The Two Thousand Years Old Language of Afghanistan



The Mother of Dari Language

 (An Analysis of the Baghlan Inscription)



Abdul Hai Habibi


A Publication of the Historical Society of Afghanistan


Kabul 1967

Government Printing Press




The Mother of Dari Language is a detailed analysis of the Baghlan inscription which was discovered near the ancient city of Baghlan in northern Afghanistan in 1953. The inscription dates back to the time of the Kushanid Emperor Kanishka, in the second century A.D., and was written in the Kushani language. It was analyzed by Professor Abdul Hai Habibi, in 1963. He presented his findings in a book entitled Madar-e Zaban-e Dari (Mother of the Dari Language) which was later translated into English.

Professor Habibi undertook the task of reading the inscription, written in cursive Greek letters, and in doing so he analyzed each word and came to the conclusion that the Kushani language had affinities with both Dari (Persian) and Pashto. Some of the words used in the language are living words found in these languages. He concluded that its language was an ancient form of Persian spoken in Afghanistan and the origin of the words can be found in old Persian, Pahlavi, Sughdi, Khotani, Pashto, Sanskrit and other languages spoken in the mountain valleys of Afghanistan.

The inscription is the oldest excavated document pertaining to the origins of Dari and sheds light on the two thousand year old language spoken in ancient Tukharistan and its relationship to the languages of the region. Due to its linguistic, philological and historical importance the book has been translated into English so that it may be available to a wider audience

Classical Persian, Arabic and Pashto texts are known by the name of a book such as the Shahnama, and Burhan-e Qat. Following this tradition the names of books were referred in the footnotes and as such the bibliography is alphabetized in compliance with the footnotes i.e. according the name of the book followed by the name of the author.



 As a result of highway construction in the historical province of Baghlan, Tukharistan, a Greek inscription was discovered in Surkh Kotal in 1951, 15 km from the city of Pule Khumri. The discovery prompted the French Archaeological Mission to continue its excavations in the area, and consequently in 1952 and 1953, the mission, under the direction of Daniel Schlumberger, uncovered the relics of a great Kushanid temple, along with a series of coins, statues, and inscriptions. Among the ruins, a fire-altar for a sacred fire was also found. The temple was constructed during the early Kushanid period and this historical building was destroyed around 240 A.D. by a fire, the remains of which can still be seen in the temple.

According to Schlumberger the temple was not a place where statues were displayed akin Greek temples. Nor did it follow the Buddhist tradition of a shrine as a depository of Buddhist remains but the temple held only the sacred fire. Even six or seven centuries after Zoraster, the same iyr (this word is the same in content as ore of Pashto) was lit there. It dates before the reform of Mazd Yasna beliefs during the Sassanid period, and fire worship there seems to have been a local manifestation.

The fire-altar of Surkh Kotal in Baghlan is the first temple of its kind to be discovered in Afghanistan. Upon studying its remains, scholars have concluded that it truly represents the cultural and artistic peculiarities of the country during the Kushanid period. Meanwhile, the language of the inscriptions is a local Afghan language.

The most important and elaborate inscription discovered in this temple on May 7, 1957, was a flat stone whose left side measured 117 cm, the right 110 cm, the top 132 cm and the bottom 125 cm. The inscription was etched on a flat stone but it seemed that some areas of its surface were pitted and others contained irregularities before the inscription was carved into the stone. However, the letters of the inscription have not been damaged and its 25 lines can be read easily. The number of letters, which are in Greek cursive script, totals 947, with each line holding from 25 to 48 letters.

The orientalists who studied the inscription are Andre Maricq, who published the results of his study in the Journal Asiatique,[1] M. B. Henning[2] and Emile Benveniste.[3] The later scholar also studied two other inscriptions which were discovered on several pieces of flat stones at Surkh Kotal and his study is somewhat different from the others.

Among the three tablets I examined I call the largest the first copy while I consider the other two the second and third copy. I started my work on the first copy by taking into consideration previous research done on the subject. Therefore I do not insist that my views are necessarily definitive. In the future, if another scholar should read the inscription with greater accuracy, I will accept his findings.

In this treatise I first examined each word on its historical and linguistic basis and at the end of the study I include photos of the inscription. I also prepared a chart of the words, along with their Dari and English translation and made some linguistic and historical remarks as well.

It is my hope that this study will benefit all researchers, and if there are any inconsistencies in my rendering of the inscription, I trust that the reader will not hesitate to correct them.



Preliminary Notes

 In preparing my analysis of the Surkh Kotal inscription I have compiled a basic core of historical and linguistic background material which appears in the first section of the book to help the reader decipher the contents of the inscription.


 1. The Language of the Inscription or 1800 Years Old Persian

 In their study of the inscription European orientalists have referred to its language as Bactrian but because Baghlan is situated in historical Tukharistan it is better to call the language Tukhari. However, here I have named it a Kushani language, which is the correct appellation. Al-Beruni and Al-Bushari Maqdasi named the language of this province, located between Balkh and Badakshan, Tukhari, and they consider it close to the Balkhi language. So calling the language of this inscription Tukhari is permissible.[4]

There are no documents from the pre-Islamic period showing a language which could be considered as the mother of the Dari (Persian) language, although the language of southern Pahlavi in Pars and northern Pahlavi in Mawara-un-Nahr, Khutan and Turfan had spread and was used as a court language in the Sassanid kingdom. In Khorasan, extending from the slopes of the Hindukush to the province of Gandahara, and in the court of the Kushanids and of such local rulers as the Hepthalites, a language did exist which we can now call the mother of present Dari language of Afghanistan. The oldest remnants of this language were discovered in the Surkh Kotal inscription relating to the second century A.D. It was inscribed in cursive Greek letters.

As seen from the analysis of the inscription, there is a close relation between this language, whether we call it Tukhari or Kushani, and that of the present Persian spoken in Afghanistan, Dari and Pashto of Afghanistan. Despite the fact that most of its words and verbs are common to Pashto, we cannot consider it as Pashto. It is rather the ancient structure or an older feature of current Persian. Meanwhile, the origin of some of its words can be found in old Persian, Pahlavi, Sughdi, Khotani and other dialects of Afghanistan.

In a book entitled Pashto and Loyakan of Ghazna, I mentioned that the language of this inscription might be Pashto or a language close to Pashto. A closer and precise look at words and the presence of word dividers in the form of (O) indicates that the language is closer to Persian than Pashto. Thus, there are two possibilities relating to this inscription and the language of the Kushanids.

First: According to the rules of philology, it might very well be argued that this language belongs to a large isogloss where two languages or two dialects mix together and possibly construct one common language or dialect. It may be that Pashto speaking Pakhats, an ancient Aryan race, reported in Veda and Avesta, lived in southern Hindukush, while another group of people of the Aryan race, who spoke a language which might have been the mother of the present Dari, lived in northern Hindukush. These two languages, as a result of close economic, social and cultural relations of their speakers, might have mixed together and created an isogloss on the slopes of the Hindukush in the province of Tukhar, as suggested by this inscription which has elements of both languages.

Second: It might also be suggested that the Kushani language, as seen in this inscription, might have existed as the court language in this realm before the advent of Dari and Pashto (around the second century A.D.). Afterward, during the following four centuries, until the advent of Islam, Pashto and Dari developed from it, because the most ancient literary works of Dari and Pashto date back to the early Islamic era.

By accepting the second possibility, we have to call the language of this inscription the mother of Pashto and Dari languages. It can be argued that four centuries seems to be an inadequate length of time for the complete separation of Pashto, in which case the second possibility becomes a matter of dispute.

Until now it was commonly believed that after the Arab invasion the Pahlavi language gradually developed into present Persian.[5] Currently another view has appeared which suggests that Dari, or the Persian spoken in Afghanistan, existed along with Pahlavi in pre-Islamic periods.[6] Several reasons have been given to support this view, but none is as comprehensive nor as important as the existence of the Baghlan inscription. Now that we have studied this inscription we are convinced that the present Persian language is by no means branched from Pahlavi, but that it existed 1800 to 2000 years ago in Tukhar as a language of court and literature, both written and spoken. We now have 25 lines of the language with all 155 words having the same figures of that historical period. Hence, the discovery of the Baghalan inscription has brought about a change in the world of linguistics and literature in Afghanistan, unsettling previous scholastic views.

Concerning the existence of the Persian language, one notes that all the prose and poetic compositions in this language, which were discovered after the introduction of the Shahnama, written by Abu Mansoori (346 H.) in prose, were written in extremely clear Persian. This shows that the language was nurtured centuries before Islam in order for it to have acquired such lucidity and literary strength. Moreover, some sentences in fluent Persian have also been quoted in Arabic books during the advent of Islam.[7] In addition when poetry in the Dari language first appeared in Khurasan and Seistan, the poems were, in reality, so mature that no one could believe they were written at such an early period. In reality they reveal the maturity of the language at that time.[8]

In light of all these suggestions I am going to analyze two possibilities relating to the advent of Pashto and Persian. According to the date recorded in the Baghlan inscription we ought to believe that the mother of Dari language existed around the first or second century A.D. From its early form the language developed in five or six centuries into the Persian of early Islamic period. The Shahnama of Abu Mansoor is an extant example of the language.

There are documents in hand in Pashto dating to the early centuries of Islam. Thus the same reasons mentioned for the development of the Dari apply to Pashto also. Pashto existed centuries before the advent of Islam and the language had reached maturity during the early Islamic era so that lucid poetry was recited in it.

From this we can deduce that Pahsto was not derived from the Kushani language,[9] but it existed concomitantly in the Pashtoon Khwa mountains. Thus, these two Afghan languages, just as today, were spoken at the same time. Their effect on one another is obvious. The Baghlan inscription carries some Pashto words and verbs which were probably transferred from Pashto to the Kushani language, or vice versa. The effect of these two languages on each other is more obvious today and there are several examples in which one language has acquired words from the other.

For example, Dari has idioms and expressions that Iranian Persian lacks. During marriage ceremonies in Kabuls Dari the expression palow ghot is used. It means tying the corner of the brides scarf (palow means the corner of a scarf and ghota means (to tie). In the same token the Persian speakers of Kandahar call each other o zoy. Zoy here means son while in Dari the word is pisar. Meanwhile, there are several words in Pashto which have been taken from Persian, such as saeb (apple), darakht (tree) etc., which Pashto speakers use without difficulty, although they have adapted them to fit the grammatical structure of their own language. Such words are used despite the fact that they have their own equivalents in Pahsto.


 2. The Kushanid Period and Date of the Inscription

 Words #68 to 74 give the date when the inscription was written as follows: In the 31st year of the kingdom, during the month of Nsn.[10] From the written documents of Kaniskha and his descendents, it seems that the year when Kanishka ascended the throne was accepted as the origin of the calendar of that period. Even after his death, dates were recorded according to this system. Although historians hold different views about the date of his ascension, 120 A.D. has been generally accepted for this purpose.[11]

In this connection, Sten-Konow, in an article[12] writes that Kaniskhas reign extended from 125 to 152 A.D. These dates are also accepted by researchers such as Christensen.[13] However, the author of the History of Afghanistan has written that Kanishka reigned from the years 125 to 160 A.D.[14] There are certain Indian inscriptions related to Kanishkas time, one of which records the date of the first month of summer, year 23, which corresponds to 151 A.D., while another carries a summer month date from year 24. The later is the year in which a descendent of Kanishka, Wasishka, ascended the throne of the kingdom. This, then clearly indicates that Kaniskha died between the summers of 151 and 152 A.D.[15] Since the authenticity of the above mentioned documents cannot be doubted we must reject the 160 A.D. date mentioned in the History of Afghanistan.

Moreover, Sten-Konow, in a study of Chinese documents of Hu Han Shu, has ascertained that Kanishka, before his death in 152 A.D. travelled to Khutan, and in that same year either was slain or died a natural death.[16] He has set the date of the origin of Kanishkas reign as 128 to 129 A.D.[17] If we accept the origin of the Kanishka period as 129 A.D., the spring (month of Nsn) of Year 31 corresponds to 160 A.D. or eight years after Kanishkas death.

There are several Khurushti and Brahman inscriptions available for study which have mentioned the dates about which we are concerned here: Kanishkas inscription carries the dates of years 1, 3 and 13. Wasishkas inscription has the dates of years 24 and 28. Huvishkas inscription list years 33 and 60 and Vasu-Devas inscription gives the dates years 74 and 98. [18]

From this we can ascertain that the Baghlan inscription was probably written during the reign of Kanishkas descendents, either Wasishka or Huvishka, around 160 A.D. If we consider the year of Kanishkas ascension to be somewhere between 120 and 125 A.D. then the date of the writing of this inscription could be set somewhere between 150 and 160 A.D.


 3. The Kushani Alphabet

The Kushani alphabet, according to the Baghlan inscription, has the following sounds, each of which is represented here with its corresponding figure in Greek alphabet as it appears in the inscription. Each word is described according to its numerical order in the following list. It is possible that some of the sounds of this language are not represented in the inscription in that the words which incorporate them were not used in the text. The symbols represented in the tablet are:

1. 2. 3. 4. F 5. 6. ϴ 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Ϲ 12. ϸ

13. ϸ 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. ϒ 23. 24.

25. fatha 26. dama 27. kasra 28. (O) word divider

 1. Represents the alif of Persian and has been used as a vowel for fatha. Since a separate figure is not used for the sound (aa), it is difficult to differentiate the two.

2. Represents bae sound, as in b.

3. Represents pae in as in pohar, pour and pisar.

4. Represents fae. It is a sound which does not exist in present-day Pashto. Instead of which pae is used.

5. Represents tae, as in naist.

6. This letter has the sound like th which is close to tsae of Pashto.

7. Represents khae, although sometimes it has been changed to a hard (k).

8. Represents dal. It is found at the end of certain Kushanid words. In Persian and Pashto, it has either been omitted or modified to a slight (h).

9. Represents rae. The same sound is used today as in kard.

10. Represents zae but it has sometimes been changed to zhae. However, in this inscription, there are no separate figures for zhae and jeem, so possibly it only has the sound zae.

11. Represents seen which has sometimes been changed to zae or chae and in Pashto to tsae or zae.

12. Represents sheen. This letter originally did not exist in Greek alphabet so the Kushanids created a letter to represent it.

13. Represents sean of Pashto. It is composed from the Pashto consonant cluster shkh which is made up of (sh) and (kh). It is obvious that the Kushanids used the sound of this letter in much the same way in which the current Kandahari sound of shkh is pronounced. It was not just a kh in which case it probably had the figure kh-x. Because the retroflex sound is found in Avesta, Sanskrit and Russian we can conclude that it has had a considerable historical background in Afghanistan and that its correct pronunciation is somewhere between (sh) and (kh).

14. Represents kaf as in kard.

15. Represents gaf as in bag.

16. Used for nag at the end of some Kushanid words.

17. Represents lam, although in Pashto and Persian, it has been changed to dal and rae in some words.

18. Represents meem. In the singular it has been used for possessive pronouns, sometimes between separators and sometimes connected to another word.

19. Represents noon. This letter was used in exactly the same context as it is used today.

20. Represents wow. It is expressed as a compressed (w) and occurs at the beginning of words.

21. Represents a silent wow.

22. Represents hae. This particular upsilon did not exist in the Greek alphabet and is considered to be a Kushanid invention.

23. Represents the compressed ya in Persian.

24. Represents the soft ya in Persian.

25. Represents the fatha or the vowel ().

26. Represents the dama or the vowel (u).

27. Represents kasra or (). It has been used both within words and as an annexed vowel as in the current usage. In Persian script, it is sometimes represented by a ya. Although the figure for ya has become smaller, and this diminution is placed at the end of each word which needs the annexed vowel.

28. The circle O has been used as a word separator or terminator and is frequently used in the inscription. A more detailed description of this symbol is provided in the next section.


From the letters and symbols of the inscription we can hypothesize that the Kushani language, from the point of view of sound similarities, belongs to the western Aryan language family. One supporting fact in this regard is that particular sounds of the eastern hemisphere (Indian) such as tae, rrae, dal and oun are not represented. Therefore, we can establish a theoretical boundary between the eastern and western languages and dialects of the Aryans. It is possible that the area between the Indus and Helmand rivers formed an isogloss, which we could say was Pashto. Furthermore, some other dialects spoken in the Badakshan mountains and Urmori, Pashaee and Nuristani have sounds similar to both the eastern and western language families.

This inscription does not bear the most commonly used sounds of Pashto and Persian, such as jeem, chae, zhae and ghein. It is not clear whether these sounds did not originally exist in the Tukhari language or whether there was no need for their use in the 155 words represented in the text. Therefore, until other documents in this language are found, its alphabet is represented as found in the inscription.


4. Word Spacing

 One issue to which European orientalists have not paid attention, while reading Kushanid inscriptions in Greek letters and the writing on coins, has been the signs which they have used to separate words. To divide the words they have used the symbol O at the end of each word. Henning, Maricq and others have shown concern that the reading of the Baghlan inscription is difficult because there is no spacing between the words, thus rendering it difficult to separate one word from the other.

However, in my studies of the Surkh Kotal, Rozgan and Jaghatu inscriptions, all of them written in Greek script, I have determined the existence of a word divider in the form of O. For if the word dividers are struck from the ends of the words, the new words obtained are very meaningful. In fact, these very same words are to be found in old Persian and Pashto literature. The sha equivalent of shah was read shao, its word divider having been included, and kird i.e. kard of Persian was read as kirdo, thus mutilating these two terms. Similarly, hundreds of other words have met the same fate in the spree of incorrect reading.

In all the discovered remains of the Greek script of Afghanistan, a small circle is observable at the end of each word. This circle serves as a word divider which should definitely not be considered the last letter of the word it follows. It sometimes also appears in the form of a small square, while word dividers in the form of (<) can be seen in the cuneiform characters of Achaemenian inscriptions. Therefore, in the Surkh Kotal inscription of Baghlan, the small circle should in no way whatsoever be considered a part of the word. The words bag lang, mandar, bag pOhr, ab, kand, nobixt, froman, borzmihr and Neican should not be read in their mutilated forms of bago lango, mandaro, bagO, pohro, abo, kando, nobixto, fromano, borzomihro and neicano. Indeed, how is it possible for all the words of a language to end in O and for no word not to end in it in several inscriptions containing a total of two hundred words?

Now we shall focus our attention on a number of coins of that period with legends in the Greek script. The symbol O was usually used for divider words or terminator words and it can be seen on the coins of Emperor Gondophares who ruled in the first century A.D. Again, it was sometimes written in the form of a square. However, on a coin belonging to Hermaeus (98 B.C.) Hermaiozo-o is inscribed under the figure of a king and is separated from Bazileuzzuter-o above it by the symbol O as shown.

From a general study of the Greco-Bactrian and Kushanid coins, it can be established that this symbol was seldom used with Greek words proper, but that when the Persian title shahansh was used instead of the Greek Bacileyc Bacilewn, the word divider was placed beside it. In fact, the use of the word divider was one of the characteristics of the Greek script of the language of the Kushanid period. For instance:


One of the coins carried this legend: Kaneshki Kushansha-o-nan-o-sha-o, with the word divider used at the end of the words. From this it is evident that the title of emperor was composed in three parts, namely, sha+nan+sha.

On another coin is inscribed: Kaneshkisha-o. The word divider, as can be seen, is at the end of the word.

A Kaneshki coin (circa 160 A.D.) carried the following legend: OOKSHKI KUSHANSHA-O-NAN-O-SHA-O.

 One of the most convincing proofs of the symbol O being a word divider or word terminator is that most of the Kushanid coins carry inscriptions of the names of gods, from which, with the deletion of the omicron, the original Pashto or Persian words are obtained. For instance:

Orlagi on a coin of Kanishki Kushan Sha Nan Sha, from which wardagi of Pashto has been derived.

atsh on another coin of Kaniski Kushan Sha (tash of Persian).

MA on a coin of Kanishki (mh of Persian).

ARDOXSH on a coin of Kanishki (Ardokhsh was the name of a god?).

MIR on a coin of Kanishki (mr of Pashto and mehr of Persian).

WAD on a coin of Kanishki (bd of Persian).

FAR on a coin of Okshki (fr of Persian), and

WISH on several coins (wsh of Pashto).


All of these words prove that the terminal O is not an integral part of the word, for these words have preserved their original form even to this day. On the coins of later Sassanian kings discovered at Hadda and Bagram, Greek letters have also been sometimes used. On two of these coins, small in size on the obverse side is pictured the figure of a king with a Sassanian crown, while on the reverse side is a temple. The king faces to the right, and in front of him, starting at two oclock, SHABOR has been inscribed with no omicron at the end. But, Cunningham[19] has described a coin which carries the same inscription, but with a terminal O, which he claims was minted in Balkh around 356 A.D. Thus, from the above, it can be inferred that the Sassanians of Persia sometimes did, and at other times did not use this symbol.

A study of the three inscriptions of Baghlan will show that the differences among them are trivial. In the first, the words sha and ma have been inscribed with the word divider placed after the letter SHA-O and MA-O. But in the second inscription, the words have been written thus: MAY-O and SHAY-O. In the first instance, the words should be read as sh and m and not as sho and mo because O is the word terminator. On the same basis, the words in the second inscription are shh and mh and not shho and mho as O is not the last letter of the words. It seems that at that time, also, these words had two written forms each, just as in Persian literature the word shh is sometimes written as sh. In the first and third inscriptions we have: SHA-O. But in the second one, as it was intended to add an upsilon to sh and m, the upsilon was attached and the word divider added after it. This proves that O after the words sh and m was not part of the original word. When it was intended to add the sound (h) or upsilon to the end of words, the word divider was placed after the upsilon and the words.

In addition to the three inscriptions just described, the word divider O is also seen in one of the Rozgan inscriptions which is readable. Bara-O-pan-O-Zoo-O-wyp-O-ron-O-Z mik?-O (The great prince Mir Sang Zmik?).

This symbol is also seen in an inscription at Jaghatu of Ghazna stating the Bhuddist Tri-Ratna:

NAMW-O-BOO Reverence to the Buddha

NAMW-O-DHARMA Reverence to the Dharma

NAMW-O-SANGA Reverence to the Sangha

In Sughdi, the Tri-Ratna was written in the following manner, with no O at the end of the words Put, Darm and Sank. NMW PWT. NMW DRM. NMW SANK (Reverence to the Buddha, reverence to piety and reverence to society). It should be noted that, in the Greek script, there are three word dividers between the six words, each word divider dividing the two words of a line.

