The Greek word 'Magoi'

Date: Wed Nov 06 1996 - 10:12:59 EST*ma/gos

Dear friends at B-Greek,
        I am currently trying to understand the etymology of the Greek word 'Magos'; this word appears only in a
couple of instances, and its scarceness makes me wonder if the word is even Greek in origin. While searching
the Perseus project (q.v. above URL) I came up with the following results:

> Magos [a^], ou, ho, ti=PMag.Par. Magian, one of a Median tribe, Hdt.
> 1.101, Str. 15.3.1: hence, as belonging to this tribe,
> 2. one of the priests and wise men in Persia who interpreted
> dreams, Hdt. 7.37, al., Arist.Fr. 36, Phoen.1.5, Ev.Matt.2.1.
> 3. enchanter, wizard, esp. in bad sense, impostor, charlatan,
> Heraclit.14, Soph. OT 387, Eur. Orest. 1498 (lyr.), Plat. Rep.
> 572e, Act.Ap.13.6, Vett. 74.17: also fem.,
> Luc.Asin.4, AP 5.15 (Marc. Arg.).
This information is not that much different from what the 9th.ed of LSJ also says. The problem is that in
either case, I do not see any entry explaining the etymology of 'Magoi.' The second entry says that 'Magoi'
were wise men in Persia. Question: If this is of any help a) what language did the ancient Persians speak? b)
Does the word in Ancient Persian for 'wise men' transliterate into Magoi?

PS: I did my homework without the use of Columbia University or Union Seminary, NY

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