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#161133 - 07/20/06 08:20 PM We, meaning we here, Are the Honorable People.
themilum Offline

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 1529
Loc: Aladamnbama the most watered s...

ARYAN and Iran

ETYMOLOGY: From Sanskrit rya-, noble, Aryan.


WORD HISTORY:It is one of the ironies of history that Aryan, a word nowadays referring to the blond-haired, blue-eyed physical ideal of Nazi Germany, originally referred to a people who looked vastly different. Its history starts with the ancient Indo-Iranians, Indo-European peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran, Afghanistan, and India.

Their tribal self-designation was a word reconstructed as *arya– or *rya–. The first of these is the form found in Iranian, as ultimately in the name of Iran itself (from Middle Persian rn (ahr), “(Land) of the Iranians,” from the genitive plural of r, “Iranian”). The variant *rya– is found unchanged in Sanskrit, where it referred to the upper crust of ancient Indian society. These words became known to European scholars in the 18th century.

The shifting of meaning that eventually led to the present-day sense started in the 1830s, when Friedrich Schlegel, a German scholar who was an important early Indo-Europeanist, came up with a theory that linked the Indo-Iranian words with the German word Ehre, “honor,” and older Germanic names containing the element ario–, such as the Swiss warrior Ariovistus who was written about by Julius Caesar.

Schlegel theorized that far from being just a designation of the Indo-Iranians, the word *arya– had in fact been what the Indo-Europeans called themselves, meaning something like “the honorable people.” (This theory has since been called into question.) Thus “Aryan” came to be synonymous with “Indo-European,” and in this sense entered the general scholarly consciousness of the day.

Any of you Awaders differ with Schegel?

#161134 - 07/20/06 09:43 PM Re: tibi perdemus
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
Etymology has little to do with biology, other than sharing a morpheme. One's language has little to do with one's DNA. Schlegel's connection of Sanskrit arya with Greek aristos is not without its problems. It is usually regarded as being cognate with the root in the new name of Persia, Iran. Iran was chosen mainly because the Pesians wished to distance themselves from Arabs. The only folks I know of today who speak of Aryans are South Asians and white supremicists. So, not sure what this is all about, but since Freidrich Schlegel died in 1829, he must've been ouijaing from beyond the grave.
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

#161135 - 07/21/06 09:05 AM Re: tibi perdemus
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
ideas can become 'contaminated'.(and word and symbols can become associated with ideas, and suffer contamination too.

the broken cross was used by various cultures, with various meaning for milenium.

but since the 1930's, when it became know as a swaztica, it took on a new, and very specific meaning. (a very negitive one)

i recognize when i see ancient artifacts decorated with broken crosses/swazticas, that the design has nothing to do with nazi's--in this context, i see it as a neutral symbol
but i don't general find the same symbol to be neutral in a modern setting.-its its still being used in a negative context. (and while WWII predate my living memory, i know many WWII veterains, and grew up very conscous of the meaning of the symbol)

what ever its roots, aryan, too is a work that has a long history, but for the past 70 years, it has been tarnished.

will the word return to a more general meaning. i suppose, in time.
my other obsession

#161136 - 07/21/06 10:42 AM Re: tibi perdemus
newbee Offline

Registered: 07/18/06
Posts: 8
Well same symbols may hold different meaning in different cultures "Swastika" is a very holy symbol in Hinduism,and when one is talking about hinduism the idea of broken cross simply DONT stand as hindu culture and its symbols etc are all thousands of years old and christianity is only 2000 yrs old.........

I dont know much about Aryans but in india it is considered that they were the outsiders which settled at northern parts of subcontinent and created holy scriptures(The Vedas)........

#161137 - 07/21/06 11:44 AM Re: fylfot
zmjezhd Offline
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Loc: R'lyeh
Etymology of Sanskrit svastika from svasti 'well-being' (from su- 'good' (cf. Greek eu-) + asti 'it is' (cf. Latin est, German ist)) + -ka suffix. The adopted it from the Indians.

As for the Aryan Invasion Theory (as it is known): it still has its adherents and its detractors. The problem is that many Hindu nationalists find the theory of the invasion of India by Indo-European-speaking people distatseful. Most Indo-Europeanists (linguists and archaeologists) today think that the Indo-European languages came from somewhere in the Asian steppes.

There's a different set of words (Arian and Arianism) that has nothing to do with language and/or race. It was an early heresy which the Catholic Church combatted, and was named after the person, Arius, who invented it. Bishop Ulfilas, who translated some of the books of the New testament in Gothic, was supposed to have been an Arianist, like many of the Goths.

[Added third paragraph.]

Edited by zmjezhd (07/21/06 11:51 AM)

#161138 - 07/21/06 12:21 PM Re: fylfot
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
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Loc: lower upstate New York
Fascinating stuff, Nuncle, thanks!!


#161139 - 07/21/06 12:46 PM Re: fylfot
zmjezhd Offline
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Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh

A synonym for swastika. BTW, the Nazis called it a Hakenkreuz (literally, 'crook cross'). This was translated as svastika in English.
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

#161140 - 07/24/06 09:01 AM Re: fylfot
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Well, rats: maahey had a wonderful post about this, but of course it was on the old board and I can't link to it. The best I could do was this partial quote from the list:
Re: The swastika -- grounds for a lawsuit Miscellany maahey 02/06/03 12:30 PM
I must disagree TEd. There is nothing like an Aryan nation. There never has been in history even. The Third Reich interpretation was one put out by a bunch of impostors and poseurs. AS such, there cannot be affectations. The Swastika as used by the Nazis

When I tried going to her name and "Show all user's posts", I found it only gave me the last 200 posts--and of course the one I wanted was prior to that. [frustrated e]

#161141 - 07/24/06 09:03 PM Re: tibi perdemus
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta

Well same symbols may hold different meaning in different cultures

Indeed. I was somewhat put about when I first went to Singapore in the mid 1980s to find the red swastika association, which then was the equivalent of the red cross but based on traditional Chinese medicine.

There is also a Red Swastika school: http://www.redswastika.moe.edu.sg/


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