"The Horned (Non-)Horses of Indo-Europeans and the Problem of Celts and Germans Origin"

Semenenko, Aleksandr Andreyevich


The paper focuses on the study of Indo-European cults of the horned horse i.e. the horse transformed ritually into another horned animal (either a bull or a goat or a deer) using a special mask with horns. It combines the exploration of the data on the horned (non-)horses of Asian Indo-Europeans of Iran, India and Middle and Central Asia (Pamir, Kazakhstan and Russian and Mongolian Altai regions) and European Indo-Europeans of the Atlantic, Northern and Central Europe. The cult of the bull-horned horse of the Greeko-Iranian rulers (the first two Seleucid tzars and several Bactrian kings) is derived from the archaic cult of the horned horse of Indo-Europeans of Middle Asia and India. Celtic and German cults of the horned (non-)horses originate from Middle or Central Asian ones thus pointing at the Middle or Central Asian, Afghanistan or South Asian homeland of Celts and Germans. The archaeological evidence analyzed in this paper corroborates the authors observation that the Rigvedic term ashva of Indo-Aryans of South Asia originally (around 3300-2600 BCE) denoted any swift animal used for riding or drawing the chariots and that for the Rigvedic Aryans there were different kinds of Ashvas such as Deer Ashva, Goat Ashva, Bull Ashva or (unknown) Equid Ashva.

Keywords: horned horse, Indo-Europeans, Indo-Aryans, Iranians, Celts, Germans, Rigveda.

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Semenenko, Aleksandr Andreyevich "The Horned (Non-)Horses of Indo-Europeans and the Problem of Celts and Germans Origin" Agrarian History, Number 5, 2021 P. 23 - 68.