Part I - My comments regarding G. Vasil's post in Balt-L list (left
>Dr Basanavicius, who practiced medicine in Bulgaria and elsewhere in
the Balkans, was of the
>same opinion. There is something undeniably similar in the stress
or intonation of the southern
>Slavonic languages and Lithuanian.
>> Here are only some proposed Thraco-Baltic parallels:
>> per 'boy, son'
- Latv. puer 'child, boy, son'
>As in "puerile"?! Try a root closer to ber-, same for Old English "boy."
There might not be a need to, if the correspondence is with the Latvian
>> ukas 'mist; misty, turbid'- Lith. ukas 'a mist;
clouding; fume, vapour'
>This is an interesting word. Of course, Lithuanian ukis is the same
>Greek ecos, economy, from a root for homestead, household.
Yes, much the same with Latvian e'ka; a house or other structure, but
think that Duridanov had another meaning in mind.
>But Maziulis in
>"Prusu kalbos etimiloginis zodynas" volume 1, pg. 50 has "aglo" as
>neuter Prussian noun "rain" connected with Greek axlos, "dark, cloud,"
>supposed to have been Indo-European *aghlu. Maziulis thinks more the
>is to be found in activity, a strong, heavy rain, rather than in passive
>darkness, but this is a good match for modern Lithuanian aklas, "blind."
>There may be some connection to migla, "mist, fog" as well, a word
>exists in Baltic and Scandinavian languages almost with exactly
>meanings. If memory serves me, there is some form in Sanskrit that
>to migla or aglo as well.
Latvian migla; fog. Also Latvian 'akals' for 'vison impaired'. Yes I
that is more the meaning intended. Yet there is a more exact meaning
can be posited. Latvian; 'Laiks ir apMAKUSies'; literally 'The time
cloudy'. Apmakusies stems from ap+makuns; to surround(with)cloud. Thracian
'ukas' and Latvian 'makuns' look to be identical in meaning.
>> The problem with the Thracian words is that most of them are reconstructed
>> from the composite names of villages, rivers, tribes, etc., preserved
>> Greek and Roman inscriptions. Their meaning was unknown until they
>> to words from other Indo-European l-s, such as Baltic. One could
suspect that ...
>The problem with reconstructed Indo-European languages is that they
>based on known languages, so that when you compare the reconstruction
>the living thing, you get amazing correspondence. It couldn't be
>otherwise. It's called circular reasoning.
Only if it has been derived by cirular reasoning. Above you cite "modern
Lithuanian aklas, "blind." Much the same root exists in the Latvian
"visually impared". The same root exists in the Latin '*ocula". As
three are IE, we would expect correspondence in meaning, yet we find
Latin meaning sighted.
Further digging reveals;
Dionysius of Halicarnassus c507bc: Horatius Cocles at the Bridge:
"Spurius Larcis and titus Herminius who commanded the right wing and
one younger man Publius Horatius, who was called Cocles () from an
to his sight, one of his eyes having been struck out in battle...."
"Cocles is perhaps related to the Greek word kuklops, which means 'round
eyed', but is generally employed to mean 'one-eyed'"....and *ocles
is obviously related to the Baltic meaning of aklas/akls. The point
that if you do expect to find IE cognates and you have a vocabulary
work from, a comparison can be made.
Part II my notes on Duridanovs word lists:
The reconstructed Thracian language is documented in vocabularies,
compiled by the Greeks, as well as toponyms, and hydronyms. Vocabulary
lists are perhaps the most valid forms of comparison. I have selected
number of additional words from Duridanov's list to compare. Any
correspondence that may be illustrated, at a minimum, indicates some
affinity with Baltic. That this affinity rises above that of other
IE languages seems to be apparent. I draw no other conclusions....and
that my Latvian below posited comparisons are addendums to the cited
(mostly) non-Latvian etymology.
>>The Thracian river name Asamus and the Pelasgian asaminthos 'a (stone)
bath' from the stem
>>asam- 'of stone' < IE *ak'am.
(Addition) Latvian asi+min'os; at the place of sharp(stones),
alternatively *basa+min'os; the bathing place.
the first element Skaptin the
VN *Skapto-para is linked to the Greek skápt
'to dig, to dig up'. This parallel, however, is not exclusively Thraco-Greek
- there is the Lith. skaptúoti 'to hollow out (in wood), to cut'.
(Addition) Also the Latvian skrapet/skrapt; to scrape. I also
that 'skap' in Latvian, means storage place (typically shelving) that
initially have referred to below ground storage (in amphorae) of grains
and other foodstuffs - as is typical in the classical world.
the Thracian river name Asamus and the VN Asamum in Dalmatia from the
IE *ak'am-. Compare, however, to the pre Greek ("Pelasgian") asáminthos
'a (stone) bath', the Old-Ind. asman 'a stone; a sky', etc.
