Mardi

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Mardi were an ancient Iranian[1] tribe living along the mountainous region bordering the Caspian Sea to the north,[2][3][4] to whom the Iron Age culture at Marlik is attributed.[5] They are said to be related to, or the same tribe as, the Dahae and Sacae. That is to say, they were Scythian.[6] Alexander subjugated Mardians in 330 BC. [7] Epardus River flows through the land of the Mardians.[8]

Variants of name

Etymology

The term Mardi comes from the Old Iranian word for "man"[9] (Old Persian: 𐎶𐎼𐎫𐎡𐎹 martiya; from Proto-Indo-European *mr̥tós, "mortal").

Many scholars believe that the name of the city of Amol is rooted in the word Amard, which occurs as Amui in Middle Persian. According to historical literature, Amol was the capital of Tapuria (modern-day Mazanderan), at least in the period starting from the Sasanian Empire to the Ilkhanate of the Mongol Empire.

Jat clans

History

Strabo mentions the name Mardi several times. He places their location to the south of the Caspian Sea in what is now Gilan and Mazanderan, in northern Iran.[10][11] On his map, he mentions Amardos, the name attributed to the region of Sefidrud at the time.[12][13][14]

Herodotus mentions a tribe with a similar name as one of the ten to fifteen Persian tribes in Persis.[15][16] They lived in the valleys in between the Susis and Persis,[17] in what in now southwestern Iran. The southern Mardi are described by Nearchus as one of the four predatory mountain peoples of the southwest, along with the Susians, Uxii, and Elymaeans.[18] Of these four nomadic groups, they were the only tribe linguistically Iranian.[19]


Arrian[20] writes.... Alexander marched against the Mardians in 330 BC, traversing the greater part of the land of the Mardians, he killed many of them in their flight, some indeed having turned to defend themselves; and many were taken prisoners.

Ch.24: Expedition against the Mardians

Arrian[21] writes....He (Alexander) then marched forward against the Mardians[1] taking with him the shield-bearing guards, the archers, the Agrianians, the brigades of Coenus and Amyntas, half of the Companion cavalry, and the horse-lancers; for he had now a troop of horse-lancers. Traversing the greater part of the land of the Mardians, he killed many of them in their flight, some indeed having turned to defend themselves; and many were taken prisoners. No one for a long time had invaded their land in a hostile manner, not only on account of its ruggedness, but also because the people were poor, and besides being poor were warlike. Therefore they never feared that Alexander would attack them, especially as he had already advanced, further than their country. For this reason they were caught more easily off their guard. Many of them, however, escaped into the mountains, which in their land are very lofty and craggy, thinking that Alexander would not penetrate to these at any rate. But when he was approaching them even here, they sent envoys to surrender both the people and their land to him. He pardoned them, and appointed Autophradates, whom he had also recently placed over the Tapurians, viceroy over them. Returning to the camp, from which he had started to invade the country of the Mardians, he found that the Grecian mercenaries of Darius had arrived, accompanied by the envoys from the Lacedaemonians who were on an embassy to king Darius. The names of these men were, Callicratidas, Pausippus, Monimus, Onomas, and Dropides, a man from Athens. These were arrested and kept under guard; but he released the envoys from the Sinopeans,[2] because these people had no share in the commonwealth of the Greeks; and as they were in subjection to the Persians, they did not seem to be doing anything unreasonable in going on an embassy to their own king. He also released the rest of the Greeks who were serving for pay with the Persians before the peace and alliance which had been made by the Greeks with the Macedonians. He likewise released Heraclides, the ambassador from the Chalcedonians[3] to Darius. The rest he ordered to serve in his army for the same pay as they had received from the Persian king, putting them under the command of Andronicus, who had led them, and had evidently been taking prudent measures to save the lives of the men.


1. Cf. Curtius, vi. 16.

2. Sinope was a prosperous colony of Miletus on the Euxine. It is still called Sinoub. It was the birthplace of Diogenes.

