wanweipedia

Aryan

Aryan (/ˈɛəriən/;[1] Indo-Iranian *arya) is a term which was originally used as a self-designation by Indo-Iranian peoples in ancient times, in contrast to "non-Indo-Aryan" or "non-Iranian" peoples.[2][3][4] The idea of being an Aryan was religious, cultural and linguistic, not racial.[5][6][7] Although the root *h₂er(y)ós ('a member of one’s own group', in contrast to an outsider) is most likely of Proto-Indo-European (PIE) origin,[8] the use of Arya as an ethno-cultural self-designation is only attested to among Indo-Iranian peoples, and it is not known if PIE speakers had a term to designate themselves as a group.[8][4]

In Ancient India, the term ā́rya- was used by the Indo-Aryan speakers of the Vedic period as a religious label for themselves, as well as the name of the geographic region which was known as Āryāvarta, where the Indo-Aryan culture emerged.[9][10] Similarly, ancient Iranian peoples used the term airya- as an ethnic label for themselves and they also used it in reference to their mythical homeland, Airyanem Vaejah, which is mentioned in the Avesta scriptures.[3] The root also forms the etymological source of the place names Iran and Alania.[11][2]

In the 1850s the term "Aryan" was adopted as a racial category by French writer Arthur de Gobineau. Through the works of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Gobineau's ideas later influenced the Nazi racial ideology.[12] The atrocities committed in the name of this racial ideology have led academics to avoid the term "Aryan", which has been replaced in most cases by "Indo-Iranian", with only the South Asian branch still being called "Indo-Aryan."[3]

Etymology

While the original meaning of Indo-Iranian *arya as a self-designator is uncontested, the origin of the word (and thus also its original meaning) remains uncertain.[note 1] The term Arya was first rendered into a modern European language in 1771 as Aryens by French Indologist Abraham-Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron, who compared the Greek arioi with the Avestan airya and the country name Iran. A German translation of Anquetil-Duperron's work led to the introduction of the term Arier in 1776.[13] The Sanskrit ā́rya is rendered as 'noble' in William Jones' 1794 translation of the Indian Laws of Manu,[13] and the English Aryan (originally spelt Arian) appeared a few decades later, first as an adjective in 1839, then as a noun in 1851.[14] It is thought to be the self-designation used by all Indo-Iranian people in ancient times.[15][16]

Proto-Indo-European

Indo-Iranian ar- is a syllable ambiguous in origin, from Indo-European ar-, er-, or or-.[17] The Indo-Iranian root arya- is probably derived from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European (PIE) word *h₂erós or *h₂eryós, which means a 'member of one's own group', that is to say a 'peer' or a 'freeman'.[18][19][8] Proposed cognates include:

The original PIE meaning had a clear emphasis on the "in-group status" as distinguished from that of outsiders, particularly those captured and incorporated into the group as slaves. In Anatolia, the base word has come to emphasize personal relationship, whereas it took a more ethnic meaning in Indo-Iranian.[25] The word *h₂er(y)ós itself may have come from the PIE root *h₂er-, meaning 'to put together'.[25][26] Oswald Szemerényi has also argued that it could be a Near-Eastern loanword from the Ugaritic ary ('kinsmen').[19][27]

According to Bryant, no evidence for a Proto-Indo-European (as opposed to Indo-Iranian) ethnic name like "Aryan" has been found. The word was used by Herodotus in reference to the Iranian Medes whom he describes as the people who "were once universally known as Aryans".[28]

In Sanskrit literature

In Sanskrit and related Indo-Aryan languages, ārya means "one who does noble deeds; a noble one". Āryāvarta ("abode of the āryas") is a common name for the northern Indian subcontinent in Sanskrit literature. Manusmṛti (2.22) gives the name to "the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern Sea to the Western Sea".[29] The title ārya was used with various modifications throughout the Indian Subcontinent. Kharavela, the Emperor of Kalinga in second century BCE, is referred to as an ārya in the Hathigumpha inscriptions of the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The Gurjara-Pratihara rulers in the 10th century were titled "Maharajadhiraja of Āryāvarta".[30] Various Indian religions, chiefly Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, use the term ārya as an epithet of honour; a similar usage is found in the name of Arya Samaj.

The usage of self-designation Arya was not limited to north India. The south indian emperor of Chola kingdom Rajendra Chola I gives himself the title Aryaputra (son of arya).

In Ramayana and Mahabharata, ārya is used as an honorific for many characters including Hanuman.

Indo-European language throughout Europe and the Middle East.

In Avesta and Persian literature

Unlike the several meanings connected with ārya- in Old Indo-Aryan, the Old Persian term only has an ethnic meaning.[31][32] That is in contrast to Indo-Aryan usage, in which several secondary meanings evolved, the meaning of ar- as a self-identifier is preserved in Iranian usage, hence the word "Iran". The airya meant "Iranian", and anairya [17][33] meant "non-Iranian". Arya may also be found as an ethnonym in Iranian languages, e.g., Alan and Persian Iran and Ossetian Ir/Iron[33] The name is itself equivalent to Aryan, where Iran means "land of the Aryans,"[17][32][33][34][35][36][37][38] and has been in use since Sassanid times.[36][37]

The Avesta clearly uses airya/airyan as an ethnic name (Vd. 1; Yt. 13.143-44, etc.), where it appears in expressions such as airyāfi; daiŋˊhāvō "Iranian lands, peoples", airyō.šayanəm "land inhabited by Iranians", and airyanəm vaējō vaŋhuyāfi; dāityayāfi; "Iranian stretch of the good Dāityā", the river Oxus, the modern Āmū Daryā.[32] Old Persian sources also use this term for Iranians. Old Persian which is a testament to the antiquity of the Persian language and which is related to most of the languages/dialects spoken in Iran including modern Persian, the Kurdish languages, Balochi, and Gilaki makes it clear that Iranians referred to themselves as Arya.

