The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia. Originating in eastern Turkey, the Euphrates flows through Syria and Iraq to join the Tigris in the Shatt al-Arab, which empties into the Persian Gulf; the Ancient Greek form Euphrátēs was adapted from Old Persian Ufrātu, itself from Elamite ú-ip-ra-tu-iš. The Elamite name is derived from a name spelt in cuneiform as, which read as Sumerian language is "Buranuna" and read as Akkadian language is "Purattu". In Akkadian the river was called Purattu, perpetuated in Semitic languages and in other nearby languages of the time; the Elamite and Sumerian forms are suggested to be from an unrecorded substrate language. Tamaz V. Gamkrelidze and Vyacheslav Ivanov suggest the Proto-Sumerian *burudu "copper" as an origin, with an explanation that Euphrates was the river by which the copper ore was transported in rafts, since Mesopotamia was the center of copper metallurgy during the period.
The earliest references to the Euphrates come from cuneiform texts found in Shuruppak and pre-Sargonic Nippur in southern Iraq and date to the mid-3rd millennium BCE. In these texts, written in Sumerian, the Euphrates is called Buranuna; the name could be written KIB. NUN. or dKIB. NUN, with the prefix "d" indicating that the river was a divinity. In Sumerian, the name of the city of Sippar in modern-day Iraq was written UD. KIB. NUN, indicating a strong relationship between the city and the river; the Euphrates is the longest river of Western Asia. It emerges from the confluence of the Kara Su or Western Euphrates and the Murat Su or Eastern Euphrates 10 kilometres upstream from the town of Keban in southeastern Turkey. Daoudy and Frenken put the length of the Euphrates from the source of the Murat River to the confluence with the Tigris at 3,000 kilometres, of which 1,230 kilometres is in Turkey, 710 kilometres in Syria and 1,060 kilometres in Iraq; the same figures are given by Mikhailova. The length of the Shatt al-Arab, which connects the Euphrates and the Tigris with the Persian Gulf, is given by various sources as 145–195 kilometres.
Both the Kara Su and the Murat Su rise northwest from Lake Van at elevations of 3,290 metres and 3,520 metres amsl, respectively. At the location of the Keban Dam, the two rivers, now combined into the Euphrates, have dropped to an elevation of 693 metres amsl. From Keban to the Syrian–Turkish border, the river drops another 368 metres over a distance of less than 600 kilometres. Once the Euphrates enters the Upper Mesopotamian plains, its grade drops significantly; the Euphrates receives most of its water in the form of rainfall and melting snow, resulting in peak volumes during the months April through May. Discharge in these two months accounts for 36 percent of the total annual discharge of the Euphrates, or 60–70 percent according to one source, while low runoff occurs in summer and autumn; the average natural annual flow of the Euphrates has been determined from early- and mid-twentieth century records as 20.9 cubic kilometres at Keban, 36.6 cubic kilometres at Hīt and 21.5 cubic kilometres at Hindiya.
However, these averages mask the high inter-annual variability in discharge. The discharge regime of the Euphrates has changed since the construction of the first dams in the 1970s. Data on Euphrates discharge collected after 1990 show the impact of the construction of the numerous dams in the Euphrates and of the increased withdrawal of water for irrigation. Average discharge at Hīt after 1990 has dropped to 356 cubic metres per second; the seasonal variability has changed. The pre-1990 peak volume recorded at Hīt was 7,510 cubic metres per second, while after 1990 it is only 2,514 cubic metres per second; the minimum volume at Hīt remained unchanged, rising from 55 cubic metres per second before 1990 to 58 cubic metres per second afterward. In Syria, three rivers add their water to the Euphrates; these rivers rise in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains along the Syro–Turkish border and add comparatively little water to the Euphrates. The Sajur is the smallest of these tributaries; the Balikh receives most of its water from a karstic spring near'Ayn al-'Arus and flows due south until it reaches the Euphrates at the city of Raqqa.
