The ethnonym Afghan
( ) has been used in the past to denote a member of the Pashtuns, and
that usage still persists in some places in Afghanistan. The name
Afghanistan ( ; Afghan + -stan) is a derivation from the ethnonym
Afghan, originally in the loose meaning "land of the Pashtuns"
and referred to the Pashtun tribal areas south of the Hindu Kush
In the 3rd century,
the Sassanids mentioned an eastern tribe called Abgân, which is
attested in its Arabic form Afn in the 10th century ?ud?d al-lam.
Through the nineteenth century, the term "Afghan" was used
by various writers as a synonym for "Pashtun", but such
usage now is rare in English.
Since the Afghan
Constitution of 1964, "Afghan" officially refers to every
citizen of the state of Afghanistan, regardless which ethnic group
the individual belongs to.
The earliest mention
of the name Afghan (Abgân) is by Shapur I of the Sassanid Empire
during the 3rd century CE, which is later recorded in the 6th century
in the form of "Avaga" () by the Indian astronomer Var?ha
Mihira in his Brihat-samhita.
From a more limited,
ethnological point of view, "Afn" is the term by which the
Persian-speakers of Afghanistan (and the non-Pa?t?-speaking ethnic
groups generally) designate the Pa?t?n. The equation [of] Afn [and]
Pa?t?n has been propagated all the more, both in and beyond
Afghanistan, because the Pa?t?n tribal confederation is by far the
most important in the country, numerically and politically. The term
"Afn" has probably designated the Pa?t?n since ancient
times. Under the form Avag?n?, this ethnic group is first mentioned
by the Indian astronomer Var?ha Mihira in the beginning of the 6th
century in his Brhat-samhita.
Hiven Tsiang, a
Chinese Buddhist pilgrim visiting the Afghanistan area several times
between 630 and 644 CE, speaks about the native tribes inhabiting the
region. According to scholars such as V. Minorsky, W.K. Frazier Tyler
and M.C. Gillet, the word Afghan has appeared in the 982 ?ud?d
al-lam, where a reference is made to a village.
pleasant village on a mountain. In it live Afghans".
Saul was probably
located near Gardez, in the Paktia province of Afghanistan. ?ud?d
al-lam also speaks of a king in "Ninhar" (Nangarhar), who
shows a public display of conversion to Islam, even though he has
over 30 wives, which are described as Muslim, Afghan, and pagan or
Hindu wives. It should be noted that some of these names were used as
geographical terms. For example, "Hindu" has been used
historically as a geographical term to describe someone who was
native from the general region known as Hindustan or the Indian
Ghaznavid chronicler, in his Tarikh-i Yamini records that many
Afghans and Khiljis (possibly the modern Ghilji) enlisted in the army
of Sabuktigin after Jayapala was defeated.
and Khiljis who resided among the mountains having taken the oath of
allegiance to Subooktugeen, many of them were enlisted in his army,
after which he returned in triumph to Ghizny."
states that Afghans and Ghiljis made a part of Mahmud Ghaznavi's army
and were sent on his expedition to Tocharistan, while on another
occasion Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked and punished a group of opposing
Afghans, as also corroborated by Abulfazl Beyhaqi. In the 11th
century, Afghans are mentioned in Al-Biruni's Tarikh-ul Hind
("History of India"), which describes groups of rebellious
Afghans in the tribal lands west of the Indus River in what is today
Pakistan. It is recorded that Afghans were also enrolled in the
Ghurid Kingdom (1148-1215). By the beginning of the Khilji dynasty in
1290, Afghans have been well known in northern India. Ibn Battuta, a
famous Moroccan traveler, visiting Afghanistan following the era of
the Khilji dynasty in 1333 writes.
on to Kabul, formerly a vast town, the site of which is now occupied
by Afghans. They hold mountains and defiles and possess considerable
strength, and are mostly highwaymen. Their principal mountain is
called Kuh Sulayman. It is told that the prophet Sulayman [Solomon]
ascended this mountain and having looked out over India, which was
then covered with darkness, returned without entering it."
