Re: [tied] Re: Germanic Scythians?

From: Brian M. Scott
Message: 19740
Date: 2003-03-12

At 5:11:27 AM on Wednesday, March 12, 2003, tgpedersen wrote:

>>>>> According to Hunibald, the people that came from the
>>>>> east changed their language during their sojourn in
>>>>> Germania. His work is generally considered a forgery,
>>>>> but he has an interesting detail


>>>>> He uses the name Wechtam of a holy minstrel and
>>>>> singer, a name reminiscent of the Old Norse name
>>>>> Vegtam-r, Odin uses of him self,

>>>> Note that the name has an obvious meaning in ON and is
>>>> one of several similar constructions (<vígtamr>,
>>>> <gangtamr>, <valtamr>). It would appear unlikely to be
>>>> a borrowing.

>>> Folk etymology.

>> That would be far more convincing if the epithet weren't
>> one of a matched set.

> 'vígtamr' and 'valtamr' might be loans through different
> languages. 'gangtamr' would be analogy.

Special pleading. It seems especially pointless to suggest
that <vígtamr> might be a loan, the elements being so
obviously native stock. (I do hope that you're not
suggesting that <vígtamr>, <valtamr>, and <vegtamr> are
loans through different languages of one and the same word;
that would be truly absurd.)

>>>>> but also of Vakhtang, the Georgian (I think it was)
>>>>> version of Iranian V&r&Tragna. Georgia is in the
>>>>> vicinity of the old kingdom of Vani, where I suggested
>>>>> before that the Vanir came from. Now how would a
>>>>> forger come up with a coincidence like that?

>>>> What coincidence, exactly? You've pointed to
>>>> superficial resemblances between <Wechtam> and
>>>> <Vegtamr> on the one hand and between <Vakhtang> and
>>>> <Vegtamr> on the other. In order to claim that both are
>>>> significant, you must further claim that there is a
>>>> connection between <Vegtamr> and <Vakhtang>. This
>>>> appears most unlikely, to put it mildly.

>>> And that's what I'm claiming.

>> And added subsequently:

>>> Just for completeness' sake: Armenian Vahagn (also <
>>> V&r&Tragna), the Germanic tribe Vangiones, the runic
>>> inscription 'vangijo' on weapons finds in Denmark and
>>> the Danish given name Vagn.

>> There seems to be no good reason not to see it as
>> identical with the appellative 'wagon, sledge'.

> A word can't be loaned if there exists a plausible
> etymology for it within the language? How about this:
> (obsolete) Low Copenhagen 'undervisitet' "university" (cf
> 'undervise' "teach"). By your definition it is improper to
> suggest Latin loan here.

No, because <undervisitet> doesn't exist in a vacuum; the
evidence is in fact perfectly clear in this case.

>>> Add a (South?) Caucasian or Armenian contingent (=
>>> Vanir) to the Iranian elite (= Aesir) of the Tungri.

>> I see. Clearly we have very different ideas of what
>> constitutes evidence.

>> * Your assertions about <sól> and <sunna> are questionable
>> to begin with and are cherry-picked out of a much longer
>> list that doesn't appear to support your claim.

> Obviously all the words on the Aesir side of the list are
> odd.

You have yet to offer any evidence for this claim.

>> * In the case of <Vegtamr> (and probably <Vagn> as well)
>> you appeal to folk etymology when there is a natural and
>> reasonably convincing etymology, and you place great
>> evidentiary weight on superficial resemblances.

> 'Evidentiary weight'? That's the kind of language I use
> when I run out of arguments.

<shrug> Sounds like perfectly normal English to me. If you
didn't understand it, I'll be happy to paraphrase.

> And 'superficial' by what criterion?

If you don't have access to the OED, try <> or
<>; I'm sure that both have adequate
definitions of 'superficial'.

>> * You do the same when you say that 'the names [<Tungri>
>> and <Thuringian>] are alike'.

> The pre-Grimm roots of "Thuringian" would be *turing-.


>> * In the case of the Tungri and Thuringians you go on to
>> say that this superficial similarity, combined with the
>> simultaneous appearance of these peoples in the
>> historical record, is sufficient reason for you to
>> conclude that they are the same people.

> I suggested, not concluded. I suppose you have a better
> idea?

When asked why you thought that the Tungri and Thuringians
were the same people, you mentioned the similarity in the
names and the simultaneous appearance in the historical
record of the people bearing them and said (from memory)
'That's good enough for me'. If it's merely a suggestion,
it is nevertheless one of which you appear to be convinced,
and thus a conclusion that you have in fact drawn.

>> * You treat a known forgery (Trithemius's Hunibald) as a
>> serious source

> Where does the "known forgery" get 'Wectam' from then?

I have no idea; it's not out of the question that Trithemius
simply invented it, you know. But mind-reading is beyond
me, especially 400 years after the fact.

Coincidences are a dime a dozen. Consider Hawaiian <aeto>
'eagle' and Greek <aetós> 'eagle'.