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Anu, is a Vedic Sanskrit term for a major tribe in the Rigveda, RV 1.108.8, RV 8.10.5 (both times listed together with the Druhyu) and, later also in the Mahabharata. One of the Anu kings, King Anga, was a chakravartin (AB 8.22).

Ānava, the vrddhi derivation of Anu appears as the name of a ruler in the Rigvedic account of the Battle of the Ten Kings (7.18.13) and at 8.4.1 with the Turvaśa (tribe). The meaning ánu "living, human" (Naighantu) cannot be substantiated for the Rigveda [1] and may have been derived from the tribal name,

The Anus people were a people of Ancient India. They lived in the Punjab region. There were also eastern Anus, who were descendants of Dirghatama. One of the Anus kings, King Anga, was a chakravartin (AB viii.22). As per the Puranas, the original geographical location of the Anu-s was to the north of the Pūru-s: i.e. to the north of the Haryana region: effectively in Kashmir and the western Himalayas.[1]

The Puranas record two geographical locations of the Anu-s and Druhyu-s: a) The original locations, with the Anu-s in the North (Kashmir and adjoining areas to the west), and the Druhyu-s to the West (present-day northern Pakistan). b) The latter locations, with the Anu-s expanding southwards and occupying the erstwhile territory of the Druhyu-s (present-day northern Pakistan), while the Druhyu-s move further out into Afghanistan. The Anu-s, on the other hand, in the form of their sub-tribes, like the Madra-s and Kekaya-s, continue to make waves in Puranic narrations and remain a force to reckon with in the northwest till historical times. The Anu king Śivi Auśīnara is a renowned figure in the Puranas, the Mahabharata and even in the Buddhist Jatakas. He is renowned as a Cakravartin in the Puranas, and there is even a famous tale in the Mahabharata where he shows his nobility and selflessness by carving out flesh from his own thigh to save Agni (disguised as a dove) from Indra (disguised as a hawk), both of whom have come to test his reputation for justice, truth and compassion. ... the dāśarājña battle, which, as we will see, was a battle between the Bharata Pūrus on the one hand and ten tribes from among the Anu tribal conglomerate (led by an Anu king and an Anu high priest) on the other, fought on Anu territory. The Anu-s, even after this battle, are mentioned elsewhere (outside the verses which contain enumerations of tribes or directional references) in V.31.4; VI.62.9 and VIII.74.4. Two of these references are clearly to the Bhṛgu-s, who are basically the priests of the Anu-s (see TALAGERI 2000:142-143), but a branch of whom later aligned with the Pūru-s and became the single most important family of ṛṣis-s in Indian tradition (see TALAGERI 2000:164-180, etc.).

The Puranas describe a series of events which leads to a massive migration of Anu-s southwards from this region into the Greater Punjab. after the Druhyu-s started conquering eastwards and southwards, the other tribes to drive them out, so they were driven out not only from the east but also from their homeland in the northern half of present-day Pakistan. This area was occupied by the Anu-s who moved southwards and westwards: “One branch, headed by Uśīnara established several kingdoms on the eastern border of the Punjab […] his famous son Śivi originated the Śivis [footnote: called Śivas in Rigveda VII.18.7] in Śivapura, and extending his conquests westwards […] occupying the whole of the Punjab except the northwestern corner” (PARGITER 1962:264). Thus, the Anu-s, after first moving into the easternmost part of the Punjab, expanded westwards and now became inhabitants also of the areas in present-day northern Pakistan originally occupied by the Druhyu-s, while the Druhyu-s were pushed out further west into Afghanistan. This resulted (in pre-Rigvedic times) in two distinct groups of Anu-s: the northern Anu-s (in the original area, Kashmir and the western Himalayas), and the southern Anu-s (in the Greater Punjab or northern Pakistan). Even today, a group of languages of the northern area (stretching from Kashmir to the adjacent parts of northernmost Pakistan and northeastern-most Afghanistan) constitute a distinct group of languages referred to by Grierson as the "Dardic" or "Pishacha" languages. These languages (the most important of them being Kashmiri) constitute an enigma to most linguists, since they seem to be a cross between Indo-Aryan and Iranian languages. Now, most linguists bifurcate them into two major groups (Dard and Kafiri/Nuristani) and treat the first group as being ultimately a part of the Indo-Aryan branch, and the second group (six languages - Ashkun, Bashgali or Kamkata-viri, Wasi-veri or Prasun, Tregami or Gambiri, Waigali or Kalasha-ala, and Zemiaki - all together spoken by around 100,000 people in isolated mountainous tracts in the western parts of this region) as constituting a separate "third" branch of a hypothetical earlier "Indo-Iranian" branch. Clearly, the present state of ambiguity about the entire "Dardic" languages is due to the continuous waves of Indo-Aryan and Iranian influences during the last at least 3000 years, and these languages represent the earlier forms of the Iranian branch... It is clear therefore that the (Dardic and) Nuristani languages represent the earlier phase of proto-Iranian, and they represent remnants of the northern Anu-s recorded in the Puranas.

