--- In cybalist@..., "danjmi" <dmilt1896@...> wrote:
> Why look for a Germanic etymology?
> My Grosser Historischer Weltatlas identifies Guthalus with the
> Niemen or Memel. That's maybe just a guess, assuming Pliny is
> listing rivers east to west, but seems a reasonable one. This is
> getting close to Baltic territory, but anyway isn't the game with
> major rivers of central Europe "Alteuropaische hydronymik",
> looking for a vague I.-E. meaning but pre- any known languages.
> Or am I forty or fifty years out of date?
> Dan Milton

*****GK Hello Dan. Thanks for the input. Actually the Neman (and
Pregolya) hypotheses are no longer considered viable: cf. the most
recent article on "Guthalus" in the Reallexikon der Germanischen
Altertumskunde, XIII (1999) p. 229. To this I might add that Pliny
knew absolutely nothing about the shores of the Eastern Baltic
(beyond the Vistula) or about the peoples inhabiting them, and his
knowledge of Scandinavia across the Baltic was extremely fuzzy. So
(in the opinion of current experts) the Guthalus is either the Oder
or "an unknown river". I opt for the former because of the witness of
Solinus who lists "amnes latissimi" in the following west-->east
order: Alba, Guthalus, Vistula. The Oder had other names, and there
are various additional complications we don't need to get into here.
But I was curious about the etymology of Guthalus.*****