Talk:Arran (Caucasus)/Archive 2

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Merger with Caucasian Albania

I think this has been discussed for some time, but I would like to propose merging this article finally with Caucasian Albania. There is really no point for having two articles about the same historical region in two different timelines, and the contents of Arran article are partially those from Caucasian Albania. Share your opinions. Atabek (talk) 06:02, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I think since this article does not have much content it can be merged with the one on Albania. Grandmaster (talk) 06:17, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Not having a enough content is not a president to merge articles, and what do you mean by "much content". The article has six sections and 13 sources. VartanM (talk) 07:30, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Maybe there is still some points untold in both articles. It seems the ancient and historical term "Albania" and more recent word "Arran" (that is mostly geographical and less historical) did not exactly show one entity. I think "Albania" was used to show a vague and big geographical region(only if used as a geographical term)compared to "Arran".Arran seems to show a relatively smaller place that roughly show the non mountainous (lowland) region of the Qarabagh Khanate and also had nothing to do with Shirvan (that Albania may have connection with ) --Alborz Fallah (talk) 19:10, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Then why not merger rep. Azerbaijan with Arran? If you say Arran= Caucasian Albania then Arran= rep. Azerbaijan.--Babakexorramdin (talk) 02:24, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Babakexorramdin because Republic of Azerbaijan is a different political entity from Albania, while Arran was not. According to your claim, we should also merge Iran article with Islamic Caliphate, just because it was part of it for certain historical period of time. Atabek (talk) 09:30, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
I would say merger it with Iran. As you saw those pictures in tabriz they called rep. Azerbaijan as Northern Iran. later on the TV said that too. And historically that was true. So we can merger rep. Azerbaijan (=Northern Iran) with mainland Iran. How about that? Why not merger Byzantium with the Ottoman empire and with Turkey? Why not merger Italy with the Roman empire?--Babakexorramdin (talk) 19:05, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

