P. Oktor Skjaervo - Aga Khan Professor of Iranian (EMERITUS)

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Semitic Museum, Room 207

Semitic Museum
6 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138


Oktor Skjaervo is a Norwegian with an early interest for languages, he learned several of them before studying French, Latin, Sanskrit, and comparative linguistics at the University of Oslo.

His current approach to Old Iranian studies by far exceeds his original interests, teaching to whoever may be interested the Old (pre-Islamic) Iranian languages, religions (Zoroastrianism and Manicheism), and history.

His work over recent years has been centered on Avestan literature and the foundations of Zoroastrianism, as well as the application of Oral Literary Theory and comparative mythology to ancient Iranian literature and religion. Professor Skjaervo has also worked on developing teaching material for the old Iranian languages (Old Persian, Avestan, Pahlavi, Sogdian) and religions (Zoroastrianism and Manicheism).

** I regret to inform prospective applicants that I will be retiring in 2014 and, till then, only teach a few select classes. I would like to thank all my past and present students for being such a great inspiration to me and also all those who have showed interest for the program, but have not been able to come.

The teaching materials at are still available. **

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