|Spoken in:||ancient Iran|
|Language extinction:||evolved into Middle Persian|
|Language family:|| Indo-European|
|Writing system:||Old Persian Cuneiform|
|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. See IPA chart for English for an English-
based pronunciation key.
| History of the|
| Proto-Iranian (ca. 1500 BCE)
| Old Persian (c. 525 BCE - 300 BCE)
| Middle Persian (c.300 BCE-800 CE)
| Modern Persian (from 800)
The Old Persian language is an ancient tongue of Iran (c. 600 BCE to 300 BCE). The Aryan, was the name given to the Old Persian by the Achaemenid Kings. Old Persian alongside the Avestan is the oldest attested form of Iranian language. It is classified in the group of Western Iranian languages, subgroup of Indo-Iranian languages (and thus the Indo-European languages).
The language was used in the inscriptions of the Achaemenid Emperors. Old Persian texts (including inscriptions, tablets and seals) have been found in Iran, Turkey and Egypt. It evolved into the Middle Persian language (Pahlavi) of Sassanid Iran, and eventually into the modern Persian language.
Old Persian was written from left to right in Old Persian cuneiform script, a semi-alphabetic syllabic Cuneiform script. Old Persian cuneiform contains 36 signs which represent consonants, vowels, or sequences of single consonants plus vowels, a set of three numerals (1, 10, 100), a word divider, and a few ideograms.
The following phonemes are expressed in the Old Persian script:
A Comparison Table of Old-Persian with other Iranian Languages