3. Chalcedon was a colony of Megara, situated on the Propontis at the entrance of the Bosporus, nearly opposite Byzantium.

p.189-191

Parthian Stations

7. From that place Rhagiana (A very fertile strip between the Elburz range and the salt desert to the south, about 150 miles long, from the Caspian Gates to the modern Kasvin) Media, [58] schoeni. In it are 10 villages, and 5 cities. After 7 schoeni are Rhaga (the modern Rei) and Charax (is probably the modern ruin of Uewanukif, near the Caspian Gates. Both Rhaga and Charax are now represented by the modern Teheran. Charax means "palisade" or "palisaded earthwork."); of which Rhaga is the greatest of the cities in Media. And in Charax the first king Phraates settled the Mardi (a poor but warlike people of the Elburz range); it is beneath a mountain, which is called Caspius, beyond which are the Caspian Gates (The name was derived from the tribe of the Caspii, who gave their name also to the Caspian Sea, known to Greek writers as the Hyrcanian Sea; cf. Rawlinson, Sixth Monarchy, IV).

Jat History

The Busae of the Greek writers are the Bassi Jats, the Mardai/ Amardi are the Mirdha Jats.[22]


Bhim Singh Dahiya[23] writes that Mardha or Mirdha are the same as the Mardi of Herodotus and Amardi of Strabo. The word Mardi means “ Heroes”. Alexander defeated them in 330 B.C. between Persepolis and the Persian Gulf. [24] [25] The Mileds are the same as Mardic of Herodotus, the Marda Jats. They are also to be compared with Mridi (a man) after whom the city of Mardeyapura is named. [26] Mahabharata mentions Amartha, as a Janapada (country)' [27]

According to H. W. Bellew[28], Mardi have been recognised in the Dahi Marda Hazarah in Afghanistan, who are a free people, extends as far as the Baktri.

References

  1. "IRAN" [v. PEOPLES OF IRAN (2) Pre-Islamic]. Encyclopædia Iranica. XIII.
  2. Compact Bible atlas with gazetteer. Baker Book House. 1979. p. 7.
  3. Smith, William (1854). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. 1. Little, Brown & Company.
  4. Indo-iranica. 2. Iran Society. p. 21.
  5. Negahban, Ezat O. (1995). Marlik: The Complete Excavation Report. UPenn Museum of Archaeology. p. 321.
  6. Norris, Edwin (1853). Memoir on the Scythic Version of the Behistun Inscription. Harrison and Sons.
  7. Arrian: The Anabasis of Alexander/3b, Ch.24
  8. Arrian:The Anabasis of Alexander/4a, Ch.6
  9. Eadie, John (1852). Early Oriental History, Comprising the Histories of Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Lydia, Phrygia, and Phoenicia. Griffin.
  10. Negahban, Ezat O. (1995). Marlik: The Complete Excavation Report. UPenn Museum of Archaeology. p. 321.
  11. "CASPIANS". Encyclopædia Iranica. V. p. 62
  12. Negahban, Ezat O. (1995). Marlik: The Complete Excavation Report. UPenn Museum of Archaeology. p. 321.
  13. "GĪLĀN" [iv. History in the Early Islamic Period]. Encyclopædia Iranica. X. pp. 634–635
  14. Wright, John Henry (1905). A history of all nations from the earliest times. Lea Brothers.
  15. "IRAN" [v. PEOPLES OF IRAN (2) Pre-Islamic]. Encyclopædia Iranica. XIII.
  16. Encyclopædia Iranica. 13. Routledge & Kegan Paul. 2004. p. 336.
  17. Eadie, John (1852). Early Oriental History, Comprising the Histories of Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Lydia, Phrygia, and Phoenicia. Griffin.
  18. "CASPIANS". Encyclopædia Iranica. V. p. 62.
  19. electricpulp.com. "IRAN v. PEOPLES OF IRAN (2) Pre-Islamic – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org.
  20. Arrian: The Anabasis of Alexander/3b, Ch.24
  21. Arrian: The Anabasis of Alexander/3b, Ch.24
  22. Bhim Singh Dahiya:Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Introduction, p.x
  23. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Antiquity of the Jats, p.298
  24. Rawlinson , op. cit. vol. I. P. 338
  25. Bhim Singh Dahiya, Jats the Ancient Rulers ( A clan study), p. 287
  26. Panini, VI, 2, 101
  27. Mahabharata , 6 / 9 / 94
  28. An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, p.169