Learn Classical Persian with Baihaqi: Reading and Studying Baihaqi’s History (11th c.)

March 11 – March 15

Instructor: Ruben S. Nikoghosyan

Languages: English, Persian

Duration of the Course: 1 week, 5 days (10 hours)

Frequency: 5 days per week

Duration of each Class: 2 hours (9pm Yerevan Time)

Participation Fee: Free

Deadline for Applications: March 9th

Level of Persian: Intermediate, Advanced

Location: Online (Zoom classroom)

Text Edition: Abo’l Fazl Beyhaqi. Tārīx-e Beyhaqi. Moqaddame, towzīhāt va ta’liqāt az Manučehr-e Sotūde. Bar asās-e nosxe-ye ‘Ghani-Fayyāz’ va nosxe-ye ‘Adib-e Pīšāvarī’ va nosxe-ye ‘Doktor Fayyāz’. Tehrān. Hīrmand, 1376. (dar 2 ǰeld).

Registration requirements: In order to register for the course, please click on the Apply button above and fill in all the boxes (all boxes are necessary). After filling in the boxes click Submit. We will contact you if your application is accepted, and send you further instructions for participation.

Note: All materials provided by the instructor.

Baihaqi’s Histories (Tārīx-i Baihaqī) stands as a central yet overlooked text in Early Classical Persian literature. The language employed in this text is characterised by an elegant and precise style, making it a prime example of Early Classical Persian prose. Its importance extends beyond the realm of historiography, encompassing literary and linguistic perspectives.

The course is intended as an introduction to this masterpiece of Classical Persian prose, providing the participants with the necessary grammatical, lexical and stylistic tools to read, analyze and understand the contents of text independently.

After a week of intensive instruction, the participants will be able to have a better understanding of Classical Persian grammar, the structure and contents of Baihaqi’s text and have fun reading about the intrigues of the Ghaznavid court.

Apply for the Course

Abo’l Fazl Baihaqi, a distinguished historiographer of Iranian origin, authored a notable book on Ghaznavid history around 1060 AD, which stands as a pinnacle in Early Persian historiography.


Baihaqi, intimately connected to the sophisticated Ghaznavid bureaucratic apparatus, drew upon personal observations, eyewitness accounts, and official documents accumulated during his extensive service at the Ghaznavid court.


His meticulous and fact-based historiographical approach, akin to Thucydides, renders his book, though only a fragment surviving to our times, an invaluable source for researchers delving into Early Islamic Iranian history. Additionally, the work’s high literary value and its simple yet elegant language make it a compelling read for enthusiasts of Persian language and literature.


Baihaqi’s Histories not only presents dramatic descriptions of historical events but also weaves intriguing narratives about court life, royal manners, political intrigues, wars, and various other captivating topics.




There is one simple yet very effective method that I use when teaching my courses, and it consists of combining the literary, historical-linguistic, and philological methods to shed light on even the most obscure passages and words of a given text.

During this course, I will use my familiarity with pre-Islamic (Middle) Persian language and literature, Iranian and non-Iranian languages, broader historical, geographical, and most importantly, literary contexts, to illuminate the meanings of the words, expressions, and ideas found in the text.

This method, which at its base consists of explaining the basis and logic of the text, will help the participants not only to understand the parts of Baihaqi’s Histories read during the course, but also have the necessary tools for reading other historical Classical Persian texts on their own.


About the Course


The “Learn Classical Persian with Baihaqi: Reading and Studying Baihaqi’s History (11th c.)” is a comprehensive 2-week course tailored for students specializing in Iranian history, Persian language and literature, and enthusiasts eager to expand their knowledge of Iran and Classical Persian literature.


The course, spanning 2 weeks, will convene daily (Monday-Friday) for 2 hours each day. It will delve into multiple chapters of Baihaqi’s book, providing students the opportunity to study the original text. This approach aims to familiarize participants with classical grammar, lexicon, style, and content. The selected chapters cover a diverse range of topics, offering participants a profound understanding of the historical realities during the early 11th century, as depicted in the Histories.


Ruben S. Nikoghosyan


Ruben S. Nikoghosyan (Yerevan, Armenia)
Number: +37498513969 (WhatsApp)

Email: nikoghosyanruben@gmail.com