These are two very different entities with an ambiguous ethnic makeup and even more uncertain geographic boundaries. A merger is unnecessary.-- Ευπάτωρ Talk!! 03:44, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Can you provide us with references and arguments as to how Arran and Caucasian Albania were two different entities, especially, when such prominent scholar as Minorsky, said otherwise? Atabek (talk) 09:30, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
They have two different entries in Iranica , and I think merging this two different entities omits a part of history of Azerbaijan Rep ,Armenia , Iran and Roman empire : ARRAÚN,Iranica,ALBANIA,Iranica.--Alborz Fallah (talk) 10:14, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Here is my take. Originally I thought merging might be okay but after a more detail study, I am of the opinion that merging Aran with Caucasian Albania would be like merging Safavid Iran with Sassanid Iran. Sassanid Iran was a bit bigger as well as the two terms are "Sassanid Iran" and "Safavid Iran" are used for two different eras. It is not continous in the sense that there are period with other dynasties and rulers. Arran is used in the Islamic time while Caucasian Albania is used in pre-Islamic times. Also Arran in many sources does not include Shirvan which was under the Shirvanshah. For example during the time of Khaqani, Arran was controlled by the Eldiguzid while Shirvan was under the Shirvanshahs and poets like Khaqani seem to use both terms separately. For example Bosworth says: "A region of eastern Transcaucasia. It lay essentially within the great triangle of land, lowland in the east but rising to mountains in the west, formed by the junction of the Rivers Kur or Kura and Araxes or Aras. It was thus bounded on the north by Šervān; on the north west by Šakkī (Armenian Šak'e) and Kaxeti in eastern Georgia; on the south by Armenia and Azerbaijan province; and on the southeast by the Caspian coastal province of Mūqān or Mūgān. Arran's situation between these two great rivers explains the name Bayn al-nahrayn given to it by Islamic geographers. In pre-Islamic times, Arran formed the heart of the Iranian province of Caucasian Albania (to be distinguished of course from the Balkan Albania), which in fact embraced all eastern Transcaucasia, i.e. Arran here was a wider concept than that of post-Islamic Arran, and corresponded grosso-modo with the modern republic of Azerbaijan (since 1918).". Note in many sources it does include Shirvan and Muqan, but in many sources Aran does not include Shirvan. The term "Caucasian Albania" at least was not used by Islamic rulers: Arabs, Shaddadids, Daylamites, Seljuqs, Eldiguzids, Khwarizmshah, Mongols and etc. Also in a minority of sources it is considered part of a larger entity like Armenia or other entities. So the Caucasian Albania article should end with (for post-Islamic history see : Arran and Shirvan). Note Hamdullah Mustawafi (Ilkhanid era): "The Shirvan country extends from the bank of the Kur (Cyrus) river to Darband of the Gate of Gates. The revenues thereof during the days of the Khans of Shirvan amounted to one million dinars of the money of our time; but at present, all that is inscribed on the registers is 113,000 dinars. Further in the matter of the military fiefs there are many of these in the divers districts. ... The Arran province is the land Between the Rivers'’ namely from the bank of the Aras to the river Kur.". He seems to distinguish between the two. On the other hand, there are sources perhaps show Arran and Shirvan as one (Hodud al-Alam). So I think Caucasian Albania article should cover the pre-Islamic and Arran/Shirvan should cover the post-Islamic era. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 17:52, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Also would like to quote Minorsky also from one his books: "Consequently Sharvan on the northern bank, remained outside the administrative purview of Arran.".(V. Minorsky, A History of Sharvan and Darband in the 10th-11th Centuries, Cambridge, 1958.). And " Even under the Sasanians Sharvan, Layzan and other principalities of the northern bank of the Kur were completely separated from Arran.".
So I think the Caucasian Albania should end with the begining of the Islamic era and then it should go onto Aran and Shirvan. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 18:14, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
There should be some sort of an accurate definition of what Arran is within the context of this article. Originally Arran was the Persian and Arab spelling of the name of Albania, and original Arran/Albania covered most of the territory of modern day Azerbaijan. In Islamic times the geographic notion of Arran shrunk to cover the territory between Kura and Araks. So which Arran are we discussing here, pre-Islamic or post-Islamic? Those 2 Arrans had different boundaries. The confusion is caused by the fact that pre-Islamic history is covered in the article about Caucasian Albania. I noted that there are separate articles about Albania and Arran in Iranica, however the article about Albania covers pre-Islamic period, while the one on Arran covers both, concentrating on the Islamic era. So we need to decide which period this article should cover to avoid repetition. If it is to cover the same topic as the one on Albania, then what's the point in having two articles about the same thing? If it is to cover a different period, then the intro should explicitly say so, i.e this is the article about the region of Arran in Islamic period. Grandmaster (talk) 19:19, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree though I think the boundaries of Arran in post-Islamic times varies. Hodood Alam considers Shirvan as part of it as far as I can tell but Hamdullah Mustawafi does not. Bosworth does not either. We should mention that this article covers the post-Islamic period and leave the pre-Islamic period for Caucasian Albania, although the Iranica article does mention that Arran formed the heart of Caucas Albania and that is why there is some overlap in the pre-Islamic era, but most of it has to do with the Sassanid era since it was the Mihranids and prince Javanshir who were met by the Islamic forces. This is a good precedence because the locals (at least Muslims) of Aran in Islamic times did not use the term Albania. Given the fact that hundreds of documents produced locally and also the poets from the area have called it Arran, we should have an article with this name, specially since Shirvan (which perhaps in pre-Islamic times was part of Albania) is not considered part of Arran in some of the post-Islamic sources. So in Caucasian Albania we should say for the post-Islamic period, see Arran and Shirvan, and for Arran we should say for the pre-Islamic period see Caucasian Albania although some pre-Islamic information on Arran/Shirvan that have the transition to the Islamic era is okay. Alittle bit of an overlap is fine, but like Iranica, this article should concentrate on the post-Islamic era. It looks like the Sassanids perhaps already had treated Arran and Shirvan as two principalities but this might not be the case for the Parthians. But we should mention also in Arran that the boundaries of Arran had some ambiguities, specially since many sources do not consider Shirvan as part of it (Iranica, Mustawafi). I think based on Iranica articles as well as the Minorsky quotes I brought before, both articles can be developed by users who put time and effort into them. I am pretty sure Iranica will have an article on Shirvan. One can take the pre-Islamic history into consider and Arran can take post-Islamic history with perhaps alittle bit of an overlap into the Sassanid era. But Arran should definitely take the post-Islamic timeline where-as Caucasian Albania is really more for Roman,Greek, Achaemenids, Parthian and perhaps Sassanid era. And the two articles overlap somewhere in Sassanid and Islamic era alongside with Shirvan. Shirvan has a easier history to follow since it was ruled from almost the begining of the Islamic era all the way down to the Safavids by one dynasty. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 03:50, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I think Iranica clarifies the status of Shirvan alittle bit under Baku: "The etymology of the word Baku, like the antiquity of the settled site itself, is unclear; the country later known as Shervan, an area of which Baku was the port and eventually the capital, lay to the east of Arran, the classical Caucasian Albania (q.v.), of which it was sometimes considered to be a part and the easternmost extension; the original population of Arran was of non-Iranian and non-Turkic stock; in Shervan, however, there was considerable Sasanian influence and political control, especially along the coastal strip through Baku to Darband (for the purpose of defense against invasions from the north), so that theories such as that linking Baku to the form Bagawan = “God's Place” (possibly due to a fire temple on one of the petroleum sites) are not implausible (ibid., pp. 39-41). ". So I think the main issue is the division between Shervan and Arran (which only sometimes consisted of Shirvan) where-as the principality/vassal kingdoms of Cacausian Albania perhaps at different times constituted Shervan. So I think following a pattern like Iranica is reasonable, have separate articles for Shirvan, Arran and Caucasian Albania and have a transition from Caucasian Albania to Shirvan, Arran with the Sassanid/Arab rule being the transition period which should be mention in the all three. My other main issue besides the confusion of Arran/Shervan with Caucasian Albania for post-Islamic period is that all of the Islamic sources (Arabic, Persian) use Arran and the rulers also considered themselves ruling "Arran" and the population in the post-Islamic period was at first under heavy Iranian influence(Shaddadid, Daylamites and partially due to Sassanids) and then Turkic influence. That is the role of Caucasian Albanians does not seem noteworthy and is very diminished (relative to Achaemenid, Parthian and even Sassanid era), specially since Caucasian Albanians article are merged with Caucas Albania where-as their role in the post-Islamic era seems very small relative to Muslim (Daylamites, Kurds, Persians, Seljuqs, Ildeguzid, Ilkhanid..) era. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 04:19, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I don’t mind this remaining a separate article, as long as it does not duplicate the content of Caucasian Albania. That was the reason why I agreed to merge. I agree that a little overlap is needed to give a brief summary of the origins of the regions, but the main focus should be on Islamic era. As for population, Muslim sources of the 10th century reported that the population of Arran spoke Arranian/Albanian language, and it seems that this population was mostly Muslim at that time. Later it was Turkified. Population of Shirvan seems to be predominantly of Iranian stock at the same period as result of Sasanian domination, and it was also Turkified in later periods. So this article and the one on Shirvan can be further developed, as long as we keep the right focus on both of them. Also, the title of this article seems to be very ambiguous. Islamic Arran did not cover most of the territory of modern day Azerbaijan republic at the time, so linking its title with Azerbaijan is misleading, as it was only a part of it. I think this article should be moved to simply Arran, and disambig page should cover any other uses, as the region in Caucasus in the most popular use. Grandmaster (talk) 05:55, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Yeah I agree that we should focus on the Islamic era, although alittle about the Sassanid and the beginning of the Islamic era is necessary. Since Mihranids controlled the area and they were around since the Sassanid times. Islamic Arran seems to have a wide border, sometimes covering all of republic of Azerbaijan and sometimes not, although with Shirvan it basically covers most if not all of it. Some sources put even Tiblis in Arran. Basically some authors might use Hodud al-Lam and consider Arran all of the republic of Azerbaijan or use say Mustawafi and say it is separate (which seems to be what Bosworth did). Here is Minorsky's take on the issue: "Islamic geographers use the term al-Ran (*Arran) somewhat conventionally. A detailed definition of its territory is found in Muqaddasi, 374, who describes it as an "island" between the Caspian sea and the rivers Araxes and Kur, but among its towns mentions both Tiflis and al-Bab, as well as the towns of Sharvan. Ibn-Hauqal, 251, uses the term "the two Arrans" apparently for the northern and the southern banks of the Kur. In practice, during the period which specially interests us (circa A.D. 950-1050), three main territories were clearly distinguished: Arran to the south of the Kur, Sharvan to the north of this river, and al-Bab, i.e. the town of Darband and its dependencies. On the lesser and intermediate areas see below PP. 77. 83. Partav was occupied in the days of Othman by capitulation. Although the local princes retained their lands, Barda'a, the capital of Arran, became the spearhead and the centre of the Arab administration. Arab geographers praise its site, its extensive gardens and its abundance of various fruits(same book). So overall, even in the post-Islamic times, there are eras that Arran constituted Shirvan, Tiblis and Darband. Then there are eras that it did not. There is no need in my opinion to put (republic of Azerbaijan)in parenthesis for the title, but we should mention Arran basically constitutes the bulk or major portion of the modern day republic at some periods and at other periods it corresponded to all of it (note Minorsky mentions this too in the above sentence I brought). That is where the confusion lies since people are looking for a permanent border of Arran over some 1000 years or so, but it at different periods, it had different borders (sometimes above the Kur and sometimes south of it).
On the population of Arran and its language, I think you are referring to Ibn Hawqal and Muqaddasi. I think the Islamic people spoke mainly Persian (that is a Persian dialect not necessarily Khurasanian Persiana) related dialects or even Arabic prior to the Seljuqs and I have not seen any proof for a Islamicate Caucasian Albanian culture. That is one reason I oppose the merge as well. Recall that the book "history of Caucasian Albania" is pretty hostile with regards to Islam and is relatively a pro-Albanian/Christian book talking about Caucasian Albanians. Ibn Hawqal says: "The language of the majority of people of Azerbaijan and Armenia is Persian and it binds them together and Arabic is also commonly known. And the majority of merchants that know Persian also know Arabic well. In groups around Armaniya speak languages similar to Armenian and also the people Dabil and Nackhchiwan. And the language of the people of Barda’is Arranian and the famous caucaus mountains is from there and around that mountain there are unbelievers who speak different languages and most of them have a common language”. So taking Ibn hawqal, he puts Armenians and Arranian in specific cities that probably had Christian majorities. Also Moqqaddesi says: "“They have big beards and their speech is not attractive. In Arminya they speak Armenian, in al-Ran, Rannian; their Persian is understandable, and is close to Khurasanian in sound.". So it seems Persian here (which could be variety of Iranian dialects and Khurasanian Persian) was spoken alongside Arranian and Armenian, but it had to be the language of Muslim. Overall, I do not think I know of a single unambiguous reference to a Muslim scholar or writer that was Caucasian Albanian in origin. If you know some, let me know. Caucasian Albania has a sort of Christian flavor to it where-as Arran (which as we said should agree the post-Islamic period) has a more Islamic flavor to it. The major change in religion by itself necessitates different article since we are talking about a major cultural break. That is I see it as different as Sassanid Iran (Zoroastrian) vs Safavid Iran (Shi'i). --alidoostzadeh (talk) 06:22, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
I think since we agree that the area did not have stable boundaries, and since you agree with the rename, we should move this article to the title of Arran to avoid ambiguity. Otherwise it should remain a separate article with a focus on Islamic era. It can mention that the territory of ancient Arran presently forms major part of modern-day Azerbaijan republic. As for population, I think that of Arran was somewhat different from that of Shirvan. We know that Barda was the capital of Arran, the seat of Arab governors and is described as a Muslim city, however the population of it spoke Arranian in the 10th century. From what I recall the sources describing invasions of the Rus describe Barda as a Muslim city. The source that you quoted says: And the language of the people of Barda’ is Arranian. And Bosworth says
Early Arran seems to have displayed the famed linguistic complexity of the Caucasus as a whole. Strabo 9.4, cites Theophanes of Mytilene that Albania had at least 26 different languages or dialects, and the distinctive Albanian speech persisted into early Islamic times, since Armenian and Islamic sources alike stigmatize the tongue as cacophonous and barbarous, with Estakri, p. 192, Ebn Hawqal, p. 349, tr. Kramers-Wiet, p. 342, and Moqaddasi, p. 378, recording that al-Raniya was still spoken in the capital Barda’a or Barda’a in their time (4th/10th century). Hence Markwart, Eranshahr, p. 117, was doubtless correct when he spoke of Albania/Arran as being pre-eminently a non-Indo-European land; the Albanian tongue must have belonged to the Eastern Caucasian linguistic family, as is indicated by the recently-discovered table of the 52 characters of the Albanian alphabet, in which a few inscriptions have also been found by Soviet archeologists (see V. Minorsky, A History of Sharvan and Darband in the 10th-11th Centuries, Cambridge, 1958, pp. 11-12; the present Udi language, surviving vestigially in Shakki, is considered to be a remnant of it). [1]
And I agree that we know of no Muslim scholar who wrote in Arranian language, but no literature in that language survived to our days, so it is hard to say if there were any. And there are speculations of the ethnic origins of some Muslim literary figures from the region, but I’m not aware of confirmed Arranian origin of any. But from what I know both Ganja and Barda were Muslim majority cities in Islamic times, and since Arranian was the language of majority, it seems that that was the prevailing language in those cities. This is an interesting topic that needs further investigation though. I’m interested to learn more myself about the ethnic composition of the region in various times and its changes. Grandmaster (talk) 07:17, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes I think we should change to Arran, and mention the Islamic history and the Sassanid->Arab transition. Leave the Caucasian Albania article for other eras (pre-Mede, Mede, Achaemenid, Greeks, Parthians and Sassanids). On the linguistic evidence, I agree the topic needs further investigation but due to lack of evidence everything seems just like speculation. Even the term "Arranian" might just refer to the language of Arran (that is a geography giving name to a language like "Azeri" giving the name to modern Azeri-Turkish), but interestingly enough, the Arab historians mention that is spoken in Barda' rather than the whole area of Arran. But it could have easily just been one of the languages of Barda' or dialects, and my hypothesis is that it was the language of Christians of the area. Same with Armenian which they mention some cities and not the whole area. And they also say the people speak Arranian/Armenian in these cities but these seem almost like a sort of exception, since they point out particular cities or areas. The reason I think the connection is shaky is that that the native Albanians used the term Aghvani/Abghani or another native name for their language rather than Arranian (Arrani). Ibn Hawqal himself (the other two authors are based on Ibn Hawqal) not knowing these languages, just went by regional name and so my guess is that even it is hard to confirm what language Ibn Hawqal was referring to it. Unfortunately since we have just couple possible Christian related documents in this language, Markwart is right though that the area of Arran was predominately non-Indo European speaking, but this is before the Musafarids, Shaddadids and etc. That is in the pre-Islamic era but after some dynasties like Musafarids, Shaddadids and the Islamization of Arran, I think the post-Islamic era changed the languages. For example when the Mongols invaded, a chronicle of Khwarizmshahs mention amongst the Muslims "Turks (Turkic) & Tajiks (Iranics)" but no Caucasian Albanians. I think the linguistic diversity was complex as you pointed out, but evidence of Arranian Islamicate culture is lacking (although a Christian one is definitely there and the couple of shreds of evidence are basically Christian documents and the remaining Uti are also Christians) and probably the Rus viking invasion devasted both Muslim and Christian quarters and Arranian (if a connection to Caucasian Albanian can be made) was just a language in Barda'. My guess is that an Albanian Muslim culture never developed and Arranians/Albanians who turned Muslim usually adopted the predominant language of Muslims (Arabic, Persian, Kurdish, Turkic..) or else we would have had more evidence. After the reign of Shaddadid, Musafarids and then Seljuqs, I doubt the possible Albanian language was spoken by Muslims. But like I said due to lack of evidence these are just all plausible hypothesis. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 00:29, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
So I think we agreed about the title of the article, if no one objects, I will ask the admins to fix it. Also we agreed on the scope of articles on C. Albania and Arran, the latter will be focused on Islamic history and will provide a brief overview of the ancient history of the region. As for the language, Muslim geographers say that Arranian was spoken both in the capital of Barda and the entire territory of Arran. For example, Al-Muqaddasi wrote in 985:
В Армении говорят по-армянски, а в Арране по-аррански; когда они говорят по-персидски, то их можно понимать, а их персидский язык кое в чем напоминает хурасанский. [2]
In Armenia they speak Armenian, and in Arran Arranian; when they speak Persian, they could be understood, and their Persian somewhat resembles Khorasani.
I use the Russian translation, you may have an access to English or Persian text. According to this source, Arranian was distinct from Armenian and Persian. So it appears that the primary language in the region was Arranian, and Arabic and Persian was spoken by the ruling elite (Mihranids for example were of Persian origin), merchants and educated people. According to Bosworth, Arranian is the same as Albanian, please see my above quote. That’s all we have for now. More sources would be better, especially for the period after the 10th century, to establish the timing for linguistic shift. We know that in the 10th century Albanian was still spoken in the region, but when exactly did it become extinct? Grandmaster (talk) 07:21, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Yeah I used an English translation. It says: "They have big beards and their speech is not attractive. In Arminya they speak Armenian, in al-Ran, Rannian; their Persian is understandable, and is close to Khurasanian in sound.". Which says the same thing as basically what you have in Russian. When cross-referencing this with the other quotes, I take it that all three languages were spoken, but the first two were exclusively used by Christians. We know for example that in Armenia, it would be Muslims who would be using Persian/Arabic and the Armenians would be using Armenian. That is why Ibn Hawqal says the language of Azerbaijan and Armenia is al-Farssiya and it binds them together. Yet he also I believe mentions Armenian in several towns of Armenia. So this makes me believe Armenian was exclusive to Christians. So that is why I believe that Arranian (if we can make a connection with Caucasian Albanian and not consider it a dialect of another language that is given a regional name) like Armenian was the language Christians. Bard'a was called Piruzapat I believe in Middle Persian and from what I recall, it was build or fortified by the Sassanids. It was probably mostly Christian during the 10th century (although under Muslim rulers) but after Shaddadids, Seljuqids, Ildeguzids, it slowly became more Islamified and that could be one reason after the 10th century that we do not hear anything about "Arranian". Bosworth says: "The Arab and Persian geographers of the 4th/10th century describe Barda'a as a town with a citadel, a congregational mosque where the treasury of Arran was kept, several gates, and flourishing markets, including the Sunday market of Korak (from Greek kuriakos, the Lord's Day); at this time Barda, like Arran in general, retained a substantial proportion of Christians, and Ebn Hawqal lists certain princes of the Barda region in his own time (later 4th/10th century) who were clearly Christian."(Barda EIr). So basically we have a reference to one mosque, but even the sunday market has a Christian name. That is significant since the major market has a Christian name. So my guess is that the Muslims used Arabic, Persian, Kurdish and etc. while it was the Christians that used Armenian and Arranian. And that is why Ibn Hawqal also says the language of most of Armenia and Azerbaijan is Persian while the other guy says in Armenia they speak Armenian (which means it was not the Muslims who spoke it). Given that there is basically no evidence of Caucasian-Albanian Islamicate culture (despite having an alphabet and Christian literature), I think the Iranification and later Turkification of the Christian population came hand in hand with the Islamification. Then we have the Armenification due to the common religion of the Christians. Somewhat like Egypt where Coptic was only used by Christians up to 500 years ago. On the other hand, given that the term Arranian is really from Aran, then I am not even 100% sure the Arranian that is being alluded to was necessarily Caucasian Albanian. That it is possibly likely, but not 100% confirmable due to lack of evidence. Overall though, even if take it as such, the fact that we do not hear anything about Arranian in the 11th and 12th century in my opinion has to do with the fact that the region was Islamified and so languages more common to Muslims replaced it. What might prove me wrong with this regard is evidence of a Islamicate Caucasian Albanian culture but that is so far lacking. But evidence of a Christian Albanian culture is apparent. Given that the region was Islamified, evidence of a Islamicate Albanian culture if it existed, should have been present but it is not. Even the Udi who might be possible off-shoots are Christians. Thanks for the discussion. I am not going to put my own opinions obviously, and I think it is good that we should follow Bosworth when rewriting this article. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 16:46, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree, we should stick to Bosworth and other prominent scholars when rewriting this. I will try to dig out more sources. In my understanding, Arranian was the native language of the region, and Persian was sort of a lingua franca of the region, and people of various ethnicities used it for communication with each other. Of course, more sources are needed to support either point of view. Grandmaster (talk) 05:33, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I have no problem with renaming. And on a side note, it was very delightful reading Ali's comments. VartanM (talk) 06:31, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Rename done. Note that the pages lists at Special:Whatlinkshere/Arran were all previously pointing to a disambiguation page, so ideally we want to check that they are all now pointing at the article of the appropriate period. Once that is done, could someone notify me and I will run a bot to update all the references from Arran (Republic of Azerbaijan) to Arran. John Vandenberg (talk) 09:14, 26 February 2008 (UTC)


