Indo-Aryan words in Hurrian

Dr Y. Vassilkov iiasguest10 at RULLET.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Sun Nov 5 10:29:34 EST 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Witzel" <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU>
Subject: Re: Indo-Aryan words in Hurrian

>I always wondered why Mitra, Varuna, Indra and Nasatya (=Ashvin) were
>listed as no. 104-108 in the Hittite agreement!  Like an afterthought: "to
>be sure, lets include them as well!"

Probably, a typological parallel may be of use here. Among the earliest
sources for the study of Ancient Eastern Slavic mythology there are
agreements or treaties signed between military leaders of Ancient Rus' and
Byzantinian emperors. Scandinavian princes who established their control
over Eastern European trade-roots, more than once appeared at the walls of
Constantinopolis with military bands of  rather "international" nature. At
the end of their peace treaties with the Greek emperors, in the oath
formulae, there are as a rule dozens of theonyms. Some names are Germanic
(Scandinavian), some - Slavic, some seem to be Iranian, others are of
unknown origin. The basic idea is obvious - the "national" gods of all the
participants in the raid had to be mentioned in order to give nobody a
pretext for breaking  the treaty. Could not the appearance of OIA names
(among Hurrian ones) in Near Eastern treaties be due to similar reasons?

>>Are they known as oath gods
>>at this early time?

>Varuna is typical for oath and truth (Read RV 7.86-88)

And was not Mitra too connected with agreement, oath, ordalia and so on? I
think such function can be reconstructed for this god even in Indo-Iranian
period. Or not?


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