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There are several types of Yauna in the Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions:

(1) Yaunβ in general: the same as the Greeks known as "Ionians", i.e., those living in Asia Minor. They can already be found in the Behistun Inscription, when the Persian rule had not yet reached Europe. This identification is 100% certain.

(2) Yaunβ takabarβ, the 'Greeks with shield-shaped hats'. First mentioned in DNa ( ), where they are distinguished from the "normal" Yaunβ: an almost certain reference to the Macedonian sunhats.

(3 and 4) "The Yaunβ, near and across the sea": another division, for the first time found in DSe ( ) and in a slightly different form in the Daiva Inscription by Xerxes (XPh: ). The obvious reading is "the Asian Yauna and the European Yauna", i.e., -again- Asian Greeks and Macedonians.

On the other hand, Persian inscriptions are fairly stereotypical, and the fact that there is a small difference between the precise wording of DSe and XPh suggests that there is a difference. Perhaps, there is a difference between the "Yauna across the sea" and the sunhat-Yaunβ. If this is correct, the Yauna across the sea must be either Cypriot Greeks (but why didn't Darius, who seems to have subdued Cyprus, mention them?) or the Thessalians, Boeotians, and Athenians - nations that Xerxes could claim to have conquered.

(5) There is a seal from the age of Xerxes ( ) in which the great king defeats someone looking like a Yauna. It is unique, because a second man appears to have a hand in the killing, and this man looks like a Yauna. Is this the Macedonian king Alexander who helps killing a Thessalian/Boeotian/Athenian??

Such instances are extremely rare since only a handful of original Persian texts have survived.There are of references by Darius I in the Behistun Inscription to Sardis (OP Sparda), Ionia (OP Yauna) and Cappadocia (OP Katpatuka). There are also a couple of statements concerning the Greeks and their tribes in the Babylonian tablets.

Removed sentence on early Buddhist mention of Yona[edit]

I have removed the sentence from the introduction, " The direct identification of the word "Yavana" with the Greeks at such an early time (6th-5th century BCE) can be doubted." It is weasel words: anything can be doubted. Moreover, the link provided, to an old reference work, did not really make the same argument. In a footnote, the author questioned also the identification of the ashokan Yona with the Greeks, so the problem for him was not the earliness of the passage. There has been some scholarly discussion of this point, most recently by Analayo, so if necessary a brief paragraph with modern references should be included. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bhikkhu Sujato (talkcontribs) 01:31, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Request for a reference about the possibility that Yuan <Yona[edit]

I have often wondered about the statement in the article on Dayuan that: "It has also been suggested that the name “Yuan” was simply a transliteration of the words “Yona”, or “Yavana”, used throughout antiquity in Asia to designate Greeks (“Ionians”), so that Dayuan (lit. “Great Yuan”) would mean "Great Ionians"."

Can anyone please give me a reference for this statement? Many thanks, John Hill 03:27, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Ethnic Greeks?[edit]

Just wondering if there's any information around on whether these Yavanas were greeks, or rather Hellenicized peoples of kingdoms like Bactria? Does the term (in the Indian context) refer specifically to Greeks, in the ethnic sense, or any Hellenicized peoples?

Maitreya 12:49, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

"Japanese word yonaka"??[edit]

Is the article suggesting that the Japanese word yonaka is at all related to the word yona? The article is correct in that it is composed of the words yo, "night" and naka, "middle", i.e. midnight! By Occam's Razor it seems strange to connect it with Yona. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 5 January 2008 (UTC)


Don't anybody laugh, but I'm not entirely convinced by any of the explanations offered (as a result of an admittedly short search of <5 minutes just now) for the etymology of "yankee," although frankly I thought there'd be something better than than what I found (see yankee). -- Sugarbat (talk) 02:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

But what's that got to do with Yona? -- Zsero (talk) 10:11, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry; I didn't think that needed illustrating? Obviously I'm wondering whether "yankee" is an etymological cousin of "yona." Sugarbat (talk) 17:29, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Huh? How would an Indian term for Greece turn into an English term for English and Dutch settlers of New England? What possible connection could there be? Why would you even think they're at all related? -- Zsero (talk) 00:11, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Am I mistaken in my assumption that human languages, themselves, are related in all sorts of ways? See below, for a great example ("gairaigo," or loan-word - a non-Japanese word used in transliterated [phonetic] form by Japanese). An English equivalent would be something like "cipher" (şifr - Arabic). An Indian "gairaigo" is -- yes, "yona (people from Ionia)." English, itself, is *full* of not just Latin, Greek, and, going back even further, Sanskrit root appropriations, but also, in many, many cases, the Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit words are used verbatim without any alteration from their original forms (see "actor," "sinister," and "cunt [1]"). In my opinion it's not farfetched at all to seek a possible relationship, therefore, between a word used in contemporary English and a word whose origin is Greek ("Ionia") via Indian transliteration ("yona"). Instead, it seems odd to me that you (or anyone expressing an interest in linquistics/etymology) would argue otherwise. :\ Where exactly, for another example, do you think English speakers/the Western world at large got their numerals? We do occasionally use Latin number characters, but conventionally we prefer to use the ones that came from - OMG - India! Crazy. Too, guess who invented the math we moderns like best, for extra credit. And stop being a ding dong. Sugarbat (talk) 23:50, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
[Later] I'm sorry for getting personal; I shouldn't have called you a ding dong. I meant ‏صوت الناقوس. Sugarbat (talk) 03:21, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

In other news, who else thinks it's weird that the Japanese word for "thank you (arigato)" is almost identical to the Portuguese (obrigado)? What's that about? -- Sugarbat (talk) 02:23, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

See Gairaigo#Gairaigo Misconceptions -- Zsero (talk) 10:11, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Neat -- thank you. :) Sugarbat (talk) 17:30, 29 April 2008 (UTC)