Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Manu – The First Man

Posted by Fredsvenn on November 30, 2013

Man (word)

Manu – The First Man

Early man, tell me if you can,

When did you come to Earth,

Opened your eyes, And took your first steps,

What era was that, Unknown, Unnamed,

When the rising sun, Kissed your forehead,

When you were ignited, And you were born..

In these verses, Kalpana Singh Chitnis beautifully conveys the enigma that the First Human-Beings are. WHO indeed was the first man? HOW did he appear? WHERE did he come from? WHAT gave birth to him and WHEN was he born?

Manu – The First Man

*Mannaz is the conventional name of the m-rune ᛗ of the Elder Futhark. It is derived from the reconstructed Common Germanic word for “man”, *mannaz.

Younger Futhark ᛘ is maðr (“man”). It took up the shape of the algiz rune ᛉ, replacing Elder Futhark ᛗ.

As its sound value and form in the Elder Futhark indicate, it is derived from the letter M (?) in the Old Italic alphabets, ultimately from the Greek letter Mu (μ).

Mannus is a Germanic mythological figure attested by the 1st century AD Roman historian Tacitus in his work Germania. According to Tacitus, Mannus is the son of Tuisto and the progenitor of the three Germanic tribes Ingaevones, Herminones and Istvaeones.

“In ancient lays, their only type of historical tradition, they celebrate Tuisto, a god brought forth from the earth. They attribute to him a son, Mannus, the source and founder of their people, and to Mannus three sons, from whose names those nearest the Ocean are called Ingvaeones, those in the middle Herminones, and the rest Isvaeones. Some people, inasmuch as antiquity gives free rein to speculation, maintain that there were more sons born from the god and hence more tribal designations—Marsi, Gambrivii, Suebi, and Vandilii—and that those names are genuine and ancient.”

The name of this deity or mythological ancestor means human or man (i.e. Homo sapiens). It is thought to stem from the same root as the name of the figure Manu in Hindu tradition, who is held to be the progenitor of humanity, first holy king to rule this earth who saves mankind, the Vedas and the priesthood from the universal flood.

This deity shares his name with the 20th rune of the Elder Futhark and the 14th rune of the Younger Futhark. It also appears in the runic mnemonic the Abecedarium Nordmannicum, which states “Tiu, Birch, and Man in the Middle”. Each of the poems associates Man with the earth, soil (moldR, eorthan).

In the Eddas, Mannus seems to most closely resemble Heimdall (World’s Brightness). In the opening passage of the Voluspa, men are referred to as being Heimdall’s kin, while in the poem Rigsthula he is shown uniting each of the hierarchal ranks in siblinghood. Furthermore, while Mannus is remembered as being the father of both Odin and Frey, Heimdall is remembered as being one of the Aesir, but also to have qualities directly linked to the Vanir and to exist in a close paternal relationship to Freyja.

In Eddaic Creation, Mannus occupies the same stead as Borr, ie. a god (Tuisto, Buri), begets a god (Mannus, Borr), begets a trio of brother gods (Ing-Irmin-Istaev, Odin-Vili-Ve).

The names of the three sons of Mannus can be extrapolated as Ingui, Irmin, and Istaev aka Iscio. In the Eddas we find the name Yngvi applied to the god FreyR, while the same source lists Jormun (the Old Norse cognate of Irmin) as a byname of Odin’s. Widukind of Corvey further identifies the deity associated with the Saxon Irminsul as Hermin, that is, Hermes, but worshipped as Mars.

The term man (from Proto-Germanic *mannaz or *manwaz “man, person”) and words derived from it can designate any or even all of the human race regardless of their sex or age. The word developed into Old English man, mann meaning primarily “adult male human” but secondarily capable of designating a person of unspecified gender, “someone, one” or humanity at large (see also German Mann, Old Norse maðr, Gothic manna “man”). More restricted English terms for an adult male were wer (cognate: Latin vir; survives as the first element in “werewolf”) and guma (cognate: Latin homo; survives as the second element in “bridegroom”).

However, Man in traditional usage refers to the species, to humanity as a whole. Equating the term for the male with the whole species is commonly occurring in other languages (e.g. French l’Homme), particularly in traditional registers, but not uniformly even within language groups. For example, the German equivalent of “Man” is “Mensch” which is male grammatically (itself a possible expression of the tradition as this is an exception to normal morphology which would have Mensch neuter) but refers to a general person not a male one. The usage persists in all registers of English although it has an old-fashioned tone. Modern Standard Chinese has (man) and (woman) both diglyphs with but is analogous to the German Mensch, not English Man and the gender designations of individuals are both prefixed.

