Re: [tied] Hermes etymology & anthropomorphic maps

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 5254
Date: 2001-01-01

I said:
>>It would seem that Hermes is derived from the polymorphic fire god
>>*XegWnis (or should it be *Lukis < *leuk- "to shine"?) who >>frequently
>>gets himself into mischief -> Celtic Lugh/Lleu, Norse >>Loki & Indic Agni.
>I don't think that we can derive Lugus/Lug/Lleu from PIE *leuk-. >First of
>all, PIE -k- becomes Celtic -c-, so we need to propose a >variant to *leuk,
>PIE *leug- - I don't think this can be sufficiently >proved.

Well, I wouldn't go that far. I wonder if there isn't some more wordplay
going on, however. The connection between *leuk- and "fire" is an obvious,
straightforward one... yet how might we derive the name from a root meaning
"to divide"? Certainly, Loki divides the deity community up in Ragnarok but
the equation of *leug- to Loki/Lleu/Lugh might be too overly obsessed with
IE sound correspondances as to acknowledge an underlying pun.

If we consider that the original form might have been based on *leuk-
instead, we are given a fresh perspective. We would then see that *leug- is
a corruption by wordplay, serving to add new meaning to the fire god's
original name.

>I personally see the fire/solar connection with Lug as being a late >(and
>often misunderstood) accretion. Much more likely that >Lugus/Lug/Lleu are
>the Celtic reflexes of Germanic *Watonaz.

How late is this "accretion" would you say and why? But again, we aren't
addressing the original source of these Celtic names.

>Where do we have evidence of Lug/Lleu getting into "mischief?"

Perhaps you're right. Comparing Celtic myth to general IE myth, it appears
that Lugh-Lleu is mostly the embodiment of the mortal hero *Manus
functioning as ruler of mankind. Maybe even a little of the Sun Maiden
herself. Odin is a sky personality who is not so connected with the sun as
*Manus is.

So... perhaps my connection is right but for wrong reasons. Perhaps
Lugh-Lleu and Loki both started as seperate derivatives of *leuk- "to
shine". But... maybe Loki was modelled on Fire while Lugh-Lleu was modelled
on the Sun Maiden (both "bright" objects afterall). Later, wordplay changes
gave added meanings. So, Loki gets confused with *leug- "divide" as in
"dividing" the gods in Ragnarok.

Many sites mention Lugh in connection with "brightness"
( This is one of many sites
that connect *leuk- to Lugh. Another site
( states: "Lug is known as the
shining-one, for his face is said to have emitted a brilliant light while he
fought in battle. Some speculate that the Celtic word Lugos shares a common
Euro-root as the Latin word 'lux' -- meaning light."

He's certainly a bright character one way or another, whether Fire or Sun.

- gLeN

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