The Indo-Europeans whom we find in Mesopotamia (the Kassites and Mitannians) * and in Palestine about 1400 B.C. can hardly have entered western Asia before 2000 B.C. or thereabouts, and it is probable that the Hittites belonged to the same wandering.
Still less foundation exists for the belief, once widely spread, that Bactria was the cradle of the Indo-European race; it was based on the supposition that the nations of Europe had immigrated from Asia, and that the Aryan languages (Indian and Iranian) stood nearest to the original language of the Indo-Europeans.
Whatever the origin of arya-, however, it is clear that it is a word with dignified associations, by which the peoples belonging to the Eastern section of the Indo-Europeans were proud to call themselves.