Just thought I would share part of his book(V. Minorsky, A History of Sharvan and Darband in the 10th-11th Centuries, Cambridge, 1958.). Typos are mine.

cquote:{{ The Albanians

Our oldest information on Eastern Transcaucasia is based on the reports of the writers who accompanied Pompey on his expedition in 66 B.C. In Greek and Latin, the alluvial plain of the lower Kur and Araxes extending between Iveria (Georgia) and the Caspian sea was called Albania. The Armenian equivalent of this name is Alvank* or Ran, in Syriac Aran (pseudo-Zacharia Rhetor, XII, ch. 7)—from which the Islamic sources derived their al-Ran, or Arran.

According to Strabo, XI, 4, I-8, the soil of Albania was fertile and produced every kind of fruit, but the Albanians were inclined to the shepherd's life and hunting. The inhabitants were unusually handsome and tall, frank in their dealings and not mercenary. They could equip 60,000 infantrymen and 22,000 horsemen. The Albanians had twenty-six languages and formed several federations under their kings but "now one king rules all the tribes". The western neighbours of the Albanians were the Iberians (Iveria being the ancient name of Georgia) and the Armenians. Caspia (probably the region near Baylaqan) also belonged to Albania. According to Ptolemy, V, 11, Albania comprised not only the above-mentioned territories of Transcaucasia but extended north-east to com¬prise the whole of the region now called Daghestan along the Caspian coast. One must bear in mind the distinction between the areas occupied by the tribes of Albanian origin and the territories actually controlled by the Albanian kings. The Armenians considerably curtailed the Albanian territories to the south of the Kur and Armenicised them. Only after the division of Armenia between Greece and Persia in 387 did the provinces of Uti and Artsakh (lying south of the Kur) fall again to the lot of the Albanian ruler. The earlier capital of Albania seems to have lain north of this river, whereas the later capital Perozapat (Partav, Barda'a) was built by the Albanian Vach'e only under the Sasanian king Peroz (457-84). In the words of Marquart, Eransahr, 117, Albania was essentially a non-Aryan country ("eminent unarisches Land"). In the fifth century A.D. one of the languages of Albania (that of the Gargars near Partav) was reduced to writing by the Armenian clergy who had converted the Albanians to Christianity in its Armenian form. According to Moses of Khoren, III, ch. 54, this Albanian language was "guttural, rude, barbaric and generally uncouth". The forgotten alphabet, the table of which was found by the Georgian Prof. Shanidze in 1938, consisted of fifty-two characters reflecting the wealth of Albanian phonetics. The Arab geographers of the tenth century still refer to the "Rannian" language as spoken in Barda'a. At present, the language of the Udi, surviving in two villages of Shakki, is considered as the last offshoot of Albanian. Living as they did on open plains, the Albanians were accessible to the penetration of their neighbors and, at an early date, lived in a state of dependence on the Persian Empire and the Armenians. In 359 the Albanian king Urnayr took part in the siege of Amid by the Sasanian Shapur II. In 461 the rebel king Vach'e lost his throne and the country was apparently taken over by the direct Persian administration. Even under the Sasanians Sharvan, Layzan and other principalities of the northern bank of the Kur were completely separated from Arran. Towards the end of the sixth century a new dynasty, issued from a Mihran sprang up in Arran and was soon converted to Christianity. Though the names of the kings are recorded in the local history of Moses Kalankatvats'i, III, ch. 19 and 22, the facts about them are fragmentary and confused. We must await the publication of the new translation by C. Dowsett. Albania suffered particularly from the invasions from Northern Caucasus, first of the "Huns" and then of the Khazars (see below p. 105). Arran surrendered by capitulation to Salman b. Rabra al-Bahili in the days of 'Othman, see Baladhuri, 203, but the presence of the Arab amirs did not do away with the feudal rights of the local princes. The fact that the Mihranid Varaz-Trdat, who died in A.D. 705, paid yearly tribute simultaneously to the Khazars, the Arabs and the Greeks (Moses Kal., Ill, ch. 12), shows how uncertain the situation remained on the eve of the eighth century. The authority of the "kings" of Arran was restricted to local affairs and was mainly reduced to the southern bank of the Kur. We know, for example, that when Sa'id b. Salim (*Salm) was appointed to Armenia by Harun al-Rashid (ci Ya'qubi, II, 518), the town of Shamakhiya was founded by Shamakh b. Shuja whom Baladhuri, 210, calls "king (malik) of Sharvan". Consequently Sharvan on the northern bank, remained outside the administrative purview of Arran.

