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"Aryan" (/ˈɛəriən, ˈær-/)[1] is a term meaning "noble", which was used as a self-designation by Indo-Iranian people. The word was used by the Indic people of the Vedic period
Vedic period
in India
India
as an ethnic label for themselves and to refer to the noble class as well as the geographic region known as Āryāvarta, where Indo- Aryan
Aryan
culture was based.[2][3] The closely related Iranian people
Iranian people
also used the term as an ethnic label for themselves in the Avesta
Avesta
scriptures, and the word forms the etymological source of the country name Iran.[4][5][6][7] It was believed in the 19th century that Aryan
Aryan
was also a self-designation used by all Proto-Indo-Europeans, a theory that has now been abandoned.[8] Scholars point out that, even in ancient times, the idea of being an "Aryan" was religious, cultural and linguistic, not racial.[9][10][11] Drawing on misinterpreted references in the Rig Veda
Rig Veda
by Western scholars in the 19th century, the term "Aryan" was adopted as a racial category through the works of Arthur de Gobineau, whose ideology of race was based on an idea of blonde northern European "Aryans" who had migrated across the world and founded all major civilizations, before being degraded through racial mixing with local populations. Through the works of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Gobineau's ideas later influenced the Nazi racial ideology which saw " Aryan
Aryan
peoples" as innately superior to other putative racial groups.[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". The term now only appears in the context of the "Indo- Aryan
Aryan
languages".[13]

Contents

1 Etymology

1.1 Origins

1.1.1 Sanskrit
Sanskrit
and Avestan 1.1.2 Proto-Indo-Iranian 1.1.3 Pre-Proto-Indo-Iranians

1.2 Usage

1.2.1 Scholarly usage 1.2.2 Contemporary usage

1.2.2.1 Indian and Iranian nationalism 1.2.2.2 Nazism
Nazism
and white supremacy

2 Usage and adaptation in other languages

2.1 In Indian/ Sanskrit
Sanskrit
literature 2.2 In Iranian literature 2.3 In Latin literature 2.4 In European languages

3 History

3.1 Before the 19th century

3.1.1 Avestan 3.1.2 Vedic Sanskrit 3.1.3 Sanskrit
Sanskrit
epics

3.1.3.1 Ramayana 3.1.3.2 Mahabharata

3.1.4 Religious use

3.1.4.1 Hinduism 3.1.4.2 Buddhism 3.1.4.3 Jainism

3.2 19th century

3.2.1 Theories of Aryan
Aryan
invasion

3.3 20th century

4 See also 5 Notes 6 References

6.1 Bibliography

Etymology[edit] The English word "Aryan" is borrowed from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
word ārya,[8] आर्य, meaning "noble" or "noble one".[5][7][14] It was introduced into English with the new spelling by William Jones in the 18th century.[5] Origins[edit]

The earliest epigraphically attested reference to the word arya occurs in the 6th-century BC Behistun
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".[15]

Philologist J.P. Mallory argues that "As an ethnic designation, the word [Aryan] is most properly limited to the Indo-Iranians, and most justly to the latter where it still gives its name to the country Iran.[4] Sanskrit
Sanskrit
and Avestan[edit] In early Vedic literature, the term Āryāvarta
Āryāvarta
(Sanskrit: आर्यावर्त, abode of the Aryans) was the name given to northern India, where the Indo- Aryan
Aryan
culture was based. The Manusmṛti
Manusmṛti
(2.22) gives the name Āryāvarta
Āryāvarta
to "the tract between the Himalaya
Himalaya
and the Vindhya
Vindhya
ranges, from the Eastern (Bay of Bengal) to the Western Sea (Arabian Sea)".[2][16] Initially the term was used as a national name to designate those who worshipped the Vedic deities (especially Indra) and followed Vedic culture (e.g. performance of sacrifice, Yajna).[5][17] Proto-Indo-Iranian[edit] The Sanskrit
Sanskrit
term comes from proto-Indo-Iranian *arya-[8][note 1] [18][19] or *aryo-,[20][note 2] the name used by the Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranians
to designate themselves.[21][8][note 3][20] The Zend airya 'venerable' and Old Persian
Old Persian
ariya are also derivates of *aryo-,[20] and are also self-designations.[5][22][note 4] In Iranian languages, the original self-identifier lives on in ethnic names like "Alans" and "Iron".[24] Similarly, the name of Iran
Iran
is the Persian word for land/place of the Aryans.[25] Pre-Proto-Indo-Iranians[edit] The Proto-Indo-Iranian term is hypothesized to have proto-Indo-European origins,[18][19] while according to Szemerényi it is probably a Near-Eastern loanword from the Ugaritic ary, kinsmen.[26] It has been postulated the Proto-Indo-European root word is *haerós with the meanings "members of one's own (ethnic) group, peer, freeman" as well as the Indo-Iranian meaning of Aryan. Derived from it were words like

