Nomenclature: Confusing “errors” with linguistics


We must admit that the discussion in this section is picayune. Lendering states:


“I will not digress on the spelling errors, topographical mistakes, and logical fallacies…”


Actually Lendering does digress. Ironically that digression exhibits a number of “topographical mistakes and logical fallacies”. In note 10 he claims “mistakes” such as:

Oriontes for Orontes (p.54), Atoosa for Atossa (p.74), Nochus for Nothus (p.88), Longimans for Longimanus (p.297).

This is of interest as Lendering believes that the spellings he cites are the only correct ones in the literature. One example is: Atoosa versus Atossa.  Atoosa is the Iranic phonology for the term. There is no phonological basis for suggesting that only Lendering’s version - Atossa – is correct. The same may be said of [Mehrdad/Mithradates; Gotarzes/Godarz, etc.]. Farrokh consults original Persian sources, so he transliterates the phonology as closely as possible as permitted by Latin-based (English) orthography. His book is in English which does not allow him to use Persian (Arabic-based) script to express the Iranic linguistic conventions. Lendering provides no linguistic (phonological to orthographic) basis as to why only his version of the term is the correct one. This makes his allusion to Farrokh’s “spelling errors, topographical mistakes” void of linguistic validity.   

Lendering may be applying a Eurocentric application of terminology towards Iranic names. There is nothing wrong with this as long as it is recognized that this is not the only “correct” version for the Iranic terminology. The Iranian term for Gotarzes is Godarz or Goodarz; Iranian scholars do use the Hellenecized version of “Gotarzes”. Farrokh is simply attempting to display the Iranic conventions as closely as possible for accuracy. That convention is being recognized among contemporary Greek and western scholars. Lendering confuses the Iranian phonology/orthography for historical Iranic terms as “errors”.

As stated in the beginning of this section Lendering's citations of "errors" are picayune. Note few examples of what Note just one example below:

"Nochus/Nothus": Lendering states that Nochus is incorrect. He may be unaware that one of the "traditional" ways of citing the term is Nochus, although this does not mean that it is the only way 18th century German historian, Siegmund Jacob Baumgarten, for example cites this exact term in p.224, of his "Sammlung von Erleuterungsschriften und Zusätzen zur algemeinen Welthistorie" (Published in Halle 1747). One also=2 0finds references to "Ochus" in=2 0the literature (Henry Burgess (editor), 1854, XIII, Journal of Sacred Literature, p.378).

While an exhaustive list of Lendering's issues with other "errors" and geographical locations may be compiled, the real focus however is again the transcription of phonology to graphemes (letters). Lendering is apparently suggesting that only his version is correct and that this supersedes all other citations (past and present). There is no linguistic or academic basis however for substantiating Lendering's views.