The revolt of Babak (210-22/816-37) greatly disorganised the Arab administration, and, under the cover thereof, a significant change took place in Arran. The last Mihranid Varaz-Trdat II was murdered in A.D. 822. His title Eranshahik was picked up by the prince of Shakki Sahl b. Sunbat. In 853 many Armenian and Albanian princes were deported to Mesopotamia and this secured a firmer basis for the domination of the new Islamic dynasties. After the liquidation of the Sajids (circa 317/929) the system of direct, appointments by the caliph collapsed and gave way to the hereditary domination of Muslim houses: the ( Hashimids of Darband, Musafirids of Azarbayjan, Yazidids of Sharvan and Shaddadids of Ganja).

b. Iranian penetration

As we have seen, the original population of Arran belonged to a special group unrelated to any of its great neighbours. However, the Persians penetrated into this region at a very early date in connection with the need to defend the northern frontier of the Iranian empire. Possibly already under the Achaemenids some measures were taken to protect the Caucasian passes against the invaders, but the memory of the fortification of the most important of them, Darband (in Armenian Ch'or, in Arabic al-Sul, but usually al-Bab) and of a series of "gates'* (i.e. fortified passes), is traditionally connected with the names of the Sasanian kings Kavat (in Arabic: Qubadh b. Firuz, A.D. 488-531) and his famous son Khusrau (Chosroes, Kisra) Anushirvan (A.D. 531-79). A brief account of these works will be found on p. 86. Apart from such feats of military engineering, the Sasanians strove to reinforce their northern frontier by organising vassal principalities of local tribes and by settling in its neighbourhood large numbers of their subjects, chiefly from the Caspian provinces. The titles Tabarsaran-shah, Khursan-shah, Vardan-shah, "the Lord of the Throne" (sarir), etc., found in Muslim historians (cf. Baladhuri, 207), refer to the first class of indigenous vassals, though even in this case some tribal names may have in view not the aboriginal inhabitants but the aristocracy of outsiders superimposed upon them. It is curious that the grandfather of Mardavij (the founder of the Ziyarid dynasty and a native of Gilan) bore the name (title?) of Vardan-shah, which points to the existence of a Vard-an tribe or family. The presence of Iranian settlers in Transcaucasia, and especially in the proximity of the passes, must have played an important role in absorbing and pushing back the aboriginal inhabitants. Such names as Sharvan, Layzan, Baylaqan, etc., suggest that the Iranian immigration proceeded chiefly from Gilan and other regions on the southern coast of the Caspian. In fact even in Roman times the presence of Daylamite mercenaries is attested as far as Pegamum in Asia Minor, and in the tenth century A.D. Daylam (i.e. the hilly part of Gilan, lacking fertility) became the prodigious reservoir of man-power from which the greater part of Persia and a considerable part of Mesopotamia, including Baghdad, were conquered. The most obvious of the Gilanian names in the region interesting us is Layzan, now Lahij, which is definitely connected with the homonymous Lahijan in Gilan, see Hudud al’Alam, p. 407.1 Similarly Baylaqan (probably *Bel-akan) is to be linked up with Baylaman in Gilan {Bel-man "home of the Bel-s"), see Muqaddasi, 372-3, etc. Sharvan itself ("place of the Shar-s", Gurji-van, Kurdi-van in the same neighbour¬hood) must belong to the same series. Ibn Khurdadhbih, 118, and Ibn al-Faqih, 303, refer to a town in the district of Ruyan (between Gilan and Tabaristan, see E.I) called al-Shirriz, which may have been the metropolis of the contingent transplanted to Sharvan. According to Tabari III, 1014, Lariz and Shirriz, which his grandfather conquered, belonged to Daylam. }}.

"Origin of the name" {OR} & {Disputed}

In the "Origin of the name" section, User:Til Eulenspiegel insists on reading something into the source that is not there.

Neither the name has been compared (as stated by Eulenspiegel), and nor has the place itself been compared. Darmesteter does not make any "comparison" at all, and neither does the source referred to by Darmesteter. That source simply says "X on the border of Y", and Darmester does not infer anything more than stating what--in modern times--is "on the border of Y".

Darmesteter also quite clearly says "mythical", and Eulenspiegel chooses to ignore that the Bundahishn is atypical when it places everything in Western Iran; at first he said it was uncited "POV" (which is lousy choice of words, but oh well), and when it was cited to an imminently reliable source, it didn't suit him either.

In his latest case of WP:GAME, he asserts that he removed WP:SYNTH material. But not only is the source being cited exactly, SYNTH does not apply when a source is not being cited for a conclusion. In fact, even without the two removed statements, the conclusions are just as they were before. In one case it now just fails to put the primary source into perspective. In the other, it now just fails to explains a keyterm that the author of the source had explained previously.

This may be contrasted with his latest incarnation, which is and remains OR since the source does not say anything of the kind.

The whole Darmesteter/Bundahishn stuff is a SYNTH: The subject under discussion is "Origin of the name". Just where the 12th century Bundahishn supposed the mythical Airyanem Vaijeh lay has absolutely nothing to do with the "Origin of the name". It has nothing whatsoever to do with the name at all, and neither does the Bundahishn say anything about the name "Airyanem Vaijeh" at the cited point, it does not even know of the name "Arran." The Bundahishn is further a theological source, not a historiographical one.

Besides the lack of relevance and the anachronism, it is unscientific since etymologies do not come from 12th century books. And if that weren't bad enough, the secondary source is 130 years old and terribly outdated, so even if Darmester agreed with the Bundahishn (which he does not), the source would be inappropriate. And I can come with at least half a dozen academic sources in the last few decades that say quite something else. Of course those would be off-topic too, since—like Darmesteter and the Bundahishn—they too discuss Airyanem Vaijeh and not Arran.

The points listed above may be summarized as:

  • Use of a primary source to further a point.
  • Intentional disinformation and the use of a false citation to do so.
  • Intentional disinformation by removal of the author's own description of a key term.
  • Intentional disinformation by removal of a cited statement that relativizes the primary source perspective.
  • Use of an outdated source that -- being off-topic -- is additionally impossible to balance with current sources.
  • Irrelevance of the whole shebang to the section.
  • Atrocious editing practices.

So, an {{OR}}, {{Disputed-section}} and {{Disputed-inline}} tag is going up, and will stay up until this is resolved. So far, there has been no response from Til on his talkpage, so accordingly there is no alternate course of action. Such a course can only be taken if Till describes what exactly he hopes to achieve from such a bad and mis-cited source. Should this description have scientific merit, I will of course use all the resources at my disposal to find something sustainable.

For the moment the ball is in his court, but I will not leave it there indefinitely. What Til Eulenspiegel hopes to achieve with the flaky stuff escapes me. That an established editor resorts to gaming the system for such flaky cruft is far out. -- Fullstop (talk) 05:01, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

My response to the above diatribe directed against me

Please go back and read carefully and note the following direct quotes from Prof. Darmesteter on the link I have already given:

  • "The first province Airyanem Vaeja, or Eranwej, we identify with the medieval Arrân (nowadays known as Karabagh)"
  • "Airyanem Vaeja, Iran-Vej, is the holy land of Zoroastrianism: Zarathushtra was born and founded his religion there (Bund. 20.32; 32.3): the first animal couple appeared there (Bund. 14.4; Zadspram, 9.8). From its name, 'the Iranian seed,' it seems to have been considered as the original seat of the Iranian race. It has been generally supposed to belong to Eastern Iran, like the provinces which are enumerated after it, chiefly on account of the name of its river, the Vanguhi Daitya, which was in the Sassanian times (as Veh) the name of the Oxus. But the Bundahish distinctly states that Iran-Vej is 'bordering upon Adarbajan' (29.12); now, Adarbaijan is bordered by the Caspian Sea on the east, by the Rangha provinces on the west, by Media proper on the south, and by Arran on the north. The Rangha provinces are out of question, since they are mentioned at the end of the Fargard (verse 20), and the climatic conditions of Iran-Vej with its long winter likewise exclude Media and suit Arran, where the summer lasts hardly two months (cf. § 4, note 6). The very name agrees, as the country known as Arran seems to have been known to the Greeks as `Ariania (Stephanus Byz.), which brings it close to our Airyanem." [note 5]

Do I see some material here in Prof. Darmesteter's views that is relevant to the subject of ARRAN? Yes, I do!!