the Hittite prefix arā- meaning member of one's own group, peer, companion and friend; Old Irish aire, meaning "freeman" and "noble" Gaulish personal names with Ario- Avestan
Avestan
airya- meaning Aryan, Iranian in the larger sense Old Indic
Old Indic
ari- meaning attached to, faithful, devoted person and kinsman Old Indic
Old Indic
aryá- meaning kind, favourable, attached to and devoted Old Indic
Old Indic
árya- meaning Aryan, faithful to the Vedic religion.

The word *haerós itself is believed to have come from the root *haer- meaning "put together". The original meaning in Proto-Indo-European 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. While in Anatolia, the base word has come to emphasize personal relationship, in Indo-Iranian the word has taken a more ethnic meaning.[27] A review of numerous other ideas, and the various problems with each is given by Oswald Szemerényi.[19] Usage[edit] Scholarly usage[edit]

Proto-Indo-Europeans:[8] during the 19th century, it was proposed that "Aryan" was also the self-designation of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, a hypothesis which has been abandoned.[8] " Aryan
Aryan
language family": the Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
(including the Dardic), Iranian languages
Iranian languages
and Nuristani languages,[28] Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
specifically, also called Indic.[14][29]

Contemporary usage[edit] Indian and Iranian nationalism[edit] The term "Aryan" is used by Indian nationalists and Iranian nationalists to refer themselves.[30][31][vague][32] Nazism
Nazism
and white supremacy[edit] During the 19th century it was proposed that "Aryan" was also the self-designation of the Proto-Indo-Europeans.[8] Based on speculations that the Proto-Indo-European homeland was located in northern Europe, a 19th-century hypothesis which is now abandoned, the word developed a racialist meaning.[8] It has been used in Nazi racial theory to describe persons corresponding to the "Nordic" physical ideal of Nazi Germany (the "master race" ideology).[note 5] Usage and adaptation in other languages[edit] In Indian/ Sanskrit
Sanskrit
literature[edit] In Sanskrit
Sanskrit
and related Indic languages, ārya means "one who does noble deeds; a noble one". Āryāvarta
Āryāvarta
"abode of the āryas" is a common name for North India
India
in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
literature. Manusmṛti
Manusmṛti
(2.22) gives the name to "the tract between the Himalaya
Himalaya
and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern Sea to the Western Sea".[34] The title ārya was used with various modifications throughout the Indian Subcontinent. Kharavela, the Emperor of Kalinga of around 1 BCE, is referred to as an ārya in the Hathigumpha inscriptions of the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The Gurjara-Pratihara
Gurjara-Pratihara
rulers in the 10th century were titled "Maharajadhiraja of Āryāvarta".[35] Various Indian religions, chiefly Hinduism, Jainism
Jainism
and Buddhism, use the term ārya as an epithet of honour; a similar usage is found in the name of Arya Samaj. In Ramayana
Ramayana
and Mahabharata, ārya is used as an honorific for many characters including Hanuman.