(Addition) The above mentioned *basamin'os, also asa/asi which
'sharp' in Latvian...probably from akmen; stone, or aka; an excavated
midne ‘village’, initially ‘a place of stay’. ... There is an
exact correspondence with the Latv. mitne ‘a place of stay, a dwelling,
a shelter’ from the older *mutin.
(Clarification) From the Latvian mit; to trample down. Also
place to sleep.
póltyn ‘a board fence, a board tower, a fortification
of beams and boards’ (Etym. M.), from the IE *(s)p-tu-(n)-,
compare with the Old-Icel. spjald (<*spel-to-s) ‘a board’, Anglo-Saxon
speld ‘wood, log’, German spalten ‘to chop, to splinter’. The word is regarded
as being Thracian because it is an element of the village name Poltym-bria,
which is among the indisputably Thracian names ending on -bria.
(Addition) The Latvian *vol; - a cut pole/timber. *Tineja;
to have tied
together..... conjectured *Voltyn would idiomatically mean 'joined
tied timbers', or in other words a wall.
zibythides ‘the noble Thracian men and women’ (Hesych.).
A. Fick explains it as a Grecized form from the Lith. ibeti
(ibù) ‘to shine, to light’.
He interpreted it as a participle meaning ‘splendidus, illustris, erlaucht’
and wrote it in the form zibynthides, which actually did not exist.
Apart from the Greek ending -id-(es), the initial word zibut- has an exact
parallel in the Lith. ibute
‘a fire, light’ and ‘something light’. But Fick was right translating the
Thracian word as ‘most holy one’.
(Additional) Latvian zibsniet; shining, also zibens; lightning.
(Leo Gramm., Georg. Amartol., Georg. Mon.; AD 917) -
small river near the town of Anchialo (Pomorie) on the Black Sea. The name
is explained from the IE *kel-
‘water’, preserved in the Lith. hydronym Akkl
(lake). It is also compared with the Lydian river name of Achéles,
Akéles, the Phrygian akala ‘water’. As identical are given also
the name of Achelos of five rivers
in Greece. The same Thracian name is hidden in the name of the small Black
Sea town of Anchialo, attested by Strabo under the form of Anchiál
and by Apian as Anchíalos, which is in fact a Grecized form of the
Thracian name, linked with the Greek word anchíalos ‘coastal’.
(Additional) The above mentioned asa/asi; which now means 'sharp'
Latvian...probably from akmen; 'stone', or aka; 'an excavated well
digging'. Curiously, the Sumerian akku also means excavated canal or
Aiziké (Steph. Byz.) - part of Thracia.
It meant ‘country of the goats’. Compare with the Armen. aic, the Greek
aix, from the IE *aig’-. Similar is the origin of the Dacian place name
Aizisís (a village in Banat).
(Addition) Latvian Kaziz; goat, and Aita; sheep.
*Alaaibria - place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Zeus
and Hera - Alaaibrinoi (in
an inscription from Thracia). As -bria means ‘town’, the whole name
may be explained as ‘a town on *Alaja (river)’, and *Alaja is supposedly
a river name, which is identical to the Lith. hydronym Alajà (lake),
extended from *ala < IE *ola from the IE stem *el-, *ol- ‘to flow’ in
the Lith. aléti ‘to be flooded’.
(Addition) Latvian Ieleija; valley (verb)Ieleija; to
*Bria...Similar to Latvian place name; Abrene.
Angítes (Hdt.) - tributary of Struma,
today Andzhista. The name means ‘bent (river)’ from the IE *ank-, *ang-
‘to bend, to twist’.
(Addition) Latvian sarez'git; to bend or twist; Latgallian
sa-RANG- et, 'twisted'.
*Armula - a place name, reconstructed from Hera’s epithet Armuln
in an inscription from the Sofia district. Compare to the LIth. river name
Armul-ikis , from the Lith. arma
‘swamp, bog’, the river name Arma (in Piedmont), Armit (in Scotalnd).
(Addition) Perhaps also *Ar mala; the ''out' side'; Latvian
*ara mala, 'the
place of taking out'.
Athrys (Hdt.), Ieterus (Plin.),
Iatrus (Iord.) - the Jantra river, which is
called Etr at Gabrovo, and Jetr
- from Trnovo to its mouth by the
old, local population. The name is interpreted from the IE *tro-
‘quick, nimble’ in the Old-HighGerman tar
‘quick’, the Latv. atrs ‘quick’, etc. Ieterus is the Thracian form, while
the forms with A-, Ia- are Dacian, in which the IE
was transformed into a, ia.
