Studies in the History and Language of the Sarmatians
J. Harmatta


3. The Sarmatian Dialects of the North Pontic Region


The Old Iranian group of phonemes *-gr- developed also along two different lines. 1. -gr-, 2. -rg-.

Old Iranian *-gr- > -gr-.

'tribe beside the Maeotis' Strabo, XI 2, 11,  Appianus, Mithr. 88: < Old Iranian *agra- ~ Avestan
aγra- 'der erste, oberste'. Semantically, this tribal name corresponds exactly to the people's name  (Strabo XI 9, 3) < Old Iranian *parvya- 'der erste'.

Old Iranian *-gr- > -rg-.

Gorgippia, Latyshev, IOSPE IV, 435: see above: < Old Iranian *aspa-ugra-.

Panticapaeum, Latyshev, IOSPE IV, 366, Tanais, Latyshev, IOSPE II, 443: this name, hitherto unexplained, may be also regarded as an equivalent of Old Iranian *ugra- 'stark, kräftig'.

Olbia, Latyshev, IOSPE I, 64: after the preceding two names this one can be solved almost automatically.  < Old Iranian *ugra-,  ~ Avestan bāzu- 'Arm': thus the whole name corresponds to an Old Iranian compound *ugra-bāzu- 'strong-armed', i. e. a bahuvrīhi-type of compound.

Additional Notes

To p. 93. After examining the passage in App. Mithr. 88, it seems to me quite certain that the  cannot be identified with the  'a tribe of the Maiotai' in Strabo XL 2, 11. Accordingly, the interpretation of this name from Old Iranian *agra- does not encounter any difficulty.

To p. 93. The correct interpretation of the name  was already found by E. Benveniste: MSL 23 (1927) 133. Cf. also E. Benveniste: Études sur la langue ossète. 64, note 2.

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