governmental and commercial accounting in Iran
Siyaq: the first governmental and commercial accounting mechanism in the world
Introduced by Farhang Jahanbakhsh
The presented book includes a complete collection of Iranian accounting system. This system was based on a very ancient mathematics. Siyaq accounting system had special symbols which can be considered as the first world mathematical symbols in Sassanid era. In the introduction part, history and very old origins of Siyaq is discussed from ancient era till Islamic period. In brief, Siyaq had different evolutional and developmental periods which were extracted from a formalist, developmental and inductive study of Siyaq. The followings are the related periods:
- Pre-historical period of Siyaq which was based on finger-counting.
- Historical period: graphical invention of Siyaq symbols in notation.
- Formation period which was due to governmental accounting needs in Elamite and Achaemenid eras.
- Developmental period in Parthian and Sasanian governments.
- Evolution of tax system in the time of Khosrow I and the combination of Indian, Syriac, Greek and Iranian sciences.
- Specialization of governmental accounting and development of Siyaq.
- Transition to Islamic era and the evolutions in the time of Abd al-Malik Marwan
- Expansion of Sassanid-Islamic Siyaq in Seljuk period.
- The peak of development and evolution in Ilkhanid and Timurid periods.
- Siyaq's cultural-scientific continuation in Safavid and Qajar periods.
- Siyaq decline in Pahlavi period.
Asadollah Abdoli Ashtiane had studied and investigated many ancient and old manuscripts and sources regarding the subject of Siyaq and has presented and taught precisely Siyaq's writing ways and structures.
Although the literature on Siyaq had been gathered by Iraj Afshar in Siyaq’s bibliography, this two volume collection by Ashtiane is the first systematic and complete collection on Siyaq.
The importance of Siyaq should be noted from different aspects which are as follow:
- Cognitive development of human’s mathematical mind
- Siyaq grammatology
- The connection between Siyaq and history of accounting
- Siyaq’s mysteries in encrypts confidential data
- Siyaq’s relation with politics and government
- The wide expansion of Siyaq in all over Middle East and Asia
This book is an start for development of future studies and researches about Siyaq and publication of old and rare copies and books so that our errors will be solved in future and the archaism of Siyaq become more evident. Therefore, I ask our dear readers to forgive our errors and to provide us with their knowledge and guides for modification and completion of this work.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Dr.Javad Safinejad for his scientific consultation and guidance and Ashtiani for his efforts in reviving of one of ancient heritage in Iranian, Asian and world culture. We also thank the publisher for the proper publication of this book which is about an ancient human heritage. At the end we would like to give thanks to all readers who choose this work for study.
 Mohammad Mehdi; Forug-e Esfahani ( in1258 L.H); “FORUGESTAN,Hanbook of Auditing and Notation” P.281-297, Edited by Iraj Afshar [Miras-e Maktub, Tehran,2000]
The back cover of the first volume
The back cover of the second volume
a leaf of the manuscript
a leaf of the document
A financial and bureaucratic document from the Qajar era in Siyaq script