PAGODA-TREE. A slang phrase once current, rather in England than in India, to express the openings to rapid fortune which at one time existed in India. [For the original meaning, see the quotation from Ryklof Van Goens under BO TREE. Mr. Skeat writes: “It seems possible that the idea of a coin tree may have arisen from the practice, among some Oriental nations at least, of making cash in moulds, the design of which is based on the plan of a tree. On the E. coast of the Malay Peninsula the name cash-tree (poko’ pitis) is applied to cash cast in this form. Gold and silver tributary trees are sent to Siam by the tributary States: in these the leaves are in the shape of ordinary tree leaves.”]

1877.—“India has been transferred from the regions of romance to the realms of fact…the mines of Golconda no longer pay the cost of working, and the pagoda-tree has been stripped of all its golden fruit.”—Blackwood’s Magazine, 575.

1881.—“It might be mistaken…for the work of some modern architect, built for the Nabob of a couple of generations back, who had enriched himself when the pagoda-tree was worth the shaking.”—Sat. Review, Sept. 3, p. 307.

PAHLAVI, PEHLVI. The name applied to the ancient Persian language in that phase which prevailed from the beginning of the Sassanian monarchy to the time when it became corrupted by the influence of Arabic, and the adoption of numerous Arabic words and phrases. The name Pahlavi was adopted by Europeans from the Parsi use. The language of Western Persia in the time of the Achaemenian kings, as preserved in the cuneiform inscriptions of Persepolis, Behistun, and elsewhere, is nearly akin to the dialects of the Zend-Avesta, and is cha racterised by a number of inflections agreeing with those of the Avesta and of Sanskrit. The dissolution of inflectional terminations is already indicated as beginning in the later Achaemenian inscriptions, a nd in many parts of the Zend-Avesta; but its course cannot be traced, as there are no inscriptions in Pe rsian language during the time of the Arsacidae; and it is in the inscriptions on rocks and coins of Ardak hshir-i-Papakan (A.D. 226-240)—the Ardashir Babagan of later Persian—that the language emerges in a form of that which is known as Pahlavi. “But, strictly speaking, the medieval Persian language is called Pahlavi when it is written in one of the characters used before the invention of the modern Persian alphabet, and in the peculiarly enigmatical mode adopted in Pahlavi writings.…Like the Assyrians of old, the Persians of Parthian times appear to have borrowed their writing from a foreign race. But, whereas the Semitic Assyrians adopted a Turanian syllabary, these later Aryan Persians accepted a Semitic alphabet. Besides the alphabet, however, which they could use for spelling their own words, they transferred a certain number of complete Semitic words to their writings as representatives of the corresponding words in their own language.…The use of such Semitic words, scattered about in Persian sentences, gives Pahlavi the motley appearance of a compound language.…But there are good reasons for supposing that the language was never spoken as it was written. The spoken language appears to have been pure Persian; the Semitic words being merely used as written representatives, or logograms, of the Persian words which were spoken. Thus, the Persians would write malkân malkâ, ‘King of Kings,’ but they would read shâhân shâh.…As the Semitic words were merely a Pahlavi mode of writing their Persian equivalents (just as ‘viz.’ is a mode of writing ‘namely’ in English1 ), they disappeared with the Pahlavi writing, and the Persians began at once to write all their words with their new alphabet, just as they pronounced them” (E. W. West, Introd. to Pahlavi Texts, p. xiii.; Sacred Books of the East, vol. v.).2

Extant Pahlavi writings are confined to those of the Parsis, translations from the Avesta, and others almost entirely of a religious character. Where the language is transcribed, either in the Avesta characters, or in those of the modern Persian alphabet, and freed from the singular system indicated above, it is called Pazand (see PAZEND); a term supposed to be derived from the language of the Avesta, paitizanti, with the meaning ‘re-explanation.’

Various explanations of the term Pahlavi have been suggested. It seems now generally accepted as a changed form of the Parthva of the cuneiform inscriptions, the Parthia of Greek and Roman writers. The Parthians, though not a Persian race, were rulers of Persia for five centuries, and it is probable that everything ancient, and connected with the period of their rule, came to be called by this name. It is apparently the same word that in the form pahlav and pahlavan, &c., has become the appellation of a warrior or champion in both Persian and Armenian, originally derived from that most warlike people the Parthians. (See PULWAUN.) Whether there was any identity between the name thus used, and that of Pahlava, which is applied to a people mentioned often in Sanskrit books, is a point still unsettled.

The meaning attached to the term Pahlavi by Orientals themselves, writing in Arabic or Persian (exclusive of Parsis), appears to have been ‘Old Persian’ in general, without restriction

  By PanEris using Melati.

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