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Was Thracian language very close to Slavic?

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Ioan-Assen II View Drop Down
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  Quote Ioan-Assen II Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Was Thracian language very close to Slavic?
    Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 15:58
If the answer to this question is yes that could redefine the Thracian input into the Bulgarian nation and language. Why am I even raising this question?
1. According to most linguistics there Thracian was very similar to Baltic, some classify it as south Baltic...
2. Baltic is very close to Slavic...
3. So that means that Thracian must have been quite close to Slavic...
4. Bessi (Thracian tribe) in 570 spoke their language:

In 570, Antonius Placentius said that in the valleys of Mount Sinai there was a monastery in which the monks spoke Greek, Latin, Syriac, Egyptian and Bessian.

The origin of the monasteries is explained in a mediaeval hagiography written by Simeon Metaphrastes, in Vita Sancti Theodosii Coenobiarchae in which he wrote that Saint Theodorius founded on the shore of the Dead Sea a monastery with four churches, in each being spoken a different language, among which Bessan was found. The place where the monasteries were founded was called "Cutila", which may be a Thracian name.

It has been argued that the name "Bessam" used in the Sinai region could be a corrupt version or alternate name for "Persian", "Slavic", "Iberian" or "Armenian", but there is nothing to indicate that.

Conclusion of the abovementioned facts: Thracians and Slavs spoke related language, close to each other (if Thracian was really close to Baltic). Thracians spoke the language when Slavs were entering the Bolkans. Could this mean that the Slavic in Bulgarian may also be Thracian?
Just a suggestion. I dont wanna start war. I just wanna provoke discussion. I dont say its true, just hipothesis.
 
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 16:12
I didn't think the Thracians were any closer (linguistically) to the Balts than they were to the Albanians, the Slavs, Armenians and Indo-Iraniams who all spoke languages from the satem branch of Indo-European.
 
So Thracian could have been closer to Slavic than it was to Baltic.
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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 16:33

Not really. We know very few things about Thracian language. However, there are some striking similarities between known Thracian names and Baltic languages.

The name of God Zamolxis looks exactly like a Lithuanian name the ending "is" "as" is very common for Baltic languages. When I first heard that name I was convinced that the subject was about Lithuania Smile. The same is also true about other known Thracian names and toponims.
 
Also there are some interesting parallels in Romanian and Baltic culture for example: only thse cultures have so called doina/daina which is a specific form of poetry and music style.
 
This interesting connection can be explained only by the assumption that ancient Baltic/Thracian connection existed. Taking into account the fact that Baltic tribes in antiquity lived much more to the South than they are now, this is totally possible.
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  Quote Ioan-Assen II Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Aug-2008 at 21:10
Exactly...
Most linguists think the connection is very obvious...
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2008 at 12:09
I was really just pointing out that Thracian and Slavic were fairly closely related anyway.
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  Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 15:58

Is "Christidis" a Baltic name? Or maybe "Clovis"? "-is", "-as" are actually common nominative terminations for ancient names (Greek and non-Greek). And the correct form of the name is undoubtely Zalmoxis, as in Zalmodegikos or even "zalmos" - Porphyrios adds that the name "Zamolxis" (sic!) is related to the Thracian word for "(bear) fur", "zalmos". Zamolxis is a metathetic form transmitted by some Greek authors.

Maybe Thracian was related to Baltic or Slavic languages. But not too close, otherwise the current Baltic or Slavic speakers would have no difficulties in decyphering the Thracian texts, yet no one provided so far an un-equivocal, non-controversial reading for inscriptions like the ones found at Ezerovo or Kjolmen:
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Chilbudios - 28-Aug-2008 at 15:59
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  Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 16:40
Basically, i have been thinking about this for a long time. Thracian has some words that remind of slavic but the grammar for example is closer to Greek and Phrygian. The possesive forms are very close.

Also, from the last inscriptions in Chilbudios link "Da, dale me" it makes kinda sence as following:

Thracian          Archaic Greek     English
Δα (Dha)          Γa (or Γη)             Land/Earth
Με (Mae)          Εμε                       Me
ΗΥΖΙΗ (eys)      Εΐ (ey)                  You

Note that the early name of Demetra was Gameter, then turned to Dameter and after Demeter.

Also, there are plenty of northern Thracian words (e.g Dacian) that seem to have a connection to Albanian and could make that language closer to it than Illyrian.

However, a question i made in the past was "What do we define as Thracian?". The Paionians for example are suspected to have Anatolian origin, so whatever they produced that we see as Thracian, could be a fusion of a palaiobalkanic language and anatolian.

My theory is that Thracian, Phrygian, Luwian, Armenian, Greek, Pisidian, Carian etc had a common language background as a group but when the first indoeuropean migration started they separated because of different routes. For example, the people who came to be the Thracians moved north and then south to the balkans, while Luwians moved south west. The northern movement of the Thracians could have resulted a contact with baltic tribes that left their imprints on the language.

So, by my opinion it is a matter of routing...


