Re : [tied] Re: Negau

From: Andrew Jarrette
Message: 60440
Date: 2008-09-28

--- In, "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@...> wrote:
> OCR is a good thing

What is OCR?

> 'On the Etymology of Lat. urbs
> C. Michiel Driessen University of Leiden
> Introduction
> Lat. urbs 'city' (CIL I2 5, Naevius+) has no commonly acknowledged
> etymology. Its etymology is a classic crux within Indo-European
> linguistics. The DELL 754 even went so far as to suggest that it is
> probably not Indo-European at all: "Sans doute empruntée. II n'y a
> en indoeuropéen un nom de la <<ville>>. Le groupe de grec. pólis
> signifiait <<citadelle>>." Here I have to disagree. True,
> Indo-European had no term for 'city', but the Latin meaning need not
> be original; it may well be secondary as is the case with all
> Indo-European terms for 'city'. These usually go back to an original
> meaning 'place' (like OHG stat), 'enclosure' (like OCS gradU) or
> 'fortress' (like Gr. pólis).
> In this contribution it will be demonstrated that urbs can be
> etymologised, that it is inherited and that its meaning may well be
> secondary.1 First, the semantics of urbs will be discussed. Then,
> phonology of existing etymologies will be treated. Finally, a new
> etymology will be presented.
> City founding Etrusco: rite and the po:me:rium
> A Latin city was founded according to a specific ritual. This ritual
> is described in detail by Varro L.L. 5.143 (Fig. I):2
> Oppida condebant in Latio Etrusco rite multi, id est iunctis bobus,
> tauro et vacca interiore, aratro circumagebant sulcum. ... Terram
> exculpserant, fossam vocabant et introrsum iactam murum. Post ea qui
> fiebat orbis, urbis principium; qui quod erat post murum,
> dictum. Eo usque auspicia urbana finiuntur. Cippi pomeri stant et
> circum Ariciam et circum Romam.
> "Many founded cities in Latium according to Etruscan religious
> practice, which means that they drew a furrow around (a city) by
> of a span of cattle, a bull (on the outside) and a cow on the
> and a plow. The place (scil. the furrow) whence they had plowed up
> earth, they called fossa 'ditch' and the earth thrown inwards they
> called mu:rus 'wall'. The circle that came into existence hereafter,
> formed the beginning of the city; and which (scil. the circle),
> because it was situated behind the mu:rus (scil. the terram
> iactam seen from within the city), was called postmoerium. Hereby
> (i.e. the orbis/po:me:rium) the auspicia urba:na were confined.
> Boundary stones of a po:me:rium stand around Aricia (a Latin city
> old religious center) and Rome."
> Thus, according to Varro the po:me:rium is the sacred furrow (Fig.
> I).3 Varro calls this furrow orbis 'circle' instead of boundary vel
> sim. The fact that he calls the po:me:rium (the principium urbis) a
> circle is clearly due to his etymology of urbs: he believes that
> is a blend of orbis 'circle' and urvum 'plow-beam'.'
> etc.
> So perhaps Andrews misgivings were unfounded.
> I was also reminded of the Gefion legend.
> Of course the loan would be from some not p-less ancestor of Celtic
> into Rhetic. Interesting that the Chinese invented heavy iron
> around 100 BCE.
> It might have been that invention the Germani and Slavs picked up in
> Noricum. Back-formation from *plow-tr- "instrument for measuring"?
> Ernout-Meillet:
> '*plaumoratum?: sorte de charrue à roues en usage chez les Raeti,
> d'après Plin. 18,172. La forme a été diversement corrigée:
> plauro-matum, et même ploum (d'après les formes germaniques du
> all. Pflug) Raeti, v. Walde-Hofmann, s.u., et M.L.6609 plo.vum. De
> toute façon, mot étranger, non latin: peut-être celtique plutôt
> rétique, dont le second élément fait penser à rota,
petorritum, etc.
> plaustrum (plo:strum Caton, Varr., plaustra f. Sid.), -i: n. :
> à deux roues, sorte de tombereau, grinçant (stri:de:ns p. Vg.,
> G.3,536; Ov.Tr, 3,10,59 ).-
> Ancien (Cat., Pl. ), usuel, class. Concurrencé par carrus, n'est
> demeuré que dans quelques dialectes romans, M.L. 6588; le bret.
> pleustra peut provenir du français. D'où plo:stellum;
> plaustrilu:cus "qui luit comme le Chariot" (Mart. Cap.);
> plo:stror,-a:ris: faire le charretier (
> La graphie avec au peut être un "hyperurbanisme", avec influence de
> plaudo:. La plupart des termes désignant des véhicules sont
> Gaulois? Cf. ploxenum ?
> ...
> ploxenum (ploxinum, les mss. ont les deux formes), -i: n. :
> sorte de voiture gauloise.
> Mot employé par Catulle, 97,6, et glosé par Quintilien, 1,5,8,
qui le
> donne comme gaulois: Catullus ploxenum circa Padum inuenit, et par
> Fest. 260,1.
> Torsten
> Torsten

What does all the above have to do with <league> (lieue, legua, lega,
etc.) = "approximately three miles" (or 4 or 5 kilometres, etc.)?
(and why are my misgivings unfounded?) It surely wasn't equal to the
distance plowed in one direction by a team of oxen, which is called
a "furlong" in English and equals 220 yards or 660 feet (1/8 of a
mile, therefore approx. 1/24 of a league), if that's what you were
driving at (at the link for "heavy ploughs"). If a plowed field
typically consisted of 24 furrows each 1 furlong long and therefore
totalling 1 league if measured in a straight line, I still don't see
why people would use this as a measure of distance rather than area.

Interesting to learn about the rites associated with founding a city
among the Latins. But what about the old idea that <urbs> is for
<hurbs>, in turn from *ghrdh- or *ghordh-, like OCS <gradU> and Gmc