Testimonial by Jake Pawlush

Former Undergraduate Student at the State University of New York at Buffalo, USA

3 weeks 2021 Old Persian Online School

ASPIRANTUM’s Old Persian online course exceeded all my expectations. It was well organized and Mr. Nshan Kesecker was an incredible instructor. This course, although for beginners in Old Persian, was very intensive, and allowed me and the students to become fully immersed in the language for the three weeks of instruction. It also gave me the rare opportunity to take a dead language from a foreign institute through online learning. Each lesson was balanced in cuneiform practice, grammar, and reading the Old Persian inscriptions while engaging in interesting and thought-provoking discussions with the instructor and my peers throughout. The discussions ranged from syntactical, historical, cultural, economic, and linguistic topics, and provided valuable background information on the inscriptions and the history surrounding them. In addition, the focus on reading the inscriptions instead of learning all the grammar and vocabulary and then reading the inscriptions gave the students a unique experience of learning about the language while reading the material. This form of language learning provided me and the students, in my opinion, a deeper and more concrete grasp of Old Persian than would be the case in a typical beginner’s language course.

Furthermore, as a Classicist who hopes to study ancient Greek economic interactions with the Near East in graduate school, understanding Near Eastern and Iranian languages such as Old Persian will greatly help in my studies. Learning Old Persian during my gap year helps prepare me for the rigors of graduate school and provides valuable avenues for the research I would like to conduct. I plan to incorporate analysis of some of the Old Persian inscriptions we have read in class into my future research and hopefully add to the body of scholarly work in both Classics and Near Eastern studies. I am incredibly thankful for ASPIRANTUM for creating this course and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in ancient history, linguistics, or languages in general!        

Interested? Check Upcoming Persian Language Courses!


Our Persian language courses are open to anyone with upper elementary or intermediate knowledge of the Persian language. The lectures are organized with the academic interests of our participants in mind. Students as well as researchers working in Iranian Studies and relevant fields will benefit the most from our courses.

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