Greek: Ariobarzanes, and its Iranian antecedents

desi4life

Senior Member
English
Ariobarzanes was a Hellenized form of an Iranian name, and per this Iranica article originally published in 1986, the Old/Proto-Iranian form of the name is reconstructed as *Ārya-bṛzāna- and the Old Persian form is reconstructed as *Āriya-bṛdāna-. I was surprised to read that this Iranian name has the word *Ārya-/*Āriya- with an initial long vowel “ā”. Are the reconstructions considered outdated now since the article was published in 1986, or is the word for “Aryan” attested with an initial long vowel “ā” in any Iranian languages? And what would be the grammatical explanation for the use of initial long vowel “ā” instead of a short vowel for this word in Iranian languages?

Thank you.
 
  • fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    The Indo-Iranian shared ethnonym occurs in the Avesta as airiia-, with short a-, but in Sanskrit as ārya-, āriya-, with long ā-. The latter is a vŗddhi formation (an adjective with lengthened vowel in the first syllable), belonging to Vedic arya- “lord”. Old Persian script does not actually differentiate between initial a- and ā, so we do not really know whether they said ariya- or āriya-, though the former accounts better for Middle Persian ēr and ērān.
     

    desi4life

    Senior Member
    English
    The Indo-Iranian shared ethnonym occurs in the Avesta as airiia-, with short a-, but in Sanskrit as ārya-, āriya-, with long ā-. The latter is a vŗddhi formation (an adjective with lengthened vowel in the first syllable), belonging to Vedic arya- “lord”. Old Persian script does not actually differentiate between initial a- and ā, so we do not really know whether they said ariya- or āriya-, though the former accounts better for Middle Persian ēr and ērān.

    Thanks @fdb. One small correction: I believe Sanskrit has ārya- but not āriya-; Prakrit has āriya-.
     
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