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Middle Persian


Alternative forms


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, New York