Scholarly article on topic 'Phrygian Glosses in Pseudo-Plutarch's Work De Fluviis'

Phrygian Glosses in Pseudo-Plutarch's Work De Fluviis Academic research paper on "Languages and literature"

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Lingua Posnaniensis
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Academic research paper on topic "Phrygian Glosses in Pseudo-Plutarch's Work De Fluviis"

DOI: 10.2478/v10122-011-0004-7




abstract. Elwira Kaczynska. Phrygian Glosses in Pseudo-Plutarch's Work De Fluviis. Lingua Po-snaniensis, vol. LIII (1)/2011. The Poznan Society for the Advancement of the Arts and Sciences. PL ISSN 0079-4740, ISBN 978-83-7654-140-2, pp. 57-63.

The aim of my study is to discuss three Phrygian glosses attested in Pseudo-Plutarch's work Pepi nota|mfiv and explain them from the etymological and historical-comparative point of view. It is concluded finally that all the glosses should be regarded as a real and valuable part of the Phrygian language .

Elwira Kaczynska, Department of Linguistics and Indo-European Studies, University of Eódz, Lipowa 81, PL - 90-568 Eódz,

The work De fluviorum et montium nominibus et de iis quae in illis inveniuntur (abbreviated title: De fluviis vel Pepi notamrav), traditionally attributed to Plutarch of Chaeronea (nloutáp%ou nepi notamrav kai opwv ercwvumíaj kai trav ev aútoíj eúpiokomévwv), contains quite numerous glosses translating the local proper or common names (appellatives) into Greek. In my study, I would like to discuss all the Phrygian glosses, verifying the credibility of the explanations and translations quoted in the referenced work.

I used the latest critical edition of the work (Calderón Dorda et . al . 2003) . I also consulted the Spanish study published two years later (Rodríguez Moreno 2005: 171-220).


Attestation (Ps.-Plut., Defluv. 10.2, s.v. MAPSYAS): EúrmepiSaj Sé ó KvíSioj ioto-píaj mémvrtai toiaútrj • ó áokój Mapoúou tra cpóvj SanavrQeij kai kateve%9eij erceoev ánó tÁj gÁj tqv Mí8a kp»vrv- kai kat' ólíyov katafepómevoj áliet tivi rcpoorvé%0r' katá Sé cpromoV npootaynv neioíotpatoj ó AakeSaimóvioj napa ta leíyava tov Satúpou nóliv ánó tov ouykup»matoj ktíoaj, Nrópikov aút^v rcpooryópeuoev vrópikov Sé oi Fpúgej tjj ofñv Sialéktra tóv áokóv kalovoiv (Calderón Dorda et al. 2003: 156-158).

Translation: "Here is how Euemeridas of Cnidus remembers the story. Marsyas' skin bag, time-worn and thrown away, slipped down to the ground into Midas' Spring. Carried along slowly [by the river Marsyas1],

1 Marsyas is the ancient name of the present river DinarSu (Tischler 1977: 96) .

it floated up to a fisherman. According to the oracle, Peisistratos of Lacedaemon built a town near the Satyr's (Marsyas') remains, naming it Norikon after the event. In their language, the Phrygians call a skin (skin bag) norikon".

Pseudo-Plutarch tells us that the town of Norikon was named after Marsyas' skin bag, supplementing the information with the message that the Phrygians call a skin bag norikon or norikos (acc . sg . NopiKov cod . , NrapiKov edd . ) .

The same information is provided by Eustathius of Thessalonica (Eustath. comm. ad Dionis. Perieget. 121 = Geogr. Graec. Min. II 724): Tivj 8e iotopovoi Kai oti vrapiKov oi Fpugej tov aoKov Kalovoiv trj ofetepa SialeKtra, Kai oti, onhvika Mapouaj EKetvoj o MouoiK6j aneSaph to orama 0n' ' Anollravoj, o aoK6j KpemaoQeij Kai tra cpovj Kateve%9eij eneoev ej t^v MiSou leyomevhv Kp»vr|v, Kai avt^ |j,ev |ieteKl»0r| Mapouaj, o Se aoK6j Katafepomevoj 0no tov nota^ou aliet npoor|ve%0r| Kai Peioi-otpatoj o AaKeSaimovioj Kata cphomov ano tov ouyKup»matoj noliv Ktioaj NrapiKov npoohyopeuoev, raj ¥v ei'noi tij aoKov [...].