In another Jaghatu inscription, the words and the word dividers are in the following relationship: BAG O SAGASISHAPOR O VIM O SHA O ULUGH. Doubt exists as to the correct reading of the second word. But according to the rules of the script, four word dividers have been placed among the five words, and in Persian it would read bg sagzishapor vim sh ulugh.

In the Islamic period, remnants of this word divider are seen in a few copies of the holy Quran. It has been used for separating verses from one another and has this very same O form. Diacritical marks and vowelization were not used in the old Kufic script. Actually, it was Abu-al-Doueli (died 96 H.) who used diacritical marks for vowelization, and it is thought that he may have copied them from the Caldians.[20] Moreover, according to Ibn-i-Kallikan Hajjaj, the governor of Iraq, employed punctuation to distinguish similar Arabic form.[21] Thus, from the preceding statements, it becomes evident that the Arabs had no need for vowelization and punctuation, but that in order to make the reading of Arabic easier for non-Arabs, they adopted the practices of punctuation and vowelization. For example, Khalil Ibn-i-Ahmad, who died in 170 H., arranged the Arabic letters in Kitabul-Ain in accordance with the Sanskrit alphabet.[22]

During the reign of Abd-al-Malik ibn Marwan Umavi, a point was placed at the beginning and end of verses of the holy Quran. Later this was changed to three points.[23] It appears that the three points were adopted from late Pahlavi script, because in Pahlavi, also, three points were used to separate sentences. In the oldest Pahlavi copy of the Yasna, housed in the Copenhagen Museum and written by Hirbad Mehraban Kaikhusrao, three points have been used to separate sentences.

In order to mark the beginning and end of Quranic verses, a scholar from Afghanistan, Mohammad Bin Thaifoor Sujawandi Ghaznavi, who died in 540 H. and wrote Kitab-ul-Qaqf wa al-Ibtida and Rumuz-ul-Quran used such a device. Rumuz means the symbols just described.[24] As far as is known, these symbols have not been used in the old Kufic copies of the Quran, but they became common in Khorasanian copies after the fourth century Hejera. The present system of the separation of Quranic verses is that of Sujawandi,[25] and it is quite probable that Sujawandi adopted the O symbol from ancient Kushanid works. Afterwards it became the custom of scribes and painters to add a variety of decorative marks to it and to paint in gold and many other colors.


 5. Special Symbols

The last line of the Baghlan inscription at the end of words #154 and 155 carries two special symbols. These symbols are illustrated in the photograph of the inscription.


6. Grammar of the Kushani Language

An analysis of the words indicate that the form of some words ending with consonant letters or vowel sounds changes. In this respect the Kushani language is similar to Pashto and Sanskrit. This characteristic is less prevalent in Persian. In Pashto there are some governing words like la, t, pur by means of which the vowels at the end, and even in the middle of the words get transformed. For example kor (house) with the letter lah changes to lah kora. The word kahole (family) when used with tah changes into kahola tah. In Peshawar the word cinema when used along with tah changes into cinemay tah. Sometimes these changes occur in grammatical constructions, without governing words. For example, sarray rghay (the man came) with the use of fatha of the letter rae transforms to sarray wa wayala (the man said) and with kasra of rae becomes a sarriya. This is the same condition known as case in English grammar.

In the inscription Kaniskas name in #4 has been inscribed as Kaniskhko but in #11 Kanishki. Sometimes his coins carry his name as Kanishki Shah while elsewhere it is Kanishki Kushan Shan Nan Shan. The name of his son on one coin was written as Awishki Kushan Shan Nan Shan. This shows that the word Kanishka ending with an (a) was written in two ways: Kanishko and Kanishki. Similarly, the name of the head of the repair mission in #47 is inscribed Nokonzok. The same name in #143, in a modified case, is inscribed as Nokonzik in which case the O before K changed into an I. Thus we can say that #140, Kozgashki, too originally was Kozgashka. While used as a predicate of the word pohr the terminal letter (a) has been changed into an (i). However, this change occurred only in some words ending with special letters because we see in the inscription similar words like AB (water), MALIZ (fortress) and SAD written repeatedly but always in the same manner without any grammatical transformation. Thus it is clear that the law of transformation was not applied to all words but to some special words in specific cases.

Concerning an (a) at the end of the Kushanid names, Kanishka, Awishka, Kozgashka, it should be mentioned that they might be similar to Pashto names ending in (k) such as Khairak, Khatak, Hothak, Barak, Shaitak, Athak, Zmarak etc. The (k) at the end of these words, which exists both in Pashto and Persian, is used for greatness and praise. Though presently it is without any vowel sounds, in the past it had the sound of the vowel (a). In the History of Kashmir the author Kalhana (1148 A.D.) describes the names, Kanishka, Huvishka and Jouishka. In Kashmir there are three places called Kaishka Poora, Huvishka Poora and Jouishka Poora. Moreover, this book also give other names ending with (ka) like Janaka, Ashoka, Jalauka, Coltika, Rajanaka etc. This kind of transformation of words is currently used in Pahsto such as:

Kanishka wey (present subjective)

Kaniska wawayl (past subjective)

Da Kanishko Shhi (predicate for plural)

In this case the Kushani language is similar to Pashto, a feature which is not seen in present day Persian.


7. Possessive and Modifier

 a) Possessive in the Kushani language was shown with a special sign, an M symbol preceded and succeeded by a word divider O, connecting the two principle nouns i.e. #2 MALIZ, used as possessive to the word Kanishka which was written as MALIZ-O-M-O KANISHKO. This rule is similar to the one being used in Persian when the possessed is followed by the possessive. Meanwhile in the Kushani language in the possessive case the word Kanishka is changed to Kanishko. This is similar to the phrase ACACKO O-M-O SAD, formed by #115 and 116 and can be called a possessive form. But since the origin of acacko is not known so, in this particular case, we cannot say for certain whether M is a part of the word itself or is a possessive sign.

b) Another possessive sign which is repeatedly noticed in this inscription is with the letter (i). This is similar to the kasra-e izafi in Persian. This possessive sign has been given a special place in the Kushani language i.e. possessed followed by a word divider succeeded by the possessive sign (i) such as LROHOMINAN-I-EIR (holy deity of the fire). The same is written in Persian as parastinda-e astash. At the same time the possessive (i) has also been used as bin (son) between #57 and 58 i.e. BOSAR-I-SHIZOGARG (Bosar son of Shizograg).

c) Sometimes a possessive composition has been used without any sign, a particle which is also common in todays Persian like Kozagahki pohr=Kozgashki pour, Borzmehr pohr=Borzmehr pour which in the current form would be Borzmehr zada (son of Borzmehr). Again we have the compound KHODI FROMAN formed from #145 and 146 meaning Gods decree. In Persian it is written as farman-e khoda.

d) Descriptive compositions in the Kushani language are generally in the same form as Pashto where the description is preceded by the adjective such as #134 and 135. The composition of the words MASHT KHIRGOMAN meaning great forecourt and the nouns EIIOMAN NOBIKHT #148 and 149.

In the inscription adjective as a title comes after description such as #4 and 5 KANESHKO ANIND (Kanishko the auspicious) or KANISHKI NAMOBERG (Kanishka the famous).


8. Possessive and Honor kf (k) and gf (g)

The two letters were discussed earlier under grammatical conditions of the Kushani language and will be further discussed in #11. Nouns ending in (k) are quite numerous in the Kushani language. Likewise, their use in Pashto was discussed earlier. In some cases the letter (k) is written like (g). It seems that its sound may have been between (k) and (g). As explained in #11 in Pahlavi it was sometimes pronounced as (k) and at other times as (g). The Arabic pronunciation of such words shows that they heard the letter (g) but were unable to pronounce it correctly, thus changing its sound to a (j). Such as the word karnamag, was changed to karnamaj and the word barnamag was converted to barnamaj.

The letter (g) has sometimes been used in this inscription as possessive and honor as noticed in #24 ABABAG, #46 KHOADEOG, #69 IIOG, #119 ALBARG, and #125 HAROGH. I think the sound (i) was changed to kh. Such as the word loyak of the Islamic period which in this inscription has been written as loikh.


9. Quiescents at the Beginning of Words 

There are no quiescents at the beginning of Persian words today, but like other Aryan languages its use is permissible in Pashto as in stor, lmar, wlarr etc. In this regard Pashto is similar to the Kushani language. The Surkh Kotal inscription has words whose initial letter C is silent in the past tense such as #25 and 31, but if they were to be changed into the present tense the silent letter would change to AC as in #40. Similarly, in the word FROMAN # 146, the F is silent.


10. Transformation of Kushani Letters to Persian and Pashto

Some words in the Kushani language ending with a (d) which were preceded by vowels like a, o and i, when transformed to Pahsto or Persian, the letter (d) was converted to a light (h) and was sometimes omitted altogether i.e.:


Kushani Persian Pashto

ot or od waw aw

pid bah pah

kid kh ch

cad chh tsah

tad t t

kald k klh

However, this rule was not permissible in the verbs like the word std. Even today it is istd, having a (d) at its end though preceded by the letter (a). Some Kushani words with minor changes are still extant in Persian such as:


Kushani Persian Pashto

akhesht khisht khasta

kird kard

poorwat parwarda parwarwa

pohar pour bour

firoman farmn

noubikht noubakht

khirgoman khrman


There are some words containing the letter (l) in the Kushani language which in Persian have been changed to a (d). The Kushani maliz meaning fortress has changed to madizh in Persian and naushal of Kushani has become naushad in Persian meaning a new place. Similarly shl in Kushani is shd in Persian and sd in Pashto.

In some cases (l) of the Kushani language has changed into (r) in Persian and Pahsto such as alow in Kushani is arw in Persian and Pashto meaning soul. Rawan in Persian has the same meaning. While in other cases a Kushani word ending with (a) is used in Persian and Pashto with an (h) added to it such as sh has been transformed to shh and m to mh in Persian.


11. Feminine Gender and Masculine Gender

In the Baghlan inscription feminine and masculine genders are absent. It seems that akin Persian there were no separate signs for the feminine and masculine genders in the Kushani language. This of course is different from Pashto, since Pashto has these genders. Consequently we can say that Pashto did not branch from the Kushani language while it seems that present day Persian is related to the Kushani language in which feminine and masculine genders are absent also.


12. Historical Perspective

a) The first founder of Baglang (Baghlan) was Bag Sha Kanishki Namwar Bahrawar, whose titles were Shah-e Buzurg and Khuda Shah which were originally Namo Barg (famous) and Bahrawar (fortunate). The writers of the inscription referred to him as the great king and the founder of Baghlan.

b) The fortress and the palace of Baghlan was called maliz=mahadizh (the great fortress). It was believed that Kaniskha built the palace in urgency. The same building was also called mander (temple).

c) As described in the section of #35, the specific name for the temple was Naushali=Nawshad.

d) After Kanishkas death the water of the temple decreased and the fire worshippers abandoned the palace.

e) In the spring of the 31st year of Kanishkas rule, around 160 A.D., when the late Bag Pohr Loikh Bosar son of Shizogarg, under the Kushanid empire was ruling as a king, a person named Nokonzik who had the rank of Karal Rang of the Mareg family, by the order of the king and Eiioman Nobikht, the prime minister, was summoned to go to Baglang. He was in charge of organizing the distribution of water and irrigation in the Kingdom. He was sent to Baghlan to repair the temple. Arriving there he dug a well and lined it with bricks. Moreover, an extensive area was annexed to the temple and it was rebuilt. With the repair of the well water was available in the Nawshad temple and it was reinhabited by the fire-worshipers.

f) As stated by the excavation team, this great building was later burned and extensively damaged by a fire. During the excavations it was discovered that the central hall, corridor and even the porches of the building were all plastered with ashes. The mission stated that signs of fire were witnessed in both the original and the annexed buildings. It is believed that the temple was deliberately burned down during the invasion of Shahpoor the Second around 240 A.D.

g) The well mentioned in the inscription was discovered during the excavation process and remained intact. At the same time the remains of the stream, also mentioned in the inscription, was discovered in the area.

h) To repair the Nawshad temple and the great fortress, besides Nokonzik there were other members of the repair mission (or the repair committee) who have been named by the excavation team. The names of these persons appear at the end of the inscription together with the signatures of two persons, they are: Borzomihr, Kozgashki Pour, Mihraman and Amihraman am Borzomihr Pohr.

i) The inscription bears some names and titles of the royalties and government officers as follows:

Bag (the great king)

Khudi (khuday=shah=khoade)

Bag Pohr (baghpoor=fagfoor=kings son)

Loix (Loyak, a family name)

Karal Rang (kinarang, a military family title)

Mareg (a family name)

Astil gansigien=str gansigien? (head of gansigien)

Freistar Ab (distributor of water)

Eiioman (most probably the vazir)

Further details about these words are provided in their analysis.

j) After reading the inscription it becomes clear that the mother of the current Persian spoken in Afghanistan existed at the start of the Christian calendar. It also shows that Persian did not originate from Pahlavi but during its long life changed from its mother, i.e. the Kushani language, into the its present form. Meanwhile, Pashto was probably spoken at the time in different mountain valleys of Afghanistan since the influence of both languages, Pashto and Kushani, is seen in some words of the inscription.


13. Three Copies of the Inscription

During the excavation of the Nawshad temple and the fire place, a large one piece stone inscription and several small pieces were discovered. Putting together the pieces produced two other copies of the inscription. These had the same alphabet and peculiarities and were etched for the same purpose.

The inscription on the largest stone, which I named the first copy, was in good condition and with a better writing style. The two other copies were probably inscribed at the same time or before or after the first copy.

The second copy consisted of 21 pieces of stones, each with a different length and width. Some pieces were slightly damaged but with the help of the first copy the writing can be read. This copy has 27 lines with signatures appearing at the end. The script of this copy is similar to the first one. Its writing style is not refined as the first copy. The width of the pieces range from 270-294 mm but the length of the largest piece is over 405 mm.

The third copy consists of 32 pieces of different sizes. The pieces are damaged and its writing style is not refined. For example, the first portion of each line starts with large letters, in the middle the letters are small and at the end they are of medium size. The signatures seen in the first and second copies are absent. Overall, it is not complete as the other two. Each piece has a width of 295 mm while the longest one is 490 mm. This copy has 27 lines.

It is not clear why three copies were inscribed for one text and why their writing style is different from one copy to the other? It is also not clear as to why the letters on the first copy are more refined than the other two? At this juncture the answer to these questions is not clear. It is possible that the first copy was written under close supervision of the repair mission with utmost care. It was probably inscribed by skilled craftsmen, while the other two were likely written by less skilled persons who were not talented scribers.

A similar example is the tomb of emperor Ahmad Shah. When the tomb was being built an inscription as prepared in a very beautiful Nastaliq style of writing. Later when the tomb was being repaired the inscription was repainted resulting in the loss of some of its elegance. It now looks quite different from its original artistic style.

The reading of the Baghlan inscription shows the following:

Because of differences in writing style of the three copies we can without doubt say that the copies were not inscribed by one person at the same time.

I am going to publish them as analyzed by E. Benveniste as the differences are explicit.

It is noteworthy that the pieces of the second and third copy were found in the wall of the well mentioned in the inscription. The fact is that the pieces were used as building material in the well. This leads to two conclusions. First, during a later time, when the temple was being repaired the builders considered the tablets as construction stones and used them in the well as building material. Second, it is possible, when Nokonzok, was repairing the temple he wanted to refine the inscription also. He probably ordered the inscription to be etched but finding the first two copies not to standard the pieces were discarded and used as building material. On the other hand he probably ordered that the larger piece be inscribed with care and in good writing. Finding that the other two tablets were not written in a refined style they were used to repair the well. It is fortunate that after 1800 years we have at our disposal all three copies.

In this treatise a full description and analysis of each word of the inscription from the view point of history, philology and grammar is provided.



Analysis of the Words


1. (id)

In old Persian and Avesta ida means here. Similarly aita in old Persian means this.[26] In Herawi dialect of Dari the same word existed as iz=id which is used in Tabakat-al-Sufia repeatedly and it means is i.e.

w pshne kasy iz (p. 16,11,15) he is before somebody.

khana haq iz (p. 283) it is the house of justice.

sheikh sham iz (p. 154) the sheikh is a prince.

Atan in Pahlavi was used as an infinitive meaning to be and ait was its singular for the third person meaning is.[27]

J. Kent, professor of Indo-European languages at Pennsylvania University states that a suffix for the singular third person in Indo-European languages was eti, iti in Avesta, ati in Sanskrit and aity in old Persian.[28]

Thus id of the Kushani language which meant is or here or this is can be considered the same as id in Herawi dialect of Dari. In Kandahari Pashto aay di means this is. In the inscription there are several words similar to id such as SID #8, KID #50 and 60, STAD #25 and PID #68 and 90. The (d) at the end of these words used after an (i), as a result of transformation of the word, is silent. Thus today in Persian and Pashto SID exists as chi=ch. An affirmative connector, KID is like ka=ki. STAD is like as=has (like this) in Pashto. EID of Kushani with a silent (d) transformed into a in Pashto. h=a are both used in the demonstrative case i.e. a khw=h khw (this way). In Persian it is as a taraf. a in Persian is used as an abbreviation i.e. eder (e+dar) here; adoon (a+doon) like this ar (a+r) this one; azyr or zra because.

In Pahlavi too a is a special particle. ar-a and chi ra both meant for this. The meaning of ayn and r is the same as ar they were originally separate from each other. In fact in Persian the words air=airk=azirak=azir are all of the same root. Naser Khusrow says: [29]

neko samar shao airak

mardum bajuz samar naest

Be virtuous for this reason (airk)

Without it there is no fortune.

In another verse he says:

nayaram ki yaram bood jahil airk

kera jahal yaraast yar ast marash

I mention not that my love was ignorant for this (ara),

One who is ignorant is the serpents friend.


2. (mlz)

This word is composed of two parts m+liz=mah+dazh (great fortress). It has been used seven times in the inscription with the same spelling i.e. in #16, 23, 44, 79, 95, 112 and 126. Henning read it as madiz. He believes that it originated from the old Iranian word diza meaning fortress. As an initial interpretation, Henning suggested it meant the acropolis of Greek language, while it means a fortress.

As far as I am concerned, the first portion of the word MA corresponds to maha in Sanskrit which means great. Its examples are seen in the words macheen (great China), maha baharat (great Baharat), mahakhuna or maha kahul (of great dynasty) and maharaja (great king). Farrukhi says: [30]


From great China (macheen) to Rome, Russia and Saqlab

All the lands belong to the great Khan.

Asadi Tousi another Persian poet has used the word mihraj as follows:[31]

There was a king in India by the name of Mihraj

A great king whose wish prevailed all over.


In fact the word is the same as meh in Pahlavi, mathiyah in old Persian, masao in Avesta and mshr in Pashto. In all these languages it means great and greater.[32] This is why Abu Raihan Beruni translated macheen into Arabic as assinul uzm (the Great China).[33] The first part of the word is used in Afghanistan as the name of places like Mashour, south of the city of Kandahar. ma+shour meant great city which is similar to Baghshour, a place north of Herat meaning the kings city.[34]

Regarding the second portion of the word lz, Henning believes it is the diza of old Persian which in Sanskrit is dehi (fortress), and uzdaeza in Avesta meaning to pile upon and diz in Pahlavi.[35]

The changing of (l) in Kushani words to (d) in Dari was quite common as revealed in the inscription such as #35, 64 and 119. Thus the Kushani liz has been converted to diz (meaning a fortress).

Manuchihri says:

Safeguad your friend from the deceit of time

In one thousand stone fortresses and one hundred thousand diz[36]

If we combine the two portions of the word i.e. maha+diz we get dazh buzurg meaning a great fortress. This shows that the temple of Surkh Kotal had a great fortress as well.[37]



This symbol represents a connective possessive letter and has been used in several instances in the inscription (refer to #15 and 131). It is also present in another Surkh Kotal inscription in Palamad writing. Currently m as a singular and m for plural are used in Pahsto as a possessive connector or possessive pronoun. In Persian it is used with the possessive such as kitbam (my book).

In the Kushani language (m) as a possessive connector was used between the possessive and possessed i.e. madiz-m-kaneshko meaning Kanishkas fortress. It should be mentioned that the name Kanishka has been written as Kaneshko in #4 and Kaneshki in #11. The changing of (a) at the end of the word Kanishka occurred according to the grammatical case in the Kushani language. Kanishkas name on his coins is inscribed as follows:sha-o-nan-o-sha-o-Kaneshki-Kushan meaning The Kushanid emperor Kanishka. On another coin it was inscribed as sha-o-Kaneshki.[38]

Thus while the modified, king, was used before the name Kanishka it was converted to Kanishki and contrary, when the modified was used before its modifier as in #4, the word became Kanishko. This change in Kushani language is similar to Pashto.


4. ϸ (kneshko)

This word was discussed in #3.


5. (nnd)

Previously the word was read as anindo together with the word divider. It was believed that it originated from wan (conquering and invading). Schlumberger relates it to the goddess of conquest.

In reality this modifier is anind which has been mentioned with the names of Buddhist and Brahman personalities in Afghanistan and India. Hiuan Tsang in his memoirs used the word anind with several Buddist names.[39] Farrukhi mentions a king, a contemporary of Sultan Mahmud, as Ninda. His dynasty was referred to as Nindaeyan.

In this land he came to claim its borders

With the cheating of Ninda, the villan.[40]

Again he says:

He has arisen the Nindayean against you,

Who are restless, sleepless and languid. [41]

From the writings of Gardizi it is clear that when Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (396 H). was on his way to invade Multan, it is possible that in Wahind, along the banks of the Indus, a king by the name of Anindpal, son of Jaypal ruled in the area. Arriving with his army Sultan Mahmud ousted him from the throne and he retreated to Kashmir.[42]

The name Anindpal has the same origin as anind. Dari and Pashto literary documents show that anind is deeply rooted in the languages of Afghanistan. In Pashto it means cheerful, happiness, enjoyment and pride. Khushal Khan says:[43]

There is much anxiety from the pious,

When the dervish cheers (nnd k) the sweeper.

Similarly Abdul Kader Khan says:[44]

For what purpose people advise us

Through his wisdom every man is proud (k nnduna).

As expressed in the following couplet of Hafez nnd means enjoyment and beauty in Persian also.

Long hair and a waistline does not make a prince

Be the subject of one who has grace and beauty (n).[45]

Thus if we combine n with the suffix nd it converts to anind meaning enjoyment, pleasure and happiness. It is similar to gazand and dzland of Pashto. Since the word is composed according to the rules of the languages of Afghanistan, and has deep roots in the Afghan languages, there is no reason to consider it of foreign origin.