The term "Airya/Airyan" appears in the royal Old Persian inscriptions in three different contexts:

  1. As the name of the language of the Old Persian version of the inscription of Darius I in Behistun
  2. As the ethnic background of Darius I in inscriptions at Naqsh-e-Rostam and Susa (Dna, Dse) and Xerxes I in the inscription from Persepolis (Xph)
  3. As the definition of the God of the Aryans, Ahura Mazdā, in the Elamite language version of the Behistun inscription.[17][32][33]

For example in the Dna and Dse Darius and Xerxes describe themselves as "An Achaemenian, A Persian son of a Persian and an Aryan, of Aryan stock".[39] Although Darius the Great called his language the Aryan language,[39] modern scholars refer to it as Old Persian[39] because it is the ancestor of modern Persian language.[40]

The Old Persian and Avestan evidence is confirmed by the Greek sources.[32] Herodotus in his Histories remarks about the Iranian Medes that: "These Medes were called anciently by all people Arians; " (7.62).[17][32][33] In Armenian sources, the Parthians, Medes and Persians are collectively referred to as Aryans.[41] Eudemus of Rhodes apud Damascius (Dubitationes et solutiones in Platonis Parmenidem 125 bis) refers to "the Magi and all those of Iranian (áreion) lineage"; Diodorus Siculus (1.94.2) considers Zoroaster (Zathraustēs) as one of the Arianoi.[32]

Strabo, in his Geography, mentions the unity of Medes, Persians, Bactrians and Sogdians:[35]

The name of Ariana is further extended to a part of Persia and of Media, as also to the Bactrians and Sogdians on the north; for these speak approximately the same language, with but slight variations.

— Geography, 15.8

The trilingual inscription erected by Shapur's command gives us a more clear description. The languages used are Parthian, Middle Persian and Greek. In Greek the inscription says: "ego ... tou Arianon ethnous despotes eimi" which translates to "I am the king of the Aryans". In the Middle Persian Shapour says: "I am the Lord of the EranShahr" and in Parthian he says: "I am the Lord of AryanShahr".[36][42]

The Bactrian language (a Middle Iranian language) inscription of Kanishka the Great, the founder of the Kushan Empire at Rabatak, which was discovered in 1993 in an unexcavated site in the Afghanistan province of Baghlan, clearly refers to this Eastern Iranian language as Arya.[43][44] In the post-Islamic era one can still see a clear usage of the term Aryan (Iran) in the work of the 10th-century historian Hamzah al-Isfahani. In his famous book "The History of Prophets and Kings", al-Isfahani writes, "Aryan which is also called Pars is in the middle of these countries and these six countries surround it because the South East is in the hands China, the North of the Turks, the middle South is India, the middle North is Rome, and the South West and the North West is the Sudan and Berber lands".[45] All this evidence shows that the name arya "Iranian" was a collective definition, denoting peoples (Geiger, pp. 167 f.; Schmitt, 1978, p. 31) who were aware of belonging to the one ethnic stock, speaking a common language, and having a religious tradition that centered on the cult of Ahura Mazdā.[32]

In Iranian languages, the original self-identifier lives on in ethnic names like "Alans", "Iron".[33] Similarly, The word Iran is the Persian word for land/place of the Aryan.[46]

In Latin literature

The word Arianus was used to designate Ariana,[47] the area comprising Afghanistan, Iran, North-western India and Pakistan.[48] In 1601, Philemon Holland used 'Arianes' in his translation of the Latin Arianus to designate the inhabitants of Ariana. This was the first use of the form Arian verbatim in the English language.[49][50][51] In 1844 James Cowles Prichard first designated both the Indians and the Iranians "Arians" under the false assumption that the Iranians as well as the Indians self-designated themselves Aria. The Iranians did use the form Airya as a designation for the "Aryans," but Prichard had mistaken Aria (deriving from OPer. Haravia) as a designation of the "Aryans" and associated the Aria with the place-name Ariana (Av. Airyana), the homeland of the Aryans.[52] The form Aria as a designation of the "Aryans" was, however, only preserved in the language of the Indo-Aryans.

Usage

South Asia

The approximate extent of Āryāvarta during the late Vedic period (ca. 1100–500 BCE). Aryavarta was limited to northwest India and the western Ganges plain, while Greater Magadha in the east was habitated by non-Vedic Indo-Aryans, who gave rise to Jainism and Buddhism.[53][54]

The Sanskrit term ā́rya- (आर्य)[4] was originally used to designate those who worshipped the Vedic deities (especially Indra) and followed Vedic culture (e.g. the performance of sacrifice, Yajna).[55][56] In early Vedic literature, the term Āryāvarta (आर्यावर्त, 'abode of the Aryans') was the name given to northern India, where the Indo-Aryan culture was based. The Manusmṛiti (2.22) locates Āryāvarta in "the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern (Bay of Bengal) to the Western Sea (Arabian Sea)".[9][57]

Vedic Sanskrit

The term Arya is used 36 times in 34 hymns in the Rigveda. While the word may ultimately derive from a tribal name, already in the Rigveda it appears as a religious distinction, separating those who sacrifice "properly" from those who do not belong to the historical Vedic religion, presaging the usage in later Hinduism where the term comes to denote religious righteousness or piety. In RV 9.63.5, ârya "noble, pious, righteous" is used as contrasting with árāvan "not liberal, envious, hostile":

índraṃ várdhanto aptúraḥ kṛṇvánto víśvam âryam apaghnánto árāvṇaḥ
"[the Soma-drops], performing every noble work, active, augmenting Indra's strength, driving away the godless ones." (trans. Griffith)

Sanskrit epics

Ārya and anārya are primarily used in the moral sense in the Hindu Epics. People are usually called Ārya or Anārya based on their behaviour. Ārya is typically one who follows the Dharma.[citation needed] For example, In Bhagavat Gita, when Arjuna declines to fight the war he is called out as anārya by Krishna.[a] According to the Mahabharata, a person's behaviour (not wealth or learning) determines if he can be called an Arya.[58][59]

Pan-religious use

The word ārya is often found in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain texts. In the Indian spiritual context, it can be applied to Rishis or to someone who has mastered the four noble truths and entered upon the spiritual path. According to Indian leader Jawaharlal Nehru, the religions of India may be called collectively ārya dharma, a term that includes the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent (e.g. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and possibly Sikhism).[60]

Swami Dayananda founded a Dharmic organisation Arya Samaj in 1875. Sri Aurobindo published a journal combining nationalism and spiritualism under the title Arya from 1914 to 1921.