Are we, as wikipedians, competent to come up with our own original rebuttals to what Prof. Darmestater has stated? Perhaps, however we, by policy, are not allowed to include them here, unless the same rebuttals have appeared somewhere in a published source. We also cannot attempt a rebuttal by stringing together a bunch of refs that do not even mention the subject (ARRAN) because that is the definition of WP:SYNTH.

If you wish to rebut Darmesteter, find some sources that do so. We can't simply accept your POV of Darmesteter (who I am sure you realize is the luminary who translated the Avesta into English), and attribute that POV to "User:Fullstop". We need proper WP:RSS.

And as far as Darmesteter's usage of the term "mythical" - what exactly does this word mean to you? Clearly it connotes the implication of "non-existent" in your view, correct?

Regards, Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 08:51, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

No, alas, actually you don't.
  1. For a start, your source is not James Darmesteter's translation per Zend Avesta I in Sacred Books of the East. It is *almost* James Darmesteter's summary of the same for Charles Horne's Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East (1917), volume 7. pp. 57-162. The crucial first footnote is missing (and there may be others as well) on the page. The table that appears on at the top of the page, is actually page 2 in the SBE book, and between it and what follows are 2 more pages. (I have the second edition of 1895 but it is not significantly different from the 1880 first edition).
  2. "Mythical region" is a direct quotation from the SBE Darmesteter.
    But instead of jumping straight to page 3 where "mythical region" are Darmesteter's exact words to describe Airyana Vaego, let me start at page 1.
    This is the same sort of stuff that you refuse to accept as pertinent even though it is in the same source, and in the same chapter and is in fact the introduction to it.
    • Page 1: "There is nothing in the text [Vendidad] that would authorize us to look to it even for legendary records, much less for real history." (Page 1).
      This relevant sentence in the missing first footnote from Horne reads: "We have nothing more than a geographical description of Iran, seen from the religious point of view." (p. 57, n.1)
    • Page 1-2: "Of the sixteen lands there are certainly nine that have existed. They are..." (what follows is the table at the top of the page. Note that Airyanem is not among the "nine that have existed")
    • Page 3: The first land, the Airyana Vaego by the Vanguhi Daitya, remained to the last a mythical region." ...
      "Later on, it [Airyana Vaego] was looked for in the countries north of Adarbaijan, probably in order that it should be as near as possible to the seat of the Zoroastrian religion, yet without losing its supernatural character by the counter-evidence of facts.
      This brought about the division of the Vanguhi Daitya into two rivers: as the Airyana Vaego was localised in the country north of Adarbaijan, the river in it must become identified with the Araxes (Aras); but, at the same time, it continued to surround the world eastward under the name of Veh (Vanguhi), which was the Sassanian name of the Oxus—Indus.
      It seems that in the time of Herodotus, the Araxes and the Oxus were considered one and the same river, as the Oxus and the Indus were later on.
      (if you know where these ideas comes from, there is nothing particularly strange about the notion of two geographically-distant rivers being the same)
    • Page 4: (still continuing on the subject of Airyana Vaego): "It follows that no historical conclusions can be drawn from this description; It was necessary taht it begin with the Vanguhi and end with the Ragha. To look to it for an account of geographical migrations, is converting cosmology into history."
I presume at this point that anyone not standing on a soapbox is perfectly aware that Darmesteter considers Airyana Vaego to be "mythical", and not related to any historical entitity.
The same rational person might also identify Darmesteter attempts to explain how cosmogonical speculations might cause someone to consider Airyana Vaego on the border of Adarbaijan. That, at any rate, is what he is saying on page 3 of SBE4.
As for what the Horne says in the first quote you make: Where is the word "name"?
As for what the Horne says with "But the Bundahish distinctly states ..." etc: nice try, but no cigar in light of a) what else Darmesteter writes, b) standing with two feet on the ground (not on a soapbox).
The bad news for the Arraninians (or whatever the term is) is that even Darmesteter explicitly discounts identification with a historical entity; and even if he didn't, its an antiquated source and unacknowledged elsewhere; and Airyanem Vaijeh is still "generally supposed to belong to Eastern Iran" (just as it was in Darmesteter's time); and Airyanem Vaijeh is still understood to mean "Vaijeh of the Iranians" (just as it was in Darmesteter's time); and the Bundahishn is still generally known to have willy-nilly transported everything westwards so that even Sogdiana ends up as "Syria" (compare Darmesteter's own page 2). OI VAY! A HERESY!
But -- as you demonstrate -- all that can be swept under the carpet. Self-delusion: 1. Reality: 0. Soapboxery wins.
Since you will no doubt disagree with me on everything (particularly the jokes about pubescent hairbrained nationalists), I'll leave you to bask in the glorious confirmation by a 130-year old source. But that basking will probably have to be elsewhere.
  • as you note, no other opinion on the location of Airyanem will be accepted because it does not relate to Arran, and as such the article cannot report objectively on it (cf WP:SOAP #1)
  • no academic I know of (and who has said something on the subject) has an opinion that coincides with yours (including -- of the top of my head -- Bailey, Gershevitch, Henning, Humbach, Marquart, Boyce, Andreas, Benveniste, Gnoli ad nauseum) (WP:RS)
  • the authoritative tertiary source (the Encyclopedia Iranica) does not agree with you either (WP:RS)
  • I cannot verify your claims in the source you cite (WP:VERIFY, WP:OR).
  • That the source being cited is even misquoted in other ways (e.g. "... Airyana Vaego or 'First Land' according to Zoroastrian texts ...")
  • The inclusion of 130 year old material that is uncited in modern scholarship constitutes the indiscriminate collection of information (WP:IINFO)
... I have no choice but to conclude that your claim that the name of 'Airyanem Vaijah' has something to do with "Origin of the name [of Arran]" is an exceptional one. You are consequently obliged to provide exceptional sources for that exceptional claim. Actually, even two reasonably current sources (with accompanying peer-review debate) will suffice.
You get that, and do it honestly and scientifically, and I will make it my business to learn everything there is about it, and include an in-depth discussion of it on the Airyanem Vaijeh page. But if you don't get it, the cruft goes. Not just from here, but also someone's home-brew exegesis of primary sources as is evident on the Azerbaijan pages. Deal? -- Fullstop (talk) 17:05, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Incidentally, "POV" is not a word to use in polite company, unless you want everyone to think you suffer from this sickness. The word you are groping for is "bias".
I'm not sure if this is a failure to assume that I am editing in good faith, but I honestly do not understand what kind of "soapbox" you feel I am standing on. My only concern, is that Prof. Darmesteter's specific views re: the article subject (ie, Arran) be represented fairly and accurately, but that the article not turn into a soapbox full of his other views on other subjects. If that is your goal as well, I'm certain we can work together. If you do not feel they were represented accurately, we can keep trying and come up with a compromise, that we both agree, accurately represents Darmesteter's published views re: Arran. If all else fails, we can quote his statements re: Arran firsthand, so as to ensure that he is not being misattributed or misquoted in any way. From a historiographic standpoint, his scholarly statements on Arran are every bit as significant and encyclopedic as the earlier views of Kaghankatvatsi, and the later views of Bosworth. Even if they were later discredited (still awaiting any kind of published source that claims this) then it is still legitimate to mention and properly attribute his views on the subject "Arran" here, from a historiographic and encyclopedic standpoint -- followed of course by a rebuttal attributed to whoever it was who rebutted him, provided you can find any such source. For that matter, if you can find ANY other scholars, from any point in time, who have ever published views on the article subject (Arran), those views should also appear here in this article, in the proper location. In the long run, we are about including all the published POVs on any given subject, and not about deciding on behalf of the reader that there are some ideas he'd be better off not hearing about. (Readers do tend to resent this!) With regards, Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 19:04, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Well, let me put it into perspective (sorry if this might sound a bit preachy, but there isn't really any other way to do it):

1) Reverting is bad, and reverting an established editor is downright evil. You are kicking him/her in the face. Do not *ever* revert unless you see direct evidence of abuse. A revert is by its nature not AGF, and will itself guarantee a non-AGF response.
2) The indiscriminate use of the word "POV", which you throw around as if were breadcrumbs, is an intense expression of bad faith. You are telling the other person that he/she is full of shit and that only you are capable of arbitrating "truth".
Returning to the subject later below. -- Fullstop (talk) 20:52, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
You are not my boss, have NO authority over me as you strangely seem to think, and you really sound like you could use a wiki-break. Will be adding references to the historical scholars who have discussed ARRAN in the near future, whether you like it or not. See-ya Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:53, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I have looked into this a bit more deeply and it appears I was wrong in ascribing this view to Darmesteter after all. (mea culpa) In fact, as far as I can tell, Darmesteter does not ever mention "Arran" at all. Rather, one scholar who currently holds this theory of Arran < Aryanem Vaego is Joseph H. Peterson, who is not at all "out of date", but a contemporary and prolific author on Zoroastrian topics, who is apparently respected within the Zoroastrian community for his scholarship. And this is by no means his new or original idea, since it goes back to the earlier writings of Spiegel, Duperron, Max Muller, and Coke, all of whom are on the record as writing about ARRAN in agreement, that the name ARRAN comes from AIRYANEM VAEGO. This is of course highly encyclopedic from a historiographic standpoint, and 100% relevant to our article's scope. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:43, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Oops, I was wrong about being wrong, that is I was right the first time. Darmesteter did indeed write those words I quoted, just found the original 1898 version here: [3] So now we have quite a few published and respected authors, from the last 130 years up to the present, who all subscribe to this school of thought, and (so far) only OR / synth and OT arguments in rebuttal. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:54, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

