In the Wikipedia article on Persian literature, you can find this paragraph:
No single text devoted to literary criticism has survived from Pre-Islamic Iran. However, some essays in Pahlavi, such as "Ayin-e name nebeshtan" (Principles of Writing Book) and "Bab-e edteda’I-ye" (Kalileh o Demneh), have been considered as literary criticism (Zarrinkoub, 1959).
Should I correct the translation of "Ayin-e name nebeshtan" to "Book writing principles"?
Depends on how deep you want to dig in here. Those lines on Wikipedia are basically plagiarized from here
, with added typos. You could translate it as "book-writing principles" - here name
could mean either 'book' or 'letter' - though according to Parsinejad the work is about letter-writing, not book-writing. I don't have access to the Zarrinkub book he's quoting from, but the whole thing seems a bit spurious to me, especially since the word was nāmag
and not nāme
in Pahlavi/Middle Persian. (Name
is a later, post-Islamic form of the word.)
Also, why is the term zend also spellable as "zand"? Does it have to do with both variants being acceptable in modern Persian? (Or perhaps Middle Persian?)
The word is more properly transliterated as zand
but often appears as zend
in English simply because the latter English spelling predates precise transliteration rules; it goes back to early 18th century English (and Latin) writing about Zoroastrianism. In that sense it's a bit comparable to the older standard 'Parsee' vs. the currently more acceptable spelling 'Parsi'.