The word ārya (Pāli: ariya), in the sense of "noble" or "exalted", is very frequently used in Buddhist texts to designate a spiritual warrior or hero, which use this term much more often than Hindu or Jain texts. Buddha's Dharma and Vinaya are the ariyassa dhammavinayo. The Four Noble Truths are called the catvāry āryasatyāni (Sanskrit) or cattāri ariyasaccāni (Pali). The Noble Eightfold Path is called the āryamārga (Sanskrit, also āryāṣṭāṅgikamārga) or ariyamagga (Pāli).

In Buddhist texts, the ārya pudgala (Pali: ariyapuggala, "noble person") are those who have the Buddhist śīla (Pāli sīla, meaning "virtue") and who have reached a certain level of spiritual advancement on the Buddhist path, mainly one of the four levels of awakening or in Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva level (bhumi). Those who despise Buddhism are often called "anāryas".

The word ārya is also often used in Jainism, in Jain texts such as the Pannavanasutta. In Avaśyakaniryukti, an early Jaina text, a character named Ārya Mangu is mentioned twice.[61]

Persia

Avestan

The term Arya is used in ancient Persian language texts, for example in the Behistun inscription from the 5th century BCE, in which the Persian kings Darius the Great and Xerxes are described as "Aryans of Aryan stock" (arya arya chiça). The inscription also refers to the deity Ahura Mazda as "the god of the Aryans", and to the ancient Persian language as "Aryan". In this sense the word seems to have referred to the elite culture of the ancient Iranians, including both linguistic, cultural and religious aspects. [28][62] The word also has a central place in the Zoroastrian religion in which the "Aryan expanse" (Airyana Vaejah) is described as the mythical homeland of the Iranian people's and as the center of the world.[63]

The Avestan term airya ('venerable'; Old Persian ariya) was likewise used as self-designations by ancient Iranian peoples, in contrast to the anairya ('non-Arya').[64][17] In the sacred Avesta scriptures, the root is also found place names like Airyanem Vaejah (the 'stretch' or 'plain of the Aryas'), the mythical homeland of the early Iranians, or airyō šayana, the 'dwelling of the Aryas'.[17][65][3] The self-identifier lives on in several ethnic names in later Iranian languages, such as Iranian, Alan or Iron, and in place names like Iran, the Persian word for the land of the Iranians, and Alania, the medieval kingdom of the Alans.[4][11][66]

One of the earliest epigraphically attested reference to the word arya occurs in the 6th-century BC Behistun inscription, which describes itself as having been composed "in arya [language or script]" (§ 70). As is also the case for all other Old Iranian language usage, the arya of the inscription does not signify anything but "Iranian".[67]

All these terms derive from the reconstructed proto-Indo-Iranian root *arya-,[4][18][19] alternatively spelled *aryo-.[64] It was probably the name used by the Indo-Iranians to designate themselves.[68][4][64] According to archeologist J. P. Mallory, "[a]s an ethnic designation, the word [Aryan] is most properly limited to the Indo-Iranians".[11] The root is also found in the Indo-Iranian god *Arya-man (Vedic Aryaman; Avestan Airyaman), the deity in charge of welfare and the community, connected to the building and maintenance of roads or pathways, but also with healing and the institution of marriage.[69][70] If the Irish hero Érimón and the Gaulish personal name Ariomanus are also cognate (i.e. linguistic siblings sharing a common origin), a deity of Proto-Indo-European origin named *Aryomen may be posited.[69][22][70]

Persian nationalism

The name for the Sassanian Empire in Middle Persian is Eran Shahr which means Aryan Empire.[71] In the aftermath of the Islamic conquest in Iran, racialist rhetoric became a literary idiom during the 7th century, i.e., when the Arabs became the primary "Other" – the Aniran – and the antithesis of everything Iranian (i.e. Aryan) and Zoroastrian. But "the antecedents of [present-day] Iranian ultra-nationalism can be traced back to the writings of late nineteenth-century figures such as Mirza Fatali Akhundov and Mirza Aqa Khan Kermani. Demonstrating affinity with Orientalist views of the supremacy of the Aryan peoples and the mediocrity of the Semitic peoples, Iranian nationalist discourse idealized pre-Islamic [Achaemenid and Sassanid] empires, whilst negating the 'Islamization' of Persia by Muslim forces."[72] In the 20th century, different aspects of this idealization of a distant past would be instrumentalized by both the Pahlavi monarchy (In 1967, Iran's Pahlavi dynasty [overthrown in the 1979 Iranian Revolution] added the title Āryāmehr Light of the Aryans to the other styles of the Iranian monarch, the Shah of Iran being already known at that time as the Shahanshah (King of Kings)), and by the Islamic republic that followed it; the Pahlavis used it as a foundation for anticlerical monarchism, and the clerics used it to exalt Iranian values vis-á-vis westernization.[73]

As a surname

The name Aryan (including derivatives such as Aaryan, Arya, Ariyan or Aria) is still used as a given name or surname in modern South Asia and Iran. There has also been a rise in names associated with Aryan in the West, which have been popularized due to pop culture.[74] According to the U.S. Social Security Administration in 2012, Arya was the fastest-rising girl's name in popularity in the U.S., jumping from 711th to 413th position.[75] The name entered the top 200 most commonly used names for baby girls born in England and Wales in 2017.[76]

