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TAKEN FROM PLASTER CASTS IN TUE MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIET-1

Tablets JTos. 1, 2, S, 4-> comprise the Chaldcto-<Pehlvi Version. Tablets JJos. § and 6 give the commencement of the Sassanian counterpart text.

EARLY SASSANIAN INSCRIPTIONS,

SEALS AND COINS.

BY

EDWARD THOMAS, ES Q.,

LATE OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY'S BENGAL CIVIL SERVICE.

17.

LONDON:
TRÜBNER & Co., 60, PATERNOSTER ROW.

18 6 8.

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PREFACE.

The original design of the present Memoir was limited to the introductory classification of the Pehlvi Inscriptions of the early Sassanidse, and the embodiment of their texts in a printed form, as a preliminary measure towards an ultimate correction and amplification, in situ, which the seeming promise of the available materials might perchance secure for them from enterprising philologers or antiquarians.

At the commencement, the leading interest seemed to centre in the long though broken Inscription at Pai Kulf, and it was chiefly the desire of placing a transcript of these epigraphs before the public, in their cognate Pehlvi type, that suggested the article which appears in the Journal of the Eoyal Asiatic Society.

As, however, the enquiry proceeded, a far more extended series of inscriptions, of similar character, were found to exist, though chiefly accessible only in the unsatisfactory form of artists' copies; these were also subjected to the process of definition in type, and are ready for direct revision from the sculptured originals. Up to this point my intention had been merely to act as the clerical preparer of the imperfect materials which were to serve as a basis for more exact data and more crucial tests, to be contributed bv others; but as my attention was excited by the singular phraseology and the subject matter to be found in the Hajfabad manifesto of Sapor, I ventured upon a tentative analysis of that document, and completed the preliminary study of the subject by a full examination and synopsis of the alphabets in which these inscriptions were written, and likewise supplemented to the body of the essay illustrations derived from coins and gems, concluding with an attempt to trace the initial date and eastward spread of the associate Pehlvi alphabets during the Parthian domination.

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