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Pahlavi language

major form of the Middle Persian language (see Persian language), which existed from the 3rd to the 10th century and was the official language of the Sasanian empire (AD 226-652). It is attested by Zoroastrian books, coins, and inscriptions. Pahlavi books were written in a confusing writing system of Aramaic origin called the Pahlavi alphabet. The major part of Pahlavi literature is religious, including translations from and commentaries on the Zoroastrian sacred book, the Avesta. Little has survived from pre-Islamic times, and the Bundahishn and Denkart, both Zoroastrian religious works, date from the Islamic period. Manuscripts were preserved by the Parsis (Zoroastrians) of Bombay and elsewhere. Pahlavi was superseded by Modern Persian, which is written in the Arabic alphabet.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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