In the Old Books of the Rigveda, the Anu-s are depicted as inhabitants of the area of the Paruṣṇī river in the centre of the Punjab (the Land of the Seven Rivers): in the Battle of the Ten Kings, fought on the banks of the Paruṣṇī, the Anu-s are the inhabitants of the area of this river who form a coalition to fight the imperialist expansion of Sudās and the Bharata-s, and it is the land and possessions of the Anu-s (VII.18.13) which are taken over by the Bharata-s after their victory in the battle. This point is also noted by P L Bhargava: “The fact that Indra is said to have given the possessions of the Anu king to the Tṛtsus in the battle of Paruṣṇī shows that that the Anus dwelt on the banks of the Paruṣṇī” (BHARGAVA 1956/1971:130). The Avesta (Vd. I) mentions the Haptahəndu (Saptasindhavah) as one of the sixteen Iranian lands, past and contemporary. The conflict between the deva-s (gods) and the asura-s (demons), which is a central theme in Purāṇic mythology, is recognized (e.g. HUMBACH 1991, etc.) as a mythologization of an earlier historical conflict between the Vedic Aryans and the Iranians. There is also a priestly angle to this conflict: the Epics and the Purāṇas depict the priest of the deva-s as an Angiras (Bṛhaspati), and the priest of the asura-s as a Bhṛgu (Kavi Uśanā or Uśanas Kāvya, also popularly known in the Puranas and Epics as Uśanas Śukra or Śukrācārya).

Robert P. Goldman, in a detailed study entitled “Gods, Priests and Warriors: the Bhṛgus of the Mahābhārata”, points out that the depiction of the Bhṛgu-s in the Epics and Purāṇas “may shed some light on some of the most basic problems of early Indian and even early Indo-Iranian religion” (GOLDMAN 1977:146), and that the Bhṛgu-s may originally have been the priests of the Iranians, and that certain elements in the myths about the “ultimate disillusionment with the demons [of one branch of the Bhṛgu-s] and their going over to the side of the gods may also be viewed as suggestive of a process of absorption of this branch of the Bhṛgus into the ranks of the orthodox [i.e. Vedic] brahmins” (GOLDMAN 1977:146). [For full details of the peculiar position of the Bhṛgu-s in the Rigveda, see TALAGERI 2000:164-180]. Griffith has the following to say about the above reference to the Anu-s in V.31.4, in his footnote to the verse: “Anus: probably meaning Bhṛgus who belonged to that tribe”.


