The Avestan alphabet was created in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD for writing the hymns of Zarathustra (a.k.a Zoroaster), the Avesta. Many of the letters are derived from the old Pahlavi alphabet of Persia, which itself was derived from the Aramaic alphabet. Greek influence, in the form of the full representation of vowel sounds, is also present.
The Avestan alphabet was replaced by the Arabic alphabet after Persia converted to Islam during the 7th century AD. Zorastrians in India wrote Avestan with their own alphabets.
Avestan, an extinct Eastern Iranian language related to Old Persian and Sanskrit, which was used as a sacred language of Zoroastrian worship long after it ceased to be used as an everyday spoken language.
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Extract from Yasna 45.I (www.avesta.org/yasna/y43to46.htm) provided by Ian James
at fravaxshyâ nû gûshôdûm nû sraotâ ýaêcâ asnât ýaêcâ dûrât ishathâ nû îm vîspâ cithrê zî mazdånghô-dûm nôit daibitîm dush-sastish ahûm merãshyât akâ varanâ dregvå hizvå âveretô.
I will speak forth: hear now and hearken now, ye from near and ye from far that desire (instruction). Now observe this in your mind, all of you, for he is revealed. Never shall the false Teacher destroy the Second Life, the Liar, in perversion by his tongue into evil belief.
Details of the Avestan language, including sample texts
Avestan Digital Archive
Free Avestan fonts
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ALPHABETUM - a Unicode font specifically designed for ancient scripts, including classical & medieval Latin, ancient Greek, Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian, Faliscan, Messapic, Picene, Iberian, Celtiberian, Gothic, Runic, Old & Middle English, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Old Nordic, Ogham, Kharosthi, Glagolitic, Old Cyrillic, Phoenician, Avestan, Ugaritic, Linear B, Anatolian scripts, Coptic, Cypriot, Brahmi, Old Persian cuneiform: http://guindo.pntic.mec.es/~jmag0042/alphabet.html
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