Learn Persian through Saadi’s Golestan Syllabus
This course is about one of the greatest masterpieces of classical Persian literature, the Golestan of Saadi. The program pursues two primary goals. The first is to give students the necessary tools for their independent readings and studies of the Golestan through accurate and detailed readings of several meaningful and engaging stories from this book. The lessons will be accompanied by explanations of words and expressions, translations of the Arabic verses, etymological glimpses into the history of essential phrases, and cultural comments. The second goal is to get familiar with the Classical Persian language and its grammatical and phonological subtleties. As classical Persian has a significant number of grammatical points different from modern standard Persian, this introduction will serve as a good point of departure for further studies of the language of classical Persian literature.
During the 1st week of this course, we will read stories from the first two chapters of the Golestan. The first chapter is about the manners of the kings and the necessary qualities that a monarch should possess to be called righteous and just. The second chapter is about the dervishes (ascetic and poor people) who, in the social hierarchy, stand at the opposite end of the kings. Overall, during the 1st week, we will cover around 13 stories from Golestan in total. During each class, we will have a part dedicated to the previous day's readings to discuss the homework and answer the questions students might have had at home while reading the text. Most of the class time will be spent on reading and discussing the text of the Golestan. At the end of each class, we will have some time dedicated to discussions and chats. The talks at the end of each class will be mainly in Persian.