Gotische voor-christelijke kalender uit de vierde eeuw na Christus

afbeeldingen van één der bokalen uit pagina 68 en 72 van Rybakov's artikel

afbeeldingen van één der bokalen uit pagina 68 en 72 van Rybakov’s artikel

Niet alle ontdekkingen uit de vormalige Sovjet-Unie zijn bij wetenschappers in het Westen voldoende onder de aandacht gekomen. Tot deze ontdekkingen zou ik het artikel kalendar IV v. iz zemli Poljan (“vierde-eeuwse kalender uit het land van de Poljane”) uit 1962 van B. A. Rybakov willen rekenen. In dit artikel analyseert Rybakov op nauwgezette wijze ornamentele tekeningen op de rand van twee bokalen die aan de vierde-eeuwse Chernjakhov-cultuur van de huidige Oekraïne toebehoren. Zijn conclusie was dat deze tekeningen niet louter ornamenteel waren. De tekeningen op de zijdes en op de rand van de bokalen zijn onderverdeeld in twaalf vrijwel gelijke segmenten waarbij enkele van de symbolen die op de bokalen gevonden zijn, verbonden kunnen worden met betekenisvolle symbolen in het houtsnijwerk van negentiende-eeuwse Russische boerderijen.

Een voorbeeld hiervan is een tekening van een achtbladige bloem die in de dakbalken van boerderijen werd gesneden om de macht van de profeet Ilja aan te roepen en zodoende de bliksem af te weren. Ilja had immers in het Russische volksgeloof de plaats van de Slavische dondergod Perun ingenomen en men geloofde dat Ilja in een bokkenwagen door de lucht reed en met zijn hamer de donder beheerste. Rybakov ging er daardoor ook vanuit dat het voorkomen van deze “bloem” op een van de bokalen een aanwijzing was dat dit symbool de feestdag van de dondergod in het Slavische boerenkalenderjaar weergeeft. Ook de andere symbolen zouden op die manier naar feestdagen in het kalenderjaar verwijzen.

Ondanks dat de specifieke betekenis van de symbolen omstreden is en niet iedereen Rybakov’s heidens-Slavische verklaringen onderschrijft, lijkt de interpretatie van de tekeningen op de bokalen als weergaves van het kalenderjaar te kloppen. Zij wordt gesteund door de systematiek van de markeringen en de onwillekeurige verdeling van de verschillende symbolen over de twaalf segmenten. De interpretatie heeft hierdoor in de Russische wetenschap de tand des tijds doorstaan en werd in het westen ondermeer aangehaald in professor Linda Ivanits’ Russian Folk Belief uit 1989. In Leo Klein’s Sovjet Archaeology; trends, schools and history uit 2012 wordt Rybakov’s analyse “ingenieus” genoemd en wordt ook vermeld dat Rybakov’s collega, Shchukin, een soortgelijke interpretatie van de ornamentiek als weergaves van het kalenderjaar mogelijk acht (zie Klein 2012: 270-71. Echter, Shchukin merkte terecht op dat Rybakov’s bewering dat de Chernjakhov-cultuur Proto-Slavisch was niet kan kloppen.

In de loop van de twintigste eeuw werd immers duidelijk dat de Chernjakhov-cultuur samen met de Roemeense Sîntana de Mureş-cultuur toebehoorde aan de Germaans-sprekende Goten. Deze Chernjakhov/Sîntana de Mureş-cultuur vormt een exponent van de Poolse Wielbark-cultuur die de materiële resten van de Goten omvat toen zij zich aan de Oostzee bevonden. We kunnen de Wielbark-cultuur dan ook vanaf de tweede eeuw na Christus langs de rivier de Wisla naar het zuiden volgen waarna zij zich afbuigt naar het oosten, richting de Oekraïne. In de Oekraïne gaat de Wielbark-cultuur over in de Chernjakhov/Sîntana de Mureş-cultuur die nu eenduidig aan de vierde-eeuwse Goten die rond de Zwarte Zee woonden, wordt toegeschreven (zie ook Kaliff 2001).

De Chernjakhov-bokalen zijn dan ook met recht als Gotische artefacten te beschouwen. De interpretatie van de ornamentiek als bestaande uit betekenisvolle markeringen die verwijzen naar het kalenderjaar lijkt veelbelovend en wordt in meerdere vakwerken als waarschijnlijk beschouwd. Het lijkt mij dan ook geen brug te ver om te stellen dat indien de Chernjakhov-bokalen daardwerkelijk een kalender herbergen, dit een Gotische kalender zou zijn. De afwezigheid van christelijke symbolen laat de mogelijkheid open dat we hier met een voor-christelijke Gotische kalender van doen hebben. Een voor-christelijke tegenhanger van de kalender die in de Codex Ambrosianus bewaard is, zo men wil.  Het wachten is nu op vakgenoten in het westen om een poging te doen de kalender verder te ontcijferen.

Peter Alexander Kerkhof (Universiteit Leiden)

Bibliografie

 

Ivanits, Linda J.

                1989      Russian Folk Belief, Armonk, New York, London.

Kaliff, Anders

2001      Gothic connections : contacts between eastern Scandinavia and the southern Baltic coast 1000 BC-500 AD, Occasional Papers in Archaeology 26. Uppsala.

Klein, Leo S.

2012      Soviet Archaeology: trends, schools and history; translated from the Russian by Rosh Ireland and Kevin Windle, Oxford (eerste uitgave Russisch origineel 1993).

Rybakov, B. A

                1962      “kalendar’ IV v. iz zemli poljan” Sovetskaja Archeologija 4, Moscow.

Latin monetarius and English minter

early modern minter

early modern minter

The Modern English -er-suffix is marked by an amazing productivity and polysemy in semantic fuctions. Its functions include an agent noun (e.g. ModE worker), instrument noun (e.g. ModE pounder) and patient noun (e.g. ModE sticker). Its pedigree goes back to Common Germanic times and cognates to the English suffix are found in all Old Germanic languages, including the oldest attested literary language, Gothic. The question which is elaborated on in this blogpost concerns the origin of this suffix. Where did the suffix come from and how can we explain the forms in which the suffix pops up in the Germanic languages?

Casaretto (2004: 423) in her Nominale Wortbildung der gotischen Sprache states that the Germanic suffix *-arija-, the ancestor of the English -er-suffix, spread by way of the numerous Latin/Romance loanwords that contained the suffix –ārius (= Rom. *-árjo), e.g. Lat. monētārius “minter”, molinārius “miller”, tolonārius “publican” OHG munizāri, mulināri, zolanāri. In Gothic there are relatively few formations in *­-areis, e.g. Goth. bokareis “scribe”, liuþareis “singer,” which, along with the fact that many agentive formations which appear in Gothic with the suffix *-ja, e.g. Goth. fiskja “fisherman,” are substituted in West-Germanic with *­-arija-, e.g. OE fiscere, point to its later productivity. The quantity of the vowel of the Germanic suffix is the main problem. Whereas most Germanic dialects point to a short *a-vowel, Old High German and its offshoot Middle High German have two suffix variants. The one suffix variant, OHG –eri/-iri / MHG -ere, points to a short a-vowel and the other suffix variant, OHG –āri / MHG -ǣre, points to a long *ā-vowel. For Old High German the vowel length of the suffix -āri is confirmed by circumflex markings in the manuscripts and metrical evidence in Notker and Otfrid. For Middle High German the length of the vowel is confirmed by the preservation of vowel timbre in unaccented position and length marking in the manuscripts. It should be remarked that for Gothic the vowel length in the suffix -areis cannot be ascertained since the Gothic script did not mark vowel length. It is conceivable that the a in the Gothic -areis-suffix was long. Below you will find a table of the different forms of the suffix in the Old Germanic dialects

 

  SUFFIX *-ARIJA-
  Germanic Earlier
     
Goth. -areis < CGm. *-arija-?/*-ārija-
OIc. -ari/-eri < CGm. *-arija-
OE -ere < CGm. *-arija-
OS -ari < CGm. *-arija-
OHG -ari < CGm. *-arija-
OHG -āri < CGm. *-ārija-
MHG -ǣre < OHG –āri

 

 

On the basis of this data, Kluge in his Nominale Stammbildungslehre der altgermanischen Dialecten (1886: 8) reconstructs a Germanic *­-arja-/*-ērja-suffix which he deems to be an inner-Germanic creation (< PIE *-ori̯o-/*-ēri̯o-) paralleled in the Old Irish -aire/-ire-suffix (e.g. OIr. cornaire “horn-player”) and the Old Church Slavonic -arь-suffix (e.g. OCS rybarjь “fisherman”). However, both the Celtic suffix (see De Bernardo Stempel 1999: 347-349) and the Slavic suffix (see Pronk-Tiethoff 2013: 100-101) should be regarded as loans ultimately from Latin/Romance. The Slavic arь-suffix, according to Pronk-Tiethoff, would have reached Slavic from Latin/Romance via a Germanic intermediate stage. The Slavic *a could then be explained by a long Germanic *ā if the suffix was loaned early (Proto-Slavic) or a short Germanic *a if the suffix was loaned later (Common Slavic, 6-8th century CE, after the rise of new timbre oppositions, l.c.).

If we assume that the Gothic suffix -areis contained a short a-vowel, all Germanic languages except Old High German would then point to a Common Germanic suffix *-arija- which might have been loaned from a Latin stage -ārius or a Romance stage *-árjo. Since both in Latin and Romance the vowel would have been pronounced long because of the accent (Ten Brink’s Law) it is surprising that the suffix was borrowed in Germanic with a short vowel. We could speculate that this is due to the fact that at the date of the loan Germanic may only have had long nasalized *ą̄ (< PGm. *-anh-) and a long *ǣ (PGm. *ē1). Therefore Germanic short *a would have been the most logical sound substitution. Otherwise we must assume that most Germanic languages secondarily shortened the ā-vowel in unaccented position as is done by Krahe-Meid (1967: 82-83). This is possible but leaves the doublet found in Old High German unexplained. If we depart from an original borrowing of the suffix as Common Germanic *-arija- the length of the ā-vowel in the OHG suffix -āri can be explained as a later secondary borrowing of the suffix from Romance at a time when West-Germanic did have a long *ā which arose after the loss of the nasal feature of WGm. *ą̄ < *-anh- (see also Casaretto 1999: 423 with reference to Wilmanns 1899: 284 and Henze 1965: 158). It is clear that the Romance donor language cannot have been Gallo-Romance since there we find umlaut of *-arjo to *-ęrjo which happened so early (before the fourth century?) that the *ę was still able to undergo primary diphthongization (cf. ModFr. -ier). Whatever the case, a variant *-ārija- with a long *ā must be reconstructed to account for the Old High German form. In this way, by assuming two stages of borrowing of the suffix, the suffix variants within the Old Germanic dialects can be satisfactorily explained

 

bibliography

Casaretto, Antje

2004      Nominale Wortbildung der gotischen Sprache; die Derivation der Substantive, Carl Winter Verlag, Heidelberg.

 

De Bernardo Stempel, Patrizia

1999      Nominale Wortbildung des älteren Irischen; Stammbildung und Derivation, Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen.

 

Henzen, Walter

                1965      Deutsche Wortbildung, Tübingen.

 

Kluge, Friedrich

1886      Nominale Stammbildungslehre der altgermanischen Dialecte, Sammlung kurzer Grammatiken germanischer Dialecte; Ergänzungsreihe I, Max Niermeyer, Halle.

 

Krahe, Hans et Wolfgang Meid

1967      Germanische Sprachwissenschaft III: Wortbildungslehre, Walter de Gruyter & Co, Berlin.

 

Pronk-Tiethoff, Saskia

2013      The Germanic Loanwords in Proto-Slavic, Leiden Studies in Indo-European, Rodopi, Amsterdam, New York.

 

Wilmanns, W.

1899      Deutsche Grammatik. Gotisch, Alt-, Mittel- und Neuhochdeutsch. 2. Abteilung: Wortbildung. Strassburg. Reprint Berlin, Leipzig: 1922.

Between The Hobbit and Indo-European linguistics

The Dwarf Name Bǫfurr

In the Old Icelandic text known as the Vǫluspá (the vision of the seeress) we find a þyla[1] known as the Dvergatal (Vǫluspá 9-17). This list gives the names of mythical dwarfs, many of which were used by Tolkien in his The Hobbit (1937). One of them is named for example Gandálfr “conjuring elf.” In general however the names of the dwarfs are quite diverse. Some refer to natural phenomena such as the winds and the wind directions (cf. Austri, Vestri) and may hint to the original function of these supernatural beings as nature spirits. Other names refer to attributes of the dwarfs in questions. For example, the name Alþjofr may refer to the dwarfs capacity as a thief or raider, a trait praised in Old Germanic society judging from the popularity of the onomastic element *þeuƀa- “thief” (Kershaw 2000: 56). Among these names we also find the name bǫfurr which does not have an etymological explanation.

I want to propose we connect this name with the Proto-Indo-European root *gwhobh- meaning “smith” which we find in Old Irish gobae, gobenn “smith” < PCelt. *gobasn, *gobasnos and Latin faber  “smith” < PIE *gwhobhro-. The Latin a for older *o might be explained from its phonetic environment, cf. PIE *ghwok(w)- > Lat. fax “torch” (see Blažek 2008: 74). The connection of the Latin word faber “smith” to Armenian darbin “id.” is not compelling since the Armenian word might also be derived from PIE *dhrbh-ino- (PIE *d(h)erbh- “to prepare, to work” cf. Lith. dìrbu, dìrbti “id.”, see Blažek l.c.).

Old Icelandic bǫfurr is a normalized spelling popularized by 20th century editors for the actual form bavör in the Codex Regius and bafur in the Hauksbók (see Bugge 1867: 2). Therefore we cannot establish the operation of u-umlaut which would have secured the Proto-Norse reconstruction *bafur. Nevertheless, an interpretation báförr which is often done to justify an etymology “trembler” (cf. OIc. bifa “to tremble”) is also not compelling, since the Codex Regius and the Hauksbók generally use both <ö> and <u> for the unaccented u in suffixes (Syrett 1994). Both manuscripts also vacillate in the spelling of the u-umlauted a which might be represented by both <a> <o> and <ö> (Harðarson 2001: 83). This means that the normalization Bǫfur is still legitimate, although not exclusively so. Assuming Bǫfurr is the underlying form reflected in the manuscript spellings, we may depart from Proto-Norse *bafur.

