BĀZĀR “market (place),” Middle Persian wāzār (wʾcʾr), Armenian vačaṟ, Sogdian wʾcrn, wʾcn “street,” hence bāzargān (Arm. vačarākan) “merchant”; Sasanian inscription of Šāpūr I on the Kaʿba-ye Zardošt, Mid. Pers. (1. 35) wʾcʾlpt “master of the bāzār,” Parth. (1. 28) wʾšrpty, Gk. (1. 66) agoranomou. The word is possibly to be derived from *uahā-čā/ărana- “*market” (cf. Pers. bahā “price”), from IE. *ṷes- in OInd. vasnám “price, worth,” Latin vēnum, cf. French vendre, etc. See W. B. Henning, Ein manichäisches Bet und Beichtbuch, APAW, 1936, no. 10, p. 116 (= Selected Papers I, Acta Iranica 14, p. 530), s.v. wʾcʾrgʾn; I. Gershevitch, A Grammar of Manichean Sogdian, Oxford, 1954, par. 399 (and elsewhere); Bailey, Dictionary, p. 274 s.v. bahoysana- “market” (the Khotanese form appears to be from *ṷahā-ṷazana-); A. Maricq, “Res Gestae Divi Saporis,” Syria 35, 1958, p. 331 (repr. in Classica et Orientalia, Paris, p. 73); Mayrhofer, Dictionary III, p. 127.
Bāzār has three basic meanings: 1. a market day, usually once a week, when farmers bring their wares to the market to sell; 2. a fair held at specific times; and 3. the physical establishments, the shops, characterized by specific morphology and architectural design.
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
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