Independently, the referenced information was given by Hesychios, the lexicographer from Alexandria (the fifth or sixth century AD), who quoted the gloss vapKiov • aoKov (Latte 1966: 697) without any ethnic designation of the referenced gloss. Although Hesychios' gloss is different than Pseudo-Plutarch's and Eustathius' one (Phrygian vopiKov alias vrapiKov) in the root vocalism (/a/ instead of /o/) and the sound cluster (/ki/ vs. /ik/), both the close form and the identical meaning prove the historical reliability of the gloss. No wonder then that the scholars researching into the remnants of the Phrygian language scrupulously distinguish the gloss vopiKov or vrapiKov from the Phrygian words (Gusmani 1959: 866; Neroznak 1978: 151) .

Roberto Gusmani (1959: 866) maintains with reference to the Phrygian gloss vopiKov alias vrapiKov (= aoKoj) "e senz'altro in rapporto il vapKiov (= aoKov) di Esichio, forse anch'essa parola frigia: presenterebbe una vocale svarabhaktica in prossimita di liquida. Manca una probabile etimologia". Otto Haas (1966: 154-155) supposes that the Phrygian name for a 'skin, skin bag' is etymologically related to the name of a fur animal whose skin was used to make skin bags, cf. Polish norka f. 'an animal species inhabiting wooded marshlands and river and lake banks, Mustela lutreola L.' vs. norki f. pl. 'mink skin, mink coat' (< Old Slavic *nor^ka, cf. Russian nopm f. 'nutria,Mustela lutreola L.', Ukrainian nipKa f. 'id.'; Czech norek m. 'nutria', Russian dial. nopoK m. 'weasel,Mustela nivalis.'). The name is confirmed in the Slavic languages with the suffixed forms as well: *-iko- (whence Slavic *-bCb) and *-ika (whence Slavic *-ica), cf. Old Czech norec m. 'otter' or 'nutria', Upper Lu-satian norc 'nutria' < Proto-Slavic *norbCb m. 'Mustela lutreola L.' (sourced from Lusatian German Nerz, Norz m. 'nutria'); Ukrainian nopu^ f. 'nutria, Mustela lutreola L.', Russian dial . nop^a 'id.' (< Proto-Slavic *norica f. 'an animal similar to weasel'); Old Prussian naricie (EV 664) 'polecat, gl. tufelskint'. The etymology of the Slavic names remains unclear. They may be the derivatives of the Slavic appellative *nora 'animal's underground hiding place, burrow, hole', formed on the basis of the various suffixes, or the independent forms derived from the verb *noriti 'to wallow (in water),' or finally the borrowings from one of the Ugro-Finnish languages (cf. Finnish nirkka 'weasel,' Estonian nirk 'id.').

The alternative etymology was proposed by Franco Crevatin (1972), who referred the Phrygian names (vopiKov alias vrapiKov) and the Hesychian gloss (vapKiov) to the Semitic appellatives (confirmed as early as the second millennium BC): Assyrian naruqqu(m), Ba-

bylonian nuruqqum 'skin, skin vessel to contain water or wine; bag, sack'. Thus interpreted, the Phrygian word would be an old borrowing from some oriental source (probably a Semitic one).

V. P Neroznak (1978: 151) rejects 0. Haas's etymology, relying on quite an uncertain premise that the Slavic names for a 'mink' are the supposed Ugro-Finnish loan-words, and concurring with F. Crevatin's explanation, which he deems convincing both from a phonetic and semantic standpoint.

The Phrygian gloss in question, given by Euemeridas of Cnidus and repeated by Pseudo-Plutarch, can be securely verified by different literary sources (Hesychios of Alexandria; Eustathius, bishop of Thessalonica) and the non-Greek toponomy (note the Phrygian town Norikon), as well as by lexical data taken from the Semitic languages: Assyr. naruqqu(m), Babil . nuruqqum 'skin, skin vessel to contain water or wine; bag, sack'.