Scholarship and the racist notion of "Aryan"

The "Aryan race"

Western notions of an "Aryan race" rose to prominence in late-19th- and early-20th-century racialism, and the notions of an "Aryan race" became closely linked to Nordicism, which posited Northern European racial superiority over all other peoples, an idea most notably embraced by Nazism.[note 3] By the end of World War II, the word 'Aryan' had become associated by many with the racial ideologies and atrocities committed by the Nazis. By then, the term "Indo-Iranian" and "Indo-European" had made most uses of the term "Aryan" superfluous in the eyes of a number of scholars, and "Aryan" now survives in most scholarly usage only in the term "Indo-Aryan" to indicate (speakers of) North Indian languages.

Aryan Indo-Europeans

The term "Aryan" came to be used as the term for the newly discovered Indo-European languages, and, by extension, the original speakers of those languages. The meaning of 'Aryan' that was adopted into the English language in the late 18th century was the one associated with the technical term used in comparative philology, which in turn had the same meaning as that evident in the very oldest Old Indo-Aryan usage, i.e. as a (self-) identifier of "(speakers of) Indo-Aryan languages".[51][note 4] This usage was simultaneously influenced by a word that appeared in classical sources (Latin and Greek Ἀριάνης Arianes, e.g. in Pliny 1.133 and Strabo 15.2.1–8), and recognized to be the same as that which appeared in living Iranian languages, where it was a (self-)identifier of the "(speakers of) Iranian languages". Accordingly, 'Aryan' came to refer to the languages of the Indo-Iranian language group, and by extension, native speakers of those languages.[80]

During the 19th century, it was proposed that "Aryan" was also the self-designation used by the Proto-Indo-Europeans, a hypothesis that has since been abandoned due to a lack of evidence outside the Indo-Iranian branch.[4] "Language" was considered a property of "ethnicity", and thus the speakers of the Indo-Iranian or Indo-European languages came to be called the "Aryan race", as contradistinguished from what came to be called the "Semitic race". Linguists still supposed that the age of a language determined its "superiority" (because it was assumed to have genealogical purity). Then, based on the assumption that Sanskrit was the oldest Indo-European language, and the (now known to be untenable)[81] position that Irish Éire was etymologically related to "Aryan", in 1837 Adolphe Pictet popularized the idea that the term "Aryan" could also be applied to the entire Indo-European language family as well. The groundwork for this thought had been laid by Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron. [82]

In particular, German scholar Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel published in 1819 the first theory linking the Indo-Iranian and the German languages under the Aryan group.[83][84] In 1830 Karl Otfried Müller used "Arier" in his publications.[85]

Aryan Nordic race

Madison Grant's idea of the distribution of "Nordic" (red), "Alpine" (green) and "Mediterranean" (yellow) races in Europe.

Drawing on misinterpreted references in the Rigveda by Western scholars in the 19th century, the term Aryan was adopted in the 1850s as a racial category by French writer Arthur de Gobineau, whose ideology was based on an idea of blond northern European "Aryans" who had migrated across the world and founded all major civilizations, before being diluted through racial mixing with local populations. De Gobineau supposed that "Aryan" corresponded to the suggested prehistoric Indo-European culture (1853–1855, Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races). Further, de Gobineau believed that there were three basic races – white, yellow and black – and that everything else was caused by racial mixing, which he believed was the cause of chaos. The "master race", according to de Gobineau, were the Northern European "Aryans", who had remained "racially pure". Southern Europeans (including Spaniards and Southern Frenchmen), Eastern Europeans, North Africans, Middle Easterners, Iranians, Central Asians and Indians he considered to be racially mixed, and thus less than ideal.

By the 1880s, a number of linguists and anthropologists argued that the "Aryans" themselves had originated somewhere in northern Europe. A specific region began to crystallize when the linguist Karl Penka (Die Herkunft der Arier. Neue Beiträge zur historischen Anthropologie der europäischen Völker, 1886) popularized the idea that the "Aryans" had emerged in Scandinavia and could be identified by the distinctive Nordic characteristics of blond hair and blue eyes. The distinguished biologist Thomas Henry Huxley agreed with him, coining the term "Xanthochroi" to refer to fair-skinned Europeans (as opposed to darker Mediterranean peoples, who Huxley called "Melanochroi").[86]

This "Nordic race" theory gained traction following the publication of Charles Morris's The Aryan Race (1888), which touches racist ideology. A similar rationale was followed by Georges Vacher de Lapouge in his book L'Aryen et son rôle social (1899, "The Aryan and his Social Role").

British Raj

In India, the British colonial government had followed de Gobineau's arguments along another line, and had fostered the idea of a superior "Aryan race" that co-opted the Indian caste system in favor of imperial interests.[87][88] In its fully developed form, the British-mediated interpretation foresaw a segregation of Aryan and non-Aryan along the lines of caste, with the upper castes being "Aryan" and the lower ones being "non-Aryan". The European developments not only allowed the British to identify themselves as high-caste, but also allowed the Brahmins to view themselves as on-par with the British. Further, it provoked the reinterpretation of Indian history in racialist and, in opposition, Indian Nationalist terms.[87][88]

Aryanism, Nazism and white supremacy

An intertitle from the silent film blockbuster The Birth of a Nation (1915). "Aryan birthright" is here "white birthright", the "defense" of which unites "whites" in the Northern and Southern U.S. against "coloreds". In another film of the same year, The Aryan, William S. Hart's "Aryan" identity is defined in distinction from other peoples.

