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Beginnings Of Persian Lexicography (Ninth-Tenth Centuries)

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Chapter Summary

The early development of the Persian lexicographic tradition is directly linked with the rich poetry written in New Persian, which developed suddenly over a vast area; and, in broader terms, with the evolution of medieval Persian literature as a whole. Literary works originating in various regions some distance apart showed the unmistakable influence of local dialectal peculiarities of Persian. In any event, Qatrān's dictionary was claimed to have been used by individual lexicographers right up to the seventeenth century. Meanwhile, in some publications devoted to Persian lexicography, the existence of Qatrān's dictionary in the form of the Sipahsālār Madrasa manuscript is accepted as a fact, a view which today is baseless. In pre-Islamic Iran, the compilation of lexicographical textbooks for educational purposes was well developed. From the Sasanian period we have Avestan-Middle Persian, Aramaic-Middle Persian, Sogdian-Middle Persian dictionaries and fragments of other glossaries.

Keywords: medieval Persian literature; Persian lexicography; pre-Islamic Iran; Qatrān's dictionary; Sipahsālār Madrasa manuscript



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