Inscriptional Parthian

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Inscriptional Parthian
Shapur Kabe Zartosht.png
Parthian version of Shapur I's inscription at Ka'ba-ye Zartosht
Type
LanguagesParthian language
Time period
250 BC
Parent systems
Aramaic alphabet
DirectionRight-to-left
ISO 15924Prti, 130
Unicode alias
Inscriptional Parthian
U+10B40–U+10B5F

Inscriptional Parthian is a script used to write Parthian language on coins of Parthia from the time of Arsaces I of Parthia (250 BC). It was also used for inscriptions of Parthian (mostly on clay fragments) and later Sassanian periods (mostly on official inscriptions).

Inscriptional Parthian script is written from right to left and the letters are not joined.

Parthian (above), along with Greek (below) and Middle Persian was being used in inscriptions of early Sassanian kings. Shapur inscription in Naqsh-e Rajab

Letters[edit]

Inscriptional Parthian uses 22 letters:[1]

Name[A] Image Text IPA[2]
Aleph Inscriptional Parthian Letter Aleph.svg 𐭀 /a/, /aː/
Beth Inscriptional Parthian Letter Beth.svg 𐭁 /b/, /v/
Gimel Inscriptional Parthian Letter Gimel.svg 𐭂 /g/, /j/
Daleth Inscriptional Parthian Letter Daleth.svg 𐭃 /d/, /j/
He Inscriptional Parthian Letter He.svg 𐭄 /h/
Waw Inscriptional Parthian Letter Waw.svg 𐭅 /v/, /r/
Zayin Inscriptional Parthian Letter Zayin.svg 𐭆 /z/
Heth Inscriptional Parthian Letter Heth.svg 𐭇 /h/, /x/
Teth Inscriptional Parthian Letter Teth.svg 𐭈 /t/
Yodh Inscriptional Parthian Letter Yodh.svg 𐭉 /j/, /ĕː/, /ĭː/
Kaph Inscriptional Parthian Letter Kaph.svg 𐭊 /k/
Lamedh Inscriptional Parthian Letter Lamedh.svg 𐭋 /l/
Mem Inscriptional Parthian Letter Mem.svg 𐭌 /m/
Nun Inscriptional Parthian Letter Nun.svg 𐭍 /n/
Samekh Inscriptional Parthian Letter Samekh.svg 𐭎 /s/
Ayin Inscriptional Parthian Letter Ayin.svg 𐭏 /ʔ/
Pe Inscriptional Parthian Letter Pe.svg 𐭐 /p/, /b/
Sadhe Inscriptional Parthian Letter Sadhe.svg 𐭑 /s/
Qoph Inscriptional Parthian Letter Qoph.svg 𐭒 /q/
Resh Inscriptional Parthian Letter Resh.svg 𐭓 /r/
Shin Inscriptional Parthian Letter Shin.svg 𐭔 /ʃ/, /ʒ/
Taw Inscriptional Parthian Letter Taw.svg 𐭕 /t/, /d/
  1. ^
    Letter names are based on the corresponding Imperial Aramaic characters[1]

Ligatures[edit]

Inscriptional Parthian uses seven standard ligatures:[1]

Ligature Sequence
Image Text
Inscriptional Parthian Ligature Gimel Waw.svg 𐭂𐭅 𐭂 (gimel) + 𐭅 (waw)
Inscriptional Parthian Ligature Heth Waw.svg 𐭇𐭅 𐭇 (heth) + 𐭅 (waw)
Inscriptional Parthian Ligature Yodh Waw.svg 𐭉𐭅 𐭉 (yodh) + 𐭅 (waw)
Inscriptional Parthian Ligature Nun Waw.svg 𐭍𐭅 𐭍 (nun) + 𐭅 (waw)
Inscriptional Parthian Ligature Ayin Lamedh.svg 𐭏𐭋 𐭏 (ayin) + 𐭋 (lamedh)
Inscriptional Parthian Ligature Resh Waw.svg 𐭓𐭅 𐭓 (resh) + 𐭅 (waw)
Inscriptional Parthian Ligature Taw Waw.svg 𐭕𐭅 𐭕 (taw) + 𐭅 (waw)

The letters sadhe (𐭑) and nun (𐭍) have swash tails which typically trail under the following letter.[1] For example:

Ligature Sequence
Image Text
Inscriptional Parthian Ligature Nun Nun.svg 𐭍𐭍 𐭍 (nun) + 𐭍 (nun)
Inscriptional Parthian Ligature Nun Daleth.svg 𐭍𐭃 𐭍 (nun) + 𐭃 (daleth)

Numbers[edit]

Inscriptional Parthian had its own numerals:

Value 1 2 3 4 10 20 100 1000
Sign Image Inscriptional Parthian Number One.svg Inscriptional Parthian Number Two.svg Inscriptional Parthian Number Three.svg Inscriptional Parthian Number Four.svg Inscriptional Parthian Number Ten.svg Inscriptional Parthian Number Twenty.svg Inscriptional Parthian Number One Hundred.svg Inscriptional Parthian Number One Thousand.svg
Text 𐭘 𐭙 𐭚 𐭛 𐭜 𐭝 𐭞 𐭟

Numbers are written right-to-left. Numbers without corresponding numerals are additive. For example, 158 is written as 𐭞𐭝𐭝𐭜𐭛𐭛‎ (100 + 20 + 20 + 10 + 4 + 4).[1]

Unicode[edit]

Inscriptional Parthian script was added to the Unicode Standard in October, 2009 with the release of version 5.2.

The Unicode block for Inscriptional Parthian is U+10B40–U+10B5F:

Inscriptional Parthian[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+10B4x 𐭀 𐭁 𐭂 𐭃 𐭄 𐭅 𐭆 𐭇 𐭈 𐭉 𐭊 𐭋 𐭌 𐭍 𐭎 𐭏
U+10B5x 𐭐 𐭑 𐭒 𐭓 𐭔 𐭕 𐭘 𐭙 𐭚 𐭛 𐭜 𐭝 𐭞 𐭟
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 13.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Everson, Michael; Pournader, Roozbeh (2007-08-24). "L2/07-207R: Proposal for encoding the Inscriptional Parthian, Inscriptional Pahlavi, and Psalter Pahlavi scripts in the SMP of the UCS" (PDF).
  2. ^ Daniels, Peter T.; Bright, William, eds. (1996). The World's Writing Systems. Oxford University Press, Inc. pp. 518. ISBN 978-0195079937.