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PHI5700: Indo-Iranian Philology 1

Time schedule | PDF-version for print

General information | Overlapping courses | Course requirements | Final assessment | Course objective and content | Comments on the literature list 

Person responsible for the course:Amund Bjorsnes (
Credit points (ECTS):15
Start of studies:Autumn and spring
Study programme:Master's degree (2 years) - Master in History of Religions
Department:Department of Education, Religion and Society

General information

This course is a cooperation between MF and The Norwegian Institute of Philology (PHI).
The Indo-Iranian languages are a branch of Indo-European with a particular historical significance. To this family belongs Sanskrit, which was long considered the ultimate source and the most archaic of the Indo-European languages, as described by William Jones in 1786. To this family, too, belongs the many Iranian languages, from the archaic Avesta and the royal inscriptions of the Achaemenids in Old Persian, to classical Persian and many other spoken and written dialects of Iranian, like Pashto and Ossetic.
PHI5700 is a course/reading group which studies the grammar and literature of some of the major Indo-Iranian languages in history.
Participating in this course/reading group will give a thorough foundation for further studies of comparative Indo-Iranian and Indo-European linguistics and History of Religions.
Procedures and curricula:
PHI5700 is both a course for students and a research seminar/reading group for more advanced students and researchers. The curriculum is adapted to current interests of the participants, and can be textual material used by students in their M.A. and Ph.d. theses, or texts of interest to researchers in Indo-Iranian history and related subjects.
The PHI-courses in any relevant Indo-Iranian language, or similar competence in philological method through studies in Classical Philology or related subjects.
This course is also offered at the bachelor level. For more information, see the course description for PHI2700.

Overlapping courses

PHI5700 overlaps with PHI2700.
  • Students who have already completed PHI2700 will receive 0 credit points (ECTS) for PHI5700 on their transcript of records or diploma.

Course requirements

In order to receive a final assessment, the student must:
  • Take part in a minimum of 75% of the reading groups
  • Submit and have approved a one-page outline of the essay.
  • Participate in the electronic evaluation of the course if such evaluation is stipulated in the relevant term.
When course requirements are not fulfilled, this will count as one examination attempt, unless the student withdraws before the set deadline (1 May/November).

Final assessment

The final assessment is based on an essay submitted by the student (4000-4500 words). The topic of the essay will be related to the reading in the course and chosen in cooperation with the course instructor(s). The mark (A-F) is given on the basis of the written exam.

Course objective and content

The student has:
  • A thorough knowledge of one or more Indo-Iranian languages
  • A thorough knowledge of Indo-Iranian philology as a discipline
The student can:
  • Work autonomously with Indo-Iranian literature in one or more languages
  • Formulate independent research ideas related to Indo-Iranian languages and literatures

Comments on the literature list

Literature relevant to the texts chosen for the given semester. More information about the relevant course literature is posted on the seminar webpages of the Norwegian Institute of Philology:

> PDF version for printing