Migrations of the Southern Anu-s[edit]

historical conflicts between the Druhyu tribes on the one hand and all the other tribes to their east and northeast led to major conflicts which resulted in their being driven out from the Greater Punjab into Afghanistan, and their space in the Greater Punjab being occupied by the Anu tribes. Now, the Anu tribes came to occupy two areas: the original areas in the North (in the areas of Kashmir and the areas to its immediate west), and the new areas to the South (originally occupied by the Druhyu tribes: the areas of the Greater Punjab). The original areas are still the areas of the proto-Iranian tribes: the speakers of the Pishacha or Nuristani languages. The Anu tribes consisted of the speakers of the four last remaining dialects of PIE (other than the Indo-Aryan tribes, who were Pūru), and the historical events, which led to their migration westwards by a different (in relation to the Druhyu migrations) southern route, are described in unmistakable detail in the Rigveda. [3]

Stage 1: To begin with, the Anu-s lived in the northern region: i.e. the western Himalayan region.[edit]

The Puranas record that the Anu-s were originally (in a pre-Rigvedic age) occupants of the region to the north of the central area occupied by the the Pūru-s, i.e. they lived in the western Himalayan region (extending westwards from Kashmir) to the north of the Haryana region. The Avesta records that the ancestors of the Iranians originally lived in a land which they called Airyana Vaējo, known for its extremely severe winters. (According to Talageri, located in the region of Kashmir).

Stage 2: In the first migration, an important section migrated southwards into eastern Punjab.[edit]

a) The Puranas record that “One branch, headed by Uśīnara established several kingdoms on the eastern border of the Punjab” (PARGITER 1962:264).

b) The Rigveda records that in the period of the oldest Book (Maṇḍala) 6, the Anu-s were on the eastern borders of the Punjab to the west of the Vedic Aryans: In VI.27, Abhyāvartin Cāyamāna (called a Pārthava, i.e. Parthian, in verse 8) is an ally of the Vedic Aryan (Pūru Bharata) king Sṛñjaya, son of Devavāta, in a battle fought in the Haryana region.

c) The Avesta records that the ancestors of the Iranians, to escape from the severe cold of their ancestral homeland, built an enclosure called Vara in the centre of the Earth and lived safely within that enclosure. This is clearly a reference to their migration into the Haryana/eastern-Punjab area: the Haryana region is referred to in the Rigveda by two descriptive names: Vara ā Pṛthivyā (the best place on earth) and Nābhā Pṛthivyā (the navel/centre of the Earth). Further, the Avesta shows its early ancient associations with the Haryana region by the reference to Manuša (the lake Mānuṣa referred to in the Rigveda, III.23.4, as being located at the vara ā pṛthivyāh, “the best place on earth”, in Kurukṣetra. Witzel also identifies it as “Manuṣa, a location ‘in the back’ (west) of Kurukṣetra”: WITZEL 1995b:335): Darmetester translates the verse, Yašt 19.1, as follows: “The first mountain that rose up out of the earth, O Spitama Zarathuštra! was the Haraiti Barez. That mountain stretches all along the shores of the land washed by waters towards the east. The second mountain was Mountain Zeredhō outside mount Manusha: this mountain too stretches all along the shores of the land washed by waters towards the east”. Note that the “first” mountains that rose up out of the earth (i.e. the earliest lands known to the Iranians) for the Avesta are “towards the east”. Darmetester interprets the word Manusha as the name of a mountain, but the verse specifies that it is referring only to two mountains, the “first” and the “second” mountains, close to “land washed by waters”, so the reference to Manuša (which, in the original text, is not specified as a "mountain", and which both Iranologists and Indologists identify as an Indo-Aryan and not an Iranian word) is definitely to lake Mānuṣa, and the word Haraiti is again a reference to the Sarasvati. The word barez means "mountain", but here it clearly also means "river bank", and the Russian word bereg cognate to the Avestan barez actually means "river bank", so the line can also be translated: “The first river bank that rose up out of the earth, O Spitama Zarathuštra! was the Haraiti Barez [the land on the banks of the river Haraiti]. That river bank stretches all along the shores of the land washed by waters towards the east”.

