--- Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...
> Yes, I thought about the Niemen too, given the
> directionality of Pliny's listing.
******GK: Forget it Piotr. Both Neman and Pregolya
(the other candidate river east of the Vistula) are
impossible on geographical and historical grounds.
Pliny is describing the rivers associated with the
areas of settlement of three of the five Germanic
"genera" he had just enumerated (Vandili, Inguaeones,
Istaevones). Beyond the Vistula was the habitat of
Baltic populations about which Pliny knew absolutely
nothing. He is also a little confused about the
situation in northern Poland since his direction there
(Guthalus --> Vistula) is west-east rather than
(Piotr)Plus, one ancient
> name for the lower Oder was Ptolemy's Ouiadou(as),
> convincingly etymologised as *wi-adu- 'forking
*****GK: Actually Ptolemy mentioned three river bames
between Elbe and Vistula: Chalusios,Suebos, and
Viados/Viadra. They were earlier associated with
distinct rivers (some even thinking that the Suebos=
the Oder). But K. Goldmann has recently demonstrated
that in effect they were the names of three channels
of the old Oder.******
As for Guthalus, with a single attestation
> of the name
*****GK: Two actually. One in Pliny and the other in
Solinus' Collectaneae, which also gives a correct
west=east direction for the "amnes latissimi" of the
Germanic coast in the 1rst c.:
There can be no doubt that for Solinus Guthalus=Oder
(there are no other "amnes latissimi" here.) It would
be odd had Pliny omitted it. But we see that he
didn't, merely confusing its exact position vis-a vis
the Vistula. Current analysis either opts for the Oder
or for "an unknown river". But the latter makes little
sense,because this "unknown river" would need to be
located in the area of the three Germanic groupings I
mentioned above, and the fans of the "unknown river"
are unable to explain why Pliny omitted the Oder in
and the uncertain identification of the
> river I simply can't propose a good etymology (<th>
> suggests Germanic, but the form may be garbled to an
> unknown extent, or reported through a Germanic
> medium, or whatever). Guthalus doesn't resemble "Old
> European" hydronyms, but I'll have a look at the old
> hydronymy of the eastern Baltic region and return to
> the topic if there's anything worth reporting.
*****GK: I'll bet my bottom dollar we won't hear from
you again on this (except perhaps to confirm "sorry
there's nothing here")******
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: danjmi
> To: email@example.com
> Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2002 4:59 AM
> Subject: [tied] Re: Pliny's "Guthalus"
> Why look for a Germanic etymology?
> My Grosser Historischer Weltatlas identifies
> Guthalus with the
> Niemen or Memel. That's maybe just a guess, assuming
> Pliny is
> listing rivers east to west, but seems a reasonable
> one. This is
> getting close to Baltic territory, but anyway isn't
> the game with the
> major rivers of central Europe "Alteuropaische
> looking for a vague I.-E. meaning but pre- any known
> Or am I forty or fifty years out of date?
> Dan Milton
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