Through the works of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Gobineau's ideas influenced the Nazi racial ideology, which saw the "Aryan race" as innately superior to other putative racial groups.[12] The Nazi official Alfred Rosenberg argued for a new "religion of the blood" based on the supposed innate promptings of the Nordic soul to defend its "noble" character against racial and cultural degeneration. Rosenberg believed the Nordic race to be descended from Proto-Aryans, an hypothetical prehistoric people who dwelt on the North German Plain and who had ultimately originated from the lost continent of Atlantis.[note 5] Under Rosenberg, the theories of Arthur de Gobineau, Georges Vacher de Lapouge, Blavatsky, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Madison Grant, and those of Hitler,[89] all culminated in Nazi Germany's race policies and the "Aryanization" decrees of the 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s. In its "appalling medical model", the annihilation of the "racially inferior" Untermenschen was sanctified as the excision of a diseased organ in an otherwise healthy body,[90] which led to the Holocaust.

Arno Breker's sculpture Die Partei (The Party), depicting a Nazi-era ideal of the "Nordic Aryan" racial type.

According to Nazi racial theorists, the term "Aryans" (Arier) described the Germanic peoples,[91] and they considered the purest Aryans to be those that belonged to a "Nordic race" physical ideal, which they referred to as the "master race".[note 6] However, a satisfactory definition of "Aryan" remained problematic during Nazi Germany.[92] Although the physical ideal of Nazi racial theorists was typically the tall, blond haired and light-eyed Nordic individual, such theorists accepted the fact that a considerable variety of hair and eye colour existed within the racial categories they recognised. For example, Adolf Hitler and many Nazi officials had dark hair and were still considered members of the Aryan race under Nazi racial doctrine, because the determination of an individual's racial type depended on a preponderance of many characteristics in an individual rather than on just one defining feature.[93]

In September 1935, the Nazis passed the Nuremberg Laws. All Aryan Reich citizens were required to prove their Aryan ancestry; one way was to obtain an Ahnenpass ("ancestor pass") by providing proof through baptismal certificates that all four grandparents were of Aryan descent.[94] In December of the same year, the Nazis founded Lebensborn ("Fount of Life") to counteract the falling Aryan birth rates in Germany, and to promote Nazi eugenics.[95]

"Aryan invasion theory"

Translating the sacred Indian texts of the Rig Veda in the 1840s, German linguist Friedrich Max Muller found what he believed was evidence of an ancient invasion of India by Hindu Brahmins, a group which he called "the Arya." In his later works, Muller was careful to note that he thought that Aryan was a linguistic rather than a racial category. Nevertheless, scholars used Muller's invasion theory to propose their own visions of racial conquest through South Asia and the Indian Ocean. In 1885, the New Zealand polymath Edward Tregear argued that an "Aryan tidal-wave" had washed over India and continued to push south, through the islands of the East Indian archipelago, reaching the distant shores of New Zealand. Scholars such as John Batchelor, Armand de Quatrefages, and Daniel Brinton extended this invasion theory to the Philippines, Hawaii, and Japan, identifying indigenous peoples who they believed were the descendants of early Aryan conquerors.[96] With the discovery of the Indus Valley Civilisation, mid-20th century archeologist Mortimer Wheeler argued that the large urban civilisation had been destroyed by the Aryans.[97] This position was later discredited, with climate aridification becoming the likely cause of the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilisation.[98] The term "invasion", while it was once commonly used in regard to Indo-Aryan migration, is now usually used only by opponents of the Indo-Aryan migration theory.[99] The term "invasion" does not any longer reflect the scholarly understanding of the Indo-Aryan migrations,[99] and is now generally regarded as polemical, distracting and unscholarly.

In recent decades, the idea of an Aryan migration into India has been disputed mainly by Indian scholars, who claim various alternate Indigenous Aryans scenarios contrary to established Kurgan model. However, these alternate scenarios are rooted in traditional and religious views on Indian history and identity and are universally rejected in mainstream scholarship.[100][101][102][103][note 7] According to Michael Witzel, the "indigenous Aryans" position is not scholarship in the usual sense, but an "apologetic, ultimately religious undertaking":[106] A number of alternative theories have been proposed. Renfrew's Anatolian hypothesis suggests a much earlier date for the Indo-European languages, proposing an origin in Anatolia and an initial spread with the earliest farmers who migrated to Europe. It has been the only serious alternative for the steppe-theory, but suffers from a lack of explanatory power. The Anatolian hypothesis also led to some support for the Armenian hypothesis, which proposes that the Urheimat of the Indo-European language was south of the Caucasus. While the Armenian hypothesis has been criticized on archeological and chronological grounds, recent genetic research has led to a renewed interest. The Paleolithic Continuity Theory suggests an origin in the Paleolithic period, but has received very little interest in mainstream scholarship.

Present-day scholarly usage

In academic scholarship, the only surviving use of the word "Aryan" among many scholars is that of the term "Indo-Aryan", which indicates "(speakers of) languages descended from Prakrits". Older usage to mean "(speakers of) Indo-Iranian languages" has been superseded among some scholars by the term "Indo-Iranian"; however, "Aryan" is still used to mean "Indo-Iranian" by other scholars such as Josef Wiesehofer and Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza. The 19th-century meaning of "Aryan" as (native speakers of) Indo-European languages" is no longer used by most scholars, but has continued among some scholars such as Colin Renfrew, and among some authors writing for the popular mass market such as H.G. Wells and Poul Anderson.

By the end of World War II, the word "Aryan" among a number of people had lost its Romantic or idealist connotations and was associated by many with Nazi racism instead.

By then, the term "Indo-Iranian" and "Indo-European" had made most uses of the term "Aryan" superfluous in the eyes of a number of scholars, and "Aryan" now survives in most scholarly usage only in the term "Indo-Aryan" to indicate (speakers of) North Indian languages. It has been asserted by one scholar that Indo-Aryan and Aryan may not be equated and that such an equation is not supported by the historical evidence,[107] though this extreme viewpoint is not widespread.

