From: Glen Gordon
>Their 'Great Goddess' and her lions as well as her dying-and-resurrecting
>son/consort are a remnant of their religions, adopted by Semites and
>IE peoples alike.
I think we must be sharing the same brain :) Interesting idea. That would mean that the
association was first between "wild animals" and "Great Goddess", later somehow
mixed with some new association between cats and war... but how?
All this talk of lions makes me think of the association between bulls and lions. Ever notice,
that the bull and the lion are almost interchangeable. You got your bulls with wings figured
in ancient Middle Eastern iconography and you got your flying lions like the Sphinx. I've
been recently playing with the idea that the flying bull and the flying lion are derived from
the same set of beliefs in the Eastern Mediterranean because of the confusion between
different languages in the Neolithic.
Since I've adopted the view that Hattic is a language more closely related to NWC and that
it had travelled from the Balkans to Anatolia by 5000 BCE, I started thinking about what
this Proto-Hattic would have been like. From what I know of later Hattic, I hypothesize
that if PHat. had borrowed the word for "bull" from Semitic *Taurum, it would end up
as ProtoHattic *Launon (*L = lateral fricative, *-on = nasal vowel). PHattic should have
lateral fricatives because of another Hattic word /sawat-/ which is supposed to be related
to the Anatolian "fruit" word (Was it reconstructed as *sa:malu-? I can't remember) via
some earlier form *sanmaLo I suspect, and PHattic lacked *r. (The "r" occurs in later Hattic
through alternations with "n", such as /kunu/~/kuru/ "to see".)
So, in summary, such a PHattic *Launon "bull" could have been borrowed into Tyrrhenian
as *leunu and mistakingly given the meaning of "lion" in confusion. From there, the Tyr.word
is adopted into Hellenic. The End.