(Clarification) Latvian atrs; fast/quick, of course. But it
also the later named Jantra might correspond with Latvian 'jautra';
- village in Bisaltia, today Tahino on the western bank of the lake Prasias
(Tahino). This name contains the Thracian word *berg(s) ‘a high place,
bank, mountain’ from the IE *bhergho- in the Old-Bulg. breg
‘bank, coast’, Old-Icel. berg, Old-HighGerman berg, German Berg ‘mountain’.
(Addition) Latvian 'bargs'; strong/unassailable
Bredai (Prok.) - fortress in the region
of Hemimont, near the modern village of Momkovo, Svilengrad district. It
is explained from the IE *bhredh- ‘to wade, to trample’ and probably was
identical with the Russ. bred, bredina ‘pasture-ground’, the Russ, Church
Slavic bredon bresti ‘to cross by a ford’, the common Slavic brod
‘a ford’, the Lith. brada ‘soft soil’.
(Addition) Latvian *briest; to walk through water. In a 'reconstruction'
Baltic *breadai could be postulated to mean 'the place where we waded
(through the water)'
Burticom (in a guide-book) - village at
the Black Sea, between Apollonia and Tjunias, approximately near the modern
village of Brodilovo. A two-component name, the first part Burti-, Burdi-
is identical to Burd- in Burdapa (see above); -dizos, -dizon (found also
under the form of -diza in place names) means ‘a fortress’ and is related
to the Avest. uz-daza- ‘a heaping,
a fortification’, pairi-daza ‘a
fence’ from the IE *dheig’ho, Old-Pers. did,
New-Pers. diz, dez ‘a fortress’, from the IE *dhig’h.
(An addition) - Latvian *bert, means 'to heap'. Also *Tukums
Calsus (in an inscription) - village in
Thracia, Stara Zagora district. Its stem is identical to the Latvian place
names Kalsi, Kalsi,
Kals-Strauts ‘dry river’, from the Latv. kàlst (-stu, -tu) ‘to dry
out’. The Thracian Calsus from the initial *Kaltsus < IE *(s)kolt-so-
must had meant ‘a dry place’.
(More detail) *Kalsi...is a Latvian town name. It would also
interesting to know if a major stone quarry has been found at this
as *kaltos/*kalsos would mean something like "at the quarry".
Chalástra (Strab., Steph. Byz.),
Chalestra (Hdt.) - village at the mouth of
the Vardar river. It can be interpreted as a two-component one from the
‘muddy, swampy river’. Compare the first part to the Old-Bulg. kal,
the Bulg. kal ‘mud’, etc.; -stra comes from the older *strava, related
to the Lith. sravà ‘a stream’, the Latv. strava ‘stream, torrent’,
the Greek rhóos ‘stream, river’.
(Addition) *Strava...of course 'stream'. Further another (highly
speculative on my part) possible construction; c'(Ts)al (bird fledgeling)
+ lasta (place of picking); *C'alaste.
Háimon (Hdt., Strab.), Háimos
(Prol., Steph. Byz.), Haemus (Plin.)
- the Balkan m-s (Stara planina). The name is explained from the earlier
Thracian form *Saiman (resp. -as) meaning ‘a ridge, a chain’ from the IE
stem *si-: si-
(sei- : si-) ‘to link’ in the Old-Ind. smán-
‘a ridge, a boundary’, the Irish sm
‘a chain’. The initial S- was transformed in spiritus asper (denoted with
H-) under a Greek influence, when the name was interpreted with the identical
Greek haimós ‘thicket, brushwood’. The old name of Haemus was preserved
in the Bulgarian dialects as Im(-mountain); it is also preserved in the
name Emine-burun - a cape on the Black Sea.
(An addition) A more straightforward possible cognate could
Kalíndonia, Kalíndia (Ptol.)
- town in Mygdonia. The name is related to the Old-Pruss. Galindo (a place
name, from 1231 AD) and the tribal name Galindai, attested by Ptolemeus.
Compare also with the Old-Pruss. Galynde (forest), Galinden (a village),
etc. These name are derivatives from the Lith. gãlas ‘end, border
of a field, meadow or forest’, the Latv. gals ‘environs’ - from the IE
*golo-s. Compare to the semantic
parallels in Bulgarian: the place names Krajna, Krajno selo, Kraishta,
(Addendum) Possibly a reference to the Galinds; a Baltic tribe
maintained its identity until the mid 1700's. Their last place of
residence was in Beloruusia. Also interesting is the fact that some
Gallinds separated to join the Vandals in journey across europe and
Kapistúria (Prok.) - fortress along
the upper course of Hebros, near Bessapara. It meant ‘hilly country’: Kapi-
is related to the Latv. kãpa, kãpe ‘long mountainous strip,
dune, slope’, the Lith. kopà ‘sandy hill’; -sturia comes from the
‘country, environs’, compare with the Old-Bulg. strana from the Proto-Slavic
the Bulg. pro-stor, the Old-Bulg. prostereti ‘to extend’. Compare structurally
to the Old-Pruss. place name Kappe-galin, the Latv. Kapas-gals, the Lith.