Seebold (1967) has established that initial PIE *gwh- could yield *b- in Germanic, e.g. *gwhonōn  (cf. PIE *gwheni̯o- “to kill, to hit” > Gk. θείνω “id.”) > PGmc. *banōn “murderer” (cf. OHG bano, OE bana “id.”), PIE *gwhedi̯ono- > PGmc. *bidjan- (cf. OHG bitten, OE biddan).  Furthermore it is relevant to know that PIE *-bh- > PGmc. *-ƀ- yielded *-f- in Proto-Norse, as in PGmc. *weƀan- “to weave” > OIc. wefa “id.” Proto-Norse *bafur would then reflect Proto-Germanic *baƀur-. This PGmc. *baƀur might very well have evolved out of PIE *gwhobh“smith”. The thematization to a-stem would then have occurred later in the prehistory of Norse.

In Germanic mythology the dwarfs are the smiths par excellence. If a mythological weapon was deemed exceptionally good, it was surely made by the dwarfs (West 2007: 296). The most famous of these mythological smiths was Weland (cf. OIc. vǫlund) whom we know from the Anglo-Saxon Deor poem and the Old Icelandic Vǫlundarkviða. We also encounter Weland in some remarks in Anglo-Latin texts and in the continental Waltharius poem.  It stands to reason that Weland, who is known in Norse mythology as the prince of the elves (i.e. Old Icelandic vísi álfa) was originally also a dwarf (West 2007: 296-97). In Grimm’s Deutsche Sagen (1818, tale 29-44) we also encounter the dwarfs in their capacity of artisans of extraordinary quality. Many encounters with dwarfs in 18th century German folk tales ended with the protagonist acquiring a dwarvish artifact of exceptional beauty. Since the dwarfs were known for their metallurgical skills in Germanic mythology, it would only be logical if one of the dwarfs would be named with an extremely archaic word for smith, namely PIE *gwhobhr-.

Peter Alexander Kerkhof

Bibliography

Blažek, Václav

2008        “Celtic “smith” and his colleagues,” in: Evidence and Counter-Evidence; Essays in honour of Frederik Kortlandt, Volume 1:Balto-Slavic and Indo-European Linguistics, Alexander Lubotsky, Jos Schaeken, Jeroen Wiedenhof eds., Rodopi, New York, Amsterdam, 67-86.

Bugge, Sophus

1867        Sæmundar Edda hins Froða, Norrœn Fornkvæði, Christiana.

Grimm, Jacob et Wilhelm Grimm

1818        Deutsche Sagen, revised edition 1865, Kassel.

Harðarson, Jón Axel

2001        Das Präteritum der schwachen Verba auf -ýia im Altisländischen und verwandte Probleme der altnordischen und germanischen Sprachwissenschaft, Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft, Innsbruck.

Kershaw, Kris

2000      The one-eyed god; Odin and the (Indo-)Germanic Männerbunde, Journal of Indo-European Studies Monograph36 (Washington).

Seebold, E.

1967        “Die Vertretung idg. guh im Germanischen” Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung auf dem Gebiete der indogermanische Sprachen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen.

Syrett, Martin

2012        The unaccented vowels of Proto-Norse, NOWELE supplement series 11, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, Philadelphia.

Tolkien, J.R.R.

1937        The Hobbit or There and Back Again, George Allen & Unwin.

West,  M. L.

2007  Indo-European Poetry and Myth, Oxford University Press, Oxford.


[1] Special thanks to Seán Vrieland (University of Copenhagen) for pointing me to the spelling variants in the manuscripts. A þyla is a list of names containing mythological information

The Celtiberian Lug

Celtiberian

Celtiberian was spoken in the north central meseta of the Iberian peninsula. It was probably the first language to split off from the Proto-Celtic speech area (possibly half way the 1st millenium BCE) and it is by far the most conservative Celtic language. The majority of the inscriptions was engraved in the semi-segmental Iberian script (see Eska 2008). Other inscriptions are written in the Lugano alphabet or in adapted Latin script.

Roman Celtiberia

Peñalba de Villastar

The inscription discussed in this post is found in Peñalba de Villastar which is a paradigmatic mountain sanctuary (see Alfayé et Simon 2013). It is situated on a rocky cliff around 3 km away from the river Turia in one of the border areas of the Iberoceltic cultural sphere. It was discovered in 1908 by J. Cabré during excavations. Into its cliff wall of marl and sand there are numerous incriptions which must have been inscribed during a long period spanning decades. Among these inscriptions we find many epigraphic votiv inscriptions. Because no material finds inform us of the nature of the cult in Peñalba the principal source of information on the the character of the cult in this sanctuary consists of the epigraphic celtiberic writings (see Alfayé). Of special importance is the “gran inscripción” which is treated in this presentation. It presumably dates from the 1st or 2nd c. CE.

gran inscripción

The inscription

The central words that can be understood in this inscription are luguei which occurs twice. The word is regarded to refer to the Celtic deity Lugus (cf. OI Lug, MW llew, Gaul. lugus). Other words are also easily recognizable, for example the verbal forms comeimu and sistat.

PCelt. *Lugus

Lugus is known as a god in theophoric toponyms in Gauls, most notably Lugudunum (cf. ModFr. lyons). It is possible the place name Leiden is a Germanic reinterpretation of another Lugudunum (i.e. Gmc. *lagiþūna : Celt. Lugudunom). The worship of Lug is also known from the Chamalières tablet where the Gaulish formula Luge dessumi iis “to Lugus I prepare them” is found (see Koch 1994: 2-3). The etymology of the name is unclear. If it were derived from PIE *leuk- we would not expect lenition in the Gaulish forms.

The Old Irish Lug, Lug macc Eithliu (Lug, the son of Eithliu), is named as the euhemerized father of Cu Chulainn in the Tain Bo Cuailgne who was at one point ollam (< PCelt. *olyosamos) “the prime king” of whole Ireland. although strictly speaking this tale is only known in a Middle Irish version (Puhvel 1987: 172). In their medieval tales the Irish told that he was one of the Tuatha Dé Danann “people of the goddess Dana”. In Medieval Irish they called him samildanach “the many skilled,” Lonnbeimnech “fierce striker” or lamfada “long hand” and in Welsh as Llew llawgyffes “Lug the deft handed.” Lug’s prime attribute is a spear which is named in multiple mythological tales. In the Lebor Gabala (the book of the taking of Ireland) it is mentioned that Lug invented the riding whip and horseback racing. The name of the Welsh hero lloumarch < PCelt. *lugumarkos from the Canu Llouwarch Hen (the song of Lloumarch the Old) confirms Lug’s connection to horses (see Meid 1996: 16), which would be paralleled in other Indo-European traditions, e.g. OIc. jálkr “stallion” for Óðinn.

In Old Irish the feast name lugnasad  (1st of august) is attested which even made its way into modern Irish as lughnasadh. During this feast a procession was made to a mountaintop (see Meid 1996: 11-12). Meid takes this as an indication that Lug was especially associated with mountains. Plinius the Elder describes a statue of Mercury erected by the Gaulish Averni tribe on top of the Puy de Dôme in the Auvergne. According to the interpretatio Romana this may very well have been Lug.

Meid’s reading, analysis and translation[1]

eniorosei                 uta          tigino      tiatunei   tre           caias       to             luguei     araianom comeimu.

Dat.sg.                      conj.        gen.sg.    dat.sg.     prep.       acc.pl.     prep.       dat.sg.     gen.pl.         1.pl.pres.

for the mountainous one and to the ? of the master we come together through fields to Lug of the Araians.

 

eniorosei equisui   =que        ocris        olcas        togias      sistat       luguei,           tiaso        togias,

dat.sg.     dat.sg.     post.pos. nom.sg.   gen.sg.    acc.p.      3.sg.pres.   dat.sg. gen.sg.    acc.pl.

for the mountainous one and the equestrian one, for Lugus, the head of the community sets proper coverings, the coverings of ?.

 

Ködderitzsch’ reading, analysis and translation

eniorosei                 uta          tigino      tiatunei   erecaias to             luguei     araianom comeimu.

Dat.sg.                     conj.        gen.sg.    dat.sg.     acc.pl.     prep.       dat.sg.     acc.sg.     1.pl.pres.

for Eniorosis and to the Tiatū of Tigino we bestow furrows, to Lug a field.

 

eniorosei equisui   =que        ogris        olcas        togias      sistat       luguei,               tiaso        togias,

dat.sg.     dat.sg.     post.pos. nom.sg.   gen.sg.    acc.p.      3.sg.pres.   dat.sg. gen.sg.    acc.pl.

for Eniorosis and to Equaesos, for Lugus, Ogris sets coverings of the arable land, the coverings of the scorched land.

Wordlist

Celtib. *eni-oros “the mountainous one?” or PN

Celtib. *uta “and” (cf. Skt. utá)

Celtib. *tigi(r)no “master”? (cf. OI tigern, MW teyrn “master’?) or toponym

Celtib. *tre “through” (cf. OI tre, OW trui)  

Celtib. *caias “hedges, fields” (cf. Gaul. caio “hedge”, MW cae “field”)

Celtib. *erecaias “furrows” < PCelt. *φerkaya- < PIE *perḱ- (cf. ModW rhych, Lat. porca, ModE furrow)

Celtib. *to “to” (cf. OI to/do, OW di “id.”)

Celtib. *luguei “to Lug” (cf. OI Lug, MW llew, Gaul. Lugus)

Celtib. *araianom “of the araians” [ethnonym]

Celtib. *arianom “a field” (cf. OI ar “plowed land, OI airid “to plow”)

Celtib. *comeimu “we go” (cf. OI ethae “gone”, p.p.p. to OI téit “to go”)

Celtib. *com-meimu “we bestow” < PIE *mei̯- (cf. OI moín < PCelt. moini-, Skt. máyate “exchanges,” Lat. mūnus < *moinos)

Celtib. *ekwisui “to the equestrian one” (cf. OI ech, MW ebawl, Gaul. epos “horse”)

Celtib. *-kwe “and” (cf. OI -ch, Lat. -que, Hitt. –kku, Skt. –ca, Gk. -τε, Goth. -uh “id.”)

Celtib. *okris “border, edge” (cf. MI ochair “border, edge”, Gk. ὄκρις “cliff” see Beekes 2009: 1066, Matasovic 2009: 28) or personal name Ogris (latter option sounds more convincing).

Celtib. *olka “field” < PCelt. *φolkā “id.” (cf. Gallo-Rom. olca [Gregory of Tours], OFr. ouche, Prov. olca “arable land”, see Meyer-Lübke 1911: 446) (convincing etymology).

Celtib. *togias (cf. OI tuige “cover, protection” < PCelt. *togyā, see Matasovic 2009: 376). (convincing etymology).

Celtib. *sistat “set up” (cf. OI sissidir “stands,” Lat. sistit “to cause to stand, set up)

Meid’s dubious assertions

Notable in Meid’s analysis is the reading of the single line in ?recaias as a whereas most scholars read it as an e. He also deems the spelling of and to be completely random, which in some cases has consequences for the etymology. Especially striking about Meid’s interpretation is that there are no real personal names in the inscription, which would be uncommon for an inscription of a votive nature.

Celtib. *eni-oros (see next paragraph)

Celtib. *okris “head” (metaphoric sense of “top, edge” nowhere attested elsewhere in Celtic)

Celtib. *olokā “community” < PCelt. *olyo- + - “entirety” (formation nowhere attested)

Celtib. *tiaso “of the guild” (cf. Gk. θίασος, Lat. *thiasus “bacchic revel, religious guild”, see Beekes 2009: 548). (Assumes quite a severe loan of a terminus technicus for a cultic phenomenon into Celtiberia).

Ködderitzsch’ dubious assertions

Notable in Ködderitzsch’s analysis is his treatment of the VRVC-sequences which he interprets as containing an anaptyctic vowel. Especially in inscriptions anaptyctic vowels often turn up, so this does not need to be a problem. Since his etymologies are generally solid, the postulation of the anaptyxis seems justified. The only problem to my mind would be his analysis of the word below:

Celtib. *tiaso “burnt land” < PCelt. *teφoso (cf. OI tee “hot,” Lat. tepeo “to warm”). [Meid's interpretation here is actually better. Why did PCelt. *eφo have to yield Celtib. *ia]

Comments on Celtib. *eni-orosei

Meid suggests that the word Celtib. eniorosei is a compound of PCelt. eni < PIE *h1eni (cf. OI ingen “girl” < PCelt. *enigenā and OI inis “island” < PCelt. *eni-stā) and a purported PCelt. *oros “elevation.” However, the only cognate to this word would be Gk. ὄρος[2] “mountain, height” < *h3eros (see Beekes 2009: 1109). Although a parallel formation in Celtic seems possible, one would like to have more cognates. The Greek word is an s-stem, i.e. Gk. nom. ὄρος, gen. ὄρεος.  Meid’s analysis of the apophony of the s-stem would be secondary. The Gk. word suggests PIE nom. *h3ér-os, gen. *h3r-es-os. In order to get to Celtib. *eniorosei, we would have to posit generalization of the root vocalism and generalization of the o-grade suffix. However possible, this is not the simpelest scenario. Moreover, Meid´s suggestion that it would simply be possible to add an i-theme to an already completes s-stem seems ad hoc (Meid 1996: 13). We should note that a name Orosis is attested on a Iberoceltic coin. Probably it is either a personal name or a toponym. Either way, its etymology is unclear and its connection to Gk. ὄρος is possible, yet difficult. Therefore the assertion that we are dealing with an epithet meaning “mountainous” is dubious at best.

conclusion

As with many inscriptions, the acceptation of certain etymologies for specific words is crucial for its overal interpretation. For this inscription we have two very different interpretations. Meid deems it to be an inscription which informs us about a cultic procession by a college of devotees (the thiasos) to a mountainous god, “Lug the Mountain Dweller,” an image we know very well from Vedic and Germanic evidenc. Ködderitzsch however holds it to be a votive inscription concerning the dedication of land on behalf of a certain third party to Lug. It is hard to tell who is right. We can remark that Ködderitzsch is overal more consistent in his etymologies than Meid. Especially his insistance that we must be dealing with atleast a couple of personal names (like in any other votive inscription) is quite convincing. If his interpretation is largely correct this unfortunately means the inscription does not give us extra information concerning the Celtiberian Lug.

