Inscriptional Pahlavi

Inscriptional Pahlavi
Inscribed stone block from the Paikuli inscription
Languages Middle Iranian languages
Time period
171–38 BC
Parent systems
Aramaic alphabet
Direction Right-to-left
ISO 15924 Phli, 131
Unicode alias
Inscriptional Pahlavi

Inscriptional Pahlavi is the earliest attested form of Pahlavi scripts, and is evident in clay fragments that have been dated to the reign of Mithridates I (r. 171–38 BC). Other early evidence includes the Pahlavi inscriptions of Arsacid era coins and rock inscriptions of Sassanid kings and other notables such as Kartir.


Inscriptional Pahlavi used 19 non-joining letters:[1][2]

Aleph𐭠/a/, /ā/Heth𐭧/h/, /x/Samekh𐭮/s/, /h/
Beth𐭡/b/, /w/Teth𐭨/ṭ/Pe𐭯/p/, /b/, /f/
Gimel𐭢/g/, /y/Yodh𐭩/y/, /ē̆/, /ī̆/, /ǰ/Sadhe𐭰/č/, /ǰ/, /z/
Daleth𐭣/d/, /y/Kaph𐭪/k/, /g/Shin𐭱/š/
He𐭤/h/Lamedh𐭫/l/, /r/Taw𐭲/t/, /d/
Waw-ayin-resh𐭥/w/, /ʿ/, /r/Mem-qoph𐭬/m/, /q/
  1. ^ Letter names are based on the corresponding Imperial Aramaic characters[1]


Inscriptional Pahlavi had its own numerals:

Text 𐭸𐭹𐭺𐭻𐭼𐭽𐭾𐭿

Numbers are written right-to-left. Numbers without corresponding numerals are additive. For example, 24 is written as 𐭽𐭻 (20 + 4).[1]


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

The Unicode block for Inscriptional Pahlavi is U+10B60–U+10B7F:

Inscriptional Pahlavi[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
U+10B6x 𐭠 𐭡 𐭢 𐭣 𐭤 𐭥 𐭦 𐭧 𐭨 𐭩 𐭪 𐭫 𐭬 𐭭 𐭮 𐭯
U+10B7x 𐭰 𐭱 𐭲 𐭸 𐭹 𐭺 𐭻 𐭼 𐭽 𐭾 𐭿
1.^ As of Unicode version 11.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


  1. 1 2 3 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. Livinsky, BA; Guang‐Da, Zhang; Samghabadi, R Shabani; Masson, Vadim Mikhaĭlovich (March 1999), Dani, Ahmad Hasan, ed., History of civilizations of Central Asia, Multiple history, 3. The crossroads of civilizations: A.D. 250 to 750, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p. 89, ISBN 978-81-208-1540-7.
  3. Daniels, Peter T.; Bright, William, eds. (1996). The World's Writing Systems. Oxford University Press, Inc. p. 518. ISBN 978-0195079937.
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