Indo-European language throughout Europe and the Middle East 500 BCE

In Iranian literature[edit] Unlike the several meanings connected with ārya- in Old Indo-Aryan, the Old Persian
Old Persian
term only has an ethnic meaning.[36][37] That is in contrast to Indian 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 Iranian anairya [22][38] meant and means "non-Iranian". Arya may also be found as an ethnonym in Iranian languages, e.g., Alan and Persian Iran
Iran
and Ossetian Ir/Iron[38] The name is itself equivalent to Aryan, where Iran
Iran
means "land of the Aryans,"[22][37][38][39][40][41][42][43] and has been in use since Sassanid
Sassanid
times.[41][42] The Avesta
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.[37] Old Persian
Old Persian
sources also use this term for Iranians. Old Persian
Old Persian
which is a testament to the antiquity of the Persian language
Persian language
and which is related to most of the languages/dialects spoken in Iran
Iran
including modern Persian, the Kurdish languages, and Gilaki makes it clear that Iranians referred to themselves as Arya. The term "Airya/Airyan" appears in the royal Old Persian
Old Persian
inscriptions in three different contexts:

As the name of the language of the Old Persian
Old Persian
version of the inscription of Darius I
Darius I
in Behistun As the ethnic background of Darius I
Darius I
in inscriptions at Naqsh-e-Rostam and Susa
Susa
(Dna, Dse) and Xerxes I
Xerxes I
in the inscription from Persepolis (Xph) As the definition of the God of the Aryans, Ahura Mazdā, in the Elamite language
Elamite language
version of the Behistun
Behistun
inscription.[22][37][38]

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".[44] Although Darius the Great
Darius the Great
called his language the Aryan language,[44] modern scholars refer to it as Old Persian[44] because it is the ancestor of modern Persian language.[45] The Old Persian
Old Persian
and Avestan
Avestan
evidence is confirmed by the Greek sources.[37] Herodotus
Herodotus
in his Histories remarks about the Iranian Medes
Medes
that: "These Medes
Medes
were called anciently by all people Arians; " (7.62).[22][37][38] In Armenian sources, the Parthians, Medes
Medes
and Persians are collectively referred to as Aryans.[46] 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
Zoroaster
(Zathraustēs) as one of the Arianoi.[37] Strabo, in his Geography, mentions the unity of Medes, Persians, Bactrians
Bactrians
and Sogdians:[40]

