The article “Common Origin of Croats, Serbs and Jats” has been written by Samar Abbas and published in the journal: Jat Jyoti, Vol.4 no.11 (Nov. 2003) p.13-18 (Magazine of the World Jat Aryan Foundation, 248, Ram Krishna Vihar, 29, IP Extension, Delhi-110 092).
Kindly note that the pictures/illustrations and accompanying descriptions do not appear on the original journal article by Samar Abbas.
Croats as Hrvati, Haravaitii, Arachosians or Sarasvatians, descendants of the ancient inhabitants of the Harauti province & the Haravaiti or Sarasvati River. Their mention on legendary inscriptions of Darius the Great. Croatian flag based on the chessboard, Croatian religion derived from primordial Iranic Sun-worship. Common origin of Croats and Serbs. Their relations with the Sarmatians, Saura Matii or Surya Madas, the Solar Medes. False claims of The Indian Express refuted. Scythian or Saka origin of Jats. Consequent commmon origin of Jats, Croats and Serbs. Genetic proof for the same is presented.
It is unfortunate that Dr. Sahib Singh Verma, Union Labour Minister, was not allowed to attend the recent World Jat Conference in Belgrade (“Sahib Singh wanted to visit Serbia to meet fellow Jats, PM put his foot down and spiked his bonding-in-Belgrade plans”, Indian Express, 21/9/2003). Sad indeed, because there actually do exist strong connections between Jats, Serbs and Croats. Several historians view these communities as sharing a common ethnic origin as is evident from a study of the following submissions.
Philology: Croats as Hrvatis
Let us commence our investigation with the Croats. The science of linguistics provides several connections with Iran. Thus, the Croats of Croatia call themselves “Hrvati” and their country “Hrvatska”, whence the Croatian domain name on the internet is .hr. The name “Hrvati” is derived from the Avestan province “Harahvaiti” (Greek: “Arachosia”). The scientific philological argument for the identification of the Croats with the Haravatis is given in (Sakac 1955, pp. 33-36; Sakac 1949, 1937)
The Arrival of the Croats to the Adriatic (painting by Oton Iveković) (Source: Public Domain).
As Dvornik notes:
“P.S. Sakac thinks that he discovered the name ‘Croats’ in Darius’ inscriptions from the sixth century B.C. There an old Persian province and people are mentioned, called Harahvaitai, Harahvatis, Horohoati...” (Dvornik 1956, p.26).
After an earlier Persian citation of the Croats cited by Dvornik, there is another ancient mention of the “Horovathos” on two stone inscriptions written in the Greek language and script; this is dated to approximately the year 200 CE (housed in the St. Petersburg Archaeological Museum) (Source: Croatian History). This was discovered at the Black Sea region, in the ancient seaport of Tanais on the Sea of Azov in the Crimea.
Further, the Roman leader Ammanius Marcellinus mentioned that two cities arose in ancient Persia called Habroatis and Chroates. In this regard, Prof. Mandic writes:
“The Croats of the Don, then had to come in ancient times from Iran. On a stone inscription of the King Darius (522-486 B.C.) the nation of the Haruavat-is appears among the 23 subject nations. The Persian sacred books of the Avesti (Vendidad) call that nation the Harahvaiti. The provinces settled by that nation encompassed in those times the southern half of modern south Afghanistan, the whole of Baluchistan and the eastern part of modern Iran. In that ancient province ought we to look for the paleo-fatherland of the modern Croats.” (Mandic 1970, Chapter 1)
Furthermore, the name of the Croatian capital, Zagreb, is related to the Zagros mountain range of Iran. The Dinara mountains in Dalmatia and the Dinar currency may be connected to Mount Dinar (Dene) of Iran. The name Serbia is similar to the Seropi or Surappi River in Elam. Moreover, certain authorities note that the name of the Carpathian mountains is derived from Croatia:
“Here the Iranian Croats mingled with the numerous local Slavic tribes and adopted the Slavic language from them. Meanwhile after the collapse of the Hunnic Empire the Croats organized the local Slavs into a state and gave them their national name. Before the invasion of the Avars ca. 560 the White or Western Croats created along with the Antes a great state extending north of the Carpathians from the upper Elbe to the upper Dniester.” (35: Niederle, 263-266; Dvornik, The Slavs, 277-297) R. Heinzel is of the opinion that the Carpathians of the old Germanic Hervarsaga took their name from the Croats who called them the Harvate mountains i.e. Croatian mountains. (36: Heinzel, 499; Dvornik, op. cit., 284, sq.)” (Mandic 1970, Ch.1)
Indeed, philologists trace the migration of the Croats from Harahvati (Arachosia, Sarasvati) in the following manner using fossil place-names along the path of migration:
- Harahvaiti and Harauvati in Iran and Afghanistan
- Hurravat and Hurrvuhe in Armenia and Georgia
- Horoouathos in Azova and the Black Sea
- Present day Croats Horvati and Hrvati along the Adriatic
It is important to note that the Avesta – the sacred scriptures of the ancient Aryan Zoroastrians – mentions the lands settled by the Iranic peoples. Hapta-Hindawa (ie. the Punjab, “Sapta-Sindhu” in Prakrit) is mentioned in the Avesta amongst the Irano-Aryan lands. Even today, the Punjab is the primary home of the Jats. Since the Croats are named after the Harahvaiti or Sarasvati River, and the Jats are the present-day inhabitants of the lost Harahvaiti, it would appear that Jats and Croats would be very closely related indeed.
