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QuoteReplyTopic: Were the Mitanni Indo-Aryan or West Irano-Aryans Posted: 22-Mar-2013 at 15:05
There appears to be two theories as to what the provenance of the Mitanni was. One group claims that the Mitanni were West Irano-Aryans. Another group says that the Mitanni were Indo-Aryans. Bejamin Fortson says they were probably Indo-Aryans mainly because of the Mitanni word for one "aika." Don't forms like this exist in Irano-Aryan too though eg. NPer. yek "one"? However he also says that the Iranian word for 'lap' or 'turn' (Av. uruuaesa-) is formed differently from the Mitanni speech eg. (pa-an-za-) wa-ar-ta-an-na "[of five] laps" and various characteristics of the onomastics and divine names also indicate Indic rather than Iranian provenance. But isn't it still possible that the West Irano-Aryan language was closer to the language of the Mitanni than the language of the Avesta?
I think the Mitanni kingdom can be compared to Mughal Empire in the Indian subcontinent, rulers and the common people had two different cultures, in the Mitanni kingdom, the majority were certainly an Hurro-Urartian speaking people, not Indo-Euroepan but it is believed the kingdom itself was founded by an Indo-Aryan ruling class.
What we know about the Iranian culture is a mixture of West Iranian/Germanic and East Iranian/Indo-Aryan cultures, this culture is younger than the Mitanni culture.
In your both recent threads, you talked about the age of the Avesta, based on historical and archaeological evidences, there is almost nothing to prove it dates back prior to the 6th century BC, but linguistically some say it can be older than it, the problem is that the Old Avestan language is just compared to the Sanskrit language, I believe this comparison can't prove anything.
Well, I've been a student of Iranology for about 10 years off and on now. Trying to reconcile when approximately the Avesta was dated has been a big part of my researches. I'm intrigued by the fact that the ancient Greeks placed Zarathushtra so far back in time 6000 BCE. This is obviously based on milleniary schemes of the Iranians, but what this does show is that the Iranians believed Zarathushtra to have lived long before Cyrus the Great. It's my opinion that placing Zarathushtra in the 6th century making him a contemporary of Cyrus is totally ridiculous. I'm pretty confidant that the combined evidence shows that Avestan culture was way more primitive that Persian culture. As far as comparing Avestan to Sanskrit I think linguists have a point. You can't place either language very far apart. So I gather that the Mitanni helps some scholars to place the Indo-Iranian languages because of the linguistic resemblances. I was just wondering how we know that the Avestan and Vedic languages post-date the Mitanni and not pre-date the Mitanni. But I also have one small question in addition to that. Is the prefix arta- found in names of Vedic people?
There are several things that point to an Indo-Aryan origin of the Mitanni ruling class. For starters we have a treaty between the Mitanni and the Hittites which invoke Mitanni deities, While the majority of Mitanni deities were decidedly Hurrian and Semitic, there was a group of named deities which were decidedly more Indo-Aryan than Iranic. In addition, the treatise by Kikkuli on the training of horses, written in Hurrian, used Indo-Aryan technical words.
Because of this and other considerations, Mallory speculates that prior to the Indo-Aryans entering northern India, a group split off from the main migrating group probably east of the Caspian Sea and headed southwest into Iran proper while the main group headed southeast into eastern Iran. Ancient place-names in eastern Iran point to an Indo-Aryan origin, not an Iranic one. Eventually these eastern Indo-Aryans made their way into northern India, and eastern Iranic peoples took their place in eastern Iran. The western Indo-Aryans made their way into northern Mesopotamia where they became the ruling class of the Hurrians.
A strong evidence of this is how the Persians viewed them. The remnants of Mittani and Hittites survived until around the time of the Xerxes.
evidence of the survival of the Vedic gods from the daiva- inscription ofXerxes
(ruled 486-465 BC). The revolt by the da¹eva worshipers in West Iranis
directly referred to:
Xerxes the King: When I became king, there is among
countries one(Mazandaran) which was in rebellion. Afterwards Ahura-
bore me aid. By the favor of Ahuramazda I smote that
and put it down in its place.
among these countries there was a place where previously
daiva were worshiped. Afterwards, by the favor of
destroyed that sanctuary of daiva, and I made proclamation:
daiva shall not
be worshiped!' Where previously the daiva
worshiped, there I worshiped Ahuramazda at the proper
and in the proper manner. And there was other business
had been done ill. That I made good. That which I did,
I did by the favor of Ahuramazda. Ahuramazda bore me aid
I completed the work.