Attestation (Ps.-Plut., De fluv. 12.3-4, s.v. SArAPIS): napákeitai Se awra opoj Ballrvatov kaloúmevov, onep eotiv me0epmrveuómevov Paoilikóv, t^v npooryopíav e%ov ánó Ballrvaíou tov ravum»Souj kai MrSroiyíotrj rcaiSój . oátoj yáp, tóv yevv»oavta 0eaoámevoj ánotrkómevov, toj ey%wpíoij kai Ballrvatov éopt^v katéSeiXe mé%pi vvv kaloúmevov . Tevvatai S' ev aútra 1í0oj kaloúmevoj áot»p . oátoj eL'w0ev vuktój Pa0eíaj nupój Síkrv lámneiv, tov f0ivonrópou t^v ápcnv lamPávovtoj- npooayopeúetai Se tjj Sialéktra trav éy%wpíwv Ba11»v onep me0ep-mrveuómevóv éoti Paoileúj- ka0raj iotopeí 'EpmroiávaX Kúnpioj ev P' Fpuyiakñv (Calderón Dorda et al . 2003: 164) .

Translation: "Near the river there is a mountain called Ballenaion (or Vallenaion), whose translated name means the king's mountain; it was named so after Ballenaios (or Vallenaios), the son of Ganymedes and Medesigiste, who, when he saw his pater dying from love, established a holiday for the locals, known as Ballenaion to this day. A stone called 'star' (astér) is formed in it [i.e. the river Sagaris]. It has a habit of shining in the likeness of fire deep in the night at the beginning of the autumn. The natives call it ballén (vallén) in their dialect, which means "king" in translation, as told by Hermesiánax of Cyprus in the second book of Phrygian Tales".

The quoted excerpt contains the two cognate Phrygian glosses: 1. Phrygian appellative Pa11»v synonymous with the Greek word Paoileúj 'king'; 2. Phrygian oronym (opoj) Pallrvatov translated into Greek as (opoj) Paoilikóv 'king's / royal mountain' (Rodríguez Adrados 1991: 676). The form of the adjective, fixed in the oronym, is secondary to the Phrygian name for a king Pa11»v, which served to denote a kind of stone to be found in the river Sagaris.

The Phrygian word Pa11»v or Pa1»v m. 'king' is richly attested in a dozen or so other classical sources, from the great Greek tragedians (Aeschylus and Sophocles) to Eustathius, bishop of Thessalonica during the 10th century, the author of the commentaries on Homer's works:

1. XO . Pa11»v, ápxatoj / Pa11»v, L'0i, ikov (Aeschylus, Persae 657-658): "O king, ancient king, come, arrive".

2a . Pallfva tov Paoilea . Evfopiwv 8e Qoupiwv fhoi t^v SialeKtov. - Pa11»v: Pa-oilevj Kata Qoupiouj (Scholia in Aeschylum: scholia in Persas, [scholia vetera e codice Mediceo], v. 660): "ballen denotes a king. Euphorion says that it is in the Thurian dialect - ballen means king in the Thurians' vernacular".

2b . Pa1»v] Palfva tov Paoilea . Evfopiwv 8e Qoupiwv fhoi t^v SialeKtov . Pa1»v] Paoilevj Kata Qoupiouj. (Scholia in Aeschylum: scholia in Persas, [scholia vetera], v. 657): "balen : ballen denotes a king. Euphorion says that it is in the Turian dialect - balen means king in the Thurian idiom".

2c . Pal^v] "S Paoilev" Kata Qoupiwv glraooav, raj fhoiv Evfopiwv (Scholia in Aeschylum: scholia in Persas, [scholia vetera ... Demetrii Triclinii], v. 657b): " balen means "o king!" in the Thurian language, as Euphorion says."

3. Pall^v PapPapiKMj o Paoilevj legetai . Evfopiwv Se fhoi Qoupiwv etvai t^v SialeKtov . fhoiv ovv- S ap%ate Paoilev, iKov (Scholia in Aeschylum: scholia in Persas, [scholia recentiora], v. 660): "The barbarians call their king ballen. And Euphorion says it is in the Thurian dialect. So he says, 'O ancient king, arrive!'."