-- Ibn Battuta,
Muslim historian writing about the history of Muslim rule in India
"He [Khalid bin
Abdullah son of Khalid bin Walid] retired, therefore, with his
family, and a number of Arab retainers, into the Sulaiman Mountains,
situated between Multan and Peshawar, where he took up his residence,
and gave his daughter in marriage to one of the Afghan chiefs, who
had become a proselyte to Mahomedism. From this marriage many
children were born, among whom were two sons famous in history. The
one Lodhi, the other Sur; who each, subsequently, became head of the
tribes which to this day bear their name. I have read in the
Mutla-ul-Anwar, a work written by a respectable author, and which I
procured at Burhanpur, a town of Khandesh in the Deccan, that the
Afghans are Copts of the race of the Pharaohs; and that when the
prophet Moses got the better of that infidel who was overwhelmed in
the Red Sea, many of the Copts became converts to the Jewish faith;
but others, stubborn and self-willed, refusing to embrace the true
faith, leaving their country, came to India, and eventually settled
in the Sulimany mountains, where they bore the name of Afghans."
In the writings of
the 17th-century Pashto poet Khushal Khattak, it states "Pull
out your sword and slay any one, that says Pashtun and Afghan are not
one! Arabs know this and so do Romans: Afghans are Pashtuns, Pashtuns
The last part of the
name -st?n is a Persian suffix for "place of", the Pashto
translation of which is stogna prominent in many languages of Asia.
The name Afghanistan is mentioned in writing by the 16th century
Mughal rulers Babur and his descendants, referring to the territory
between Khorasan, Kabulistan, and the Indus River, which was
inhabited by tribes of Afghans.
"The road from
Khoras?n leads by way of Kandah?r. It is a straight level road, and
does not go through any hill-passes... In the country of K?bul there
are many and various tribes. Its valleys and plains are inhabited by
T?rks, Aim?ks, and Arabs. In the city and the greater part of the
villages, the population consists of T?jiks*(Sarts). Many other of
the villages and districts are occupied by Pash?is, Par?chis, T?jiks,
Berekis, and Afghans... In the hill-country to the north-east lies
Kaferist?n, such as Kattor and Gebrek. To the south is Afgh?nist?n."
-- Babur, 1525
"Afghanistan" is also mentioned many times in the writings
of the 16th-century historian, Ferishta, and many others.
"The men of
Kábul and Khilj also went home; and whenever they were questioned
about the Musulmáns of the Kohistán (the mountains), and how
matters stood there, they said, "Don't call it Kohistán, but
Afghánistán; for there is nothing there but Afgháns and
disturbances." Thus it is clear that for this reason the people
of the country call their home in their own language Afghánistán,
and themselves Afgháns. The people of India call them Patán;
however the reason for this is not known. But it occurs to me, that
when, under the rule of Muhammadan sovereigns, Musulmáns first came
to the city of Patná, and dwelt there, the people of India (for that
reason) called them Patáns--but God knows!"
Regarding the modern
state of Afghanistan, the Encyclopædia Of Islam explains:
now known as Afghanistan has borne that name only since the middle of
the 18th century, when the supremacy of the Afghan race became
assured: previously various districts bore distinct apellations,
however the country was not a definite political unit, and its
component parts were not bound together by any identity of race or
language. The earlier meaning of the word was simply "the land
of the Afghans", a limited territory which did not include many
parts of the present state but did comprise large districts now
either independent or within the boundary of British India
view supported by numerous noted scholars is that the name Afghan
evidently derives from Sanskrit A?vakas, q.v. the Assakenoi of
Arrian. This view was propounded by scholars like Christian Lassen,
J. W. McCrindle, M. V. de Saint Martin, and É. Reclus, and has been
supported by numerous modern scholars.
In Sanskrit, the
word ashva (Iranian aspa, Prakrit assa) means "horse", and
ashvaka (Prakrit assaka) means "horseman","horse
people","land of horses", as well as "horse
breeders". Pre-Christian times knew the people of the Hindukush
region as Ashvakas (horsemen), since they raised a fine breed of
horses and had a reputation for providing expert cavalrymen. The
5th-century-BCE Indian grammarian Pini calls them Ashvakayana and
Ashvayana.Mahabharata mentions them as Ashvaka(na). Classical
writers, however, use the respective equivalents Aspasioi (or
Aspasii, Hippasii) and Assakenoi (or Assaceni/Assacani, Asscenus)
etc. The Aspasioi/Assakenoi (Ashvakas = Cavalrymen) is stated to be
another name for the Kambojas of ancient texts because of their
equestrian characteristics.Alexander Cunningham and a few other
scholars identify these designations with the modern name Afghan.
