Toponyms in Linear A Texts: ma.di

· Toponyms, Trade Destinations

ma.di |

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HT 3, 69, 85, 97, 118 (HT Scribes 3, 7, 9, unknown)


KN As 603+, Db 1168+ (Scribes 103, 117)

  • 蠱 (maji) | (1) charmed or cursed (arch.); (2) something that bewilders; something that leads one astray; the work of demons
  • 真風 (maji) | southerly breeze, true wind
  • Μηδί(ς) (Medis) | a Median woman

[Ancient Media or Madi, Iran]

As indicated by Μηδίς, an early name for Iran was Media, the home of the Medes (from Old Persian Māda-). It is believed that the Medes arrived in the area during the second millennium BCE and practiced a form of pre-Zoroastrian Mazdaism, the followers of which were called magi. This word is found at the roots of many Greek words, such as magic; cf. the archaic 蠱 maji “charmed and cursed”. Tradition, as stated in the Jesus myth, knows the magi as the “wise men from the East; cf. singular μάγος (magos or magus).  The demonic aspect is underscored in the root, AB *80 MA.

The Medes, as maji, were known for their medical arts, as distinguished in the Zend-Avesta, the primary Zoroastrian text. These arts included herbalism, incantation, and surgery. Cf. the LinB ma-di-qo > Μηδικός (medikos or medicos) “the Median affairs”, which appears to be at the root of medic, medical, and medicine. Moreover, μαγικός (magikos) “fit for the Magians, magical” may be deemed an alternate pronunciation of ma-di-qo. In this manner, the close alliance between magic and medicine becomes readily apparent. The magical aspect is further developed in Medea, who was devoted to Hecate and who was among the greatest sorceresses in Greek mythology. The myth explains how Medea’s son, Medus, became the king of the country that would eventually be called Media; cf. ma-di-je [TH Fq series] and ma-di-jo [KH Z 3].

Finally, it is not clear whether ma.di refers to ancient Media or to Madi, Iran, which may well be at the heart of the ancient centers for learning. Today, despite its 730 medical establishments, the World Health Organization ranks Iran’s health care at 58 and its health-system performance at 93. Nevertheless, traditional Iranian medicine is currently being reevaluated in the context of modern evidence-based medicine.

As for the Japanese references to wind, Iran is the sole producer of wind turbines in the Middle East and is a member of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Alternate possibility: Ma’adi (Meidum), Egypt.


  1. Ancient Iranian Medicine. Ret. on 08 Jan 2013.
  2. Health care in Iran. Ret. on 19 Jan 2013.
  3. Magi. Ret. on 08 Jan 2013.
  4. Medea. Ret. on 19 Jan 2013.
  5. Medes. Ret. on 08 Jan 2013.
  6. Wind power in Iran. Ret. on 08 Jan 2013.

Entry added on 03 Jun 2012
Updated on 19 Jan 2013 * 08 Mar 2017

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