|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)|
Classified as an international waterway, it originates in the town of Donaueschingen--which is in the Black Forest of Germany--at the confluence of the rivers Brigach and Breg. The Danube then flows southeast for 2,872 km (1,785 mi), passing through four Central European capitals before emptying into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.
Once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire, the river passes through or touches the borders of ten countries: Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Austria , Germany , Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine, and Moldova before emptying into the Black Sea.
Variants of name
- Danubius (Latin)
- Danuvius (Latin)
- Ister (Latin)
- Istros (Ancient Greek:Ἴστρος)
- Donaris/Donaris (Dacian/Thracian name)
- Matoas (Thraco-Phrygian name)
- Isiras/Iṣiras (Sanskrit:"swift")
The name Dānuvius is presumably a loan from a Scythian language, or possibly Gaulish. It is one of a number of river names derived from a Proto-Indo-European language word *dānu, apparently a term for "river", but possibly also of a primeval cosmic river, and of a Vedic river goddess (see Danu), perhaps from a root *dā "to flow/swift, rapid, violent, undisciplined." Other river names with the same etymology include Don, Donets, Dnieper and Dniestr. Dniepr (pre-Slavic Danapir by Gothic historian Jordanes) and Dniestr, from Danapris and Danastius, are presumed from Scythian Iranian *Dānu apara "river afar" and *Dānu nazdya- "river near", respectively.
The Danube was known in Latin as Danubius, Danuvius, Ister, in Ancient Greek as Ἴστρος (Istros). The Dacian/Thracian name was Donaris/Donaris (Τάναις in Greek, upper Danube) and Istros (lower Danube).Its Thraco-Phrygian name was Matoas, "the bringer of luck". The Ancient Greek Istros was a borrowing from Thracian/Dacian meaning "strong, swift", akin to Sanskrit iṣiras "swift".
Ram Sarup Joon writes that .... In 500 BC, Jats took part in the civil war in Italy. When the hunters invaded Italy, the Jats defeated them on the battlefield of Nester. As a reward the ruler of Italy permitted them to occupy the Danube basin called Balkans now. After four years, differences arose between the Jats and king Theodius of Italy,
History of the Jats, End of Page-41
who attacked the Jats. The Jats were victorious and occupied Asia Minor. Then they attacked Rome and after defeating the famous military commander Allers, occupied the south Eastern portion of Italy. Theodius gave his daughter in marriage to the Jat leader. The Jats vacated Italy, advanced into and settled in Spain and Portugal.
After the death of the great Jat leader Totila, the Jat power declined and they were driven out of Italy. Soon after, the Arabs drove the Jats out of Spain and Portugal. Consequently Jats were so weakened and scattered that they ceased to exist as a recognised group in this area.
Arrian writes .....On the third day after the battle, Alexander reached the river Ister, which is the largest of all the rivers in Europe, traverses a very great tract of country, and separates very warlike nations. Most of these belong to the Celtic race, in whose territory the sources of the river take their rise. Of these nations the remotest are the Quadi and Marcomanni; then the lazygianns, a branch of the Sauromatians; then the Getae, who hold the doctrine of immortality; then the main body of the Sauromatians; and, lastly, the Scythians, whose land stretches as far as the outlets of the river, where through five mouths it discharges its water into the Euxine Sea. Here Alexander found some ships of war which had come to him from Byzantium, through the Euxine Sea and up the river. Filling these with archers and heavy-armed troops, he sailed to the island to which the Triballians and Thracians had fled for refuge. He tried to force a landing; but the barbarians came to meet him at the brink of the river, where the ships were making the assault. But these were only few in number, and the army in them small. The shores of the island, also, were in most places too steep and precipitous for landing, and the current of the river alongside it, being, as it were, shut up into a narrow channel by the nearness of the banks, was rapid and exceedingly difficult to stem.
Alexander therefore led back his ships, and determined to cross the Ister and march against the Getae, who dwelt on the other side of that river; for he observed that many of them had collected on the bank of the river for the purpose of barring his way, if he should cross. There were of them about 4,000 cavalry and more than 10,000 infantry. At the same time a strong desire seized him to advance beyond the Ister. He therefore went on board the fleet himself. He also filled with hay the hides which served them as tent-coverings, and collected from the country around all the boats made from single trunks of trees. Of these there was a great abundance, because the people who dwell near the Ister use them for fishing in the river, sometimes also for journeying to each other for traffic up the river; and most of them carry on piracy with them. Having collected as many of these as he could, upon them he conveyed across as many of his soldiers as was possible in such a fashion. Those who crossed with Alexander amounted in number to 1,500 cavalry and 4,000 infantry.
