Department of Iranian Philology

Monday, 09 January 2017 21:54
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Department of Iranian Philology © FAAS

The Head of the Department: Pelevin Mikhail S.

Languages taught:

  • Avestan, Balochi, Dari, Khwarezmian, Kurdish, Middle Persian, Old Persian, Pamir (Wakhi, Shughni), Pashto (Afghan Language), Persian, Sogdian, Tajik, Yaghnobi.


  • Avestan Language
  • Classical and Modern Pashto
  • Classical Persian (Poetry, Prose, Historical Texts)
  • Comparative Grammar of the Iranian Languages
  • Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Introduction to Iranian Philology
  • Iranian Sources on the History of Religions (Islam, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Manichaeism, Bahaism)
  • Kurdish Language and Folklore (Introduction)
  • Middle Persian
  • Modern Persian
  • Modern Persian Poetry
  • Modern Persian Press
  • Old and Early Medieval Iranian Literatures
  • Old Persian
  • Pashto (Modern and Classic)
  • Pashto Literature in the XVI-XVIII centuries
  • Pamiri Languages and Folklore (Introduction)
  • Persian Ethnographic Texts
  • Persian Sufi Literature
  • Sogdian and Yaghnobi Languages
  • Tajik Language
  • Wakhi Poetry

The Department of Persian Literature was one of the two original departments of Oriental languages opened at the St. Petersburg University in 1819, with two out of the three full-time teachers of Oriental studies – F. Sharmoy and M. Topchivashev – specializing in Persian.

The first dean of the Faculty of Oriental Languages at St. Petersburg University formed in 1855 – A. Kazem-Bek – read courses in the Persian language and the history of Persian literature. In 1856, for the first time in European academic Oriental studies, Academician B. Dorn began teaching the Afghan language (Pashto) at the Faculty of Oriental Languages. Shortly after, K. Kossovich laid the foundations for university instruction in ancient Iranian languages – Avestan and Ancient Persian.

The Department had a ‘second birth’ and received its current name in 1916, through the efforts of Academicians K. Zaleman and V. Zhukovsky. It was subsequently led by distinguished Russian Iranologists A. Freyman, A. Boldyrev, M. Bogolyubov, and I. Steblin‑Kamensky. The current head of the Department is M. Pelevin. Among the most prominent philologists who worked at the Department are: I. Orbeli, E. Bertels, A. Romaskevich, V. Abaev, I. Zarubin, I. Oransky, A. Tagirdzhanov, S. Sokolov, A. Rosenfeld, V. Kushev, O. Akimushkin, Ch. Bayburdi, and others.

The Department currently offers regular instruction in both modern and ancient Iranian languages – Persian (Farsi), Afghan (Pashto), Pamiri languages (Wakhi, Shughni), Ancient Persian, Avestan, Middle Persian (Pahlavi), Sogdian. Compulsory disciplines include courses in Arabic; the history of Persian literature; history, geography, ethnography, and material culture of Iran, Afghanistan, and Iranian-speaking peoples in general.

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