The Indian epic
Mahabharata speaks about Kambojas among the finest horsemen, and
ancient Pali texts describe their lands as the land of
horses.Kambojas spoke Avestan language and followed Zoroastrianism.
Some scholars believe Zoroastrianism originated in land of Kambojas.
The former Aspins of
Chitral and Ashkuns (Yashkuns) of Gilgit are identified as the modern
representatives of the Pinian A?vakayanas (Greek: Assakenoi); and the
Asip/Isap (cf. Aspa-zai > Yusufzai) in the Kabul valley (between
the rivers Kabul and Indus) are believed to be modern representatives
of the Pinian A?vayanas (Greek: Aspasioi) respectively.
There are a number
of other hypotheses suggested for the name historically, all of them
Afn" by Nimat Allah al-Harawi, written in 1612 at the Mughal
court, traces the name Afghan to an eponymous ancestor, an Afghana,
identified as a grandson of Saul. Afghana was supposedly a son of
Irmia (Jeremia), who was in turn a son of Saul (Talut). Afghana was
orphaned at a young age, and brought up by David. When Solomon became
king, Afghana was promoted as the commander-in-chief of the army.
Neither Afghana nor Jeremia son of Saul figure in the Hebrew Bible.
Some four centuries after Afghana, in the 6th century BCE,
Bakhtunnasar, or Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babil, attacked the
Kingdom of Judah and exiled the descendants of Afghana, some of whom
went to the mountains of Ghor in present-day Afghanistan and some to
the neighborhood of Mecca in Arabia. Until the time of Muhammad, the
deported Children of Israel of the east continually increased in
number in the countries around Ghor which included Kabul, Kandahar
and Ghazni, and made wars with the infidels around them. Khalid bin
Walid is said to belong to the tribe of descendants of Afghana in the
neighborhood of Mecca, although actually he was from the tribe of
Quraysh. After conversion to Islam, Khalid invited his kinsmen, the
Children of Israel of Ghor, to Islam. A deputation led by Qais
proceeded to Medina to meet Muhammad, and embraced Islam. Muhammad
lavished blessings on them, and gave the name Abdur Rashid to Qais,
who returned to Ghor successfully to propagate Islam. Qais had three
sons, Sarban, Bettan and Ghourghusht, who are progenitors of the
various Pashtun tribes.
Samuel G. Benjamin
(1887) derived the name Afghan from a term for 'wailing', which the
Persians are said to have contemptuously used for their plaintive
H. W. Bellew, in his
1891 An Inquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, believes that
the name Afghan comes from Alban which derives from the Latin term
albus, meaning "white", or "mountain", as
mountains are often white-capped with snow (cf. Alps); used by
Armenians as Alvan or Alwan, which refers to mountaineers, and in the
case of transliterated Armenian characters, would be pronounced as
Aghvan or Aghwan. To the Persians, this would further be altered to
Aoghan, Avghan, and Afghan as a reference to the eastern highlanders
the name Afghan derives from Sanskrit Avagana, which in turn derives
from the ancient Sumerian word for Badakhshan - Ab-bar-Gan, or "high
There are also a few
people who have attempted to link "Afghan" to an Uzbek word
"Avagan" said to mean "original"
^ a b History Of The
Mohamedan Power In India by Muhammad Q?sim Hind? h Astar?b?d?
Firi?tah, The Packard Humanities Institute Persian Texts in
^ a b Maley, William
(2009). The Afghanistan Wars (second ed.). Basingstoke, England:
Palgrave Macmillan. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-230-21313-5.
^ Morgenstierne, G.
(1999). "AFGH?N". Encyclopaedia of Islam (CD-ROM Edition v.
1.0 ed.). Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV.
^ M. Longworth
Dames; G. Morgenstierne; R. Ghirshman (1999). "AFGH?NIST?N".
Encyclopaedia of Islam (CD-ROM Edition v. 1.0 ed.). Leiden, The
Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV.
^ a b "History
of Afghanistan". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved .
^ The Khalaj West of
the Oxus Archived June 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.; excerpts
from "The Turkish Dialect of the Khalaj", Bulletin of the
School of Oriental Studies, University of London, Vol 10, No 2, pp
417-437 (retrieved 10 January 2007).
