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Classical Persian


Admission requirements

Intermediate Persian and Modern Persian Texts.


This course offers an introduction to Persian as it was used in poetry and prose from the 9th to the 19th century; this is often referred to as 'classical' Persian. The literature produced in classical Persian is world famous: poets such as Omar Khayyam, Rumi, Hafez, Sa’di and Ferdowsi have contributed to the continued prestige of Persian to this day. Classical Persian has long served as an authoritative lingua franca not only in the territory of present-day Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, where Persian is still an official language, but also far beyond, such as in the territory of the Ottoman Empire and the Empire of the Mughals in India. An enormous amount of text in various genres has been produced in this language, which is also a key to studying the pre-modern history of an important part of the Middle East and Asia. In this course we will become acquainted with the grammar of Classical Persian, and we will also study a number of representative literary texts in their broad context.

Course objectives

  • Acquire knowledge of the grammar, vocabulary and formal aspects of classical Persian and its most important genres

  • Learning to explain, translate and contextualize texts and to place them in cultural and historical context

  • Become familiar with a selection of primary sources in classical Persian


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Assessment and weighing

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average of the following:

Partial Assessment Weighing
Written examination with short open questions 50%
Paper 50%


Only if the total weighted average is 5.49 or lower and this is the result of a paper graded 5.49 or lower, a re-sit of the paper is possible (50%).

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

To be announced at the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.



Please note that the additional course information is an integral part of this course description.