Is GAv. berekhdam a cognate of the place-name Bactria?

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by mojobadshah, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. mojobadshah Senior Member

    In "Makers of History and Civilization..." L.A. Waddell first proposed that the place-name variously known as Ba-ra-ȧ-se-ki or Ba-ra-aḫ-se-ki, Pa-ra-aḫ-šum ki, Pȧ-ra-aḫ-si-im ki in Sumerian inscriptions is equated with the place-name Persia I did a further investigation to see if I could find recent works that agree with him and I found at least one: In "Mesopotamien: Akkade-Zeit und Ur III-Zeit, Annäherungen 3" (pub 1999) Walther Sallaberger-Aage Westnholz makes the same proposition. He equates Parahshum (Pa-ra-aḫ-šum) with the modern day province of Fars. This led me to the question: could this place-name Parahshum (the earlier form being Ba-ra-aḫ-se) be akin to the place-name Bactria? Bactria is equated with the Young Avestan place-name Bakhdi and according to Haug and other old sources this form equates to the Gathic Avestan form berekhdham. I don't know whether it was actually used as a place-name, but it seems plausible that berekhdham could have meant "highland" and is akin to the younger Avestan form berezant "mountain" a form which is well-established to have been derived from the PIE * bhereg̑h-, bherg̑hos- “high, noble; barrow, mountain.” Can anyone confirm whether GAv. berekhdam (which I think is transliterated bərəxđąm) is a derivative of PIE * bhereg̑h-?

    This is Haugs translation of Gatha 44.7: That I shall ask Thee, tell it me right, O Ahura! Who has prepared the Bactrian (berekhdha) home with its properties? Who fashioned, by a weaving motion, the excellent son out of the father? To become acquainted with these things, I approach Thee, O Mazda, beneficent spirit! Creator of all beings!
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

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