(continuing from outdent above)

>> For that matter, if you can find ANY other scholars, from any point in time, who have ever published views on the article subject (Arran), those views should also appear here in this article, in the proper location.
A) it is you who are insisting on something, so it is you who have to provide the sources to sustain it. B) this article is not about Airyanem Vaejeh. C) you are still misrepresenting Darmesteter when you state that the name Arran comes from Airyanem Vaejeh. He does not say so. D) I do have published views on the article's subject but they have nothing to do with the name Arran, and I'll be damned if I'm going to add anything anyway as long as you are playing games.
And even iff Spiegel (1873), Duperron (1771), Müller (1880s?) and Coke (1883) had something to say about the name "Arran", these would just demonstrate how obsolete the idea is. And even iff they were "up to the present" as you so inexplicably suppose, you do not provide full citation, so I can't even check that you are not misquoting them too (as you do in the case of Müller and Coke, where you are very obviously faking it). This is the same sort of madness as previously trying to justify a citation of Peterson even though he has published nothing outside his field of expertise, which is chemistry.
For heaven's sake, (depending on whether you believe that you are on a soapbox or not) either educate yourself or quit trying to play me for an idiot. Either you are clueless or you think I am. But the more you talk, the more painfully obvious it is that your pants are down at your ankles. You are convinced that your preconception is correct, so although you are not familiar with the scholarship on Airyanem Vaejeh, and you are are obviously not familiar with the concept of the world river (and so mangle Darmesteter's Arran < Ariana [which is valid in context, but misrepresented by you]). But you want to sustain the name nonsense, contra common sense and anything anyone else has said on the subject of Airyanem Vaejeh or the Bundahishn. Given this and passionate insistence on false representation of sources (even if they were valid in a context other than name), is it any wonder why I think you are on a soapbox?
You also either demonstrate a lack of understanding of what OR is, or you are gaming the system in this too. The OR lies with you: You've taken Darmesteter out of context, completely ignoring the world river issue, completely ignoring that Darmesteter repeatedly says "mythical", and completely ignoring that Darmesteter does not say anything about the "origin of the name" of Arran. You've synthesized it all, misquoting Darmesteter to do it. In the correct context, and properly qualified, citing Darmesteter for something is fine. But the current half-baked unencyclopedic crap is all yours, not Darmesteters (or anyone else's); you are merely misusing Darmesteter to do it. Very likely, you have no idea what Darmesteter is talking about anyway.
As before: <quote>I have no choice but to conclude that your claim that the name of 'Airyanem Vaijah' has something to do with "Origin of the name [of Arran]" is an exceptional one. You are consequently obliged to provide exceptional sources for that exceptional claim.</quote> This (and the rest) still applies.
It would be a different matter altogether if you weren't trying to squeeze cruft in under "name". There is a scientifically sound way to tie Arran to Zoroastrianism, but the "name" coatrack is not it. But of course, you don't want anything else. As you have made abundantly clear, you want "name", and to hell with everything else. -- Fullstop (talk) 20:52, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
I have found FIVE sources that state this school of thought, but surprise surprise, now that's not good enough for you. Sorry, but this is legitimate historiographic info for this article, I have more than satisfied the requirements of RSS, and moreover, you have found ZERO sources discounting or discrediting them. If this goes to mediation, they will ask me for my sources, I will have 5, they will ask you for yours, you will have zero, and guess what happens then. You can offer your snotty opinion of the sources all you like, but we need actual sources, not just your personal opinions. Given your extremely uncooperative attitude, I think mediation or arbitration process would be the only resolution to this and I am more than prepared to take it there. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:59, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Then *LIST* your "five" sources. Assuming that is, they are about *NAME* and are *reasonably current sources*. Otherwise don't bother. Properly, full citation, full quotation.
And yes, you are welcome to take it anywhere you like. And "uncooperative" means something else. I have been infinitely patient with your obsession.
And all you have come up to "support" your theory is four names from the 1800s and one from the 1700s. These do not even come close to anything like "reasonably current sources (with accompanying peer-review debate)." Even iff these actually said anything about the *name* Arran that is. Hello?! *NAME* *NAME* *NAME* and *reasonably current sources*.
And my offer still remains valid.
Btw, I don't need sources to remove crap. You need sources to sustain it. And these have to either be in accord with current scholarship, or have to properly contextualized to ensure that the reader is not misinformed. So far you refuse to fulfill either. -- Fullstop (talk) 23:38, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Even the 19th century sources that all mention ARRAN are sufficient to note that this was a theory about Arran at one time, just like Moses Kagankavatsi's mediaeval theory is noted already. I have also mentioned already a "reasonably current source", a prominent Zoroastrian scholar. You have NO sources other than your POV that dispute this theory or even say nobody believes it any more, which obviously at least some people do. So either we can work together to establish a correct wording that we both agree does not misrepresent these sources, or this will be taken to mediation. Which would you prefer? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:52, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
That they merely mention Arran does not mean that they necessarily have any opinion on the "origin of the name". Sources that identify Ariyanam Vaejah *geographically* with Arran do not qualify as having an opinion on the "origin of the name." THAT is the context. A *geographic* co-identification is not an "origin of the name".
Also, Peterson is not "a prominent Zoroastrian scholar". He has not published any of his own scholarship on Zoroastrianism, and in any case, his website is not peer-reviewed and self-published sources are not RS either. Besides, Peterson says nothing about Arran.
The only people who "believe" are those who want to believe. Not altogether unlike those who believe in panspermia or martian canals. These too were accepted theories once.
I don't care if this goes to mediation or not. You have nothing in hand but your conviction, aka "belief", and your supposition that the argument that it is valid because "at least some people do" believe in it.
So, if you choose to go with the obsolete geographic identification of X with Y (which does not mean "origin of name") then fine. That is the only valid context for any mention of Ariyanam Vaejah in an article on Arran, and that can be properly contextualized and developed.
But if you insist on that "origin of name" misinterpretation, then go to mediation or whatever else you think is necessary to nurture "some people"'s beliefs. -- Fullstop (talk) 01:35, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

WP:30 listing

NOTE: Because this is a dispute or stalemate between only two editors so far (myself and FullStop), I have now listed the problem at WP:30 as the first stage in the mediation process. Regards, Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 14:04, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Some directly quoted statements by past scholars regarding ARRAN

"Das nördliche Airyana vaeja ist gewiss das spätere Arran die Gegend die vom Araxes und Kui eingeschlossen wird und zwar in ihrer grössten Ausdehnung bis nach Tiflis am Kaukasus." - Erânische Alterthumskunde, 1871, p. 194
"Dr. Spiegel says that Zoroaster was born in Arran. This name is given by mediaeval Mahomedan writers to the plain washed by the Araxes, and was identified by Anquetil Duperron with the name Aryan Veiga, which the Zenda Avesta gives to the first created land of Ormazd. The Parsis place this sacred country in the vicinity of Atropatene and it is clearly meant as the northernmost country known to the author or authors of the Zend Avesta. We think that Dr. Spiegel is right in defending the geographic position assigned by tradition to Aryan Veiga... Nor do we hesitate that the name Aryan Veiga, i.e., the seed of the Aryans, might have been changed into Arran. - Chips from a German Workshop, I, 149
  • Jivanji Modi:-
"We find that Henry Rawlinson, on various grounds, identifies the land of Airan-vej with that of Azerbaijan. In his very interesting and learned article on the "site of Atropatenian Ecabatana", he says: "I believe there are sufficient reasons for identifying the Airyana Vaedjo, or Airyana the pure, of the Zend Avesta, with Azerbaijan. Monsieur Quatremere has succeeded, on the most satisfactory manner, in tracing the application to the province of Media, of the names Aria and Ariana from the remotest antiquity down to times comparatively modern... Anquetil du Perron, in translating the supposed works of Zoroaster, insisted on assimilating the title of Airyana to that of the province Arran, north of the Araxes. - The Birth-place of Zoroaster, 1926 (republished in Cama Oriental Institute Papers, 1928, p. 177)
"Airyanem Vaego, Iran Veg, is the holy land of Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster was born and founded his religion there (Bund. XX 32, XXXII, 3)... From its name, 'the Iranian seed', it seems to have been considered as the seat of the Iranian race. It has been generally supposed to belong to Eastern Iran... But the Bundahish distinctly states that Iran-Veg is 'bordering upon Adarbaigan' (XXIX, 12); now, Adarbaigan is bordered by the Caspian Sea on the east, by the Rangha provinces on the west, by Media proper on the south, and by Arran on the north. The Rangha provinces are out of question, since they are mentioned at the end of the Fargard (20), and the climatic conditions of Iran-Veg with its long winter likewise exclude Media and suit Arran, where the summer lasts hardly two months. The very name agrees, as the country known as Arran seems to have been known to the Greeks as Ariana (Stephanus Byz.), which brings it close to our Airyanem." - The Zend-Avesta (1898) p. 3 fn. 3 By James Darmesteter
Clearly the assertion that Darmesteter (to whom, like DuPerron, we are indebted for our knowledge and translation of the Avesta) never once mentioned the name Arran, is a false one.
All of these direct quotes definitely contain valid material that is within the scope of this article; Note that if there are any relevant rebuttals to these viewpoints to be found anywhere, they should also appear, and be properly attributed to a reliable source - and not the private spindoctoring of any editor who thinks his own personal expertise outweighs those of published scholars. If these direct quotes are not sufficient to convince you that I am not making this stuff up myself, I'm sure plenty more can be found; there is a ton of it out there, way more than I ever expected to find when this was first challenged. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:49, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
  • For the umpteenth time... none of your sources hypothesize an "origin of the name".
    HELLO! The sentence under discussion is in the "origin of name" section, and you are stating that the name "Arran" derives from Airyanem Vaejah even though your source does not say so. The quotations provided above do not say anything about the "origin of name" either.
  • Also, earlier I said:
<quote>"if you choose to go with the obsolete geographic identification of X with Y (which does not mean "origin of name") then fine. That is the only valid context for any mention of Ariyanam Vaejah in an article on Arran, and that can be properly contextualized and developed."<quote>/quote<quote>
PAY ATTENTION: Your sources are making a *geographic* identification, and (as noted again) I have already told you that a *geographic* identification is fine. But your "origin of name" hypothesis is not fine, and is not supported by anything you have come up so far.
The issue is really not difficult. Your assertion is w.r.t "origin of the name". So you need to provide a RS that clearly says something about the "origin of the name". Period.
Oh, and please don't put words into my mouth. You can also put away your ad hominems.
-- Fullstop (talk) 15:37, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Thirds opinion