*Mannaz or *Manwaz is also the Proto-Germanic reconstructed name of the m-rune ᛗ. It is derived from a Proto-Indo-European root *man- (see Sanskrit/Avestan manu-, Slavic mǫž “man, male”). In Hindu mythology, Manu is a title accorded the progenitor of humankind. The Slavic forms (Russian muzh “man, male” etc.) are derived from a suffixed stem *man-gyo-. *Manus in Indo-European mythology was the first man, see Mannus, Manu (Hinduism)

The Mannaeans (country name usually Mannea; Akkadian: Mannai, possibly Biblical Minni, ) were an ancient people who lived in the territory of present-day northwestern Iran south of lake Urmia, around the 10th to 7th centuries BC. At that time they were neighbors of the empires of Assyria and Urartu, as well as other small buffer states between the two, such as Musasir and Zikirta.

Their kingdom was situated east and south of the Lake Urmia, roughly centered around the Mahabad plain in this part of what’s today are named as “Azerbaijan region of Iran”. Excavations that began in 1956 succeeded in uncovering the fortified city of Hasanlu, once thought to be a potential Mannaean site. More recently, the site of Qalaichi (possibly ancient Izirtu/Zirta) has been linked to the Mannaeans based on a stela with this toponym found at the site.

After suffering several defeats at the hands of both Scythians and Assyrians, the remnants of the Mannaean populace were absorbed by an Iranian people known as the Matieni and the area became known as Matiene. It was then annexed by the Medes in about 609 BC.

According to the Encyclopædia Iranica: It is unlikely that there was any ethnolinguistic unity in Mannea. Like other peoples of the Iranian plateau, the Manneans were subjected to an ever increasing Iranian (i.e. Indo-European) penetration. Boehmer’s analysis of several anthroponyms and toponyms needs modification and augmentation. Melikishvili (1949, p. 60) tried to confine the Iranian presence in Mannea to its periphery, pointing out that both Daiukku (cf. Schmitt, 1973) and Bagdatti were active in the periphery of Mannea, but this is imprecise, in view of the fact that the names of two early Mannean rulers, viz. Udaki and Azā, are explicable in Old Iranian terms.

The Mannaean kingdom began to flourish around 850 BC. The Mannaeans were mainly a settled people, practicing irrigation and breeding cattle and horses. The capital was another fortified city, Izirtu (Zirta).

By the 820s BC they had expanded to become the first large state to occupy this region since the Gutians, later followed by the unrelated Iranian peoples, the Medes and the Persians. By this time they had a prominent aristocracy as a ruling class, who somewhat limited the power of the king.

Beginning around 800 BC, the region became contested ground between Urartu, who built several forts on the territory of Mannea, and Assyria. During open conflict between the two, ca. 750-730 BC, Mannea seized the opportunity to enlarge its holdings. The Mannaean kingdom reached the pinnacle of its power during the reign of Iranzu (ca. 725-720 BC).

In 716 BC, king Sargon II of Assyria moved against Mannea, where the ruler Aza, son of Iranzu, had been deposed by Ullusunu with the help of the Urartians. Sargon took Izirtu, and stationed troops in Parsua (Parsua was distinct from Parsumash located further southeast in what is today known as Fars province in Iran.). The Assyrians thereafter used the area to breed, train and trade horses.

It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî. There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources. The earliest is from an inscription which mentions Armânum together with Ibla (Ebla) as territories conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad in ca. 2250 BC identified with an Akkadian colony in the Diarbekr region.

Another mention by pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt in the 33rd year of his reign (1446 BC) as the people of Ermenen, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”.

The name has also been claimed as a variant of Urmani (or Urmenu), attested epigraphically in an inscription of Menuas of Urartu.

However, many historians, such as Wayne Horowitz, identify Armanî which was conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad, with the Syrian city of Aleppo and not with the Armenian Highland.

Minni is also a Biblical name of the region, appearing in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 51:27) alongside Ararat and Ashchenaz, probably the same as the Minnai of Assyrian inscriptions, corresponding to the Mannai. Armenia is interpreted by some as ḪARMinni, that is, “the mountainous region of the Minni”.

The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar- meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc.

According to the Matsya Purana, sage Manu was the first man (and the first human) created by God. In the above Purana it was mentioned that Lord Brahma created, using his divine powers, the Goddess Shatrupa (as Saraswati was first called) and out of the union of Brahma and Shatrupa was born Manu.

Manu obtained through long penance his wife Ananti. The rest of the human race originated from Manu and Ananti. Details about the children of Manu and Ananti are found in the Bhagavata Purana. Manu is also considered to be the author of the ancient Sanskrit code of law, Manu Smriti, which was the summary of a discourse given by Manu to several rishis.

The English noun man and the sanskrit verb mun, meaning to think, are supposed to have evolved from the word Manu. Rigveda has a different account of the origin of the human race, which was born from the five children (four male, and one female) of Lord Prajapati, as Brahma was earlier called. Of the two versions, the Matsya Purana is more popular and complete.

Name of Armenia




The glazed bricks from Bukan (Iran): new insights into Mannaean art

The Finds of Hasanlu  The Art of the Manneans

A Mannaean fortress in north-western Iran

Pre-Achaemenid Iran: Aradabil and East and West Azarbaijan

The origin of the Germans

The Ancestor of the Germans – Herman/Armen

History of Man: The Germans, the Hindus and the Sumerians

Enki and the Making of Man


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