ABOUT THE ANCIENT CHARIOTS AND CHARIOTEERS OF THE ARMENIAN HIGHLAND – 2014-4

Summary

Sargis G. Petrosyan

Ancient vehicles of the Armenian Highland were massive four-wheel, with wheels without spokes. Hittite vehicles tiiarit =*diiaret were also of such kind. This word has probably not “Hurrian” but Indo-European-Armenian origin. The first component of the word corresponds to an arm. ti “big” (<I.-E. *dei- “shine”), and the second component – from ancient Arm. *aret (*a-ret<I.-E. *ret(h) “slide, spins, rotate”: cmp. ancient Hindu rոtha “vehicle, chariot”, Latin rota “wheel, circle” and so on. Chariots are known from the III millennium BC. by Sumerian images, but the center of the creation of wheeled vehicles were northern mountainous regions, with strong wood forests, where existed also metallurgy of bronze. These were the regions of the Armenian (Eastern) Taurus.

In the Hittite code of the laws of XIV century B.C. the tribes Manda and Sala were mentioned as the Hittite citizens, earlier exempt from duties. The representatives of these tribes are presented as fighters. The descendants of these tribes are the representatives of ancient Armenian naharar dynasty Mandakuni and Salkuni. Together they are also mentioned in the “History of Armenia” by Khorenatsi (II, 8), in ancient Armenian “Gahnamak” (47th and 48th) and “Zoranamak” (14 th and 15 th). So their possessions were in the neighborhood: nakharars (overlords) Mandakuni were the owners of gavar (province) Arshamunik, and Salkuni once lived in the south Arshamunik, in gavar (province) Taron. Hence, the ancestors of these nakharars (overlords) lived in the neighborhood in this area (in the north-west of Lake Van). Ethnonyms of the tribes manda and sala are of particular interest, because they etymologized from Indo-European-Armenian base. According to Khorenatsi, during the Trojan War Armenian commander Zarmayr together with the Ethiopian army went to the aid of the Trojans of Priam, though he was serving to the Assyrian king Tevtamos (I, 20; I, 32). In Greek sources of Khorenatsi originally it was not about the country of Assyria, but about the country Assuwa in the northwest of Asia Minor, as the name of Tevtamos is of Indo-European (Asia Minor, the Balkans) origin.

As for the “Ethiopian army” of Zarmayr, it is likely that there here too were originally mentioned the soldiers of Armenian origin. In our opinion, there was initially no ethnonym Ethiop, but the little-known archaic Armenian word * eti-iop “horse-drawn carriage”> “chariot”.

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