It has been recognized for a long time that the Iranian word āzāta- covers what would seem to us to be two distinct ideas: “free” (not a slave) and “noble” (not a commoner). Avestan has āzāta-, “noble” hvāzāta-, “very noble”; Old Persian *āzāta- is attested by the phrase ’zt šbqtky bmwty, “I free you (a slave girl) at my death”, in an Aramaic document from Elephantine dated in the 38th year of Artaxerxes (427 B.C.). Early Middle Iranian forms are reflected by Hesychius' glosses , i.e. *āzāt-īh, = “freedom”, and i.e. *āzāta- with the Greek plural suffix “the intimates of the (Persian) king”. That the Arsacid Parthians used one and the same word for “free” and “noble” is evident from two passages where Josephus refers to the Parthian élite troops as “free men”. In Middle Persian and Sasanian Parthian texts āzād is extensively attested in both senses, “free” and “noble”, as are numerous derivatives. From Parthian come Armenian azat, “free, noble” and Georgian azat'i, “free”. Sogdian ”z't means “noble”, “free”, and “clear”. Khotanese has āysāta-, “well born” and “free born”. In Neo-Persian, however, āzād has become restricted to “free”, while āzāda is used for “noble”; Persian āzād (ozod, etc.) has been borrowed into most other Neo-Iranian languages, but an independent form has survived in Kurdish aza, “brave”; Ossetic azat, “free”, is perhaps borrowed from Georgian.