Copyright Dr. L.
Kip Wheeler 1998-2017. Permission is granted for non-profit,
educational, and student reproduction. Last updated January 5, 2017. Contact: email@example.com Please
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This map shows the regions
of the world where Old Persian was commonly spoken (red circle).
Old Persian came from the Iranian sub-branch of the Indo-Iranian
branch of Indo-European languages. Old Persian itself gave rise
to two branches. The first branch split away fairly early into
Sogdian and Pahlavi
(Pahlavi is also called "Middle Iranian").
Both of these ancient tongues later died out. The second
branch developed into Middle
Persian, which in turn gave rise to Pashto,
Modern Persian, which is
also known as Farsi, and the minor language of Tajik spoken
on the borders of Afghanistan and China.
Old Persian is preserved
in only a few cuneiform inscriptions recording the deeds
of King Darius (522-486 BCE) and King Xerxes (486-466 BCE).
The most extensive of these is a trilingual monument written
in Old Persian, Assyrian, and Elamite; the latter two languages
are non-Indo-European. This helpful monument was found
in the side of a mountain at Behistan near the city of Kirmanshah;
it shows Darius with nine shackled chieftains and contains
columns of text.
|Daniel M. Short originally created this
map and the other Indo-European language charts for his website at http://www.danshort.com/.
I reproduce these images here with the author's permission, but they are
copyrighted by Daniel Short as of 2002. These charts should not be reproduced
or reused without Mr. Short's approval. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information. These images are not public domain.