Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Every year in July Armenians are celebrating the Vardavar ( in many dialects Vardevor ) water festival.

 Every year in July Armenians are celebrating the Vardavar ( in many dialects Vardevor ) water festival. A similar festival was popular in ancient Iran known as Abrezagan or Abpashan with a root ab- meaning water. In Cappadocian Greek a word Bartubara ( βαρτουβάρα ) existed meaning a flower festival. The dictionary links it with Armenian Vardavar. The connection is mentioned by Acharyan as a loanword from Armenian.

The Cappadocian Greek language formed after the Alexander Macedonian conquest. It absorbed some substratic words from preceding language(s). One possibility that they got this word from pre-Greek Cappadocians. Another one is a direct loanword from Armenian. It must be noted that the etymology of Vardavar is debated. In one case it is linked to word vard meaning rose ( the main symbol of goddess Astlik to whom was dedicated the festival in pagan times ). While another etymology proposed by Kapantsyan is related to Hittite word watar ( water ). Hrach Martirosyan consider this latter unlikely. Whatever is the case it seems ancient Anatolians also had a similar festival and for some reasons Cappadocian Greek word for it is a cognate with Armenian.
It must be noted this is not the only parallel that I noted. Another word is the φός [pʰo.ς] meaning dust. Compare it to Armenian p'oshi meaning the same thing. Acharyan considers it as a loanword from Armenian.
Another word çακρό [çakro] meaning wheel has obvious Indo-Iranian origin. The remarkable thing it's more close to archaic Proto Indo-Iranian than to later Iranian chakhr. Though this can be the legacy of Cimmerians. In Armenian tradition Cappadocia was known Gamirk because Cimmerians settled there.
I am pretty sure there will be Luwian words also. In sum ancient Cappadocia almost certainly had multiple languages after the decline of Luwian and the apparition of Greek in 331 BC. What was the main language which is mentioned by Strabo and other Greek sources is hard to figure out.

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