The name of a project set up in 1989 by the School of Persian Literary Studies at Venice University. The aim of the project was to create a database for Persian lyric verse by following a computer-assisted and linguistic-statistical approach in a semiotic-structuralist perspective. The work preparing the ground for the project included a methodological essay on the modes of versification and interpretation of Persian poetry (Zipoli, 1988), and the first computer-generated concordances of the divān of Ḥāfeẓ (Meneghini Correale, 1989).

The project is being developed along three major lines. Firstly, the continuous increase in the database mainly made up of texts and lexical material of 1,000-line samples taken from the ḡazal collections of Persian poets (the only exception is the sample taken from Farroḵi Sistāni’s nasibs “lyrical introduction to the qaṣidas”). The decision to work on quantitatively uniform samples ensures that statistical comparisons can be made of the lexical material. In addition to the samples (for the list, see below), the database is made up of all the ḡazals of Ḥāfeẓ (Meneghini Correale, 1989), and Aṯir-al-Din Aḵsikati (q.v.), in addition to 104 ḡazals by Sanāʾi Ḡaznavi according to the seven oldest manuscripts (Zanolla, 2003).

The second main line of activity involves the construction of a software package dedicated to analyzing the texts. The main tools offer the possibility to search for contexts, morphological elements, and lexical solidarities; to identify rhyme structures and figures of speech; to calculate lexicon exhaustion; and to compare processed data (vocabularies, frequencies, etc.) besides other functions.

The third line of activity consists of analysis and research into the texts in the database at various levels (statistical-lexical, rhetorical, semantic, philological, etc.), using the dedicated software. These kinds of assays are not part of a systematic program, but are meant to demonstrate how the experience of the Lirica Persica project may be put to good use in different contexts.

The work carried out in the Lirica Persica project has led to the publication of a number of books and CD Roms (Lirica Persica Series) and articles in various journals (see Bibliography). The first volume in the Series is the project handbook, to be referred to for information not only on the structure, problems, and aims of the Series, but also the underlying principles, whose methodological criteria have subsequently been partly revised (Meneghini, Zanolla, and Zipoli, 1997). The Series includes eleven volumes containing the computer-processed texts by individual ḡazal authors (Farid-al-Din ʿAṭṭār, Bābā Feḡāni, Bidel, Faḵr-al-Din ʿErāqi, Ḥāfeẓ, Kamāl Ḵojandi, Naẓiri Nišāburi, Saʿdi, Salmān Sāvaji, Sanāʾi, and Ṭāleb Āmoli), one volume with a sample of Farroḵi’s nasibs, two volumes in which the data are analyzed (Zipoli, 1992; Meneghini Correale, 1993), and a presentation of comparative data of the first ten ḡazal samples (Meneghini and Zipoli, 1998). The database was later extended by adding the computer-processed texts of another nine samples of ḡazals (Ahli Širāzi, Amir Ḵosrow Dehlavi, Anwari Abivardi, ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Jāmi, Ḵᵛāju Kermāni, Ḵāqāni Šarvāni, Rumi, Ṣāʾeb Tabrizi, Waḥši Bāfqi) bringing the number of ḡazal samples up to twenty for a corpus of 20,000 lines (2,437 ḡazals, 370,053 tokens, 16,312 types, and 9,866 lemmas). The material processed from this database (texts in both Persian characters and transliteration, complete with lexical, prosodic, and statistical material; a collection of more than 500 files, with internal and external links) was stored on a CD Rom (Meneghini, 2000) and given with a hypertext system of navigation and search (to retrieve contexts, morphological elements, and lexical solidarities). This database has two different levels, Authors and Corpus. The Authors level enables the user to browse and search the 20 separate samples of 1,000 lines; the Corpus level enables the user to browse and search the 20,000 lines as a whole, thus as a sample of the Persian ḡazal lexical system.

Another research area of the Lirica Persica project deals with developing a system for the computer-assisted collation and analysis of manuscripts. The outcome of this work is the publication of the second CD Rom in the Series (Zanolla, 2003), containing the electronic edition of a corpus of 104 ḡazals by Sanāʾi, organized in a hypertext (links added to the poems lead to the transcription of each witness, to the digitized images of the folios, to the single-witness and all-witness spelling databases, and to the word-by-word collation of the texts).

The Lirica Persica project has a website www., presenting its activities and publications.



Lirica Persica (LP) series. Daniela Meneghini Correale, Giampaolo Urbani, and Riccardo Zipoli, Handbook of Lirica Persica, LP 1, Eurasiatica 12, Venezia, 1989.

Daniela Meneghini Correale, Hafez: Concordance and Lexical Repertories of 1000 Lines, LP 2, Eurasiatica 13, Venezia, 1989.

Roscinach Habibi and Riccardo Zipoli, Faghani: Concordance and . . . , LP 3, Eurasiatica 17, Venezia, 1990.

Daniella Meneghini Correale, Taleb: Concordance and . . . , LP 4, Eurasiatica 18, Venezia, 1990.

Narges Samadi and Riccardo Zipoli, Naziri: Concordance and . . . , LP 5, Eurasiatica 20, Venezia, 1990.

Daniela Meneghini Correale, Farroxi: Concordance and . . . , LP 6, Eurasiatica 25, Venezia, 1991.

Riccardo Zipoli, Statistics and Lirica Persica, LP 7, Eurasiatica 26, Venezia, 1992.