Bibliography

Alfayé, Silvia Villa et Francisco Marco Simón

(2013)       (paper) El santuario de Peñalba de Villastar (Teruel) y la romanización religiosa en la Hispania indoeuropea

Beekes, Robert S.P

(1995)        Comparative Indo-European linguistics; an Introduction (Amsterdam).

2009        Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden).

Eska, Joseph. F

2004       “Continental Celtic,” in: The Ancient Languages of Europe, Roger D. Woodward ed (Cambridge).

Koch, T. John

2003       The Celtic Heroic Age; literary sources for Ancient Celtic Europe & Early Ireland & Wales (Aberystwyth).

Ködderitzsch, Rolf

1985        “Die grosse Felsinschrift von Peñalba de Villastar ” in: H. M. Olberg, H. Bothien et G. Schimdt eds., Sprachwissenschaftliche Forschungen; Festschrift für Johann Knobloch (Innsbruck).

Matasović, Ranko

2009        Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden).

Meid, Wolfgang

1996        Kleinere keltiberische Sprachdenkmäler (Innsbruck) 8-19.

Puhvel, Jaan

1987        Comparative Mythology (Baltimore).


[1] “Zu dem auf dem Berge wohnenden, und zugleich dem ?, dem Lugus der Araianer sind wir über die Fluren zusammengekommen. Dem auf dem Berge wohnenden und dem Pferdegott, dem Lugus, hat das Oberhaupt der Gemeinschaft eine Überdachung errichtet, zugleich auch für den thiasus eine Überdachung.”

[2] Beekes’ suggestion that the formations meaning “bottom, ass” (cf. Gk. ὄρρος “rump, arse,” Arm. ōr, ōrk͑, OHG ars) are connected to the same root PIE *h3er- is unconvincing because of OI err < PCelt. *ersos. The Celtic form points to an original root ablauting paradigm to a root PIE *h1ers- (i.e. PIE nom. *h1er-s, acc. *h1ors-es-m, gen. *h1ors-és). Nevertheless, assuming an ablauting paradigm would complicate the picture since ablauting hysterodynamic s-stems do not have an o-grade of the root  (see Kroonen 2013).

Roman gods in French place names

Gallo-Roman temple

Place names

The linguistic prehistory of an area can be illustrated by its place names. For example, within the borders of present day France we find place names that reflect Gaulish, Latin, Frankish, German, Breton and Basque linguistic material, eventhough people in France nowadays primarily speak French. Place names are also interesting because of the cultural information they may contain. The fact that the French town Beaulne contains the name of the Gaulish god Belenos may indicate that historically a shrine to that god was situated there, eventhough no archeological research has been able to locate such a shrine. Because people do not quickly change the name of a locality the fossilized lexical material that a toponym contains provides a valuable window on prehistoric society.

Sacral toponyms

When do people change the name of a locality? When invading peoples take possession of a locality they may want to affirm its new identity by renaming it. For example, most place names in the Netherlands clearly have Germanic origins eventhough some places were inhabited long before the Germanic speaking peoples arrived. On the other hand, invading peoples may also choose to continue the old names. The cities of Northern France generally have retained their Latin names eventhough the Germanic speaking Franks took possesion of them in the late 5th century. The villages on the countryside however got Frankish names. Therefore the distribution of Frankish toponyms in Gaul informs us about the reach and nature of the Frankish conquest. Sometimes invading peoples reinterpret the name of a locality according to their own language. For example, when the Franks conquered the Gallo-Roman town Turnacum (Gallo-Romance *tornako) they interpreted it as containing their native word *þurn meaning “thorn,” which is why the place is now known as Doornik (Gysseling 1960: 973). Sometimes a place name is changed in order to counteract its association with pagan religion. This seems to have been the case with the Medieval German place name Wuodenesberg (modern day Bad Godesberg) which means “the mountain of Wodan.” In the highly Middle Ages the clergy quite activily turned the initial w w into a g in order to associate the place with the christian god instead of pagan Wodan (Quak 2002: 59).

Double names

Sometimes a place was known by multiple names. The Dutch city of Utrecht was known in the Early Middle Ages by both its Frisian name Wiltanaburg (the borough of the Wilts, presumably a local clan) and its Latin name Trajectum. The Latin name evolved into Romance *trajecto before the onset of the Middle Ages and was pronounced as *trajiχt by the Pre-Frisian population. Pre-Frisian *trajiχt underwent umlaut to *trejiχt and was subsequently shortened to *treχt  which is the name we find written in 9th c. diplomas as Treht (Gysseling 1960: 989). In this case it is clear the Latin name was more succesful than the Germanic name, which may have to do with the fact that Utrecht became a bishopsee in the early 8th century and the church preferred the Latin name above the Frisian name.

Gaul

However, this blogpost mainly concerns French toponyms and more precisely place names referring to Roman deities. When the Romans conquered Gaul half way the first century BCE they initiated a long proces of Romanization. Romanization can be understood in many ways and presumably differed from region to region but generally we can regard it as entailing an appropriation and adaptation of Roman modes of expression by local communities. For example, the Roman army and administrators brought along their Roman religion when they settled in Gaul.  In their Roman style cities they built Roman style temples for their Roman gods. These temples were roughly the same all over the Roman Empire, namely the podium style rectangular temple with the columnade before the entrance. The Gauls however adapted the Roman building style to their own tastes. Presumably because of the shape and nature of indigenous Gaulish harrows quickly a Gallo-Roman type of temple complex emerged, build from stone with columns all around, usually also rectangular but sometimes also in round or diagonal shape (Dowden 2000: 130). Some of the Roman gods were also adopted by the Gauls and sometimes equated with similar deities from their own pantheon. For example, the Roman god Mercurius apparently ressembled the Gaulish god Vellaunos which led to a merger of the two deities. The god was then referred to by two names, the Roman one and the Gaulish one. On a wall of a Roman cemetery in Hières-sur-Amby we find an inscription to DEO MERCURIO VICTORI MAGNIACO VEILAUNO “to the god Mercury, the great victor Veilaunos” (Marichal et Mirot 1920: 114).

Christianity

But Gaulish and Roman paganism did not last. In the second and third centuries CE christianity spread over the Roman empire and quickly supplanted the local religions. The fact that we still have French place names naming Roman gods despite the change in religion from paganism to christianity is odd to say the least. Late Antique and Early Medieval christianity is known for many things but tolerance is not one of them. The names of Gaulish gods may have been forgotten when christianity spread over the Gallo-Roman countryside but the names of the Roman gods never fell into oblivion. They were well known by the clergy because classical writings were full of them and reading Virgil was part of every monk’s core curriculum. Apparantly the communities did not feel the need to change the name of their locality when they switched religion. It is unclear how much the church would have bothered about the pagan names of certain localities. In some cases we know a pagan name was substituted by a christian one. A prime example is the Montmartre which was earlier known as the mons mercurii. The name would have evolved into Gallo-Rom. *mɔntmɛrtre which was changed into *mɔntmartro which meant “the mountain of martyrs.” But apparantly in many cases the pagan names, despite being recognizably pagan, were no subject of clerical concern.

map of non-christian sacral toponyms in Gaul

North against South

We might also wonder why place names referring to Roman gods are predominantly located in the south of Gaul. Partly this may reflect the fact that the south of Gaul was more urbanized, more densely populated and more Romanized than the north of Gaul. Also we should note that almost all the theophoric toponyms are small localities. Since the religious topography to administer the small parishes was absent in much of the Early Middle Ages it is possible some places remained just outside the scope of a criticizing clerical eye. Additionally, the North of Gaul had suffered greatly under the imperial crises of the 3d century and many villae were abandoned. Presumably many settlements disappeared in this period and much of the countryside was only resettled a few centuries later by predominantly Frankish colonists. This may also have caused some earlier Gallo-Romance place names referring to Roman gods to disappear without a trace.

Mars

We may note that most of the sacral place names in the North of Gaul refer to the wargod Mars. This is to be expected because of the more martial and less urbanized society of northern Gaul. We should note that the North of Gaul often fell prey to incursions of barbarians. Therefore the military presence was considerably higher in the North than in the South.  Also, most northern settlements predominantly depended on animal husbandry  for maintenance. Since Jupiter and Mercurius were mainly “urban” gods tending to “urban” needs, worshipping a martial wargod makes more sense for these agrarian societies.

Jeumont

The only place name in the north of Gaul that could possibly refer to Jupiter is Jeumont, close to the Belgian border (Carnoy 1917: 168). It seems unlikely that this place name is really derived from Rom. *ʤɔβemɔnte << Lat. jovis montem. In Gallo-Rom. the synthetic genitive was lost because of the restructuring of the vowel system and subsequent restructuring of the case system. In Gallo-Romance, as is clear from the syntax of the Lex Salica, genitival relations were mainly expressed by way of the preposition de + oblique, e.g. Lex Salica aliqui de ipsos “several of them” and tres de eo contubernio “three of that gefolgschaft. A trace of the synthetic genitive lived on in appositional genitive constructions were a head noun and dependent noun in the oblique followed eachother, e.g. Lex Salica consilio domine “the advice of the lord” and ventre matre “the belly of the mother.” We also find traces of this constructions in Modern French, e.g. ModFr. fête-dieu and Bain-Marie. Since in toponyms the theonym regularly follows the first element it seems unlikely that jeumont would be an exception. Especially since we have montjoux < *mɔnteʤɔβes and fanjeaux < *fanoʤɔβes attested. A more likely scenario would be that Jeumont derives from Latin jugum montis “the ridge of the mountain,” i.e. > Lat. jugum montis >> Rom.  *ʤoγomɔnte > ModFr. Jeumont.

Ansu-

On a final note I’d like to draw attention to the only Frankish toponym on the map, namely ModFr. Aulers in the name Bassoles-Aulers (Quak 2002: 61). This place name contains the name of the pagan gods which are known in Old Icelandic as Ásir or in Old English as Esas.  i.e. Old Frankish *ansu-. As a onomastic element this lexeme became fossilized in names such as Oswald, Oswin and in Dutch in the place name Oegstgeest < *ōsgāresgēst “the barren grounds of Osger.[1]” The French place name Aulers seems to continue this element *ansu- referring to the pagan deities in combination with the element  *hlǣri (cf. ModDu. –laar), i.e. Old Frankish *ansu + *hlǣri > ModFr. aulers (1017 anslari). This toponym proves that at the time of the Frankish colonization (5th and 6th c. CE) at least some Frankish groups still adhered to their pagan religion. This lends credibility to the missionary tales of the Merovingian period in which it is told Northern Gaul needed to be rechristianized after the Age of Migrations.

Bibliography

Canoy, Albert J., “Adjectival Nouns in Vulgar LAtin and Early Romance” Romanic Review 8 (1917).

Dowden, Ken, European Paganism; realities of cult from antiquity to the Middle Ages (New York 2000).

Gysseling, Maurits, Toponymisch Woordenboek van België, Nederland, Luxemburg, Noord-Frankrijk en West-Duitsland (vóór 1226) (1960).

Marichal, Paul et Leon Mirot, Les noms de lieu de France; leur origin, leur signification, leur transformation (Paris 1911).

Quak Arend, “Germaanse sacrale plaatsnamen in de Nederlanden” Naamkunde 34 (2002).


[1] The rounding of the *a before nasals is a specific Northsea Germanic development shared by English, Frisian and some of the coastal dialects of Middle Dutch.

Let them eat *turta!

An etymological investigation into the tarts and torts concerning Proto-Romance *turta “loaf, piece of bread”

Roman bread

In Old French tarte “pastry” and torte “round bread” stand next to eachother from the 13th c. CE onwards. Probably via French these terms made their way into Modern English as tart, into Modern Dutch as taart (< MidDu. tarte) and into Modern German as torte[1]. Despite their tastiness the words have proven notoriously difficult to etymologize (see REW 8802 and 8890, and Bloch 1932: 333-34).

Both lexemes are often[2] derived from Rom. *torta pane “rolled or bent bread” (cf. Lat. torquēre “to twist, to roll, to bend”) as found in the vulgata translation of the bible (ca. 420 CE) where torta panis  glosses Gk. ἄρτος “bread” (Exodus 29 : 23, I Chronic. 16 : 3, Jeremias 37 : 21).  However, the sentences in the vulgata always read tortam panis or torta panis, in which panis is a genitive to torta, probably in order to render the meaning “a loaf of bread”. If the bread itself was bent or rolled we would expect torta to be an adjective agreeing with the noun. Since Latin panis (gen. panis) is neuter and all the reflexes of Rom. *torta in the daughter languages are masculine we cannot account for the feminine gender of *torta. Furthermore, phonologically a connection to Lat. torquēre does not fit since all languages seem to point to PRom. *turta which is clear from the cognates. In the East-Romance dialects we find Rum. turtă “cake,” Vegliot. turta “vier aneinander hängende kleine Broten,” who continue PRom. *turta unchanged. PRom. *turta regularly developed into Western Romance *torta as found in OFr. torte, tourte “pain de forme ronde” (cf. ModFr. tourte “pastry” [turt]) and ModIt. torta “cake” (see REW 8802). A derivate from Lat. torquēre on the other hand would have yielded WRom. *tɔrta (cp. ModFr. tordre [tɔrdrə] “to twist,” ModFr. tort “blame, mistake” [tɔrt]). Therefore it is clear that OFr. torte, tourte and its cognates in the other Romance sister dialects cannot be derived from Lat. torquēre.

Also the earliest attestation of the word on the 2nd c. CE Vindolanda tablets reads turtas (Tab.Vind. II 120.80,[3] for the interpretation see Adams 2009: 611). After that we encounter the word in the Byzantine chronicle of Theophanes (ca. 320 CE) as τουρτίον, pl. τουρτία “loaf of bread” (see Matthews 2009: 191). The ου spelling shows that the donor word had [u] as root vocalism at the time of the loan. A few centuries later on the continent we find turtam glossing collyridam “pastry roll, cake” in the 9th c. Reichenau glosses. Here the u is in all likelihood an orthographical representation for what must have been [o] already. Since the Reichenau glosses are very informative in relating to us lexical items from the colloquial registers of Romance (which in this period had already evolved into Old French) we may safely see in it a confirmation that the word turta/torta was commonly used in 9th c. Francia.