(Clarification) 1) As far as *sturia is concerned, the Latvian
*stura suggests 'corner' in the meaning of 'the coner/place at the
a long climb.
2) Kapi may also relate to Latvian *kapi; cemetary.
*Kersula - a place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Zeuz
- Kersullos (in an inscription). Compare with the Lith. place name Kerulikiu
káimas, probably from the Lith. kerulis
‘wood-pigeon, cushat’, derived from the Lith. kéras
‘with black and white dots’ from the IE *k()er()so-s
(Postulation) Kirsh sula; 'Cherry juice'. (Cherry red Zeus?)
Lingos (Steph. Byz.) - fortress of the
tribe of Potidei. The name is identical to the Latv. place name Lingas;
compare also with the Latv. place names Lingi, Ling'i, Lingas-dik'is, the
Lith. Ling, Lingenai, the Zhemait.
(XVI-th c.) place name Lingi, the Old-Pruss. Ling-war. All these names
contain the reduced *lg of the IE
stem *leng- in the Lith. léng
‘lowland, a meadow in a lowland’ the Old-Bulg. long,
the New Bulg. lg ‘meadow’, the Russ.
(Addendum) Another possibility (although remote); Latvian linga,
*Msypa - place name,
reconstructed from the dweller’s name Msypnoi
(in an inscription from the Karlovo district). The name is derived from
the IE *Ms-up
‘mossy river’: from the IE *mso-s
in the Old-HighGerman, Anglo-Saxon mos ‘moss, swamp’, the Old-Icel. mosi
‘the same’, the Lith. msai ‘mould
on yoghourt’, the river name Msys,
the Church Slavic mh
‘moss’, etc.; the second component upa = the Lith. ùp
‘river’, the Latv. upe ‘river, stream’.
(Addition) Latvian *mazupa; a small river. There is also a
Latvian river of
Mygdonía (Thuk., Ptol.), Mygdonís
(Strab.), Mygdonia (Plin.)
- region along the middle and lower course of Ehedoros (Galiko) down to
the sea, to the east of Vardar. These low-lands contain a number of swamps,
that is why Mygdonia may be interpreted as ‘swampy country’ from the IE
the first component being related to the Latv. muka ‘swamp, where one can
sink’, mukls ‘swampy’, the Lith. muklìs ‘damp, swampy’, compare
with the Lith. river name Mk,
the Zhemait. river name Muka, Mukja, the Latv. place name Mukas, etc.;
the second component is related to the Greek chthn
‘soil, land’, the Old-Ir. du, (Genitive) don ‘place, country’, etc. Compare
also the Thracian place name Rumbo-dona.
(Addition) *Migledoni Latvian: Migla; fog. Doni; marsh reeds.
*The place of
fog and marsh reeds. 2) Magdona; also a town in Latvia.
Néstos (Hdt., Thuk., Arist., Strab., Mela,
etc.) - the river Mesta. The name is explained from the initial
*Nettos from the IE *Ned-to-s from the IE stem *ned- in the Old-Ind.
nádati ‘rumlble, roar’, nadi- ‘river’, the Old-Ir. nes ‘river’,
the river names Neda in Greece (Arcadia), Nedn
(in Messenia). Similar is also the origin of the river names Nestos in
Dalmatia and at the island of Paros. As early as Plinius (I-th c. BC) recorded
the form Mestus, II-III-th c. AD coins have ‘Mestos’ which was adopted
by the Slavs, who, however, changed the gender (--> Mesta) following that
of the common noun reka. Most probably the Greeks gave a new meaning to
the initial Nestos from the Greek adjective mestós ‘full’ (e.g.
in the expression mestós hdatos
‘full with water’). The earlier form was preserved in the name of an upper
tributary of Mesta - Nestenica.
(Addition) Latvian Nestnica; 'a place to carry (goods) to'.
'the place of carrying.' Apmestos; 'the place of resting.'
As you can see, there are simply too many equivalents and cognates in
lexon to be explained by anything other than (at least) a partially
shared vocabulary. The percentage of correspondence far exceeds any
possibility of coincidence.
I think that many of these can be 'tested' by examining a more detailed
description of the actual geographic and archeological (if any)
descriptions of the place names.
I would be interested in getting 'feedback' in the form of questions
reaction from you, as your time permits.
All the best,
Jon Hill 02/15/99