Further compelling evidence comes from vexillology (the scientific study of flags). Thus, the Croatian flag is based on the chessboard, whence many Croatian historians consider Croats as eponymic descendants of the Sassanid chess master and minister Bozorgmehr, just as the Kambojas are eponymic descendants of Cambyses and Georgians are viewed as the eponymic descendants of King George II. In this regard, Prof. Mandic notes:
“Ancient Croatian folk art bears eastern and Iranian traces, particularly the Croatian “troplets”. The Croats also brought over from Iran their national coat of arms with its 64 red and white checkers” (11: Strzycowskyi, 15-63, 156-181; Dado-Peranic, op.cit., 21-24; Mandic Hrvatski kockasti grb, 639-652)” (Mandic 1970, Ch.1).
“The organization of the state among the southern Croats with the king, bans and zupans at its head similar to that of the northern Croats; in addition the religion, national customs, dress and arts of the southern Croats bear Iranian traces, just like the Croats in the north” (Mandic 1970, ch.3).
Indeed, a total of 120 Croat and non-Croat university professors and several academics have published 249 research works elaborating the Old Iranic origin of Croats (Tomicic 1998).
A researcher notes similarities in folklore as well:
“There are old Croatian customs and national poems that have been cited as evidencing lingering traces of the fire and sun worship of the Iranians. Fire, the essence of human origin, the sun, and the great boiling cauldron around which the warriors spring in the age old kolo or circle dance, all these are ingredients in the national lore of the Croatian nation. The Croat vilas or fairy witches resemble the peris of Iranian mythology. Then there is the legendary Sviato zov, the personification of strength, a being almost too huge for the earth to bear. He is strongly reminiscent of the “elephant-bodied” Rustum of Persian legend” (Guldescu 1964, pt.1.II).
The circle dance partly seen on c.5000 BCE (?) ceramic piece (Louvre museum) from Cheshmeh Ali in the ancient Rayy region (near modern-Tehran, Iran) (Source: Iran Atlas). Other ceramic pieces like the above can are also housed at the Iran Bastan Museum. The Kurds in general have retained this ancient dance form. Despite vast geographical distances and the passage of thousands of years, variations of this dance can still be seen not only among the Croats but also among several eastern European, Anatolian and Caucasian regions.
Research studies on Croatian clothing reveals similarities with Sassanian and other Iranic styles both in terms of male and female clothing.
(Left) Traditional Croat attire (Source: Folk Costume) and (Right) Mede nobleman at Persepolis (Source: Photo by Moradi, 1971). The lady’s embroidery is almost identical to that seen among tribal elements in Iran, notably Kurds and Lurs. Her shirt nbears striking parallels to those produced by the Kurds of Khorasan in NE Iran and the front panel of her skirt also found among Iran’s tribal elements. Her cap features a peacock feather; the peacock is a sacred entity in ancient Iranian mythology, as seen among present-day Yezidi Kurds. The gentleman’s attire has stylistic parallels among Iran’s nomadic tribes, with his boots reminiscent of ancient soft Iranian riding boots. What of interest however is the man’s ancient Iranian Kandys slung over his shoulder: the Kandys was a sign of nobility in ancient Persia as seen among the Perso-Mede nobility of Persepolis of the Achaemenid Empire thousands of years ago in 6th – 5th Cent. BCE. The kandys is also seen among Gothic nobles from the 5th century CE.
White Croatia, Red Croatia, Green Croatia
The Iranic origin of Croats is in fact the only way one can comprehend the traditional distinction existing between White Croatia, Red Croatia and Green Croatia:
“After the Iranian fashion the ancient Croats ascribed a specific colour to each of the four cardinal points of the compass in the territory which they inhabited. The colour white designated the west, red the south, green the east, and black the north” (10: Saussure, Le Systeme 235-297; idem, L’origine des noms 23; Sakac, op. cit., 37-40) Hence White or West Croatia, Red or South Croatia and Green or East Croatia.” (Mandic 1970, Ch.1)
Further, Dobrovich notes:
“It should be noted that only the thesis of the Iranian origin of the Croats can explain the name “Horvath”, the title of a Croat dignitary Banus, the names “White” and “Red Croatian”, and the Bogumile phenomenon. According to this theory, the Croats were a branch of the Caucasian Iranians, who lived somewhere in the western Caucasus during the era of the Roman Emperors. The Caucasian Anten were another branch of this group.” (Dobrovich 1963)
Let us conclude this section on Croats with the words of the learned Prof. Mandic:
“The oldest historical evidence, the ancient Croatian social organization, religion, national customs and art indicate that the Croats are of Iranian origin.” (Mandic 1970, Concl.)
Sarmatians, Sauro Matii, Surya Madras or Solar Medes
Now, the exact path of migration of the Croats from Iran to the Balkans is still disputed. Some hold that they migrated via Anatolia, others that they migrated via Central Asia and the Pontic region. Some of the latter historians link the Sarmatians with the Croats and Jats. Thus, Dvornik traces both Serbs and Croats back to the Sarmatians of Southern Russia (Dvornik 1956). The Sarmatians were generally identified as Scythians. Thus, Sulimirski, author of “The Sarmatians” also makes mention of the referral of the Emperor’s to the Belochrobati or White Croats who “exhibited certain Sarmatian characteristics …