GAUB(A)RUVA, Old Persian personal name, spelled g-u-b-ru-u-v (DB IV 84 etc.) and reflected in Elamite Kam-bar-ma, Babylonian Gu-ba-ru(-ʾ) (DB etc.), Ku-bar-ra (DNc 1), Gu-ba(r)-ri, etc., Aramaic gwbrw (not gwbrwh, as restored in the past), Greek Gōbrýās, Gōbrýēs, and Latin Gobryas. The reading of the Old Persian form cannot be ascertained with reliability, mainly because the Babylonian form suggests an original with -bar- and the Greek rendering is just against this. As to the etymological interpretation one has to admit that the second element of the name (the first one obviously being Iran. *gau- “cow, ox, cattle”) is also rather doubtful. Starting from a reading Gau-baruva-, one may compare YAv. -baoruua- = Vedic -bharva- and translate the entire compound as “eating cattle,” more exactly “chewing cattle” or “having cattle (or beef) for food” (Schindler, p. 339; Schmitt, p. 72; Huyse, pp. 169-70); but a reading Gau-bruva- may lead to supposing Iran. *brū- “eyebrow” or some other possibility (see Werba, pp. 136-138).



Ph. Huyse, “Die Namen der sechs Mitverschworenen des Dareios im Liber memorialis des Lucius Ampelius,” Acta Orientalia Belgica 7, 1992, pp. 159-171.

J. Schindler, “Zur avestischen Kompositionslehre: .- ‘groβ’,” in G. Cardona and N. H. Zide, eds., Festschrift for Henry Hoenigswald, Tübingen, 1987, pp. 337-48.

R. Schmitt, ed., The Bisitun Inscriptions of Darius The Great: Old Persian Text, Corpus Inscr. Iran., London, 1991.

C. Werba, “Die arischen Personennamen und ihre Träger bei den Alexanderhistorikern,” Ph. D. diss., Vienna, 1982, pp. 135-38.

(Rüdiger Schmitt)

Originally Published: December 15, 2000

Last Updated: February 3, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. X, Fasc. 3, p. 331