1. The classical writers have three names to denote this race:— Celts, Galatians, and Gauls. These names were originally, given to all the people of the North and West of Europe; and it was not till Caesar's time that the Romans made any distinction between Celts and Germans. The name of Celts was then confined to the people north of the Pyrenees and west of the Rhine. Cf. Ammianus (xv. 9); Herodotus (iv. 49); Livy (v. 33, 34); Polybius (iii. 39).
2. Arrian is here speaking, not of Alexander's time, but of his own, the second century of the Christian era. The Quadi were a race dwelling in the south-east of Germany. They are generally mentioned with the Marcomanni, and were formidable enemies of the Romans, especially in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, when Arrian wrote. This nation disappears from history about the end of the fourth century.
3. The Marcomanni, like the Quadi, were a powerful branch of the Suevic race, originally dwelling in the south-wesb of Germany; but in the reign of Tiberius they dispossessed the Boii of the country now called Bohemia. In conjunction with the Quadi, they were very formidable to the Romans until Commodus purchased peace from them. The name denotes "border men." Cf. Caesar (Bel. Gal., i. 51).
4. The lazygians were a tribe of Sarmatians, who migrated from the coast of the Black Sea, between the Dnieper and the Sea of Azov, in the reign of Claudius, and settled in Dacia, near the Quadi, with whom they formed a close alliance. They were conquered by the Goths in the fifth century. Cf. Ovid (Tristia, ii. 191).
5. Called also Sarmatians. Herodotus (iv. 21) says that these people lived east of the Don, and were allied to the Scythians. Subsequent writers understood by Sarmatia the east part of Poland, the south of Russia, and the country southward as far as the Danube.
6. These people were called Dacians by the Romans. They were Thracians, and are said by Herodotus and Thucydides to have lived south of the Danube, near its mouths. They subsequently migrated north of this river, and were driven further west by the Sarmatians. They were very formidable to the Romans in the reigns of Augustus and Domitian. Dacia was conquered by Trajan ; but ultimately abandoned by Aurelian, who made the Danube the boundary of the Roman Empire. About the Getae holding the doctrine of immortality, see Herodotus (iv. 94). Cf. Horace (Carm., iii. 6, 13; Sat., ii. 6, 53).
7. The Scythians are said by Herodotus to have inhabited the south of Russia. His supposition that they came from Asia is doubtless correct. He gives ample information about this race in the fourth book of his History.
8. Herodotus (iv. 47) says the Danube had five mouths; but Strabo (vii. 3) says there were seven. At the present time it has only three mouths. The Greeks called the Black Sea πόντος εύξεινος, the sea kind to strangers. Cf. Ovid (Tristia, iv. 4, 55):—"Frigida me cohibent Euxini litora Ponti, Dictus ab antiquis Axenus ille fuit."
Cities and towns on Danube
- Donaueschingen in the State of Baden-Württemberg – Brigach and Breg rivers join to form the Danube river,
- Möhringen an der Donau in Baden-Württemberg,
- Tuttlingen in Baden-Württemberg,
- Sigmaringen in Baden-Württemberg,
- Riedlingen in Baden-Württemberg,
- Munderkingen in Baden-Württemberg,
- Ehingen in Baden-Württemberg,
- Ulm in Baden-Württemberg,
- Neu-Ulm in Bavaria,
- Günzburg in Bavaria,
- Dillingen an der Donau in Bavaria,
- Donauwörth in Bavaria,
- Neuburg an der Donau in Bavaria,
- Ingolstadt in Bavaria,
- Kelheim in Bavaria,
- Regensburg in Bavaria,
- Straubing in Bavaria,
- Deggendorf in Bavaria,
- Passau in Bavaria,
- Linz, capital of Upper Austria,
- Krems in Lower Austria,
- Tulln in Lower Austria,
- Vienna – capital of Austria, where the Danube floodplain is called the Lobau, though the Innere Stadt is situated away from the main flow of the Danube (it is bounded by the Donaukanal – 'Danube canal').
