Greek wanax and basileus: A final solution finally? :P

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 7460
Date: 2001-06-03

I just had two added thoughts... even tho' no one is REALLY
listening to my craziness :)

I mentioned Tyrrhenian *kWati-lewe. Technically, we should
say _EtruscoLemnian_ (abbreviated to EL), which is the
southern Grecian branch of Tyrrhenian, and I should have written
it properly with inaspirate voiceless stop *gW-. Only *gW- would
explain its entry into Hellenic as *gWatileus with voiced initial,
not aspirate *kW-. EL certainly had no voiced stops if Lemnian
and Etruscan are to be trusted.

The second thought involves the hypothetical first component
**gWati. It should mean "chief" and if we are to find it attested
in Etruscan, we are looking for a form like *cathi, however...

We could still get away with a reconstruction of EL *gWate-lewe
for Hellenic *gWatileu- with *-e in the 1st word. Why
opt for this reconstruction instead? Well, because *gWate _IS_ attested in
Etruscan as Catha (tho' sometimes Cautha), the
sun deity. The relationship between the sun and the chief is
clearly an old mythological concept found around the Mediterranean
and mentioned in previous posts. Thus we might reconstruct an EL
sun god/goddess named *GWate who was the mythological alterego,
father or mother of the chief, also referred to as *gWate, the
first word of the compound *gWate-lewe which entered Mycenaean as
gWasileus (basileus).

I know this is wild speculation but you have to admit, it's a fun
etymology (and sadly, possibly the only quasi-serious one) for
/wanax/ and /basileus/. Piotr, you know Hellenic like the back
of your hand, what thinkest thou?

- gLeN

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