6, 7 (bg lng=Baghln)

This name which has been repeatedly used in the inscription is composed of two parts. Bag, bagha or baga in all ancient Aryan languages means khuda (god or king). In old Persian and Avesta the word was baga and bahaga in Sanskrit,[46] and both cases were used in ancient names. In Russian too bagh means God.

The use of bagh is still evident in the names of places such as Baghpour (its Arabicised form is Faghfour meaning kings son), Baghistan (the current Bisotoon of Persian (which means Gods or kings place), Baghdad, Baghshoor, Baghni, Baghlan, Baghar (todays Daizangi), Baghavi (Sare Pul in Shiberghan), Baghak (Samangan), Baghain (Khurm), Baghawardan (Herat), which in Avesta has been written as Baghanyast.

However, this word is still alive in Pashto as bag in its original form of the Kushani language. It means, great powerful and muscular. The same form of the word is also annexed with names of places like Bagram, Bagrami (in Kabul), Bagal (Herat), Bagla (Ghazna), Baghlag (Daizangi), Baga Pai (Taluqan) and Bag (Tarnak).

Shamsuddin Kakarr a Pashto poet from Kandahar says:

My fortune is bad even though

From outside it appears great (bg).[47]

In Persian literature the word has the same meaning. Maulana Balkhi says:

Like bleeding a mosquito in the air

Why do you boast of kings and great (bg) people.[48]

From the writings of Mahmud Kashghari, 466 H. it is evident that the word bgh had entered the Turkish language of the time meaning an amir.[49] Naser Khusrau says:

Now every ignoble, slave and servant

Claims to be a matron, wrestler and great (bg) personality. [50]

As bgh originally existed in the old languages of Avesta, Sanskrit and old Persian it is possible that the word infiltrated Turkish because the Aryans, on different occasions, were in contact with Turkish tribes from Tukharistan to Khutan. However, the meaning of the word in the Indo-Iranian languages of the Iranian plateau was originally God. Later its meaning converted to great and majestic and was used as a title for kings and rulers as they considered themselves as gods or as great rulers. The words khuda and khudawand have been used in nouns such as Kabul Khuda, Zabul Khuda, Gozgan Khuda, Saman Khuda, Bukhara Khuda.[51]

In Pashto the word was used for names of people also. In 1160 H., the prime minister of Emperor Ahmad Shah was known as Sardar Wali Khan Bamizai, but his actual name was Bagey Khan which is in fact related to the bgh of the Surkh Kotal inscription. The Hindi bagwan (god) is also from the same root.

The second part of the word ang also seems to be old. It exists at the end of some names of places to this day such as Salang (a valley in the heart of the Hindukush range), Bashlang (Helmand valley), Alishang (Laghman), Mastang (Baluchistan), Zarang (Seistan), Poshang (west of Herat), Gerang (a city in Merv), and Warang (a pass in Ghor). Arab geographers changed ang to anj and consequently some of the aforementioned names were Arabicised and pronounced as Foshanj, Bashlanj, Zaranj etc.[52]

According to Henning, the origin of Bag-lang is in the Iranian word baga-danka. Due to the following reasons the second part of the word means a fire:

The remains of a fire alter and sacred fires were witnessed in the temple of Surkh Kotal.

The coins of some Kushanid kings of the Hindukush valleys bear on one side a fire-worshipping temple.

Ang meant fire in Veda which was in the form of angi, the god of fire. During the later Indo-Iranian period names such as azar (the angel which keeps fire), athr in Avesta, atar in old Persian, atur in Pahlavi and awr in Pashto became known.[53] In the 17th chapter of Bandhashan, a fire-worshipping temple has been mentioned which was named Azar-firo Bagh (the glorious fire of god). It is believed that the temple was located on a mountain called Koh-e Roshan (Roshan mountain) of Kabulistan.[54] The location of this mountain is not known now. However, since in the structure of its ancient name ang occurs as azar as the same bgh (god), one might surmise that it might be the Surkh Kotal temple. At present a mountain in Jurm of Badakshan is called Roshan mountain. It is possible that in the past the name referred to a vast area and now, like other geographical names, it applies to a smaller area. There is also the possibility that the Baghlan of that time was officially a part of Kabulistan as it is today. Azar-firo Bagh has the same meaning as Bag-Lang, both of which mean a fire temple of god. It may be best to avoid a hasty designation concerning the location of Bag-Lang in the same manner as has been designated to the location in Badakshan of Roshan Mountain. We can thus surmise that the temple of glorious fire of god did not exist in the mountains of Kabulistan, but somewhere else in this land, especially in view of the fact that this temple carried the same ancient ang interpreted as azar meaning atash (fire).

By drawing upon some linguistic factors we can provide further substance to the meaning of ang. The word duzakh (hell) in later Avesta has been written as duzhanghu. Its components are dazh meaning bad and anghu meaning fire, which when combined means bad-fire.[55] It is the same ang of the Kushani language.

Ang has its roots in the present languages of Afghanistan. In Pashto there are several words in which it occurs, i.e. angr, and angrah, both of which mean light and bright-fire. In the first part of these words is the same historical ang of the Kushani language. In addition, angl in Pashto means fervor and sharpness which are considered to be qualities of fire. Angza, also means sharpness and angul meaning sharp voice is from the same family of words. Presumably, the English anger, angry and angel, relating to light and brightness, may have the same root.[56]

Mullah Faiz Mohammad Kakarr, a contemporary of Emperor Ahmad Shah, who was from Zhob at the foothills of the Suleiman mountain, has used the word exactly in this manner:

My beloved nailed me to the leopards claw

My heart burns like a kindle with a flame (balng).

The word balng is composed of two components bal meaning a flame and luminous and ng meaning fire. So the meaning of the couplet is my heart burns like a kindle in the luminous fire. Hence the word balng means bright and luminous fire.

The Sughdi version of Bagh-Lang was Baghdang and its Iranian version Baghdanka. In both cases there is a (d) between bagh and ang. This (d) in Pashto sometimes changes into (l) such as dewar=dewal (wall) and gharbl=ghalbl (sieve). Words #2, 38, 64 and 119 in the inscription are of this nature. We see that the structure of this word in Pashto is the reverse composite while its direct composite is de bgh ang (gods fire). Its structure may have reversed later according to the rules of Afghan dialects as bagh-dang, baddang, and baghlang.

With the passing of time some words changed their original composition among which Baghlang is of this nature. In fact, its original feature was Baghlang but it changed to Baghlan. Such a phenomenon is sometimes seen in the names of cities also. As an example we can mention Badakshan, which in the 2nd century B.C. was Ta-nag-lang. Later on in the notes of Hiuan Tsang (630 A.D.) it was recorded as Pu-tu-ching-na. And Ywan Shi noted it as Ba-da-ha-shing.[57] The last part of the word ang changed to n thus we have Badakshan.

Another example is the town of Sang Chahrak of the Gozganan mountains. Past geographers recorded it as San Charak, a form still used today.[58] This case is seen in other names of places in Afghanistan i.e. Ghording, in Khakriz north of Kandahar, Yakding, east of Naghlo,[59] Kotal-e Badinj, between Laghman and Ushtorgram[60] and Kotal-e Soolang, north of Kabul between Kohistan and Nijrab.

While we cannot be certain about the structure of these words but after studying a series of similar words we can come to some conclusions on the basis of scientific principles.


8. Ϲ (sd)

Henning considers this word to be an interrogative pronoun synonymous to which and what of English and similar to KID #50 and 60. As the meaning of EID (#1) was explained, CID is also a relative adverb. In the later dialects of this land the (d) which appears after an (I) in CID, like #24, 50 and 60, became silent through time with the result that the CID changed to s=ch=chh, relative pronouns found in Pashto and Persian. In fact the pronoun ch still used by certain Pashtoon tribes of Afghanistan is pronounced as s. It appears exactly in the same form in has in Pashto. After the word divider (O) which separated CID from the following word an (I) appears in the inscription. It seems that this (i) is the same as yey in Pashto which is a particle of the subject, the object and the possessive. Even today after ch Pashto speakers use it in their conversation and writing such as ch yey wakhorr (after eating). Similarly, (i) has been used several other times in the inscription in #32, 34, 47, 48, 53, 55, 57, 58, 68, 103, 107 and 144. In all cases it is used after the word divider.


9. (bg, god and great)

This word was described in detail in #6 and it could be added here that it is sometimes used as a modifier of the succeeding word, king i.e. bg-shah which means great king or it can be translated as Gods king.


10. ϸ (sh, shh)

The Greek alphabet does not have a letter which represents the sound sh. In the inscription this sound is represented with a special symbol resembling a (| ). It seems that the Kushanids created a letter to represent sh. As the letter (P) in Greek represents rho (r) so this word was also mistakenly read by some as rawo together with the word divider. Consequently, it was mistakenly considered to be the Indian words row and ra. SA is repeatedly used in this inscription and is one of those words with an (h) occurring at the end. In olden times the (h) was deleted thus shinh was written as shin and padshh was written as padsha. Fakhr Gurgani says:

Thanks and goodwill to that king (sh)

Who created the world and us.[61]

It seems that in some Kushanid words when the (h) was preceded by an (a) the (h) was deleted. Besides shh another example of this nature is the word ma, written in the inscription without an (h) #73. However, in the second copy the words shah and mah were inscribed with an (h) like they are written now. It seems that even at that time the words were sometimes written with an (h) while in other instances the (h) was deleted.

Words #9 and 10, BAG SHA are modifiers for the succeeding word which is KANISHKI. Put together they mean Kanishka the great king. The word SHA is also used later in #53 and on Kanishkas coins.


11. ϸ (kneshk nmbrg)

Kaniskhas name, when composed with Namobarg, has been written as KanEsHKi explained in #4 of this analysis. Maricq and Henning both read Kaneshki together with the succeeding word namobarg. However, Maricq believes that there is no relation between the composite sections of namobarg, namo and barg. But Henning is of the opinion that barg means product while brg means a vessel or wall. Hennning also mentions that brg as a composite means being named.

KanESHki Namobarg is an ancient composite of Kanishka-i namdar and namwar (the famous and popular Kanishka). As no divider sign exists between the components of the composite, Kanishka+namo+barg, it can be called a compound objective. Also nmbrg is similar to the current namwar (famous) and nambar (popular). The word nm (name) which is written as num and nma in Pashto has an established foundation in ancient Aryan languages. In old Persian it is nmn, the last letter being silent. In Avesta and Sanskrit also it is nmn. Noman in Latin and nama in Khutani language.[62] The second part of the word brg is a possessive suffix linked to br or wr and has its roots in br and burdan. In Persian nm bard and nm burda meaning famous and popular are of the same root. In Pahlavi it was nmburtar. Ferdowsi says:

None of the crowned died as such,

As you the famous (nmburdar) did.[63]

Thus nmbar=nmwar means famous and popular and in the above phrase modifies the word Kanishka. The same modifier is used as numworr=numworray in Pashto.

The sound (g) at the end of the word existed in several ancient Pahlavi names and in the inscription it has been used in #24, 49 and 119. Among the verses of the Manavids, discovered in Turfan, one praises the light-tree in which poor mhi barazag (full moon) has been mentioned.

Some diminutive and undiminutive nouns in Pahlavi ended with a (k), whereas today a silent (h) is found i.e. bandak, dastak and gandak in Pahlavi which in Persian have become bandah, dastah and gandah.[64] Numerous words nowadays written with a silent (h) were written with a final (g) during the Sassanid period. Hazar Bandag was the title of Mehre Nersa. Dihig (leader of the village), payagan salar (foot soldier commander), tanurig (armored plated) and zhindag (huge elephant). Karnameh is another word which was pronounced with a terminal (g) as karnamag. But the Arabs changed the (g) to a (j) in which case it was pronounced as karnamaj. It is quite probable that the (g) at the end of such words was used later in Pashto and Persian as (k). Several examples are seen in Pashto words such as barak, atshak, khatak, shitak, smarak, shirak, hotak and babrak etc. This shows the closeness between Pashto and Kushani language in this specific aspect and unlike Pahlavi in which this (k) or (g) occurred at the end of words in Persian the words end with a silent (h). In the Kushani language and Pashto, its use at the end of words is without condition and implies a possessive case.

Mehre Nersa. Dihig (leader of the village), payagan slr (foot soldier commander), tanurig (armored plated) and zhindag (huge elephant). Karnameh is another word which was pronounced with a terminal (g) as karnamag. But the Arabs changed the (g) to a (j) in which case it was pronounced as karnamaj. It is quite probable that the (g) at the end of such words was used later in Pashto and Persian as (k). Several examples are seen in Pashto words such as barak, atshak, khatak, shitak, smarak, shirak, hotak and babrak etc. This shows the closeness between Pashto and Kushani language in this specific aspect and unlike Pahlavi in which this (k) or (g) occurred at the end of words in Persian the words end with a silent (h). In the Kushani language and Pashto, its use at the end of words is without condition and implies a possessive case.


12. (krd=krd)

This word is the same as krd of Persian used at the present time. It has its root in krdan, which beside meaning to do and action in olden times also was used to mean to build. In Avesta wara conveys the meaning and name of the first building built by Yama (Jamshid) in Balkh and warjm kard [65] means the wall (wara or bara) built by Jam. In old Persian krta=krd was used at the end of the names of buildings and cities with the meaning built by such as Parsa Karta (azargad), Bilash Kard, Khisrow Kard etc. Ferdowsi used the word krdan with the same meaning as used in the inscription:

I have made (kardm) the world pure of brawlings,

I have made (kardm) numerous cities and fortresses.[66]

In Herawi dialect of Dari krd has been used to mean to build such as n khanqah ramlah bikrd [67] meaning he built Ramlas monastery.

As a result the sentence BAG SHA KANESHKI NAMOBARG KIRD, relating to #9-12, means that it was built by the great and famous Kanishka. Later the verb FROGIRD (#17) has been used which probably means to complete and to finish in which case it might be concluded that KIRD meant to build and FROGIRD meant completion.


13. D (td)

Maricq misinterpreted this word considering it similar to #18, 78 and 81. His interpretation is not accepted by Henning either. In fact there is a difference between the spelling of TADI and # 18, 78 and 81. While TADI ends with an (i) the other words end with an (ei). Hence they cannot be considered the same. In my opinion TADI is the object of the succeeding verb, OKID (#14). The word td, which means soon and hurry, exists with the same structure in modern Pashto.


14.D (ukd)

This word is the past tense of ukdal=kdal of Pashto which is used today by Pashto speakers beyond the Khyber. Ukd means done or being done. TADI OKID when conjoined means it was hurried. The succeeding words of the inscription from #15-17 are modifying ukd. [68]

Maricq thinks that this word is another structure of KIRD used in #50 and 60 of the inscription. But Henning does not agree with his view and states that the adverb KID is a connector. It is highly improbable that one word be written with two different spellings and the O at the beginning of the word be omitted. It is worth mentioning that the spelling of this word in the first and third copies is OKID but in the second copy it is OKED in which case because of the similarity of the first and third, OKID may be correct.


15. DϹ (fordms)

Both Henning and Maricq consider this word to be close to fratama in old Persian and fratema in Avesta and Sanskrit, in both cases meaning foremost.[69] An adjective (c) or adverbial (c) has been added to it. In Soghdi it means first. Accepting the above one can come to the conclusion that this word is the same as budam=bar, haman dam of Persian and pur dam=pur, hagha dam of Pashto both meaning at that time. At the end of the word an adverbial c=z of Pashto is added. Thus it becomes pardams meaning at that time or first and immediately. In this case the preceding sentence TADI OKID supports this line of reasoning regarding its use.


16. (mlz)

This word was discussed in detail in #2 of this analysis meaning a fortress.



17. D (frogrd)

Maricq considers this word to be close to frakarta which meant completed. Here FROGIRD with the terminal (g) means it has been completed and used in the past particle. Thus the meaning of #15 to 17 FORDAMEC MALIZ FROGIRD is: first the fortress was completed. For further explanation refer to #36.




18. DE (td)

Henning recognizes this word, which is repeated in # 78 and 81, as consisting of the TAD of #32 and 37, to which has been attached the third person singular pronoun which is also (y) in Pashto. This word, then, would be tah y in Pashto (special Kandahar usage similar to Persian, td in Kushani and t azn=tkeh (until that) in Persian, and Hennings analysis seems correct.


19. D (mndr)

Mandar is still used in Hindi and Pashto and means temple or place of worship. The origin of mn can be found in the mn and mnel of Pashto which means accepting, obeying and worshipping.


20. (b)

This is the Persian word b (water) still in use. The word has been repeatedly used in #38, 41, 49 and 97 of the inscription.


21. Ϲ (nstokhot)

The first portion of the word is the same as nist of Persian and nist of Pashto while the second part OXOT appears to originate from the word khtel of Pashto. Oxot in Pashto is the past tense for the third person. Now if we put together the word nist with oxot the word means rare and finished. Henning considers its meaning to be the water dried out which is an approximation but its actual meaning is to vanish away.

The meaning of the sentence from #18 to 21 consequently is: TADEI MANDAR AB NICTOXOT: from the time when the water of this temple vanished.


22. ϹD (sd)

In #1 it was explained that after (i) in our modern language, the final (d) of this type of words is silent and unpronounced. So if we leave off the (d), as remains as we have in modern Pashto has meaning thus, in this way. As was also used in old Persian with the meaning of then (the time when).[70] So Kushani ACID is a form of as=has (thus). In #8 SID also was changed into the declarative si=ch (what), so that by the same principle ACID should become as.


23. (mlz)

Explained in # 2.


24. (b bag)

Henning and Maricq, without any insight into the root of this word give its meaning as waterless or without water. They are of the opinion it is composed from the component of b meaning water. No similar word is found in Persian or Pashto in which case it might be a dead word. However, from its use in the script we can say it means without water and dried out. Concerning the use of the terminal (g) see #11.


25. ϹD (std)

This word comes from sta of Avesta, stha of Sanskrit, and sisto of Latin all of which mean to stop and remain.[71] In current Persian usage it is estd. The components of the infinitive estdan were used from early times in Avesta and Pahlavi as an auxiliary verb, i.e. dt estt hind (ddah estdah nd).[72] In the book of Ardavarj Nama it is said: avest r andr sitakhre ppakn pah daz napast nihaz estd.[73] In the above sentence the word is used with the same meaning as was used in old times. An example is seen in the following couplet of Manuchihri (died in 432 H.): [74]

As the north wind felt a glimpse of winter,

It stopped (estd) in its place like a restless spy.

Similarly, Baihaqi, a scholar of the Ghaznavid period writes: hawa sakht garm estda bd, which means the weather was hot.[75] From these examples it can be concluded that ABABAG STAD of Kushani language is the same as std used as a past perfect for the third person. It occurs in #31 and 120 also, but there it is used as a verb and not as an auxiliary verb. Thus the meaning of the sentence from #22 to 25, ACID MALIZ ABABG STAD is: this way the fortress remained without water.


26. D (aud=wa of Persian, aw of Pashto)

This word is found as a connector at the beginning or between two words and was used similarly in northern Pahlavi. In a verse of praise discovered in Turfan, concerning the light-tree, the word OD has been repeatedly used meaning and.[76] This shows that the (d) at the end of #8, 22, 50, 68 and 90 has been transformed to a wa in Persian and aw in Pashto. Such silent use of (d) is also seen in other words. In the inscription OD has been used as a connector in # 70, 100 and 133 also. It is used in #43, 139 and 147 with the spelling of OT.[77]

From the use of OD and OT we can conclude that when spelled with a (T) the word has been used purely as a word connector, but when spelled with a (D) it related two words as well as two sentences and phrases in which case it is also a phrase connector.


27. D (kld=kala=waqtkeh)

According to Henning this word was kada in old Iranian language and meant when. The letter (d) at the end of some words in the inscription has been converted into an (h) in Persian and Pashto meaning when as in #1 and 50. From the Kushani KALD, kala remains in Pashto meaning when, as, since and whenever. The same word is seen in # 46 also. Since the (d) is converted to an (l) in Pashto, thus the structure of the Pashto kala is similar to kada of Iranian language.


28. Ϲ (se=az)

According to Henning this word has the same meaning as az used in present day Persian meaning from. It occurs in #102 also.


29. (lrohmnn)

This word and #30 have not been thoroughly or convincingly analyzed by orientalists and their interpretation remains controversial. Maricq, for example, says that the first portion of the word is lruvo of Druwa, an old Iranian language. He usually read the letter Upsilon (Y) as (H). He also thinks that the analysis of Junker and Herzfield in this regard was not correct. Their reasoning is based on the fact that in the script and coins of the Kushanids and Kushano-Sassanids, upsilon was not normally used for the H sound. But according to Maricq upsilon was not used in the Bactrian language, but was used to represent the H sound which did not exist in Greek alphabet. For this reason when Maricq presented his findings in the Journal Asiatique all upsilons used in the words were pronounced with an (H).

Contrary to Maricqs view, Henning believes that the use of upsilon (Y) instead of (H) was not common. In fact he says that the upsilon in the word LROYO was used to reduce the repetition of three omicrons in the word and this obstacle was not prevalent in the word LROOSP (lruvasp).

Henning believes that the (dr) at the beginning of old Iranian words has been changed to (lr) in the Kushani language. In this regard the Kushani language is different from Pashto. The letters (dr) still exist in Pashto i.e. drama of Avesta (move it) is droomdal (going or moving) in Pashto of which droom is the command form of the verb meaning to go or move it.

These words have been read as ac lro-hominan-o. Meanwhile, Hennings view that the Kushani language was different from Pashto is not applicable. In Pashto both infinitives, i.e. lrl (akin Kushani) and drlodal (akin the Avestan group of languages) means having or to have. This shows that Pashto has several dialects. The use of the word divider (O), as used in all coins and Kushanid scripts, resolves the issue of the use of three repetitive Os. Consequently there would be no reason to change the divider into a upsilon. Instead of an upsilon (h) appears to be the correct usage. In all the words if we read upsilon as an (h) we will find that the words have a more correct structure. For example if the word POHR (#55) is read as (Y) the outcome would be poyr. The same word in Pahlavi is puhr from which pr and pisar (son) were derived and used in Persian.[78] Similarly, if we read MIHR used in #138, 140, 150 and 153 as mehr it has the same form as used in present day Persian.

In short this word according to Maricqs followers is Lro-hominan and according the Henning it is Lro-Yominan.