Note that in the Vedas Deva is divine and Asura is demoniacal. The reverse is true in Avesta.
It was a rude shock for me when I learned of this inscription. The remnants of the Vedic culture was wiped out by Persians. I never knew of Zoroastrians indulging in religious persecution.
But it also seems like an isolated incident, not succeeded or preceded by anything similar
Its absolutely wrong to say that Zoroaster lived around 500 BC.
Its most probable(the arguments have not yet been studied by me) that he was contemporaneous with Atharvan ( author of much of Atharva Veda). Wikipedia says : Vedic atharvan is cognate with Avestan athravan,
"priest", but the etymology of the term is not yet conclusively
established. "Attempts have been made to connect the term with Avestan atar- "fire" (not attested in Vedic)
I'd say the first half of the second millenium BCE.
Mallory speculates that prior to the
Indo-Aryans entering northern India, a group split off from the main
migrating group probably east of the Caspian Sea and headed southwest
into Iran proper while the main group headed southeast into eastern
This post must sum it up.
Mallorys theory would have been fine --if he had furnished evidences in support. Its clear that the Indo Aryans of west Asia spoke/wrote clearly corrupted and merely fragmented Sanskrit.The Earliest instance of Kassites have only a few divinities with sanskrit names. The rest is not even Indo European .
Mind you, these people had only a comparatively little distance to travel had they come from central Asia. How many mountains and how many more hindrances and hardships the Aryan migrants into India must have faced? Yet their culture remains Pure sanskrit. It does not seem like they have done any adventurous migrations. They have made no mention of it in their copious literature. Why is that? There is no archaeological trail they have left behind either, no evidence of their entry in stark contrast to the middle East.
Consider an ancient Indian text which refers to migrations.
“To the East went Ayus; from him descend the Kurus, Pancalas, Kasis and Videhas.
These are the peoples which originated as a consequence of Ayus's going forth. To the
West went Amavasu; from him descend the Gandharis, the Sparsus and the Arattas.
These are the peoples which originated as a consequence of Amavasu's going forth.” -----Baudhayana Srautasutra 18.44-45 ( composed Between 1500 and 800 BC)
Some of these place names are easily identifiable.
Gandhar= mordern Khandahar in Pakistan Kasi== Mordern city of Kasi in India Videha= Mordern state of Bihar in India( a well attested fact) Sparsus = Parsu of the Rig Veda( from the sound of the word) = most likely Persians. In the case of the Sanskrit ethnic Pars'u, it must
first be noticed that it probably derives, like the Old Persian name Pârsa (=
Persian), from a proto-form *parc'u-. The term *parc'u- was perhaps used by the
early Iranians to describe different politically and economically organized
units (or 'polities') tracing their origin to an area or ethnos bearing that
Iranian name (whose etymology is still debated) rather than to describe a
series of biologically related ethno-linguistic entities (or 'tribes').
So where is the common place dispersal --Between Western Pakistan and East-Central India
A 3rd-millennium-BCE epic
which states that a king of Uruk, namedEnmerkar, sent a messenger to Ensuhgiranna, the ruler of Araṭṭa, putting forward certain demands. In reply, the
ruler of Araṭṭa told the messenger “…The queen of heaven and earth, the
goddess of numerous me, holy Inana, has brought to Araṭ̣ṭa, the mountain of
shining me, I whom she has let bar the
entrance of the mountains as if with a great door ..”.This would imply that Araṭṭa was located
close to an opening (pass) in the mountains which the ruler of Araṭṭa could
easily seal. Such a description enhances the claim of the Arārāṭ̣ region as
having been Araṭṭa of the epic.