Two questions arise. What is the origin of PRom. *turta and how do we explain the variants that must go back to Rom. *tarta? To my mind we should allow the possibilty that the word does not have its origins in Latin, which would explain its relatively late attestation.

Since the word is first attested on the British isles it seems more than fair to start our search there. In Middle Welsh we find the word torth “loaf of bread, hump of bread” (see Bevon and Donovon 2001: 6014[4]) which has often been taken as a loan from Rom. *torta. However, the word might be connected to Middle Irish tort, toirt “heap, mass” which stands alongside Middle Irish tort, gen. torte f. “loaf of bread” (Bondarenko 2012: column 262[5]). All these forms can be traced back to Insular Celtic *turtā. Both in Welsh and Irish the *u would get raised to *o under influence of the following *ā. We should note that Middle Welsh quite regularly shifts *o before resonant + consonant clusters to *a in Latin loanwords, e.g. MidW parchell ”piglet” < Lat. porcellus and MidW carrai ”strap” < BritRom. *kɔrria < Lat. *corrigia (Morris Jones 1913: 87). If the word was really a loan from Latin or British Romance we would have expected a variant Middle Welsh **tarth next to torth. This strengthens our case for a Celtic origin for PRom. *turta.

Insular Celtic *turtā could then have entered British Romance from whence it may have spread all over the Romance dialect continuum. It is also possible a Gaulish cognate *turtā, formally identical to the Insular Celtic proto-forms, provided the donor word. In either way the semantics would then have moved from “hump, piece” to “hump of bread” and then finally “bread.” This development is paralleled in Germanic where OE bread “brit, crumb, morsel” < *breuđ-[6]  (cp. OHG brodi “fragile”) shifts its semantics to ME bread “bread,” supplanting earlier OE hlāf “bread.’ If we assume that PRom. *turta was loaned from a Celtic form from the British isles or Gaul and spread across the Romance dialect continuum, it must have reached East-Romance and Greek before the restructuring of the vowel system. We must remember that the Roman Empire in the heydays of the late principate and early dominate still constituted a cosmopolitan world in which goods, people and cultures quickly spread across the breadth of the Roman world.

                The variant Rom. *tarta can be found in ModFr. tarte “cake” and  ModSp. tarta “cake” alongside forms that must continue Rom. *tartara “cake” (ModIt. tartara ”almond cake”, Comask. tártara “cake from milk, eggs and sugar” see REW 8590). Rom. *tartara looks like the feminine form of *tartaro meaning “wine stone” as found in ModSp. tártaro ”id.” and ModFr. tairtre “id.” but its connection to the word “cake” is semantically very difficult. The connection between Rom. *tarta and *torta however is obvious. Nevertheless the vacillation in root vocalism prevents us from equating the etyma. To my mind we should take contamination with an etymon of Greek origin into account. The Greek word in question would then be the above mentioned Gk. ἄρτος “bread” which made its way to Western Romance as evidenced by Old Spanish artal “especie de empanada” and Basque arto “bread” (see Beekes 2009: 143). In combination with a preceding demonstrative resegmentation of the lexeme may have occurred, i.e. Rom. *est’ arto → *tarto (cp. OFr. icorne “unicorn” → l’icorne → ModFr. licorne, see Alkire 2010: 304-05) . This word would have easily taken its place alongside Rom. *torta “loaf of bread.”

Peter Alexander Kerkhof

Bibliography

Alkire, Ti et Carol Rosen, Romance languages; a historical introduction (2010).

Adams, J. N., The regional diversification of Latin 200 BC – 600 AD (Cambridge 2007).

Bevan, Gareth A. et P. J. Donovan, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru LVII (Cardiff 2001).

Bondarenko, Maxim Fomin Grigory, electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (2002).

Bloch, Oscar, Dictionnaire Étymologique de la langue Française (Paris 1932).

Matthews, John Frederick, The Journey of Theophanes: Travel, Business, and Daily Life in the Roman East (Yale 1999).

Meyer-Lübke, Romanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, Sammlung romanischer  Elementar und Handbücher III (Heidelberg 1911).

Morris Jones, J, a Welsh Grammar: Historical and Comparative (Oxford 1913).


[1] In ModDu. we also find ModDu. toert which must derive from OFr. tort, tourte.

[2] For the common etymology, see etymologiebank.nl which comprises the lemmata of the main etymological dictionaries of Dutch or etymonline.com which contains information from the main etymological dictionaries of English.

[3] An edition of the tablet may be found via this link: http://vindolanda.csad.ox.ac.uk/4DLink2/4DACTION/WebRequestQuery

[4] A compressed version of the dictionary can be found on: http://www.wales.ac.uk/dictionary/pdf/GPC0018-10.pdf

[6] Verner-variant OE breað “brittle” < *breuþ-)

In Voce Gallica

A completely Gaulish sentence in the Vita Symphoriani Augustodunensis

Gaulish

The Gaulish language is mainly attested in epigraphical inscriptions from the 3d c. BC to the 2nd CE written in the Greek and Latin alphabet. During the principate (27 BC – 284 AD) Gaul was thoroughly Romanized and the Gaulish language lost ground to the more prestigous Latin/Romance language. Nevertheless Romance and Gaulish may have been spoken next to eachother well into the 5th c. and assuming the examplar of the Gaulish-Latin glossary known as Endlicher’s Glossary (Öst. Nationalbibliothek, MS 89) was composed in the 6th c.[1] we must conclude that even then some knowledge of the dying Gaulish language persevered.

Gaulish Chamalieres inscription

5th c. Saintslife

In the early 20th c. Wilhelm Meyer identified a Gaulish sentence in the oldest manuscrits of the 5th c. vita Symphoriani augustodunensis which relates the martyrdom of Symphorianus of Autun in approxamitely 180 CE. When Symphorianus is led to his place of execution his mother admonishes him from the city wall. Meyer reconstructs the passage as follows (Meyer 1901: 162).

uenerabilis mater sua de muro sedula et nota illum uoce Gallica monuit dicens: ‘nate, nate Synforiane, †mentobeto to diuo†’

‘his venerable mother admonished him from the wall eagerly and notable to all (?), saying in the Gaulish speech: “Son, son, Symphorianus, think of your God!”

corruption of the gloss

CLM 4585 f. 13

The passage has been corrupted in the manuscript tradition with most medieval manuscripts reading “nate, nate, synphoriane, in mente habe deum tuum.” They leave out the linguistic specification in uoce gallica and any words that are not understandable as Latin . Meyer’s reconstruction of the prototext was based on three manuscripts which represent an early redaction of the passion. The two CLM manuscripts are dependent on eachother, CLM 22243 being three centuries younger than CLM 4585[2].

                Turin D.V. 3          (9th c.)     nati nati synforiani mentem obeto dotiuo

                CLM 4585 , f. 13    (9th c.)     nate nate synforiane memento betoto diuo hoc e memorare di tui

                CLM 22243, f. 27   (12th c.)   nate nate symphoriane memento betoto diuo hoc e memorare di tui

Interesting in CLM 4585 is the Latin translation following the sentence which was probably part of the original 5th c. text. It indicates that when the passion was codified the Gaulish was no longer readily understable to all, although the sentence in question apparently had been part of the oral tradition surrounding the saint. Considering Jerome’s comment from around 386 that Gaulish was spoken in the area of Trier it is very plausible that Gaulish survived into the 5th c. and that also in the area of Autun the Gaulish language had persevered in order for the sentence to have been entered into the passion. This would mean that the sentence reflects a late 5th c. Gaulish.

The Gaulish sentence analyzed

The Gaulish was analyzed and interpreted by Rudolf Thurneysen in the Zeitschrift fùr Celtische philologie 14. The meaning of the Gaulish words can be listed as follows:

 Nate, nate, mentobe(to) to deuo.

Son, son, remember your god

Nate

nate < Gaul. gnate. The word would be in the vocative singular. We may assume that initial gn- just as medial –gn- has changed into palatalized Romance *ɲ- which was spelled as n- in initial position. It is not very likely that  nate refers to the Latin word (g)natus. The Latin word with the meaning “son” is already quite rare in Classical texts (probably because of competition with filius) and almost absent in Late Antique and Medieval Latin. The use of such an archaic word in a colloquial phrase would be highly unlikely. The Gaulish word gnatos however, seems, judging on its occurence in the inscriptions, to be the general word for “son”. 

mentobeto

Since the sentence is glossed in MS München 2223 with hoc est memorare dei tui the word must mean “remember” or “keep in mind.”

To                   

to is best explained as continuing PCelt. *towe possessive pronoun 2.gen.sg. (cp. Old Irish do “your”), i.e. PCelt. *towe > Gaulish to. 

Dewo              

Gaulish dewos is well attested in inscriptions (e.g. PN dewognata and theVercelli inscription tewoxtonion “from gods and men”) . The noun would here stand in the accusative as well, i.e. Gaulish *dewom > dewo. The final nasal would have been lost in parallel to the loss of final nasals in Romance. The spelling diwo would show orthographical Romance confusion of short i and long e which had coalesced in PRom. *e. Once again, it is highly unlikely that we are dealing with the Latin word divus here, since the Latin word is archaic and hardly attested in late and medieval Latin texts.

Mentobeto

In his analysis Thurneysen confirmed Meyer’s suspicion that the sentence was Gaulish but disagreed with Meyer about the word mentobeto. Meyer argued that the word may be a Celtic derivation to the same root as Latin memini “to remember.” This, however, seems unlikely since the verbal reflex of the root is only reflected in Old Irish muinithir “to intend” < PIE *mani̯e- (see De Vaan 2008: 371)[3]. Thurneysen therefore argued that mentobeto more likely represents a Vulgar Latin verb (Proto-Rom. *mɛntaƀerɛ, see REW 5507) derived from  Latin in mente habere (cf. OFr. mentevoir “to mention, to cite”, OProv. mentaure “id.”). This would mean that the sentence would be a mixture of Gaulish and Latin, a conclusion that is repeated by Adams in his book The regional diversification of Latin (Adams 2007).

Thurneysen argued that the form *mɛntaƀeto which would lie behind the spelling mentobeto would continue a Latin future imperative in –to.  Unfortunately the future imperative cannot be reconstructed for Proto-Romance as it is not continued in any of the Romance dialects, so the survival of the form in this late antique hagiography would be surprising[4]. It is highly unlikely that future imperatives still existed in 5th c. We should also note that the translating gloss memorare dei tui does not use the future imperative, which would be unexpected when the meaning of the Gaulish verb would exactly be such a future imperative[5].

Furthermore this would mean that we would have a Gaulish sentence, complete with a Gaulish direct object and possessive adjective, but with a Gallo-Romance inflected verb. This seems like an unlikely scenario. This indicates another explanation of the Gaulish inflectional form seems warranted. Alternatively we may argue that the word reflects a Gaulish inflectional form of a Gaulish verb borrowed from Romance *mɛntaƀerɛ < Latin mente habēre “to have in mind”. The –o- from attested mento- might reflect earlier *-a- that has been coloured by the following -ƀ- or we may speculate that the stem was adopted from Gallo-Romance *mentaƀ- as Gaulish *mentawƀ- with the -aw- sequence monophtongizing to –o-. In either scenario I will propose to read the word as mentobe with the final to as a corrupted repetition of the following to.

I argue that mentobeto must be read as mentobe and represents a Gaulish imperative singular, namely Late Gaulish mentaƀe “remember!” < Early Gaulish mentaƀi (cf. Gaulish moni “come” < PIE *monH-e, Gaulish gabi “take” < QIE *ghHbh-e). This possibility assumes that the Gaulish inflectional form goes back to Romance *mɛntaƀerɛ. Naturally this scenario  also allows for the possibility that the word is Gallo-Romance after all, since a Romance imperative singular would also be *mentaƀe.

Conclusion

To conclude; it seems plausible that the un-latinate admonition in the 5th c. vita symphoriani augustodunensis  reflects a sentence in colloquial Late Gaulish. All the words are understandable as Gaulish, provided that we recognize the fact that mentobeto probably reflects a verb loaned from Gallo-Romance *mɛntaƀerɛ. The word mentobeto should be parsed as mentobe=to, with a repetitive to following the verbal form; this corruption is to due to the faulty tradition of the sentence. When the words were no longer understood scribes tried to make Latin out of them, interpreting the words as containing Latin memento. Actually the inflectional form mentobe would reflect Late Gaulish mentaƀe which is to be understood as an imperative singular, with the Gallo-Romance –a- darkened to –o- under influence of the following labial. This would connect neatly with the following Latin translation which translates the verb with Classical Latin memorare dei tui. Formally it is also possible that this mentobe is Romance after all,  namely reflecting Romance *mentaƀe, but it seems preferable to go for a Gaulish interpretation since all the other words do seem to reflect Gaulish vocabulary and grammar.

 P A Kerkhof

Bibliography

Adams, J. N., The regional diversification of Latin 200 BC – 600 AD (Cambridge 2007).

Eska, Joseph, “Continental Celtic,” in: The ancient languages of Europe, Roger D. Woodward ed. (Cambridge 2008) 165-188.

Matasovic, Ranko “The origin of the Old Irish f-future” in: evidence and counter-evidence, festschrift for Frederik Kortlandt (2008) 361-366.

Meyer, Wilhelm “Das älteste keltische Sprachdenkmal,” in: Fragmenta Burana, Festschrift der köningliche Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften in Göttingen (Göttingen) 1901 161-163.

Meyer-Lübke, Romanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, Sammlung romanischer  Elementar und Handbücher III (Heidelberg 1911).

Thurneysen, R. “Irisches und Gallisches,” in: Zeitschrift für Celtische philologie 14 (1923) 1-17.

Vaan, Michiel, Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic languages (2008).


[1] This seems reasonable considering caio (Gaulish *kagi̯o) in Endlicher’s Glossary is glossed with breialo sive bigardio, the latter word being a Frankish loanword which plausibly entered Gallo-Romance in the 6th c. only

[2] The CLM manuscripts are digitalized and can be found on http://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/

[3] We do find an e-grade to *men- in Old Irish toimtiu < PCelt. *to-menti̯on, so possibly a denominal formation analogous to Latin mentiō also existed in Gaulish. This however would probably have yielded a Gaulish verbal stem *mentii̯o- which does not fit with the attestation mentobeto.