Edited by Flipper - 28-Aug-2008 at 16:44


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  Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 16:43
Originally posted by Ioan-Assen II

It has been argued that the name "Bessam" used in the Sinai region could be a corrupt version or alternate name for "Persian", "Slavic", "Iberian" or "Armenian", but there is nothing to indicate that.



I think Bessi is a quite common Albanian name.


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  Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 17:01
I have a list of Thracian names and surnames displayed in a stele i read recently. They don't make sence in etymology (some may look greek but they are not) but others here might see something:

(i write name + surname where available)

- Kotys Sypra
- Kardous Ketrizios
- Trales Beithious
- Toitas Sadalu
- Kolkotas Paramonu
- Tarousinas Paramonu
- Neikias Seutu (pronounced Sephtu)
- Kotys Kareventhu (this is a mixed person...Kareventhys was a Carian name while Kotys is Thracian)
- Beithys Pamphilou
- Tarousinas
- Rymitalkis
- Ortas

 

Btw, Chibuldios and whoever else may know. Is the -u ending (which does not appear in other latin languages) in surnames in Romanian, a leftover from Dacian? I'm thinking about the surnames above like Sadalu (accent on da) and Paramonu (accent on mo)...

On the other end some could make a connection between a name like Tarousinas and the lithuanian name Sarunas.


Edited by Flipper - 28-Aug-2008 at 17:12


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  Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 19:02

It is said, I think it was Tacitus, that the Aestii spoke a language close to the Britanni or better that sounds like that of the Britanni. The Aestii are probably Baltic, Balts are close to Slavs, so Britains are Slavs.ClapOuch

All these languages, Thracian, Dacian, Slavic, Baltic are indo-european languages. That's why they are close related. But Thracians are Thracians, they are no Dacians, neither Greek nor Slavs or Balts. To make Thracian a Slavic language or Slavic a Thracian language is the attempt to nationalize history, nothing more.

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  Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 19:44
Flipper, is that stelle published somewhere?
 
Anyway, from your list:
Kotys - definitely Thracian (there were several kings bearing this name)
Ketrizios looks Thracian - as in Ketriporis, Thracian king
Trales idem - as in Mucatralis, Eptatralis, names from other Thracian inscriptions
Rymitalkis idem - as in Roemetalces, Thracian king
Sadalu idem - as in Sadalas, Thracian king
 
Are you sure the names are in nominativ? The u termination makes me think of a gentive for a name ending in -os/-es/-as (e.g. Seut(o)u could be the gentive for Seutes, and that is similar to Seuthes, there were some Thracian kings with this name)
 
edit: I think I solved the mystery. It is not name + surname, but name + patronym, like X of Y. That's why where are two names one is in nominative (the name of the person), the other in genitive (the patronym). For instance, Pamphilou is certainly the genitive of a Pamphilos, thus is to be translated "of Pamphilos".
 
The u in Romanian is a leftover of Latin -us/-um (and exists also in other Romance languages but usually a different vowel. e.g. Ursu, Petru, Iuliu - Romanian vs Orso, Pietro, Giulio - Italian). In the history of the language there was a moment when the -u termination was casual (today many nouns lost it), and I assume this is how many names borrowed from neighbouring languages (like Dumitru from Demetrios, Petru from Petros) got it, too.
 


Edited by Chilbudios - 28-Aug-2008 at 20:55
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  Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 23:07
Originally posted by Chilbudios

Flipper, is that stelle published somewhere?
 
Anyway, from your list:
Kotys - definitely Thracian (there were several kings bearing this name)
Ketrizios looks Thracian - as in Ketriporis, Thracian king
Trales idem - as in Mucatralis, Eptatralis, names from other Thracian inscriptions
Rymitalkis idem - as in Roemetalces, Thracian king
Sadalu idem - as in Sadalas, Thracian king
 
Are you sure the names are in nominativ? The u termination makes me think of a gentive for a name ending in -os/-es/-as (e.g. Seut(o)u could be the gentive for Seutes, and that is similar to Seuthes, there were some Thracian kings with this name)
 
edit: I think I solved the mystery. It is not name + surname, but name + patronym, like X of Y. That's why where are two names one is in nominative (the name of the person), the other in genitive (the patronym). For instance, Pamphilou is certainly the genitive of a Pamphilos, thus is to be translated "of Pamphilos".
 
The u in Romanian is a leftover of Latin -us/-um (and exists also in other Romance languages but usually a different vowel. e.g. Ursu, Petru, Iuliu - Romanian vs Orso, Pietro, Giulio - Italian). In the history of the language there was a moment when the -u termination was casual (today many nouns lost it), and I assume this is how many names borrowed from neighbouring languages (like Dumitru from Demetrios, Petru from Petros) got it, too.
 


