Thursday, November 30, 2023

About the origins of Yervanduni (old Eruanduni, Greek Orontid) dinasty. Part II.

About the origins of Yervanduni (old Eruanduni, Greek Orontid) dinasty. Part II.

In the first part I presented arguments for the Eruanduni homeland near Musasir. In this part I will present additional lexical data that further supports that location. The purpose of this part is not the ethnic origin or etymologies but defining the location. Linguistics and possible genetics will be discussed in the third part.
The names discussed below are recorded by the Assyrian king Shamshi-Adad V who campaigned against the Nairi lands during his reign (824-811BC). It's important to understand that the term Nairi after the 850BC denotes a different region than it was in early Iron Age. (See the map) Initially it was denoting a region west of Van while later it was near Hubushkia north of Musasir and Parsua and west of lake Urmia. It was probably larger than it is shown on the map from Bryce encyclopedia. Given that in some cases Nairi Sea means the lake Urmia.
It's remarkable that Pliny the Elder mentions the Orontes tribe exactly in the same region. And apparently in Pliny's text there is a toponym that matchs a term in cuneiform text.
Artasirari - This name is believed to be related to Artašir. The cuneiform /s/ renders the /sh/. Various scholars suggested such a possibility. Artašir was the father of Orontes mentioned in Anabasis. His name is mentioned in Pergamon and Nemrut inscriptions. The name Artash-es is the shortened form derived from Artashir.
The extra syllable at the end is interpreted in different ways Zadok consider it an allusion to a sacred mountain Sirara. Another interesting name is the Artasari who was the king of Paddira a land between Nairi and Parsua.
Šumaya/ Šuma - This name is close to Sam-os (Armenian Sham) who was the son of Orontes who became an independent king at 330bc. He was founder of the city of Samosat, which bears his name. Samosat (modern Samsat) will become the capital of Commagene later.
Zarišu - This name seems to have the same root as Zariathr/Zariadres from which linguists derive the Zareh. Zareh is mentioned in Khorenatsi, a person with that name was the founder of the kingdom of Sophene and another was the father of Artashes I. The Zarišu can't be directly ancestral to Zariaθr unless the /š/ is the cuneiform way to render the voiceless dental fricative /θ/. Similar to Iskuza were /z/ renders the voiced dental fricative /ð/.
Arua - this name is the closest form to Aruand/Aruant (old form of Eruand) from all available names in the Assyrian cuneiforms. Assuming that they are related there are two options. One is that Arua became later Aruand with the addition of some particles. This can explain the name Eruaz also. But this option is less likely than the option when Arua is simply the short form of Aruant. But even if those two names are unrelated it's still remarkable because the root Arua is at the origin of the toponyms like Aruastan and Aruakan present in Armenian sources.
An attempt to find similar terms in more than 50 names related to Medes tribal federation resulted in a failure. There were some interesting names in Medes lands, but they didn't show any connection to the known Orontid dinasty.
Other interesting names found in that Nairi are:
Zabanu     - it can be compared to the name Zawan in Khorenatsi's list of patriarchs.
Šua          - written as šu-ú-a. It can be compared to Suë in Pliny the Elder. Which is an extra argument showing that the tribe Orontes mentioned in Pliny's text is located in the same region as the cuneiform Nairi.
Arima     - which is a land or tribe. According to Zadok the tribes is mentioned later also. Even in Achaemenid period.
Satiriaya   - although this is marked as a personal name in the text it looks like an ethnicon associated to the land Šatiru mentioned in the Urartian texts. Some scholars suggested that both terms in Urartian and Assyrian texts are related. And apparently, they denote a same region toward Musasir from Van.
In conclusion this onomastic data also supports the possible homeland of Eruanduni dinasty in the region which today correspond to Turkish-Iran border starting from Siahkuh mountain (ancient Zarasp) toward the Iraqi border. This conclusion does not mean that this people in cuneiform were directly ancestral to Eruanduni but it's rather pinpointing a region. As mentioned earlier there are no other place with such a concentration of relevant roots.

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