Here's what I think:

  • Both of you need to take a break. Til Eulenspiegel, you are violating WP:POINT. Fullstop, you are violating WP:CIVIL. Stop it.
  • If this argument is about sources for the "Origin of the name" section in the article, then Fullstop is incorrect to say that they don't hypothesize anything about the origins of the name. Looks to me that at least two of them (Muller and Darmesteter) clearly suggest how the name 'Arran' was derived. So what if Arran, the name of a geographic origin, originates from other older geographic names? If that's what the sources suggest, then say so in the article.

You asked for a third opinion, and you got mine. =Axlq 05:18, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

This page desperately needs..

..a map. Widsith (talk) 08:33, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was move Arran (disambiguation) to Arran, and have the article on the middle eastern region at Arran (Transcaucasia) until a better name can be decided.harej (talk) 21:09, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

ArranArran (Persia)Arran (disambiguation)Arran.

  • Please note that this move request in not connected to the move war I read about above. The reason for proposing this is the overlap with Isle of Arran, normally just referred to as Arran and a few associated Arran names in Scotland/Ireland. The (Persia) dab is just a suggestion, (region) might work too as the others are islands or towns but Arran really ought to be a dab page - the current dab Arran (disambiguation) does not even show up in the search dropdown.

It would also avoid the discussion about which of them is the Primary topic. Akerbeltz (talk) 14:08, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Ok, thanks for the pointer. Akerbeltz (talk) 22:46, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Suggest Isle of ArranArran

and leave dab page where it is.

Ben MacDui 08:23, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

If we can be sure it's the primary topic, I wouldn't have any objections to that. Akerbeltz (talk) 12:20, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I'll plead ignorance here, because I don't know how significant the Middle Eastern Arran is. I'm also not sure whether "Persia" is necessarily the right descriptor for it. I'm more aware of the Isle of Arran than it, but that's probably simply because I'm Scottish!!! --MacRusgail (talk) 13:08, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Arran is different from Iran! Arran is Azerbaijan! Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 14:08, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Til, MacDui, MacRusgail and me are all... a bit out of our depth with the topic of this page, we mostly deal with Scottish related topics so no offense at all was implied by suggesting (Persia) as a dab. It was, from skimming the article, something that appeared appropriate. But none of us have preferences as to the dab, if you can recommend something better, then please do. So you'd suggest Arran (Azerbaijan) then I take it?
Oh, I just realised Arran (Azerbaijan) exists but redirects to Arran. That might be an easy solution then, if we just stop the redirect. Thoughts? Akerbeltz (talk) 14:39, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Comment on comment. The trouble with "Arran, Scotland", is that no-one who was unfamiliar with Wikipedia would think to look for it there. "Isle of Arran" is a quasi-poetic style rather than a proper name, but at least it has the advantage of being used in everyday language. Ben MacDui 20:59, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I would also prefer Isle of Arran, but it is worth considering that anyone putting "Arran" into the Wikipedia search box would not be presented with Isle of Arran as an option. However, they would be presented with both Arran, Azerbaijan and Arran, Scotland along with other options, which include Arran Brewery, Arran-Elderslie, Ontario, Arrangement, Arranger, Arrangements between railroads and Arranged marriage. Skinsmoke (talk) 23:24, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Arran, Scotland and Arran, Azerbaijan - presumably with Arran (Azerbaijan) being made a redirect and Arran a dab page - are fine by me. Arran, Scotland can always be made a redirect if we want to end up on Isle of Arran but that's not a problem for this talk page. Akerbeltz (talk) 23:38, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
I just wanted to point out that the general course of action that is advanced by this comment is the course of action recommended by Wikipedia:Disambiguation. WP:TITLE also suggests that the correct construction of place names, in Wikipedia house style, is to use <local name>, <area name>, which is what Skinsmoke is suggesting. Commonly used alternative constructions, which are significantly different (such as "Isle of Arran", apparently) can be either redirects themselves or be redirected to from the Wikipedia style name (guidelines suggest that they should be redirects, but it really depends on the article). Regardless, the actual Arran article should be the disambiguation page.
V = I * R (talk) 15:13, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Support a move of Arran (disambiguation)Arran; oppose a move of Isle of Arran per User:Ben MacDui; strongly oppose a move of ArranArran, Azerbaijan — the article is about premodern Arran, not the modern region in Azerbaijan. Suggest Arran (Transcaucasia) or Arran (Middle East) instead. — AjaxSmack 05:09, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment There is a claim in the article that Arran is used today for a region of modern Azerbaijan. The claim is unverified, and if it can be confirmed by a reliable source this may provide the answer. The article could then be rewritten slightly to explain the modern use and then continue to the probably more significant historic use. Alternatively, we could always consider Arran {historical region} as a disambiguation, though personally I'm not terribly keen on it. Skinsmoke (talk) 14:08, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Question. Is Arran the correct transcription for the place? I can't read Farsi that well the spelling suggests a long a? So if that is correct (using Perso-Arabic script as a guide for Wiki transcription) it should perhaps be Āran (dunno about the double r). We could then move the page to a more accurate spelling, freeing us from the need to add a dab (but of course still link to Āran from the dab page for Arran (and maybe add it to Aran). Can anyone who reads Farsi shed light on the transcription? Akerbeltz (talk) 15:30, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Arrān (Arrân in UniPers) is a good transcription but it isn't really relevant to the discussion about the correct title. That should be the name most commonly used in English-language sources. The links given in the article use "Arran". — AjaxSmack 02:35, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure if this rule applies to diacritics. Overall, English publications use diacritics much less, irrespective of official transcriptions. For example, I have a long running argument with the BBC spelling Sinn Féin Sinn Fein - yet Wiki has it with the é. And a great many pages (I've seen it particularly frequently with bio pages from Eastern Europe) will usually redeirect from a page without diacritics such as Vaclav tomasek to Václav Tomášek. Given this is widespread usage on here, I don't see why guidelines should prevent us from using the Arrān spelling if it helps us sort out the dab problem in an elegant fashion. Because as I see it, there is no elegant solution forthcoming at the moment whether to dab Arran to Arran Middle East, Persia, Azerbaijan, region or whatever. They're guidelines and we should take them in the spirit they're written in. This isn't tax law ;) Akerbeltz (talk) 12:59, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Sinn Féin is a different case (see WP:ENGVAR) because English usage in Ireland uses the Irish-language fada even in English. I'm assuredly not against using diacritics in titles but, if it's a common topic in the relevant English literature and if most English-language sources don't use it, neither should Wikipedia. — AjaxSmack 18:34, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
If we need disambiguating parentheses, I think the suggestion Arran (Transcaucasia) is the closest one on the mark so far, even better might be be Arran (Caucasus). Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:14, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
How about Arran, South Caucasus? South Caucasus is the page that Transcaucasia redirects to. My problem with Transcaucasia is that it suggests either the shortlived Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic or the also shortlived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. Skinsmoke (talk) 14:02, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Good point about Transcaucasia... Yes, South Caucasus would work, although just Caucasus seems sufficient enough for me.Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 14:34, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Fine by me. Akerbeltz (talk) 14:36, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
The comma name formulation should not be used in this case. The comma formulation is used when a place, usually a town or city, is a part of a modern state. Arran is a historical region and was not a constituent part of any polity called "South Caucasus" or "Caucasus." Those terms are merely disambiguators that serve to show that the place is not an island off Scotland. Arran (Caucasus), Arran (Transcaucasia), or Arran (South Caucasus) could all work. Although, strictly speaking, the region was not in the Caucasus but south of or "beyond" the Caucasus (mountains), it is part of the geographical region in the modern sense. — AjaxSmack 18:34, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, this is *not* a common topic in English language literature... anyway, comma or brackets, I'm still fine with (Caucasus) or (South Caucasus). Perhaps some input on either from the people with some experience in the topic? Akerbeltz (talk) 19:14, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move, part 2

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was moved to Arran (Caucasus). Even if it is not a clear consensus, there is much more support for (Caucasus) than (Transcaucasia). —harej (T) 06:58, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Arran (Transcaucasia)? — Having the article at Arran (Transcaucasia) is an intermediate solution, as it was generally agreed upon to have Arran (disambiguation) at Arran. What would be a better name for the Middle Eastern region? —harej (talk) 21:09, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

