What is the root of the Armenian word թագավոր (t'agavor) and what is it's relation to Greek ἀγαυός 'illustrious, nobble' and the Phrygian honorific epithet (AKENAN)-ΟΓΑϝΟΣ (ogawos)?

Edit: I am reading that the root of t'agavor is a loan from Pahlavi tāgvar 'crown bearer'. Is that true?

  • Armenian is full of Iranian loanwords, so a Persian loan sounds plausible. I would be a bit wary of equating the Greek and Phrygian items, btw; AFAIK (though I could be wrong) there's no systematic correspondence of Gk. a : Phr. o, and in any case the Phrygian item is part of a compound (possibly correctly divided but possibly not) whose sense, I assume, is far from certain.
    – TKR
    Jan 2, 2015 at 23:32
  • @TKR: Yes you're right about that. There is no systematic correspondence for a and o between Greek & Phrygian. I think that t'agavor is most likely connected to the Persian loan, however I am not fully familiar with the Armenian phonology to judge whether this is a plausible loan.
    – Midas
    Jan 3, 2015 at 9:01

1 Answer 1


The Armenian word was borrowed from Western Middle Iranian (Parthian or Middle Persian) tāg-āwar (or tāg-āwur) “crown bearer”. It is not attested in Old Iranian languages, but one would expect either *tāk-ā-bar-a- (full grade) or *tāk-ā-bṛ-a- (zero grade, which would explain the –or in Armenian). As you can see, this has no real similarity with the Greek ἀγαυός “admirable, noble”. The etymology of the latter is contested.


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