Stage 3: In the second migration (or rather expansion), these Anu-s expanded westwards and occupied the whole of the Greater Punjab region.[edit]

a) The Puranas record that the Anu-s expanded westwards from the "eastern border of the Punjab”: “his famous son Śivi originated the Śivis [footnote: called Śivas in Rigveda VII.18.7] in Śivapura, and extending his conquests westwards […] occupying the whole of the Punjab except the northwestern corner” (PARGITER 1962:264). b) The Rigveda, as we saw earlier, shows the Anu-s as the local inhabitants of the Punjab region in both the Old Books (during the dāśarājña battle) as well as the New Books, and they continue to be the inhabitants of the Punjab (as Madra-s and Kekaya-s) even in later historical times. That these Anu-s were Iranians is clear from the names of the Anu tribes who fought Sudās in this battle, e.g. the Parśu or Parśava (Persians), the Pṛthu or Pārthava (Parthians), the Paktha (Pakhtoons) and the Bhalāna (Baluchis); and of the king of their alliance, Kavi (Avestan Kauui); and of their priest, Kavaṣa (Avestan name, Kaoša). c) The Avesta (Vd. I) mentions the Haptahəndu (Saptasindhavah) as one of the sixteen Iranian lands, past and contemporary.

While the evidence for the three earliest stages of the Anu migrations, which took place within Indian territory and Indian traditional memory, is recorded in the Puranas, the Rigveda and the Avesta, the next stage, which moves out of India, is recorded only in the Avesta. The Rigveda only records that the people of the Asiknī (i.e. of the western Anu territory of the Asiknī or Chenab river, to the west of the Paruṣṇī or Rāvī river which was the scene of the dāśarājña battle) left their territories and were "scattered abroad" after their battle with the Pūru-s (GRIFFITH VII.5.3). And in the very next hymn, that they were driven "westwards" from "the east" (GRIFFITH VII.6.3):

  • “One branch, headed by Uśīnara, established several kingdoms on the eastern border of the Punjab […] his famous son Śivi originated the Śivis [footnote: called Śivas in Rigveda VII.18.7] in Śivapura, and extending his conquests westwards […] occupying the whole of the Punjab except the northwestern corner” (PARGITER 1962:264): [6]

Stage 4[edit]

The Avesta, which was also recorded over a long period of time, clearly records a very late or post-Rigvedic situation, in which the Iranians (the major section of the Anu-s who migrated westwards) were now centered in and around Afghanistan.

The Vendidad or Videvdat, a late book of the Avesta, gives a list of the sixteen Iranian lands past and present: Gnoli identifies fifteen of the sixteen Iranian lands named in the Vendidād list (he declines to try to identify "the first of the countries created by Ahura Mazda, Airyana Vaējah", since "this country is characterized, in the Vd. I context, by an advanced state of mythicization" GNOLI 1980:63): "From the second to the sixteenth country, we have quite a compact and consistent picture. The order goes roughly from north to south and then towards the east: Sogdiana (Gava), Margiana (Mourv), Bactria (Bāxδī), Nisaya between Margiana and Bactria, Areia (Harōiva), Kābulistān (Vaēkərəta), the Gaznī region (Urvā), Xnənta, Arachosia (Haraxvaitī), Drangiana (Haētumant), a territory between Zamin-dāvar and Qal'at-i-Gilzay (Raγa), the Lūgar valley (Caxra), Bunēr (Varəna), Pañjāb (Hapta Həndu), Raƞhā … between the Kābul and the Kurram, in the region where it seems likely the Vedic river Rasā flowed" (GNOLI 1980:63-64).

All these regions are centered around Afghanistan and present-day northern Pakistan. Gnoli notes that India is still very much a part of the geographical picture: "With Varəna and Raƞhā, as of course with Hapta Həndu, which comes between them in the Vd. I list, we find ourselves straight away in Indian territory, or, at any rate, in territory that, from the very earliest times, was certainly deeply permeated by Indo-Aryans or Proto-Indoaryans" (GNOLI 1980:47).

