Re: [tied] Re: Kastamonitu

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 15252
Date: 2002-09-07

(1) Vortigern and Fridigern don't share an element in commom. The one is Vor- + tigern 'Over-lord', the other Frið + gern 'desiring peace' (not that he really was). I can't think of a convincing interpretation of Blachernae. It doesn't look "Scythian" (if this is to mean Iranian, at any rate). Even if one admits that <-kHern-> might reflect *-xWarna-, Bla- still appears extremely un-Iranian. With a little effort we might force a couple of Germanic elements into something resembling Blachern- (will Blackhorn do? ... no, I thought it wouldn't); I just wonder if the game's worth the candle. The fact is, we have no idea if the popular explanation of the name is credible at all. No "Blacherna the Scythian" or "Blacherna the Goth" is otherwise known from recorded history.

(2) There's one prediction I'd like to make as regards the Vlakhs. The earliest South Slavic loans in Albanian and Romanian, as well as the oldest Slavic toponymy of the Balkans and the earliest Slavic names recorded by the Byzantine chronicles, show no metathesis of *ol > la (actually, the phonetic transcription of Slavic *o at the time should be as short [a]). Thus, we have Alb. daltë, Rom. daltã for Slavic *dolto [dalta], recorded names such as Ardagastos (later Radogost) and Dargamiros (> Dragomir), toponyms like Gardenitsa (*gordInica), etc. Liquid metathesis in South Slavic is securely dated to the eighth century, so if the name of the Vlachs is of Slavic origin (the orthodox view), its modern South Slavic phonetic shape [vlax-] came into being at that time (say, between AD 700 and 800). Before AD 700 it would have been *volx- (phonetically [walx-] ~ [Balx-]), and if any Byzantine source had recorded it that early, it would have been as *<balkHos, balkHoi> rather than <blakHos, blakHoi>.
To sum up, we should not expect to find <blakH-> [vlax-] recorded like this before the eighth century, since the metathesised form did not yet exist; and while *<balkH-> could occur and perhaps diffuse into Byzantine Greek about a century earlier (though I'm not aware of any examples), neither form will be found with reference to a Romanised ethnic group in the peninsula in sources that predate the southward expansion of the Slavs in the mid sixth century. So far, no facts known to me contradict these predictions.
----- Original Message -----
From: gknysh
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 2:55 AM
Subject: [tied] Re: Kastamonitu

--- In cybalist@......, alexmoeller@...... wrote:
in the 8th century, Bulgaria was
> occupied by the Rhékinos, the Blakhorékhinos and the
> Sagudateos.>
> [Moeller] Question: is there any connection to do with the
> valachians?
> Blakhorekhinos=?

*****GK: Some feel this could mean "the Vlachs of Rhincos" (where R.
is a river name).
I have always been curious about the Constantinopolitan district
called "Blachernae" (Vlachernai). Location of a famous Church of the
Theotokos, and of an Imperial palace (or two), it is supposed to have
been named after one "Blachern, duke of the Scythians", who was
killed there. Now just musing along: the Vlachernai was also the name
of one of the seven hills on which Constantinople (in emulation of
Rome) was founded. If this episode with "Blachern" occurred at a time
when the city was still Byzantium, and not as extensive, could this
have been an event of the Gothic wars of the 3rd c., with
this "Scythian" Blachern being a Gothic warlord? Might Blachern be
construed as a Gothic name? -ern could have Celtic (Vortigern in
English rendition) Germanic (the Visigoth chieftain Fritigern or
Fridigern) and even, I think, Iranic affinities. What
could "Blachern" mean in Germanic? And would the "Blach" (actually
Vlach) element have anything to do with the "foreign word"? I.e. that
this "Blachern" would have been named so because of a Roman (to the
Goths) mother or something of that nature? Is this at all possible?