Re: Athene

From: HÃ¥kan Lindgren
Message: 3344
Date: 2000-08-21

Dennis writes -
It has taken some 200 years of intensive research to arrive at "true etymology" for IE, and there are still areas of contention. It also had its birth in "eye-catching" similarities between German, Greek and Sanskrit that have only been systematised by dint of a lot of hard work. The question is, is there enough prima facie evidence to undertake this kind of research with Egyptian/Greek?
This kind of research has already been undertaken: there are several well known, uncontroversial Egyptian/Semitic loan words in Greek.  Here are some.
Bernal claims that he has discovered hundreds of new ones, which is false. That's why he's being attacked
khiton, "tunic" Hebr. k@..., Phoen. ktn
arrabon, "deposit" Hebr. erabon
khrusos, "gold" Hebr. harus, Ugaritic hrs
kados "wine jar" Hebr. kad
kupros, "henna" Hebr. koper
papuros, "papyros" Egypt. p3-pr (p3 is the Egyptian definite article)
baris, "boat" Egypt. br
ebenos, "ebony" Egypt. hbn(y)
erpis, "type of wine" Egypt. irp
The rejection of Thebes/Tebah based on Lin.B teqa presupposes that Lin.B is an accurate reflection of the pronunciation.
There are instances of hesitation in Lin.B between q/p, for example hippos is normally rendered iqo, but there is a "ipopoqoi" interpreted as "hippophorgwoihi", as well as alternate forms pereqota/qereqota and opeqa/oqeqa, and q/k qoukoro = gwoukolos < gwoukwolos, or kunaja=gunaia, alongside qouqota, suqota, ouqe. There are various explanations of these anomalies, but it is also possible that the sound changes that produced the complete elimination of labiovelars by the earliest alphabetic texts, were taking place during late Mycenean times, and this produced a certain amount of hesitation in the spelling. So teqa could even be a hypercorrection, a phenomenon that can be observed in late and medieval Latin. 
You know more about Linear B spellings than I do, but the main question is - why would the Greeks give their cities Egyptian names? Bernal lists several fanciful etymologies of city names (Methone from Egyptian mtwn, "bull fight, bull arena" - to make us really convinced he adds that the city is situated at a bay which looks almost like a bull fighting arena) as evidence for a large cultural influence from Egypt. But even during a large foreign influence a people would not borrow the name of their city or exchange the name of well known lakes and mountains for foreign ones. I guess geographical names are the least likely to be borrowed. Compare the French loan words in English: a large part of the English vocabulary is of French origin, but you would not find this large French influence if you looked at a map of British city (lake, river) names.
When there are "foreign" city names on the map, this is usually because the country was colonized (such as Greek city names in southern Italy) and there is no evidence of Greece being colonized by Egypt. A couple of the essays in B. A. Revisited discuss the lack of archeological (and other) evidence for Egyptian colonies in Greece.
Still, I don't regret following your advice and reading Black Athena - I've learnt something from this book, though not what I expected to learn!
All the best,