In terms of length
The Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia known as Bagratid Armenia, was an independent state established by Ashot I Bagratuni in the early 880s following nearly two centuries of foreign domination of Greater Armenia under Arab Umayyad and Abbasid rule. With the two contemporary powers in the region, the Abbasids and Byzantines, too preoccupied to concentrate their forces in subjugating the people of the region and the dissipation of several of the Armenian nakharar noble families, Ashot was able to assert himself as the leading figure of a movement to dislodge the Arabs from Armenia. Ashot's prestige rose as he was courted by both Byzantine and Arab leaders eager to maintain a buffer state near their frontiers; the Caliphate recognized Ashot as "prince of princes" in 862 and on, king in 884 or 885. The establishment of the Bagratuni kingdom led to the founding of several other Armenian principalities and kingdoms: Taron, Kars and Syunik. Unity among all these states was sometimes difficult to maintain while the Byzantines and Arabs lost no time in exploiting the kingdom's situation to their own gains.
Under the reign of Ashot III, Ani became the kingdom's capital and grew into a thriving economic and cultural center. The first half of the 11th century saw the decline and eventual collapse of the kingdom. With emperor Basil II's string of victories in annexing parts of southwestern Armenia, King Hovhannes-Smbat felt forced to cede his lands and in 1022 promised to "will" his kingdom to the Byzantines following his death. However, after Hovhannes-Smbat's death in 1041, his successor, Gagik II, refused to hand over Ani and continued resistance until 1045, when his kingdom, plagued with internal and external threats, was taken by Byzantine forces; the weakening of the Sassanian Empire during the 7th century led to the rise of another regional power, the Muslim Arabs. The Umayyad Arabs had conquered vast swaths of territory in the Middle East and, turning north, began to periodically launch raids into Armenia territory in 640. Theodore Rshtuni, the Armenian Curopalates, signed a peace treaty with the Caliphate although the continuing war with the Arabs and Byzantines soon lead to further destruction throughout Armenia.
In 661, Armenian leaders agreed to submit under Muslim rule while the latter conceded to recognize Grigor Mamikonian from the powerful Mamikonian nakharar family as ishkhan of Armenia. Known as "al-Arminiya" with its capital at Dvin, the province was headed by governor. However, Umayyad rule in Armenia grew in cruelty in the early 8th century. Revolts against the Arabs spread throughout Armenia until 705, when under the pretext of meeting for negotiations, the Arab ostikan of Nakhichevan massacred all of the Armenian nobility; the Arabs attempted to conciliate with the Armenians but the levying of higher taxes, impoverishment of the country due to a lack of regional trade, the Umayyads' preference of the Bagratuni family over the Mamikonians made this difficult to accomplish. Taking advantage of the overthrow of the Umayyads by the'Abbasids, a second rebellion was conceived although it too was met with failure because of the frictional relationship between the Bagratuni and Mamikonian families.
The rebellion's failure resulted in the near disintegration of the Mamikonian house which lost most of the land it controlled. A third and final rebellion, stemming from similar grievances as the second, was launched in 774 under the leadership of Mushegh Mamikonian and with the support of other nakharars; the Abbasid Arabs, marched into Armenia with an army of 30,000 men and decisively crushed the rebellion and its instigators at the battle of Bagrevand on April 24, 775, leaving a void for the sole intact family, the Bagratunis, to fill. The Bagratuni family had done its best to improve its relations with the Abbasid caliphs since they took power in 750; the Abbasids always treated the family's overtures with suspicion but by the early 770s, the Bagratunis had won them over and the relationship between the two drastically improved: the Bagratuni family members were soon viewed as leaders of the Armenians in the region. Following the end of the third rebellion, which the Bagratunis had wisely chosen not to participate in, the dispersal of several of the princely houses, the family was left without any formidable rivals.