3a. Pal^v apxaioj] Pal^v o Paoilevj legetai . Evfopiwv Se fhoi Qoupiwv etvai t^v SialeKtov . fhoiv ovv, S ap%ate Paoilev, iKov Kai napagevov Kai e10£ en' aKpov KopumPov, ^gouv erci t^v aKpav eXocnv Kai nepiwn^v tov tafou, aeipwv Kai ercai-pwv Kai Kivrav t^v evmapiv Kai to vnoSrima tov rco86j, KpoKoPantov Kai epuOpov Kai PaoiliKov . eoti 8e tovto nepifpaoij, nifavoKwv Kai SeiKvvwv Kai avafaivwv tov falapov Kai tov lofov tfj PaoiliKfj tiapaj Kai nepiKefalaiaj . nepifpaotiKfij Se to PaoiliKov otemma fhoi . cod . A. Pal^v] Paoilevj Kata Qoupiwv glraooav, raj fhoiv Evfopiwv. cod. B (Scholia in Aeschylum: scholia in Persas, [scholia recentiora], v. 657)

4 . Aio%v1oj 8e oPpiKala fhoi tovj leovtiSej Kai Palfva tov Paoilea ev tra «Pal'nv apxaioj Pa1»v» . glraoorj 8e tovto, eX ov Kai opoj Balivatov, o eoti Paoi-liKov napa nloutapcj ev tra Pepi notamrav (Eustathius, Commentarii ad Homeri Ili-adem, vol. 1, pag. 602): "Aeschylus calls lion's cubs obrikala, and a king - balen in the phrase 'king, ancient king'. This word comes from the [Phrygian] language, from which Mount Ballenaion, that is the king's mountain, in Plutarch's work "On Rivers" stems, too."

4a. legei 8e Kai Aio^vloj e0viKratepov Kai ov Kata 'AttiKovj, Palfva tov Paoilea ev tra, Pal^v ap%atoj Pa1»v . o0ev Kai Palhvvatov opoj napa nloutapcj ev tra nepi notamrav avti tov PaoiliKov . (Eustathius, Commentarii ad Homeri Iliadem, vol. 2, pag. 189): "Aeschylus uses a foreign word and does not say in the Attic dialect. He calls balen 'king' in the phrase 'king, ancient king'. And Mount Ballenaion in Plutarch's work "On Rivers" means 'royal mountain' as well".

5. XO . Ira Pa11»v (Soph . , Pastores / Poimevej, fr. 515): "HERDSMEN'S CHORUS:

0 king!"

6 . oi rcapa tra SofoKlei noimevej "Ira Pa11»v" legovtej "Ira Paoilev" legouoi fpugioti (Sextus Empiricus, Adversus mathematicos et gramaticos / Ppoj |j,a0rimatiKovj,

1 313): "The herdsmen in Sophocles say 'io ballen', which means 'O king!' in Phrygian".

7. Pa1»v- Paoiletij. Fpuyioti [Soph. fr. 472] (Hesychius, HAL, I P-154): "balen -king, in Phrygian".

8 . Ta eij Ihv 1»yovta oXtivetai Pa11»v ofttwj о Paoiletij, Te11»v, 'W1»v, ow1»v, kw1»v, ote1»v. oeormeiwtai to "Ellrv Papuvomevov. Ta eij rv anla e%ov-ta SeSinlaoiaomevov otimfwvov oXtivetai eoo»v, ooo»v, Te11»v, Pa11»v nl^v tou "Ellrv kai о 'npwj kai to e0voj. to Se apprv 'Attikraj ano tou aporv yeyove (Herodi-anus, Deprosodia catholica 3.1, pag. 15): "The words ending in -1ёп have oxytonic stress: ballen meaning 'king', Tellen, Olen, solen, kolen, stelen. The word Не11ёп is distinguished as barytonic. Simple words with ^n, having a double consonant, are oxytonic: essen, ossen, Tellen, ballen, except the name HelUn, denoting both a hero and a people . And the word amn, sounding Attic, stems from the form arsёn,\

8a. Ao0i»v. ovSev eij rv Ifyov ovoma oXuvomevov ka0apetiei kata cpfoiv 'E11»vwv, all' aei npo tou r otimfwvov e%ei r| otimfwva- otov ow1»v, 1ei%»v, k|f»v, au%»v, neip»v ka0' 'HoioSov nat^p 'Ioj A„Z»v Tavtalou naij. ote1»v, oeip»v, Pa11»v, ofttwj о Paoiletij, eoo»v о oikiot»j, "MupmiSovwv eoofva" Ka11ima%oj, nu0m»v, 1im»v, atm»v, kamao»v i%0ftj tij leyetai, 'Apaf»v etj trav ekatov ^prawv, °1akat»v, kai tovto ovoma i%0tioj k|tra8ouj, alla kai to ktipiov. Sflov oti ormeiraSrj о 8o0i^v nap' 'Attikoij leyomevoj kai m^ e%wv npo tou r otimfwvov (Herodianus, De prosodia catholica 3.2, pag. 923): "Dothien. No noun stressed oxytonically and ending in -ёn is in concord with the use of the name Hel^nes, but it always has a consonant or consonants before the vowel n; similarly, solen, leikhen, kephen, aukhen, Peiren - father Io according to Hesiod, Aizen - son of Tantalus; stelen, seiren, ballen meaning 'king', essen - 'settler' (Callimachus mentions a "Myrmidon settler"), pythmen, limen, atmen, kamasen - the name of some fish, Araphen - one of the hundred Heroes, elakaten - it is the name of a giant but at the same time important fish. clearly, the word dothien, used in the Attic dialect and having no consonants before the vowel n, is worth attention".