Slovakia: Bratislava – capital of Slovakia, Komárno, Štúrovo,
Mosonmagyaróvár, Győr, Komárom, Esztergom, Visegrád, Vác, Szentendre, Dunakeszi, Budapest – capital of Hungary and the largest city on the Danube. Szigetszentmiklós, Százhalombatta, Ráckeve, Adony, Dunaújváros, Dunaföldvár, Paks, Kalocsa, Baja, Mohács,
Serbia Apatin, Bačka Palanka, Futog, Veternik, Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci, Zemun, Belgrade – capital of Serbia, Pančevo, Smederevo, Kovin, Veliko Gradište, Golubac, Donji Milanovac, Kladovo,
Romania: Moldova Nouă, Orşova, Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Calafat, Bechet, Dăbuleni, Corabia, Turnu Măgurele, Zimnicea, Giurgiu, Oltenița, Călăraşi, Feteşti, Cernavodă, Hârşova, Brăila, Galați – largest port on Danube, Isaccea, Tulcea, Sulina, –
Jwala Sahai writes... Mr. Keene in his Fall of the Mugal Empire says:- "Wherever they (the Jats) are found, they are stout yeomen; able to cultivate their fields and to protect them, and with strong administrative habits of a somewhat republican cast. Within half a century, they have four times tried conclusions with the might of Britain, The Juts of Bharatpur fought Lord Lake with success and Lord Combermere with credit; and their Sikh brethren in the Panjab shook the whole fabric of British India on the Satlaj in 1845 and three years later on the field of Chilianwala. It is interesting to note further that some ethnologists have regarded this fine people as of kin to ancient Getae and to the Goths of Europe by whom not only Jutland but parts of the south-east of England and Spain were overrun and to some extent peopled. It is therefore possible that, yeomen of Kent and Hampshire have blood relation in the natives. of Bharatpur and the Panjab."
Its origins are completely obscure, since by its geographical position it received some of the first waves of the invasion by the Germanic tribes, at a time from which almost no historical information has survived. The name "Kent" predates the Jutish invaders, and relates to the much earlier Celtic Cantiaci tribe whose homeland it was.
During the British rule over India, colonizers and scholars noticed to their astonishment that many Jat people had apparently English family names or very similar. Certainly the proud Jats would have never adopted British surnames for their own ancestral clans, and they did not result from intermarriage either. Other foreign powers ruled over the Indus Valley before and for longer periods than England, yet no Jat clan names corresponding to the previous rulers have been found. Besides this, no other Indian people had such names except Jats.
This peculiarity led scholars to research about these Jat-British homonyms: those names in England may be traced back to a Jut origin, mainly Kentish; among the Jats, they exist since the distant past. This appears to be more than a coincidence; Jats and Juts are the same people.
This assertion finds confirmation in historic records, for example, the Roman writer Ammianus Marcellinus, who called all Sarmatian peoples "Alani", wrote: "Alani once were known as the Massagetae. The Alani mount to the eastward, divided into populous and extensive nations; these reach as far as Asia and, as I have heard, stretch all the way to the river Ganges, which flows through the territories of India".
British scholars and also officers compared the Jats' warrior character with that of the Kentish men as well as their traditional laws, for instance, the double heritage part for the youngest son, still practised among Indian Jats. An accurate research about this people which takes account of all the relevant characteristics of their ethnicity reveals that they are among the purest Sarmatic tribes existing today.
The Jats undoubtedly descend from the easternmost branch of the Sarmatian people, the Yazyg of Central Asia, that curiously have the same name of the westernmost branch in the Danubian region: Jász, Jat, Jut.