However, western areas (including present-day Iran!) are still not part of the Iranian area. Gnoli repeatedly stresses "the fact that Avestan geography, particularly the list in Vd. I, is confined to the east" (GNOLI 1980:45). Elsewhere, he again refers to "the entirely eastern character of the countries listed in the first chapter of the Vendidād, including Zoroastrian Raγa, and the historical and geographical importance of that list" (GNOLI 1980:59). The horizon of the Avesta, Gnoli further notes, "is according to Burrow, wholly eastern and therefore certainly earlier than the westward migrations of the Iranian tribes" (GNOLI 1980:161).

Likewise, the Avesta does not know any area to the north, or west, of the Aral Sea. The northernmost area, the only place in northern Central Asia, named in the Avesta is Chorasmia or Khwārizm, to the south of the Aral Sea. However, Gnoli points out that Chorasmia "is mentioned only once" (GNOLI 1980:110) in the whole of the Avesta. Moreover, it is not mentioned among the sixteen Iranian lands created by Ahura Mazda listed in the first chapter of the Vendidad. It is mentioned among the lands named in the Mihr Yašt (Yt.10.14) in a description of the God Miθra standing on the mountains and surveying the lands to his south and north.

Gnoli emphasizes the significance of this distinction: "the countries in Vd.I and Yt.X are of a quite different nature: the aim of the first list is evidently to give a fairl complete description of the space occupied by the Aryan tribes in a remote period in their history" (GNOLI 1980:44-45). Clearly, Chorasmia is not a part of this space.

As a matter of fact, Chorasmia is named as "practically the very furthest horizon reached by Miθra's gaze" (GNOLI 1980:110), and Gnoli suggests that "the inclusion of the name of Chorasmia in this Yašt [….] could in fact be a mention or an interpolation whose purpose, whether conscious or unconscious, was rather meant to continue in a south-north direction the list of lands over which Miθra's gaze passed by indicating a country on the outskirts such as Chorasmia (which must have been very little known at the time the Yašt was composed)" (GNOLI 1980:89). The suggestion that the inclusion of Chorasmia in the Yašt is an interpolation is based on a solid linguistic fact: the name, Xvāirizəm, as it occurs in the reference, is "in a late, clearly Middle Persian nominal form" (GNOLI 1980:110).

Stage 5 : From Afghanistan to Iran, Central Asia and beyond[edit]

Recorded evidence for "Iranians" of any kind in the post-Avestan period is totally missing till the first millennium BCE: "Evidence either for the history of the Iranian tribes or their languages from the period following the separation of the Indian and Iranian tribes down to the early 1st millennium BC is sadly lacking. There are no written sources, and archaeologists are still working to fill out the picture" (SKJÆRVØ 1995:156).

The earliest historical Iranians make their appearance in a very much post-Avestan period: "The earliest mention of Iranians in historical sources is, paradoxically, of those settled on the Iranian plateau, not those still in Central Asia, their ancestral homeland. 'Persians' are first mentioned in the 9th century BC Assyrian annals: on one campaign, in 835 BC, Shalmaneser (858-824 BC) is said to have received tributes from 27 kings of Paršuwaš; the Medes are mentioned under Tiglath-Pileser III (744-727 BC); at the battle of Halulê on the Tigris in 691 BC, the Assyrian king Sennacherib (704-681 BC) faced an army of troops from Elam, Parsumaš, Anzan, and others; and in the Vassal Treaties of Esarhaddon (680-669 BC) and elsewhere numerous 'kings' of the Medes are mentioned (see also, for example, Boyce 1975-82: 5-13) [….] There are no literary sources for Iranians in Central Asia before the Old Persian inscriptions (Darius's Bisotun inscription, 521-519 BC, ed. Schmitt) and Herodotus' Histories (ca. 470 BC). These show that by the mid-Ist millennium BC tribes called Sakas by the Persians and Scythians by the Greeks were spread throughout Central Asia, from the westernmost edges (north and northwest of the Black Sea) to its easternmost borders" (SKJÆRVØ 1995:156).