Lro-lro in Pashto has the infinitive lrl meaning owner. This word in Persian has its root as dar (have) and drinda (owner) in which (l) has been converted to a d. Meanwhile, in Pashto the second portion of the first part of the word i.e. o (in lro) or oy of lro is the sign of possession and adjective. There are several examples to this effect: bro, tsargando, skarando etc.

The second part of the word HOMINAN is composed of h+mnn.

Ho in Pahlavi, Avesta and Dari means good, it is so in Sanskrit. In fact HO of Kushani, sa of Pashto and khoob of Persian all mean good and are of the same root. MINAN is an adjective of mna in Pashto in which (n) has been used as a relative or suffix like khera-kheran (dirty), gowda-gowdan (lame) and kl-klan (yearly). Based on this it can be said that the meaning of minan is friend, beloved or sacred. The word manel in Pashto meaning to accept is also derived from this word.

The meaning of the combined components LRO and HOMINAN is benevolent-owner or sacred-owner. Since after this composed word and its divider O a possessive (i) which in old Persian was written as (y) has been used. Thus should be a possessive of the succeeding word.

It will be useful to mention that most probably was the name of the fire-god. The historical context of lro, generally used for owner-god is as follows:

The first part of Drvaspa, the ninth Yasht of Avesta, in which Mazde Yasnas God, who was the guardian and preserver of small and big four-footed animals, is the same as lro=dru[79] meaning owner, guardian and god.

On one side of Kanishkas coins, who ruled from 125-152 A.D., is minted a bearded god beside whom is a running horse. Besides them the word lro-aspo (with dividers lr+o asp+o) is also inscribed.

In an article entitled Zoroastrian gods on the Hindo-Scythian coins Oralstein considers this name to be the Persian lahrasp [80] and its Avestan structure is aurvat aspa meaning the owner of a swift horse. Its Pahlavi form is rorasp or lorasp. As the first letter of the name of the god on Kanishkas coins could not be clearly seen, Darmesteter read it as droo acpo. This error was made despite the fact that on coin #7 of Percy Gardener, the word lro asp is clearly visible. The conversion of (d) into (l) in the languages of the eastern Iranian plateau is and was a common practice.[81] The same is seen in the Manavid Soghdi dialects and some of the Pamiri dialects.[82]

Lrl, derlodl, meaning owning and having in Pashto and the same with a small difference such as drah and drendah is seen in today's Persian. Thus the lro of Kushani language, dro of Avesta and lor of Pahlavi are of the same root and origin. So the meaning of LROHOMINAN might be benevolent sacred-owner or benevolent sacred-god.

This word still exists in Pashto i.e. daro is used for the name of men in Kandahar. One of the grandfathers of the Atsekzais in southern Kandahar was named Daro whose tomb is still known and famous as Daros tomb.[83]


30. (ir=ar=atash)

Orientalists have not come to any conclusion about the meaning of this word either. Maricq thinks it means bravery and courage although this meaning does not fit the use of the word in the sentence.

I my view this word has exactly the same pronunciation as ar (fire) in the Waziri dialect of Pashto i.e. ir.

The meaning of ir is fire with reference to the sacred-fire which was lit in the Baghlan temple. As mentioned the remains of a fire place and ashes were found in the temple. Before this word a possessive (i) is found in which case the words LRO-HOMINAN would have a possessive case. The meaning of both lro-hmnn and ir is thus benevolent sacred god of fire.

Before analyzing the next word we have to mention that ar is a Pashto word meaning fire and still pronounced as ir by some tribes. In the same token iray meaning ashes is also used in the language. It is the same word as used in the inscription.


31. ϹD (std)

The same as #25, hence it is used as an exact verb and not an auxiliary verb and it means stopped and delayed. The sentence from #26 to 31 OD KALD AC LROHOMINAN EIR CTAD means: and when from the benevolent sacred-god the fire stopped.


32. D (tdh)

This word is similar to t of Persian and Pashto. In #37 it is used both in the singular and plural form, but in #18, 78, 81 and 107 it is used as a component of a composed word, in which case the letter (d) has been added to it. However, in #46 it is used as a component of a composed word where it is in the singular form without the terminal (d).

It seems that TAD of the Kushani language was abridged in later dialects and became ta and used as a sign of condition, cause and end. In Pahlavi it is tak and in old Persian it was tavat and in Pazind it was dak[84] meaning until and up until.

The reason for deleting (d) in # 46 while in words #18, 78, 81 and 107 it has been written with a terminal (d) is that whenever TAD is used with a word starting with a vowel it has a terminal (d) but if it joins a word where the first letter is a consonant then the (d) is eliminated. Thus the (d) of TAD has been striked while it remains in TAKALD. An (i) exists between #32 and 33 acting as a possessive.


33, 34. Ϲ (bgys)

This word is the same as #6 and 9 of the inscription which means big, great and god. The terminal (e) after BAG may be a plural sign. This sign remains in plural words for the feminine gender. Word #91 ASANGE is used as a plural and BAGEAS in #108 is of the same nature. Consequently, we can say that here the meaning of BAGE is gods.

Regarding the suffix (ac) at the end of the word orientalists mistakenly considered it similar to (az) of #28. Since it has been differently used in #28 and was separated by the dividers from succeeding and preceding words I consider it to be (az). In this particular place and in #108, since it is not separated by a divider, this I consider it to be a suffix. Its form still exists in Pashto such as ghar-ghariz and lnd-lndiz in both of which the possessive sign (iz) is used.

Historical reasons also exist by means of which we can say (iz) is a possessive sign rather than any other thing. It existed during the Kushanid period. In the Rozgan script, related to the Mahrakula Hepthalittes, around 50 A.D., the first word is the praise word bageac (godliness).[85]

As a result we can say in the inscription BAGEAC also means godliness and related to gods in which case it means gods worshippers. The possessive (i) succeeding the word related the worshippers of god to the Nawshad temple that is the worshippers residing in Nawshad.


35. ϸ (nawshlm, nawshd)

Orientalists have kept silent and have said nothing regarding its meaning., Henning alone has recorded its meaning as seat. But I recognize its origin to be in nawshal for the following reasons:

1. This word is the nawshd of Persian literature because its (i) stands for (d) as in the words MALIZ (mahadezh) and BAGLANG (baghdang=baghln). And this change of (d) to (i) exits in these inscriptions and in all the Indo-Aryan languages, i.e. Hindi das, Persian dah=Pashto las, Persian sad=Pashto sl. From this it appears that in this case the language of these inscriptions corresponded to Pashto, and the (d) of Persian nawshad and dez were (l) in that language.

The word nosalm is probably composed of naw+shl i.e. the new shl, the syntax being like Pashto with the principle of attributive adjective preceding the noun it qualifies.

However, shl is probably the same word that we have remaining in Persian as a suffix in yakh-chl (ice-box) and siyh-chl (dungeon), and in Pashto in the word darshal or darshl (threshold), and it has the meaning of spatial capacity. This word is also preserved in its original form of shl in the place-name Afghan-shl,[86] which in the time of Sultan Mahmud was a place in the vicinity of Sobektegins grave in Ghazni. Here was located an old palace of Mahmuds and the Messengers Field (the reception-field for messengers and ambassadors), In Tarekh-e Baihaqi it is repeatedly mentioned[87] and in some of the copies it has also been recorded in the form of Afghan-shli. For a period of a thousand years we have known of the shl in the locality of modern Quetta[88] in the province of Pshin southwest of Kandahar. And besides this, there existed other localities also with the name of shl,[89] and the present-day shl of Kunar (a province in eastern Afghanistan) is also one of them which remains to this day.

The ancient NOSALM of Kushani, which is similar to Pashto, later became nawshd in Persian i.e. new place and new resting place, on the analogy of ancient nawbahar (nawuhra=new temple). Nawshl was the name of the very temple in Baghlan, and perhaps they later built a nawshd modeled upon it also in Balkh and other places, to which reference is made in our explanation.

2. What was nawshd and where was it? The Persian poets, especially the early ones, have mentioned nawshd, and from the context of their words it appears that it was the name of a locality or town with a large number of beautiful women. Farrukhi says in an encomium to Sultan Mohammad bin Mahmud:

Your house has become the altar for the people,

Like the house of Nawshd earlier.

Similarly in an encomium to Sultan Mahmud:

He has stamped out a thousand idol-temples mightier than the Pyramids,

He has emptied two hundred cities, lovelier than Nawshd.


Gardens which are like the idol-house of Nawshd,

Become a desert until autumn season.

Elsewhere Farrukhi has thus mentioned the Bahar of Nawshd (temple of Nawshad):

Be at rest and in happiness, since from marvelous Turks

Your place is like a fire-shrine and the Bahar of Nawshd.

In Roshnai Nama related to Naser Khusraw:

You are in Farkhar and your beloved in Nawshd,

Go there, why are you shouting and crying?

Masud Sd Salman says:

Oh great Shah, chose amusement and do your work of a shah,

Call for a cup of wine from that idol of Nawshd.

Amir Muizzi, in praise of Sultan Malik Shah says:

Let there be new and newer joy for you in all places,

From the many kinds of idols may your assemblage be like Nawshd.


The garden became decorated like the idol-temple of Mushkuy,

The plains became lit-up like the idol-temple of Nawshd.

Again he said:

The idol which has connection to Nawshd,

Every hour holds my heart with new happiness.

Like a play-thing of the house of Nawshd

Its face keeps my neighborhood and quarter.

Kamal Ismail says:

Light of the Faith, the gifted Shah, about whom the pen-tip

At all times puts forth a play-thing of Nawshd for me.

Amir Khusraw of Balkh, later of Delhi says:

The holy man is giving sermons, but the poor drunks thoughts

Go towards the play-things of Nawshd.

From these additional examples which have been quoted, and in particular from those which are the sayings of the earliest of the poets, they talk about the altar of Nawshd, the idol-temple of Nawshd and the idols of Nawshd. It appears that these poets were convinced of Nawshds presence as one of the sanctuaries or idol-temples and that they counted that place, quite like Nawbahar of Balkh, among the important religious and idolatry centers. And later dictionary writers, taking their cue from the same type of usage, deduced that Nawshd was something arousing beauty, and recorded that with its meaning in their dictionaries.

However, in Arab geography books and Masalik-e Mamalik which was printed in nine volumes in Leiden, and in the Asar-al-Bilad of Qazwini and Nuzhat-al-Quloob and Tarekh-e Guzidah and Lubab-al-Lubab and Rahat-al-Sudur, Jawam-al-Hikayat, Futuh-al-Baladan of Bilazhari and Tabari and Lughat-e Shahnama by Abdul Qader Baghdadi and Fehreste Lughat-e Shahnama by Wolf there is no record or notice of this word. Only in the following books is a recording of this word found:

In Tarekh-al-Kamilu of Ibn Athir, on the events of the year 257 H. in reference to the advance of Yqub Layce towards Fars and Balkh he says: He went toward Balkh and Tukharistan, and then he reached Balkh and descended to the outskirts and wrecked Nawshad. This was the building which Daud bin Abas al Nausari built outside of Balkh. Then Yqub went from Balkh towards Kabul and took possession of it ...

In the Egyptian printing of Ibn-al-Athir this word Nawshd is with an undotted (d) and in the Leiden printing it is with a dotted d (=dh). In the Ansab of Samni it is written (p. 571 a): annusari with zamma for (n) and fatha for (s), between them (w), then alif and at the end of it (r). This has connection with nushar and it is a village in Balkh. It has been said Nushari was a castle in Balkh which Amir Daud bin al-Abas built, and it has been said that when Yqub bin Layce arrived in Balkh, Daud bin al-Abbas retreated to Samarqand. But when Yqub withdrew, Daud came back to his homeland and found his castle, named Nusar, ruined. Then he wrote the following poem, and from grief his heart broke and he died after seventeen days:

Oh, how? Daud have you seen the like of this?

As no one can see stars at the break of day.

That which was Nushar is a wasteland,

Around it the voices of owls cry out.

Gardezi has the same story in Zain-al-Akhbar as follows: In the year two hundred and fifty six Yqub took Bamiyan and ruined Nawshd of Balkh. He ruined all the buildings which Daud bin al-Abbas bin Hashim bin Mahjur had made, and from there he returned to Kabul.[90]

As has been noted, then, firstly, nawshd (which they also spelled as naushar or nusar) was in the outskirts of Balkh; secondly, that it was counted among the buildings of Daud ibn Abas ibn Hashim ibn Maynjur (or Mahjur); thirdly, that Yqub of Lyce destroyed it, there remaining no doubt that all these three historians are speaking about the same place. Finally, the spellings of the names of those localities contradict each other, due to the errors of scribes, i.e. Ibn Athir and Gardezi have written it nawshd and nawshdh, and Samni once or twice has written nausar and once or twice nushar. The congruity of Ibn Athir with Gardezi without doubt gives preference to nawshd, and nawshd also appears in the rhymes of poems where (d) is the rhyming letter, and must be more correct. Although Yqut followed Samni and recorded it nushar, saying that it is a settlement or fortress in Balkh, it is evident, then, that Samni is culpable in the original distortion of (r), not Yqut. And from the puns that the poets have produced between nawshd and shdi (happiness), both (sh) and (d) of the word are strengthened.

In Fazayel-e Balkh, which the preacher Shaikh-al-Islam Safiudin Abu Bakr Abdullah ibn Omar ibn Mohammad ibn Daud wrote in Arabic in the year 610 H. and which an anonymous person translated into Persain in 676 H., the manuscript of the Persian translation being preserved in the Bibliothque Nationale in Paris, nawshd is mentioned, and has a brand new meaning there, i.e. that Daud ibn Abbas was occupied for twenty years in the construction of Nawshd, and he says that the date of its erection in the province of Balkh was Ziulqada (11th month of 233 H).[91]

Marquart in Iran Shahr (p. 293-301) and Barthold in his book Turkistan (pp. 77-78) have also referred to the name nawshd, and some of the above-mentioned sources have been noted. Following Samni, Barthold erroneously calls nawshd nussar.[92] In addition to the poets mentioned, in Wais and Ramin of Fakhruddin Gurgani (around 446 H.) an account of nawshd appears in this form:

Once again he broke into speech,

He spoke words like the tablet of Nawshd,

Cypress and box-tree would be like your height

If the tablet of Nawshd be like both of them.[93]

Ferdowsi too has mentioned nawshd and says that Noshirwan built the city of Zab-e Khusraw and kept Rumi captives in jail there:

Noshirwan commanded a city to be built,

Inside of it was a palace and running water.

Elders of enlightened mind and happy ones

Gave it the name of Zab-e Khusraw.

The captives whom he captured from those cities

Their hands and feet were wounded from heavy fetters,

He commanded that they take away the fetters,

And in that city they laid out Nawshd.

From Ferdowsis usage it is clear that he treated nawshd as a feature of the city of Zeb-e Khusraw, and he alluded to it with the same meaning like other poets.

3. It seems that Nawshd was not a special temple. Instead, in numerous instances there existed graceful temples from ancient times with this name. From amongst all those, there most probably was also in existence a temple on the outskirts of the royal Kushanid city of Bagram to the north of Kabul. In the time of Kanishka, Chinese hostages would live in the summer in this temple. Its location is presumed to be in the ruins of Puza-e Shuturak in Kohe Pahlawan, Bagram.[94]

Hiuan Tsang made note of this temple and lodging for Chinese hostages and princes of China with the name sha-lo-kia (kia=house) in July 644 A.D. as he was going from Kabul and Kapisa to China and passing by this place.[95] There is reason that we should recognize the initial components of the word sha-lo as the same root nawshl.

4. In Kandahar, Punjab and Kashmir, a name for avenues, gardens, and splendid places is in use, two places with the name of Shalamar being present in Kandahar, and the Shalimar gardens of Lahore and Kashmir, which are among the architectural remnants of the Indian Moghuls.

I do not know what the source of these words is. However, in their first part there also appears the marks and signs of that same shl. From the study of the preceding documents it appears that Kushani shl, the nawshd of Persian literature, the Afghan shl of Bayhaqi, the Arabic nushadh, the Chinese sha-lo-kia, and the Shalimar of Kandahar and India are from one source.

In the Kushani language nawshl meant new place and new temple. At the beginning of the Islamic era up to the Mongol departure, nawshd was applied to graceful temples and idol-shrines and to the places where such graceful idols were. Nawshl of the Kushani language and nawshad of Persian literature were, then, among the place-names of Afghanistan, and there existed temples and idol-shrines and idolatry-spots with this name in every age and era in Balkh, Tukharistan and Kabul. According to past documents Daud bin Abbas made the last Nawshd in 233 H. in Balkh, and Yqub of the Saffarids destroyed it in 256 H. Farrukhi has mentioned this same place in Balkh together with Nawbahr:

By Nawshd gate it would go, or by Nawbahr garden,

How pleasant is the blooming gale of Balkhs Nawshd

Especially now that spring has come to Balkh.[96]

5. We have a name in the Pashto language which is Nurshali. There lived a poet with this name at the end of the 9th century in Abasin valley, some of whose Pashto poems Darmesteter heard and recorded.[97] If we analyze this word, it is nur+shali. As we know, nur is the same lmar (Pashto=sun) and shali is a place. As a whole this name gives the meaning of sun-place, that same ancient shl being preserved and remaining alive in the second part of it.

6. In Persian too the root shl with the meaning of location and place is present. Awshl with initial fatha is pond, water-holder, and the place where the water stands in mountains,[98] which is the same shl=chl, the root of that same ancient word remaining preserved in this word.

However, in all three copies of the inscription at the end of the word nawshd there is preserved an (m) with no vowel before it, and it would be read nawshlm, as it should be the same connector (m) of #3. But this point is not clear to me why this appended-possessive (m) has not been separated by the word divider O as on other occasions in the inscription it is connected to the word like modern Persian. Perhaps this juxtaposition is a sign of izafat (possessive appendage) and ownership based on grammatical principles of the Kushani language of which we have no knowledge now. In the third copy in this place and in #109, this word is noshAlm.


36. D (frukhortnd)

The first part of the word is fro. This prefix appeared in #17 also which explains its meaning as before, in front, and it was the same in Avesta, Sanskrit and old Persian. In Latin it was pro. In old Persian many words start with this prefix.[99] In Dari literature both far (up) and fero (down) are seen, and they are for strengthening or orienting the verb. Bayhaqi says: they do not open their mouths before this great king (zaban far pesh...).[100]

Sdi says:

One day a rebellion occurred in Syria,

Everyone went forward (far raftand) from his corner.

As for fero, it appears in the verbs fero-istd, fero khoshkd, fero gereftand and in other verbs.

Farukhi says:

Put out from our assembly the two-faced people.

Bring forward the red flower and put down (fero kon) the two-faced flower.[101]

Here the prefix fro is attached to the following verb khortind. With the preceding prefix, this verb is fro-khor-tind, from which are far khortah and far khordah. In Pahlavi it was khwart (khwartan) and in Avesta khwar and khwarayti (eating). One of the meanings of this same root is also perish,[102] and this is the intention here (=taste the downward). The subject of this verb is BAGEAS in the third person plural i.e. the god-worshippers of this Nawshd perished: TAD IBAGE-AS-I-NOSHALM FROXOTIND meaning: so that the god-worshippers of Nawshd perished. As for FROXOTIND, it is the third person plural like the verb of #40.[103]


37. D (td)

This same t of Pashto and Persian is among the particles of goal, explanation and condition (cf. #32).


38. (b)

It has been repeatedly used with the modern meaning of water (cf. #20).


39. (larf)

In this instance the researchers have had no success and have not said a thing that would be of use, and this word has remained unanalysed.

In my view LRAFO is clearly an ancient form of lar[104] (gutter) and lour (gully)[105] which we say as lorah in Pashto. In Kandahar a particular flood-conduit in the west of the city is called lorah. And the Lora river has its course in southern Afghanistan, being shaped by the spring floods. As for FO at the end of the word, which is changed into (h) in Pashto, it was in several words of ancient tongues, for example, koh (mountain) of modern Persian was kaufa in old Persian and Avesta,[106] of which their final (fa) is changed into (h). And on this same model perhaps LRAFO of the Kushani language is also the joint lar, lora of modern Persian and Pashto, whose meaning is gutter and water-conduit which are dug out by human hands and which come into being from the flow of floods.

Since this word has its position in the sentence as subject, its verb being plural, it can be said on this basis that the word LARAFO was plural also. Since at the excavations of the Baghlan temple there are remains of gutters coming out around the steps of the temple, on that basis there can be a confirmation of this interpretation.


40. ϹD (stnd)

This verb, which is connected to its subject of #39, is third person plural like the verb of # 36. From the same root STAD of #25 and 34; here also it is a primary verb, not auxiliary. And its meaning is thus: TAD AB LRAFO ACTIND=ta b joyha istdand meaning: since the aqueducts became dry. The subsequent sentence is connected to this sentence as a result of it.


41. (b)

Cf. #20.


42. D (ndz)

Maricq considered this word to be from the Iranian handeza meaning to heap up, i.e. to pile up (on each other), whereas it has no correlation to the place of its usage.

It seems that ANDEZ is from a root of a Pahlavi and Dari word. In Pahlavi and Dari nd was an indefinite number, somewhat comparable to Arabic bad (several, some), which was the Dari word andak and the Pahlavi handak meaning few, fewness and a few of anything. [107]

Now it is unknown to us how and for what purpose EZ is attached to the end of the word, but from the place where it is used one can perceive that ANDEZ has a verbal meaning, conveying the sense of the water became scarce.


43. (aut)

A conjunctive particle equal to Persian wa and Pashto aw (cf. #26).



Cf. #2, 16, 23, 79, 112, 126.


45. DD (pdurgd)

Maricq has indicated the root of this word to be pita-rixta, an ancient form of a passive particle which was used in reference to the past. Clearly this word is an ancient form of the same Persian pidrud which has the sense of be left behind and farewell, and in Pahlavi it was padrut.[108] Perhaps ΔΔ is in reference to past action here, which nowadays we say as padrud shud. Its negative imperfect comes in #113.

This, then, is the meaning of the sentence from #41 to 45: Δ ΔΔ: the water became scarce, and the acropole was abandoned. It ought to be mentioned that there appears in Pashto from this same root the verb pregad=prekhod and the infinitive presowal=prekhodal (leave, quit).





46. D (tkld)

For explanation of (TA) refer to #32 and 37.