[4] The early disappearance of the future imperative in to was probably provoked by the confusion with the past participle in -to < Lat. -tus.

[5] A Gaulish future is also unlikely since the Old Irish f-future cannot go back to an older *­-b- and is therefore not identical to the Latin b-future. The future suffix can be identified as Proto-Celtic *-iswā- (see Matasovic 2008: 361; contra Kortlandt).

Dwarfs and She-Dwarfs in the Eleventh Century

 What the OE wið dweorh charm and the Latin Ruodlieb poem have in common

In the Early Middle Ages the belief in dwarfs was widely held among the Germanic speaking peoples of northwestern Europe[1]. The *dwerǥōs[2]were thought of as a liminal non-human race of  mountain dwelling artisans. They can be regarded as the mountainous counterparts to the forest dwelling creatures the Germanic speaking peoples called *alƀōs “elfs” (Hermann 1903 :114). In Old Icelandic literature they are sometimes called svartálfar and portrayed as the smiths of Germanic mythology and the custodians of treasures (see West 2007: 295-97). Vestiges of this belief surived into the Modern Period as evidenced by Grimm in his Deutsche Sagen (29-44), Deutsche Hausmärchen (e.g. 161 Schneeweißchen und Rosenrot) and Deutsche Mythologie (XVII Wichte und Elbe). Although non-scholarly conceptions of dwarfs are often coloured by romantic Tolkienesque visions of smallish folk integral to fantastic societies, we should not forget that to medieval contemporaries the “dwarf” mainly constituted the alien other; the heathen, the foreigner. They possessed knowledge far beyond the wit of man and, if offended, they could curse mankind with horrible diseases.

            In the capacity of  “bringer of harm” we find dwarfs mentioned in Anglo-Saxon charms that aim to alleviate dwarf induced illnesses. Consider this charm, to be found in Ha. (Harley) 585 (167a), a Northumbrian manuscript of the late eleventh century. It consists of an introduction, followed by the charm itself (see Grendon 1909 for an edition and translation).

Introduction lines 1-8

WIÐ DWEORH

Man sceal niman VII lȳtle oflǣtan, swylce man mid ofrað, and writtan þās naman on ǣlcre oflǣtan: Maxianus, Machus, Johannes, Martinianus, Dionisius, Constantinus, Serafion. Þænne eft þæt galdor þæt hēr æfter cweð. Man scal singan, ǣrest on þæt wynstre ēare, þænne on þæt swīðre ēare, þænne ufan þæs mannes moldan. And gā þænne ān mǣdenman tō, and hō hit on his swēoran and dō man swā þrȳ dagas: him bið sōna sēl.

AGAINST A DWARF

You must take seven little wafers, such as are used in worship and write these names on each wafer: Maximianus, Malchus, Johannes, Martinianus, Dionisus, Constantinus, Serafion. Then again, you must sing the charm which is stated below, first into the left ear, then into the right ear, then over the man’s head. And then let a virgin go to him and hang it on his neck, and do this for three days. He will soon be well.

In this introduction syncretic directions are given for an apotropaeic healing ceremony. The first direction involves inscribing sacramental wafers with the names of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus (a Christian myth[3]), an instruction seemingly unconnected to the following directions. The following directions on the other hand do not have any connection to institutionalized forms of christianity. They state how the charm is to be chanted and what is to be done afterwards. The introduction ends with the instruction that the written charm should be presented to the afflicted by a virgin. The fact that a written version of the charm plays a role in the ceremony, attests to the power attributed to the written word in late Anglo-Saxon society.

            Enchantment lines 9-21

Hēr cōm in gangan, in spīder wiht,

            Hæfde him his haman on handa.

            Cwæð þæt þū his hængest wǣre.

            Legeþ hē his tēage an swēoran.

            Ongunnan him of þǣm lande līþan.

            Sōna swā hȳ of þǣm lande cōman,

            Þā ongunnan him þā cōlian.

            Þā cōm ingangan dēores sweostar.

            Þā geændade hēo and āðas swōr:

            Ðæt nǣfre þis þǣm ādlegan derian ne mōste,

            Ne þǣm þe þis galdor begyten mihte,

            Oððe þe þis galdor ongalan cūþe.

            Amen, fiat.

            Came right in here, the creature on a spider

            Had his harness in hand.

            Said that you would be his stallion.

            He put his rein on your neck.

            Immediately when they began to go to him

            they began to cool him.

            Then came in, the sister of the creature.

            She ended it and swore oaths.

            That he should never harm the sick.

            Nor whomever who should learn this charm,

            Or who could sing this charm.

            Amen, may it be done.

The incantation introduces the dwarf riding on a spider, who maliciously intents to ride his victim by use of magical reins[4]. After the reins have been put on the victim’s neck, the dwarf and the spider leave, which induces a fever, described in the OE text as cōlian “to cool”, presumably because of the identical symptoms (shivering, chattering of teeth)[5]. Then the sister of the dwarf arrives, probably the entity whose intercession is invoked. She ends the agony and swears oaths as to guarantee the safety of the victim, thereby protecting the victim from further harm. The charm ends with a christian amen and fiat.

            What struck me in this charm was the role of the female dwarf, who apparently restrains her brother in his malevolent deeds and vowes for the victim’s safety. This reminded me of another female dwarf, the spouse of the dwarf caught by the eleventh century hero Ruodlieb.

The Ruodlieb poem is an early Medieval Latin epic poem which was written halfway the eleventh century (1060-1070 CE) by a monk at Tegernsee (present day southern Germany, near to the border with Liechtenstein) in the style of the Latin epic (specifically Prudentius Symmachus). It consists of 2300 extant verses written in dactylic hexameter with leonine rhymes (the last syllable of each verse rhymes with the first syllable of the third foot of the verse). It recounts the adventures of a warrior[6] (miles) named Ruodlieb who serves a just king (rex maior) and displays chivalrous virtues like obedience and righteousness. The poem is often regarded as the first coutly romance of western literature, marking the new era of courtly novels known from the Arthurian cycle and Middle High German poems such as Der Arme Heinrich.

In fragment XVIII (Clm. 19486 fol. 34a) of the poem (XVII in Schmeller’s edition) Ruodlieb captures a dwarf who promises council in defeating two kings, Immunch and Hartunch, claiming their treasure and carrying off their daughter, a beautiful virgin called Heriburg. When the dwarf is confronted with Ruodlieb’s suspicion he offers his wife, a pretty female dwarf (parva nimis pulchra[7]), as security that he will hold true to his word. He calls his wife from a nearby cave and the dwarf woman prostrates herself in front of Ruodlieb and begs to be his hostage untill her husband has accomplished everything he had promised. Then the fragment breaks off.

Fragment VIII Ruodlieb and the Dwarf[8]

He leapt up and wanted to get away,
untill he fell exhausted and barely caught his breath.
When strength returned to him, to Ruodlieb he most humbly spoke:

“spare my wretched self, I tell you what I know you want.

5

If you do not kill me and if you free my hands,
I’ll show you the hoard of two kings,

Son and father, who will go to battle with you

The father’s name is Immunch, and the son Hartunch,

By you they will be defeated, both will die by your doing.

10

Then the king’s  daughter – the sole remaining heir

Of the entire realm, Heriburg, the most beautiful virgin,

Is to be won by you, but not without great bloodshed,

Unless you do what I advise, when I have been freed.”

Ruodlieb said to the dwarf: “you will not be killed by me.

15

I would have freed you quickly, if I could have trusted you;

If you do not cheat me, you will return unharmed from me.

When you are free, you will tell me nothing.”

“May it not occur that ever between us (dwarfs?) this deceit prevails:

Then we should neither be of great age nor of good health.

20

Among you humans no one speaks, unless with a cunning heart;
Therefore you will not come to great age. (like we dwarfs)

In accordance with the faith of each one are the times of his life.

We only speak the way we hold it in our heart,

Nor do we eat various foods that entail diseases,

25

That’s why we will remain sound longer than you.

Do not distrust me, I will act in such a way that you may believe me.

If you do not trust me, my wife will be a hostage.”

He called her from the cave, she immediately came forth from it,

Small but beautiful nonetheless, and adorned with gold and clothing,

30

She fell before Ruodlieb’s feet pouring laments:

“Best of all men, loosen the bonds of my husband

Hold me for him, untill he has accomplished all!”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .[9]

Before turning to the contents of the poem, a few remarks on the language are warranted. The Ruodlieb poem is quite unconventional for a Medieval Latin poem in language, form and content (Kartschoke 1990: 232) and a vernacular origin has often been assumed. This argument is strengthened by the fact the personal names are not latinized (in contrast to the latinized personal names in the Waltharius lied), the latinized vernacular fish names that are listed in fragment X (XIII of Schmeller’s edition), the vernacular glosses in the manuscript (this is noteworthy for the manuscript is taken to be an autograph, see Ford 1965: 3) and the OHG words in the wedding vow, which is worth quoting in full.

Latin translation
66 Dixit: dic illi de me de corde fideli She said: say to him from my faithful heart
67 Tantundem liebes, quantum veniat modo loubes Just as much liebes (love) may come to him, as there is loubes (foliage)
68 Et volucrum wunna quot sunt, sibi dic mea minna Just as much birds have wunna (joy), say to him, (just as great) is my minna (affection)
69 Graminis et florum quantum sit, dic et honorum As much there is grass and flowers, say (as great) is (my) honour

The vernacular words in this fragment suggest an original alliterating diction in the OHG vernacular with liebes “love” as the first stressed foot of the first stanza, and loubes “foliage” of the second stanza. Also line 6-9 may allude to a vernacular origin for they call to mind lines 3-5 of the Hildebrandslied (Hiltibrant enti Hađubrant, untar heriun tuem, sunufatarungo, iro saro rihtun, Braune Ebbinghaus 1962: 84). In the two poems we both find the alliterating names of the kinsmen, i.e. Immunch, Hartunch and Heriburg. Even more interesting, we find a latin equivalent (line 7 et patris et nati) of the OHG formula sunufatarungo. We may speculate that the original vernacular lines may have ressembled the following:

ih zeigu dir,     zweio chuningo hort,

sunufatarungo (…)

daz Immunch heizzi der vater, sunu Hartunch.

To my mind it seems reasonable to assume that at least this part of the Ruodlieb poem constitutes a Latinate rendering of a vernacular poem. Whether Schmeller was right in identifying the Ruodlieb of the poem with künge Ruotliebe of the MHG Ecken Liet (who is associated with the Germanic heroic age) is open to discussion (Grimm et Schmeller 1838: 220).

A thing of interest in the Ruodlieb poem is the mutual mistrust displayed by Ruodlieb and his captive. Ruodlieb expresses his suspicion by making the release of the dwarf conditional to the dwarf holding true to his word (line 17 Si me non fallis, a me sanus remeabis). The dwarf retorts by claiming Ruodlieb’s mistrust is unjustified, deceit being a human characteristic, whereas dwarfs speak as “they hold it in their heart” (line 24 corde tenemus). It is hinted at by the dwarf that part of human mistrust originates in human envy towards the greater lifespan of dwarfs. The dwarf however attributes the shorter lifespan of humans to their insalubrious diet (line 25 neve cibos varios edimus morbos generantes). The reciprocal relationship between the hero and the dwarf in the Ruodlieb poem is characteristic of the business between humans and dwarfs in general (see Grimm 1875: 377-78) for human philanthropy is always rewarded with dwarvish generosity (Hermann 1903: 117).

            Note that the role of the dwarf woman is identical to the role of the Anglo-Saxon deores sweostar (sister of the creature, i.e. the dwarf’s sister) in that they serve as security against dwarvish maliciousness and deceit. To Early Medieval contemporaries the female hostage acting as security against masculine violence and retribution was a common literary theme[10] sprung forth from contemporary custom. On a more anthropological level this feminine apotropaeism may be compared to similar invocations of feminine entities such as Frau Holle and Frau Perhta of German folklore. These female deities were associated with duties generally attributed to the female gender, such as parturition, weaving, cleaning, but also healing and medicine (see Motz 1993: 124-30).

Conclusion

In this post I have compared two eleventh century texts in regards to their portrayal of those creatures of Germanic mythology that are commonly called “dwarfs”. These two texts may very well be the oldest evidence for the belief in these creatures and both texts attribute a pivotal role to a female dwarf who is supposed to act as security against the possible malicious intentions of her male partner. The one text is an Old English charm against dwarf inflicted illness, the other text is a fragment from the Latin Ruodlieb epic, an East-Frankish epic that originally may have reflected parts of an older vernacular epic. Both texts shed light on what constituted the “dwarf” in Early Medieval folk belief and may contribute to our understanding of dwarfs in prechristian times, without resorting to late medieval Scandinavian sources.

P.A. Kerkhof


 [1] Thanks to Bas Clerkx and Godelinde Perk for commenting on a earlier version of this article.

[2] The etymology of PGmc. *dwerǥa- is controversial. A connection to PIE *dhreugh- seems unlikely because of the unwarranted Schwebeablaut. Note that a zero-grade to the root is attested in OIc. dyrgja “female dwarf” < PGmc. *durgjō. Liberman (46-47) assumes that we are dealing with the rhotacized form of a PGmc. root *dwezǥ-, which would be a Verner variant to PGmc. *dwes- as attested in OE gedwǣsnes “dementia”. The Gmc. material allows to reconstruct the ablaut variants *dwē1s- and *dwas- (cf. MDu gedwas “foolishness” if this word has not been subjected to secondary shortening), so the postulation of an e-grade and the velar extension would be without Gmc. parallels. I am tempted to adhere to an old etymology, namely going back to PIE *dher- “to harm” (cf. Skt. dvarás- “demon” ← Skt. dvárati “to harm”) with an old athematic diminutive suffix. In connection to this negative epithet it seems relevant that the dwarfs are often called by more neutral names, i.e. OIc. svartalfar and in Grimm’s work Bergmännlein, das stille Volk, das kleine Volk.

