Alternate History

Nomenclature (Vαͽnα Ηραϗ)

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This page is a general explanation of some of the features of 'Vαͽnα Ηραϗ'. 


The Achaemenid Empire has only one official language, Persian. It was selected by Xerxes as most of the wealth and education was centered in 'Parsa' province, as well as a large portion of the population being centered in said province. Persian in our world (Farsi پارسی) was heavily influenced by Arabic after the Arab conquest of the Sassanians and also uses a modified Arabic script (abandoning the similar looking but totally unrelated Pahlavi script). However, in 'Vαͽnα Ηραϗ', Persian was never influenced by Arabic to the degree it was as the Arabs never conquered the empire, and also the language, which was previously inscribed in cuneiform, has its own alphabet heavily based on Greek. The Achaemenids imported some foreign words into its language of course, but the most commonly used words in conversation were Iranian, followed by Greek loanwords.


The Persian alphabet is very similar to the Greek alphabet with a few differences: firstly, there are 26 letters instead of 24, and several are different from Greek to accommodate the sounds of Persian (sh, ch, for example). Secondly, they do not have the complex orthography of Ancient Greek, nor even the simplified system. Thirdly, the punctuation is a mixture of Armenian, Greek and other systems.

Letter Name Sound
Π π Pai [p]
Γ г Gammai [ɡ]
J j Yapaliplakas  [dz]
Ϫ δ Delta [d]
T τ Tau [t]
Φ ϕ Phia [f]
K κ Kappa [k]
Λ λ Lambda [l]
M ϻ Ma [m]
N ϗ Na [n]
Ρ ρ Rho [r]
Z ζ Zetra [z]
Σ ε 


Θ θ Thetra [θ]

Letter Name Sound
A α Alpha [a] 
Ѻ ѻ Alphmikran

[ɒ] or [æ]

Η η Etra [ɛː]
I ι Ay-ota

[i] or [e]

U u Opsilon


ϒ y Yapsilon


Ͻ ͻ Chak


Ͽ ͽ Shak


Ϡ ϡ Chi


Ϙ ϙ Chimikran


B β Betra


V v Vetra



In practice, Persian punctuation is similar to English punctuation with some subtle differences:

  1. ՜ is the exclamation mark as opposed to '!'
  2. Parentheses are normally «  » rather than (   ).
  3. In older texts, question marks weren't written as there was a suffix (ϗη) to indicate questions. However, ever since the 1940s the western question mark has become more common. Also until the 1990s the question mark was inverted and at the start of the sentence. 


The numeral system is a copy of our-world's 'Eastern Arabic Numerals', but in 'Vαͽnα Ηραϗ' they were created by Xerxes I.

Western (Maghrebi) Numerals











Persian (Xertian) Numerals ۰ ۱ ۲ ۳ ۴ ۵ ۶ ۷ ۸ ۹

Note that further numerals are constructed as with Western Arabic Numerals so 69 is ۶٩


Generally speaking, the names of places (when written in English) are unchanged, but there are some changes.

  1. The modern Achaemenid Empire is either called the 'Achaemenid Empire' or 'Persia' in English. Persia is less commonly used as there is also a province of the Achaemenid Empire called 'Persia'. However, it is not considered offensive to refer to the Empire as Persia even though it encompassess non-Persian or even Iranian land (Egypt for example). To call the Achaemenid Empire 'Persia' is similar to calling the Roman Empire 'Rome'. The Achaemenids themselves refer to the Empire as 'Ϙαϡαϻαϗιͽyα' (Haxamanishya), which sort of translates as 'Achaemenia', with the 'ia' suffix indicating 'land of' (e.g. Germania, Brittania etc.), and Achaemenia is acceptable in English as well, but significantly rarer.
  2. However, the proper name for an citizen of the Achaemenid Empire is 'Achaemenid', NOT Persian or Eranic. This is generally seen as offensive by the Achaemenids. However, if someone came from the Persian province then refering to them as 'Persian' is not offensive, much like someone coming from the Babylonian province would be happy to be referred to as 'Babylonian'. Likewise, people of the Eranshahr Satrapy (which holds the provinces Persia, Parthia, Media and Elam) can be called 'Eranic'.
  3. Since 480 B.C., monarchs and politicians have adopted a 'Western' name from which they are refered to in Western media, as Achaemenid pronunciation is difficult to render in the Latin alphabet and also difficult to pronounce, anyway. Normally, the name is a Greek rendering or an English rendering, and occasionally they may adopt a totally western name. For example, the current Chancellor of the Achaemenid Empire is known as Araka Artaba outside of the Empire but at home his name is Araxa Artabanu-Shastpa (Aραϡα Aρταβαϗu-Ͽѻετπα).
  4. The four great rulers of the Empire (Afrand, Cyrus, Darius and Xerxes) are traditionally written in Cuneiform or Shapuri script (OW: Pahlavi). However, since these cannot be rendered on the internet they are written with the Persian alphabet on here.

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