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  • If learning were suspended in the highest parts of heaven the Persians would attain it.
  • Thus the founders of grammar were Sibawaih and after him, al-Farisi and Az-Zajjaj. All of them were of Persian descent…they invented rules of (Arabic) grammar…great jurists were Persians… only the Persians engaged in the task of preserving knowledge and writing systematic scholarly works. Thus the truth of the statement of the prophet becomes apparent, "If learning were suspended in the highest parts of heaven the Persians would attain it"…The intellectual sciences were also the preserve of the Persians, left alone by the Arabs, who did not cultivate them…as was the case with all crafts…This situation continued in the cities as long as the Persians and Persian countries, Iraq, Khorasan and Transoxiana (modern Central Asia), retained their sedentary culture.
  • Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah, Translated by Franz Rosenthal (III, pp. 311-15, 271-4 [Arabic]; R.N. Frye (p.91).
  • The Persians are a people whose borders are the Mahat Mountains and Azarbaijan up to Armenia and Arran, and Bayleqan and Darband, and Ray and Tabaristan and Masqat and Shabaran and Jorjan and Abarshahr, and that is Nishabur, and Herat and Marv and other places in land of Khorasan, and Sejistan and Kerman and Fars and Ahvaz...All these lands were once one kingdom with one sovereign and one language...although the language differed slightly. The language, however, is one, in that its letters are written the same way and used the same way in composition. There are, then, different languages such as Pahlavi, Dari, Azari, as well as other Persian languages.
    • Al-Mas'udi, Kitab al-Tanbih wa-l-Ishraf, De Goeje, M.J. (ed.), Leiden, Brill, 1894, pp. 77-8).


  • The milieu of the Persian court was one in which intellectual and artistic intercourse between representatives of the various satrapies flourished. The Persians themselves “clearly … were not a people that we should call intellectual. They do not themselves seem to have had an inclination towards literature, medicine, or philosophical and scientific speculation.” Still, they provided a setting in which such speculation could be freely pursued... “what resulted from the ‘Pax Persica,’” says Cook, “was syncretism and cultural assimilation on a scale that had not previously been thinkable.”
    • Cook, J. M. The Greeks in Ionia and the East. New York: Praeger Books, 1963. p. 204, 230. quoted in The Shape of Ancient Thought_ Comparative - Thomas McEvilley
I have improved the quote from Cook, as it is also quoted prominently in Thomas McEvilley important book "The Shape of Ancient Thought" -- (talk) 18:04, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply