From: tgpedersen
Message: 60404
Date: 2008-09-27

> BTW one I just thought of: the presence of plu:G- "plough" in Germanic
> and Slavic supposedly loaned from Rhaetic could support a story of
> speakers of ancestors of both Germanic and Slavic eg. in Noricum,
> somewhere near Negau.

On the subject
Tom Markey
A Tale of Two Helmets: The Negau A and B Inscriptions, in
The Journal of Indo_European Studies vol 29, Nos 1 & 2,
Spring/Summer 2001

'6. Interpretation and Speculation
We can only speculate whether or not Harigasti or his descendants or
retinue spread an awareness or knowledge of literacy, although this is
certainly possible. He could have been but one of many such links that
prompted evolution of a Runic alphabet between Negau B (ca. 55 BC) and
the Meldorf fibula (ca. 25 AD). What does seem certain, however, is
that Harigasti enjoyed relatively high socio-political standing.

Given archaeological assurance that the Ženjak helmets were not
ordinance nor a trophy hoard, but presumably a symbolic, ceremonial,
or votive deposit, and epigraphic evidence that they were put down
sometime between 55 and 50 BC at what appears to have been an open-air
temple site which, at the time of deposit, may well have been
interstitial between the Norici, Taurisci and Boii and central to the
Serretes and Serapilli, we seek a dovetailing event or culmination of
events that prompted this extraordinary deposit.
As conjectured at the conclusion of Section 1, unification of the
Boii, Taurisci and Norici ca. 55 BC under Kritasiros for a defensive
campaign against Boirebistas (b. ca. 82- d. 44 BC), would seem to
provide the requisite event. The threat posed by Boirebistas was very
real; just prior to his assassination in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was also
planning a campaign against him, and, either shortly before or after
the assassination, the Noric king had sent Caesar a troop of cavalry,
presumably for precisely that campaign. The Ženjak sanctuary site
would have been a conveniently, nonaligned locus for assembly and
unification prior to mounting a campaign against Boirebistas. With his
Boiian forces exhausted after an extended period of warfare and
thinned by the departure of 32,000 Boii with the Helvetii for Gaul (BG
1.29), Kritasiros would have needed allies, even Germanic auxiliaries.
The Boii had previously lived near Germanic groups (Baiahaim) before
resettling near the Rhaeti and the Celtic Vindelici (Strabo 4.206), an
event that was apparently followed by their march against Noreia. The
Boii, as well as any accompanying Germanic peoples, might well have
had exposure to literacy some decades prior to unification under
Kritasiros, certainly so numismatically, if not otherwise as Manching
BOIOS would seem to indicate; see fn. 19.
The fortunes of Kritasiros are recorded in detail only by Strabo
(7.304, 313, 315), and his name is known only from Strabo and,
possibly, the unique Boiian tetradrachma (cited above) on which an
Ekritusiros is named as the father of a certain Gesatorix. Side 1:
considered the coin a forgery, while Castelin (1965) conclusively
demonstrated that it is genuine. However, as Kubitschek (1906) was
apparently the first to point out, equation of Kritasiros with
Ekritusiros is uncertain at best. As Evans (1967:79) reiterates,
Ekritu- may well derive from *ek-ritu- with *ritu- to IE *ret(h)-
'run'. From this, one may infer that Ek-ritu-siros signified 'raiding
or attacking star'. However, given Brigantes > *brigantinos =
Celtiberian numismatic PiriCanTin [brigantin], beside Brigiani on the
Tropaeum Alpinum, 'he who represents (incarnates as deity or sacral
king) the Brigantes', Ekritusiros probably signified 'he who
represents the astral raiders (warriors)' : tserisna 'college of
astral priests' on the Vac^e/Watch helmet; see Watkins (1966:45),
Markey (2001) and fn. 21. This interpretation provides semantic
contexts for Negau A's Si:rago:(n) as 'astral priest'.