“We find no evidence of the future ‘Iranians’ previous to the ninth century BC. The first allusion to the Parsua or Persians, then localized in the mountains of Kurdistan, and to the Madai or Medes, already established on the plain, occurs in 837 BC in connection with the expedition of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. About a hundred years afterwards, the Medes invaded the plateau which we call Persia (or Iran) driving back or assimilating populations of whom there is no written record” (LAROUSSE 1959:321).

And all these Iranian groups were moving from east to west: “By the mid-ninth century BC two major groups of Iranians appear in cuneiform sources: the Medes and the Persians. [….] What is reasonably clear from the cuneiform sources is that the Medes and Persians (and no doubt other Iranian peoples not identified by name) were moving into western Iran from the east” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1974, Vol.9, 832).

Battle of the Ten Kings[edit]

This was a battle between the Bharata Pūru king Sudās on the one hand and a coalition of ten "kings" (or more properly, ten tribes) from among the Anu-s on the other. Sudās, after letting loose a horse, set out on a campaign of conquest "east, west and north" (III.53.14). The main thrust of his expansionist drive was towards the Punjab area, the area of the Anu-s. He expanded westwards after crossing (in III.33) the two easternmost rivers, the Vipāś and Śutudrī (present day Beas and Satlej) of the Punjab, under the priestly stewardship of Viśvāmitra. Later, after a change of priests (with Vasiṣṭha replacing Viśvāmitra), he continued his forays westwards. However, ten tribes of Anu-s from the Punjab, along with some Anu-ized remnants of the original Druhyu population of the Punjab, formed a coalition to halt his advances, and confronted him on the banks of the Paruṣṇī (present day Ravi) in the heart of the Punjab. The ensuing battle, called the dāśarājña battle, or "the Battle of the Ten Kings", is the subject of a handful of hymns in the Rigveda: mainly VII.18 and VII.83, but with some important references in some other hymns in Book 7.

The importance of this great historical event is that these handful of references in just a couple of hymns of the Rigveda (both in Book 7) provide us the names of the different Anu tribes who united to fight against Sudās and the Bharata-s:

VII.18.5 Śimyu. This word is found only in the Rigveda, and only twice in the Rigveda: once in VII.18.5 in reference to the enemies of Sudās and later once more in I.100.18, in the hymn which describes the Varṣāgira battle (the "battle beyond the Sarayu") on the southern borders of Afghanistan, in reference to the enemies of the descendants of Sudās. VII.18.6 Bhṛgu. VII.18.7 Paktha, Bhalāna, Alina, Śiva, Viṣāṇin. VII.83.1 Parśu/Parśava, Pṛthu/Pārthava, Dāsa. Puranic Anus: Madra.

As per the accepted linguistic consensus, the five IE groups to remain in the Homeland after the departure of the other seven, and to develop many new linguistic features in common, were the speakers of the proto-Albanian, proto-Greek, proto-Armenian, proto-Iranian and proto-Indo-Aryan dialects. The great historical incident recorded in the Rigveda is the dāśarājña battle, or "the Battle of the Ten Kings", and the two hymns which mainly describe this battle provide us the names of the different Anu tribes who united to fight against the expansionism of Sudās and the Bharata-s (i.e. the Vedic Indo-Aryan speakers): VII.18.5 Śimyu, VII.18.6 Bhṛgu, VII.18.7 Paktha, Bhalāna, Alina, Śiva, Viṣāṇin, VII.83.1 Parśu/Parśava, Pṛthu/Pārthava, Dāsa. Another major Anu tribe in the Puranas, and still present in the Punjab in later historical times, are the Madra. Incredibly, these names cover, in an almost continuous geographical belt, the names of historical Iranian, Armenian, Greek and Albanian tribes who cover in later historical times the entire sweep of areas extending westwards from the Punjab (the battleground of the dāśarājña battle) right up to southern and eastern Europe: i) IRANIAN: Avestan Afghanistan: Sairima (Śimyu), Dahi (Dāsa); NE Afghanistan: Nuristani/Piśācin (Viṣāṇin); Pakhtoonistan (NW Pakistan), South Afghanistan: Pakhtoon/Pashtu (Paktha); Baluchistan (SW Pakistan), SE Iran: Bolan/Baluchi (Bhalāna); NE Iran: Parthian/Parthava (Pṛthu/Pārthava); SW Iran: Parsua/Persian (Parśu/Parśava); NW Iran: Madai/Median (Madra); Uzbekistan: Khiva/Khwarezmian (Śiva); W. Turkmenistan: Dahae (Dāsa); Ukraine, S, Russia: Alan (Alina), Sarmatian (Śimyu). ii) ARMENIAN: Turkey: Phryge/Phrygian (Bhṛgu); Romania, Bulgaria: Dacian (Dāsa). iii) GREEK: Greece:Hellene (Alina). iv) ALBANIAN: Albania: Sirmio (Śimyu). Their exodus is referred to in two other hymns in Book 7: VII.5.3 and VII.6.3.[9]

