Avestan alphabet and language

Avestan (din dabireh)

Avestan

The Avestan alphabet was created in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD for writing the hymns of Zarathustra (a.k.a Zoroaster), the Avesta. Many of the letters are derived from the old Pahlavi alphabet of Persia, which itself was derived from the Aramaic alphabet. Greek influence, in the form of the full representation of vowel sounds, is also present.

The Avestan alphabet was replaced by the Arabic alphabet after Persia converted to Islam during the 7th century AD. Zorastrians in India wrote Avestan with their own alphabets.

Notable Features

  • Type of writing system: alphabet
  • Direction of writing: right to left in horizontal lines

Used to write

Avestan, an extinct Eastern Iranian language related to Old Persian and Sanskrit, which was used as a sacred language of Zoroastrian worship long after it ceased to be used as an everyday spoken language.

Avestan alphabet

Vowels

Avestan vowels

Consonants

Avestan consonants

Download this chart (Excel format)

Sample texts in Avestan

Sample text in Avestan

Source: http://www.avesta.org/gifs/samples.htm

Sample text in Avestan

Extract from Yasna 45.I (www.avesta.org/yasna/y43to46.htm) provided by Ian James

Transliteration

at fravaxshyâ nû gûshôdûm nû sraotâ ýaêcâ asnât ýaêcâ dûrât ishathâ nû îm vîspâ cithrê zî mazdånghô-dûm nôit daibitîm dush-sastish ahûm merãshyât akâ varanâ dregvå hizvå âveretô.

Translation

I will speak forth: hear now and hearken now, ye from near and ye from far that desire (instruction). Now observe this in your mind, all of you, for he is revealed. Never shall the false Teacher destroy the Second Life, the Liar, in perversion by his tongue into evil belief.

Links

Infomartion about Avestan
http://www.avesta.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avestan_language

Details of the Avestan language, including sample texts
http://www.farvardyn.com/avesta.php
http://titus.fkidg1.uni-frankfurt.de/
didact/idg/iran/avest/avestbs.htm

Avestan Digital Archive
http://ada.usal.es

Free Avestan fonts
http://minerva.stkate.edu/offices/academic/
classics.nsf/pages/avestafonts/

Iranian languages

Avestan, Baluchi, Dari, Gilaki, Juhuri, Kurdish, Mazandarani, Ossetian, Persian, Parthian, Pashto, Shabaki, Tajik, Talysh, Tat, Wakhi, Yaghnobi, Zazaki

Alphabets

Armenian, Avestan, Bassa (Vah), Beitha Kukju, Borama / Gadabuursi, Carian, Carpathian Basin Rovas, Chinuk pipa, Coorgi-Cox, Coptic, Cyrillic, Dalecarlian runes, Elbasan, Etruscan, Galik, Georgian (Asomtavruli), Georgian (Nuskhuri), Georgian (Mkhedruli), Glagolitic, Gothic, Greek, Irish (Uncial), Kaddare, Khazarian Rovas, Korean, Latin, Leptonic, Lycian, Lydian, Manchu, Meroïtic, Mongolian, N'Ko, Ogham, Old Church Slavonic, Oirat Clear Script, Old Italic, Old Permic, Orkhon, Phrygian, Pollard script, Runic, Santali, Székely-Hungarian Rovás (Hungarian Runes), Somali (Osmanya), Sutton SignWriting, Tai Lue, Thaana, Todhri, Uyghur

ALPHABETUM - a Unicode font specifically designed for ancient scripts, including classical & medieval Latin, ancient Greek, Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian, Faliscan, Messapic, Picene, Iberian, Celtiberian, Gothic, Runic, Old & Middle English, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Old Nordic, Ogham, Kharosthi, Glagolitic, Old Cyrillic, Phoenician, Avestan, Ugaritic, Linear B, Anatolian scripts, Coptic, Cypriot, Brahmi, Old Persian cuneiform: http://guindo.pntic.mec.es/~jmag0042/alphabet.html


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