The term "Aryan language family", while rarely used, may thus designate all Indo-Iranian languages, that is to say the Indo-Aryan (including Dardic), Iranian and Nuristani languages.[108] However, the atrocities committed in the name of the Aryanist racial ideology have led academics to avoid the use of "Aryan", which has been replaced in most cases by "Indo-Iranian", with only the South Asian branch still being called "Indo-Aryan" in scholarship.[3] The term "Iranian", which stems from Aryan, also continues to be used to refer to specific ethnolinguistic groups:

The use of the term to designate speakers of all Indo-European languages in scholarly usage is now regarded by some scholars as an "aberration to be avoided."[3] However, some authors writing for popular consumption have continued using the word "Aryan" for "all Indo-Europeans" in the tradition of H. G. Wells,[111][112] such as the science fiction author Poul Anderson,[113] and scientists writing for the popular media, such as Colin Renfrew.[114] Echoes of "the 19th century prejudice about 'northern' Aryans who were confronted on Indian soil with black barbarians [...] can still be heard in some modern studies."[107] In a socio-political context, the claim of a white, European Aryan race that includes only people of the Western and not the Eastern branch of the Indo-European peoples is entertained by certain circles, usually representing white nationalists who call for the halting of non-white immigration into Europe and limiting immigration into the United States.[citation needed] They[who?] argue that a large intrusion of immigrants can lead to ethnic conflicts such as the 2005 Cronulla riots in Australia and the 2005 civil unrest in France.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ There is no shortage of ideas, even in the present day. For a summary of the etymological problems involved, see Siegert 1941–1942.
  2. ^ Under the 1933 Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, a non-Aryan was defined as "an individual descended from a non-Aryan (in particular Jewish parents or grandparents)" (Campt 2004, p. 143).
  3. ^ The Nazis believed that the "Nordic peoples" (who were also referred to as the "Germanic peoples") represent an ideal and "pure race" that was the purest representation of the original racial stock of those who were then called the Proto-Aryans.[77] The Nazi Party declared that the "Nordics" were the true Aryans because they claimed that they were more "pure" (less racially mixed) than other people of what were then called the "Aryan people".[78] This "master race" ideal engendered both the "Aryanization" programs of Nazi Germany, in which the classification of people as "Aryan" and "non-Aryan" was most emphatically directed towards the exclusion of Jews.[79][note 2]
  4. ^ The context being religious, Max Müller understood this to especially mean "the worshipers of the gods of the Brahmans". If this is seen from the point of view of the religious poets of the RigVedic hymns, an 'Aryan' was then a person who held the same religious convictions as the poet himself. This idea can then also be found in Iranian texts.
  5. ^ Rosenberg, Alfred, "The Myth of the 20th Century". The term "Atlantis" is mentioned two times in the whole book, the term "Atlantis-hypothesis" is mentioned just once. Rosenberg (page 24): "It seems to be not completely impossible, that at parts where today the waves of the Atlantic ocean murmur and icebergs move along, once a blossoming land towered in the water, on which a creative race founded a great culture and sent its children as seafarers and warriors into the world; but if this Atlantis-hypothesis proves untenable, we still have to presume a prehistoric Nordic cultural center." Rosenberg (page 26): "The ridiculed hypothesis about a Nordic creative center, which we can call Atlantis – without meaning a sunken island – from where once waves of warriors migrated to all directions as first witnesses of Nordic longing for distant lands to conquer and create, today becomes probable." Original: Es erscheint als nicht ganz ausgeschlossen, dass an Stellen, über die heute die Wellen des Atlantischen Ozeans rauschen und riesige Eisgebirge herziehen, einst ein blühendes Festland aus den Fluten ragte, auf dem eine schöpferische Rasse große, weitausgreifende Kultur erzeugte und ihre Kinder als Seefahrer und Krieger hinaussandte in die Welt; aber selbst wenn sich diese Atlantishypothese als nicht haltbar erweisen sollte, wird ein nordisches vorgeschichtliches Kulturzentrum angenommen werden müssen. ... Und deshalb wird die alte verlachte Hypothese heute Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass von einem nordischen Mittelpunkt der Schöpfung, nennen wir ihn, ohne uns auf die Annahme eines versunkenen atlantischen Erdteils festzulegen, die Atlantis, einst Kriegerschwärme strahlenförmig ausgewandert sind als erste Zeugen des immer wieder sich erneut verkörpernden nordischen Fernwehs, um zu erobern, zu gestalten."
  6. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language states at the beginning of its definition, "[it] is one of the ironies of history that Aryan, a word nowadays referring to the blond-haired, blue-eyed physical ideal of Nazi Germany, originally referred to a people who looked vastly different. Its history starts with the ancient Indo-Iranians, peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. "[83]
  7. ^ No support in mainstream scholarship:
    • Romila Thapar (2006): "there is no scholar at this time seriously arguing for the indigenous origin of Aryans".[104]
    • Wendy Doniger (2017): "The opposing argument, that speakers of Indo-European languages were indigenous to the Indian subcontinent, is not supported by any reliable scholarship. It is now championed primarily by Hindu nationalists, whose religious sentiments have led them to regard the theory of Aryan migration with some asperity."[web 1]
    • Girish Shahane (September 14, 2019), in response to Narasimhan et al. (2019): "Hindutva activists, however, have kept the Aryan Invasion Theory alive, because it offers them the perfect strawman, 'an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument' ... The Out of India hypothesis is a desperate attempt to reconcile linguistic, archaeological and genetic evidence with Hindutva sentiment and nationalistic pride, but it cannot reverse time's arrow ... The evidence keeps crushing Hindutva ideas of history."[web 2]
    • Koenraad Elst (May 10, 2016): "Of course it is a fringe theory, at least internationally, where the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) is still the official paradigm. In India, though, it has the support of most archaeologists, who fail to find a trace of this Aryan influx and instead find cultural continuity."[105]
  1. ^ Wendy Doniger (2017), "Another Great Story"", review of Asko Parpola's The Roots of Hinduism; in: Inference, International Review of Science, Volume 3, Issue 2
  2. ^ Girish Shahane (September 14, 2019), Why Hindutva supporters love to hate the discredited Aryan Invasion Theory, Scroll.in
  1. ^ kutas tvā kaśmalamidaṁ viṣame samupasthitaṁ । anāryajuṣṭaṁ asvargyaṁ akīrtikaraṁ ॥(Bhagavat Gīta, Chapter 2, Verse 2)

