Middle Persian, also known as Pahlavi or Pehlevi, which more properly refers to its writing system, is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times (224-654 CE) became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions as well. Middle Persian is classified as a Western Iranian language. It descends from Old Persian and is the linguistic ancestor of Persian.
The native name for Middle Persian (and perhaps for Old Persian also) was Pārsīg (Examples: www.parsig.org), "(language) of Pārs", present-day Fārs Province. The word is consequently (the origin of) the native name for the Modern Persian language.
Middle Persian was most frequently written in the Pahlavi writing system, which was also the preferred writing system for other Middle Iranian languages. Other forms of written Middle Persian include Pazend, a system derived from Avestan that, unlike Pahlavi, indicated vowels and did not employ Aramaic logograms. The ISO 639 language code for Middle Persian is 'pal', which reflects the post-Sassanid-era use of the term Pahlavi to refer to the language and not only the script.
Famous quotes containing the words middle and/or persian:
“Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes!
Bow, bow, ye tradesmen, bow, ye masses!”
—Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (18361911)
“Come, give thy soul a loose, and taste the pleasures of the poor.
Sometimes tis grateful for the rich to try
A short vicissitude, and fit of poverty:
A savory dish, a homely treat,
Where all is plain, where all is neat,
Without the stately spacious room,
The Persian carpet, or the Tyrian loom,
Clear up the cloudy foreheads of the great.”
—Horace [Quintus Horatius Flaccus] (658)