tile Home » Iran Nameh » Volume XVII

The Origins of Name-ye Pahlavi in Shahnameh

Mahmud Omidsalar

In referring to the sources of his work Ferdowsi uses different terms, including dafter-e Pahlavi. A number of scholars have often considered this term refers to the language of Shahnameh, and thus have assumed that Ferdowsi had been able to read and understand this language. Pahlavi, or Fahlavi, however, does not necessarily mean the middle Persian language but either an old dialect used by the inhabitants of the Jibal or the flowery and eloquent literary Persian. Pahlavi, in this context, may also mean a linguistic style of tremendous complexity and nuance that does not lend itself to easy understanding.