Afghan has evidently been derived from Asvakan, the Assakenoi of
Arrian... " (Megasthenes and Arrian, p 180. See also:
Alexander#039;s Invasion of India, p 38; J. W. McCrindle).
Their name (Afghan)
means "cavalier" being derived from the Sanskrit, Asva, or
Asvaka, a horse, and shows that their country must have been noted in
ancient times, as it is at the present day, for its superior breed of
horses. Asvaka was an important tribe settled north to Kabul river,
which offered a gallant resistance but ineffectual resistance to the
arms of Alexander "(Ref: Scottish Geographical Magazine, 1999, p
275, Royal Scottish Geographical Society)
Assakani of the Greeks; this word being the Sanskrit Ashvaka meaning
#039;horsemen#039; " (Ref: Sva, 1915, p 113, Christopher Molesworth
Cf: "The name
represents Sanskrit Asvaka in the sense of a cavalier, and this
reappears scarcely modified in the Assakani or Assakeni of the
historians of the expedition of Alexander" (Hobson-Jobson: A
Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred
terms, etymological..by Henry Yule, AD Burnell)
The Kambojas were
famous for their horses and as cavalry-men (aśva-yuddha-Kuśalah),
Aśvakas, #039;horsemen#039;, was the term popularly applied to them... The
Aśvakas inhabited Eastern Afghanistan, and were included within the
more general term Kambojas.(Hindu Polity, 1978, pp 121, 140, K. P.
Elsewhere Kamboja is
regularly mentioned as "the country of horses" (Asvanam
ayatanam), and it was perhaps this well-established reputation that
won for the horsebreeders of Bajaur and Swat the designation Aspasioi
(from the Old Pali aspa) and assakenoi (from the Sanskrit asva
"horse").(Lamotte 1988, p. 100)
*Dr V. S. Agarwala
writes: "As shown in the Jataka and Avestic literature, the
Kamboja was the center of ancient Arian civilization as is
evidenced by the peculiar customs of the country " (Ref: The
Kamboja Janapada, January 1964, Purana, Vol VI, No 1, p 229; Jataka
edited by Fausboll, Vol VI, p 210.)
Dr Michael Witzel:
"The Kambojas, located somewhere in east Afghanistan, spoke
Iranian language and followed Zoroastrian habits of killing lower
animals." (Early Eastern Iran and the Atharvaveda, Persica-9,
1980, fn 81, p 114; Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, Vol. 7
(2001), issue 3 (May 25), Art. 9).
Dr D. C. Sircar:
"The Kambojas were of Iranian extractions .. they were settled
in Afghanistan region in Uttarapatha. (Purana, Vol. V, No. 2, July 1963, p 256, Dr D.
"The name Kamboja was commonly applied in Indian sources to the
Arian population of the borderlands i.e Afghanistan." (The
Afghans (Peoples of Asia), 2001, p 127).
Dr R. Thapar: "The
Kambojas were a tribe of the Arians " (History of India, Vol.
I, 1997, p 276).
E. Benveniste: "The
Kambojas ... were known in Indian traditions as a foreign people,
with peculiar customs, ... raised celebrated horses, spoke - as the
Nirukata (II,2.8) tells us - a language with Iranian words in it ...
and had, according to Buddhist Jataka (VI.206, 27-30), a certain
religious practice - the killing of insects, moths, snakes and worms
- which we may recognize as Mazdean from the passages in Mazdean
books like the Videvati (XIV.5-6) as well as from the remark of
Herodotus (I.140) about the Persian religion " (Journal
Asiatique, CCXLVI 1958, I, pp 47-48, E. Benveniste)
- The Invasion of
India by Alexander the Great gt; BOOK
Rajatarangini gt; BOOK