Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

The Aryans – Ar / As – Aya / Haushos – the dawn and the Golden Age of man

Posted by Fredsvenn on September 30, 2016

The Aryans

Arete, in its basic sense, means “excellence of any kind”. The term may also mean “moral virtue”. In its earliest appearance in Greek, this notion of excellence was ultimately bound up with the notion of the fulfillment of purpose or function: the act of living up to one’s full potential.

The term from Homeric times onwards is not gender specific. Homer applies the term of both the Greek and Trojan heroes as well as major female figures, such as Penelope, the wife of the Greek hero Odysseus.

In the Homeric poems, Arete is frequently associated with bravery, but more often with effectiveness. The man or woman of Arete is a person of the highest effectiveness; they use all their faculties—strength, bravery and wit—to achieve real results.

In the Homeric world, then, Arete involves all of the abilities and potentialities available to humans. The concept implies a human-centered universe in which human actions are of paramount importance; the world is a place of conflict and difficulty, and human value and meaning is measured against an individual effectiveness in the world.

In some contexts, Arete is explicitly linked with human knowledge, where the expressions “virtue is knowledge” and “Arete is knowledge” are used interchangeably. The highest human potential is knowledge and all other human abilities are derived from this central capacity.

If Arete is knowledge and study, the highest human knowledge is knowledge about knowledge itself; in this light, the theoretical study of human knowledge, which Aristotle called “contemplation,” is the highest human ability and happiness.”

Asha is the Avestan language term (corresponding to Vedic language ṛta) for a concept of cardinal importance to Zoroastrian theology and doctrine. Its Old Persian equivalent is arta-. In Middle Iranian languages the term appears as ard-.

In the moral sphere, aša/arta represents what has been called “the decisive confessional concept of Zoroastrianism.” The significance of the term is complex, with a highly nuanced range of meaning. It is commonly summarized in accord with its contextual implications of ‘truth’ and ‘right(eousness)’, ‘order’ and ‘right working’. The word is also the proper name of the divinity Asha, the Amesha Spenta that is the hypostasis or “genius” of “Truth” or “Righteousness”.

The opposite of Avestan aša is druj, “lie.” In Avestan, druj- has a secondary derivation, the adjective drəguuaṇt – later Avestan druuaṇt- (“partisan of deception, deceiver”).

The draugr or draug , literally “again-walker”, is an undead creature from Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology. The word draugr can be traced to a Proto-Indo European stem *dʰrowgʰos “phantom”, from *dʰrewgʰ- “deceive”. The Old Norse meaning of the word is a revenant.

Maat or Ma’at was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also personified as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, who set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation.

Her ideological counterpart was Isfet or Asfet (meaning “injustice”, “chaos”, or “violence”; as a verb, “to do evil”), an ancient Egyptian term from Egyptian mythology used in philosophy, which was built on a religious, social and political affected dualism.

The name Armenia enters English via Latin, from Ancient Greek. 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 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.

Armin is a given name or surname, and is an ancient Zoroastrian given name in Persian, meaning Guardian of Iran (Iran meaning Aryan land). It is the name of Armenia as a province of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. It is the ancient Greek given name, modern form of Ariobarzanes, meaning “exalting the Aryans”.

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”.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which existed in many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age.

The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi. The name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix. He suggests that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

Aratta, a fabulously wealthy place full of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and other precious materials, as well as the artisans to craft them, is a land that appears in Sumerian myths surrounding Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, two early and possibly mythical kings of Uruk also mentioned on the Sumerian king list.

Aratta is remote and difficult to reach. It is home to the goddess Inana, who transfers her allegiance from Aratta to Uruk, an ancient city of Sumer and later Babylonia.

Urartu, corresponding to the biblical Kingdom of Ararat or Kingdom of Van (Urartian: Biai, Biainili), was an Iron Age kingdom centred on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands.

The title Arya literally means in both the Indian Sanskrit, the old classic language of India, and in the Ancient Persian language “the exalted or noble one”. Ar, Arch-, also archi-, is also the word-forming element meaning “chief, principal; extreme, ultra; early, primitive.”

It is derived from the Sumerian Ar, Ara “praised, glorified, exalted, lofty, shining, blazed, bright, clear, polished”; which is also disclosed as the remote Sumerian root of our modern word “Aristocrat” or “noblest or most excellent governor”, derived through the Greek, a word which well defines the older ethnic meaning of the word “Aryan”.

“Gold” is cognate with similar words in many Germanic languages, deriving via Proto-Germanic *gulþą from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰelh₃- (“to shine, to gleam; to be yellow or green”). The symbol Au is from the Latin: aurum, the Latin word for “gold”. It is from Proto-Italic *auzom, which is cognate with Lithuanian áuksas, Old Lithuanian ausas, Old Prussian ausis, Tocharian Awäs, Tocharian B yasā.