Finally, it is remarkable
that Ptolemy (6.10.3) mentions a city named Aratha in South
Turkmenia, whose name may be related to that of ancient Aratta in
this region and its neighborhood more than a hundred names have come to light
which have a Sanskrit stamp on them: such as: Biridasva (=Vedic Vr.idha-śva); Urudi-ti, a Hurrian king
(= Skt. Urudi-ti); Artasumara,
another Mitanni king (= Vedic R.itasmara, in
addition to Matiwaza = Mativāja, already
mentioned), and so on. The context of some of these names goes back to the seventeenth century BCE. Reference may
also be made to another remarkable document, which deals with the technique of
horse-training. It mentions Sanskrit numerals like ekavartana , trivartana,
etc. meaning thereby that the horse under training should be made to make one
round, three rounds and so on of the race-course. Bogazkoy evidence was given a different
twist by certain scholars in the past. While admitting that the gods mentioned
in the treaty were Indo-Aryan, they argued that these people were on their way
They took this stand because in those days, as per Max Müller's fatwa [sic],
the Vedas were considered to have been only as old as 1200 BCE whereas the
Bogazkoy inscription was dated to the 14th century BCE. Now that we know full
well that the Vedas are in no case posterior to 2000 BCE, that kind of argument
is no longer valid
on the Bogazkoy evidence, the renowned Indologist T. Burrow observed (1955): “The
Aryans appear in Mitanni from 1500 BC as the ruling dynasty, which means that they
must have entered the country as conquerors.” ‘Conquerors from where’, may
not one ask? At that point of time there was no other country in the entire
world except India where the above-mentioned gods were worshipped. Giving a thorough analysis of the evidence of
literature and various sciences like archaeology, geology, hydrology, Carbon-14
method of dating, etc. it is shown that the R.igveda decidedly
belonged to a period prior to 2000 BCE.Hencethere is no chronological obstacle whatsoever in visualizing a
scenario in which a section of the Vedic people may have entered Turkey some
time in the second millennium BCE.
other scholars like Kazanas and
Nahar Achar place the Rigveda in the fourth millennium BCE. The former
linguistic evidence, whereas the latter bases his dating on the
data. This new evidence thus shows that the mention of the names of the
gods on the Bogazkoy tablets in Turkey
is the finale of the movement of the Vedic people from north-west India
region. In this context one might as well pose a question: "Was there
country, other than India,
in the entire world in the 14th century BCE, i.e. at the time of the
treaty, where the gods Indra, Varun.a, etc. were worshipped?" The answer
is an emphatic "NO". Then why shy away from facing the reality? In
fact, at one stage in his own review, Dr. Francesco admits: "the
Mitanni Indo-Aryans can be but a group of Vedic Aryans having migrated
to Kurdistan from their supposed ancestral homeland in N.W.
Research is an ongoing process, not something static. With
new evidence pouring in every day, paradigms have to be changed and one should
not feel belittled if one's earlier views have to be modified in the light of
the new data. Let not an ostrich-like attitude blind us to the upcoming truth!
B. B. Lal, Former Director General, Archaeological
Survey of India
The Mittanni were ancient Kurdish kingdom in modern western Kurdistan
Mitanni (Kurdish Hittite cuneiform: KUR URU Mi-ta-an-ni, also Mittani
Mi-it-ta-ni) or Hanigalbat (Assyrian Hanigalbat, Khanigalbat cuneiform
Ḫa-ni-gal-bat) was a loosely organized Hurrian-speaking,
Indo-Aryan-ruled state in northern Syria (West Kurdistan) and south-east
Anatolia (Adıyaman, Batman, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Kilis, Siirt,
Şanlıurfa, Mardin, and Şırnak... ) from ca. 1500 BC–1300 BC. Founded by
an Indo-Aryan ruling class governing a predominately Kurdish Hurrian
population, Mitanni came to be a regional power after the Hittite
destruction of Amorite Babylon, and a series of ineffectual Assyrian
kings created a power vacuum in Mesopotamia. The king of Assyria, ShalmaneserI.hasMittannis, whobroughtthe dominance of theendandthereference to thekurdishSaidMitannis: "TheAraratbordertourAbidinup toin this country thebloodofGutian(Kurds)flowed likewater. "The
Gutians Elamlars and are known to be related to the same breed. These
two communities are common ancestors of the Aryans are known. These
tribes have lived in Iran and Mesopotamia (Kurdistan). With the Gutian
and Mitannis the language, traditions and culture of the race in the
same people. In fact, the Mitanni, are the Gutians.
