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Pahlavi (‘Parthian’). Term used in Islamic times to debate earlier Iranian (Zoroastrian) material. It is also referred to as ‘Middle Persian’ to distinguish it from the Old Persian (cuneiform) of the royal inscriptions and the New Persian of modern times. It was a language used between approximately 300 BCE–10th cent. CE. It encompasses secular work, poetic, historical, and epic material, but most extant works are religious and include the books from which Western scholars reconstruct ‘traditional’ Zoroastrian teaching (though most modern Zoroastrians consider this literature with the same hesitations many modern Christians view their medieval literature). The largest work is the Denkard which in six books is a compendium of Zoroastrian knowledge from many epochs and of diverse types. Two brothers, Zadspram and Manuscihr produced a number of important works in the 9th cent., the Wizidagiha i Zadspram (Selections) and the Dadistan i denig (Religious Judgements—in response to ninety-two questions) being among the most important for the reconstruction of Zoroastrian (and Zurvan) teaching. Important also are Skand-Gumanig Wizar (Doubt-Destroying Exposition), Arda Viraf Namag (The Visions of the Righteous Viraf) and Zand-i Vohuman Yasn (Commentary on the Bahman Yast).

The term ‘Pahlavi’ was adopted by the 20th-cent. Iranian royal dynasty of Reza Shah as a marker of the importance it attached to the pre-Islamic culture of Iran.

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Pahlavinavvy, savvy •ave, Garvey, Harvey, larvae, Mojave •bevvy, bevy, Chevy, heavy, levee, Levi, levy, top-heavy •envy •cavy, Davy, Devi, gravy, navy, slavey, venae cavae, wavy •bivvy, chivvy, civvy, divvy, Livy, privy, skivvy, spivvy •Sylvie • ivy • grovy •groovy, movie •covey, lovey, lovey-dovey, luvvy •anchovy • Muscovy • Pahlavi •curvy, Nervi, nervy, scurvy, topsy-turvy

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Pahlavi an Aramaic-based writing system used in Persia from the 2nd century bc to the advent of Islam in the 7th century ad. It was also used for the recording of ancient Avestan sacred texts.

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