Re: [tied] Danaans [was Poseidon]

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 3365
Date: 2000-08-22

I've been contemplating something like that since Glen suggested *potis + of *da:nu (an idea I genuinely liked, especially because of the parallel Skt. phrase apa:m patis. The phonological problems look insurmountable, but a lot depends on how we analyse the stem *da:nu-. <speculation> Is it = *dax-nu-? A noun-forming *-n(e/o)u- suffix is rare, functionally obscure and nonproductive, but not quite nonexistent -- after all, *suHnús, Gen. *suHnóus (~ *suHnéus) is generally believed to derive from *suH- 'give birth to', which allows us to analyse the word as *suH-n(o)u-. A root like *dax- would be a godsend, since there would be more than one way of deriving *da:o:n from it, but where is it attested and what does it mean? Supposing it's something to do with flowing water, why don't we find in river-names except in combination with *-nu-? </speculation>

----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Odegard
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2000 7:37 PM
Subject: [tied] Danaans [was Poseidon]
Mark wrote:
From another article in the current JIES, this by A.L. Katona, "Proto-Greeks and the Kurgan Theory". This is a review of the work of the Greek archaeologist Michael B. Sakellariou.
If the second part of this compound name could be connected to the IE root *da-/dan (c.f. Mycenaean po-se-da-o-ni do-so-mo without the digamma) one might ask if the Danaans, or any other ethnic component later to become Greeks, brought this deity with them as especially theirs. [p. 70]
Just as a thought, Poseidon might perhaps be better analyzed as 'Lord of the Danaans', 'Lord of the Flowing-Water-People' rather than 'Lord of the Water'.
As for the Danaans, the da-/dan- root is certainly the river-word. They were the people of flowing water. The article I mentioned suggests this is probably the oldest ethnonym for Greeks that we have, one they applied to themselves. It is probably too much to say the Danaans were the proto-Greeks, much as it is too much to say just the Angles were the proto-English.
The Danaans certainly contributed a distinct component to Greek mythology, one that does not completely agree with the usual Olympian version. The river-god stories are mostly *their* stories. The Egyptian motifs in this cycle of myths is suggested to be something late, a re-association and relocation of certain elements after the 800-1000 year old North Pontic origin had been utterly forgotten; but it's *still* the marriage of the river god and his children. The article leans to North Pontic origin origin for the Danaans.