1. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    The father of the Kidarite kingdom claimed to be the rightful inheritor of the Kushan Empire is called Kidaro in Greco-Bactrian script, Kidara in Brahmi script, or 寄多羅 *kètālā in Middle Chinese. His name was subsequently used as the autonym of his tribe. Henry W. Bellew (1891: 142-147) listed some of its variants including Kator, Katar, Kataur, Katoran, and Katorman and believed that the Shah-Kator princes of Chitral and Kashgar are the same people as the katar (< Kator) of Kafiristan.
    I hope to find out:
    1) The etymology of the name. What does it originally mean? From what language? Any theory or hypothesis you would like to share?
    2) The meanings of its variants/derivatives in languages (e.g., Iranian, Nuristani, Indo-Aryan, or Turkic) that borrowed or inherited it.
    Thank you.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  2. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    Hi Skatinginbc. You mentioned that in middle chinese, it has the form "Ketala" and it sounds like Tagalog.(I noticed Tagalog terms in chinese but pronounced diferently).Based on Tagalog meaning "Ketala" (Kay Tala)has possible meaning " someone who belong to legendary one". The second term " Katoran" has relationship with Tagalog term " Katuturan" (with root word "turo" (teaching/importance/significance). The general meaning of the given terms might be " Justice/just" based on the word "Katar". Check out the meanings of the terms; Kidaro and Kidara etc. .
  3. Treaty Senior Member

    Regarding to the "kator" pronunciation, two words rang into my mind though both are unlikely:
    1. Pahlavi(?). Katuz کاتوزی *: a race/subdivision of Aryan people whom legendary King Jamshid appointed as priests (to recluse in mountains). Later used for "spiritual person"
    2. Greek. Kather- "pure" or "clean". (that can be also related to katuz)

    * In fact, katuzi may be originally a typo not a real word!
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  4. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    The Kidarites are believed to have been Iranian speaking tribes with a possible Turkic element and are connected with the huuna of Indian literature. The name, kidaara, is probably an East Iranian name, though Turkic is also a possibility, especially if the huuna were related to the Huns that conquered Europe. Perhaps ancalimon can tell us with certainty if there is a Turkic element in the name.
  5. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    The Book of Wei, the Chinese official history book of the 4th to 6th century, explicitly states that 寄多羅 *kètālā was the name of a Yuezhi king who, after being dislodged by the “Xiongnu” (perhaps Xionites), ordered his son to stay and fend Purushapura ‘City of Men’ 樓沙城(modern Peshawar)(Book of Wei, Volume 108, Biography 90, Western Region. Original text: 魏書第108卷列第九十西域: “小月氏國, 都富樓沙城. 其王本大月氏王寄多羅子也. 寄多羅為匈奴所逐, 西徙後, 令其子守此城). Because of that statement concerning the origin of that name, I cannot exclude the possibility that Kidara is either a Kushan or a Tocharian name. Of course, Indian literature might have correctly depicted the general populace of the Kidarites.
    I know very little about Iranian. I'm curious: 1) Does it sound like a native East Iranian name (I honestly don't know)? 2) What could it mean in East Iranian?
  6. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    This is true. It could be Kushan/Tocharian. However, I have read that the label of Yuezhi was also applied to later "warlike" tribes that inhabited regions in proximity to the original Yuezhi (Kushans) and may not have necessarily been related to them.

    I can't say with certainty that it's an East Iranian name. It is merely my speculation based on the phonetics. Though it is possible that the name was "Iranianized" from its original language.
  7. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    Yuezhi refers to:
    1. 2nd century BCE and prior: The Yuezhi in Gansu and the Tarim Basin.
    2. 2nd century BCE to c. 30 CE: The Yuezhi that relocated in Transoxiana and Bactria.
    3. c. 30 CE- c. 230 CE: The Kushan Empire (Kushan kings and citizens did not seem to mind being called Yuezhi by Chinese. Kushan migrants to China adopted the last name Zhi from the second syllable of Yuezhi. Kushan King Vasudeva (Bazodeo 波調) accepted from China the title "King of the Great Yuezhi Intimate with the Wei" (Wei 魏, a Dynasty name of China) 親魏大月氏王).
    4. c.230 CE onward: Semi-independent states recognized by Chinese historians as descendants or successors of the Yuezhi/Kushan after the Kushan Empire fragmented and fell to the Sassanian in the 3rd century CE.

    Self-idetification is the key here. Kidarite kings styled themselves as “Kušāhšāh” (Kushan king) on their coins. Say, if one claims himself to be a Greek descendant, there is a higher chance that he might adopt a Greek name. This factor combined with the Book of Wei's explanation on the name makes the possibility even higher. Of course, Wolverine9 is 100% correct: The Kidarites as well as the name Kidara may not have necessarily been related to Kushan or Yuezhi.

    Most of the East Iranian names that I happen to know (I know only a few :D) seem to carry some sort of meanings, for instance, Sogdian Nanai-vandak literally 'servant of Nanai', Pashto Rox̌āna (< Young Avestan raoxšna) literally 'shining, bright, light'. Based on the responses from two Iranian experts (Treaty and Wolverine--Thank you both :thumbsup:), I got the impression that the meaning of Kidara (or Kator) is not readily available in Iranian. May I conclude that it is not a "traditional" Iranian name that can easily trace its root to an ancient Iranian language (e.g., Old Persian, Avestan, or even Pahlavi and Bactrian)?

    That's so interesting, mataripis. Thank you. I'm so amazed that there are so many sound-alike forms in Tagalog. I'm having a hard time though connecting the dots between an Austronesian language and the Kidarites.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013

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