The name of Ariana
Ariana
is further extended to a part of Persia
Persia
and of Media, as also to the Bactrians
Bactrians
and Sogdians
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
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
Middle Persian
Shapour says: "I am the Lord of the EranShahr" and in Parthian he says: "I am the Lord of AryanShahr".[41][47] The Bactrian language
Bactrian language
(a Middle Iranian language) inscription of Kanishka the Great, the founder of the Kushan Empire
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.[48][49] In the post-Islamic era one can still see a clear usage of the term Aryan
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
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
Sudan
and Berber lands".[50] 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.[37] In Iranian languages, the original self-identifier lives on in ethnic names like "Alans", "Iron".[38] Similarly, The word Iran
Iran
is the Persian word for land/place of the Aryan.[25] In Latin literature[edit] The word Arianus was used to designate Ariana,[51] the area comprising North-western India, Afghanistan, Iran
Iran
and Pakistan.[52] In 1601, Philemon Holland
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.[53][54][55] 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
Ariana
(Av. Airyana), the homeland of the Aryans.[56] The form Aria as a designation of the "Aryans" was, however, only preserved in the language of the Indo-Aryans. In European languages[edit] 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. In the 19th century, "language" was considered a property of "ethnicity", and thus the speakers of the Indo-Iranian or Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
came to be called the " Aryan
Aryan
race", as contradistinguished from what came to be called the "Semitic race". By the late 19th century, among some people, the notions of an "Aryan race" became closely linked to Nordicism, which posited Northern European racial superiority over all other peoples. 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.[57][note 6] 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. Western notions of an " Aryan
Aryan
race" rose to prominence in late-19th- and early-20th-century racialism, an idea most notably embraced by Nazism. 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.[58] 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
Aryan
people".[59] History[edit] Before the 19th century[edit] 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 7] Indo-Iranian ar- is a syllable ambiguous in origin, from Indo-European ar-, er-, or or-.[22] 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
Herodotus
in reference to the Iranian Medes
Medes
whom he describes as the people who "were once universally known as Aryans".[60] 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 Indic
Old Indic
usage, i.e. as a (self-) identifier of "(speakers of) North Indian languages".[55][note 8] 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
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.[61] Avestan[edit] The term Arya is used in ancient Persian texts, for example in the Behistun inscription
Behistun inscription
from the 5th century BCE, in which the Persian kings Darius the Great
Darius the Great
and Xerxes are described as "Aryans of Aryan stock" (arya arya chiça). The inscription also refers to the deity Ahura Mazda
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. [60][62] The word also has a central place in the Zoroastrian
Zoroastrian
religion in which the " Aryan
Aryan
expanse" (Airyana Vaejah) is described as the mythical homeland of the Iranian people's and as the center of the world.[63] Vedic Sanskrit[edit] The term Arya is used 36 times in 34 hymns in the Rigveda. According to Talageri (2000, The Rig Veda. A Historical Analysis) "the particular Vedic Aryans of the Rigveda
Rigveda
were one section among these Purus, who called themselves Bharatas." Thus it is possible, according to Talageri, that at one point Arya did refer to a specific tribe. While the word may ultimately derive from a tribal name, already in the Rigveda
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
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
Sanskrit
epics[edit] Arya and Anarya are primarily used in the moral sense in the Hindu Epics. People are usually called Arya or Anarya based on their behaviour. Arya is typically one who follows the Dharma.[citation needed] This is historically applicable for any person living anywhere in Bharata Varsha or vast India.[citation needed] Ramayana[edit] In the Ramayana, the term Arya can also apply to Raksasas or to Ravana. In several instances, the Vanaras and Raksasas called themselves Arya. The vanara's king Sugriva is called an Arya (Ram: 505102712) and he also speaks of his brother Bali as an Arya (Ram: 402402434). In another instance in the Ramayana, Ravana regards himself and his ministers as Aryas. A logical explanation is that Ravana and his ministers belonged to the highest varna (Ravana being a Brahmin), and Brahmins were generally considered "noble" of deed and hence called Arya (noble). Thus, while Ravana was considered Arya (and regarded himself as such), he was really an Arya because he was noble of deeds. So he is widely considered by Hindus as Arya (Noble Man).[citation needed] Mahabharata[edit] In the Mahabharata, the terms Arya or Anarya are often applied to people according to their behaviour. Dushasana, who tried to disrobe Draupadi