The Proto-Indo-European ancestor of aurum was *h₂é-h₂us-o-, meaning “glow”. This word is derived from the same root (Proto-Indo-European *h₂u̯es- “to dawn”) as *h₂éu̯sōs, the ancestor of the Latin word Aurora, “dawn”. This etymological relationship is presumably behind the frequent claim in scientific publications that aurum meant “shining dawn”.

One of the most important goddesses of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is the personification of dawn as a beautiful young woman. Her name is reconstructed as Hausōs (PIE *h₂ewsṓs- or *h₂ausōs-, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets.

Derivatives of *h₂ewsṓs in the historical mythologies of Indo-European peoples include Indian Uṣas, Greek Ēōs, Latin Aurōra, and Baltic Aušra (“dawn”, c.f. Lithuanian Aušrinė). Germanic *Austrōn- is from an extended stem *h₂ews-tro-.

Ēostre or Ostara, is a Germanic goddess who, by way of the Germanic month bearing her name, is the namesake of the festival of Easter in some languages.

Aries (meaning “ram”) is the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30°). Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this sign mostly between March 21 and April 19 each year. Under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits Aries from April 15 to May 14.

The symbol of the ram is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece, the fleece of the gold-hair winged ram, which was held in Colchis. The fleece is a symbol of authority and kingship.

Aries is ruled by Mars, the Roman god of war who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus. The name of March, named for Mars, comes from Latin Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar.

Latin adjectives from the name of Mars are martius and martialis, from which derive English “martial” (as in “martial arts” or “martial law”) and personal names such as “Martin”. Maria is a female given name in many diverse cultures. The meaning of the Latin-rooted name is possibly deriving from mare (“sea” in Latin), maris (“male”), or the name of the god Mars.

The spear is the instrument of Mars in the same way that Jupiter wields the lightning bolt, Neptune the trident, and Saturn the scythe or sickle. *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.

Mannus, according to the Roman writer Tacitus, was a figure in the creation myths of the Germanic tribes. Tacitus is the only source of these myths. Tacitus wrote that Mannus was the son of Tuisto and the progenitor of the three Germanic tribes Ingaevones, Herminones and Istvaeones.

The names Mannus and Tuisto/Tuisco seem to have some relation to Proto-Germanic Mannaz, “man” and Tiwaz, “Tyr, the god”.

Týr is a Germanic god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. It is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age, as Odin shares his role as God of war.

Týr is a god of war and will take mead, meat and blood for sacrifice. If a warrior carved the rune Tîwaz on his weapon he would be dedicating it to Týr and strengthen the outcome of a battle to be in his favor.

Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is in fact “Tīw’s Day” (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.

There is sketchy evidence of a consort, in German named Zisa: Tacitus mentions one Germanic tribe who worshipped “Isis”, and Jacob Grimm pointed to Cisa/Zisa, the patroness of Augsburg, in this connection. The name Zisa could be derived from Ziu etymologically. This Zisa would be the female consort of Ziu, as Dione was of Zeus.

Scholarly theories have been proposed about Hel’s potential connections to figures appearing in the 11th-century Old English Gospel of Nicodemus and Old Norse Bartholomeus saga postola, that she may have been considered a goddess with potential Indo-European parallels in Bhavani, Kali, and Mahakali.

Kālī, also known as Kālikā, is a Hindu goddess.Kālī is the feminine form of kālam (“black, dark coloured”). Kālī also shares the meaning of “time”, “one who is time” or “the fullness of time” with the masculine noun “kāla”—and by extension, time as “that which brings all things to life or an end.” Other names include Kālarātri (“the night of death” or “the night of destruction”), and Kālikā (“the black one”). Kālī is also the feminine form of Kāla, an epithet of Shiva, and thus the consort of Shiva.

In the Skanda Purana, a Hindu religious text, Mars is known as the deity Mangala and was born from the sweat of Shiva. The planet is called Angaraka in Sanskrit, after the celibate god of war who possesses the signs of Aries and Scorpio, and teaches the occult sciences.

In Babylonian astronomy, the planet was named after Nergal, their deity of fire, war, and destruction, most likely due to the planet’s reddish appearance. Whether the Greeks equated Nergal with their god of war, Ares, or whether both drew from a more ancient association is unclear.

Nergal seems to be in part a solar deity, sometimes identified with Shamash, but only representative of a certain phase of the sun. Portrayed in hymns and myths as a god of war and pestilence, Nergal seems to represent the sun of noontime and of the summer solstice that brings destruction, high summer being the dead season in the Mesopotamian annual cycle. He has also been called “the king of sunset”.