Any immediate opportunities to take full control of the region was complicated by Arab immigration to Armenia and the caliph's appointment of emirs to rule in newly created administrative districts. But the number of Arabs residing in Armenia never grew in number to form a majority nor were the emirates subordinate to the Caliph; as historian George Bournoutian observes, "this fragmentation of Arab authority provided the opportunity for the resurgence" of the Bagratuni family headed by Ashot Msaker. Ashot began to annex the lands that belonged to the Mamikonians and campaigned against the emirs as a sign of his allegiance to the Caliphate, who in 804 bestowed upon him the title of ishkhan. Upon his death in 826, Ashot bequeathed his land to two of his sons: the eldest, Bagrat Bagratuni received Taron and Sasun and inherited the prestigious title of ishkhanats ishkhan, or prince of princes, whereas his brother, Smbat the Confessor, became the sparapet of Sper and Tayk; the brothers, were unable to resolve their differences with one another nor able to form a unified front against the Muslims.
Ijevan, is a town and urban municipal community in Armenia serving as the administrative centre of Tavush Province. It is located at the center of the region, at the foot of Ijevan ridge of Gugark Mountains, on the shores of Aghstev River; as of the 2011 census, the population of the town was 21,081, making it the most populated town in the province. As per the 2016 official estimate, the population of Ijevan is around 20,700. Ijevan is located at a road distance of 137 km northeast of Yerevan; the Yerevan-Tbilisi highway passes through Ijevan. The town's current name Ijevan, its former name Karavansara, both mean "inn", in Armenian and Persian, respectively. Ijevan is the seat of the Diocese of Tavush of the Armenian Apostolic Church; the area of modern-day Ijevan used to have many roadside inns known as caravanserais that served travelers between historic Syria and North Caucasus. Starting from the 16th century, the territory was known as Istibulagh under the Persian rule. On the same territory, the small village of Karavansara was founded in the 1780s during the Persian rule.
However, during the days of the First Republic of Armenia in 1919, the settlement was renamed Ijevan, meaning inn or caravanserai in the Armenian language. Chamber tombs found at the centre of present-day Ijevan, as well as late Bronze Age cemetery on the left bank of Aghstev river, attest to the early occupation of the site; the area of modern-day Ijevan was part of ancient Utik and Gugark. Separated by the Aghstev river, the eastern half of Ijevan was part of the Tuchkatak canton of the historic Utik, while the western half belonged to the Dzorapor canton of the historic Gugark. Being located on a vital rout of trade between the Levant and Northern Caucasus, the region of present-day Ijevan was home to many rest-houses and caravanserais during the Middle Ages, serving as rest-houses for the passing merchants and their caravans on the road from Tbilisi to Dvin; the remains of a medieval caravanserai stands on the banks of Aghstev river on a site called Hamam-Jala. Under the Persian rule who had gained control over the Eastern Armenian territories since 1501-02, the village of Karavansara was founded during the 1780s.
The territories of present-day Lori and Tavush along with the neighboring Georgia, became part of the Russian Empire in 1800-01. The territories became an official region of Russia as per the Treaty of Gulistan signed between Imperial Russia and Qajar Persia in October 1813, following the Russo-Persian War of 1804–13. In 1840, the Yelizavetpolsky Uyezd was formed and most of the territories of Tavush became part of the newly founded administrative division of the Russian Empire. In 1868, the Elisabethpol Governorate was established and Tavush became part of the newly formed Kazakhsky Uyezd of the governorate. Under the Russian rule 6,000 Armenian families from Karabakh were allowed to move to the valley of Aghstev river to be resettled in the region of Tavush including the territory of the village of Karavansara; the village witnessed a notable revival during the 1860s and 1870s, as a result of the new road opened between Qazax and Yerevan, passing through Karavansara. Following the 1918 independence of Armenia, the name of Karavansara was changed to Ijevan in 1919.