Draupadi
in the Kaurava
Kaurava
court, is called an "Anarya" (Mbh:0020600253). Vidura, the son of a Dasi born from Vyasa, was the only person in the assembly whose behaviour is called "Arya", because he was the only one who openly protested when Draupadi
Draupadi
was being disrobed by Dushasana. The Pandavas called themselves "Arya" in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
(0071670471) when they killed Drona
Drona
through deception. According to the Mahabharata, a person's behaviour (not wealth or learning) determines if he can be called an Arya.[64][65] Religious use[edit] 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 Nehru, the religions of India
India
may be called collectively ārya dharma, a term that includes the religions that originated in India
India
(e.g. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism
Jainism
and possibly Sikhism).[66] Hinduism[edit] "O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a Chandala, is situated on the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic literatures many, many times after taking bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Arya family" ( Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
3.33.7). "My dear Lord, one's occupational duty is instructed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā according to Your point of view, which never deviates from the highest goal of life. Those who follow their occupational duties under Your supervision, being equal to all living entities, moving and nonmoving, and not considering high and low, are called Āryans. Such Āryans worship You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead." ( Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
6.16.43). According to Swami Vivekananda, "A child materially born is not an Arya; the child born in spirituality is an Arya." He further elaborated, referring to the Manu Smriti: "Says our great law-giver, Manu, giving the definition of an Arya, 'He is the Arya, who is born through prayer.' Every child not born through prayer is illegitimate, according to the great law-giver: The child must be prayed for. Those children that come with curses, that slip into the world, just in a moment of inadvertence, because that could not be prevented – what can we expect of such progeny?..."(Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works vol.8) Swami Dayananda founded a Dharmic organisation Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj
in 1875. Sri Aurobindo published a journal combining nationalism and spiritualism under the title Arya from 1914 to 1921. Buddhism[edit] Main article: Arya (Buddhism) 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
Hindu
or Jain texts. Buddha's Dharma
Dharma
and Vinaya
Vinaya
are the ariyassa dhammavinayo. The Four Noble Truths
Four Noble Truths
are called the catvāry āryasatyāni (Sanskrit) or cattāri ariyasaccāni (Pali). The Noble Eightfold Path
Noble Eightfold Path
is called the āryamārga (Sanskrit, also āryāṣṭāṅgikamārga) or ariyamagga (Pāli). Buddhists themselves are called ariyapuggalas (Arya persons). In Buddhist texts, the āryas are those who have the Buddhist śīla ( Pāli
Pāli
sīla, meaning "virtue") and follow the Buddhist path. Those who despise Buddhism
Buddhism
are often called "anāryas". Jainism[edit] The word Arya is also often used in Jainism, in Jain texts such as the Pannavanasutta. 19th century[edit] In the 19th century, 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
Sanskrit
was the oldest Indo-European language, and the (now known to be untenable)[67] position that Irish Éire
Éire
was etymologically related to "Aryan", in 1837 Adolphe Pictet
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
Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron
[68] 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
Aryan
group.[33][69] In 1830 Karl Otfried Müller used "Arier" in his publications.[70] Theories of Aryan
Aryan
invasion[edit] Translating the sacred Indian texts of the Rig Veda
Rig Veda
in the 1840s, German linguist Friedrich Max Muller found what he believed to be evidence of an ancient invasion of India
India
by Hindu
Hindu
Brahmins, a group he described as "the Arya". Muller was careful to note in his later work that he thought Aryan
Aryan
was a linguistic category rather than a racial one. 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
Edward Tregear
argued that an " Aryan
Aryan
tidal-wave" had washed over India
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
Aryan
conquerors.[71] In the 1850s Arthur de Gobineau
Arthur 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 race miscegenation, which de Gobineau argued was the cause of chaos. The "master race", according to de Gobineau, were the Northern European "Aryans", who had remained "racially pure". Southern Europeans (to include Spaniards and Southern Frenchmen), Eastern Europeans, North Africans, Middle Easterners, Iranians, Central Asians, Indians, he all considered racially mixed, degenerated through the miscegenation, 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
Scandinavia
and could be identified by the distinctive Nordic characteristics of blond hair and blue eyes. The distinguished biologist Thomas Henry Huxley
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").[72]