Setrag Manoukian and Riccardo Zipoli, Saʿdi: Concordance and . . . , LP 8, Eurasiatica 32, Venezia, 1992.

Daniela Meneghini Correale and Valentina Zanolla, ʿAttar: Concordance and . . . , LP 9, Eurasiatica 34, Venezia, 1993.

Daniela Meneghini Correale, The Handling of Āb/Water in Farruḫī, Ḥāfiẓ and Ṭālib, LP 10, Eurasiatica 36, Venezia, 1993.

Riccardo Zipoli, Bidel: Concordance and . . . , LP 11, Eurasiatica 41, Venezia, 1994.

Daniela Meneghini Correale, Salman: Concordance and . . . , LP 12, Eurasiatica 44, Venezia, 1995.

Valentina Zanolla, Sanaʾi: Concordance and . . . , LP 13, Eurasiatica 47, Venezia, 1997.

Riccardo Zipoli, Kamal: Concordance and . . . , LP 14, Eurasiatica 50, Venezia, 1997.

Daniela Meneghini Correale and Riccardo Zipoli, The Collected Lirica Persica (ʿAttar, Bidel, Faghani, Hafez, Kamal, Naziri, Saʿdi, Salman, Sanaʾi, and Taleb), 2 vols., LP 15, Eurasiatica 53, Venezia, 1998.

Daniela Meneghini Correale and Valentina Zanolla, ʿEraqi: Concordance and . . . , LP 16, Eurasiatica 60, Venezia, 1999.

Daniela Meneghini Correale, Lirica Persica Hypertext: Browse and Search 20,000 Lines of Persian Ghazals, LP 17, HyperFolia 1, Venezia, 2000 (CD-Rom).

Valentina Zanolla, The Ghazals of Sanaʾi in the Most Ancient Manuscripts, LP 18, HyperFolia 2, Venezia, 2003 (CD-Rom).

Related studies. Daniela Meneghini Correale, The Ghazals of Hafez: Concordance and Vocabulary, Rome, 1989.

Idem, “Quelques observations sur la structure lexicale des ghazals de Hafiz,” in Michael Glünz and J. Christoph Bürgel, eds., Heavenly and Earthly Drunkenness: Seven Studies on the Poet Hafiz of Shiraz, Schweizer Asiatische Studien 12, Bern, 1991, pp. 105-36.

Idem, “Some Support Programs Used in the Lirica Persica Project,” in Proceedings of the 4th International Conference and Exibition on Multi-lingual Computing, London 1994, pp.

Idem, “Repérage automatique des tajnis dans la poésie lyrique néo-persane,” Studia Iranica Mesopotamica et Anatolica 1 (1994), 1995, pp. 189-230.

Idem, “La ripetizione lessicale nei ghazal di Salmân i Sâwajî,” Annali di Ca’ Foscari 36, Serie orientale 28, 1997, pp. 215-52.

Idem, “Potential of the Vocabulary and Actuality of the Text: Computer Assisted Procedures for the Study of the Anagram in Classical Persian Verse,” Annali di Ca’ Foscari 39, Serie orientale 31, 2000, pp. 201-14.

Idem, “Lexical Solidarity and Textual Cohesion in the Classical Persian Ghazal: Research Methodology and Preliminary Data,” Annali di Ca’ Foscari 36, Serie orientale 34, 2003, pp. 169-202.

Daniela Meneghini Correale, Valentina Zanolla and Riccardo Zipoli, Outline of a Persian-English Dictionary, Eurasiatica 51, Venezia 1997.

Valentina Zanolla, “Chashm in Sanâʾî, ʿAṭṭâr e Rûmî,” in Quaderni 3 dell’Istituto Culturale della Repubblica Islamica dell’Iran in Italia, Roma, 1995, pp. 39-136.

Riccardo Zipoli, Encoding and Decoding Neopersian Poetry, Rome, 1988.

Idem, “Tecniche informatiche e lirica neopersiana: dalle concordanze di Hafez a Lirica Persica,” Annali di Ca’ Foscari 29, Serie orientale 21, 1990, pp. 169-91.

Idem, “Lirica Persica’s Typical Vocabularies,” in Proceedings of the Second European Conference of Iranian Studies, Rome, 1995, pp. 759-79.

Idem, “Processing Word Pairs in Samples from the Lirica Persica Series,” Studia Iranica Mesopotamica et Anatolica 1 (1994), 1995, pp. 247-97.

Idem, “Textual Solidarity in the Ghazals of Hafez,” in Iraj Afšār and Hans R. Roemer, eds., Soḵanvāra: panjāh o panj goftār-e pažuheši ba yād-e Doktor Parviz Nātel Ḵānlari, Tehran, 1997.

Idem, “Syntagma Cohesion in the Neopersian Ghazal as Microtext,” Edebiyât 9, 1998, pp. 101-27.

Idem, “The Syntagmatic Cohesion between ‘Wind’ and ‘Hair’ in Hâfiz’s Ghazals,” Annali di Ca’ Foscari 40, Serie orientale 32, 2001, pp. 93-110.

Idem, “Comparing Typical Vocabularies of Persian Ghazal Authors,” forthcoming.

(Daniela Meneghini)

Originally Published: December 15, 2007

Last Updated: April 5, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XIV, Fasc. 3, pp. 281-282