On 29 November 1920, Ijevan -along with Noyemberyan- was the first Armenian settlement where Soviet-Bolshevik rule was established, after being invaded by the Red Army from Soviet Azerbaijan at the north. In 1930, it became the centre of the newly formed Ijevan raion; the first major plan of the town was adopted in 1948, revised in 1967. In 1951, the Ijevan Wine-Brandy Factory was opened, followed by the rug and carpet factory in opened in 1959-65. With the gradual development of the industrial sector, Ijevan was given the status of a town in 1961. In 1970, it was turned into a city of republican sub-ordination of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. Following the independence of Armenia in 1991, Ijevan became the provincial centre of the newly founded Tavush Province as per the administrative reforms of 1995. Surrounded by the Gugark Mountains, Ijevan is situated in the valley of Aghstev river at an average height of 755 meters above sea level; the surrounding mountains are covered with thick forests.
Ijevan is bordered by the village of Getahovit from the north and the village of Gandzakar from the south. A small lake is found at the southern entrance of the town known as Spitak Jur; this location is classified as Cfa by the Köppen climate classification. The average temperature of the year is 10.6 C, in January 0 C, while in July 21.3 C. The maximum temperature registered in Ijevan is +37 C and the minimum is -23; the annual precipitation is 562 mm. Ijevan is the largest urban community of Tavush; the majority of the town's population are ethnic Armenians who belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. The regulating body of the church is the Diocese of Tavush, headed by Archbishop Yeznik Petrosyan; the seat of the Diocese of Tavush is the Surp Nerses Cathedral in Ijevan opened in 1997, after the reconstruction of a former cultural centre built by the Soviets in the 1950s. The project was financed by the US-based Armenian benefactors Kevork and Berjuhi Nersesian from Boston; the other church of the town known as the Holy Saviour's was consecrated in 2012.
Financed by the Ukraine-based Ghazaryan family who are natives of Ijevan, the church was built between 2009-12 on the foundations of a 19th-century church ruined during the Soviet days. Here is the population timeline of Ijevan since 1831: The healthcare in the town is served by the Ijevan Medical Center. According to popular tradition, King A
Armenians are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the de facto independent Artsakh. There is a wide-ranging diaspora of around 5 million people of full or partial Armenian ancestry living outside modern Armenia; the largest Armenian populations today exist in Russia, the United States, Georgia, Germany, Lebanon and Syria. With the exceptions of Iran and the former Soviet states, the present-day Armenian diaspora was formed as a result of the Armenian Genocide. Most Armenians adhere to the Armenian Apostolic Church, a non-Chalcedonian church, the world's oldest national church. Christianity began to spread in Armenia soon after Jesus' death, due to the efforts of two of his apostles, St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew. In the early 4th century, the Kingdom of Armenia became the first state to adopt Christianity as a state religion. Armenian is an Indo-European language, it has two mutually intelligible and written forms: Eastern Armenian, today spoken in Armenia, Artsakh and the former Soviet republics.
The unique Armenian alphabet was invented in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots. The name Armenian has come to internationally designate this group of people, it was first used by neighbouring countries of ancient Armenia. The earliest attestations of the exonym Armenia date around the 6th century BC. In his trilingual Behistun Inscription dated to 517 BC, Darius I the Great of Persia refers to Urashtu as Armina (in Old Persian. In Greek, Αρμένιοι "Armenians" is attested from about the same time the earliest reference being a fragment attributed to Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC, he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. Armenians call themselves Hay; the name has traditionally been derived from Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, according to Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region.
It is further postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. Movses Khorenatsi, the important early medieval Armenian historian, wrote that the word Armenian originated from the name Armenak or Aram; the Armenian Highland is the area surrounding the highest peak of the region. A controversial hypothesis put forward by some scholars, such as T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov, has proposed that the Indo-European homeland was around the Armenian Highland; the modern Armenian language is grouped with Greek and Ancient Macedonian in the Pontic Indo-European subgroup of Indo-European languages by Eric P. Hamp in his 2012 Indo-European family tree, groups. There are two possible explanations, not mutually exclusive, for a common origin of the Armenian and Greek languages. Ancient Greek scholars, such as Herodotus, suggest that the Phrygians of western Anatolia, who spoke an Indo-European language, had made a contribution to the ethnogenesis of the Armenians: "the Armenians were equipped like Phrygians, being Phrygian colonists".
