Stylistics of Old Persian Royal Inscriptions

Schmitt, Rüdiger. 2016. Stilistik der altpersischen Inschriften. Versuch einer Annäherung. (Veröffentlichungen Zur Iranistik 79). Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW).
The present study makes the first attempt to compile in a systematic manner the figures of speech and other stylistic phenomena attested in the corpus of the Old Persian royal inscriptions. For those texts are different from simple prose in that they show clear traces of a stylization that similarly to using certain words and word forms lend them characteristic features of an artificial language. The phenomena to be treated in that context are presented in transcription according to the author’s text edition (Die altpersischen Inschriften der Achaimeniden, 2009) in form of a list without classifying them according to criteria of sound or those of grammar, lexicon, and syntax. References to comparable phenomena in the related languages (not least also in Avestan) are given only quite rarely in order not to distract the reader’s attention from the Old Persian data. The comparison with Avestan or within the ancient Indo-Iranian languages, i. e. in form of “Comparative Stylistics of Indo-Iranian”, has to be planned only after having finished collecting the evidence of the individual languages in full. Suggesting such a study is one of the intentions of the present book.
Rüdiger Schmitt, from 1979 to his retirement in 2004 Professor of Comparative Indo-European Philology and Indo-Iranian Studies at Saarland University in Saarbrücken; born in Würzburg on June 1, 1939; studies from 1958 to 1965 in Würzburg, Erlangen and Saarbrücken, particularly with Manfred Mayrhofer; after publications on Indo-European poetical language, on the Greek and Armenian languages specialized on the ancient Iranian languages, Old Persian epigraphy and, above all, Iranian personal names.