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Old February 1st, 2013, 01:08 AM   #1

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Lightbulb Where do Armenians come from?


Recently some information was given by Midas regarding the origins of Armenians in this post: "http://www.historum.com/ancient-hist...ml#post1335769" and we discussed some linguistic evidence. In order not to derail that thread, I want you to share any reflections you have on that topic here. Linguistic and archaeological evidence are preferred. Also I do not believe there are Armenians in this forum so it is highly unlikely that things get ugly
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Old February 1st, 2013, 05:16 AM   #2

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I am curious to know.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 05:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazratemahmood View Post
Recently some information was given by Midas regarding the origins of Armenians in this post: "http://www.historum.com/ancient-hist...ml#post1335769" and we discussed some linguistic evidence. In order not to derail that thread, I want you to share any reflections you have on that topic here. Linguistic and archaeological evidence are preferred. Also I do not believe there are Armenians in this forum so it is highly unlikely that things get ugly

They are native to the tiny area that they live today.
After their national struggle against Persians,Russians and Turks,they managed to create this poor,small country.

Half of them make a living abroad.
To be honest,I don't think they deserve what they got.

And finally,every country should recognize the Armenian genocide.
It is equal to what happened to Jews.


Good luck to them.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 05:44 AM   #4

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sorry!

Last edited by hazratemahmood; February 1st, 2013 at 06:36 AM.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 05:47 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazratemahmood View Post
OK, but at the end they were able to retain the small poor land they have today. What makes you think they do not deserve that? The land is not even a third of what was originally settled by them.
I may be wrong but I think he was referring to the Armenian genocide not to their territory.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:07 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazratemahmood View Post
Recently some information was given by Midas regarding the origins of Armenians in this post: "http://www.historum.com/ancient-hist...ml#post1335769" and we discussed some linguistic evidence. In order not to derail that thread, I want you to share any reflections you have on that topic here. Linguistic and archaeological evidence are preferred. Also I do not believe there are Armenians in this forum so it is highly unlikely that things get ugly
Midas is imo the best poster we have currently on ancient history. I must say that his posts are as informative as they're interesting and easy to read.

However, I find it necessary to write summary about languages because of all those currently active discussions. Also it is necessary to write a word or two about roots of peoples and tribes and perhaps in correct general approach to answer on your original question.


Lingustic remnants are maybe the only certain evidence we have about early migrations of tribes, and the lines of those immigrations. By proper research of linguistic roots, scientists managed to correctly extract many languages which have been "dead" for thousands of years already. But, it is not easy to identify first places in which Indoeuropeans(IE in further text) lived in times before migrations. At that stage of development those tribes lived their half - nomadic life, and it means that even at that time they moved a lot. Furthermore, since some groups of tribes were migrating before others, we must assume that some tribes remained in their original territory. Therefore, the most probable is that there was serious of migrations which first began in Central Asia, in the zone north from Black Sea and Caucasus. Persians considered that there is their Ariana Vedjo( the land of Arians, what we call today Indo - Iranians).

Lingustic similarities shows us that IE core first split into two main branches and among those two there might be also other smaller and not that important branches, generally looking. In every sense, peoples of the first branch, showed tendency to move to the West, while members of other branch showed tendency to move East and Southeast(from Central Asia). Those two branches are called by experts centum and satem(by the way those branches pronounced number 100). But, since those two branches were spreading like waves, thus taking more and more space, and it is natural that even between those two branches, differences were, thanks to natural conditions more and more visible. It also means that in some regions, territories of those two branches overlapped. That it really happened we can see from remains of languages of western branch at the East(kusheian and agneian languages in Central Asia, and galatian in Anadolia). In any case, those are long lasting IE migrations which started when first metals appeared and ended at the end of medieval era. All those migrations were actually series of individual waves, so peoples from Asia arrived on new lands, or would move further from lands on which their ancestors came from Asia.

For "eastern" branch or group, we can say that was constituted by peoples which spoked "iranian" accents(old - iranian, median, scythic and middle - iranian), with all their sub - species and dialects, and languages of India.

Western group is constituted from neo - hettite, phrygian, greek, Illyrian, italian, celtic germanic and some other lingual species.

Two main groups of IE people certainly knew some mixed words, because their languages had same or similar words for metals(aes in latin, ayas on old indian, etc..), and that shows us that first migrations of people could not happen before discovery of metals.

(now I'm skipping parts about movements of people)

Western Anatolia was under pressure of migrations from West and East even after arrival of Phrygians and Greeks which occupied certain parts of it. Those "migrations attempts" were felt at each part of Anatolia, but were especially strong at East where Armenians were coming and West where Cimerians were arriving.

Cimerians(which Assyrians called Gimirri, and Bible mentions them as Gomeri) were probably like Taurs, Indoeuropeans of arian race. Their ancient homeland was in Southern Russia(mentioned even in Odyssey XI, 4 and further), and their name lives even today in the name of peninsula ta the black sea - Crimea. But, with their cousins Scyths behind their backs, they threw on Asia Minor, and pillaged it few times in time from VIII to VI century B.C.

