Armenian: Theonyms

Artaxerxes I

Senior Member
German, Persian
Hello dear forum members!

In the last days i had a discussion with an armenian about the pre-christian religion of the armenians especially about the Name of some of their gods. I learned on Iranica that some armenian theonyms like Aramazd, Anahit, Mihr, Vahagn, Tir, Sandaramet and others are in fact loan words from iranian languages which shows the great influence of iranian culture on armenian Religion. But the armenian insisted that this theonyms are not loan words but rather indigenous armenian names which are only cognates to their iranian counter parts since they belong to the indoeuropean language family. For example he explained that the part Ar(a) in the Name Aramazd has got a meaning in the armenian language and so is a proof that it is not a loan word. Is he (partly) right with that?

  • L'irlandais

    Senior Member
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    I guess you realise there is no short answer to that question.

    One lengthy online study Iranian Influences in Armenian, treats a single aspect of this issue.
    namely said:
    Generally : ARMENIAN, the language of the Armenians, which is attested in written sources since the 5th century A.D. (after the invention of the Armenian alphabet by St. Mesrop Maštocʿ) and which is characterized from the very beginning of the literary documentation by a large number of Iranian loanwords. Only this aspect of the history of the Arm. language is treated in this article
    More specifically
    Religion: aramazd, later ormizd “Ahura Mazdā” (Pahl. Ohrmazd), mazdezn “worshipping Mazdā” (Av. māzdayasni-, Pahl. mazdēsn)'...

    However these days political overtones hamper open discussion on the matter.
    Last edited:
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