SV: method of dating RV, III

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU
Fri Oct 30 11:22:57 UTC 1998

On 30 Oct. Miguel Carrasquer Vidal wrote:

>The old notion that the Mitanni were a Hurrian tribe ruled by an Indo-Aryan
>aristocracy must be abandoned.  The fact that Hurrians and Indo-Iranians were
>at one time in contact, and that the Hurrians borrowed technical terms to do
>with horsemanship as well as the names of some Indo-Aryan gods
>(Indra, Mitra, Waruna) is undeniable, but the fact that these terms
>show up in texts from 1500 BC doesn't tell us anything about when
>exactly the borrowings took place.  "Mitanni Indo-Aryan" was clearly
>a dead language by then.

      It is not the first time that participants of the discussion refer to a
concept according to which Indo-Aryan words in Mitanni Hurrian were just
very old loan words from a forgotten language which had already been dead
for centuries, and that old notion that there were Aryans among Mitanni
ruling elite is wrong. Unfortunately I don't know the source of the concept
and how seriously it was argumented. All that I see is that it is, of course,
politically correct. But before we accept it, we have to explain away somehow
the fact that the "Mitanni Indo-Aryan" cannot be reduced just to several
numerals in Kikkuli's manual and several divine names in a treaty, and there
is also a number of personal names of Mittanian rulers and nobles which betray
their Indo-Aryan origin. Of special significance are such names as bArdazwa,
son of BiridAzwa, and Saumati - probably "son of Sumati" - the names
demonstrating the specifically Indo-Aryan way of forming patronimics to
personal names by lengthening a vowel of the first sillable of a composit
name (cf. Indian *vArddgAzva from *vRddhAzva, or *saumati from sumati).
One has also to explain the presense at that time in Mitanni and some
neighbouring countries of people with such names as bIrasEna, indrota,
artazzumara and so on.
        Can anybody tell me who is the author of the concept in question
and how did he/she deal with the names of this kind?
        Best regards,
                                Yaroslav Vassilkov

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