Madison Grant's vision of the distribution of "Nordics" (red), "Alpines" (green) and "Mediterraneans" (yellow).

William Z. Ripley's map of the "cephalic index" in Europe, from The Races of Europe (1899).

This "Nordic race" theory gained traction following the publication of Charles Morris's The Aryan
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
The Aryan
and his Social Role"). To this idea of "races", Vacher de Lapouge espoused what he termed selectionism, and which had two aims: first, achieving the annihilation of trade unionists, considered "degenerate"; second, the prevention of labour dissatisfaction through the creation of "types" of man, each "designed" for one specific task (See the novel Brave New World for a fictional treatment of this idea). Meanwhile, in India, the British colonial government had followed de Gobineau's arguments along another line, and had fostered the idea of a superior " Aryan
Aryan
race" that co-opted the Indian caste system
Indian caste system
in favor of imperial interests.[73][74] In its fully developed form, the British-mediated interpretation foresaw a segregation of Aryan
Aryan
and non- Aryan
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 Brahmans 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,[73][74] and – in following a special interpretation of Max Müller's identification of "Aryan" as a national name – this gave rise recently among Hindu
Hindu
nationalists (the "Saffron Brigade") to the "indigenous Aryans" or so-called "Out of India" theory, disputed by many scholars in academia, which seeks an Indian origin of the Indo-European "Aryans". In The Secret Doctrine
The Secret Doctrine
(1888), Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
described the " Aryan
Aryan
root race" as the fifth of seven "Root races", dating their souls as having begun to incarnate about a million years ago in Atlantis. The Semites were a subdivision of the Aryan
Aryan
root race. "The occult doctrine admits of no such divisions as the Aryan
Aryan
and the Semite, ... The Semites, especially the Arabs, are later Aryans — degenerate in spirituality and perfected in materiality. To these belong all the Jews
Jews
and the Arabs." The Jews, according to Blavatsky, were a "tribe descended from the Tchandalas of India," as they were born of Abraham, which she believed to be a corruption of a word meaning "No Brahmin".[75] Other sources suggest the origin Avram or Aavram. The name for the Sassanian Empire
Sassanian Empire
in Middle Persian
Middle Persian
is Eran Shahr which means Aryan
Aryan
Empire.[76] 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 anaryas – 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
Mirza Fatali Akhundov
and Mirza Aqa Khan Kermani. Demonstrating affinity with Orientalist views of the supremacy of the Aryan
Aryan
peoples and the mediocrity of the Semitic peoples, Iranian nationalist discourse idealized pre-Islamic [ Achaemenid
Achaemenid
and Sassanid] empires, whilst negating the 'Islamization' of Persia
Persia
by Muslim forces."[77] 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
Shah
of Iran
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.[78] 20th century[edit]

An intertitle from the silent film blockbuster The Birth of a Nation (1915). " Aryan
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.

In the United States, the best-selling 1907 book Race Life of the Aryan
Aryan
Peoples by Joseph Pomeroy Widney
Joseph Pomeroy Widney
consolidated in the popular mind the idea that the word "Aryan" is the proper identification for "all Indo-Europeans", and that " Aryan
Aryan
Americans" of the " Aryan
Aryan
race" are destined to fulfill America's manifest destiny to form an American Empire.[79] Gordon Childe would later regret it, but the depiction of Aryans as possessors of a "superior language" became a matter of national pride in learned circles of Germany (portrayed against the background that World War I was lost because Germany had been betrayed from within by miscegenation and the "corruption" of socialist trade unionists and other "degenerates"). Alfred Rosenberg—one of the principal architects of Nazi ideological creed—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. Under Rosenberg, the theories of Arthur de Gobineau, Georges Vacher de Lapouge, Blavatsky, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Madison Grant, and those of Hitler,[80] all culminated in Nazi Germany's race policies and the "Aryanization" decrees of the 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s. In its "apalling medical model", the annihilation of the "racially inferior" Untermenschen was sanctified as the excision of a diseased organ in an otherwise healthy body,[81] which led to the Holocaust.

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
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
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
Aryan
and Aryan
Aryan
may not be equated and that such an equation is not supported by the historical evidence,[82] though this extreme viewpoint is not widespread. 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."[83] However, some authors writing for popular consumption have continued using the word "Aryan" for "all Indo-Europeans" in the tradition of H. G. Wells,[84][85] such as the science fiction author Poul Anderson,[86] and scientists writing for the popular media, such as Colin Renfrew.[87] Notions of the "Aryan race" as an elite group that is regarded as being superior to other races survive in some far-right European groups, such as Neo-Nazi parties, Russian ultra-nationalists, as well as in certain Iranian nationalist groups. 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."[82] In a socio-political context, the claim of a white, European Aryan race
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[88] who call for the halting of non-white immigration into Europe and limiting illegal immigration into the United States. They argue that a large intrusion of immigrants can lead to ethnic conflicts such as the 2005 Cronulla riots
2005 Cronulla riots
in Australia and the 2005 civil unrest in France. The invasion theory, has however been questioned by several scholars.[89] See also[edit]