Here TA is an inseparable part of the following word KALD, and they also do not even have the divider O in between. It seems that when they wrote this word with KALD they elided its (d). This explanation of the word kald (=Pashto kala) occurred in #27. T kala (t kunun) is in use in Pashto with the meaning of up to the time that and so that, and Henning have the substance of this same meaning for #46 with English until.


47. (nokonzok)

According to what Maricq also says, this is a Kushani personality and the name of the head of Nawshads reconstruction committee. However, Maricq read the divider O and the subsequent (i) of attribution as parts of this same name, whereas (i) is a sign of attributive subordination which also came after #29, and which is repeated several times in this inscription.

In keeping with the names of that time, this name ends in an honorific (k), parallels of which I showed in Pashto in #11. In the third text, however, it is NOKONZIK.


48. (krlrng)

Maricq read this word as a military title composed of kara, i.e. army or troops + drang, which was the title of the ruler of nearby imperial Kushani provinces, or the title of the ruler of a border-state.

In olden times they spoke of a border as the royal fringe[109] and they said its plural as the royal kenarah (fringes, edges) and the border-governors, which the Arabs say as muluk-al-taraf, and kenarak with zamma on the first (k). Kanarang comes from the word kanarak meaning border. There were kanarangs in every region. Ferdowsi has many poems about konarank, and among all those poems this very meaning of guardian of the borders comes up:

Pass on from that, there is a river ahead

Whose width is more than two farsangs,

Its demonic, konarank and sentry,

All the male daemons under his command.

This he says about the courage and bravery of the konarank: that the border-rulers were well-known for this character:

Which is the hero with the heart of a konarang?

In war by manliness he has made his heart black.[110]

Likewise according to Ferdowsi the kanarang of Marw had the name of Mahoy who was the leader of the shepherds:

Kanarang is of Merv and also Mahoy,

With an army and elephants, every kind of thing,

He who is the leader of our shepherds,

He is the director of our watchmen.[111]

In the old introduction to the Shahnamah, compiled in Moharam of the year 346 H., which is a more ancient model of Dari prose written in the name of one of the famous men of Khorasan, Abu-Mansur Mohammad ibn Abu Razzaq Abdullah Farukh, by his minister Abu Mansur ibn Ahmad al-Mommeri, in the genealogy of the writer of this prose-introduction the name kanarang repeatedly appears. From that, it is known that in the beginning of Islam in this part of Khurasan some men with the name of Kanarang were renowned. Tabari,[112] in the events of the year 31 H., mentioned this name in the form of Kanari, margrave of Tus, and Bilazari[113] has mentioned this same name Kanarang in the account of the conquests of Khurasan, and in the manuscripts this was distorted to the form of Kanarang, the margrave of Tus.[114] This is the same name which Ibn Khurradabih recorded in the form of kanar (kanarang), the king of Neshapur.[115]

As we are aware, up to about the fifth century of the Hejira, it was a custom among the farmers and priesthood and the people of Khurasan to preserve their genealogies, and in every one of these families there existed narratives concerning their ancestors which were preserved from generation to generation. (This is substantially the same case nowadays among the Pashtuns). A portion of them has by chance been preserved in several books, and from among them there are a few narratives relating to Kanarang, the sixth ancestor of Abu Mansur Mohammad ibn Abdur Razaq, whom we see in Abu Mansuris introduction to Shahnama,[116] to which reference was made previously.

In this regard Shams Fakhri Esfahani writes (744 H.), Kanarang: he is called civil-governor and also called margrave. An illustration of his own:

Wherever that the least of your servants be,

There by your good fortune will be the kanarang.[117]

Before Shams Fakhri this word was recorded also by Asadi Tusi with the meaning of master of the border and margrave, relying on this by Ferdowsi:

He never became separated from either of these two,

They were kanarang and he was a king.[118]

A number of the margraves i.e. rulers of autonomous regions of Khurasan were called kanarang. According to Prokop, the Byzantine historian, the station of kanarang was hereditary in a number of the families. The margrave of the Abre Shahr region i.e. northern Neshapur was called kanarang. When Yazdgerd III of the Sassanids fled to Khurasan in fear of Arab attacks, he took refuge with the ruler of Tus, who was also called kanarang.

In the indexes to the titles of autonomous rulers, the ruler of Neshapur was called kanar and the ruler of the Tus kanarang. Thbili explains in Ghorar-e Muluk-al-Fars: the margrave of Tus was kanarang. Amongst the military events of the Sassanid period we at the time come across this point, that the Sassanid emperor sent such and such a kanarang into the battle field, and from this we find that the kanarangs also had military duties. Concerning Geshnasp Daz who was among the influential nobles at the court of the Sassanid king Khwaz, they have clearly written that he was a kanarang. Hamza-e Esfahani, in an explanation to anthology of Abu Nawas, has written kanarang for the margrave of Tus and Merv.

Not only the margraves of the eastern border-regions of Fars were called kanarang; in other regions also this usage was current, as it was in the regulations for receiving foreign ambassadors in the Sassanid area that upon the arrival of an ambassador, the kanarangs of the provinces that were on the route of this ambassador had to receive him in every place as was befitting, and perhaps the rulers of small regions were called kanarang. Ferdowsi in the Shahnama has used the word kanarang in twenty places with the meaning of absolute ruler.[119]

As to office of kanarang being a military office in Afghanistan, there is reference to this found in Shahreyar Nama by Serajuddin Osman ibn Mohammad Mokhtari Ghaznavi (died in the year 544 or 554 H.) [120] which, after the year 492 H. was entered into verse for Sultan Masud Sani ibn Sultan Ibrahim Ghaznavi and finished in the year 508 H. This story includes the wars of the descendants of Rustam-e Saystani, Faramarz, son of Rustam, and his cousin Shahreyar and is related to the historic land of Afghanistan. Its only manuscript is to be found in the British museum.[121]

In this versified story which a Ghazni poet delivered before the Ghaznavid court there is a story about the Shah of Haytal (Hayatala) in which the word kanarang appears with the meaning of a military office:

The kanarang of Haytal came with six-thousand,

The yelps of a scuffle arose.

When from the front there rose up outcries and growls,

The quick commanders moved away.

The dark night and the sound of the brass drum,

The kanarang roared like a demon

He has taken the road of the heroic, the fortunate and the quick.[122]

By this explanation, kanarang, according to Burhan-e Qat, was with initial zamma (ko) meaning margrave. But since in Pahlavi kanarang, in Greek xanaranges, and in Syriac qanarag was the special title of the margrave of Abr-e Shahr of Neshapur in the Sassanid era,[123] in Avesta also the word kanara, in Pahlavi kanara with a fatha of (k),[124] based on that, its pronunciation should be with kalike in the inscription. But as to what the root was of the Kushani word KARALRANG and whether the word is simple or compound is not clear to me at present. Its analysis is dependent on our forthcoming information about the roots of words in the Kushani language. From this inscription, however, it is clear that the ancient Kushan form of kanarang was karalrang.[125]


49. ---DD (-fr--khodwug)

The two is at the beginning and end of FRE are the sigh of izafat as in #53, 56, 80, 104 and 108, which connects FRE with karalrang in attribution. The second (i) likewise puts the subsequent XOADEOG in attribution.

As for the word FRE, it is from the root of FRO of #17, 36 and 110, which has appeared repeatedly in this inscription, and perhaps, according to instances of usage and the grammatical circumstances of its occurrence, the vowels (e) and (o) varied in form, originally being FR.

This preposition is not found in old Pahlavi. However, fra in Avesta, pra in Sanskrit, pra in Latin and pro in the Achaemenid inscriptions of old Persian appeared at the beginning of verbs, adjectives and nouns, and it was used with the meaning of forward and front,[126] and it is said that this FRA appeared repeatedly at the head of verbs in the Dari language also, clarifying the direction of the verb, such as fr-amad, fr-afgand, fr-raftand.[127]

Nizami says:

The drunken police-chief came into (fr-amad) my neighborhood,

And delivered up a few kicks toward me.

Sdi says:

One day an insurrection occurred in Syria,

Everyone went forth (fr-raftand) from his corner.

Bayhaqi says:

They do not speak before (fr) this great, fortunate king.

From the usage of this affix in numerous instances in this inscription, it is clear that it was frequently in use in the languages of Afghanistan. In Pashto vestiges of it remain in three forms wr, dr, ra for the third, second and first persons of discourse, because sometimes (f) of the other languages is changed into w in Pashto, such as wafra in Avesta, vafr in Pahlavi, vaft in Sanglichi, and vafra in Munji,[128] which is wwrh in Pashto and barf in Persian. In this same way the wr, affix of direction in Pashto, has its root from that same ancient (fr) which was also used in Kushani. Here, in the sentence NOKONZOK-I-KARLANG-I-FRE-I-XOADEOG (FRE) specifies the location, station and title of Nokonzok, he having gotten his station of karalrang (kanarang) from xoadeog (xuday=lord), and it gives the meaning of provenance and connected with confirmation: the kings governor and agent of the Sultanate, etc.

Let it be known that Maricq considered FRE to be a proper name, and Henning took it as meaning the confident of the emperor. This, however, is improbable, and the roots of the word are present in the inscription itself.

As for the word xoadeog, in the view of Maricq and Henning it has the meaning of a free and equal lord or master (autokrator), and is the khidew of Persian, which is xidiv in Turkish and khedive in French.

The word khudy was used in Persian literature up to the first years of the Islamic era also with the meaning of king, master and ruler. Every prominent individual was called khudwandgar (i.e. lord). With this same meaning the kabul khudy and zabul khudy in the Shahnama and gozgan khudh, saman khudh and buxara khudh have been mentioned in books about the history of the beginning of the Islamic era.[129] Among all the kings of Kabul who, in the first half of the seventh Christian century, were giving opposition to the conquering Arab armies in these parts, one also has the name Xuduwayaka, whose coins can be found in eastern Afghanistan and the Punjab. After the Arab conquest the capital of these kings was transferred from Kabul and Gardez to Wihind on the banks of the Attock (Indus).[130] Moreover, the word khudy has different pronunciations up to now in Pashto: one says khdoy, khodoy, khloy etc., and it is known that the ancient pronunciation of this Afghan word was also close to these Pashto pronunciations, because in #145 of this inscription XOADE appears, and xuduwayaka is on the coins of the Kabulshah.

As for the (g) at the end of the word, it is the dignific type which is found at the end of the names of great men of that time (cf.#11).


50. D (kd=kh)

This is the relative, declarative adverb concerning Nokonzok, the final (d) of which is silent in Persian after the vowel (i), as with # 26, 32,37 and 43.

Maricq identifies this word as being similar to Khutanese kide and kade, and Soghdian kdy. Henning considers it equal with #8, SID, where, it is my belief, the (d) is likewise silent after the (i) and left unpronounced, and is to be read si=chi.

In Soghdian, kdh=kz is the same declarative keh=ki. In the northern Pahlavi poem Draxte Asurlk we find gizish, meaning ke-n-r i.e. (that which) in the objective case,[131] and the kati (which is) spoken in todays colloquial Kabuli Dari is in my belief from the remains of this same root, since there are also some people who say it kadi, i.e. kati-au gap zad (spoke with him) or khudish gap zad (he spoke).

This word is exactly like PID of #68 and 90 from which have remained the Persian bah and Pashto pah, and the final (d) has been elided. However, in PIDEIN of #121 and 123 the (d) has remained to this day. This kind of (d) in KID is silent in the declarative ke=ki but in northern Pahlavi gizish and in the modern khudish of colloquial Kabuli it is present and preserved.


51. Ϲ (fristr)

In Pahlavi there was parastr with the meaning of attendant, servant and obedient.[132] As Fakhre Gurgani says:

Every moon faced one has a thousand

Pretty servants (parastran) around.[133]

Ferdowsi has:

The son of a servant (parastar zda) does not qualify,

Although his father be the ruler.[134]

Henning gives the compounded roots of this word in Soghdian frystr and Parthian fryhstwm meaning showing sacrifice, and based on that he writes FREISTAR-AB SHA-I-BAG...with the meaning of devoted and sacrificing to the great king. Here, contrary to numerous other examples in the inscription, he takes the word b to mean ba=to (with), instead of modern b=water, but this is not acceptable, because in the rest of its occurrences AB is with its modern meaning of water. Since it would be used with the meaning of ba only in this instance, I consider this interpretation unreasonable. I consider FREISTAR AB to be a mixed compound, because in Pahlavi there was the word parastr meaning servant and commander of a certain governmental institute. In Pahlavi texts things like this appear: parastar marde berah mabuwed.[135]

According to prevalent opinion the mixed compound FREISTAR AB must be a name of one of the government officials who had the job of supplying water, and overseeing irrigation and ditch-digging, whom in the villages we know now as mirb. In Tarekh-e Seistan (p. 314) the emirship of b is mentioned as one of the governmental jobs, which is probably the same ancient FREISTAR AB. According to this interpretation it should be said that this Nokonzok likewise had the job of chairman of the water supply institute, called fristr ab=frrastar b.


52. (b)

Its explanation occurred in # 15. It is also repeated in #20, 38, 41, 94 and 97.



53. ϸ (sh)

This is the same modern Persian shh whose explanation occurred in #10. The (i) following the word is the sign of attribution and description (izafat), as in #32, 34, 47, 55, 103 etc. Nowadays it is represented by the izafat (e). In the second text of the inscription SHA is spelled SHAH.


54. (bg)

Meaning lord and great (cf. #6).


55. (puhar)

As was explained in #29, this word should be read as bag-pohr, and not poyr as Henning has read it. Maricq considers baga-pour to be a compound from bag-puthra (son of the Lord), close to Sanskrit devaputra (still closer to Sanskrit bhagaputra), poyrcorrect pohrfunctions as a suffix in family names. The root of this word is puca in old Persian, putra in Sanskrit, puthra in Avesta, pohr in Pahlavi, in Persian and Pashto pur=pus=pisar,[136] and in old Hindi it is pusra and in Sindhi putra. In this inscription its Kushanic spelling is pohr, similar to the Pahlavi. Bag-pohr, then, means son of the Lord, son of the King, and son of God, and it is the attributive to the following loIx-bosar. This Kushanic compound bagpohr is bagh-pur in Persian its Arabicized form is faghfur, i.e. son of God,[137] and Khwarazmi has clearly indicated this meaning.[138] The same ancient pohr and Persian pur is found in Pashto in the word turbur (tra=uncle+bur=son), uncles son=cousin, and in the word bura (a woman who has lost her son). Let it be known that in the third copy of the inscription this word is written with the spelling POOR, which is the same as Persian pur=Pashto bur. In the Encyclopedia of Islam C.L. Hayworth writes that Ibn Athir considered faghfur to mean the son of heaven, the exact same title being tain-tzyy in the Chinese language.

In the Arabic inscription at Zaytun, which was written in the year 723 H., and which is mentioned by Marco Polo, (Vol 2, p. 145), this title was used for the Chinese emperor of the Sung dynasty. Thus it appears that this title was in general use in Central Asia as far as China.


56. (luykh)

Orientalists have not given regard to the true origin of this word, which is loyak in source references of the Islamic era. This family was one of the local kings of Kabul, Ghazna and Gardez, ruling in this territory at the beginning of the Islamic era. Loyak, which became LOIX in Greek script, is a family-name,[139] and the original name of this Baghpur and son of God of the Loyak family is Bosar in #57. It may be that this Loyak Bosar was ruler of this territory through the Kushanid emperor, since Nokonzok the kanarang was appointed as parastar-b through this Loyak.

In the book Pashto wa Loyakan-e Ghazna I have explained in detail the word Loyak and their dynasty in the Islamic era. Here is an indication of the entire question:

Longworth Dames says that around 260 H. the local ruler of Ghazna was Shah Lwik, who is an unknown personage.[140] Abdul Hai Gardezi[141] described the confrontation of Abu Mansur Aflah ibn Mohammad ibn Khaqan with Yqub of Lyce in Gardez, and in the same way Nizamulmulk, in his commentary on the age of Alaptagin, mentions Loyak in connection with Amir of Ghazna.[142] Minhaj Seraj of Jozjan likewise mentions Abubakr Lawik of Charkh (in Logar) in confrontation with Subuktagin.[143] Mohammad ibn Ali of Shabankara likewise has noted this king of Ghazna.[144]

Gardezi reckoned this Gardez family of generals in the Ghaznavid court as possessing posts of mediators and political ranks. In the manuscript Karamat-e Sakhi Sarwar, which was found in Dera Ismail Khan, there was entered a story about this Ghazna family of rulers, and the remnants of this family of Ghaznavid rulers were here at the beginning of the Islamic conquests, and in the Khaljia language (Pashto) there is a song about them which is recited. In view of all the available documents, we know from this family the following rulers and men:

1. Loyak of Wajwir (Hajwir of GhaznaUjaristan) is related to it, contemporary with Ratbel, the Kabulshah of about 120 H.

2. Loyak of Khanan (Khaqan), son of Wajwir. Contemporary with Khanchil,[145] the Kabulshah of about 163 H.

3. Mohammad ibn Khaqan, about 210 H. (converted to Islam).

4. Abu Mansur Aflan, son of Mohammad, defeated by Yqub Lyce the Saffar (coppersmiththe name of his dynasty) at Ghazna, about 256 H.

5. Mansur ibn Aflan, about 300 H.

6. Mursal ibn Mansur,[146] about 350 H.

7. Sahl ibn Mursal, about 400 H.

8. Abu Ali or Abubakr of Lawik, father-in-law of the Kabulshah. who with his son-in-law was defeated by Subuktagen at Charkh in Logar around 365 H. (cf. Pashto wa Loyakane Ghazna).

If to these eight Loyaks we add the two more ancient Loyaks of the second century A.D., which are mentioned in this inscription by the names of King Faghfur Loyak=Bosar, and his father Shizogarg (arwa shad=may he rest in peace), then we know ten persons from this family of kings in Ghazna and Gardez.

In regard to the family name Loyak and the literary records of it, I have given an explanation in Pashto wa Loyakan-e Ghazna, the quintessence of which is the following: the word loyak is formed from loy (big=leader) as in Pashto, with the addition of the dignific suffix (k), which was explained in #11, and of which there are many examples in this inscription and in Pahlavi.

Now, why was the dignific (k) spelled here with X (LOIX)? Perhaps the reason is connected with some grammatical rule, by which the sound (k) was changed to (x) after (i).


57. Ϲ(bosr)

This is the personal-name of the Shah Loyak. Henning connects it with upat-chara of old Persian. But he says nothing else about the words Loyak and Bosar. In this case he also mentions the Persian words bazr=afzr, which do not seem that well-considered or relevant. However, since Loyak is the kings personal name, we are not faced with any problem.


58. ϸ (shizogarg)

Maricq and Henning have read this word as shizogargo, and have written its meaning as the beneficent i.e. doer of good work and munificent, but they have not given any documentation for such as interpretation, and they have not indicated its roots.

Since there is an izafat of paternity between the proper names Loyak Bosar and this word, based on Pahlavi and Dari which give the purport of filiation by the sign of izafat between the names of father and son, therefore I identify Shizogarg as the name of Loyak Bosars father, and these two verses of Naser Khusrau are similar to this izafat and (i) of filiation:

Where is Sam of Nariman and where is Rustam?

Leader of the army of Mazindaran.

Where is Babak of Sasan and where Ardsher?

Who is neither Bahram nor Noshirawan.[147]

This same sort of descriptive and attributive (i) appears after the word Shizogarg also, because the following word #59 is its adjective and attributive. But in the first and second copies this sign is separated by the O symbol, and in the third copy Shizogarg is connected, and as a rule it should be separated.



59. ϸ (lusl)

Henning mentions this word with the meaning of compassionate and kind, and he wants to match the second part with a Parthian name xchd. As we said earlier, this word is connected to Shizigarg by means of the descriptive and attributive sign (i), and is its adjective of benediction.

The first part of the word is alo=aro, the (l) always changing into (r) in Pashto and Persian i.e. dewar=dewal, gharbel=ghalbel. So the Kushani alo became aro in modern Persian and Pashto, the meaning of which is the living-soul. Similar to alo=aro, this word is preserved in the first part of arwant=alwand also, the origin of which was aurvant in Avesta, meaning living-creature, quick, lively, capable, courageous, which are marks of the living-soul. This word does not come from the Arabic plural arwh, as it has been depicted; it has remained from antiquity in Persian and Pashto. There is a strong possibility that Persian and Pahlavi ruwn and Avesta urvn meaning living-soul are of the same root as this Kushan alo=arwa in Pashto and Persian, because there is quite a proximity between Avestan urvn and the modern pronunciation arw. The word gushurvan is an example of the ancient use of the root arw in Avesta. This was one of the assistants to Wahumina (guardian-angel of the bedstead). This word has been translated as gushu (gaw)+rvan (ruwan), cow-soul, which is mentioned in Fiqh-al-Lugha-e Irani, compiled by Jackson (II. p. 637) in reference to Bandhishane Buzurg,[148] and in this name the first part may be compared with ghazhgw (the holy yak of the Pamir and Badakshan uplands) and the second part with alo=arwa=ruwan, meaning living-soul.

As for the second part of the word, sl (retroflex sh) is the same Persian shd and Pashto (retroflex sh) sd, and in Greek they used PX (sh and kh) together to represent the pronunciation of retroflex sh.[149] They showed the pronunciation of the special sound retroflex sh, which is a composite sound between sh and kh, by writing both of the letters, and it is certain that they pronounced this sound exactly like the retroflex (sh) of todays Pashto to the west of Kabul.[150]

As for (i), the final letter of the word, in other languages it changes to (d) and another example of this metathesis is the metathesis of nawshl to nawshd in this inscription. From this it is evident that in the Kushani language they pronounced and wrote this final (d) of the words nawshd and shd within (i), and the word shad was shat in Pahlavi, shata in Avesta (retroflex sh), and shiyati in old Persian. Shal (retroflex sh), shad, shat, and shad (retroflex sh), then, are different pronunciations of the word, and altogether both the words are arwa+shad i.e. bless his soul, which was probably a usage similar to modern shad-ruwan, which is used for the dead in respect and benediction. And since Shizogarg, father of Shah Loyak Bosar, had died when the inscription was being written and had entered into the state of mercy, he was spoken of as arw shd.

From this discussion two results are clear:

First, the belief of the people of that time in the existence and immortality of the soul, because we know that they believed in the existence of the soul after corporeal dissolution, since they wished for the souls well-being.

Secondly, we know that the Pashto sound retroflex (sh) was also in the Kushani language, and they pronounced shad as shal (retroflex sh) and wrote (sh) and (kh) together for it.