^ "Article 1".
Constitution of Afghanistan. Retrieved 2012.
^ Dupree, Nancy
Hatch (1970). An Historical Guide to Afghanistan. First Edition.
Kabul: Afghan Air Authority, Afghan Tourist Organization. p. 492.
^ a b "Afghan
and Afghanistan". Abdul Hai Habibi. alamahabibi.com. 1969.
Christine; Conrad J. Schetter; Reinhard Schlagintweit (2002).
Afghanistan -a country without a state?. University of Michigan,
United States: IKO. p. 18. ISBN 3-88939-628-3. Retrieved . The
earliest mention of the name 'Afghan' (Abgan) is to be found in a
Sasanid inscription from the 3rd century, and it appears in India in
the form of 'Avagana'...
^ a b "Afghan".
Ch. M. Kieffer. Encyclopædia Iranica Online Edition. December 15,
1983. Retrieved .
^ Dawn News, The
cradle of Pathan culture
^ a b c Vogelsang,
Willem (2002). The Afghans. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 18. ISBN
0-631-19841-5. Retrieved .
NASIR-OOD-DEEN SUBOOKTUGEEN". Ferishta, History of the Rise of
Mohammedan Power in India, Volume 1: Section 15. Packard Humanities
Institute. Retrieved .
^ R. Khanam,
Encyclopaedic ethnography of Middle-East and Central Asia: P-Z,
Volume 3 - Page 18
^ A Glossary Of The
Tribes And Castes Of The Punjab And North-West Frontier Province Vol.
3 By H.A. Rose, Denzil Ibbetson Sir Published by Atlantic Publishers
Distributors, 1997, Page 211, ISBN 81-85297-70-3, ISBN
^ Houtsma, M. Th.
(1993). E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam 1913-1936. BRILL.
pp. 150-51. ISBN 90-04-09796-1. Retrieved .
^ Ibn Battuta
(2004). Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325-1354 (reprint, illustrated
ed.). Routledge. p. 180. ISBN 0-415-34473-5. Retrieved .
^ extract from
"Passion of the Afghan" by Khushal Khan Khattak; translated
by C. Biddulph in "Afghan Poetry Of The 17th Century: Selections
from the Poems of Khushal Khan Khattak", London, 1890
^ Zahir ud-Din
Mohammad Babur (1525). "Events Of The Year 910 (p.5)".
Memoirs of Babur. Packard Humanities Institute. Retrieved .
^ Muhammad Qasim
Hindu Shah (1560-1620). "The History of India, Volume 6, chpt.
200, Translation of the Introduction to Firishta's History (p.8)".
Sir H. M. Elliot. London: Packard Humanities Institute. Retrieved .
^ M. Longworth
Dames, G. Morgenstierne, R. Ghirshman, "Afgh?nist?n", in
Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition
^ Houtsma, Martijn
Theodoor (1987). E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam 1913-1936.
2. BRILL. p. 146. ISBN 90-04-09796-1. Retrieved .
^ Arrian writes them
Assakenoi. Strabo also calls them Assakanoi, but Curtius calls them
Alterthumskunde, Vol I, fn 6; also Vol II, p 129, et al.
^ "The name
Afghan has evidently been derived from Asvakan, the Assakenoi of
Arrian... " (Megasthenes and Arrian, p 180. See also:
Alexander's Invasion of India, p 38; J. W. McCrindle).
^ Etude Sur la Geog
Grecque c, pp 39-47, M. V. de Saint Martin.
^ The Earth and Its
Inhabitants, 1891, p 83, Élisée Reclus - Geography.
^ "Even the
name Afghan is Aryan being derived from Asvakayana, an important clan
of the Asvakas or horsemen who must have derived this title from
their handling of celebrated breeds of horses" (See: Imprints of
Indian Thought and Culture abroad, p 124, Vivekananda Kendra
^ cf: "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
^ "Afghans are
Assakani of the Greeks; this word being the Sanskrit Ashvaka meaning
'horsemen' " (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).