At the beginning of its history, Kurdish Mitanni's major rival was Egypt
under the Thutmosids. However, with the ascent of the Hittite empire,
Mitanni and Egypt made an alliance to protect their mutual interests
from the threat of Hittite domination. At the height of its power,
during the 14th century BC, it had outposts centered around its capital,
Washukanni, whose location has been determined by archaeologists to be
on the headwaters of the Khabur River. Eventually, Kurdish Mitanni
succumbed to Kurdish Hittite and later Assyrian attacks, and was reduced
to the status of a province of the Middle Assyrian Empire.
Their sphere of influence is shown in Kurdish Hurrian place names,
personal names and the spread through Syria and the Levant of a distinct
Modern Kurdish Mitanni Culture Center in Mardin / Newroz 2013
The first tangible historical fort was built in 1031 by the Emir of
Homs on the mountain. they had the name in arabic Hisn al-Akrad (The
castle of Kurds).
Krac des Chevaliers of the kingdom of the Kurds
The castle Krak des Chevaliers (Krak of the Knights), described by T.E.
Lawrence as "perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle
in the world" is the easternmost of a chain of five castles sited so as
to secure the Homs Gap...It is located 65 km west of Homs in direction
of Tartus, and reaches a summit of 750 meters above sea level. The
castle controls a strategic passage called the Homs gap in the Orontes
Valley. The castle was erected covers an area of 3 hectares and has 13
towers containing a number of halls, stores, passages, stables and
The castle stands upon a southern spur of the Gebel Alawi, it stands on a massive outcrop overlooking the plain, and incorporates the remains of an earlier castle, known as Hosn al-Akrad, the Castle of the Kurds, after the Kurdish soldiers garrisoned there in the eleventh century (it was given to a Kurdish garrison by the Amir of Aleppo in 1031).
Kurdish History / Castle of Kurds Simeon Stylites West/Kurdistan
Edited by AnatoliaMezrabotan - 02-Jul-2013 at 13:20
Are you saying the Kurds are the descendants of the Aryan Mitanni?
That guy AnatoliaMezrabotan acts like a border-line troll on the forum by posting Videos and Images that are not even related to the topic.
No Kurds do not descend from the Mittani. The Mittani were ruled by a small group of elites that ruled over the Hurrian people. Kurds have much Mittani ancestry as anyone else who was under the Mittani empire. The pre-Iranc ancestry of Kurds is mostly from the Hurrians not the Mittani. The fact is Kurds all speak various Iranic languages not Indo-Aryan.
The Mittani origins come from the Zagros mountains/ Kurdistan...e.g. archeology, historyand cultureas a result ofresearchin the areas...the main products ofthe first civilizationinthe center ofthe world arearyan people Zagrosian race) ! Thisregionof Anatolia,the eastern halfof this regionNorth Mesopotamian (Kurdish: Mezra-Botan) and Zagrosmountainsin western Iran( eastern Kurdistan) stated thatcoveredareas.
Hereagainarethekurdsfrom western Kurdistan
A documentary about the Kurdish revolution in western Kurdistan (Northern Syria) directed by David Meseguer and Oriol Gracià
Kurds are afghani Pashtuns who came after Islam to Anatolia. You guys were invited by my ancestors to protect modern day Mardin, Batman and Diyarbakir provinces. But you betray us majority of you kurds converted to Islam after the fall of Diyarbakir because you were afraid of being killed. 1915 you forced my mothers village to talk Kurdish and not talk Aramaic. You killed the once who still could talk Aramaic. Stop sitting here and lying about Kurdistan it has never exist and will never exist.
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