Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Aryan, a Term Not Confined to the Indo-Iranians
It has become fashionable among most scholars of the post war generation to avoid the use of the term `Aryan` unless it is used in a purely linguistic sense as in describing the Indo-European languages of Iran and India or the peoples who speak them.
No doubt the use of this term by racialists in National Socialist Germany has had an impact upon this shift of useage despite the fact that the term was in common use as both a linguistic and a racial/ethnic term in all countries before then and indeed is still occasionaly used by some authors in its original sense.
These scholars ignore the body of evidence which makes it abundantly clear that the term Aryan and its derivatives can be found throughout the spectrum of Indo-European languages and has been used as a noun in some of those languages to describe the people who belonged to the ethnic group who spoke that particular Indo-European language.
Indeed it is quite amazing how Indo-European languages spoken so far apart from each other from India to Ireland make use of the term.
The reconstructed Proto-Indo-European tongue has the term *Ar-yo, *Heryos or *Herios from which the word Aryan is descended from in various Indo-European languages. It has the meaning of `member of one`s own group` so quite clearly from the very beginning it had an ethnic or racial sense. It was an exclusive term used by the speakers of Proto-Indo-European, the original Aryans in other words.
Here are some examples of how the term and its derivatives have been used amongst a wide range of Indo-European languages.
Sanskrit-Arya, the exalted, or noble, master, lord, an Aryan, one of the `exalted` ruling race.
Arya-man, a companion[Aryan].
Old Persian-Ariya. See above definition!
Iranian-Airya-a racial title used by Darius on his tomb. Has the same general sense as in the Sanskrit.
Hittite-Ara, member of one`s own group, peer, friend.
Lycian[Anatolian language from South-West Anatolia]-Arus, citizens.
Greek-Areion, better, stronger, braver, usually derived from Ares, war, but probably cognate with Airo, exalt. Ar-istos, best. Heros, a hero, a freeman. Arios or Herios a title of the Medes and Persians. Aeria or Herie, a Greek name for Egypt. Harma-chariot.
Gothic-Harri, lord or king. Her, a noble man. Her-sir, a chief, a lord.
Norwegian-Herre, lord, master, gentleman.
German-Herr, lord, master, gentleman.
Dutch-heer, lord, master, gentleman.
Cornish and Celtic-Arhu, command.
Old English-Hearra, lord, master. Eorl, Erl-cognate with Jarl, a chief, leader, hero, man of valour.
Modern English-Aryan, as a racial ruling title. Aristo-cracy, a government of the `best or strongest` men, the nobility, from the Greek: Aristo-crat, Aristo-cratic.
Old and Modern Irish-aire, freeman. Erin, Eire, Ireland-same sense as Aryavarta-land of the Aryans.
In the following languages the prefix ar has the connotation of to plough or till in certain words:
Closely related to this sense of the term the following langauges extend the use of the prefix to terms for the earth:
The German word Ehre closely related to the Dutch eer which means honour also is a derivative of Aryan and generally conveys the notion of honourable conduct which is regarded as atypical of the Arya.
This article is intended to be a `work in progress` and will be amended, corrected and be added to in the course of time.