This appears to imply that some Phrygians migrated eastward to Armenia following the destruction of Phrygia by a Cimmerian invasion in the late 7th century BC. Greek scholars believed that the Phrygians had originated in the Balkans, in an area adjoining Macedonia, from where they had emigrated to Anatolia many centuries earlier. In Hamp's view the homeland of the proposed Greco-Armenian subgroup is the northeast coast of the Black Sea and its hinterlands, he assumes that they migrated from there southeast through the Caucasus with the Armenians remaining after Batumi while the pre-Greeks proceeded westwards along the southern coast of the Black Sea. Some genetics studies explain Armenian diversity by several mixtures of Eurasian populations that occurred between ~3,000 and ~2,000 BC, but genetic signals of population mixture cease after ~1,200 BC when Bronze Age civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean world and violently collapsed. Armenians have since remained isolated and genetic structure within the population developed ~500 years ago when Armenia was divided between the Ottomans and the Safavid Empire in Iran.
In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittite Empire and Hayasa-Azzi. Soon after Hayasa-Azzi came Arme-Shupria, the Nairi and the Kingdom of Urartu, who successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highland; each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people. Under Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian empire reached the Caucasus Mountains. Yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, was founded in 782 BC by king Argishti I; the first geographical entity, called Armenia by neighboring peoples was established in the late 6th century BC u
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the national church of the Armenian people. Part of Oriental Orthodoxy, it is one of the most ancient Christian communities; the Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion under the rule of King Tiridates in the early 4th century. The church originated in the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century, according to tradition, it is sometimes referred to as the Armenian Orthodox Gregorian Church. The latter is not preferred by the church itself, as it views the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as its founders, St. Gregory the Illuminator as the first official governor of the church, it is simply known as the Armenian Church. The Armenian Church believes in apostolic succession through the apostles Thaddeus. According to legend, the latter of the two apostles is said to have cured Abgar V of Edessa of leprosy with the Image of Edessa, leading to his conversion in 30 AD. Thaddaeus was commissioned by Abgar to proselytize throughout Armenia, where he converted the king Sanatruk's daughter, martyred alongside Thaddeus when Sanatruk fell into apostasy.
After this, Bartholomew came to Armenia, bringing a portrait of the Virgin Mary, which he placed in a nunnery he founded over a former temple of Anahit. Bartholomew converted the sister of Sanatruk, who once again martyred a female relative and the apostle who converted her. Both apostles ordained native bishops before their execution, some other Armenians had been ordained outside of Armenia by James the Just. Scholars including Bart Ehrman, Han Drijvers, W. Bauer dismiss the conversion of Abgar V as fiction. According to Eusebius and Tertullian, Armenian Christians were persecuted by kings Axidares, Khosrov I, Tiridates III, the last of whom was converted to Christianity by Gregory the Illuminator. Ancient Armenia's adoption of Christianity as a state religion has been referred to by Nina Garsoïan as "probably the most crucial step in its history." This conversion distinguished it from its Iranian and Mazdean roots and protected it from further Parthian influence. According to Mary Boyce, the acceptance of Christianity by the Arsacid-Armenian rulers was in defiance of the Sassanids.
When King Tiridates III made Christianity the state religion of Armenia between 301 and 314, it was not an new religion there. It had penetrated the country from at least the third century, may have been present earlier. Tiridates declared Gregory to be the first Catholicos of the Armenian Church and sent him to Caesarea to be consecrated. Upon his return, Gregory tore down shrines to idols, built churches and monasteries, ordained many priests and bishops. While meditating in the old capital city of Vagharshapat, Gregory had a vision of Christ descending to the earth and striking it with a hammer. From that spot arose a great Christian temple with a huge cross, he was convinced. With the king's help he did so in accordance with his vision, renaming the city Etchmiadzin, which means "the place of the descent of the Only-Begotten"; the Armenian Church participated in the larger Christian world and its Catholicos was represented at the First Council of Nicea. In 353, King Papas appointed Catholicos Husik without first sending him to Caesarea for commissioning before Rome had any plans for a universal Roman church.