References

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  3. ^ a b c d e f Witzel 2001
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Fortson, IV 2011, p. 209.
  5. ^ Anthony 2007, p. 11.
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  13. ^ a b Arvidsson 2006, p. 20.
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  26. ^ Duchesne-Guillemin 1979, p. 337: It thus seems that Ved. arya and Avest. airya are to be connected [...] with a Vedic homophone ari-, aryá- 'righteous, loyal, devout', and with Indo-Iranian *ara- 'fitting, proper'.
  27. ^ Arbeitman 1981, p. 930.
  28. ^ a b Briant 2002, p. 180.
  29. ^ The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 14, p. 2
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  34. ^ H.W. Bailey, "Arya" in Encyclopædia Iranica. Excerpt: "ARYA an ethnic epithet in the Achaemenid inscriptions and in the Zoroastrian Avestan tradition. [4] Also accessed online in May, 2010.
  35. ^ a b The "Aryan" Language, Gherardo Gnoli, Instituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente, Roma, 2002.
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  40. ^ Professor Gilbert Lazard: "The language known as New Persian, which usually is called at this period (early Islamic times) by the name of Dari or Parsi-Dari, can be classified linguistically as a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of Sassanian Iran, itself a continuation of Old Persian, the language of the Achaemenids. Unlike the other languages and dialects, ancient and modern, of the Iranian group such as Avestan, Parthian, Soghdian, Kurdish, Balochi, Pashto, etc., Old Middle and New Persian represent one and the same language at three states of its history. It had its origin in Fars (the true Persian country from the historical point of view) and is differentiated by dialectical features, still easily recognizable from the dialect prevailing in north-western and eastern Iran" in Lazard, Gilbert 1975, "The Rise of the New Persian Language" in Frye, R. N., The Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 4, pp. 595–632, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  41. ^ R.W. Thomson. History of Armenians by Moses Khorenat'si. Harvard University Press, 1978. Pg 118, pg 166
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  43. ^ N. Sims-Williams, "Further notes on the Bactrian inscription of Rabatak, with the Appendix on the name of Kujula Kadphises and VimTatku in Chinese". Proceedings of the Third European Conference of Iranian Studies (Cambridge, September 1995). Part 1: Old and Middle Iranian Studies, N. Sims-Williams, ed. Wiesbaden, pp 79–92
  44. ^ The "Aryan" Language, Gherardo Gnoli, Instituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente, Roma, 2002
  45. ^ Hamza Isfahani, Tarikh Payaambaraan o Shaahaan, translated by Jaf'ar Shu'ar, Tehran: Intishaaraat Amir Kabir, 1988.
  46. ^ Wiesehofer, Joseph Ancient Persia New York:1996 I.B. Tauris
  47. ^ The Annals and Magazine of Natural History: Including Zoology, Botany, and Geology. Taylor & Francis, Limited. 1881. p. 162.
  48. ^ Arora, Udai (2007). Udayana. Anamika Pub & Distributors. ISBN 9788179751688. whole of Ariana (North-western India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran)
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  56. ^ Encyclopaedic dictionary of Vedic terms, Volume 1 By Swami Parmeshwaranand, pages 120 to 128 [6]
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  58. ^ (Mbh: tasyam samsadi sarvasyam ksatttaram pujayamy aham/ vrttena hi bhavaty aryo na dhanena na vidyaya. 0050880521)
  59. ^ Deshpande/ Gomez in Bronkhorst & Deshpande 1999
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  67. ^ cf. Gershevitch, Ilya (1968). "Old Iranian Literature". Handbuch der Orientalistik, Literatur I. Leiden: Brill. pp. 1–31., p. 2.
  68. ^ Witzel 2000, p. 1.
  69. ^ a b Mallory & Adams 1997, p. 375.
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  74. ^ "Game of Thrones baby names on the march". EW.com. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  75. ^ "Game of Thrones baby names on the march". EW.com. Retrieved 2020-10-28. In America, “Arya” is the fastest-rising baby name for girls. According to a press release from the U.S. Social Security Administration, the name jumped from 711 in 2011 to 413 in 2012.
  76. ^ "Game of Thrones Arya among 200 most popular names". BBC News. 2017-09-20. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  77. ^ Widney, Joseph P. Race Life of the Aryan Peoples New York: Funk & Wagnalls. 1907 In Two Volumes: Volume One--The Old World Volume Two--The New World ISBN B000859S6O See Chapter II—"Original Homeland of the Aryan Peoples" Pages 9–25—the term "Proto-Aryan" is used to describe the people today called Proto-Indo-Europeans
  78. ^ Hitler, Adolf Mein Kampf 1925
  79. ^ Campt, Tina (2004), Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender, and Memory in the Third Reich, University of Michigan Press, p. 143
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  81. ^ Language History, Language Change, and Language Relationship by Hans Henrich Hock, Brian D. Joseph, 2009: "Aryan was extended to designate all Indo Europeans, under the false assumption that the Irish word Eire is cognate with ārya; and ill-founded theories about the racial identity of these Aryans... ", page 57 [7]
  82. ^ Zwischen Barbarenklischee und Germanenmythos: eine Analyse österreichischer ... by Elisabeth Monyk (2006), p. 31. [8]
  83. ^ a b Watkins, Calvert (2000), "Aryan", American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.), New York: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-82517-2, ...when Friedrich Schlegel, a German scholar who was an important early Indo-Europeanist, came up with a theory that linked the Indo-Iranian words with the German word Ehre, 'honor', and older Germanic names containing the element ario-, such as the Swiss [sic] warrior Ariovistus who was written about by Julius Caesar. Schlegel theorized that far from being just a designation of the Indo-Iranians, the word *arya- had in fact been what the Indo-Europeans called themselves, meaning [according to Schlegel] something like 'the honorable people.' (This theory has since been called into question.)
  84. ^ Schlegel, Friedrich. 1819. Review of J. G. Rhode, Über den Anfang unserer Geschichte und die letzte Revolution der Erde, Breslau, 1819. Jahrbücher der Literatur VIII: 413ff
  85. ^ "Müller, Karl Otfried: Handbuch der Archäologie der Kunst. Breslau, 1830".
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  90. ^ Glover, Jonathan (1998), "Eugenics: Some Lessons from the Nazi Experience", in Harris, John; Holm, Soren (eds.), The Future of Human Reproduction: Ethics, Choice, and Regulation, Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 57–65
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  93. ^ "The range of blond hair color in pure Nordic peoples runs from flaxen and red to shades of chestnut and brown... It must be clearly understood that blondness of hair and of eye is not a final test of Nordic race. The Nordics include all the blonds, and also those of darker hair or eye when possessed of a preponderance of other Nordic characters. In this sense the word "blond" means those lighter shades of hair or eye color in contrast to the very dark or black shades which are termed brunet. The meaning of "blond" as now used is therefore not limited to the lighter or flaxen shades as in colloquial speech. In England among Nordic populations there are large numbers of individuals with hazel brown eyes joined with the light brown or chestnut hair which is the typical hair shade of the English and Americans. This combination is also common in Holland and Westphalia and is frequently associated with a very fair skin. These men are all of "blond" aspect and constitution and consequently are to be classed as members of the Nordic race." Quoted in Grant, 1922, p. 26.
  94. ^ Ehrenreich, Eric (2007). The Nazi Ancestral Proof: Genealogy, Racial Science, and the Final Solution, p. 68
  95. ^ Bissell, Kate (13 June 2005). "Fountain of Life". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
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  97. ^ Gregory L. Possehl (2002), The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, Rowman Altamira, p. 238, ISBN 9780759101722
  98. ^ Malik, Nishant (2020). "Uncovering transitions in paleoclimate time series and the climate driven demise of an ancient civilization". Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science. Nishant Malik, Chaos (2020). 30 (8): 083108. Bibcode:2020Chaos..30h3108M. doi:10.1063/5.0012059. PMID 32872795.
  99. ^ a b Witzel 2005, p. 348.
  100. ^ Bryant, Edwin (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513777-9.
  101. ^ Bryant, Edwin; Patton, Laurie L. (2005). The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History. Routledge.
  102. ^ Singh 2008, p. 186.
  103. ^ Witzel 2001.
  104. ^ Thapar 2006.
  105. ^ Koenraad Elst (May 10, 2016), Koenraad Elst: "I am not aware of any governmental interest in correcting distorted history", Swarajya Magazine
  106. ^ Witzel 2001, p. 95.
  107. ^ a b Kuiper, B.F.J. (1991), Aryans in the Rigveda, Leiden Studies in Indo-European, Amsterdam: Rodopi, ISBN 90-5183-307-5
  108. ^ Edelman 1999, p. 221.
  109. ^ Bryant, Edwin; Patton, Laurie, eds. (2004-08-02). The Indo-Aryan Controversy. doi:10.4324/9780203641880. ISBN 9780203641880.
  110. ^ The Great Indian Corridor in the East. Mittal Publications. 2007. ISBN 978-81-8324-179-3.
  111. ^ Wells, H.G. The Outline of History New York:1920 Doubleday & Co. Chapter 19 The Aryan Speaking Peoples in Pre-Historic Times [Meaning the Proto-Indo-Europeans] Pages 271–285
  112. ^ H.G. Wells describes the origin of the Aryans (Proto-Indo Europeans):
  113. ^ See the Poul Anderson short stories in the 1964 collection Time and Stars and the Polesotechnic League stories featuring Nicholas van Rijn
  114. ^ Renfrew, Colin. (1989). The Origins of Indo-European Languages. /Scientific American/, 261(4), 82–90. In explaining the Anatolian hypothesis, the term "Aryan" is used to denote "all Indo-Europeans"

