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The issue concerned with semantic shade of meanings of the word “tozi” in “Shahname” by Firdawsi


Uldoshev A.K.


In Firdawsi`s “Shahname” the word “tozi” is used in three meanings. This word in the form “tozon” and “toziyon” being participle, is used in the meaning of “running”. It is used as an adjective in the sense of a special breed of horse, known as Arabic. However, most of all it is used as a noun referring to Arabs. This use of the word "tozi" is caused by the way of life of the Arab tribes, which, as we know, were nomadic.The article also touches on some etymologizations of the word “Tojik”. The author reasonably objects to linking the origin of the word “Tojik” with the name of the Arab tribe “Tai” and the word “toj” in the meanings of “crown”. Assuming a possible Chinese origin of the word "Tojik" from the Chinese "da-shi" in the sense of "distant western neighbor", the author believes that this version needs additional reinforcement.The article is essentially devoted to the fact that in some cases in “Shahname” the word “tozi” is not used in the sense of “Arab”. In the so-called mythological part of “Shahname” the legendary king of Turan Afrasiyab enters the battle with the “Toziyons” and defeats them. Here we are talking about the pre-Achaemenid stratum of the historical memory of the Iranian peoples. Afrasiyab could not fight Arabs. To do this, it had to conquer the historic Iranshahr. As for the Arabs, the sources do not mark nomadic movement of Arab tribes to the north of the left bank of the Euphrates River. It is assumed that in this case we can talk about the Tajiks who inhabited the expanses to the north-east of the Syr-Darya.Another example relates to the historical part of "Shahname" during the reign of Khosrau Anushirvan. A certain "tozi" in the area of Gurgan appeals to the shahinshah with a request to protect the lands of his people from the raids of the Turks. This "tozi" could not be an Arab either, since at the end of the 5th century AD Arabs were allowed to graze cattle only in the lower reaches of the Euphrates.


Firdawsi, “Shahnamee”, Bartold, China, Thai, Yemen, tozi, Afrasiyab, Amu-Darya, Amul, Tibet


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Publication date

Wednesday, 24 February 2021