^ See few more
references on Asvaka = Afghan: The Numismatic Chronicle, 1893, p 100,
Royal Numismatic Society (Great Britain); Awq, 1983, p 5, Giorgio
Vercellin; Der Islam, 1960, p 58, Carl Heinrich Becker, Maym?n ibn
al-Q?sim Tabar?n?; Journal of Indian History: Golden Jubilee Volume,
1973, p 470, Trivandrum, India (City), University of Kerala. Dept. of
History; Literary History of Ancient India in Relation to Its Racial
and Linguistic Affiliations, 1970, p 17, Chandra Chakraberty; Stile
der Portugiesischen lyrik im 20 jahrhundert, p 124, Winfried
Kreutzen.; See: Works, 1865, p 164, Dr H. H. Wilson; The Earth and
Its Inhabitants, 1891, p 83; Chants populaires des Afghans, 1880, p
clxiv, James Darmesteter; Nouvelle geographie universelle v. 9, 1884,
p.59, Elisée Reclus; Alexander the Great, 2004, p.318, Lewis Vance
Cummings (Biography Autobiography); Nouveau dictionnaire de
géographie universelle contenant 1o La géographie physique ... 2o
La .., 1879, Louis Rousselet, Louis Vivien de Saint-Martin; An Ethnic
Interpretation of Pauranika Personages, 1971, p 34, Chandra
Chakraberty; Revue internationale, 1803, p 803; Journal of Indian
History: Golden Jubilee Volume, 1973, p 470, Trivandrum, India
(City). University of Kerala. Dept. of History; Edinburgh University
Publications, 1969, p 113, University of Edinburgh; Shi jie jian wen,
1930, p 68 by Shi jie zhi shi chu ban she. Cf also: Advanced History
of Medieval India, 1983, p 31, Dr J. L. Mehta; Asian Relations, 1948,
p 301, Asian Relations Organization ("Distributed in the United
State by: Institute of Pacific Relations, New York."); Scottish
Geographical Magazine, 1892, p 275, Royal Scottish Geographical
Society - Geography; The geographical dictionary of ancient and
mediaeval India, 1971, p 87, Nundo Lal Dey; Nag Sen of Milind Pa?hö,
1996, p 64, P. K. Kaul - Social Science; The Sultanate of Delhi,
1959, p 30, Ashirbadi Lal Srivastava; Journal of Indian History,
1965, p 354, University of Kerala Dept. of History, University of
Allahabad Dept. of Modern Indian History, University of Travancore -
India; Mémoires sur les contrées occidentales, 1858, p 313, fn 3,
Stanislas Julien Xuanzang - Buddhism.
^ Ref: Hindu Polity:
A Constitutional History of India in Hindu Times, 1915, p 140, Dr K.
P. Jayaswal; Sva, 1915, p 113, Christopher Molesworth Birdwood;
Imprints of Indian Thought and Culture Abroad, 1980, p 124,
Vivekananda Kendra; Stile der portugiesischen Lyrik im 20.
Jahrhundert, 1980, p 124, Winfried Kreutzer.
^ Al-Hind, The
Making of Indo-Islamic World, 2002, p 84, Andre Wink; The Rise of the
Indo-Afghan Empire, C. 1710-1780, 1995, p 16, JJL Gommans; Journal of
Indian History Golden Jubilee Volume, 1973, p 470, University of
Kerala, Department of History; A Geographical Introduction to the
History of Central Asia, 1944, K. B. Codrington.
Geography of Madhya Pradesh, From Early Records, 1977, p 3, Dr P. K.
Bhattacharya; Proceedings of the World of Sanskrit Conference. 1985,
p 783, International association of Sanskrit.
^ Encyclopedia of
Religions of Faiths of Man, Part I, 2003, p 554, J. G. R. Forlong.
Nadadi gana IV-1, 99
^ Ashtadhyayi Sutra
^ History and
Culture of Indian People, the Age of Imperial Unity, Vol II, p 45, Dr
A. D. Pusalkar, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr Munshi etc; Panjab Past and
Present, pp 9-10, Dr Buddha Parkash; See also: History of Porus, pp
12, 38; Ancient India, 2003, pp 260-61, Dr V. D. Mahajan; India as
Known to Pini, pp 456-57, Dr V. S. Aggarwala; Preliminary Notes on
the Excavation of the Necropolises found in Western Pakistan and The
Tombs of the Asvakayana-Assakenoi, Antonini, Chiara Silvi
Tucci, Giuseppe, pp 13 to 28; 'Asvakayana-Assakenoi', East and West,
NS,. 14 (Roma, t963), pp 27-28.
