--- Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...
> Dear Steve, Pliny Latinised all those rivernames.
> <-us>, <-is> and <-a> are _Latin_ endings,
> equivalent (roughly) to Germanic *-az (the usual
> ending of Germanic masculines), *-iz and *-o:
> (strong feminine declension). *gutxalsaz would have
> been Latinised as *Guthalsus, which, although not a
> perfect prototype for the Plinian form (as I
> admitted) is still a damn sight better than *Gauta
> Albiz 'The Gautish Elbe' (it might have been
> Latinised as *Gauto:rum Albis, *Gautalbis or the
> like). Note that Modern Swedish �lv (don't forget
> the umlaut; it does make a difference, and <alv> is
> a different Swedish word) is historically the same
> as continental <Elbe> *albiz, which is Pliny's Albis
> in the exact same sentence in which Guthalus occurs.
******GK: Note also that Pliny knew very little about
the areas to the north of the North Sea-Baltic
continuum. The big island of "Scatinavia" inhabited by
the Hillaeviones in fifty villages ("so they say") and
beyond these the land of the equine-footed people
("Hippopodes"). The river list of Historia Naturalis
IV.100 roughly parallels the people list of IV.99, so
we must seek the "Guthalus" in the land of the
"Vandili". Only the Oder fits. If you check out
Ptolemy [II.10]you will find that his knowledge of
Scandinavia is just slightly less thin than Pliny's
("Scandia" here is a big island north of the mouth of
the Vistula, inhabited by seven peoples, incl. the
Finni and Gutae, but with no river names mentioned at
all). And do not forget Solinus (a 3rd c. source) with
his west-->east continuum of "amnes clarissimi":
Alba-Guthalus-Vistula. Even those investigators who
thought that "Guthalus" might be "Goet(a)lv" looked
for it on the southern shores of the Baltic, usually
opting for the Oder.******
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