Airyanem Vaejah Aryavarta Ariana Arya samaj Graeco-Aryan Mleccha

Notes[edit]

^ Fortson, IV: "The Sanskrit
Sanskrit
word ārya-, the source of the English word, was the self-designation of the Vedic Indic people and has a cognate in Iranian *arya, where it is also a self-designation.[8] ^ J. P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams: "Our ability to reconstruct a Proto Indo-Iranian intermediate between Proto-Indo-European on the one hand and Proto-Indic and Proto-Iranian is also supported by the self-designation, *aryo-."[20] ^ Both the Indic and Iranian terms descend from a form *ārya that was used by the Indo-Iranian tribes to refer to themselves. (It is also the source of the country-name Iran, from a phrase meaning 'kingdom of the Aryans'.)"[8] ^ Avestan
Avestan
airya may also be connected with Indo-Iranian *ara-.[23][a] ^ 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. "[33] ^ Under the 1933 Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, a non- Aryan
Aryan
was defined as "an individual descended from a non- Aryan
Aryan
(in particular Jewish parents or grandparents)" (Campt 2004, p. 143). ^ There is no shortage of ideas, even in the present day. For a summary of the etymological problems involved, see Siegert 1941–1942. ^ The context being religious, Max Müller
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.

^ Jacques Duchesne-Guillemin: "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'" [23]

References[edit]