60. D (=kh)

This is the declarative particle and relative pronoun referring to the blessed Shizogarg. Cf. #50.


61,62. Ϲ (fro-wsp)

The first part of this word is probably connected to the old Persian root pro, Avestan poro, Pashto pura, which has the meaning of entire and complete. Its explanation will come in #96.

As for the second part OICP (wsp) Maricq has read it as old Iranian wispa, meaning entire, all. In Pahlavi it was also wisf (all) and har-wisf (even each one), and Kitab-al-Tambiat la Huruf-al-Tashif (book of correcting wrong letters) by Hamza bin Hasan, the single manuscript of which is in the library of the Faculty of Law in Teheran, among all kinds of ancient writing there is the seventh kind, wisf-safira, i.e. secretariat for all kinds of writing,[151] so that Maricqs interpretation also seems compatible with this evidence.

The two words #61 and 62 should be read as fro-wsp=complete and whole, which are connected with what follows them.


63,64,65 YD (numo wd bargn)

Henning considered these words from KID to BARGAN to be a benedictory phrase, and says it is probably a prayer for the Shah,[152] but he and others have not applied themselves to the analysis of these benedictory words. Clearly #63 is a form of Persian nm=Pashto num. They have read #64 as wad, the ancient form of the same invocatory bad from the verb budan. As for #65, BARGAN, it shows a connection with the name Barg of this inscription, #11, the second line. At present, however, we can say nothing about the details of these words. Why did nm (as in #11) become anomo here? Why has wad=bad come in the middle? Why did barg from #11 become bargan here with the addition of n? There is a strong possibility that these words have changed their forms because of predetermined grammatical requirements, and their close analysis depends on our future information about the grammar and morphological changes of words in the Kushani language.

In any case, in view of past analyses the words #46 to 65 have the following meaning: TAKALD NOKONZOK I KARALRANG I FRE I KHOADEOG KID FREISTAR AB SHA I BAG POHR I LOIX BOSAR I SHIZOGARG I ALOSHXAL KID FARO OICP ANOMO OAD BARGAN: until Nokonzok the Kanarang, who is the distributor of water, through the Lord, the son of God Shah Loyak Bosar (son) of the blessed Shizogarg, may his name always be famous.

As regards the suffix barg, refer both to #11 and 119 where I have given an explanation.



66. ϹD (wusugd)

Maricq wrote clean and pure as the translation of this word, considering it to be from the ancient Iranian root awa-suseta. For the following word MAGG he gave the meaning flax. Henning viewed this meaning of flax for mng with incredulous amazement and writes the meaning of both words as with a pure heart. Actually the word flax is contrary to the trend of the wording.

There was a word in the Dari language in the form of asaghada meaning prepared and ready, which also had an infinitive in the form of asaghddan i.e. to prepare or make ready.[153] This Dari word is quite close to WSOGD, and it also has connection and congruity with the word mng which follows it, as we shall see.


67. (mng)

Based on the pronunciation of (ng) for two (g)s as in #7, 48, 77, 91 and 143, this word should also be read as mng. Previously in the interpretation of #11 the reader saw that there are some words in this inscription ending in an attributive (g), the pronunciation of which (g) was between (k) and (g).[154] If we remove this attributive (g) from this word, then, there remains mn, which was in ancient Pashto literature with the meaning of will and intention. Amir Krorr Jahan Pahlawan (circa 139 H.) said:

The arrows of my desire (mn) go like lightening upon the enemies.[155]

This word was also used in Sanskrit with the meaning of desire, heart and soul,[156] and Al Beruni used it with the meaning of heart and desire.[157] Also in Pashto there is in addition the verb manl, mn meaning to take to heart, i.e. to accept. So it can be said that wCOGgd maGg (wusugd mng) has the meaning of with a prepared/ready heart, and these two words are an attributive compound modifying our Nokonzok the Kanarang who with a prepared and ready heart and mind had started on the work.


68. D (pd=pah=bah)

This word which in Pashto is pah and bah in Persian also appears in #90, 121 and 144, and its final (d) has changed into (h), just like KID of #50 and 60 and SAD of #83, 116, 122, 132, and KALD of #46 and others of the same gnere ending in this same (d) which are frequent in this inscription. And nowadays pah remains in Pashto and bah in Persian. This Kushani PID was padh (fricative)=pat in Pahlavi with the exact same meaning of pah=bah.[158]

Henning has likewise recorded this word with the meaning of bah=bar, which was pati in old Persian, paiti in Avesta, and in Turfan-Pahlavi it was padh (fricative), close to this Kushani PID.[159] The word also appears in #90, 144 and in #121, 123 it remains in the form PIDIN. This Kushani PID was also alive in Dari at the beginning of the Islamic era. In Tarekh-e Seistan (p. 35) there are some hymns of the Karkoy fire temple which were copied from the Shahnama of Abdul Myyyid of Balkh. This verse was entered therein:

dost bazgosh b afrin nihda gosh[160]

In the first hemstitch baz-gosh means ba-ghosh (in bosom).

This same Kushani PID=Pahlavi pat could be heard in the time of Mohammad ibn Ahmad Bushari Maqdasi 375 H. in Merv of Khurasan. That is to say that this same perspicacious writer and traveller heard in Merv the word bary (i.e. ba-ra) as barta with the meaning of for that,[161] so that even up to this time they said pat=pid in this word.


69. (wig)

The (i) before IWG is the same particle of relationship and izafat which appears often in this inscription, and iwg is the Persian yakum and Pashto yw, which was present in Pahlavi also as iwkk.[162] From #82, 130, 148 and 164 it is clear that the cardinal form of this numeral was close to Pashto yw.

In old Persian the number one is ayvaka or ayva; aeva in Avesta, ik in Kurdish, yak in Pazind, eka in old Hindi, yeu in Asti, eyak in Baluchi, iv in Wakhi, yiv in Shagni, i in Yaghnubi, yao in Manji and vak in Sanglechi.[163]

From (i), the cardinal form of the word, which appears repeatedly in this inscription, we can guess that the cardinal number was (i) and the ordinal number was iwg=first.


70. DϹ (dhrs)

The closest numeral is Pashto drsh, which is drs in the dialect of the Ghalji people in the river-valley of Ghazna, and in Persian it is the number thirty s. With the preceding word, then, it is IWG ODOHIRC, equal to Pashto yaw drsh, i.e. thirty one (in the third copy several letters of this word are not visible).

It is known from this arrangement of the unitand decimal numbers that in the Kushani language the units place come first and then the decimal place, just like in Pashto. The word thirty was thrthat in old Persian, thrsat in Avesta, trishat in Sanskrit, s in Pazind, and sh in Pahlavi.[164] Henning says that in the Khutanese language also the units-place came before the decimal-place, and in that language the number thirty-one was ossete.


71. ϸ (khshn=shhi)

Henning and Maricq have taken this word to mean regnal-year and they say in Khutanese it was kchuna. Christensen considered khshn to be in the root of the Afghan Hepthalite king Akhshunoor=khshn (460 A.D.) meaning king or shah and in reference to Soghdian texts by Mueller (I, p. 108) he has shown the root of khshn in the Soghdian language.[165] In the old Persian Achaemenid inscriptions there frequently appear derivations of this word the root of which was khshay in old Persian, khsha in Avesta, and kshayati in Sanskrit, and the word khshyathiya meaning king is from this same root.[166] Investigators say that Nature became angry at the sound khsh and looked upon that sound with a bad attitude, and after several hundred years brought it to a more simple state, i.e. sha=sh.[167] In Pahlavi it was shh, and in some of the dialects of northwestern Iran it was shathr. The roots of Persian shahr and Pashto shr (retroflex sh) are also of the same provenance.[168]

I have written an account about the remnants of this word in the Pashto language and literature in Loyakan-e Ghazna and Tarekh-e Adabiyat-e Pashto, which may be referred to.

Here, the purpose of having this word after the thirty-first year is that this inscription was presumably written in the thirty-first year of Kanishkas reign (circa 160 A.D.).


72. Ϲ (nisn)

This was a name of the Babylonian month, which was also used in the Soghdian reckoning, according to Benveniste. Nisn was the seventh month of the Byzantine year and originally was the Babylonian month of spring which would correspond with the European March and April (our solar Hamal). It was also the seventh month of the Syrian reckoning, the first month of the Jewish religious year, and it had thirty days.[169] Here is the transmutation of this word: Akhadian nsn, Aramaic nsn.[170] In Burhan-e Qat it is naysn.

From the usage of this word we perceive that the Babylonian reckoning was in circulation in this territory in the Kushanid era.



73. (m)

In the Kushani language the present mh was written without the final (h), like sh=shh, and they said nsn-m, which was also mh (=mhak) in Pahlavi, mawngh in Avesta and old Persian, ms in Sanskrit, and mkh in Soghdian.[171] In the second copy this word is MAH.


74. (ml)

This means time, and ml/mahl are living words in Pashto even today with the meaning time/period. It was in use in old Pashto literature from the outset of the Islamic era. I have given an account of this in the notes and commentary to Pata Khazna.


75. D (gdown)

Maricq read the last part of the word as AM; however, since I referred to the original of the inscription in the Kabul museum, where it is clearly written N instead of M, I therefore read it as N. In the second copy it has been distorted, and in the third copy it was read as AB.

Since #68 to 74 tell the date of the erection of the mahdizh in Baghlanin the thirty-first year of the Kanishka era, month of Nsnword #75 is therefore connected to what follows it. Maricq took AGAD to be from gata meaning reached, passed i.e. that the middle of the month of Nsn had passed, but in my view the date stops on the word MAL, and AGADOAN should be connected to that which follows it.

In old Persian there was gthu, and in Avesta gatu (place, site, seat) and in old Hindi gtu (path, way), and orientalists have seen a parallel to them in the Pashto word ghley (carpet).[172]

My guess is that Kushani agd is the same ancient gthu=gtu, which in Persian is gh, an adverb of place.[173] There is a suffix AN attached to the end which is the same suffix of condition, attribution, and relation which we see in #65, 93, 96, 101 and 107 in this inscription. This AN of attribution, condition and relation is found today in Pashto also, attaching itself to the end of words. For example, kl (year), kalan (age), tura (sword), turan (swordsman). Therefore, we will not be far off by translating AGADOAN BAG LANG in this way: became settler of Baglang i.e. established himself in Baghlan.


76, 77. (bg lng=Baghln)

Cf. #6 and 7.


78. D (td)

Cf. #18, 81.


79. (mlz=mahsdizh)

CF. #2.


80. (purogt)[174]

Henning understands this word to be co-radical with #128 POROWAT, and derived from farwarcht meaning devotion and diligence, the final (t) representing cht.

In Pashto there is parwarisht (retroflex sh) which is near in form to the Kushani and Soghdian. Persian parwardan/parwarish is also from this root. Also in old Persian there was fro+vat meaning maintenance, protection, care and in the Achaemenid inscriptions there are names form this root.[175]

Perhaps purogt is an active verb in the absolute past which we say in modern Persian as parward. Therefore the jist of this sentence is as follows: Nokonzok the Kanarang and water-supplier came to Baghlan in the month of Nsn, year 31 of the Kanishka era, built up this fortress, and worked hard. AGADOAN BAG LANG TADEI MALIZ POROGAT means: settled in Baghlan, until he made this temple prosper.


81. D (tdi)

Cf. #18, 78.


82. (iy=Pashto yaw, Persian yak)

Cf. #69, 130, 148, 164; E in the second copy; EI in the third.


83. ϹD (sd)

CAD is Pashto tsh and Persian chh. Maricq, however, identifies this word as being close to Soghdian (st) meaning complete, whole, Persian sda and Armenian stak (complete, correct). There is no reason for this and no occasion for such correspondence.

Hennings view is more correct, that Soghdian had the word chat meaning well, and Kushani CAD is close to this word as well as to Avestan st (well). As we seen in #1, 8, 22, 26, 37, 60 and 90 etc. a final (d) which came in words after a vowel either was changed into a weak (h) or is silent. SAD, then, has also naturally changed into Pashto tsh and Persian chh.

This word is repeated in the same form in #116, 122 and 132.


84. D (knd)

This is the same modern Persian kand (preterite of kan), the same in old Persian and Avesta; in Pahlavi the infinitive was katan, and in old Hindi kandi (from khan), and in Pashto the infinitive is knal.[176]


85. (auty)

This word is repeated with the same usage in #89 and 114. Henning has written it with the meaning and of him (it). Nowadays we read this word in Pashto as ot i.e. and from him (it), and it. The (y) at the end of the word is a living pronoun of modern Pashto=y, also coming at the end of the word td in #18, 78, and 81. This word, then, is compounded from two words which are used in this inscription, ot=wa and y of Pashto=and from it. Here is how we would say this sentence in Pashto: ts yay wukind ot awbah wyeste (he dug a well and from it got water).


86. (b)

Cf. #20, 41, 52.


87. (auz)

According to Henning and Maricq, auz was a prefix in old Persian used to show upward movement. It survives in modern Persian as azo and Pashto dzenay (both meaning from/it). This word is connected with what follows it. Second copy AZOOACTO, third copy ZOACTI.


88. Ϲ (wst)

In modern Pashto we say this verb as wist=uwist, i.e. he brought forth, produced from the infinitive westal=stal (to bring forth, produce). Here, then is the meaning of #81 to 88 TADEI EII SAD KAND OTEI AB OZ: then he dug one well and brought forth water from it.


89. (auty=Pashto ot)

Cf. #85.


90. D (pd)

Same as Pashto pah and Persian bah. Cf. #68.


91. Ϲϴ (sng-th=sang-tah)

The first part of the word is plural, as the BAGE of #33. In Avesta also it was senga, in old Persian thaga (thanga), and sang in Pahlavi and Persian.[177] The Pashto word for stone, tga, is close to these words. (In the second copy the last two letters of this word are missing).

As for the (e) at the end of the word, it indicates plural like bg, and it is attached to the end of it. This is probably the same tah which nowadays means below/under, and sang-tah means the stones base, and it is the object of the following verb. (DO in the second copy and IDA in the third copy).



92. RD (uwilird)

Maicq and Henning have regarded the ancient Iranian widrta meaning took/held as parallel to this word, and the Parthian adjective dyard corresponds to it.

Now, in Pashto t dard is close to this verb, from the infinitive dardal meaning to stop/stand still for both animate and inanimate things.

In the Kushani language dar of neighboring languages always changed into lar. Christensen has shown this alteration of (d) to (l) in various dialects of the eastern Iranian plateau in reference to Soghdian Readings compiled by Andreas. He says that the name Darwsp was one of the deities of the Mazda worshippers on the coins of the Kushanid Kanishka, who reigned from 125 to 152 A.D. It is seen in the form of a bearded god with a running horse and with the spelling of Lro-aspo, which Aurel Stein identifies with the Persian lohrasp. Besides this, the ancient word drc is lor in Pashto, larkh in Munjani, and ds in Persian, all of which point to this transformation in ancient times.[178]

According to these rules of phonetic change, then, Kushani OILIRD becomes aurdared in Pashto. It is not apparent whether the (i) after the (l) represents a short or long sound and it is possible that it only represents a short sound, in which case it would be close to Pashto lar=dar. Here is the meaning of #89 to 92: OTEI PID ASANGEITH OILIRD: and by him (a well) was established by the stones base.


93. (tan)

Henning has apparently translated this word as such that and he has indicated the Avestan at third-person pronoun as the words root. He also refers to KALDAN #101 and TADAN #108, and Maricq feels that it is connected to OT of #43. In any case they have not expressed their definite opinions.

In my belief this word is a dialect variant of Pahlavi ton which means this and such. In old Persian it was aytavan and in Avesta atavant.[179]


94. (b)

Cf. #20.


95. (mlz)

Cf. #2.


96. Ϝ (frukrn)

Maricq mentions the first part of this word, faro, as being equivalent to old Persian pru, Avestan puru, and Khutanese buru with the meaning of much and very. In modern Pashto we have the word pura meaning full, complete and sufficient, which has also been taken into use in Dari spoken in Afghanistan. It also appears in #61 in the same form and meaning.

Henning writes that the second part of the word means pure and clean, but it is clearly connected to the group of #65, 93, 101 and 107 which end with the attributive suffix (an). Its root can be seen to be the kar of kardan (Persian) and krrow/krrl (Pashto). It gives the meaning of attributive and object, i.e. made/done. This will be the meaning of the whole sentence from #93 to 96. ATAN AB MALIZ FAROKARAN: thus the water of the temple was made plentiful.

This is a conditional clause, the result of which comes in the following clause.


97. (b)

Cf. #20.


98, 99. (mgwy)

Maricq has interpreted this word as a finite verb from the Avestan infinitive gav (to obtain), which, similarly to the verbs in #105, 110 and 113, ends in the suffix (ei). Henning has derived it from the same gav which is the gw in Sogdian with the meaning of to fail, want. He says that it is possible that (g) was from the sound (k) which occurred between two vowels, and that the verb is in the third-person optative mood.

If we divide up this verb according to the pattern in #110 and 113 then there should be three parts: m=the negative and prohibitory ma; then there is gw+wy. The negative prefix m and the suffix y are also found with other two verbs. The root of the verb, then, is gw, and if we take it to be from the gaw meaning to obtain/to ask for, then the meaning of the sentence should be, may the water not be asked for nor obtained! which does not fit into the context. And if we look at the sentences which precede and follow as being in the affirmative mood (whereas in #26 to 36 a sentence like this was in a mood of negation and of abandonment of the temple), then we cannot interpret AB MAGAOEI here negatively as water was not available or not asked for.

My guess is that, as Henning has said, we should look for the root of gw in kw. And here there are two possibilities:

First. In Dari Persian there were the words kawdan and kwish from the root kw (seen in kftan) meaning to dig up/search out, as we see from this verse by Ansuri:

bi kwd klsh r sar ba sar

k dnad k chi yft zar wa guhar.[180]

Search through his belongings from top to bottom,

Who knows what he found of gold and jewels.

The meaning of the sentence should in this case be as follows: may the water not need to be searched after (in the sense that it is present).

Second: From the same root in Dari there was khdan, khish and kstan, meaning to become few, to decrease,[181] and if we accept this view then this is the meaning of the sentence: let the water not be scarce!

At this point it should be noted that concerning the change of Dari (k) to Kushani (g), there are in the inscription a number of words the spelling of which has a (g) which we pronounce as (k) in Dari, Persian and Pashto.

As for the third part of the word, the suffix y which appears again in this inscription in the verbs of #105, 110, 112 etc., it is very similar to the Pashto y=w which is used for the third-person future optative, meaning may (it) be. AB MAGAOEI: may the water not be scarce!


100. D (aud)

Persian wa and Pashto aw, cf. #26.


101. D (kldn)

According to Maricq this word is synonymous with KALD of #27 and 46, which has remained in Pashto in the form of kla. As for the suffix an on this word and #107 tdan, it is probably based on the sentences grammatical requirements, because this same meaning with the same sentence and wording is actually mentioned in #26 to 36 in the past tense, where, in consequence of lack of water the temple and mdizh of Baglang were left abandoned and empty of worshippers. However, in this sentence, from #100 to 113, all the verbs are connected with the imperfect and future optative. Kald and td, then are used for the past, and kaldan, tdan for the future. This linguistic transformation is related to Kushanid grammatical rules which are not clear to us nowadays, but in any case the meaning of KALDAN is kla=when.


102, 103, 104. Ϲ - (se lro hmnn ir)

These words an an exact repetition of #28, 29 and 30; their meaning is the same, as has been noted.


105, 106. (b y)

Maricq has indicated that the root of the word bov is to exist and it is obvious that the Pahlavi infinitives budan/butan, Avestan bhaviti and Sanskrit bhaoti come from the old Iraninan root bhav/bhu, in which the meaning of existence is contained. In ancient times the Dari infinitive bdan had a conjugation with these components: bam/buwan (I am); biyam/buwen (we are); bi/buwi (you are); bd/buwd (you are); bd (he is); band/buwand (they are). For further explanation refer to Farhang-e Tabaqt-al-Sufiya, p. 596.

Word #105 BO, then, was from this same root in the Kushani language, from which boya remains in Pashto, being used for emphasis, i.e. necessarily.

As for the suffix y at the end, it is the same which comes at the end of the verbs in #99, 112 and 119 also, remaining in Pashto as y=w meaning be. BO EI then has the meaning: may (it) be!


107. D (tadn)

This word is connected to the TAD of #32 and 137, from which t has remained in modern Persian and Pashto. In #101 I explained the affix an, which is a sign of the future, and altogether the meaning is so that or whereafter. The following (i) leads us on to the word BAGEAC.


108. Ϲ (bgys)

BAGEAC means those of the Great One i.e. worshippers. For details see #33 and 34. In the second and third copies some of the letters of this word are missing.


109. ϸ (nawshlm=nawshd)

Cf. #35.


110. ϸD (mfrukhushundy)

The first part of the word is MA=mah of Pashto and Persian nah, a prohibitive and negative article, i.e. Persian nah-kun and Pashto mah-kawaboth meaning dont do (it). This article is also used for prohibitive negation in old Persian, Sanskrit and Avesta.[182]

The second part FRU is the previously-mentioned prefix which comes before verbs in this inscription in #18 and 36 also. It is an emphatic article, a discussion of which was given in #36.

Maricq and Henning have taken the third part, XOASOND to be from the same root as XORTIND of #36. According to Henning it is third-person plural future which presumably ended in (nd). But Henning says that the verbs frukhwart must be deduced from the context and order of the sentence, because their roots are not clear.

In #36, where FROXORTIND is used as a preterit verb, I indicated its meaning as disperse/perish, and MAFROXOASONDEI would be its third-person plural form, i.e. they will not perish or be abandoned.[183]

Now let us compare this sentence repeated in the inscription in the past and future tenses:

Past: OD KALD AS LROHOMINAN-I-ER STAD TAAD-I-BAGEAS NOSHALM FROXOASOND; and when the holy deity of the fire stopped, then the worshippers of Nawshal perished.

Future: OD KALDAN AS LROHOMINAN I ER BOEI, TADAN I BAGEAS I NOSHALM MA FROXOASONDEI; and the holy deity of the fire will be (present), then the worshippers of Nawshal will not perish.


111. (autn)

According to Maricq this word is equal to OT=and which has repeatedly occurred in this inscription. Henning has also noted this word OT and writes that its meaning is and, of them.

