Re: [tied] Poseidon

From: Mark Odegard
Message: 3300
Date: 2000-08-20

I rely on Miriam Robbins Dexter's article in EIEC, 'Earth Goddess', p. 174.
The IE Earth-Goddess was probably something like 'Moist Mother Earth', as with Slavic Mati Syra Zemlja (mother moist earth). Greek Semele (a borrowing, with considerably different mythological baggage but nonetheless still a mother-goddess) is related.
The *da- word is actually one for 'river', *deHanu-, as in Danube, Don, Donets, etc. I agree Demeter does not seem to have ever been a river-goddess. This shows up, with a sex-change, as Danaus, father of the Danaids, in Greek.
Are you arguing for a compound based on *potis dheghom as the source of Poseidon?
----- Original Message -----
From: João Simões Lopes Filho
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2000 10:46 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Poseidon

1) I think Demeter has no water-symbolism. His name must be from De: "earth". The alternation between DE: and GE: could be explained as *GDE / *DGE < IE root *DhGhEM "earth" through a non-Greek IE language.
2) The Mycenic PO-SE-DA-O implies a form *Poseidahon, not Poseidan.  So, the suffix must be *-dahon (<*dason?)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2000 7:32 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Poseidon

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2000 3:44 PM
Subject: [tied] Poseidon

A suddenly idea occurred to me:
Bernal proposes Poseidaon < *P- Sidon, which doesn't convince me.
My idea:
POSEIDAON < *NEPOSEIDAON < *NEPOT-SEIDAON, changed by association with POTIS.
I mean: the "mix" of IE *Nepot with an obscure *Sidaon or Tsidaon.
Joao SLRio
Edgar Polome, in the Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, 'Fire in Water', p. 203 briefly mentions the possibility. It would be a compound (I think) of  *potis (lord, master), and a reflex of the *da- word, the water word that gives all those Black Sea rivers their names. Something similar is sometimes claimed for water-mother, Da-mater > Demeter. But all of this is rather speculative.
The etymology of Roman Neptune is in here too.
A myth, "Child/Grandson/Nephew of the Water", or, "Fire-in-Water" is imputed PIE status. EIEC's transcription is *h2epom nepots. The water deity, be it male or female, is firey, living in the water. A qualified hero -- one in the nationalistic mold -- has to somehow approach the deity and obtain/recover certains powers or talismans of political legitimacy. Theseus tossing the ring in the sea, then visiting the court of Amphitrite would be the Greek reflex.