[3] Attesting to the popularity of the myth in the Early Medieval West are the insertions of the myth into the Historia Langobardorum by Paulus Diaconus in the 8th century and even earlier Gregory of Tours in his Passio Sanctorum martyrum septem dormientium apud Ephesum which dates to the second half of the 6th century.

[4] Mythical creatures riding humans were generally blamed for causing diseases in humans. The most famous of these creatures is no doubt the “nightmare” (OE mare, OHG mara), a female elf-like creature (cp. ModG. Alptraum) who torments men in their sleep by sitting on their chest, thus pushing the air out of their lungs.

[5] In this regard, also consider ModDu jicht “gout” < PGmc. *jekti (cf. MidE isykle “icicle” < PGmc. *īs-jekila-) and ModDu koorts “fever” Pre-Du *kurts- < PGmc. *kruts- (cf. Goth. kriustan  “to chatter with the teeth”, see also De Vaan 2010) and OS hrido “fever” (cf. OHG ridōn “to shiver”). That we are dealing with an affliction involving fever is corroborated by another wið dweorg charm (E 11, Cotton Vitellius C iii, 46a) which states that the dwarf may arrive by day or by night and that the cure might at first intensify the attack (the fever) before it abbates (Grendon 1909: 212-13).

[6] Lat. miles is often translated as knight, but considering the fact that in the eleventh century East Frankish empire a hereditary feudal nobility was not yet institutionalized, I deem the term anachronistic and prefer a more neutral “warrior”.

[7] Note that this cannot be taken as an unambiguous reference to the size of dwarfs, for it concerns a woman. In OIc. literature dwarfs are not characterized as being unusually small (see Simek 2006: 92)

[8] The Latin original text is published online: http://www2.fh-augsburg.de/~harsch/Chronologia/Lspost11/Ruodlieb/ruo_fr18.html. It should be remarked that not everyone is convinced that the fragment containing the dialogue with the dwarf is part of the Ruodlieb poem.(see Kartschoke 1990: 232).

[9] Latin text as found in Schmeller´s edition of the manuscript (Grimm et Schmeller 1838: 196):

 

Exiliens et abire volens salit undique clamans,
Dum lassus cecidit vix spiramenque recepit.
Cui vigor ut rediit, ad Ruodlieb humillime dixit:
«Parce mihi misero, scio quod gratum tibi dico.

5

Si me non occideris atque manus mihi solves,
Monstro tibi censum binorum denique regum,
Et patris et nati, qui tecum preliaturi
- Nomen habet genitor Immunch, sed filius Hartunch -
A te vincuntur, ambo per te perimentur.

10

Filia sed regis – heres tunc sola superstes
Regni totius, Heriburg, pulcherrima virgo -
Est tibi lucranda, sed non sine sanguine magno,
Ni quod consiliar facias, ego quando resolvar.»
Ruodlieb ait nano: «non occidendus es a me.

15

Te cito solvissem, tibi si confidere possem;
Si me non fallis, a me sanus remeabis.
Quando potens fueris tuimet, nil post mihi dices.»
«Absit, ut inter nos umquam regnaverit hec fraus:
Non tam longevi tunc essemus neque sani.

20

Inter vos nemo loquitur, nisi corde doloso;
Hinc nec ad etatem maturam pervenietis.
Pro cuiusque fide sunt eius tempora vite.
Non aliter loquimur, nisi sicut corde tenemus,
Neve cibos varios edimus morbos generantes,

25

Longius incolomes hinc nos durabimus ac vos.
Non mihi diffidas, faciam, mihi quod bene credas.
Si mihi diffidas, mea coniunx sit tamen obses.»
Hanc vocat ex antro, que mox processerat illo,
Parva nimis pulchra, sed et auro vesteque compta.

30

Que ruit ante pedes Ruodlieb fundendo querelas:
«Optime cunctorum, vinclis mihi solve maritum
Meque tene pro se, donec persolverit omne!»
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[10] This custom is hinted at in OE poems such as Beowulf and The wife’s lament.

Bibliography

Braune Wilhelm et E. Ebbinghaus, Althochdeutsches Lesebuch (1875: 14th edition Tübingen 1962).

Ford jr., Gordon B., The ruodlieb; the first medieval epic of chivalry from eleventh century Germany (Leiden 1965).

Grendon, Felix, “The Anglo-Saxon charms”, The journal of American Folklore 22 (1909) 105-237.

Grimm, J. et A. Schmeller eds., Lateinische Gedichte des X. und XI. JH. (Göttingen 1838).

Grimm, Jacob, Deutsche Mythologie (Berlin 1875: 4th edition).

Grimm, Jacob et Wilhelm Grimm, Deutsche Sagen (Kassel 1818: 1865).

Grimm, Jacob et Wilhelm Grimm, Kinder- und Hausmärchen  (1819).

Kartschoke, Dieter, Geschichte der deutschen Literatur im frühen Mittelalter [Geschichte der deutschen Literatur im Mittelalter 3] (1990: 3d edition München 2000).

Liberman, Anatoly, an analytical dictionary of English etymology (2008).

Motz, Lotte, The beauty and the hag; female figures of Germanic Faith and myth [philologica Germanica 15](Vienna 1993).

Hermann, Paul, Nordische Mythologie in gemeinverständlicher darstellung, (Leipzig 1903).

Simek, Rudolf, Götter und Kulte der Germanen (2004: München 2006).

Vaan de, Michiel, “etymologie en dialectgeografie van koorts”, in: Verslagen en Mededelingen vande Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde 120 3

(2010) 45–79.

Overcoming the female gender role in the Medieval Judith receptions

When it is okay for a woman to cut a mans head off in the Middle Ages

Being a woman in the Early Middle Ages was not easy. The Germanic kingdoms that arose amidst the ruins of the Roman empire valued the sword, masculinity and the bible. It was a mans world and warriors roamed the land. The Early Medieval dominance of the male gender was without a doubt facilitated by christian misogyny. The Church Fathers have a well earned reputation for having a not very egalitarian view on sex and gender roles, but exemplary is of course this passage from Paul’s epistle to the Ephasians.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Eph. 5:22-24.

We should note that before christianity took root in northern Europe attitudes towards women were probably a lot less chauvinist. In the Middle Ages on the margins of European christianity we find attitudes as expressed in literature and law that attribute women more indepedence and agency than in the more thoroughly christianized regions of Europe. This need not surprise us because it makes sense for rural sedentary societies to posess a pragmatic view on gender roles. Simply put, on a farm everybody has to work hard, often unsupervised and with an indepedent mind. In rural northwestern Europe labour was divided, the men doing most of the outdoor work and the women tending to the household; the men could simply not afford to marginalize the position of the women in their households, since they were essential to the wellbeing of the household. Also, women were not completely without means when it came to dispute and strife. In the Old Icelandic sagas they often are independent agents who trick, murder, and ocassionally fight their way out of many a predicament. And when matters were taken to court, many a woman was capable of rallying male sibling to her cause, letting them fight for her honour.

Ironically, escape from male discrimination was possible within the framework of medieval Christianity. Were a woman to leave the secular world and enter a monastery, thereby devoting herself to christ and renouncing all secular pleasures she could (as a dewomanized being) attain status, indepedence and religious authority. Whereas in Early Christianity monasticism was reserved for male recluses and woman had to crossdress to enter a monastic community, in the Early Middle Ages female monasticism became an institution in itself. For example, Merovingian noble families tried to sacrilize political power by founding monasteries and appointing their daughters as abbesses.  For a woman, joining a convent and becoming a bride of christ meant shedding the bonds of their sex and being regarded as pure vessels of religiousness, equal to men in the face of christ.

Unsurprisingly, a life of celebacy was not cut out for everyone and many women preferred the institution of marriage and the prospect of offspring to the harsh regime of the cloister. Even nuns could be tempted by carnal desires after joining a convent, as is clear from Boniface laments that so many Anglo-Saxon women who went on pilgrimage to Rome never made it to the eternal city and prostituted themselves in inns across Francia. Naturally, there were many women who weren´t nuns or prositutes or prostituting nuns and generally speaking many women were married, living a life of hard work and silent obedience.

Nevertheless, the bible does not only contain passages rife with misogyny and female subjugation. One of the more interesting bible books, albeit apocryphical, is the book Judith, relating the story of how a Jewish widow, Judith (Yəhūḏīṯ ), lifts the Assyrian siege of Bethalia by seducing and murdering the Assyrian warlord Holofernes. When Holofernes is drunk and fast asleep in his chambers Judith takes up his sword, grabs him by the hair and cuts of his head with two consecutive hews.

Then she came to the pillar of the bed, which was at Holofernes’ head, and took down his fauchion from thence, And approached to his bed, and took hold of the hair of his head, and said, Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, this day. And she smote twice upon his neck with all her might, and she took away his head from him.  And tumbled his body down from the bed, and pulled down the canopy from the pillars; and anon after she went forth, and gave Holofernes his head to her maid” Judith 13: 6-9

This remarkable tale of Hebrew feminism is presumed to have been written relatively late, around the second century BCE (Brine 2010: 3). This partly may be the reason why the book is not to be found in the Hebrew bible, but it is just as likely that the rabbis who established the Hebrew canon thought the deeds of the protagonist were to unbecoming for her sex. Whatever the case, it has to be remarked that the story of Judith was immensely popular in the Barbarian west. We posess a ninth century commentary on the book by the Carolingian scholar Hrabanus Maurus, a tenth century Old English epic poem relating the story in beautiful Germanic alliterating stanzas and a late eleventh century High German poem in verse. Furthermore Judith became a personal name for Early Medieval nobility as is clear from the Judith who was the wife of Louis the Pious and the Judith who was the mother of the Polish king Bołeslaw III.

 Perhaps we may take this as a sign that Christian misogyny was sufficiently alien to the Barbarian west in order to allow the tale of Judith to be pushed to the fore in northern European christianity. We must note however that the christian appropriation and reinterpretation of the biblical tale predates the Middle Ages. The Church Fathers had already stressed the chastity of biblical Judith as her main characteristic. She did not defeat the godless Holofernes ánd kept her chastity as a widow, but she defeated Holofernes because of her chastity. Jerome’s words are examplary for the christian attitude towards biblical Judith.

Receive the widow Judith, example of chastity, and with victorious  praise acclaim her with perpetual celebrations. For not only to women, but even to men, she has been given as an example by the one who remunerates her chastity, who has ascribed to her such virtue that she defeated the one who was undefeated by all men, and conquered the one who is unconquerable.” Vulgata Incipit Prologus Iudith 9-12.

By insisting upon her chastity the woman Judith, who is described in the bible book as exceptionally beautiful, is effectively desexed and reinterpreted in christian terms.

And when Judith was come before him and his servants they all marvelled at the beauty of her countenance; and she fell down upon her face, and did reverence unto him: and his servants took her up.” Judith 10: 23. (King James translation)

This twist of the story keeps it from contradicting the general misogynystic drift of orthodox christianity, equating Judith with the virgins of the Early Medieval convents.

Not only the chastity of biblical Judith appealed to an Early Medieval audience, also her martial prowess connected well to the attitudes of the warrior societies of the Early Middle Ages. Gregory of Tours relates in his sixth century historia francorum the story about a slave girl who was molested by the drunk Duke Amalo. When Amalo fell asleep, she seized the opportunity, grabbed his sword and avenged her lost honour.

The girl stretched out her hand above his head, took hold of his sword, eased it out of its scabbard and, just as Judith did to Holofernes, dealt him a mighty blow.” Gregory of Tours Decem Libri historiarum francorum, book 9 chapter 25. (Penguin translation, Lewis Thorpe).

As you can see, Gregory did not refrain from likening the bold slave girl to biblical Judith, even alleging that no actual intercourse had happened yet. Since this specific girl was first apprehended by a gang of Amalo’s lackee’s who severely abused her before bringing her to Amalo himself we might question that assertion.

Nevertheless, we may want to contrast this tale of female vengeance to Lucretia of Classical Rome who plunged a dagger in her breast after Sextus Tarquinius Superbus took her virginity. In Classical Rome she stood as an example for female chastity and humility. Probably this attitude was not shared by Rome’s northern neighbours. Gregory of Tours did not think it a strange thing when a Frankish woman avenged her lost honour by taking the life of the men who raped her. On this Gregory of Tours and many present day feminists would probably agree.

The Franks’ western neighbours that lived across the Channel, the Anglo-Saxons, also valued the book Judith and wrote a lengthy vernacular poem about the biblical heroine. The Anglo-Saxon Judith poem was presumably written in the late tenth century and is preserved in Cotton Vitellius A XV (British Library, London). The poem is filled with battle scenes and heroic imagery and combines the image of Judith as a christian example of chastity with the martial Judith that Gregory describes; a chaste sword wielding Xena Warrior Princess. In the Anglo-Saxon poem Judith is described as a virgin, which makes sense when we consider the Early Medieval practice of equating chastity with virginity. Instructive is the scene where Judith does the deed and beheads the dreaded Holofernes (Treharne 2000: 201).

Genam ða þone h æðenan mannan     Fæste be feaxe sinum, teah hyne folmum wið hyre weardBysmerlice, ond þone bealofullan

Listum alede, laðne mannan,

Swa heo ðæs unlædan eaðost mihte

Wel gecwaldan. Sloh ða wundenlocc

Þone feondsceaðan fagum mece,

Heteþoncolne, þæt heo healfne forcearf

Þone sweoran him, þæt he on swiman læg,

Druncen ond dolhwund.

 

She seized the heathen manSecurely by his hair,Pulled him shamefully towards herWith her hands, and skillfully placed

The wicked and loathsome man

So that she could most easily manage

the miserable one well.

Then the woman with braided locks

struck the enemy, that hostile one,

with the shining sword, so that she cut

through half of his neck, such that he lay

unconscious, drunk and wounded.

(Treharne’s translation).

The Old English Judith poem is however not the only old vernacular poem about the Judith tale, we also have a High German Judith poem preserved, traditionally called the Ältere Judith to distinguish it from a clearly younger and longer Middle High German Judith poem. Although the Ältere Judith is not significantly younger than its Old English counterpart, its style and content are considerably different. The Ältere Judith poem, also called Nabuchodonosor, is preserved in the early twelfth century Vorau Manuscript 276 (Stiftsbibliothek), but the poem itself may predate the manuscript by a century atleast with some scholars even arguing for a tenth century conception. The poem consists of 19 lines in verse, significantly shorter than 349 alliterating lines of the Old English version, written in a late Old High German possibly early Middle High German Rhine Franconian dialect. The poem equates the Nebukadnezar of the book Daniel with the Nebukadnezar of the book Judith, incorporating both the story of the murder of the three young men in the oven and the story of Judith who murdered Holofernes in the poem. We may compare the “murder scene” of the Old English poem with the “murder scene” of the late Old High German poem. For the sample below I used Waag’s edition (Waag 1890: 34-41).

