devaanaamp.? (was Re: Origin of Dravidian languages)

Erik Seldeslachts erik.seldeslachts at RUG.AC.BE
Wed Feb 11 09:34:27 UTC 1998

Jacob Baltuch wrote:
> Erik Seldeslachts wrote:
> >Deva in devAnAMpriya is used in the meaning of 'king'. In fact,
> >devAnAMpriya seems to be a translation of the Hellenistic title filos
> >tOn basileOn 'friend of the kings', applied to highly placed vassals.
> >This might have important implications for the interpretation of the
> >relationship between the Mauryas and the Seleucids: see SCHARFE,
> >Hartmut, The Maurya dynasty and the Seleucids, Zeitschrift fuer
> >vergleichende Sprachforschung auf dem Gebiete der indogermanischen
> >Sprachen 85 (1971): 211-225.
> Does Scharfe really suggest azoka may have considered himself "philos"
> of the Seleucid "basileus"? (i.e. a vassal).

He does suggest that Candragupta Maurya became a vassal of Seleukos,
considering also that the treaty concluded between them is typically
that between a sovereign and a vassal: land is conceded (in casu an
enormous territory west of the Indus) in exchange for military
assistance (in casu 5OO war elephants with their trainers). That the
treaty stayed in vigour in later times can be seen when in 206 BC
Antiochus III again received war elephants from SubhAgasena /
Personally I deem it possible that the Mauryas were both sovereign in
their own territory and vassals in the territory conceded to them by the

> Was "devaanaampiya" (either translated or transcribed, cf "piodassEs")
> used in azoka's Greek inscriptions?

I do not know of any such Greek translation or transcription, but in the
Aramaic inscriptions of Azoka at Taxila and Kandahar devAnAmpiya is
translated with mr'n (marAn), which had been the title of the Achaemenid
satraps of Egypt and Judea. This again strengthens the impression that
he was a vassal.


Erik Seldeslachts
Universiteit Gent

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