These Kimerian invasions, along with breakdown of Chaldus around lake Van, which fell under blows from Assyrians(640 B.C), were probably the cause which enabled Armenians to start their migrations. In documents of king Darius, these are mentioned as Ariminians. One legend mentioned by Herodotus says that Arminians are similar to Thracians and shows them as colonizators of Phrygians. They already in VII century took territory of Chaldus, which was later renamed into Armenia, but they haven't exterminated domestic population, but subjgated it and ruled like a ruling class in those lands. That it was like that, we see from armenian old texts, which came to us(unfortunately earliest of these texts are from IX century AD), so we don't know what kind of language exactly armenians used right after their migrations. But, even in those texts, we see two basic shapes of their language; 1. pre - arian(chaldic) 3. iranian(the latest probably incorporated later into armenian).

So to summarize, Armenians were Arrians, which lived in Central Asia. They were IE of course, and in VII century came on the land of Chaldians which was later renamed into Armenia. Such were their origins.

Last edited by Lucius Vorenus; February 1st, 2013 at 06:56 AM. Reason: Fact addition
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:34 AM   #7

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The Armenian people or the "Hayk" as they called themselves appear first in the land of Urartians, a people who spoke a Hurro-Urartian language. The Armenian language itself seems to be closely related to the Anatolian branch of the IE languages (suggesting an eastward migration through Anatolia), with evidence of strong influence from other neighboring languages (its satemization):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midas
From what I remember, a rough estimation is that between 2800 B.C and 2400 B.C those languages diverged from their common PIE dialect. Between 1200 B.C and 800 B.C there are waves of migrations from south east Albania, Macedon, Thessaly and Paeonia towards Asia Minor. We cannot tell who is proto-Phrygian and who is proto-Armenian (the material culture is one), but we know where those people came from. I would say that it is after those migration Armenian gets hit by satemization.

As for Anatolian languages, they are more archaic and they do not get affected by the Centum - Satem grouping. In other words, Luwian was not a satemizing factor for Armenian.
It seems that throughout the early years of the Urartian rule the language shift was already taking place. The prior language of the populace, Urartian (and Hurrian), is sometimes regarded as a language isolate; perhaps with affinities to some languages of the Caucasus.

In short people who may have contributed to the eventual Armenian identity contain these groups: Hurrians, Urartians, Luwians (or other Anatolian speakers), Proto-Armenians (Wikipedia says Mushki?), the Mittani and other native Caucasians.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 07:36 AM   #8

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Nice move to split that discussion to this thread.

I will get back later today with my view on the issue (Armenian origins).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Διογένης View Post
And finally,every country should recognize the Armenian genocide. It is equal to what happened to Jews.


Good luck to them.
Please, lets leave heated debates like this outside this thread. The question is their origins. Just that.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 09:43 AM   #9

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Ok, I have some wine in my hand with the blessings of Dionysos I will start.

Before saying anything on the issue we need to clarify some basic things. First of all when we speak of where Armenians come from in this thread, we refer to two different things:
a) Where did the speakers of Proto-Armenian come from.
b) The origins of the Armenian ethnos (which are multiple)
Now, like for every other language, I have read so many idiotic things, such as Ellis "The Armenian Origin of the Etruscans" and many other things, I didn't care to index in my brain.

I have an interest learn classical Armenian and in fact I have taken the first steps. It feels like a natural effect for someone studying the languages of the Anatolian plateau, especially if Phrygian is the main field of study. While studying Phrygian, I did notice two things about this language:
a) It is readable because its close relation to Greek
b) When something is uncertain and Greek doesn't help, you will find the answer in Armenian.
So, what do we know about Greek and Phrygian. We know they are centum lanugages. So how come, while being quite isolated (excluding Latin) from the rest of the centum IE languages, how come a Satem one provides a link?

According to many linguists, Proto-Armenian was a language spoken in the Balkans during at least the 3rd millenium B.C. According to S. Starostin (2004) it deverged from the Greco-Phrygian group around 2600 B.C. This gives a lot of space for separate development.

Let me enumerate some modern linguists of the last 30 years that have so far classified Greek and Armenian in a common group of Indo-European (more might exist):
Gamkrelidze & Ivanov (1984)
Vladimir Georgiev (1981)
Eric Hamp (1990)
D. Ringe, T. Warnow & A. Taylor (2002)
Sergei Starostin (2004)
So, shortly was does ancient authors tell us about them, that might support this view?
1) Armenus, the one who gave the name to the country joined the Argonauts to Kolchis. Armenus was from Armenikon in Thessaly, a town that still exists.

2) Armenians were colonists of the Phrygians (Herod. The Armenians, who are Phrygian colonists, were armed in the Phrygian fashion. Both nations were under the command of Artochmes, who was married to one of the daughters of Darius)
to be continued...
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Old February 1st, 2013, 09:46 AM   #10
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Hurrians=Armenians
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