Dô irbarmôtiz doch                Den alwaltintin got:Dô santer ein eingil voni himiliDer kuntiz deri vrowin hî nidini:

Nu stant ûf, dû gûti Judithi

Dû zi goti woli digiti,

Unde geinc dir zi demo gizelti

Dâ daz swert sî giborgin

Du heiz dîn wîb Avin

Vur daz betti gâhin,

Ob er ûf welli,

Daz sû in eddewaz âvelli

Du zûhiz wîglichi

Undi slâ vravillichi,

Du slâ Holoferni

Daz houbit von dem bûchi,

Du lâ ligin den satin bûch,

Daz houbit stôz in ginin stûch.

Then God took pity on her.Then he sent an angel from heaven,who revealed it to the woman here below: now rise, you excellent Judith,who prayed dilligently to god,

go to the tent,

where the sword is hidden.

Command your chambermaid Ava,

to go in front of the bed,

to keep him down

when he wants to rise,

now draw battle-like (the sword)

and hit boldly,

hit his head from his belly,

leave his drunk belly behind

and put his head in your sleeve.

 

This Judith needs more divine help than her Old English namesake. After invoking Gods help in a similar way as the Old English Judith (German Judith: nu hilf mir alwaltantir got, Old English Judith: Ic ðe, frymða God, ond frofre Gæst, Bearn alwaldan, biddan wylle), an angel comes down from heaven and narrates what she should do. Thus the actual action scene is not related and the angelus ex machine takes the responsibility away from our heroine. Nevertheless, the words of the angel imply that she is still the same sword wielding heroine as in the Old English poem as is clear from the words wîglichi “battle-like” and vravillîchi “boldly”, martial epithets for a martial protagonist.

In the High and Late Middle Ages numerous Judith receptions followed, several of which have made their way to written form. The biblical heroine had become part of oral tradition and plays a role in the work of Chaucer and Dante. Folk songs and many oral versions of the story were brought by trouvères and minstrels from town to town and were integrated into the collective reservoir of oral poetry.

Finally we may note that the tale of the woman cutting off an evil mens head and carrying it home became a folk motive which eventually made its way into the late Middle Dutch Heer Halewijnlied, a Dutch folk song that probably is to be ascribed to the 14th c., despite the only copy dating from a 19th c. scholarly edition of the song from a lost leaflet. We may also wonder whether the name Halewijn is not in some way connected to the name Holofernes, perhaps via Early Romance *ɔlɔƀɛrn which provoked a folk etymological interpretation. It has been argued that the English Elf-Knight and Danish Ulver from modern folktales are also to be connected to the Holofernes of the biblical Judith tale (Nygard 1958: 32).

To me this song holds special significance since it was my first introduction to the historical prestages of Dutch in high school and a great one it was. The story of the song is amazing in every possible way. A princess hears the magic song of a dark knight called lord Halewijn who makes every woman in the land fall in love and elope with him. The princess also hears the song and asks permission from her parents and family to go to Halewijn. Every family member tells her not to go (neen, mijn dochter, neen, gi niet, wie derwaert gaen en keeren niet “no, my daughter, not you, who goes yonder does not come back”), but her brother says she can go just as long as she keeps her honour. Of course she doesn’t intend to keep her honour and goes to Halewijn for some serious extramarital intercourse. Unfortunately for our heroine, Halewijn has the nasty habit of slaying the women he slept with and she, alas, is no exception. Gallantly he does offer her a choice in the manner of her execution. Our heroine has both brains and brawn and chooses the sword but bids him to take off his shirt lest it get soaked in blood. Halewijn takes off his shirt, but the princess has already grabbed his sword and cuts off his head. She puts it in her garments and walks away.

Heer Halewijn heeft alsdan geseid:“Mits gi di scoonste maget zijtSoo kiest u dood; het is nu tijd.” “Wel, als ik dan hier kiesen sal,

Soo kies ic tsweert noch boven al.

Maer trect eerst uit u opperst kleet:

Want maegdenbloet dat spreit soo breet:

Soot u bespreide, dat ware mi leet.

En eer sijn kleet getogen was,

Sijn hooft al voor sijn voeten lag.

(Willems 1848:118)

 

Lord Halewijn then said:Unless you are the prettiest maidenChoose your execution: it is time.Well, if I have to choose here,

so I will choose the sword above all other ways.

But take off your shirt, because maidenblood

Spills o so widely. I would hate to see it soil you! And before his shirt was off, his head lay at his feet.

In every way this sassy young lady is heiress to a long tradition of Judith receptions and embodies the bold female protagonist who outwits the evil antagonist and defends her own honour by beheading her male opponent. In this regard she is strikingly similar to Gregory of Tours slave girl who killed Duke Amalo. In both cases, the message is clear: Don’t mess with a smart woman or you might lose your head!

Bibliography

Brine, Kevin R.

2010        “The Judith Project” in: The sword of Judith: Judith studies across the disciplines, Kevin R. Brine e.a. eds. (Cambridge).

Gregory of Tours

1974       History of the Franks, Lewis Thorpe ed. (London).

Nygard, Holger Olof

1958      The ballad of Heer Halewijn, its form and variations in western Europe: a study of the history and nature of a ballad tradition (Helsinki).

Treharne, Elaine

2000        Old and Middle English c. 890- c. 1400; an anthology (Oxford).

Waag, Albert

1890 Kleinere deutsche Gedichten des XI und XII Jahrhunderts (Halle).

Weber Robert e.a. eds.

1969        Biblia Sacra; iuxta vulgatam versionem (Stuttgart).


Willems, J.F.

1848           Oude Vlaemsche liederen; ten deele met de melodiën (Gent).

 

A Berber fable in Middle Atlas Tamazight

“the tale of the jackal, the lion and the hyena”

Although North Africa has been part of the Muslim world for over a millennium, amidst the vast linguistic ocean of Arabic there are some considerable islands of  Berber speaking communities to be found. From the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Siwa oasis in Egypt and as far north as the Mediterannean and as far south as Burkina Faso Berber languages are spoken. Berber speakers have been native to North Africa for several millennia at least and the language survived the presence of Phoenician, Roman,Vandal and Byzantine rulers, before the Umayyad dynasty conquered Maghrebi North Africa in the late 7th c. CE. In the colonial period (late 19th, early 20th c. CE) a substantial part of North Africa was administered by French colonial rulers, leaving French as an official language in Morocco and Algeria. But also Berber stood its ground and nowadays presumably some 10 million people speak a Berber language, or as many Berber speakers would call it Tamazight. Although the unifying term ‘Berber’ might suggest some sort of linguistic unity, the diversity amongst the Berber languages is best compared to the diversity amongst the Germanic or Romance languages (Kossmann 2012).

I have started learning Middle Atlas Berber with the help and instruction of Marijn van Putten (Leiden University) and I am positively mesmerized by the exotic nature and beauty of the language. As a seasoned Indo-Europeanist, wrestling through the alien syntax and morphology of a non-IE language takes some getting used to, but overall I think I am catching on. In this post I would like to share a Berber fable that I translated. This fable is to be found in Harry Stroomer’s edition of Arsène Roux Textes Berbères du Maroc central: textes originaux en transcription (Stroomer ed.: 2007). Arsène Roux collected these stories and fairy tales in the 1920’s and 1930’s when Morocco was a French protectorat. He collected and annotated these stories for educational purposes, to be used at the Institut des hautes etudes Marocaines. The language in which these stories were written is called Tamazight [θamaziɣθ], but since this simply means “Berber language” it is more aptly called Middle Atlas Berber. As a Northern Berber language it shared in the socalled Northern Berber spirantization which turned lax stops into fricatives. Dental stops became interdental fricatives and velar stops became prepalatal fricatives.

Northern Berber Spirantization

*b > b [β]

*t > t [θ]

*d > d [ð]

*g > ḡ [ʝ] (> y )

*k > k [ç] (> š).

Arsène Roux used a very phonetic orthography that also reflected the colouring effects of emphatic consonants. In the text that I will cite below I have adapted the text into a more phonemic transcription, connecting better to recent publications in Berberology. The allophonic colourings of the vowels under influence of the emphatic consonants are all rendered by the underlying unpharangylized phoneme, e.g. Roux ṭå = mine ṭa, Roux –än = Mine -an.

                Roux    Mine

                e              ə

                j               ž

                ɛ              ʕ

                ḫ             x

                ġ              ɣ

When compared to the form of the language laid down in Penchoen’s 1973 grammar, Tamazight of the Ayt Ndhir, some pecularities may be noted. The dialect that Roux wrote down underwent more advanced spirantization than the one Penchoen described, hence we find š for  k and y for . Below you will first find the original text with the translation and then a glossing of each sentence. The excessively used inn-as “he said to him” will only be glossed the first time. Following Penchoen I have called most grammatical morpheme “particles” which may lead to some terminology confusion. Just read “morpheme” for each grammatical morpheme that I called a “particle”. A final remark concerns the terms état libre and état annexion exclusively used in Berber linguistics. The état libre may be considered a kind of default accusative, while the état annexion is used after prepositions and as a subject marker. They will be abbreviated as EL and EA.

Once again, thanks to Marijn van Putten for guiding me through this text. For examples of his recent work, see his blogs http://phoenixblog.typepad.com and http://orientalberber.wordpress.com/. If you find any mistakes or typo’s or have remarks on the analysis, please remark to this post or send me an email. Apparently, due to some import effects of Worpress not all text makeup from my word document survived into the final blogpost (this goes for the spirantization stripes and emphatic consonants, especially the emphatic spirantized d). I do not know how to remedy this. if you have any suggestions or questions, please tell me!

64. Ləḥdiyt-wuššən d-izəm d-məžžɣyuly

Inn-aš: Iqqima wuššən alliy-t-inɣa laẓ, day iddu ar-ittšuš i-ʕari, alliy idəṛ xəf izəm, yaf-t-inn ar-t-ittawi yiṭṣṭṣ i-ʕari. Inn-as: “A-ʕəmmi izəm, idd-is-k-nɣant wallən?” Inn-as: “nɣant-i” Inn-as: “ad-aš nəʕtəx asafar.” Inn-as: “Mani-y-illa?” Inn-as: “Illa gg-wul n-məžžɣyuly, ḥaš-aš.” Inn-as: “I-ma-yi-t-id ittawiyn?” Inn-as: “Ad-aš-t-id awix nəkk!” Iddu ɣər məžžɣyuly, ḥaš-aš, inn-as: “Ma-š-yaɣən lla ttsḥizunt zəgg-uḍaṛ?” Inn-as: “A-uddi  iʕəṛṛəm-iyi!” Inn-as: “ʕiyyənx-aš aḍbib.” Inn-as: “Iwa kkər-ax ad-ɣuṛ-s nmun!” Ddun-d alliy-d iwḍən izəm. Nitni iwḍən izəm, inn-as wuššən i-məžžɣyul: “Silliy s-aḍbib, ẓẓayən-as šwiʸ iməžžann.” Nətta isilliʸ ɣuṛ-s, iggʷəd-as irwəl, day itfuṛ-t-wuššən, inn-as: “Inddmad əy-tərwəlt, aḍar-ənnəš ira ad-ižžiʸ. bar is təggwədd i-uryaz iran ad-aš iyy asafar?” Alliy-t-id irura, iṣṣiwəḍ-as-t-id i-izəm, inn-as: “Ad-ur-ttəggwəd i-uryaz is-iran ad-aš iyy asafar!” day iwwət-t izəm, irdəl-t. Inn-as wuššən: “Aǧǧ-i-nəkk at-t-azux!” d(a)-ar-t-ittazu wuššən. Alliy-t-yazu day ičč ul-n-məžžɣyuly.

The tale of the jackal, the lion and the hyena

He said to you: Once upon a time there was a jackal who was afflicted by hunger. Then he went roaming in the desert untill he fell upon a lion, he found him there sleeping in the desert. He said to him: “O uncle lion, do your eyes hurt?” the lion said to him: “My eyes do hurt”. The jackal said to the lion: “Shall I show you medicine?” the lion said to him: “Where is it?” the jackal said to him: “It is in the heart of the hyena, pardon the word.” The lion said to him: “Who will bring it to me?” The jackal said: “I will bring it to you”. He went to the hyena, pardon the word, and he said to him: “What has happened to you that you limp on a foot?” the hyena said to him: “o friend, I am in pain!” the jackal said to him: “I will point you to a doctor” the hyena said to him: “So stand up to us and we will travel to him together!” They reached the lion and the jackal said to the hyena: “Come close to the doctor, he is a little hard of hearing.” And he (the hyena) came closer to him (the lion), but he was scared of him and fled, and the jackal followed him (the hyena) and said to him (the hyena): you fled immediately (when) he (the lion) wants  to cure your foot. It isn’t the case that you flee for the person who wants to bring medicine to you?” Then the hyena returned to the jackal and the jackal brought the hyena to the lion and said to him: “You should not be afraid of the person who wants to do medicine to you!” Then the lion hit him (the hyena) and brought him down. And the jackal said: “Leave him to me and I will flay him. Than the jackal flayed him. When he had flayed him he ate the heart of the hyena himself.

