Skip to Content
Department of Ancient Culture and Languages (ACL)

The history of the department of Ancient Iranian Languages and Culture, in the faculty of Literature and Humanities, in the University of Tehran, goes back to the year 1343 Sh. (1964), when there was one department both for General Linguistics and Ancient Iranian Languages, which was founded by Dr. M. Moghaddam. From 1370 Sh. (1991) the departments were divided. The department for the Ancient Iranian Languages and Culture has now 5 members (two professors and three assistant professors) and admits students, as before, for Master and PhD programs.


Academic Activities of the Department

    The majority of the activities are to train and educate students on old and middle Iranian languages. The most important of these languages is Middle Persian or Pahlavi which is taught for decades by great scholars such as Sadeq Kia, Mahyar Navvabi, Ahmad Tafazzoli and Jaleh Amouzegar, whose effort continuing for more than half a century, have rendered a remarkable legacy. The Manichaean texts in Middle Persian and Parthian, which comprise a major portion of the courses in the program, are included under the same subject. Besides, other Middle Iranian language, Sogdian, should be mentioned which was consolidated by the efforts of Dr. Badrozzaman Qarib. The younger lecturers of the subject attempt to follow her footsteps. Other Middle Iranian languages, e.g. Khotanese and Bactrian, are emergent heralds in the department, but are gradually included in the curricula. Moreover, the department is hopeful to train professionals of languages, such as Chorasmian and Aramaic, and thus add these languages as new courses to the program.

     Furthermore, Old Iranian languages, Avestan and Old Persian, have been major courses from past, and Sanskrit, which has been considered to be of help in learning Old Iranian languages, is taught typically in the PhD program, and sometimes in the master program too.

     Studying ancient Iranian religions, especially Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, specifically through philology and teaching understanding and interpretation of Avestan and Pahlavi texts, is another activity of the department. Since, because of the cultural ties, studying Indian religions (esp. Vedic) and Hellenistic religions (esp. Gnosticism), is also helpful, thus the theses and dissertations of the students in this department include these topics, too.

    Discussions related to history of the Persian language and historical grammar of Persian are other subjects under the study in the department, which also make connections with the departments for the Persian Language and Literature and the General Linguistics. Subjects such as historical phonology of Persian, morphological, syntactical and lexical changes of Persian through its different periods are included onder the same studies.

     Graduates of this field teach Middle and Old Iranian languages or do research on Iranian religions and philosophy. Reading and analysis of the inscriptions and the newly found documents are the mission of the graduates of this academic department. The grounds for such activities are paved by the research institutes and organizations such as the Cultural Heritage Organization

                                                          List of the courses
Compensatory courses
1. Introduction to linguistics
2. Old Persian
3. Introduction to Avestan
4. Introduction to Middle Persian
5. Research Methodology
Specialized courses
6. Vendidad
7. Old Persian Inscriptions
8. Didactic Texts in Middle Persian  
9. Non-mythic Text in Manichaean Middle Persian
10. The Yashts
11. Narrative Middle Persian Texts
Optional Lessons
2.Mythical Texts in Middle Persian
3.Manichaean Parthian Texts
4.Historical Grammar of Persian
5.Middle Persian and Parthian Inscriptions
6.Mythical Texts in Manichaean Middle Persian
7.Ancient Iranian Religions
8.History and Culture of Pre-Islamic Iran
9.Iranian Mythology
10.Introduction to Sogdian
11.Introduction to Sanskrit
12.Introduction to Aramaic 
13.Introduction to Ancient Greek 
14.Introduction to Latin
15.Introduction to Khwarezmian
16.Introduction to Bactrian
17.Introduction to Khotanese
18.Introduction to Elamite
19.Historical Linguistics
21.Persian Language and Literature in Early Islamic Centuries
22.Historical Phonology of Persian


Head OF Department : Dr M Jafari Dehaghi








Ali Shahidi Assistant Prof.


Hassan Rezai Baghbidi



Mahmoud Jafari _ Dehaghi



Seyed ahmad Reza Qaemmaqami

Assistant Prof.




Tel : +982166950930
 Email :

کلیه حقوق این سایت متعلق به دانشگاه تهران است.