Its Catholicos was still represented at the First Council of Constantinople. Christianity was strengthened in Armenia in the 5th century by the translation of the Bible into the Armenian language by the native theologian and scholar, Saint Mesrop Mashtots. Before the 5th century, Armenians had a spoken language. Thus, the Bible and Liturgy were written in Syriac rather than Armenian; the Catholicos Sahak commissioned Mesrop to create the Armenian alphabet, which he completed in 406. Subsequently, the Bible and Liturgy were written in the new script; the translation of the Bible, along with works of history and philosophy, caused a flowering of Armenian literature and a broader cultural renaissance. Although unable to attend the Council of Ephesus, Catholicos Isaac Parthiev sent a message agreeing with its decisions. However, non doctrinal elements in the Council of Chalcedon caused certain problems to arise. At the First Council of Dvin in 506 the synod of the Armenian and Caucasian Albanian bishops were assembled during the reign of Catholicos Babken I.
The participation of the Catholicoi of Georgia and Albania were set to make clear the position of the churches concerning the Council of Chalcedon. The "Book of Epistles" mentions that 20 bishops, 14 laymen, many nakharars participated in the council; the involvement in the council discussion of different level of lay persons seemed to be a general rule in Armenia. A century the 3rd Council of Dvin was convened during the reign of Catholicos Abraham I of Aghbatank and Prince Smbat Bagratuni, with clergymen and laymen participating; the Georgian Church disagreed with the Armenian Church, having approved the christology of Chalcedon. This council was convened to clarify the relationship between the Georgian churches. After the Council, Catholicos Abraham wrote an encyclical letter addressed to the people, blaming Kurion and his adherents for the schism; the Council never set up canons. Despite this, the Albanian Church remained under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Church while in co
Argishti I of Urartu
Argishti I, was the sixth known king of Urartu, reigning from 786 BC to 764 BC. He founded the citadel of Erebuni in 782 BC, the present capital of Armenia, Yerevan. Alternate transliterations of the name include Argishtis, Argišti, Argishtish. A son and the successor of Menua, he continued the series of conquests initiated by his predecessors, he was involved in a number of inconclusive conflicts with the Assyrian king Shalmaneser IV. He conquered the northern part of Syria and made Urartu the most powerful state in post-Hittite Asia Minor, he expanded his kingdom north to Lake Sevan, conquering much of Diauehi and the Ararat Valley. Argishti built the Erebuni Fortress in 782 BC, the fortress of Argishtikhinili in 776 BC, he was succeeded by his son Sarduri II. Linguists believe. Compare Armenian արեգ – “sun deity”, “sun”, Phrygian ΑΡΕJΑΣΤΙΝ - “epithet of the great mother” and Ancient Greek αργεστής - “shining”, “brilliant”, “white”, “bright”; some scholars argue that Argisti is the most pronunciation.
This is due to the belief that the Urartian symbol š is to be voiced like the letter s as opposed to being pronounced like the diagraph sh. List of kings of Urartu N. Adontz, Histoire d'Arménie. Les origines, Paris, 1946 Erebouni at Armenica.org Erebuni - Cuneiform Foundations
The Iranian peoples, or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages. The Proto-Iranians are believed to have emerged as a separate branch of the Indo-Iranians in Central Asia in the mid-2nd millennium BCE. At their peak of expansion in the mid-1st millennium BCE, the territory of the Iranian peoples stretched across the entire Eurasian Steppe from the Great Hungarian Plain in the west to the Ordos Plateau in the east, to the Iranian Plateau in the south; the Western Iranian empires of the south came to dominate much of the ancient world from the 6th century BCE, leaving an important cultural legacy. The ancient Iranian peoples who emerged after the 1st millennium BCE include the Alans, Dahae, Massagetae, Parthians, Sagartians, Sarmatians, Scythians and Cimmerians among other Iranian-speaking peoples of Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Eastern Steppe. In the 1st millennium CE, their area of settlement was reduced as a result of Slavic, Germanic and Mongol expansions, many were subjected to Slavicisation and Turkification.