Chibuldios, you're right. It is nominative and it is a patronym indeed. I have the steele on a book which has a reference. I will locate it on the cornell university archives and post it. I think it belongs to a collection called "Meletimata", but i have to verify.  Basically, the stele is from a Greek city that hosted "Metoikoi" (foreign inhabitants), as they record, from Thrace and that's why we know the names are Thracian. However, the patronyms with the -ou is the earliest type of surnames in Greece together with -idis and are the default still today. It doesn't necessarly mean the father of the person was called so, it could be an ancestor. The stele honours Greeks and some metoikoi, so the surnames attributed are in Greek fashion even if they don't make sense in etymology. However, -os/-es/-as that you mentioned is common in both Thracian, Greek, Pisidian and Phrygian.

The Kareventhou form however is probably a Thracian form...In Greek male -nth names in nominative for would be -nthous not -nthou without -s in the end. E.g Kleanthis -> Kleanthous. If Kareventhis was a female name which is not, it would be correct to spell without an -s e.g Corinthos --> Corinthou. Those are very small details that can make a distinction between the origins of a name/grammar etc.

Some of those people are probably of mixed descend and therefore you may have a pure Thracian name with a Greek patronym-surname or a Greek name with a Thracian patronym. Very rare phenomenon until recently. In my example i had a person of Thracoanatolian (probably Carian) descend.

Btw, I'm aware of the King names you mention. Most of the people in the stele belong to the Aristocracy, so such names are expected. Another name that sounds strange is Dhiza. It appears as a name and patronym...Any connection to Thrace?


Edited by Flipper - 28-Aug-2008 at 23:29


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  Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2008 at 23:09
Originally posted by beorna

All these languages, Thracian, Dacian, Slavic, Baltic are indo-european languages.



Simple as that...Tongue
Moreover Thracian is a very primitive IE language and that makes it possible to relate to many other modern languages.

As for Dacian, it is probably a northern Thracian dialect, not a separate language.


Edited by Flipper - 28-Aug-2008 at 23:10


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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 00:03
Does anybody have a list of the Thracian words with established meaings?
 
Is that true that earth is zamol in Thracian?  Slavic is zemlia. Seems quite close.
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  Quote Darius of Parsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 01:13
Originally posted by Sarmat12

Does anybody have a list of the Thracian words with established meaings?
 
Is that true that earth is zamol in Thracian?  Slavic is zemlia. Seems quite close.


Thracian            English

asa                    coltsfoot

bolinthos           wild Bull

brai                      town; settlement

briloun                barber

briza                      rye

brynchos            guitar

deiza                  fortified settlement

genton               meat

germe                warm

rhomphaia          spear, later meaning sword

skarke               coin

skalme               knife, sword

zelmis               hide, skin

zelas                  wine

zetraia                a pot

zibythides              "the noble Thracian men and women"


Edited by Darius of Parsa - 29-Aug-2008 at 01:14
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  Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 02:37
Thank you Darius.
 
Although some of these words seem close to Slavic, unfortunately most of them don't.
 
What is the source of this BTW?
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  Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 06:21
Originally posted by Sarmat12

Does anybody have a list of the Thracian words with established meaings?
 
Is that true that earth is zamol in Thracian?  Slavic is zemlia. Seems quite close.


I haven't heard that before. I know that ground low or plain low in Phrygian is zamelo and in greek it is chamelo. Phrygian however, is not Thracian, even if in the past some classified it as that.


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  Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 06:24
Flipper, if you can provide me a clear picture and eventually a scholarly reading (by epigraphists) it would be great! That would clarify very much the forms of the names, and
besides, I personally know some philologists interested in Thracian onomastics.
 
I'm not sure I made my point clear. What I meant is that in the list the pairs of names mostly look like: Name1 <in nominative> Name2 <in genitive> and such names should be read as "Name1 of Name2". For instance "Beithys Pamphilou" should be "Beithys of Pamphilos". Kareventh(o)u can be "of Kareventhos". This rule would work for all pair of names except for row 2.
 
Dizas/Diza is a common Thracian name, also Dizo/Diso. I don't know about dhiza, but that dh sequence looks suspicios. Are you sure about its form?
 
 
 
 
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  Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 06:25
Originally posted by Darius of Parsa


Thracian            English
germe                warm


Did you find germe between thracian words? Cause germe is "warm" in Phrygian as well.


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  Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2008 at 06:32
I don't know Darius' sources, but here is what I know.
 
Germe-  there's a deity Diana Germetitha in a Bulgarian inscription usually translated as "Diana, the one with the warm bossom" and also a toponym Germisara in Dacia (Ptolemy, Tabula Peut., and some inscriptions) usually translated as "warm waters" (it is located in today Romania near a thermal spring). It would be a cognate of the Greek thermos.
 
-bria, -diza these are common toponymic formants together with -para. For the Dacian area but also large parts of Moesia the common formant was -dava.
 
romphaia is a gloss given by some Greek authors (e.g. Hesychius), the Latin authors give the form rumpia
 
zelas, skalme, genton, zibythides are also glosses (also mentioned by Hesychius among others)
 


Edited by Chilbudios - 29-Aug-2008 at 06:57
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