Each of these events, papermaking and the printing press, had a radical impact on the literary milieu and redefined the relationship between narrators and their audience, and writers and readers (Bloom; Chaytor).
The classical period was a favorable time for princely patronage and the royal courts were often receptive to the arrival of great spiritual figures and free thinkers alike.
For their conquests, the Arabs enlisted indigenous peoples in their armies.
These local populations did not speak a standardized Persian and in many cases did not even use Persian among themselves.
Another major factor in a literary survey is the diachronic dimension: tracing literary developments through succeeding generations and centuries.
Persian literature lends itself well to this approach, since historical events certainly influenced literary history: the tenth century in Persian literature is not the eleventh, anymore than the eleventh is the twelfth, and so on.
95-102), belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages.
Like Kurdish or Pashto, its grammar and lexicon stem from this linguistic family.
Far from bringing to an end the use of the Persian language, both spoken and written, in Persia or elsewhere, the successful invasion of Iran by the Arab armies in the seventh century merely heralded a process of evolution (Lazard, IV, pp. It was by this long process of evolution that Middle Persian, the language of the Sasanian court (ca.
In our study of the development of this literature over ten centuries, we will pay special attention to the early formation and origins of different literary genres in Persian works, even though the very notion of literary genres is somewhat arbitrary and a subject of continuing debate and shifting delineation (Fowler; Perkins).
Nevertheless the approach is suitable for an overview, for it makes it possible to discuss, however briefly, broader themes and underlying aesthetic assumptions, and to venture beyond a mere recital of dates, titles, and short biographies of major figures of Persian literature.
A man of letters in this period was usually familiar with the arts and sciences of his time and revered for his learning.
In the 12th century, for example, Ḵāqāni was a great Modern Persian, which is ultimately derived from Old Iranian (Lazard, 2003, pp.
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Such was the case of Sogdian, a language belonging to an age-old culture that was largely engulfed by Persian.