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Graeco-Aryan, or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan, is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family. Phylogenetic models have been reconstructed on Indo-European populations through comparative studies using both genotyping based on haplotypes, specifically haplogroup R1a, [1] as well as the analysis of their linguistic lexicon.[2] Indo-Europeans divided into Graeco-Armenian-Indo-Iranian by the mid-3rd millennium BC. Proto-Armenian, would have been between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, which would be consistent with the fact that Armenian shares some features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).

The arrival of the Indo-Europeans coincides with the Mycenaean civilization.[3] The Mycenaean Greeks were the first to introduce linear b, an Indo-European language, into Greece. Although linear b was mixed with the indigenous populous, the introduced language predates them by seven hundred to five hundred years.[4] Mycenaean culture was distinctly unique from its predecessors in Greece, and is recognized by historians to have been introduced from the east.[5]

Relation to the possible homelandEdit

In the context of the Kurgan hypothesis, Graeco-Aryan is also known as "Late Proto-Indo-European" or "Late Indo-European" to suggest that Graeco-Aryan forms a dialect group, which corresponds to the latest stage of linguistic unity in the Indo-European homeland in the early part of the 3rd millennium BC. By 2500 BC, Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian had separated, moving westward and eastward from the Pontic Steppe, respectively.[6]

If Graeco-Aryan is a valid group, Grassmann's law may have a common origin in Greek and Sanskrit. However, that Grassmann's law in Greek postdates certain sound changes that happened only in Greek and not Sanskrit, which suggests that it could not have been inherited directly from a common Graeco-Aryan stage. Rather, it is more likely that an areal feature spread across a then-contiguous Graeco-Aryan–speaking area. That would have occurred after early stages of Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian had developed into separate dialects but before they ceased to be in geographic contact.

Scientific discussionEdit

Evidence for the existence of a Graeco-Aryan subclade was given by Wolfram Euler's 1979 examination on shared features in Greek and Sanskrit nominal flection.[7] Graeco-Aryan is invoked in particular in studies of comparative mythology such as Martin Litchfield West (1999)[8] and Calvert Watkins (2001).[9]

The Indo-Aryan migration formulates that Indo-Europeans believed in a chief deity, Deus. This Proto-Indo-European religion believed a deity to be the Sky Father, a royal king of the heavens, termed Dyeus. This is shared by all associated cultures as Deus is correlated with Zeus, Dyaus Pita or Indra, Perun, Perkūnas, Thor, and The Dagda, etc. Additionally, religious studies associate the deity's adversary to represent a serpentine or draconic figure. This antagonist pertains to Python, Vritra, Beithir, Jörmungandr and Níðhöggr. Furthermore a primordial serpent is also attributed to the creative force of the universe, this is depicted by Ophion, Ouroboros, Adishesha, Veles, and Brigid.

A hypothesis has placed Greek in a Graeco-Armenian subclade of Indo-European,[10] though some researchers have integrated both attempts by including also Armenian in a putative Graeco-Armeno-Aryan language family, further divided between Proto-Greek (possibly united with Phrygian) and thus arriving at a Armeno-Aryan subclade, the putative ancestor of Armenian and Indo-Iranian.[11][12]

Graeco-Aryan has comparatively wide support among Indo-Europeanists for the Armenian hypothesis that the homeland of Indo-European was in the Armenian Highlands.[13][14][15]


  1. ^ Underhill, Peter A, et al. “Separating the Post-Glacial Coancestry of European and Asian Y Chromosomes within Haplogroup R1a.” European Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 18, no. 9, 2010, pp. 1074–1074., doi:10.1038/ejhg.2010.65.
  2. ^ Nakhleh, Luay; Warnow, Tandy; Ringe, Don; Evans, Steven N. (2005). "A Comparison of Phylogenetic Reconstruction Methods on an Indo-European Dataset" (PDF). Transactions of the Philological Society. 3 (2). 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Palmer, L. R. (1954). Mycenaean Greek Texts From Pylos. Transactions of the Philological Society, 53(1), 18-53. doi:10.1111/j.1467-968x.1954.tb00278.x
  5. ^ Burns, B. E. (2012). Mycenaean Greece, Mediterranean commerce, and the formation of identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ Martin Litchfield West, Indo-European poetry and myth (2007), p. 7.
  7. ^ Wolfram Euler: Indoiranisch-griechische Gemeinsamkeiten der Nominalbildung und deren indogermanische Grundlagen [= Aryan-Greek Communities in Nominal Morphology and their Indoeuropean Origins]. Innsbruck, 1979 (in German).
  8. ^ Martin Litchfield West (1999), "The Invention of Homer". Classical Quarterly 49 (364).
  9. ^ Calvert Watkins (2001), How to Kill a Dragon, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-514413-0.
  10. ^ Gray, Russell D.; Atkinson, Quentin D. (27 November 2003). "Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin" (PDF). Nature. 426: 435–439. doi:10.1038/nature02029. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 March 2009. 
  11. ^ Handbook of Formal Languages (1997), p. 6.
  12. ^ Indo-European tree with Armeno-Aryan, separate from Greek
  13. ^ Renfrew, A. C., 1987, Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins, London: Pimlico. ISBN 0-7126-6612-5; T. V. Gamkrelidze and V. V. Ivanov, The Early History of Indo-European Languages, Scientific American, March 1990; Renfrew, Colin (2003). "Time Depth, Convergence Theory, and Innovation in Proto-Indo-European". Languages in Prehistoric Europe. ISBN 3-8253-1449-9. 
  14. ^ A. Bammesberger in The Cambridge History of the English Language, 1992, ISBN 978-0-521-26474-7, p. 32: the model "still remains the background of much creative work in Indo-European reconstruction" even though it is "by no means uniformly accepted by all scholars."
  15. ^ Mallory, James P. (1997). "Kuro-Araxes Culture". Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Fitzroy Dearborn: 341–42.