Bibliography

Further reading

  • "A word for Aryan originality". A. Kammpier.
  • Arvidsson, Stefan (2006), Aryan Idols: Indo-European Mythology as Ideology and Science, University of Chicago Press
  • Fussmann, G.; Francfort, H.P.; Kellens, J.; Tremblay, X. (2005), Aryas, Aryens et Iraniens en Asie Centrale, Institut Civilisation Indienne, ISBN 2-86803-072-6
  • Ivanov, Vyacheslav V.; Gamkrelidze, Thomas (1990), "The Early History of Indo-European Languages", Scientific American, 262 (3): 110–116, doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0390-110
  • Lincoln, Bruce (1999), Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship, University of Chicago Press
  • Morey, Peter; Tickell, Alex (2005). Alternative Indias: Writing, Nation and Communalism. Rodopi. ISBN 90-420-1927-1.
  • Poliakov, Leon (1996), The Aryan Myth: A History of Racist and Nationalistic Ideas in Europe, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, ISBN 0-7607-0034-6
  • Sugirtharajah, Sharada (2003). Imagining Hinduism: A Postcolonial Perspective. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-203-63411-0.
  • Tickell, A (2005), "The Discovery of Aryavarta: Hindu Nationalism and Early Indian Fiction in English", in Peter Morey; Alex Tickell (eds.), Alternative Indias: Writing, Nation and Communalism, pp. 25–53

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