Roberto Gusmani (1959: 853) has no doubts that the word Pa11»v 'king' is derived from phrygian, because the Asian Minor provenance is fully confirmed by pseudo-plutarch (De fluviis 12, 3-4), pointing at the mountain Ballenaion in the Sagaris river basin. The Italian scholar (Gusmani 1959: 854) quotes several old etymologies of the Phrygian word PaX(X)^v, however not accepting any of those proposed hitherto.

W. P. Neroznak (1978: 139) hesitates whether the word under examination is Phrygian or Sicilian („Фригийское или сикульское слово?"). He only states that the word Pa11»v, which was assimilated into Greek no later than in the fifth century BC, has no credible etymology. Furthermore, he points out that the form in the vocative case used by Aeschylus, identical to the nominative (Pa11»v ap%atoj Pa11»v), can be essential for the reconstruction of the Phrygian vocative.

The Phrygian Pa11»v [pronunciation: vallen] 'king' represents an Indo-European archetype *wald(h^n m. 'king, ruler, ruling person,' derived from the Indo-European root *wal-/wald(h)- 'to rule, govern, manage' (Pokorny 1959: 1111-1112; Rix 2001: 676-677), cf. Gothic valdan 'to rule', Old Icelandic valda, Old Church Slavic vlad, vlasti 'rule', Lithuanian veldu, veldBti 'to possess, rule, take possession of, come into an inheritance, inherit'. The closest form is perhaps the Proto-Slavic *voldy-ka m. 'ruler', which represents some

innovative form compared to the older archetype *voldy (stemming from the Indo-European noun *waldhon, which belongs to the nasal -on-/-en-stems). The Anatolian root *hwald-(= Indo-European *waldh-) is confirmed in the Lydian language: KoalSSeiv • AuSoi tov Paoilea (Hesychios of Alexandria, 6th century AD) "koalddem - the Lydians king [so call]" (Latte 1966: 495) . The original nasal n-stem is acceptable in case of the Lydian name for a 'king' as well.

The term cognate with the Phrygian name for a 'king' also appears in the Tocharian languages: Toch . A wal (obl . lant), Toch . B walo (obl . lante) 'king' (< Common Tocharian *wala-nt-). The foregoing names seem to represent the original participial forms derived by means of the suffix *-nt- from the Indo-European root *waldh- 'to rule, govern, manage' or Indo-European *wal- 'to be strong' (cf. Lat. valeo 'be strong, powerful; have strength, advantage; dominate, surpass, prevail, win; be important', whence secondarily 'be healthy, be well', and also 'be able, capable, can', val(i)dus adj. 'powerful, strong, spry, healthy').


The analysis of the Phrygian glosses quoted in Pseudo-Plutarch's work Defluviis shows that the anonymous author succeeded in correctly conveying the meanings of the Phrygian proper names and appellatives. The Phrygian gloss norikon 'skin, skin bag' (vrapiKov 8e oi Fpvgej tjj ofSv SialeKtj tov aoKov Kalovoiv) is confirmed by the glosses of the later authors (Hesychios of Alexandria, Eustathius of Thessalonica), as well as by the onomastics and etymology. The next two glosses, Pa11»v 'king' and Pallhvatov 'king's mountain', must be regarded as forming part of the Phrygian vernacular. The former word appears in the Greek literature from the classical period onwards (Aeschylus, Sophocles), its meaning being indisputable. The meaning of the other gloss is analogous and unquestionable. The etymology of the aforementioned Phrygian words was determined beyond all doubt (cf. IE. *waldh- 'rule, govern, manage', *wal- 'be strong'). So, the three Phrygian glosses quoted in the work De fluviis are entirely correct.


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Allatum die 1 mensis Martii anno 2011