Pahlavi language (päˈləvēˌ) [key] or Pehlevi language pāˈ–, member of the Iranian group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Pahlavi is the form of the Persian language that followed Old Persian and preceded Modern Persian. Also called Middle Persian, it was used during the Sassanid, or Sassanian, rule of Persia (3d to 7th cent. A.D.). See Indo-Iranian languages.