Modern Iranian-speaking peoples include the Baloch, Kurds, Mazanderanis, Pamiris, Persians, the Talysh and Yaghnobis. Their current distribution spreads across the Iranian Plateau, stretching from the Caucasus in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south and from eastern Turkey in the west to western Xinjiang in the east—a region, sometimes called the Iranian Cultural Continent, representing the extent of the Iranian-speakers and the significant influence of the Iranian peoples through the geopolitical reach of Greater Iran; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Parthian Aryān. The Middle Iranian terms ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Old Persian ariya-, Avestan airiia- and Proto-Iranian *arya-. There have been many attempts to qualify the verbal root of ar- in Old Iranian arya-; the following are according to 1957 and linguists: Emmanuel Laroche: ara- "to fit". Old Iranian arya- being descended from Proto-Indo-European ar-yo-, meaning " assembler".
Georges Dumézil: ar- "to share". Harold Walter Bailey: ar- "to beget". Émil Benveniste: ar- "to fit". Unlike the Sanskrit ā́rya-, the Old Iranian term has an ethnic meaning. Today, the Old Iranian arya- remains in ethno-linguistic names such as Iran, Alan, Ir, Iron.< In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of Avesta. The earliest epigraphically attested reference to the word arya- occurs in the Bistun Inscription of the 6th century BCE; the inscription of Bistun describes itself to have been composed in Arya. As is the case for all other Old Iranian language usage, the arya of the inscription does not signify anything but Iranian. In royal Old Persian inscriptions, the term arya- appears in three different contexts: As the name of the language of the Old Persian version of the inscription of Darius I in the Bistun Inscription; as the ethnic background of Darius the Great in inscriptions at Rustam Relief and Susa and the ethnic background of Xerxes I in the inscription from Persepolis.
As the definition of the God of Iranians, Ohrmazd, in the Elamite version of the Bistun Inscription. In the Dna and Dse and Xerxes describe themselves as "an Achaemenid, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, of Aryan stock". Although Darius the Great called his language arya-, modern scholars refer to it as Old Persian because it is the ancestor of the modern Persian language; the trilingual inscription erected by the command of Shapur. The languages used are Parthian, Middle Persian, Greek. In Greek inscription says "ego... tou Arianon ethnous despotes eimi", which translates to "I am the king of the kingdom of the Iranians". In Middle Persian, Shapur says "ērānšahr xwadāy hēm" and in Parthian he says "aryānšahr xwadāy ahēm"; the Avesta uses airiia- as an ethnic name, where it appears in expressions such as airyāfi daiŋˊhāvō, airyō šayanəm, airyanəm vaējō vaŋhuyāfi dāityayāfi. In the late part of the Avesta, one of the mentioned homelands was referred to as Airyan'əm Vaējah which means "expanse of the Iranians".
The homeland varied in its geographic range, the area around Herat and the entire expanse of the Iranian plateau. The Old Persian and Avestan evidence is confirmed by the Greek sources. Herodotus, in his Histories, remarks about the Iranian Medes that "Medes were called anciently by all people Arians". In Armenian sources, the Parthians and Persians are collectively referred to as Iranians. Eudemus of Rhodes refers to "the Magi and all those of Iranian lineage". Diodorus Siculus considers Zoroaster as one of the Arianoi. Strabo, in his Geographica, mentions of the Medes, Persians and Sogdians of the Iranian Plateau and Transoxiana of antiquity: The name of Ariana is further extended to a part of Persia and of Media, as to the Bactrians and Sogd