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Cyrus Shahmiri View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21-Sep-2008 at 16:09

The largest lagoon in Iran is "Mordab-e Anzali" in Gilan province.

http://www.iranvisitor.com/index.php?cID=414&pID=1167 : Mordab, meaning "Dead Water" is the name given to shallow lagoons on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Mordab-e Anzali is the largest of these, located between the cities of Bandar Anzali and Rasht and extending 25km inland. The lagoon is 450 square kilometres of wetlands, part river and part swamp, thick with reeds and lotuses.

There is also a city with this name in Gilan, "Bandar-e Anzali" which means "Anzali Port": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandar-e_Anzali

It seems people of this city themselves believe that "Anzali" has a Greek origin, the Persian website of Anzali: http://www.shahremananzali.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=1581

It says the Greek word was "Anzalia" (انزلیا) which meant "Lagoon" (Mordab "Dead Water" in Persian) or "Harbour" (Bandar in Persian).

I found some similar Greek words, for example a Planet "Azolla" http://aquaflora.dk/plant-e/besk/azol-car.html "Azolla origins from Greek 'azo' = drought and 'ollyo' = death, and refer to the death of the plant, when drying out." I think Greek "Death from Drought" can be similar to Persian "Dead Water". Anzali is also famous for "Azolla" -> http://www.iran-daily.com/1384/2272/html/panorama.htm (Massive spread of the exotic floating water fern, Azolla, in Anzali Wetland will soon be brought to a standstill, director general of Gilan Department of Environment, Shabanali Nezami, said.)

"Anzalia" is also similar to Greek origin words "Anatolia" or "Ankara", if the second one meant "Anchor" then it could be related to "Harbour".

There was no "l" sound in Old Persian and Avestan languages, so it could be changed to "Anzaria" (l->r) in these languages, Assyrian have mentioned a city with this name in this region. -> The Annals of Sargon: http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Sargon.html (paragraph 22)
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khshayathiya View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2009 at 13:56
I could not locate any Greek word "Anzalia". The closest I could get was "Ankhialos" (reference here), which means "close to the sea".

"Anatolia" means literally "land from which <the sun> rises" or "Easterly land". "Ankara" is the modern form of the ancient "Ankyra", which does, indeed sound like the word for "anchor". That is probably just a popular etymology. It is very likely that there was an older settlement in the area, whose name sounded similarly, and that the Greeks simply replaced the unfamiliar original form with something that sounded familiar to their ears. There is a legend explaining the name of the city: the Galatians had defeated a sea-borne expedition sent by the Ptolemies and took the anchors of the ships to their capital as spoils of war. That legens is, however, transparently ficticious.
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