Pahlavi is an Eastern Iranian language which was used as the official religious and literary language of the Sasanian Empire. The language is named after the Parthian people who ruled over Persia during the Arsacid dynasty. Pahlavi is a Middle Persian dialect and is closely related to Avestan, the language of the Avesta. Pahlavi was the language of choice for religious texts as well as works of literature and poetry. The Sasanian Empire was a major force in the region and their use of Pahlavi helped to spread the language throughout the Persian Gulf. Many of the surviving examples of Pahlavi literature are religious texts, including the Zoroastrian sacred texts known as the Avesta. Pahlavi continued to be used as a literary language after the fall of the Sasanian Empire and into the early Islamic period. However, the language eventually fell out of use and was replaced by Arabic. Today, there are only a handful of Pahlavi texts that have survived.

Language group

Iranian languages

Language locales, regions and scripts

Pahlavi, Iran, Inscriptional Pahlavi
Pahlavi, Psalter Pahlavi
Pahlavi, China, Psalter Pahlavi
Pahlavi, Inscriptional Pahlavi