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  • Author or Editor: János Harmatta x
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The tombstone of an Avar prince was discovered on Margaret-island in 1992. A runic inscription, written in the Yenissei Turk script and in Turkic language, can be read on it. Its text runs as follows: er atïm Kümüš ïnanč tudun. Ešim elim … ebim … ki(t)tim  “My heroic name is Kümüš ïnanč tudun. I left my fellows, my people … my family (= I passed away)”. The inscription can be regarded as a decisive proof that the Avars spoke a Turkic language and that they came from the Yenissei region and had nothing to do with the Juan-juans.

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This paper focuses on the historical data that can be gathered from the sources about Alexander's campaign against nomadic tribes living around the Amu-darya and the Sir-darya. The identity of the Dahae and the Massagetae for Arrian is pointed out; the names “Dahae” and “Massagetae” are interpreted; the symbiosis between Sogdians and Dahae is touched upon, as well as the nomads called “royal Sakas” living beyond the Sir-darya; the geographical location of Nautaka in Bactria is determined; and the reliability of the reports of Alexander's campaign in Central Asia is illustrated with the examples of Sogdian proper names preserved by Arrian and Strabo.

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This paper focuses on the historical data that can be gathered from the sources about Alexander’s campaign against nomadic tribes living around the Amu-darya and the Sir-darya. The identity of the Dahae and the Massagetae for Arrian is pointed out; the names “Dahae” and “Massagetae” are interpreted; the symbiosis between Sogdians and Dahae is touched upon, as well as the nomads called “royal Sakas” living beyond the Sir-darya; the geographical location of Nautaka in Bactria is determined; and the reliability of the reports of Alexander’s campaign in Central Asia is illustrated with the examples of Sogdian proper names preserved by Arrian and Strabo.

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The kharosthi inscription of Tiravharna ksatrapa (discovered in the southern suburb of Jalalabad in 1923, kept in the Kabul Museum) was set up in honour of the satrap by a man, bearing the Indian name Malasua. The object of the inscription was to commemorate the building of a lotus tank and its inauguration by the ceremony of libation with running water (udagajaladhobuvna) as well as to express the chief desire of the donor to have a son (putrestaparena). Tiravharna was of Indo-Parthian descent and he did not acknowledge the authority of the Saka king Moga, ruling in GandhÊra at that time (83 B. C.)

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On the basis of the Mycenaean documents written in Linear B, the official title da-mo-ko-ro (*damokoros) might have been the name for a high official of the royal palace whose task was to distribute the provisions among the people working for the king. Augewas damokoros mentioned on the tablet Ta 711 may be the same historical person as king Augewas of the Greek epic tradition who rivalled Neleus in the rule over Pylos.

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