64. Ləḥdiyt-wuššən d-izəm d-məžžɣyulʸ

Inn-aš: Iqqima wuššən alliy-t-inɣa laẓ 

He said to you: Once upon a time there was a jackal who was afflicted by hunger

  • Inn-aš “he said to you” Ini perf.3.sg.m. aš dat.pron. 2.sg.m verbal satellite
  • Iqqima “to stay, to be” qqim perf.3.sg.m. wuššən “jackal” EA
  • alliy-t-inɣa “when he afflicted him” alliy- “when” -t- “him” acc.pron.3.sg.m. -inɣa “he afflicted” nəɣ perf.3.sg.m.
  • laẓ “hunger” EA subject

day iddu ar-ittšuš i-ʕari

then he went roaming in the desert

  • day “then”
  • iddu “he went” ddu aor.3.sg.m.
  • ar-ittšuš “roaming” ar continuative particle (+ impf.) ittšuš impf. 3.sg.m. tt- + ss +šəṭ “to cause to glide” tt- impf.pref. ss- caus.pref.
  • i-ʕari  “in the desert” i- prep. “in” ʕari  “desert” EA

alliy id̠̣əṛəṛ xəf izəm, yaf-t-inn ar-t-ittawi yiṭṣ i-ʕari.

untill he fell upon a lion, he found him there sleeping in the desert.

  • alliy “when”
  • id̠̣əṛ “he fell” d̠̣əṛ aor. 3.sg.m.
  • xəf “on, about”
  • izəm “lion” EA
  • yaf-t-inn “he found him there” yaf- “he found” af aor. 3.sg.m., -t- “him” acc.pron.3.sg.m., -inn “thither” orientation particle “thither”
  •  ar-t-ittawi yiṭṣ “sleeping” ar continuative particle, -t- “him” acc.pron.3.sg.m., ittawi “carries” awəy “to carry” impf. 3.sg.m.  yiṭṣ “sleep”

Inn-as: “A-ʕəmmi izəm, idd-is-k-nɣant wallən?”

He said to him: “O uncle lion, do your eyes hurt?”

  • Inn-as“he said to him” Ini “to say” perf.3.sg.m., as “to him” dat.pron. 3.sg.m verbal satellite
  • A-ʕəmmi izəm “o uncle lion” a- vocative particle, ʕəmmi “paternal uncle”  izəm “lion” EL
  • idd-is-k-nɣant “do they hurt to you” idd- question particle, -is- “to” prep., -k- “you” acc.pron. 2.sg.m. (sandhi-variant -k- instead of -š-), -nɣant “they afflict” nəɣ perf. 3.pl.f.
  • wallən “eyes” EA subject

Inn-as: “nɣant-i” Inn-as: “Ad-aš nəʕtəx asafar.”

The lion said to him: “My eyes do hurt”. The jackal said to the lion: “Shall I show you medicine?”

  • nɣant- “they afflict” nəɣ perf. 3.pl.f., -i “me” acc.pron. 1.sg.
  • Ad-aš nəʕtəx “shall I show you”, ad- projective particle (future), -“to you” dat.pron. 2.sg.m verbal satellite, nəʕtəx  “I show” nəʕt aor. 1.sg.
  • Asafar “medicine” EL object

Inn-as: “Mani-y-illa?” Inn-as: “Illa gg-wul n-məžžɣyulʸ, ḥaš-aš.”

the lion said to him: “Where is it?” the jackal said to him: “It is in the heart of the hyena, pardon the word.”

  • Mani-y-illa “where is it”  mani- “where”, -y- transitional glide, -illa “is it” ili perf.3.sg.m.
  •  gg-wul n-məžžɣyulʸ “in the heart of the hyena” gg-wul < *i(y)-wul (sandhi-effect) i- “in” prep., n- “of” genitive particle,  məžžɣyulʸ “hyena” EA
  • ḥaš-aš “pardon the word”, ḥaša- “absolutely not, never” -“to you” dat.pron. 2.sg.m verbal satellite,  expression used by taboo-subjects, can be translated more litterally as “loin de toi”.

Inn-as: “I-m-ay-i-t-id ittawiyn?” Inn-as: “Ad-aš-t-id awix nəkk!”

The lion said to him: “Who will bring it to me?” The jackal said: “I will bring it to you”.

  • I-m-ay-i-t-id ittawiyn “who will bring it to me” ma- “who” question particle, -ay- “that” relative pronoun, -i- “to” prep., -t- “it” acc.pron. 3.sg.m., -id  “hither” orientation particle
  • Ad-aš-t-id awix nəkk “(I) will bring it to you” Ad- projective particle (future), -- “to you” dat.pron. 2.sg.m., -t- “it” acc.pron. 3.sg.m., -id  “hither” orientation particle. nəkk “I” independent pers.pron. (appositive).

Iddu ɣər məžžɣyulʸ, ḥaš-aš, inn-as: “Ma-š-yaɣən lla ttsḥizunt zəgg-uḍaṛ?”

He went to the hyena, pardon the word, and he said to him: “What has happened to you that you limp on a foot?”

  • iddu “he went” ddu aor.3.sg.m.
  • ɣər “to, toward” prep.
  • Ma-š-yaɣən “what has happened to you”, ma- “what” question particle,  -(a)š- “to you” dat.pron. 2.sg.m,  -yaɣən “has happened” relative subject participle (aor.)
  • lla ttsḥizunt  “that you limp” lla- extensive particle (durative),  ttsḥizunt “you limp” sḥizun < *tt + ss + ḥzən “to be afflicted” impf. 2.sg.
  • zəgg-uḍaṛ “on a foot” < *zəy-uḍaṛ, zəy “from” prep.,  uḍaṛ EA

Inn-as: “A-uddi,  iʕəṛṛəm-iyi!” Inn-as: “ʕiyyənx-aš aḍbib.”

the hyena said to him: “o friend, I am in pain!” the jackal said to him”I will point you to a doctor”

  • A-uddi “o friend,” a- vocative particle, -uddi “friend” EL
  • iʕəṛṛəm-iyi “I am in pain,” iʕəṛṛəm “to have pain” ʕəṛṛəm aor. 3.sg.m., -iyi- “to me” acc.pronoun. 1.sg.
  • ʕiyyənx-aš “I will point you,” ʕiyyənx “I will point” ʕiyyən aor. 1.sg., -“to you” dat.pron. 2.sg.m verbal satellite.
  • aḍbib “doctor” EL

Inn-as: “Iwa kkər-ax ad-ɣuṛ-s nmun!”

He said to him: “So stand up to us and we will travel to him together!”

  • iwa “so” continuity particle
  • kkər-ax “stand up” kkər < *nkər “to stand up, to set to” imp. 2.sg., ax “to us” dat.pronoun. 1.pl.
  • ad-ɣuṛ-s  “to him,” ad- projective particle, ɣuṛ “to” prep., -s “him” dat.pron. 3.sg.
  • nmun “we travel together” mun “to accompany, to be together” aor. 1.pl.

Ddun-d alliy-d iwḍən izəm.

They went untill they reached the lion

  • ddun- “they went” ddu “to go” aor.3.pl.m., -d hitherorientation particle
  • alliy-“untill” alliy “when, untill” temporal particle, -d hitherorientation particle
  • iwḍən “they reached” awəḍ “to arrive” pf. 3.pl.m.
  • izəm “lion” EL

Nitni iwḍən izəm, inn-as wuššən i-məžžɣyul:

They reached the lion, and the jackal said to the hyena:

  • Nitni “they” indepedent personal pron.
  • iwḍən “they reached” awəḍ “to arrive” pf. 3.pl.m.
  • wuššən “jackal” EA
  • i-məžžɣyul “to the hyena” i- “to” prep., məžžɣyul “hyena” EA

“Silli-s aḍbib, ẓẓayən-as šwiʸ iməžžann.”

“Come close to the doctor, he is a little hard of hearing.”

  • Silliʸ “come close” silləy < *ss + illəy “to make room, to come close,” imper. 2.sg., -s “to him” dat.pron. 3.sg.
  • aḍbib “doctor” EL
  • ẓẓayən-as “they are heavy to him” ẓẓay aor. 3.pl.m.,
  • -as “to him” dat.pron. 3.sg.m verbal satellite.
  • šwiʸ “a little”
  • iməžžann “ears” amezzuɣ pl. EA

Nətta isilliʸ ɣuṛ-s, iggʷəd-as irwəl, day itfuṛ-t-wuššən, inn-as:

He came closer to him, but he was afraid and fled, so the jackal followed him and said:

  • nətta “he” independent personal pron.
  • isilliʸ “he comes closes” silləy “to make room, to come close” aor. 3.sg.m.
  • ɣuṛ-s “to him,” ɣuṛ- “to” prep., -s “him” acc.pron. 3.sg.
  • irwəl “he ran away” ərwəl “to run, to flee” aor. 3.sg.m.
  • day “so, then”  continuity particle
  • itfuṛ-t-wuššən “the jackal followed him,” itfuṛ- “he followed” tfuṛ “to follow, to chase” aor. 3.sg.m., -t- “him” acc.pronoun. 3.sg.m., wuššən “jackal” EL
  • iggʷəd-as “he was afraid of him” ggʷəd < *wwəd   “to be afraid” aor. 3.sg.m., as “to him” dat.pron. 3.sg.m verbal satellite

“Inddmad əy-tərwəlt, aḍar-ənnəš ira ad-ižžiʸ.

“You fled immediately, (when) he wanted to cure your foot”

  • inddmad “immediately” dialectal form of idmadd.
  • əy-tərwəlt “you fled” əy- < *aḡ demonstr.pron. in cleft sentences, tərwəlt < * tərwəld, ərwəl, “to flee” aor. 3.sg.m.
  • aḍar-ənnəš “your foot” EL direct object, aḍar “foot”, ənnəš “your” poss.pron. 3.sg.
  • ira “he wants” iri “to want” aor. 3.sg.m.
  •  ad-ižžiʸ “he will cure”, ad projective particle (future), ižžiʸ “he cures” žžəy “to cure” aor. 3.sg.m.

bar is təggʷədd i-uryaz iran ad-aš iyy asafar?”

It isnt the case that you are afraid for the person who wants to bring medicine to you?”

  • bar conjunction “isn’t it the case, perhaps that”
  • is question particle
  • təggʷədd  “you are afraid” ggʷəd < *wwəd   “to be afraid” aor. 2.sg.
  • i-uryaz “to the man” i “to” prep., uryaz “man” EA
  • iran “who wants” iri “to want” relative subject participle sg.
  • ad-aš “to you” ad- projective particle, -“to you” dat.pron. 2.sg.m. verbal satellite.
  • Iyy “he puts, does” y- < *ḡ- “to do, to put” aor. 3.sg.m.
  • Asafar “medicine” EL

Alliy-t-id irura, iṣṣiwəḍ-as-t-id i-izəm, inn-as:

Then the hyena returned to the jackal and the jackal brought the hyena to the lion and said to him:

  • Alliy-t-id “then to him” alliy- “then” temporal particle, -t- “him” acc.pronoun. 3.sg.m., -id “hither” orientation particle
  • Irura “he returned” rar “to return” perf. 3.sg.m.
  • iṣṣiwəḍ-as-t-id “he brought him to him” iṣṣiwəḍ “to cause to arrive” ṣṣiwəḍ < *ss + awəḍ aor. 3.sg.m., as “to him” dat.pron. 3.sg.m verbal satellite, , -t- “him” acc.pronoun. 3.sg.m., -id “hither” orientation particle
  • i-izəm “to the lion” i- “to” prep., -izəm “lion” EA

“Ad-ur-ttəggʷəd i-uryaz is-iran ad-aš iyy asafar!”

“You should not be afraid of the person who wants to do medicine to you!”

  • Ad-ur-ttəggʷəd “You should not be afraid” Ad- projective particle, -ur- “not” negative particle, ttəggʷəd “You are not afraid” ggʷəd < *wwəd “to be afraid” impf. 2.sg.
  • i-uryaz “to the man” i- “to” prep., uryaz “man” EA
  • is-iran “who wants” is- “who” relat.pron., -iran “wanting” iri “to want” pf. relative subject participle.
  • ad-aš “to you” ad- projective particle, -“to you” dat.pron. 2.sg.m. verbal satellite.
  • Iyy “he puts, does” y- < *ḡ – “to do, to put” aor. 3.sg.m.
  • Asafar “medicine” EL

day iwwət-t izəm, irdəl-t.

Then the lion hit him and brought him down.

  • day “then” continuity particle
  • iwwət-t “he hit him” iwwət < *iwwət “he hit” (sandhi-induced despirantization) wwət ( also gʷət) “to hit, to strike” aor. 3.sg.m., -t < *t “him” acc.pronoun. 3.sg.m.
  • izəm EA
  • irdəl-t “he brought him down” irdəl- “he brought down” ərdəl “to fall, to make fall” aor. 3.sg.m., -t “him” acc.pronoun. 3.sg.m.

Inn-as wuššən: “Aǧǧ-i-nəkk at-t-azux!”

Then the jackal said to him: “Leave him to me and I will flay him.”

  • Aǧǧ-i-nəkk “leave to me” Aǧǧ- “leave”  imper. 2.sg., -i- “to” prep.,  -nəkk “me” independent pron. 1.sg.
  • at-t-azux “I will flay him” at- < *ad projective particle (future) (sandhi-induced despirantization), -t- < -t- “him” acc.pronoun. 3.sg.m., -azux “I flay” azu “to flay” aor. 1.sg.

d(a)-ar-t-ittazu wuššən.

and the jackal flayed him.

  • d- “and” prep. “with” used as conjunct., -ar- continuative particle,  -t- “him” acc.pron. 3.sg.m., -ittazu “he flayed” azu “to flay” impf. 3.sg.m.
  • wuššən “jackal” EA

Alliy-t-yazu day ičč ul-n-məžžɣyulʸ

When he had flayed him he ate the heart of the hyena (himself).

  • Alliy-t-yazu “when he had flayed him,” alliy- “when” temporal particle, -t- “him” acc.pron. 3.sg.m., -yazu “he flayed” azu “to flay”aor. 3.sg.m.
  •  day “then” continuative particle
  •  Ičč “he ate” čč- “to eat” aor. 3.sg.m.
  • ul-n-məžžɣyulʸ “the heart of the hyena,” ul- “heart’ EL, -n- “of” genitive particle, məžžɣyulʸ “hyena”

Bibligraphy
Arsène Roux, Textes Berbères du Maroc central (textes originaux en transcription) Tome 1: récits, contes et légendes berbères dans le parles des Beni-Mtir et choix de versions berbères (parlers du Maroc central), Harry Stroomer ed., Berber Studies 18 (Cologne 2007).

Thomas G. Penchoen, Tamazight of the Ayt Ndhir, Wolf Leslau and Thomas G. Penchoen eds., Afroasiatic dialects I (Los Angeles 1973).