In Greco-Roman geography, Iberia was the name for a kingdom of the Southern Caucasus, centered on present-day Eastern Georgia. Its first neighbor was the kingdom of Albania while above them was the territory of Sarmatia Asiatica, with one of its tribes being the Serbi.
This map was printed in Leipzig in 1706, but it is largely based on Ptolemy’s map from the second century AD. Wikipedia link here.
I have already shown in my previous articles that “Albania” could be a Latin word for people who called themselves Aryans and gave the name to modern-day Iran. Due to a limited space here I will dedicate another article to their possible origins.
For now, let us have a quick jump to Balkans where today we have countries of Serbia and Albania. But not only today. Even in the time of Ptolemy there was a tribe of Albani in what is now Albania and a city of Serbinum in what is now Republic of Srpska. In other words these toponyms mirror at least since the dawn of the first millennia.
Is it strange then, that we also see a river called Ibar in Balkans? On its course of 276km this river flows trough territory of Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia. (Until a few decades ago this was all a territory of Serbia.)
As a curiosity, I have circled a town of Arilje (one of many on Balkans). Its etymology could mean two things: 1. A city of Aryans or 2. A white city, as in Belgrade.
A flow of Ibar trough Serbia
And now let us have another jump, this time to the Iberian peninsula. It is known that this peninsula owes its name to Ebro river, which was called Iberos in ancient Greek and Iberus or Hiberus in Latin. Same name again? Yes, but it gets even stranger if you know that amongst the pre-Roman population of Iberia were the tribes of Seurbi and Albiones. (click to enlarge)
The idea that Kingdom of Iberia could be related to Iberian peninsula is at least a thousand years old. The prominent Georgian religious writer Giorgi Mtatsmindeli (George of Mt. Athos) (1009–1065) wrote about the wish of certain Georgian nobles to travel to the Iberian peninsula and visit the local Georgians of the West, as he called them. It is not known if they were aware of Balkan connection.
As we see, the same names appear at three quite remote places and practically at the same time. A strange coincidence?
But it doesn’t stop here. As we saw, Latin word for river Ebro was Hiberus. And Latin name for Ireland was Hibernia. The etymology of Hibernia is uncertain, apparently, it comes from the word “hiver” – winter. But what if it is related to the word Ibar instead? The word “Ireland” could also mean “Land of Aryans”, which translated to Latin would be “Albania”
Is this theory too far-fetched? Well, not really, if you know that the whole island of Great Britain was once called Albion / Albania. It is actually the oldest name of Great Britain!
In later centuries the name of Alba became associated only with Scotland. Why Scotland? Because that was the part of the island that Romans did not conquer. So could it be that the people who lived there were called Albanians by Romans, while on Ireland, which was virtually untouched by Roman legions, they simply preserved their original name – Arya, a name that was the same for the whole of United kingdom before the arrival of Romans?
But who were these Aryans? Surely not the modern population of Albania. One telling thing could be the etymology of the name Gaul. According to one theory, Gaul also means “white”, a milk-white to be more precise, this time in Greek. (gala – milk). Greek traders had contact with Gauls before the Romans. It is possible that the later simply borrowed a name which darker-skinned Mediterraneans could easily give to the fair-skinned people of the North.
Another plausible etymology could be simply related to milk as such, since we know that people who brought lactose tolerant genes to Europe were the first milk drinkers. More on the following article from Daily mail: Modern Europe was formed by milk-drinking Russians
According to the Irish legend Lebor Gabála Érenn, the ancestors of the Gaels were originally living in the Iberian peninsula. Two brothers, both called Eibhar – Éibhear Dunn (dark) and Éibhear Finn (blonde), were the first of the Gaels to conquer Ireland. But that is not all – this same text also traces their origins before Iberian peninsula all the way to Babel and a Scythian prince as the first ancestor. According to some researchers, this is due to a similarity of words “Scyth” and “Scot”, but what if that similarity is not really a coincidence?
So Aryan, Alban and Gaul could indeed be the same thing in three different languages. The same parallel exists in German, people called Wends, from Germanic vento – white (as in English “winter”) But Wends are Slavs, and a small surviving population of Wends whose territory around Berlin in Germany has been drastically reduced through centuries, calls themselves Sorbs to this date, in their native tongue. According to many authors “Serb” was one of the oldest ethnonyms for Slavs.
As for Germany, Cesar does mention a tribe called Eburones in Germany of his time, in the northeast of Gaul.
