavi, Book Pahlavi (Middle Persian), Pazand and Persian (Farsi).

There are other languages too belonging to the Iranian family like Kurdish, Pashtu, Ossetic, Manichaenian and Tokharish.

Avesta is the oldest extant language of this family. It had a hypothetical mother language  which it shared with Vedic Sanskrit. This mother language is now no more extant.

The Iranian languages pertaining to the Zoroastrian religion flourished during different main historical eriods which can be seen from the table below:

LanguageHistorical PeriodTime period
Hypothetical proto-Aryan language (now lost)Proto-AryanPre-historic
Old PersianAchaemenian556 BC to 330 B C
Inscription PahlaviAshkanian & early Sasanian247 BC to 224 AC
Pahlavi (Middle Persian), etc.Sasanian and post-Sasanian3rd to 9th century AC
PazandMiddle and later Sasanian4th to 7th century AC
Neo-PersianPost-SasnianAfter 9th century AC

Other important languages in the Indo-European family are Armenian, Baltic (Lithuanian, Latvian, Old Prussian), Anatolian (Hittite), Celtic (Gallic, Hispanic, Irish, Scot, Welsh, Tocharian), Hellenic (Classical Greek, Modern Greek), Germanic (Old Saxon, Modern German), Norwegian, Icelandic, Italic and Latin.