Re: [tied] Re: Kastamonitu

From: george knysh
Message: 15258
Date: 2002-09-08

Some comments and queries between the lines:
--- Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...>
> (1) Vortigern and Fridigern don't share an element
> in commom. The one is Vor- + tigern 'Over-lord', the
> other Fri´┐Ż + gern 'desiring peace' (not that he
> really was).

*****GK: So "ern" by itself is meaningless.*****

I can't think of a convincing
> interpretation of Blachernae.

*****GK: That is to say of "Vlachernai" (as it
originally appears in Byzantine Greek). It's the name
of a hill and district initially. I gather that as a
toponym it has no equivalents anywhere in the Balkans
or elsewhere... Unfortunately I don't know which 10th
c. Chronicle provides the information about "Vlachern,
duke (or chief) of the Scythians". I'll recheck
Porphyrogenitus when I have the chance. What this
might mean is that the 10th c. Greeks couldn't think
of any convincing Greek explanation for this

It doesn't look
> "Scythian" (if this is to mean Iranian, at any
> rate).

*****GK: The names I had in mind are probably not
relevant either, if -ern by itself is meaningless. I
knew of "Sajtafarn" a ruler of the "(K)saii" (="royal"
Scythians) to whom the Olbians paid tribute ca. 200
BC. And I remembered the name of the Persian general
"Holophern" who appears in the Book of Judith. What is
the relevant particle here: -farn? as in Pharnak?

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)

*****GK: Given the improbability of anything else(?)
it's the best guess yet, if the form meets the
requirements of 3rd c. Germanic dialects.*****

; 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.

*****GK: The name itself of course (Vlachernai) is
independent of subsequent popular explanations. That
is totally solid, and should not have been hugely
garbled. Anything "from the North" would be "Scythian"
by the 10th c. (cf. "Great Scythia": Slavs, Balts,
Finns, Turks, Germanics etc.. etc..)******

No "Blacherna the Scythian" or "Blacherna the
> Goth" is otherwise known from recorded history.

*****GK: If he were that would be too easy wouldn't
it? We know very few names of "generals" or other
military leaders from the Gothic raiders of the 3rd c.
(or any other raiders for that matter). I think the
key here would be to see what non-Greek language would
be most compatible with this "Vlachern-a".****

P.S. Your point about the metathesis of liquids in So.
Sl. seems to rule out "Vlachernai" having anything to
do with Vlakhs. It is firmly attested at least from
the mid-5th century. I take it that a metathesis in
Greek (Vlach- from Valch-) is impossible?

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