Persian literature is the jewel in the crown of Persian culture. It has profoundly influenced the literatures of Ottoman Turkey, Muslim India and Turkic Central Asia and been a source of inspiration for Goethe, Emerson, Matthew Arnold and Jorge Luis Borges among others. Yet Persian literature has never received the attention it truly deserves."A History of Persian Literature" answers this need and offers a new, comprehensive and detailed history of its subject. This 18-volume, authoritative survey reflects the stature and significance of Persian literature as the single most important accomplishment of the Iranian experience.The main object of this companion volume is to provide an overview of the most important extant literary sources in Old and Middle Iranian languages - the languages of the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sasanian periods culminating in the rich resource of Pahlavi Persian which fed so directly into the language of the later great Persian poets. It will be an indispensable source for the literary traditions of pre-Islamic Iran and an invaluable guide to the subject.
Ronald E. Emmerich (1937-2001) was Professor of Iranian Philology at the University of Hamburg from 1971 until his death in 2001. Maria Macuch is head of the Institute of Iranian Studies at the Free University, Berlin. Ehsan Yarshater is the Director of the Center for Iranian Studies and Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies, Columbia University and the Founding Editor of the Encyclopaedia Iranica.