  • Going to the larger picture, we must note the collective identity of the enemies of Sudās in the battle: they are tribes belonging to the Anu or Ānava tribal conglomerate: the battle takes place on the Paruṣṇī river, and the hymn tells us that the land taken over by the Bharatas was the land of the Anu: "Indra at once with conquering might demolished all their strong places and their seven castles; the goods of Anu's son he gave to Tritsu" (i.e. to the Bharatas): VII.18.13. This point is also noted by P L Bhargava: "The fact that Indra is said to have given the possessions of the Anu king to the Tṛtsus in the battle of Paruṣṇī shows that the Anus dwelt on the banks of the Paruṣṇī" (BHARGAVA 1956/1971:130). The area, nevertheless, continues even after this to be the area of the Anu, who are again shown as inhabitants of the area even in the Late Books: "The Anu live on the Paruṣṇī in 8.74.15" (WITZEL 1995b:328, fn 51), and even in later historical times, where it is the area of the Madra and the Kekaya, who were Anu. Even apart from the Iranian names of the Anu tribes in the battle, there is more evidence that they were proto-Iranians:

a) According to the accounts in the Puranas, the Anu were originally inhabitants of Kashmir and areas to the east before a large section of them migrated southwards and occupied almost the whole of the Punjab: these northern areas are even today the areas of the Nooristani languages which have proto-Iranian linguistic features. b) The Puranas narrate this migration from the north: "One branch [of the Anu], headed by Uśīnara, established several kingdoms on the eastern border of the Punjab […] his famous son Śivi [Auśīnara] originated the Śivis [footnote: called Śivas in Rigveda VII.18.7] in Śivapura, and extending his conquests westwards […] occupying the whole of the Punjab except the northwestern corner" (PARGITER 1962:264). The name Auśīnara is an Iranian name found in the Avesta: Aošnara. c) In later historical times, the name Anu is prominently found at both the southern and northern ends of the area described in the Avesta: Greek texts (e.g. Stathmoi Parthikoi, 16, of Isidore of Charax) refer to the area and the people immediately north of the Hāmūn-ī Hilmand in southern Afghanistan as the anauon or anauoi; and Anau is the name of a prominent proto-Iranian or Iranian archaeological site in Central Asia (Turkmenistan). There is plenty of detailed evidence showing the Iranians migrated from India, but this massive evidence is connected with terms like dāsa, with the history of the priestly classes, and with geographical data in the Avesta, etc., so we will not detail it here, since here we are primarily concerned only with the identity of the enemies of Sudās. Whoever is interested can go through this evidence elsewhere (TALAGERI:2000:202-231; TALAGERI:2008:265-273).[10]


  1. Mayrhofer, Etym. Dict. 1986, pt. 1, p. 74
  • Rig Veda
  • Aytareya Brahmana
  • Frawley David: The Rig Veda and the History of India, 2001.(Aditya Prakashan), ISBN 81-7742-039-9