The structure of this word is obviously similar to the group of words ending in an, and there are many examples of them in this inscription. Now we know from the phrase in #43 to 45 that OT was used with a past tense verb, and here OTAN occurs with a future verb. Thus the rule of KALD and TAD #101 is again effective on OT, and it seems that when used with a future verb KALD and TAD became KALDAN and TADAN. Here also the past-tense OT has changed to OTAN with the future tense. In any case its meaning is and.


112. (mlz)

Cf. #2, 16, 23, 44, 79, 95, 112, 126.


113. DϹ (mpdurkhsy)

This negative verb is of the same root as PIDORIGD of # 45. According to Maricq it is close to Iranian raik (leave, let), the Sogdian word prxs (remain), and Khotanese pors (freed, released). This may be a future form of the verb in #45, and in Pashto the third person verb form prsey=przde is similar to this in meaning, and m pdurkhsy would mean ma prsey i.e. the temple will not become abandoned. Now let us look at both sentences in the past and future tenses:

Past: OT MALIZ PIDORIGD, and the temple was abandoned.

Future: OTAN MALIZ MA PIDORIXCEI, and the temple will not be abandoned.


114. (auty)

Cf. 85, 89.


115. ϹϹ (sskum)

I cannot figure out the root of this verb, but Henning has given its root in the old Iranian words skamba-harcha meaning a supportive crudely built demi-arch, and as for the change of ancient (tch) to (sh) or (s) he gives as a basis the word (as) in this inscription, which has changed to Persian az. In old Persian it was hach. He says that the (s) of some words in this inscription represents an earlier (ch).

If we accept this view of Henning, then sskum (a crude arch) would be a substantive for the following word CAD=well.


116. ϹD (sd=chah)

Cf. #83.


117. ϸ (khshtrg)

Maricq has described this word as a dubitative adverb meaning custodian and supervisor, which does not fit these circumstances. I believe that this word is connected with the following word as one verb with three parts: akhsht+rig+kird.

The first part akhsht is modern Persian khisht and Pashto khsta, both meaning brick or sometimes dirt. In Pahlavi it was khisht, in Avesta ishtya, and in Sanskrit ishtik.[184]

As for the second part of the word, along with Persian and Pahlavi rz=rkhtan it has its source in Avesta raec-raecayt (to scatter out), and here it means to cast up (=set up) the foundations of a building; khshtrg should be translated as khisht-rz. This word is repeated in #124.



118. D (krd)

This is our past-tense Persian kard, also seen in #12. There, however, it is an independent verb, and here it is an auxiliary verb along with the preceding word akhshtrg.




119. L (lbrg)

Maricq has explained this word as having two parts, l+brg, being from Avestan hada meaning with, and brg the second part meaning castle. Henning, however, says that this word does not have two parts and that perhaps it is like old Persian hadabara, meaning friend and helper. Now #119 and 120, ALBARG OSTADOITHOAT should be connected with the preceding sentence, i.e. they should say something about the well which was mentioned in the preceding sentence. If we give credit to the definition friend/helper, then what kind of meaning will this result in?

The way I see it this word is a compound made up of two parts which formed one compound in the Kushani language: l+brg, in this manner:

l: In the dialects of Afghanistan it is common for an (l) to change into an (r), i.e. dwar=dewal, gharbl=ghalbel, and this has already been indicated in #59. Therefore Kushani l becomes r. Since ancient times in Pashto there has been the word r/rah, meaning origin and basis, and according to Geiger the word rina, which meant origin and basis in Sanskrit, is also derived from r.[185]

Akbar Zamindawari, the Pashtun poet said (c. 800 H.):

Her grief has originated (rah) in my heart

With my rival she laughs with delight.

Mullah Alif, a poet around 1019 H. says in Bahr-al-Imm:

From origin (rah) he was esteemed,

Even though in grief beset.

Pir Mohammad Miaji (1135 H.) says:

Shaikh Mati was a great saint

From beginning (rah) he was sage. [186]

Kushani l, then is equivalent to ancient r and Pashto rah and it means origin and basis. The second word BARG is the same word which occurred in #11 and 65 also in NAMOBARG (nmwar) famous, and bargn. Br is the same attributive suffix wr of Persian and Pashto. So lbr is like rwr and would mean having a basis. As with other words in the Kushani language, the descriptive (g) has been appended, and the explanation of this is found in #11.


120. ϹDϴ (ustadowthwt)[187]

Orientalists have separated WCTAD from ITH and AT, and they are ambigious as to their meanings, which for ith they have given as pillar, arrow and rafters. In my opinion, however, this word is a past-tense actualized passive transitive infinitive, the root of which is STAD of #25 and 31. There it was absolute past-tense active third-person singular, and here it is used passively in reference to chh khisht-rez. The phrase in #119, 120 is a statement about the previous well, and lbrg ustadaowthwt has this meaning: the well was erected with a base.

Here then is the meaning of all the phrase from #114 to 120. OTEI ACASKOM SAD AXSHT RIG KIRD ALBARG WCTADOITHOAT: and (when) they erected with bricks the arch of the well, it (the well) was erected with a base. It should also be said that OAT is also used at the end of the verb in #128 for the passive past tense, whereas in #80 AT alone was used for the active past tense.


121. D (pdin)[188]

As was explained in #68, this is an ancient form of Persian bah and Pashto pah, used as a preposition. In Turfani Pahlavi, it was dadh (a continuent) and in Avesta it was payti. The first part, then is PID which means ba(d), and as for the second part, it is like Persian en=this, so pdin is just like Persian badin meaning with or by it. This latter word is an old form found in our classical literature, analogues to badn and badow which also preserve the ancient (d). In this way Pahlavi padh and Kushani pid have combined with n, en and ow.

Farrukhi says:

With (badn) such glamorous festivities, and wishful day,

The king may endeavor festive every day.

Ferdowsi says:

With (badn) such glamor and personality

You deserve such a throne and crown.

This word is repeated in #123 also. It should be said that words in languages always meet with the opportunity for transmutation from their former shapes through the course of centuries according to the vicissitudes of time and the circuitings of fortune. Sometimes a word becomes reduced and abbreviated. Occasionally their ancient form remain in compounds. For example, ancient pid changed to bah=pah, but its ancient form has remained in the compounds badn, bado, and badn, cf. #68.


122. ϹD (sd=chah)

Cf. #83, 132.


123. D (pdin=badn)

Cf. #121.




124. (akhshtrg=khisht-rz)

Cf. #117.


125. (hruhg)

According to Henning this is derived from haruvg which means all and complete. In Persian and Pashto it is the word for all. Its roots are in old Persian haruva (each, every), Avestan haurua and Pahlavi harvisp (each, all, entire). In the Zz dialect of Iran hergu (each, every) is still present to this day.[189]

So Kushani hruhg=hama (many, all) is like the adjectives in this insciption ending in (g), i.e. #11, 24, 67 and 119. Here it modifies the following word mlz i.e. the whole temple, all of the temple.


126. (mlz)

Cf. #2 which has been repeated seven times in this inscription.


127. (khuhz)

According to Maricq and Henning this is equivalent to Soghdian xwtz/suvj and Parthian xwj, meaning adorned, elegant etc., and in Pashto the words kha=sah=ho=kho are close to it. In Avesta and Pahlavi it was ho, in Sanskrit su, and in Dari kha. As for the final suffix, it is like the z in Pashto which is still present in the language, being added as a attributive suffix, i.e. ghar-gharz (mountain) sar-sarz (at the head i.e. the best). Khuhz, then, means good, well, fine, lovely etc., and in this sentence it is a predicate adjective for the following verb in #128.


128. (purowt)

In the discussion of #80 we evaluated purogt which Henning defines as worship and devotion, and it seems that purogt was a third person singular preterite active verb, and that purowt was a third-person singular passive voice absolute past connected with the noun mliz in #126, i.e. the temple became well taken care of. In regard to this, refer to #80 and 120, for in #120 the verb is passive and ending in OAT just like this verb. Now here is the meaning of the sentence from #121 to 128. PIDEIN SAD PIDEIN AXSHTRIG HAROG MALIZ XOHZ POROOAT: with this well (and) this rise of bricks the whole temple prospered.


129. (aut=and)

Cf. #43, 147. The analysis is in # 26.



130. (iy=yaw=yak)

Cf. #69, 82, 148.


131. (m)

This word is an attributive and possessive ligature which also came at the end of #2.


132. ϹD (sd=chah)

Cf. #83, 116, 122.


133. D (aud)

Persian wa and Pashto aw meaning and.


134. ϸ (msht)

Without any detail Henning has written this to be an interrogative adverb meaning broken, which does not fit the context at all. This word should be a modifier for the following word in #135.

In old Persian we have mathiyah, in Avesta masyao, in Dari mh and mahest, in Kurdish mastir, and in Pashto mshr, all which mean bigger and great(er). [190] In old Persian matshishta meant greater and crown prince.[191] Msht, then means great and big and is used here as an adjective for the following word khrgumn.


135. (khrgumn)

Henning is hesitant about the meaning of this word and says that it is Persian khirmn or that it means the great fore court. This irresolute assumption on Hennings part is probably close to the truth, i.e. the word khirmn is used in Persian not just for a pile of harvested things. A halo around the moon is also called khirmn. Hafiz says:

The heavens said do not waste this grandeur in love,

Look for the moons halo (khirmn mh), go seek the Pleiades.[192]

It should not be left unsaid that this root can also be seen in the word khargh which means a pavilion or open living-space, and the former term for the moons halo, khirman-e-mh, has also been said as khargh-e-mh .[193] Al Beruni in Kitab-al-Tafhim and Ibn Sena in Danishnama-e layeenhave used khirman in the meaning of halo. Both of these books were written about 420 H.

So it seems that from antiquity the word khirman has meant an enclosure or field, among other things. In combination with the previous adjective and the following verb krd this Kushani khrgumn gives this meaning: OT EII M SAD OD MAST XIRGOMAN: and he made one well and a large court-yard.

We should not forget that in the Kushani language as in Pashto the modifier came before the modified, accordingly msht precedes khrgumn.


136. D (krd)

Cf. #12.


Up to now the discussion was centered on the repair of the Madizh fortress. After this the members of the mission mention their names as follows.


137. (m)[194]

This is a singular pronoun for the first person in present day Persian i.e. jama-m (my garment), khana m (my home) and dah sla m (I am ten years old). A similar word which in Pashto is pronounced ym meaning I am, is still in existence. The oham of Sanskrit and hom in Greek are of the same nature.[195]

The word AM is inscribed before the names of the missions members, and it means ym=hastam (I am). It seems that in olden times, putting m before the names of people was applicable. For example, in the inscription of Darius, in Behistan its content began as follows: adam daria wa osh (I am Darius). For further details refer to #139, 141, 150 and 152.


138. (borzumhr)

A name used all over ancient Aryan lands. It is composed of two components. Borz meaning high, great and splendid. Ansuri says:

They damaged the idols with their clubs,

Neither their glamour was left nor their greatness (burz).[196]

Ferdowsi says:

When he killed the serpent with his club,

The world said he was great (burz) indeed.[197]

He says:

With the looks of the moon and splendid figure (burz)

With your stature, arm, hands and golden mace.[198]

The root of this word in Avesa is bereyaiti, meaning high, hill and mountain.[199]

Its second component, MIHR is the same in modern Persian, and mir of Pashto meaning sun, mitra in Sanskrit, mithra in Avesta and old Persian, mitr in Pahlavi; all of which meant love and friendship and the god of light. Similarly in Greek the god of sun was called mithres.[200]

In Pahlavi and Dari this name was recorded like borzmihr=bozurgmihr=borzmiter.[201] In the story of Nowshirwan in Shahmana, this word was used in the form of bozerjamir which means wise and educated person. It was the name of Nowshirwans minister who was a sage and wise man.[202] Under the title The Remembrance of Bozergmihr, his book written in Pahlavi, is still in existence. There he introduced his name as Bozurgmihr-e Bakhtagan, the minister of emperor Kisras royal court.[203]

The inscription shows that the word borzomihr, or bozurgmihr, or borzerjamihr was used as the name of a person in the ancient times. It was pronounced differently in Aryan dialects. During the Islamic period, however, it became Arabicized and was pronounced as bozurjamhir. It meant splendid sun or as high as the sun.

The component MIHR (sun) has been used in ancient names also. In the inscription of Rozgan, the name of the Hepthalite king was inscribed as Mihrakola. Most of the Kushanid coins carry this word on one side along with the pictures of the god of the sun. On these coins the word is inscribed in the Greek alphabet. The name of a missionary from Gandahara, who went to China around 340 A.D. to spread his beliefs was Dahara-Mitra.[204] On the Khurushty inscription of the descendant of Kanishka, found in Lorlai of Balochistan, the name of the king was inscribed as Yoolamihra.[205]

A historical name with which the word BORZ was used was the name of a Persian king Vahuburz. According to Christensen, this was the name of the same ruler, Oborzos, who massacred Greek soldiers in Persian in the third century B.C.[206] It seems that Vahuburz meant good+splendor.

The inscription of Baghlan might be the oldest document so far on which this name was recorded in its oldest form. Bozerjamhir was the name of the minister of Khusrow the third=Ano Shirwan (531-578 A.D.). If we accept Islamic sayings and reports, a person by the name of Borzmihr lived in the court of Arda Shire Babakan 224-241 A.D.), who was considered to be a wise personality of the court.[207]

The name of Borzmihr has been repeatedly used in the inscription (#153 and 154), along with the name of his son Amiraman (#155), who was another member of the mission entrusted to repair the Baghlan temple.[208]

139. ΑΜ (m=ym)

Cf. #137, 141, 150 and 152.


140. ϸ (kozgshk puhr)

Kozgshke is a personal name in Kushani language. According to Maricq, this name, with its special grammatical form in which the terminal (a) changes to (i,o) has close relation to Kushanid names in #11 and 143. In the singular form in Khutany the (a) at the end of the name changes to (i).

The second component of this word POHR, which has been used repeatedly in #55 and 153 is not preceded by the divider O. This indicates it is connected directly with KOZGASHI meaning son. Like current names there was a relation between the names of father and son in the olden times. A few examples of todays names are presented as follows: Ibn Khallad, Ibn Khaldoon, in Arabic; Kazem Zada in Persian; Mohammad Zai in Pashto and Ghafurov in Russian.

It is possible that the fathers name was Kozgashka and when connected with POHR the terminal letter (a) changed into (i). In the third copy it is spelled PHRO.


141. (m=ym)

Cf. #137, 150 and 152.


142. Ϲ Ϲ (stl gnsgm)

According to Maricq this word is a Kushanid name and he was a member of the mission to repair the temple of Baghlan. But there are some problems concerning such interpretation.

First: No divider separates GANCEIGI from AM, in which case both of them should be considered one word. In other words, the AM at the end of this word is not the same AM meaning I am. It is used in several places in the inscription and is separated by the word divider O from preceding and succeeding words. Consequently, we should read the word as Ganceigiam and not Ganceigi, like Maricq.[209]

Second: The word ACTIL has been separated from the succeeding word by a divider. Thus we must not think of ACTIL+GANCEIGIAM as a special personal name but as a modifier to the succeeding wordNokonzok (as mentioned in #47 he was the head of the repair mission). In the first part of this compound modifier, if we change (l) to (r), as prevalent in other parts of the inscription, this word becomes astir in which case it seems to be closely related to the word stir in Pashto. Stir in Pashto means leader, head and great, and there is historical documentation which shows the word stir has been used in historical words and in fact it has its root in those words.

In the 10th and 11th hemispheres of the tenth Yasna in reference to the mountains of Afghanistan, the Hindu Kush and Kohe Baba series, the name of a peak was recorded as Starosara,[210] from which comes stir+sar=biland sar (high peak). The word stir of Avesta and Pashto might have had the form of ACTIL in the Kushani language.

The analysis of GANCEIGIAM remains an enigma since it is not separated by a divider between GANECIGI and AM. Thus I cannot accept it as a separate personal name and instead say it is a modifier to NOKONZOK. Actil+Ganceigiam, however, might have been the title or name of an official rank of the Kushanid civil servants. This is why, Nokonzok, besides holding his family title and his official rank as Kanarang, carries this title along with his name. In effect, ACTIL, likestir in Pashto, meant president, head and great.


143. (nukonzki kralrngi mrg)

Nokonziki is the name of the same Nokonzok mentioned in #47 who was the head of the repair mission. Due to its special grammatical condition it is recorded here as Nokonziki.

Similarly, the second word, KARALARANGE is the same as #48. Here it carries the letter (e) at the end, as a sign of plural, like #98 and 108.

The third word MAREG as Henning says, means subservient. Maricqs interpretation concerning this word, seems to be closer to reality. In the inscription of Khawat, Wardak,[211] this word is used with the names of two brothers written in Kharushti script. In the Niya documents this word was also recognized as a personal name.

The Khawat inscription, inscribed during the reign of Howishka (died 182 A.D.), son of Kanishka, reads as follows:

In the year of the Kanishka epoch, during the reign of Howishka on the 15 of the month of Arta, corresponding to May (Zeus Greek), a person from the Marega family whose name was Wagra Marega son of Kama Goya, the brother of Hashtooma Marega, built this temple in Khowada and called it Warga Marega.[212]

The above detail, written in the second century A.D., shows that Marega=Mareg was the name of a famous family during the time of Kanishka and his son Howishka.[213] The head of the repair mission of the Baghlan temple, Nokonozok, possibly belonged to this family. It is obvious that the family was respected in the court of Kushani kings and members of the family probably had the ability and a hand in repairing temples and fortresses.



144. D (pd=pah=bah)

Cf. #68, 90, 121, 123.


We have to mention that there is a difference in the use of this word in different places of this inscription. Except for #68 which is exactly the same as 144, the others are followed by a divider O, after which a possessive (i) is used. This possessive (i) is used with words #29, 32, 34, 47, 49, 53, 56, 68, 103 and 107. In this case the word PID is closely related to the pah yay of Pashto. If we read it with the two succeeding words it would become pe khudy farman.


145. D (khod)

This word is an abstract of word #49 XOADEOG. According to Henning the word khadew is derived from it. Here it means a Kushanid emperor.


146. (fromn=frmn)

In old Persian the word was framana meaning order, decree and framan in Pahlavi. It is farman in Persian and parman in Pashto. In Sanskrit it was promana and framatar of old Persian meant governor and man of authority and is derived from this root.[214]

Sdi says:

Greatness comes with the acceptance of order (frmn),

Disobedience of a decree (frmn) causes sorrowness.[215]


147. (aut=aw)

OT is a form of OD. For details refer to #26.


148. (imn)

Neither Maricq nor Henning have said anything about this word. The first portion EII is used in #82 and 130, corresponding to yaw of Pashto and yak of Persian. The second part MAN is a suffix used with several names in old times i.e. Wahomana=Bahman, Bihmanish and Mihraman (#151) and Amihraman (#155) of this inscription. The root of mn could be found in the word manel of Pashto and manish of Persian.

During the Kushanid era, the name of a scholar from Gandahara, a descendent of the Kapisa kings in southern Hindukush, was Gunavarman, in which the suffix mn is obvious.[216] We can say that in the beginning the word was eiiomn (the one with belief of oneness) but later eimn came out of it in Persian and Pashto which means security and condolence.[217] It might have been a modifier of the following word NOBIXT.

Most probably it was the title of a great officer of government whose rank followed that of the emperor. For example, Nokonzok himself was appointed by the order of the king and EIIMAN NOBIXT to the rank of KANARANG.


149. (nobkht)

This is an old name commonly used until the Islamic period among Aryans. For example Nowbikht-e Ahwazi was an emperor of the court of Mansur Abasi. In effect, during that time in the family of Nowbakht there were scientific translators.[218] Abu Sahl-e Nowbakhti was a famous personality of the Abasid period.[219]

Eimn Nobkht was probably the prime minister of the Kushanid emperor who was second in rank to the emperor in appointing officers and civil servants. This name was inscribed on another piece of stone also found in Surkh Kotal.


150. (m=ym)

Cf. #137, 141, 152.


151. Y (mhrmn)

This is the name of another member of the repair mission who was a collaborator of Nokonozok, the head of the mission. It is separated by the divider O from the preceding and succeeding words.

It was already discussed in #148 that some old Aryan names and titles ended in mn. Concerning the present time, we have to mention that in modern Pashto it still exists as sigh of an adjective, i.e. barmn (bar+mn=successful) or karrmn=injured.

Mhrmn has two components. MIHR which was discussed in #138, corresponding to the Persian mihr and mir of Pashto meaning sun i.e. light and illumination, are derived from it. If we join it with the possessive sign MAN it would become miraman meaning lighted and illuminated. Moreover, in Pashto the word mrmn=mhrmn is commonly used as title for respectful women. It is possible that this word is the historical Kushanid word mhrmn. It is obvious that this word could become a suitable modifier for women. It means, in this regard, a women with beauty, personality and respect. It is possible that the word was used as a modifier for men in old times.

The change in the meaning of this word might be the same as in the word sha=shaha=shahi which in this inscription means emperor (#10), but in Pashto literature it is a title of respect for women, especially referred to the beloved.

Ahmad Shah has used it in the context of showing respect to his beloved:

My aching heart,

Shaha is my respectful wife.[220]


152. (m=ym)

Cf. #137, 141, 150.


153, 154. (borzumhr puhr)

Borzomihr is the name of the same person discussed in #138. Similarly POHR=pour=pisar corresponds to #55 and 140. BORZOMIHR POHR means son of Borzomihr, whose name appears in the last word of the inscription. It should be mentioned that in line 25, after #154, a sigh appears which seems to be the signature of an important personality. Likewise, a sign is seen after the word, Amihraman (#155) and is different from the aforementioned monogram.

Concerning these signs I think that the kings and important personalities of that period probably used a distinguished sign for their signatures or these signs are a declaration of their status. In fact, these kinds of symbols were frequently minted on the coins of the Kushanid kings, especially those after Kanishka the Great. Most probably these signs portrayed a symbol of their kingdom or they represented monograms. From among these signs one was minted on a Kanishka coin (around 125-152 A.D.) which resembled the shape of a crown.

According to Henning, such personal or family monograms were commonly used during the Sassanid period in the eastern parts of Aryana.


155. [221] (mhrmn)

Like #151, Amihraman is the name of a member of the repair mission whose father was Borzomihr, discussed in #138 and 153. Certainly, Amihraman, son of Borzomihr, was a different person than Mihraman of #151.

Evidently, there were two persons in the repair mission who had the same name i.e. Mihraman (#151) and Amihraman (#155). The name of one was used with the name of his father, and this might have been for the purpose of differentiating the two names from each other. However, it is not known why an (a) was used at the beginning of #155. It might possibly be due to its special grammatical form or for distinguishing one from the other.