If Boiian (Noric?) numismatic is an abbreviation of Ekritusiros
(cf. Kerup for *Kerubogios on Negau A), then, given intervention of
Romanization between father (Ekritusiros) and son (Gesatorix),
epichoric (Venetoid) alphabets may have been abandoned within the
generation prior to termination of coinage; that is, upon or shortly
after Romanization about 15 BC.

Boirebistas (Burebistas), 'the trustworthy man,'20 is said to have
been dependent on his priest and prophet, a certain Decaeneus
(Strabo's Dekaineos, Jordanes' Dicineus), who had apparently modeled
himself after the Thracian demi-god Samolxis (or Gebeleizis), recorded
by Herodotus (4.94-96). Boirebistas is said to have abstained from
action until appropriately advised and given every assurance of
victory by this seer; see Jordanes (Getica 11.67, 71). Confronted with
an opponent known to be so advised, Kritasiros might well have wished
to marshal his own priestly forces, the bearers of the Ženjak helmets
as sacral petty-kings? As Dobesch (1980:245, et passim) points out, by
this time the regnum Noricum was certainly a kingdom of petty-kings,
and the Ženjak helmets may well manifest this pluralistic
socio-economic situation; see Alföldy (1974:25-27), Pahic^ (1968:199).

The inscriptions of Negau A and B are neither funerary nor votive, but
reminiscent of coin legends. The syntax of Negau A's siraku Turpi and
dubni banuabi (= *Sirago:(n) turbi + Dubni banwo-bi(y) i =
anthroponym/agent noun - noun (functional title) + anthroponym - agent
noun (functional title)) echoes that of GESATORIX REX/ECRITUSIRI REGIS
(FILIUS). The physical properties of the helmets, their archaeological
context and their inscriptions suggest that they were a symbolic
analog to numismatic purpose in late La Tène society: coin deposits =
(symbolic, non-ordinance) helmet deposits in an archaeology of
"external symbolic storage." Their alphabets, without exact one-to-one
matches at any one scriptorium, seemingly reflect "eastward graphemic
drift," a step toward formation of Etruscoid-based koiné alphabets
(Stage 2 in Gelb's scheme as outlined above) during the late La Tène
period prior to the Roman conquest. We necessarily consider the
evolution of Runic but a further natural progression (Gelb's Stage 3)
and outgrowth of this endeavor.

We conclude that Runic finds its closest ancestor alphabet in Camunic,
probably via some yet to be discovered intermediary, perhaps akin to
that represented on the Castaneda flagon spout inscription; see Markey
and Mees (Forthcoming). Recall that the Camunni, listed as the second
of the vanquished tribes (gentes Alpinae devictae) on the Tropaeum
Alpium, and probably other Celtic or Rheto-Celtic candidates as
intermediary donors of Runic alphabetism as well, might well have
perished as historically identifiable ethnic entities during or in the
aftermath of the Roman conquest.21 Despite the painstaking and often
exquisite archaeological analyses of cultural relationships between
Germania and the Celtic world in the final and immediately post-La
Tène periods by Joachim Werner, collected in Werner (1979), and
others, our understanding of this chapter of European history remains
unremittingly vague. But what clearly emerges, even from our rather
cursory etymological analysis of the Tropaeum' s tribal names as a
socio-historical document (fn. 21), is that Celtic, not Estruscoid,
groups were politically paramount in the Alpine area during the late
La Tène period. It was during this period, if not before, that
Rheto-Celtic emerged, that literacy was acquired by the region's Celts
in proximity to North Etruscan/Rhetic. Whatever Germanic peoples, such
as the forefathers of Teudicius at Civitas Camunnorum, were in contact
with these Celts must have been exposed to the region's newfound

Now, Ariovistus suffered defeat by Caesar in 58 BCE, his
brother-in-law must have been keen to be seen to be Roman-friendly.

What was the purpose of the deposit? What was the purpose in general
of such deposits? It all boils down to what kind of fish 'external
symbolic storage' is. I'll be back on that.