सीथिया व मध्य एशिया में जाट
जिस तरह से भारतवर्ष में गंगा व यमुना नदियों के मैदानों से लेकर सिन्ध नदी तथा उसकी पांच सहायक नदियों के मध्य भूभाग तक पूरे उत्तरी भारत की विशाल एवं उपजाऊ भूमि पर जाटों की घनी संख्या तथा शासन, आदिसृष्टि से रहता आया है, ठीक इसी तरह से सीथिया व मध्य एशिया में भी डेन्यूब नदी तथा नीस्टर नदी के मध्य के उपजाऊ भूभाग से लेकर पूर्व में तारिम नदी की घाटी तक इस विशाल भूखण्ड पर जाटों की घनी आबादी तथा शासन आदिसृष्टि से रहता आया है।
प्राचीनकाल से आज काल तक ऐसा कोई समय नहीं है कि देश-विदेशों में विशेषकर उत्तरी भारत एवं सीथिया तथा मध्य एशिया व मध्य-पूर्व में जाटों का निवास, शक्ति तथा शासन न रहा हो। इसके विषय में तृतीय अध्याय, वैदिक, रामायण तथा महाभारतकाल के प्रकरण में और इसी अध्याय के पिछले पृष्ठों पर काफी प्रकाश डाला गया है।
‘रेसिज ऑफ मेनकाइण्ड’ पुस्तक, लेखक कलविन केफर्ट के अनुसार -
- “आर्यशाखायें जिनको नॉरडिक कहा गया, ने 7700 ई० पू० में तिएनशान पर्वतमाला को पार करके उत्तरी क्षेत्र के देशों में अपना निवास स्थान बना लिया। बाद में ज्ञात हुआ कि ये लोग गेटी (जाट) हैं जो कि वहां हजारों वर्ष तक रहे। इनके देश की सीमा, पश्चिमी तुर्किस्तान के पर्वतीय क्षेत्र, काशगर तक, तिएनशान पर्वतमाला से बाल्खस झील तक, रूस के किर्गीज़ प्रान्त (जो कि पश्चिमी तुर्किस्तान के दक्षिणी भाग में है) जिसमें सात नदियां हैं, सिर दरिया का ऊपरी भाग, इस्सीक झील, चू नदी एवं इली नदी के बीच का क्षेत्र, ये सब शामिल थे। आर्य नस्ल की इस महान् नॉरडिक शाखा के पूर्वपुरुष जाट लोग ही थे (पृ० 228-229)।”
- “लगभग 4300 ई० पू० में ये जाट लोग उत्तर की ओर बढ़कर पश्चिम में किर्गिज के मैदानों (रूस में , पश्चिमी तुर्किस्तान का उत्तर भाग) में और यूराल पर्वत तथा कैस्पियन सागर तक फैल गये। अन्त में ये लोग पांच भागों में अलग-अलग हो गये जिनके नाम ये हैं -
- 1. शिवि 2. घुमण 3. गेटा (जाट जिन्होंने अपना नाम जाट ही रहने दिया) 4. Massagetae (मस्सागेटे महान् जाट संघ) 5. शक।”
ये सब जाट गोत्र हैं (पृ० 232)। आगे यही लेखक लिखता है कि शिवि लोग 2300 ई० पू० में अलग हो गये जबकि घुमण 1700 ई० पू० में और गेटे या जाट 1000 ई० पू० में अलग हुए। शक तथा महान् जाट संघ वहीं पर रहे, जब तक कि वे कुषाण,
जाट वीरों का इतिहास: दलीप सिंह अहलावत, पृष्ठान्त-342
- तुखारी और श्वेत हूणों के नाम पर फैले।” ये सब जाट थे जैसा कि पिछले पृष्ठों में लिख दिया है।
कलविन केफर्ट ने आगे लिखा है कि “इन्हीं जाटों का एक संघ मांडा कहलाया (पृ० 209)। जाटों ने अपने राजा तानौसिस के नेतृत्व में लगभग 1323-1290 ईस्वी पूर्व मिश्रियों को पराजित किया और वहां से वापिस आकर पश्चिमी एशिया का बहुत सा क्षेत्र जीत लिया। इस क्षेत्र को अपने मित्र मांडा लोगों के राजा सोर्नुस के अधीन करके अपना सहायक बना लिया।” (पृ० 275)
- Katičić, Radoslav. Ancient Languages of the Balkans, Part One. Paris: Mouton, 1976: 144.
- Dyer, Robert (1974). "Matoas, the Thraco-Phrygian name for the Danube, and the IE root *madų". Glotta (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (GmbH & Co. KG)) 52 (1/2): 91.
- Šašel Kos, Marjeta (2009). "Reka kot božanstvo — Sava v antiki" [River as a Deity – The Sava in Antiquity]. In Barachini, Jožef. Ukročena lepotica: Sava in njene zgodbe [The Tamed Beauty: The Sava and Its Stories] (in Slovene, abstract in English). Sevnica: Javni zavod za kulturo, šport, turizem in mladinske dejavnosti. pp. 42–50. ISBN 978-961-92735-0-0.
- Katičić, Radoslav. Ancient Languages of the Balkans, Part One. Paris: Mouton, 1976: 144.
- Ram Sarup Joon: History of the Jats/Chapter III, p.41-42
- Arrian Anabasis Book/1a, ch.3
- History of Bharatpur/Chapter I By Jwala Sahai, p.2-3
- जाट वीरों का इतिहास: दलीप सिंह अहलावत, पृष्ठ.342-343