The word Amihraman seems to be the last word of the inscription because after it a special symbol is used which signifies the end of the inscription.

Words #137 to 155 of the inscription are:

AM BORZOMIHR AM KOZGASHKIPOHR AM ASTIL GANCEIGIAM NOKONZIKI- KARALRANGI-MAREG PID IXOADE FROMAN OT EIIOMAN NOBIXT AM MIHRAMAN AM BORZOMIHR POHR AM (monogram) AMIHRAMAN (mongoram): I am Borzohihr, I am son of Kozgashki, I am the leader Nokonziki from the Kanarang of Mareg, with the decree of Khoday and the decree of Eiioman Nobikht. I am Mihraman, I am Amihraman, son of Borzomihr.




Translation of the Inscription According to the Present Analysis


This is the acropolis of Kanishka the auspicious, from Bag-Lang, which was built by the great and famous king Kaniskha. The acropolis was built in haste and was completed when the temples water ceased. Thus the acropolis stood parched and when the holy deity of fire faded the god-lovers of Noshal perished. When the water stream became dry and the water became scarce, the acropolis was abandoned. After that Nokonzok, the Karal Rang, on behalf of the emperor, who is distributor of water for the king, the bag-pohar, Loikh Bosar, son of Shizogarg the late, who may always be celebrated, in the month of Neisan, during the thirty-first year of the era of empire settled in Bag-Lang until the acropolis prospered. Later he dug a well which produced water and erected the stone base of the well. Thus the acropoliss water became abundant and was not scarce thereafter, so that the holy deity of fire may remain eternal and the god-lovers of Noshal may not perish and the acropolis may not be abandoned. When the crudely built well was based with bricks, it strengthened the well and the acropolis prospered and one well and a great fore-court were built. I am Borzomihr, son of Kozgashki, officer of Ganseigiam, Nokonziki the Karal Rang of the Mareg. By the kings decree and by the decree of Eiioman Nobikht. I am Mihraman. I am Amihraman, son of Borzomihr.










Acta Orientalia, Vol. IV, 93. Budapest, 1950.

Ahsan-al-Taqaseem, Mohammad bin Ahmad Al-Bashari, Leiden, 1877.

Akbar Nama, Abu Fazl ibn Mubarak, Lahore, 1875.

Al-Fehrest, Zahur Ali Barelavi, Calcutta, 1837.

Al-Ithqan, Sayoti, Cairo, 1951.

Al-Mahaseen wa al `Adad, `Amr ibn Bahr Jahiz, Cairo, 1914.

Al-Masalik wa al-Mamalik, Ibn Khurradabih Ubayidullah ibn Abdullah, Leiden, 1889.

Al-Masalik wa al-Mamalik, Ibrahim ibn Mohammad Istakhri, Leiden, 1870.

Ardsher BabakanKarnameh, Persian translation by Mohammad Javed Mashkoor, Tehran, 1950.

Asar-al-Baqia, Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, Liepzig, 1876.

`Ayoon-al-Akhbar, Ibn Qutaiba Mohammad Abdullan bin Muslim, Cairo, 1919.

Bulletin of School of Oriental and African Studies, The Bactrian Inscriptions, W. B. Henning. 23 (1): 47-55. 1960.

Burhan-e Qat, Burhan Mohammad Husayin ibn Khalaf Tabrizi, with footnotes by Mohammad Moyan, Tehran, 1951.

Chahar Maqala, Ahmad Nezami `Arouzi Samarqandi, Mohammad Moyan (ed.). Tehran, 1954.

Da Pashtoonkhwa Haro Bahar (Chants Populaires des Afghans), J. Darmesteter, Paris, 1890.

Divan-e Abdul Qader Khan, Abdul Hai Habibi (ed.), Qandahar, 1939.

Divan-e Ahmad Shah Baba, Adbul Hai Habibi (ed.) Kabul, 1940.

Divan-e Farrukhi, Ali bin Julogh Seistani Farrukhi, Tehran, 1956.

Divan-e Jami, Jami, Tehran 1956.

Divan-e Khushal Khan Khatak, Abdul Hai Habibi (ed.), Qandahar, 1939.

Divan-e Manuchihri, Abu Najm Ahmad Manuchihri Damghani, Tehran 1936.

Divan-e Naser Khusrao Balkhi, Tehran, 1950.

Divan-e Shamsuddin, Kabul, 1950.

Encyclopedia of Islam, Leiden, 1912.

Futuh-al-Baldan, Ibn Yahya Belazari, Cairo, 1957.

Garshasp Nama, Ali bin Ahmad al-Asadi Tusi, Dr. Seligmann (ed.), Vienna, 1859.

Gulistan, Shaikh Muslihuddin Sdi, London, 1872.

Hamasa Sarayee dar Iran, Ahmad Safa, Tehran, 1945.

Hindi Dictionary, John Platts, London, 1911.

History of Islamic Civilization, Jurji Zaidan Mesri, Cairo, 1902.

Journal Asiatique, Le grande inscription de Kanishka et lto-tokarien, lancienne langue de la Bactriane, Andre Maricq. CCXLVI-4:345-440. 1958.

Journal Asiatique, Inscriptions de Bactriane. Emile Benveniste, CCXLIX-2:113-152. 1961.

Ketab Al Hind, Al-Biruni, Translated by Sayed Asghar Ali, Hyderabad, 1958.

Kharoshti Inscriptions, Sten-Konow 1929. Reprint, Delhi, 1969.

Kulya-al-Adb Journal, Cairo, 1950.

Literary History of Persia, Edward Granville Browne, Curzon, 1924.

Loghat-e Fars, Ali bin Ahmad Asadi Tusi, Abas Iqbal (ed.), Tehran, 1940.

Lubab-al-Albab, Mohammad `Aufi, Leiden, 1903.

Lughat-al-Turk, Mohammad bin Ahmad Al-Bashari, Leiden, 1906.

Mafateh al `Aloom, Mohammad bin Khwarazmi, Cairo, 1915.

Majm al Ansab wa al Asrt al Hkima, Arabic translation, Cairo, 1951.

Majm-al-Tawarekh wal Qesas, Anon, Tehran, 1939.

Masnavi, Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, Tehran 1933.

Myar-e Jamali, Shams Fakhri Asfahani, Tehran, 1959.

Mazda Parasti dar Iran Qadeem, Arthur Christensen, Copenhagen, 1943.

Medieval Era Research on Chinese Sources. Patrick Meader, London 1887.

Memoirs of Hsuen Tsang, Susil Gupta (ed.), Calcutta, 1958.

Mujala-e Danishkada, Tarekh-e Adabi, Iqbal, Tehran, 1951.

Mujala-e Sharq, Sid Nafisi, Tehran 1931.

Mujala-e Yadgar, Taqi Zada, Tehran, 1955.

Nama-e Tansar, Bahauddin Mohammad bin Hasan ibn Isfandyar, Tehran, 1932.

Numismatic Chronicle. A. Cunningham. Coins of the Kushans or Great Yue-ti. 1892.

Old Persian, Ronald Kent, New Haven, 1953.

Pahlavi Text, Edward William West, Bombay, 1913.

Pashto Qamoos, Abdul Ghani Maiwandi, Pashto Academy, Kabul, 1952.

Pashto wa Loykan-e Ghazna, Abdul Hai Habibi, Kabul 1962.

Pata Khazana, Mohammad Hotak, Abdul Hai Habibi (ed.), Kabul 1944.

Persian Chrestomathy, A. Shiefer, Paris, 1884.

Qamoos Jughrafi Afghanistan, Dairat-al-Mref, Kabul, 1960.

Sabk Shenasi, Mohammad Taqi Bahar, Tehran, 1951.

Shahnama, Hakim Abul Wasem Ferdowsi, Tehran, 1933.

Sisyat Nama or Sayr al Mulook, Nizam al Mulook Tusi, Tehran, 1960.

Soghdi Inscriptions, Andreas Carl Fredrich, Berlin, 1910.

Tabaqat-e Sufia, Khwaja Abdullah Ansari, Abdul Hai Habibi (ed.) Kabul 1962.

Tarekh al Umam wa Mulook, Abu Jfar Mohammad bin Jarir Tabri, Cairo, 1949.

Tarekh-e Adabiyat dar Iran, Shafaq Raza Zada, Tehran, 1952.

Tarekh-e Adabiyat Pashto. Abdul Hai Habibi, Kabul, 1946.

Tarekh-e Afghanistan, Ahmad Ali Kohzad, Kabul, 1946.

Tarekh-e Baihaqi, Abu al Fazl Mohammad Baihaqi, Tehran, 1939.

Tarekh-e Tabari, Abu Jafar bin Harir Tabari, Cairo, 1949.

Tarekh-e Tamudin Iran Dar Asr-e Sassani, Sid Nafisi, Tehran, 1952.

Tazk-e Baburi, Mohammad Babur, Bombay, 1891.

The Eastern Iranian Civilization, translated by Esa Bahrami, Tehran, 1958.

The Sassanids, Arthur Christensen, Copenhagen, 1934.

Wais wa Ramin, Fakhruddin Asad, V. Minorsky (ed.), 1858.

Yashta, Persian translation by Pour Daud, Bombay, 1928.

Yasna, Persian translation by Pour Daud, Bombay, 1933.

Vendidad, Persian translation by Mohammad Ali Hasan, Hyderabad, 1948.

Zain-al-Akhbar, Abdul Hai bin Zuhak Gardizi, Tehran, 1934.



[1]  Journal Asiatique, 246-2::345-440.

[2]  Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 23: 47-55.

[3]  Journal Asiatique, 249-2:113-152.


[4]  sar-al-Baqia, p. 222; Ahasan-al-Taqasim, p. 335.


[5]  Tarikh-e Adabi, Mujalae Danishkada, I, p. 410; Tarikh Adabiyat-e Iran, p. 33; Mujala-e Yadgar, p. 6-9.

[6]  Introduction of Burhan-e Qat, p. 27.

[7]  There are some Dari sentences in al-Mahasen wa al-`Adad of Jahiz (160-255 H.); yoon-al-Akhbar and Tarikh-e Tabari.

[8]  For further information see the introduction of Burhan-e Qat .

[9]  For the complete evolution of Pashto from the Kushanid language 4 or 5 centuries are not enough.

[10]  This will be described under #72 later in this analysis.

[11]  Tarekh-e Afghanistan, Vol.II, p. 222.

[12]  Acta Orientalia, Vol. 6, p. 93.

[13]  Mazda Parasti in Ancient Iran, p. 114.

[14]  Tarekh-e Afghanistan, II, p. 223

[15]  Kharoshti Inscriptions, p. 168.

[16]  Kharoshti Inscriptions, p. 169.

[17]  Kharoshti Inscriptions, p. 165.

[18]  Kharoshti Inscriptions, p. 164.


[19]  Numismatic Chronicle, 1892.

[20]  History of Islamic Civilization, III, p 80.

[21]  Wafiyyat, I, p. 135.

[22]  History of Islamic Civilization, III, p. 115.

[23]  Al-Ithqan, II, p. 171.

[24]  Al-Ithqan, I, p. 84.

[25]  Encyclopedia of Islam, IV, p. 54.


[26]  Old Persian, p. 164-174.

[27]  Ardsher Bbkan, p. 64.

[28]  Old Persian, p. 75, 200.

[29]  Sabk Shinasi, I, p. 406.

[30]  Divan-e Farrukhi, p. 25.

[31]  Garshasp Nama, p. 63.

[32]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 2058.

[33]  Kitab Al-Hind, p. 166.

[34]  Hudud-al-lam, p. 58.

[35]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 850. Diz-liz is frequently seen in the names of Afghan cities i.e. Gardiz, Shahliz. The word firdous has been used twice in Avesta as pairi-dacza (Venedad Fargard 3, verse 18, Fargard 5, verse 49). With the same meaning we find words in different languages such as paradeisos in Greek, pardisu in Akhdi, and pardes in Ebri. In Arabic this word through Arami and Suryani, exixted as firdous which means garden. Meanwhile, the word in French is paradis, in English paradise and the faliz of Persian is of the same nature and root.

[36]  Divan of Menochehri, p. 139.

[37]  The word daes (meaning home and country) should be mentioned in this regard. But in this case (s) changes to (z). Similarly, in the word diah the (s) has been converted to an (h) i.e. dah+deh. Thus it looks that there is a relation between diz=dis=diah. This can be seen clearly in the words gardiz=ghardiz=ghardiz meaning a forteess on the mountain. The word gardiz has been used in Zain-ul-Akhbar of Gardizi.

[38]  Tarekh-e Afghanistan, Vol. 1, p. 201, 224.

[39]  Memoirs of Hsuan Tsang, p. 8,12, 13, 14, 17, 99, 193.

[40]  Divan-e Farrukhi, p. 52.

[41]  Divan-e Farrukhi, p. 83.

[42]  Zain-ul-Akhbar, p. 53.

[43]  Divan of Khushal Khan Khatak, p. 4.

[44]  Divan of Abdul Kader Khan, p. 98.

[45]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 64.

[46]  Old Persian, p. 199.

[47]  Divan of Shamsuddin, Kabul, p. 66.

[48]  Masnavi, first part, p. 48.

[49]  Lughat-al-Turk, Istanbul, Vol. 1, p. 50.

[50]  Divan-e Naser Khusrao, p. 469.

[51]  Al-Masalik wa al-Mamalik of Ibn Khardazbah, p. 39, Shahnama of Firdowsi and Zain-ul-Akhbar.

[52]  Ahsan-al-Taqaseem, p. 306. 312; Al-masalik wa al-Mamalik of Istakhri, p. 239.

[53]  Old Persian pp. 166; Burhan-e Qat,footnotes, p. 22.

[54]  Yasna 1, p. 132.

[55]  Yashta 2, p. 170, Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 896.

[56]  The word angisht meaning bright and luminous fire is still used in Kohistan and Panjshir, north of Kabul. In Latin there is the word ignite meaning to light or to fire, and it has many components in European languages.

[57]  Mediaeval Research in Chinese Sources.

[58]  Al-masalik wa al-Mamalik of Istakhri, p. 270; Hudud-al-`Alam, p. 60, 91.

[59]  Qamoos Jughrafia-e Afghanistan III, p. 92 and IV, p. 226.

[60]  Akbar Nama and Tabakat-e Akbari.


[61]  Wais wa Ramin, 1.

[62]  Old Persian, p. 193.

[63]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 2105.

[64]  Sabk Shinasi, I, p. 107, 303.

[65]  Vendidad, second Fergerd.

[66]  Shahnma, Vol. 1, Couplet # 4718.

[67]  Tabaqat-e Sufia, p. 9.

[68]  Pashto Qamoos, Vol. 1, p. 225.

[69]  Old Persian, 197.


[70]  Old Persian, pp 165.


[71]  Old Persian, p. 210.

[72]  Dastan-e Jam, p. 50.

[73]  Nama-e Tansar, p. 54.

[74]  Divan-e Menocheri, p. 4.

[75]  Tarekh-e Baihaqi, 1, p. 569.

[76]  Sabk Shinasi, I, p. 107.

[77]  It is also OT in the second copy.


[78]  The conversion of (h) in pohr into (s) in pisar is linked to wanas of Pahlavi which became gunah and kherwa which became khuroos.

[79]  Mazda Parasti, p. 111.

[80]  Eastern Documents, I, p. 157.

[81]  Soghdi Inscriptions, p. 308.

[82]  Mazda Parasti, p. 115.

[83]  Farahi, Mulllah Mohammad Yaqub in a qasida about the ascention of His Majesty the late Mohammad Nadir Shah Afghani says:


Our leadership elevated into kingship,

The spirit of Daro blessed Painda Khan.


[84]  Burhan-e Qat footnotes, p. 451.

[85]  For further details see Pashto and Loykan-e Ghazna, p. 27.

[86]  Babur also has Afghan-shl Tazk-e Babury p. 87 stating: Sajawand is among the places in Logar... and its people are Afghan-shl.

[87]  Tarekh-e Baihaqi, p. 256, 260, 271, 426 and 499

[88]  Ahsan-al-Taqaseem, p. 298.

[89]  Nuhzat-al-Quloob, p. 64, 94.


[90]  As was seen above, in the history of Ibn-al-Athir this name is Mabanjur. In Zain-al-Akhbar, the printing of Sid Nafisi (p. 112) it is printed as Bayanhur. But in the original of the manuscript it was Mahjur. In Mjam-al-Ansab by Zambawar (p. 307) Bani Bayanjur are the commanders of Tukharistan. In Kitab-al-Buldan by Yqubi, who died around 292 H., the house (aal) of Hashim bib Bayanjur is mentioned (p. 53). Since among the commanders of Khurasan the House of Simjur Dewati is also well-known with historians, it is then probable that Mahjur and Simjur are of the same category. In the conversation of Persian speakers of Ghazni, jur is used with the meaning of forearm. So simjur would be having silvery elbow and mahjur having lunar elbow. However, this is a guess and is not certain.

[91]  Persian Chrestomathy, Vol. 1, p. 72. 1889.

[92]  Burhan-e Qat footnotes, p. 2200, based on the writing of the eminent Qazwini Padga, p.49.

[93]  Wais wa Ramin, p. 105-108.

[94]  Tarekh-e Afghanistan, II, p. 231.

[95]  The travel loges of Hiuan Tsang, p. 163.

[96]  Divan of Farrukhi, p. 107.

[97]  Da Pashtunkhwa Haaro Bahar.

[98]  Burhan-e Qat, p. 186.

[99]  Old Persian, p. 197.

[100]  Tarekh-e Bayhaqi, p. 242.

[101]  Sabk Shenasi, I, p. 340.

[102]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 788.

[103]  Here we should not overlook the Pashto khwra and khwredal i.e. became separated and scattered, and Persian khwr=zr, and possibly khortind should be interpreted as to become dispersed and to come into distress.

[104]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 1893.

[105]  Burhan-e Qat,p. 1911.

[106]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 1739; Sabk Shenasi, Vol. 1, p. 216.


[107]  Burhan-e Qat,, p. 171.

[108]  Burhan-e Qat, p. 373.


[109]  Menhaj Serah of Jozjan says in Tabaqat-e Naseri:Qalej Arsalan...carried out some notable assaults. He obtained great fame, just as the borders of Afranja received much punishment from him. I, p. 312.

[110]  Sabk Shenasi, I, p. 428.

[111]  Wais wa Ramin, p. 427.

[112]  Tarekh-al-Umam wal Muluk, I, 2886.

[113]  Futuh-al-Baladan, p. 406.

[114]  Introduction to the old Shahnama, p. 147.

[115]  Al Masalek wa Almamalek of Istakhri, p. 39.

[116]  Hamasa Sarayee dar Iran, p. 87.

[117]  Myar-e Jamali, p. 286.

[118]  Loghat-e Fars, p. 260.

[119]  Tarekh-e Tamadun-e Sassani, I, p. 254.

[120]  Chahar Maqala, footnotes, p. 150.

[121]  Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the British museum. p 524 and following.

[122]  Hamas Sarayee, p. 315. In a copy from the manuscript of Shahreyar Nama.

[123]  The Sassanids, p. 108.

[124]  Tatabot-e Irani, I, p. 115.

[125]  Up to the time of the Ghorids there was a fort with the name Hesar-e Kanarang located between Ghazni and Bamiyan. Tabaqat-e Nasiri I, p. 461, tells the story of how this appelation lasted up to that time, i.e. c. 600 H.

[126]  Old Persian, p. 197.

[127]  Sabk Shinasi, I, p. 339.

[128]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 259.

[129]  Zain-al-Akhbar, p. 1314; Masalik wa Mamalik of Ibn Khurdaz Beh, p. 41; Tabari, VII, p. 8.

[130]  Encyclopedia of Islam, under the item Afghanistan, I.

[131]  Sabk Shinasi, I, p. 110..

[132]  Burhane Qat, footnotes, p. 383.

[133]  Wais wa Ramin, p. 24.

[134]  Chahar Maqala, p. 81.

[135]  Pahlavi Texts, p. 82.


[136]  Old Persian, p. 197.

[137]  Burhane Qat, footnotes, p. 1484.

[138]  Mafateh-al-lum, p. 73.

[139]  The spelling of this word is different in all three copies; in the first and original copy it is LOIX, in the second copy LOX and in the third copy ALIIX, and similarly as in the Islamic era they recorded it with various spellings lwyk, lawyk, anwk, lawyl etc. In that ancient era it had this same fate in the Greek spelling also, it being written in three kinds of spelling in three copies of one inscription at the same place (and perhaps in the same time period?); this is quite amazing.

[140]  Encyclopedia of Islam, II, p. 154.

[141]  Zain-al-Akhbar, p. 6.

[142]  Siyasat Nama, p. 122.

[143]  Tabaqat-e Nasiri, I, p. 268.

[144]  Majma-al-Ansab (manuscript).

[145]  Correct Khingil.

[146]  In Khugyani in the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan there is a tomb named Mursale Baba, but it is not known which Mursal. However, among the ancient dams of Ghazna there is Mursals dam, at a distance of 25 km to the south-east, which has that name still nowadays, and it is quite likely that this is connected with the Mursal of Loyak.


[147]  Diwan-e Nasir Khusrao, p. 317.

[148]  Mazda Parasti dar Iran-e Qadeem, p. 46.

[149]  In the second copy, this word appears as A...AXSHAL, and there the spelling of retroflex (sh) is (xsh).

[150]  In the Avesta alphabet and writing-system there is a strengthening (sh) in addition to the regular (sh), which gave the sound of this Pashto retroflex (sh), and in Avesta there was the word shat with retroflex sh (=shad) with the same meaning and sound of Pashto shad (retroflex sh) and Kushani shal (retroflex sh).


[151]  Sabk Shinasi, I, p. 99.

[152]  This couplet of Firdawsi is a parallel to this benedictory phrase:

In the time of emperor Noushirwan,

May his name remain forever!



[153]  Burhan-e Qata, p. 129.

[154]  Sabk Shenasi, I, p. 32.

[155]  Pata Khazana, p. 33.

[156]  Hindi Dictionary, p. 703.

[157]  Kitab-al-Hind, I, p. 45.

[158]  Sabk Shinasi, I, p 124.

[159]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 322.

[160]  Tarekh-e Adabiyat, I, p. 147.

[161]  Ahsan-al-Taqasem, p. 334.

[162]  Sabk Shenasi, I, p. 418.

[163]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 2440.

[164]  Burhan-e Qat, footnotes, p. 1198.