Over time Nergal developed from a war god to a god of the underworld. In the mythology, this occurred when Enlil and Ninlil gave him the underworld. In this capacity he has associated with him a goddess Allatu or Ereshkigal, though at one time Allatu may have functioned as the sole mistress of Aralu, ruling in her own person. In some texts the god Ninazu is the son of Nergal and Allatu/Ereshkigal.

Scholars such as Carl Ferdinand Friedrich Lehmann-Haupt (1910) believed that the people of Urartu called themselves Khaldini after the god Ḫaldi. Hayk or Hayg, also known as Haik Nahapet (Hayk the “head of family” or patriarch) is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation.

Ḫaldi (Haldi.jpgd, Ḫaldi, also known as Khaldi or Hayk, was one of the three chief deities of Urartu (Ararat). His shrine was at Ardini (Muṣaṣir). The other two chief deities were Theispas of Kumenu, and Shivini of Tushpa.

Of all the gods of the Urartian pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to Khaldi. His wife was the goddess Arubani. He was portrayed as a man with or without wings, standing on a lion.

Khaldi was a warrior god whom the kings of Urartu would pray to for victories in battle. The temples dedicated to Khaldi were adorned with weapons, such as swords, spears, bows and arrows, and shields hung off the walls and were sometimes known as ‘the house of weapons’.

The name *h₂ewsṓs is derived from a root *h₂wes / *au̯es “to shine”, thus translating to “the shining one”. Both the English word east and the Latin auster “south” are from a root cognate adjective *aws-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum “gold”, from *awso-. The name for “spring season”, *wes-r- is also from the same root.

Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction, *h₂ewsṓs, a number of epithets of the dawn goddess may be reconstructed with some certainty. Among these is *wenos- (also an s-stem), whence Sanskrit vanas “loveliness; desire”, used of Uṣas in the Rigveda, and the Latin name Venus and the Norse Vanir. The name indicates that the goddess was imagined as a beautiful nubile woman, who also had aspects of a love goddess.

The love goddess aspect was separated from the personification of dawn in a number of traditions, including Roman Venus vs. Aurora, and Greek Aphrodite vs. Eos.

The abduction and imprisonment of the dawn goddess, and her liberation by a heroic god slaying the dragon who imprisons her, is a central myth of Indo-European religion, reflected in numerous traditions. Most notably, it is the central myth of the Rigveda, a collection of hymns surrounding the Soma rituals dedicated to Indra in the new year celebrations of the early Indo-Aryans.

The dawn goddess was also the goddess of spring, involved in the mythology of the Indo-European new year, where the dawn goddess is liberated from imprisonment by a god (reflected in the Rigveda as Indra, in Greek mythology as Dionysus and Cronus).

Ushas, Sanskrit for “dawn”, is a Vedic deity, and consequently a Hindu deity as well. She is often spoken of in the plural, “the Dawns.” She is portrayed as warding off evil spirits of the night, and as a beautifully adorned young woman riding in a golden chariot on her path across the sky. Due to her color she is often identified with the reddish cows, and both are released by Indra from the Vala cave at the beginning of time.

In one recent Hindu interpretation, Sri Aurobindo in his Secret of the Veda, described Ushas as “the medium of the awakening, the activity and the growth of the other gods; she is the first condition of the Vedic realisation. By her increasing illumination the whole nature of man is clarified; through her [mankind] arrives at the Truth, through her he enjoys [Truth’s] beatitude.”

The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology and legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five (or more) Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, Heroic, and then the present (Iron), which is a period of decline, sometimes followed by the Leaden Age. By definition, one is never in the Golden Age.

By extension “Golden Age” denotes a period of primordial peace, harmony, stability, and prosperity. During this age peace and harmony prevailed, people did not have to work to feed themselves, for the earth provided food in abundance. They lived to a very old age with a youthful appearance, eventually dying peacefully, with spirits living on as “guardians”.

Plato in Cratylus recounts the golden race of humans who came first. He clarifies that Hesiod did not mean literally made of gold, but good and noble.

There are analogous concepts in the religious and philosophical traditions of the South Asian subcontinent. Similar beliefs occur in the ancient Middle East and throughout the ancient world, as well.

In classical Greek mythology the Golden Age was presided over by the leading Titan Cronus, cognate with Kumarbi, the chief god of the Hurrians, who is the son of Anu (the sky), and father of the storm-god Teshub. He was identified by the Hurrians with Sumerian Enlil, and by the Ugaritians with El.

In some version of the myth Astraea also ruled. She lived with men until the end of the Silver Age, but in the Bronze Age, when men became violent and greedy, fled to the stars, where she appears as the constellation Virgo, holding the scales of Justice, or Libra.

According to legend, Astraea will one day come back to Earth, bringing with her the return of the utopian Golden Age of which she was the ambassador.

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