No, no, there were two users who pointed out a valid objection to Arran (Transcaucasia) - See above. The term that had no disagreement was arran (Caucasus). Please re-read the discussion. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:18, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for pointing that out. Does everyone else agree with "Arran (Caucasus)"? —harej (talk) 02:04, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
It's fine with me. — AjaxSmack 01:13, 12 August 2009 (UTC)


I disagree. Caucasus is a much bigger region than Transcaucasia. It includes Russian North Caucasus, which is very far from Arran. Transcaucasia better describes the location. However, if the problem is disambiguation with the Isle of Arran, I suggest we rename the articles Arran (island) and Arran (region) or Arran (historical region). Grandmaster 04:57, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

I think you're missing the point Grandmaster. Isle of Arran stays where it is; the problem is caused by the disambiguation page moving to Arran. The proposal I made earlier was Arran, South Caucasus, chosen because Transcaucasus is a redirect to South Caucasus. Note that Wikipedia naming conventions for geographical places are to use Place, Description, not Place (description): so it would be Arran, South Caucasus, not Arran (South Caucasus). Skinsmoke (talk) 05:25, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
WP:NCGN does not say to use "Place, Description, not Place (description)". It says to use this format "with the names of cities, towns, villages and other settlements, as well as administrative divisions" and Arran is none of these. Cf. Min (Ten Kingdoms), Punjab (British India), Federal Capital Territory (Pakistan), Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), Galicia (Central Europe), Macedonia (Greece), Dardania (Anatolia), Italia (Roman Empire), Luxembourg (Belgium), Zealand (Denmark), Cherokee Strip (Kansas), Arizona Territory (Confederate States of America). — AjaxSmack 16:10, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for misunderstanding. Arran, South Caucasus is fine. Arran (historical region) is also a good option, imho. Grandmaster 05:39, 12 August 2009 (UTC)


I think Arran, South Caucasus is the correct name.--Alborz Fallah (talk) 08:28, 12 August 2009 (UTC)


Remember that the point of a disambiguator is to differentiate this Arran from other Arrans (specifically the isle of Scotland), not to pin down its exact location. "Arran (historical region)" seems fine at first glance but there is a possibility (albeit remote) that it could be confused the Isle of Arran which itself has a long history. "Arran, South Caucasus" doesn't present this problem but it is unnecessarily specific and could imply that there is another Arran in the North Caucasus. "Arran (Caucasus)" shows that the article is not about the isle of Scotland and is the most succinct phrasing. (WP:NCDAB says: "If there are several possible choices for disambiguating...choose whichever is simpler.") — AjaxSmack 16:10, 12 August 2009 (UTC)


I think "Arran (Caucasus)" is way too general, because Caucasus is big. It does not say much about the exact location of the region. Maybe it would be better not to tie the name to a geographic region? How about Arran (region)? Isle is not a region, it is an isle. Grandmaster 05:25, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Using a region name is too...ambiguous? Generally, I don't think we should attempt to use proper names as disambiguators regardless (See the similar problems at Talk:Mary Jones (Bible)‎, for example), which is a view that seems to be supported by WP:DAB.
V = I * R (talk) 05:59, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
A disambiguator doesn't need say anything about the exact location of the region. It only needs to say that it's not one of the other topics listed at Arran, in particular the Isle of Arran with which it seems to share the status of primary topic. The exact location of the territory is elucidated in the article text. WP:NCDAB calls for simplicity and we should also strive for clarity. Neither "region" nor "South Caucasus" are totally unambiguous as I noted above. — AjaxSmack 05:55, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Note that the earlier proposal "Arran (Middle East)" is much more over-generic than "Arran (Caucasus)". I agree with Ajax that Arran (Caucasus) is sufficient to distinguish it from the Scottish toponym. "Arran (South Caucasus)" would be my second choice; yes, it is even more specific, but it just seems to me a little too much so, for our purposes. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:35, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that the problem which we are avoiding here is that, essentially, we may be causing Wikipedia to indirectly advocate some sort of political position, which is always problematic. Obviously we're not being blatant about it by trying to use "Arran (Aizerbaijan)" or something, but we're still getting in to political naming constructs... The other Arran is an island, and this is a region in the world, so I don't see why "Arran (region)" would be problematic for anyone.
V = I * R (talk) 18:53, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how that argument could possibly apply to the current suggestions "Arran (Caucasus)" etc.. Does anyone actually dispute that this Arran was in the Caucasus geographic region? What political position could that be advocating? The problem with "Arran (region)" is that it doesn't really disambiguate at all from the other Arran. Any geographical term can apply to a "region", including the Scottish isle. (IOW, "Arran region" could conceivably be applied to the region near the island, so it doesn't really clear things up that much). Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:29, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
In regards to the potential political questions, I don't really know or care (I could imagine, but I won't). The only point is that it could be an issue, and the potential is easily avoided by avoiding the use of proper nouns, as recommended by WP:DAB.
Regarding your concerns with using "region", I understand but I don't think that it's much of an issue. That level of disambiguation would be better corrected by use of a {{hatnote}}, regardless.
V = I * R (talk) 22:35, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Your point that it "could be an issue" doesn't make it an issue; it's actually a total non-issue. As for "avoiding proper nouns", this is where we have to use basic common sense. Where WP:NCDAB mentions to "avoid proper nouns" in the parentheses, it actually says:
For disambiguating specific topic pages by using an unambiguous article title, several options are available:
  1. [...]
  2. A disambiguating word or phrase can be added in parentheses. The word or phrase in parentheses should be:
Note the implication of the word "or". Then, the page also states that there is a distinct protocol for geographic names, covered at WP:NCGN. And one of the examples given for disambiguating on that page, is Eagle River (Colorado) -- the parentheses are because a "natural feature" does not fall into the category of a current Administrative Subdivision, similar to historical regions, as in our case. But a page named "Arran (region)" doesn't actually disambiguate anything at all, which is supposed to be the purpose of the parentheses, so the flaw with that proposal should be obvious. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:40, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Note that this has been copied and replied to at Wikipedia talk:Disambiguation#Avoid proper nouns.
V = I * R (talk) 00:03, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Before the two of you get too involved in this, can I just point out that the Isle of Arran is never referred to as a region. The premise that Arran (region) could be confused for the Scottish isle is a false one. Skinsmoke (talk) 02:27, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I also think that if we call the article Arran (region), it will not be confused with the Isle of Arran, as it is always referred to as an Isle, not a region. Grandmaster 05:40, 14 August 2009 (UTC)


  • I strongly object to "Arran (region)" as a disambiguator, because it is pure confusion, and does not satisfy the requirements for being a true disambiguator. In contradiction of what others here have asserted, I readily find numerous references to the "Arran region" in Scotland, showing that the term there is indeed quite popular. I will give a very few instances of what I mean, below.


I still don't see any real problem with "Arran (Caucasus)" or "Arran (South Caucasus)" as a truly disambiguating name. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:24, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree and reiterate that the point of a disambiguator is only to differentiate this Arran from other Arrans. With "Arran (historical region)" or "Arran (region)", there is a possibility (albeit remote) that it could be confused the Isle of Arran which is sometimes referred to as a region and itself has a long history. As I also noted above, "Arran, South Caucasus" doesn't present this problem but it is unnecessarily specific and could imply that there is another Arran in the North Caucasus. "Arran (Caucasus)" shows that the article is not about the isle of Scotland and is the most succinct phrasing. (WP:NCDAB says: "If there are several possible choices for disambiguating...choose whichever is simpler.") — AjaxSmack 15:04, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not convinced by the spam websites you quoted (would be more impressed if they were some sort of official tourist site), but I am convinced with the reference to a geological Arran Region. Effectively rules out Arran (region) I would say. Skinsmoke (talk) 16:22, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok then, it is either "Arran (Caucasus)" or "Arran (South Caucasus)". I still prefer a more specific option of "Arran (South Caucasus)", I don't think it would imply that there's another Arran in the North Caucasus. But if everyone else supports a less specific option, that is ok with me. Grandmaster 06:52, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Yea, since "region" intersects with a geologic name then that's pretty much out. I agree that the choice then become "Arran (Caucasus)" or "Arran (South Caucasus)". I think I'm with AjaxSmack's opinion on the use of "Arran (Caucasus)", though... although, I certainly do not feel strongly about it. Part of the equation, for me, is the question "Is this reasonably likely to prevent the question from recurring?" I think that the use of proper nouns does as disambiguators generally does not help to resolve these issues long term, but barring anything better I don't really see a choice in this case.
There are synonyms for "region", however. "Arran (territory)", for example.
V = I * R (talk) 07:29, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Not sure about Arran (territory). To my mind Territory infers some kind of legal geopolitical status like Northwest Territories, Northern Territory or Wyoming Territory, which Arran certainly doesn't have/hasn't had. Skinsmoke (talk) 12:26, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
I would tend to agree, but I wanted to at least offer it as a choice. My primary concern is that almost any proper noun that is used here (or in disambiguators in general) has the potential to incite conflict between editors. In this particular instance invariably some political event will occur at some point down the road and we'll end up right back here simply because some group of people don't like the connotations of the terminology (It likely won't be us specifically back here, but still...). I still actually think that "region" would be best to use (with the addition of hatnote(s), and considering the way that search works, I don't think that it presents a likely problem for readers). I'm willing to see the problem with it however, which is why I'm mentioning synonyms.
V = I * R (talk) 20:46, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.