^ Political History
of Ancient India, 1996, p 133 fn 6, pp 216-20, (Also Commentary p 576
fn 22), Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee; Historie du
bouddhisme Indien, p110, Dr E. Lammotte; History of Poros, 1967, p
89; East and West, 1950, pp 28, 149, 158, Istituto italiano per il
Medio ed Estremo Oriente, Editor, Prof Giuseppe Tucci, Co-editors
Prof Mario Bussagli, Prof Lionello Lanciotti; History of Indian
Buddhism: From the Origins to the Saka Era, 1988, P 100, History;
Panjab Past and Present, pp 9-10, Dr Buddha Parkash. J. W. McCrindle
says that the modern Afghanistan -- the Kaofu (Kambu) of Xuanzang was
ancient Kamboja, and the name Afghan evidently derives from the
Ashavakan, the Assakenoi of Arrian (Alexandra's Invasion of India, p
38; Megasthenes and Arrian, p 180, J. McCrindle); Ancient Kamboja,
People and Country, 1981, pp 271-72, 278, Dr J. L. Kamboj; These
Kamboj People, 1979, pp 119, 192, K. S. Dardi; Kambojas, Through the
Ages, 2005, pp 129, 218-19, S Kirpal Singh; Sir Thomas H. Holdich, in
the his classic book, (The Gates of India, p 102-03), writes that the
Aspasians (Aspasioi) represent the modern Kafirs. But the modern
Kafirs, especially the Siah-Posh Kafirs (Kamoz/Camoje, Kamtoz) etc
are considered to be modern representatives of the ancient Kambojas.
Other noted scholars supporting this view are Dr Romilla Thapar, Dr
R. C. Majumdar etc.
^ The Ancient
Geography of India. I. The Buddhist Period, Including the Campaigns
of Alexander, p 87, Alexander Cunningham; India as Seen in the
Brhatsamhita of Varahamihira, 1969, p 70, Dr Ajay Mitra Shastri.
^ Journal of
American Oriental society, 1889, p 257, American Oriental Society;
^ Kambojo assa.nam
ayata.nam i.e Kamboja the birthplace of horse......(||
Samangalavilasini, Vol I, p 124||).
^ Aruppa-Niddesa of
Visuddhimagga by Buddhaghosa describes the Kamboja land as the base
of horses (10/28)
^ In the
Anushasnaparava section of Mahabharata, the Kambojas are specifically
designated as Ashava.yuddha.kushalah (expert cavalrymen).
tatha Yavana Kamboja
Mathuram.abhitash cha ye |
'ashava.yuddha.kushalahdasinatyasi charminah. || 5 ||.
^ Jataka, Vol VI, pp
208, 210 (trans Fausboll); The Jataka, VI, p 110, (Trans. E. B.
Cowell) + Videvati XIV.5-6 + Herodotus (I.140); Journal of the Royal
Asiatic Society, 1912, p 256, Dr Grierson; Das Volk Der Kamboja bei
Yaska, First Series of Avesta, Pahlavi and Ancient Persian Studies in
honour of the late Shams-ul-ulama Dastur Peshotanji Behramji Sanjana,
Strassberg Leipzig, 1904, pp 213 ff, Dr Ernst Kuhn
^ *Dr V. S. Agarwala
writes: "As shown in the Jataka and Avestic literature, the
Kamboja was the center of ancient Iranian 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. Their numbers were occasionally
swelled by new migrants from Iran, especially during age of
Achaemenians." (Purana, Vol. V, No. 2, July 1963, p 256, Dr D.
"The name Kamboja was commonly applied in Indian sources to the
Iranian 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 Iranians " (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).
^ Cf: "Zoroastrian
religion had probably originated in Kamboja-land
(Bacteria-Badakshan)....and the Kambojas spoke Avestan language"
(Ref: Bharatiya Itihaas Ki Rup Rekha, p 229-231, Jaychandra
Vidyalankar; Bhartrya Itihaas ki Mimansa, p 229-301, J. C.
Vidyalankar; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 217,
221, J. L. Kamboj).
^ The Quarterly
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^ A Comprehensive
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Publishers, 1982. 8vo. Cloth. 359 p. USD 22.50