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Middle Persian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Inscriptional Pahlavi:


From earlier *diβi-vān, from the adjective *dipi-vān- (relating to documents), from Old Persian *dipi-vahanam (document house), composed from 𐎮𐎡𐎱𐎡 (di-i-p-i /dipi-/, inscription; document) (from Elamite, from Akkadian 𒁾𒁍𒌝 (ṭuppum, tablet, document, letter), from Sumerian 𒁾 (dub, clay tablet), and *vahana- (house) (whence also Persian جا(, place)), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂wes- (to dwell). For the first component, compare Middle Persian 𐭣𐭯𐭩𐭥𐭥(dpywr /dibīr/) / dpyr' / dpywr' (dibīr, scribe), from Old Persian *dipī-var-.

For the reading, compare Old Armenian դիւան (diwan). The forms with ē (as opposed to ī) in Persian may have been a secondary pronunciation developed due to folk etymologies; see de Blois for more.


dywʾn' (/dīwān, dēwān?/)

  1. archive
  2. collected writings



  • MacKenzie, D. N. (1971), “dēwān”, in A concise Pahlavi dictionary, London, New York, Toronto: Oxford University Press, page 26
  • de Blois, François (December 15, 1995), “DĪVĀN i. THE TERM”, in Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition[1], New York