If Gauls indeed had some Slavic elements via Scythians, that would easily explain why the name of Old Sarum in England was Sorbio-dunum in Latin. Or why the Roman castrum on Hadrian’s wall, looking on the planes of Scotland was called Vindo-landa. (The same goes for Vindo-bona, ancient name of Vienna) It would also explain why the most important hill of Ireland, the hill of Tara mirrors in Serbia with mountain Tara. And the river Boyne that flows underneath Tara finds its match in river Bojana. These are just a few examples, but very important ones.
So, are there any scientific proofs for such claims? Yes, modern genetics shows that haplogroup R1 had developed in the steps of Ukraine from where it had scattered around Europe leaving the mark in Slavic R1a and Germanic/Celtic R1b. The cradle of this haplogroup was not far from the Kingdom of Iberia mentioned at the beginning of this article. The first wave of migration reached Balkan as early as 4200 BC, while the Western Europe was “conquered” only some 2 millennia later.
Now let us take a look at a genetic fingerprint of these tribes. Traditionally R1 divides in two (closely related) groups:
If we look at the data presented on Eupedia, it is clear that Sarmatian / Slavic R1a is the most dominant in countries like Poland, Ukraine and Russia, where it makes up to 60% of genetic material. “Germanic” attribute is probably also Slavic, and relates to Sorbs or Wends that were assimilated in Germany.
On Balkans, R1a makes only 15-20% with Mesolithic / Thracian I2b ranging from 30 to 75%. This simply means that Balkans has more cultural influence of Sarmatians than that of genetics.
As for the R1b, it ranges from around 70% in England to 81% in Ireland. Note that this is also a haplogroup of the Hittite and Armenians. The only mystery is why it is the most dominant with the Basque (85%) apparently a native and the oldest tribe of Europe. This is not the only thing that doesn’t fit the mainstream theory when Basque are in question. The word “ibar” means valley in Basque, which would easily explain the origin of the name of Iberian peninsula, but then, what is the case with Georgia?
According to the official history, European Iron age was triggered from the same region of Caucasus, roughly around 11th century BC. Now, we can never be sure how the first people who had spread the genetic material called themselves, but in the case of Iron age I would put my two pennies on Aryans, as it seems that even the word “iron” could be etymologically connected to them. Also, it is the Hittites who normally get the credit of mastering the technology.
Since there is no tribe called Indo-European in history books, our best candidate for IE influence would be Scythians / Sarmatians, the only people who occupied this vast geographical area for a long period of time and whose nomadic lifestyle on a saddle would allow to cover such distances. But like any great nation, Scythians were not all of the same stock. It seems that amongst others, two large groups existed in their ranks, one Slavic, represented by R1a and the other one being Germanic R1b. These two groups had claimed pretty much all of Europe millennia before the arrival of the Romans, often living side by side, sometimes in war and sometimes in peace.
But first they would have conquered the local populations of Balkans, people we know today as Thracians. Herodotus writes in the 5th century BC that nomadic Scythians had learned agriculture from the Thracians. This means that the first contact had to happen at an earlier stage, before Herodotus. A few centuries later, Sarmatians and Thracians of Balkans would join their ranks to fight Romans side by side, as we know it was the case in the famous battle of Hadrianopolis. In the process, these Aryans had left behind the name of their tribes – Serbs, Croats and Albanians (Aryans), amongst many other toponyms.
It is worth mentioning that this all happened in the astrological age of Aries. One of the myths that marked that age is the Odyssey in which Jason and his Argonauts go in search of the golden fleece, probably allegorical story related to the celestial mythology. But it is also indicative that their destination was Colchis, pointing to the fact that this myth could actually be Aryan in origin. This is also a region where bagpipes origintaed, today so strongly associated with Ireland and Scotland, but native to Balkans as well. Georgia is also a cradle of a very rich megalithic culture that mirrors in Ireland, while it leaves its trace on the coasts of Black sea and Mediterranean. Agricultural Scyths, those who presumably did not lead the nomadic lifestyle, were known as Georgi to ancient authors.
In conclusion, Romans simply didn’t bother to discriminate further than Celt / Gaul / German. And while nobody disputes that Germanic tribes (R1b) strongly influenced Western Europe, it is very likely that Slavic influence is strongly underrated. Some of these ancient tribes simply had to be Slavic and they had played a very important role in the early prehistory of Europe. According to Mavro Orbini, a XVI century Slavic chronicler, that role was important enough to lead the whole nation to identify as Slavs – meaning “glorious”.