^ "Aryan". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. ^ a b Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India
India
through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 70.  ^ Michael Cook (2014), Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in Comparative Perspective, Princeton University Press, p.68: " Aryavarta
Aryavarta
[...] is defined by Manu as extending from the great Himalayas
Himalayas
in the north to the Vindhyas
Vindhyas
of Central India
India
in the south and from the sea in the west to the sea in the east." ^ a b Mallory 1991, p. 125. ^ a b c d e Oxford English Dictionary: " Aryan
Aryan
from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Arya 'Noble'" ^ Encyclopædia Britannica: " ...the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
term arya ("noble" or "distinguished"), the linguistic root of the word (Aryan)..." "It is now used in linguistics only in the sense of the term Indo-Aryan languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family" [1] ^ a b Thomas R. Trautman (2004): " Aryan
Aryan
is from Arya a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
word"; page xxxii of Aryans And British India ^ a b c d e f g h i j Fortson, IV 2011, p. 209. ^ Anthony 2007, p. 11. ^ Gnoli, Gherardo (1996), "Iranian Identity ii. Pre-Islamic Period", Encyclopaedia Iranica, online edition, New York  ^ Reza Zia-Ebrahimi, Iranian Identity, the ' Aryan
Aryan
Race,' and Jake Gyllenhaal, PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), 6 August 2010. ^ Anthony 2007, pp. 9–11. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica: "It is now used in linguistics only in the sense of the term Indo- Aryan
Aryan
languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family" [2] ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica: "It is now used in linguistics only in the sense of the term Indo- Aryan
Aryan
languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family" [3] ^ cf. Gershevitch, Ilya (1968). "Old Iranian Literature". Handbuch der Orientalistik, Literatur I. Leiden: Brill. pp. 1–31. , p. 2. ^ Michael Cook (2014), Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in Comparative Perspective, Princeton University Press, p.68: " Aryavarta
Aryavarta
[...] is defined by Manu as extending from the Himalayas
Himalayas
in the north to the Vindhyas
Vindhyas
of Central India
India
in the south and from the sea in the west to the sea in the east." ^ Encyclopaedic dictionary of Vedic terms, Volume 1 By Swami Parmeshwaranand, pages 120 to 128 [4] ^ a b E. Laroche, Hommages à G. Dumézil, Brussels, 1960 ^ a b c Szemerényi, Oswald (1977), "Studies in the Kinship Terminology of the Indo-European Languages", Acta Iranica III.16, Leiden: Brill pp 125–146 ^ a b c d Mallory & Adams 1997, p. 304. ^ Witzel 2000, p. 1. ^ a b c d e f Bailey, Harold Walter (1989), "Arya", Encyclopædia Iranica, 2, New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul  ^ a b Duchesne-Guillemin 1979, p. 337. ^ Schmitt, Rüdiger (1989), "Aryan", Encyclopædia Iranica, 2, New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul  ^ a b Wiesehofer, Joseph Ancient Persia
Persia
New York:1996 I.B. Tauris ^ Arbeitman 1981, p. 930. ^ Mallory & Adams 1997, p. 213. ^ Edelman 1999, p. 221. ^ An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages by Philip Baldi, page 51: "The term Aryan
Aryan
used alone is often used to designate the Indic branch..." [5] ^ Edwin Francis Bryant; Laurie L. Patton. The Indo- Aryan
Aryan
Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History. psychology press. p. 408.  ^ Ansari, Ali M. Perceptions of Iran: History, Myths and Nationalism from Medieval Persia
Persia
to the Islamic Republic. I.B.Tauris. p. 130.  ^ http://www.davidmotadel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/MotadelAryans.pdf ^ 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.)  ^ The Sacred Books of the East, Volume 14, p. 2 ^ Wink, André (2002). Al-Hind: Early medieval India
India
and the expansion of Islam, 7th–11th centuries. BRILL. p. 284. ISBN 0391041738, ISBN 978-0-391-04173-8.  ^ G. Gnoli,"Iranic Identity as a Historical Problem: the Beginnings of a National Awareness under the Achaemenians", in The East and the Meaning of History. International Conference (23–27 November 1992), Roma, 1994, pp. 147–67. [6] ^ a b c d e f g h G. Gnoli, "IRANIAN IDENTITY ii. PRE-ISLAMIC PERIOD" in Encyclopædia Iranica. Online accessed in 2010 at [7] ^ a b c d e f R. Schmitt, "Aryans" in Encyclopædia Iranica: Excerpt:"The name "Aryan" (OInd. āˊrya-, Ir. *arya- [with short a-], in Old Pers. ariya-, Av. airiia-, etc.) is the self designation of the peoples of Ancient India
India
and Ancient Iran
Iran
who spoke Aryan
Aryan
languages, in contrast to the "non-Aryan" peoples of those "Aryan" countries (cf. OInd. an-āˊrya-, Av. an-airiia-, etc.), and lives on in ethnic names like Alan (Lat. Alani, NPers. Īrān, Oss. Ir and Iron). Also accessed online: [8] in May 2010 ^ H.W. Bailey, "Arya" in Encyclopædia Iranica. Excerpt: "ARYA an ethnic epithet in the Achaemenid
Achaemenid
inscriptions and in the Zoroastrian Avestan
Avestan
tradition. [9] Also accessed online in May, 2010. ^ a b The "Aryan" Language, Gherardo Gnoli, Instituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente, Roma, 2002. ^ a b c D.N. Mackenzie, "ĒRĀN, ĒRĀNŠAHR" in Encyclopædia Iranica. Accessed here in 2010: [10] ^ a b Dalby, Andrew (2004), Dictionary of Languages, Bloomsbury, ISBN 0-7475-7683-1 ^ G. Gnoli, "ĒR, ĒR MAZDĒSN" in Encyclopædia Iranica ^ a b c R.G. Kent. Old Persian. Grammar, texts, lexicon. 2nd ed., New Haven, Conn. ^ 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. ^ R.W. Thomson. History of Armenians
Armenians
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