What does the word “Aryan” mean? According to the official etymology, it means “noble”. Somehow it seems that ever since Hitler’s ideology of the white race supremacy, this word leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, and it is unimaginable to look for other analogies. But this word could indeed mean “white”.
The etymology “noble” is comes from Sanskrit, but in the same language, there is a meaning of “white” too. We can see that (though indirectly) trough etymology of the name of the hero Arjuna. In his case we read the following: “The name Arjuna means “bright” or “shining” (cf. Latin Argentum)” So, silvery bright…what color is that? But besides the Sanskrit primer, the same root exists in many other languages – like “ayran” white yogurt of Turks, or possibly even English “air”. (unknown etymology).
Iran, Ireland and Albania
So let us, just for the sake of the argument, imagine shortly that it does mean “white”. What are the implications? First of all, it is a fact that the name of Iran comes from the word Aryan (and possibly Ireland according to some). Now in the case of Iran, we do know from the ancient sources that on the Caucasus once existed Caucasian Albania. (See my article on Sarmatians) Wikipedia article states: (the native name for the country is unknown) and few lines later it continues:
“After the rise of the Parthian empire, the kings of Caucasian Albania were replaced with an Arsacid family and would later be succeeded by another Iranian royal family...”
So, the original country name was “Arya” or “Iran”. Could it be that the Greek and Roman historians simply translated it into – “alba”, a word meaning “white”? This was, by the way, a normal practice at the time. This theory could erase many “unknown” attributes we have seen so far. Indeed, white people are generally called Caucasian…
Scythian and Sarmatian connection
The tribe of Caucasian Albani was Scythian (with presumed Iranian roots). As we saw in the article on Sarmatians, we see their name on Balkans, together with Caucasian Serboi. We don’t know when these toponyms appeared on Balkans, but we do know from Ptolemy’s maps that they were already there in the 2nd century AD. However, Scythia minor on Balkans was known to Herodotus as early as the 5th century BC.
It is also a fact that Scythians liked to use colors when naming tribal areas. That is why we had White Serbia and White Croatia in the Czech Republic and Germany. Even today there is Belarus (literary white Russia) along with hundreds of other Slavic toponyms like Belgrade in Serbia (white city). “Belgrade” is one of the ancient names of both Kyiv and Moscow and attested also in Ukraine, Bulgaria, and other Slavic countries.
So what is the reasoning behind this? Does “white” refer only to skin color? According to some theories, Scythians and ancient Slavs used colors to mark cardinal directions. Besides white, red, black and yellow (golden) were also used. But even though this is a very plausible theory, it does not explain why do we see the color white on so many different corners of the world. In other words – where do the boundaries end and re-start again?
But there could be another explanation and it could have something to do with the ancient dualistic beliefs. For example, ancient Slavic pantheon indeed had “White God” and “Black God”. If we look at the Balkan Albania, “white country”, we see Montenegro next to it. This country name means “Black hill/forest”. The same “black forest” we see again in Germany, under the German name “Schwarzwald”. And Schwarzwald borders with snow-covered Alpes, a mountain chain whose name also comes from the word “white”.
Another example is Russian Belogorsk and Chernogorsk (white and black forest/mountain) Could this really be a coincidence? Because if it isn’t it would mean that Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania are all Sarmatian territory names!
In any case, if Aryans really existed, there is no better candidate than Scythians. Here are the three very good reasons for that:
Scythians are the only nation for which we know for sure that stretched from Balkans to India. They in a way defined borders of what will later be a Persian empire, even though they are not to be confused with Persians, other ancestors of Iranian people. The ancient authors like Herodotus clearly mention wars between Persians and Scythians.
It is a fact that “Indo-European” haplogroup R1 developed in the Yamna culture of modern-day Ukraine. The spread of this haplogroup mimics the borders of Scythia.
As we see, the genetic map is a bit wider than Scythia. It is possible to spread it even further, all the way to Portugal. The tribes Seurbi and Albiones had dwelled there already in pre-Roman times. Note that Lusitania is labeled only as “Indo-European” (?) while all other regions have a distinct origin.
According to one of the two mainstream theories the language that we know today as “Indo-European” developed in the same Yamna culture and spread together with R1 haplogroup. (the opposing theory claims Anatolian origin)
As a bonus, the oldest Swastika in the world, a symbol considered to be of Aryan origin, comes from Mezine, Ukraine. It is a bird-shaped object with swastika motifs made from the tusk of a mammoth and dated to 10,000 BC! Swastikas are also present in Vinca script, at least as old as 6th millennia BC. The origins of this script are in the Balkans.
And finally, the word “Arian” may be related to the Orion constellation, but that is another story… a series of articles on that topic is coming soon.
Iran,irak are the words of ur dynasity of sumerians.these words mean settled area.Aryan is ur+n that means a member of /citizen of ur dynasity
Good read mate, thanks a lot.
Can you explain, maybe in another post, the relation between the Aryans and Orion constellation?
Hi and thank for your Articles, I have a question is there any evidence from Ancient world find except Darius the Great inscriptions (one from Apadana Palace and other Behistun) and Xerexs ,his son (Persepolis) who claim having Aryan Race ? and if no , why ?
There are many ancient writers mentioning Aryans, starting with Herodotus. Here are some examples: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/searchresults?q=arians
Consider also the existing contrast between Black Sea and White Sea (a common name for the Aegean in Macedonian language).
Good article overall, thank you!
You should consider Greek term/name for Caucasus mountains Kaf+kassos=Kassite+ore(“kov”=slav. “ore”) also greek name “kassiteros” for tin-ore it literally translate as “ore from kassi-land” and its related to the name of Kassiti(Kossiane/Kussites/Kushan-Tohars) ppl and hidronims/toponims Caspian sea, Greek. Kasiperos (Kashmir), river/town Kasbur( later Kabul), river/town Kabur/Assyria (Mittani/Hurriti),Kuššar(Hittiti mythical capital-place), Kasska tribe a northern Hittites neighboring invaders, Kush-Nubia, Hindu-Kush(Indian Caucasus). Etimology of word root “Kass” goes up to sanskrit kas/kašate = to shine and that’s how the tin-ore get their name in greek “kassiteros”.