Re: rex, ra_s.t.ra, nation

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 16832
Date: 2002-11-22

The verb root is PIE *(h3)re(:)g^- 'rule, govern', probably following
the pattern *ré:g^-ti (3sg.)/*rég^-nti (3pl.). Hence Vedic 3sg.
ra:s.t.i, which shows the characteristic regular development of the
combinations *-k^t- and *-g^t- > pre-IA *-s^t- > IA -s.t.-. Another
special development is <-t.> as the word-final reflex of *-k^s <-- *-
g^-s (Skt. ra:t.).

Likewise, <ra:s.t.ra-> (which was practically synonymous with ra:jya-
< *re:g^-jo-m) is derived from *re:g^- plus the suffix *-tlo-/*-tro-.
The original meaning was 'the domain of a tribal king',
i.e. 'country, district, kingdom', etc. That's what we find in the
Rigveda, but the word developed also the collective meaning 'the
king's subjects', hence 'people, nation'.


--- In cybalist@..., "S.Kalyanaraman" <kalyan97@...> wrote:
> I understand from Bartleby etyma that the IE root reg- had
> lengthened-grade form *re_g-, Indo-European word for a tribal king
> and that the root is cognate with Reichsmark, from Old High German
> and Latin rex, king, Sanskrit ra_ja_.
> Perhaps, historical and comparative linguistics will explain as to
> when the concept of 'nation' emerged in IE history.
> How is the form, ra_s.t.ra (nation) used in the R.gveda explained?
> I request help from members on bibliographical references where
> evolution of polity is discussed further. I tried to search the
> archives of the list and could not find messages on this IE root.
> Maybe, I have missed something.