Re: Pramantha/Prometheus: a false etymology?

From: tgpedersen
Message: 16975
Date: 2002-12-02

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jean Kelly
> To: cybalist@...
> Sent: Saturday, November 30, 2002 5:24 PM
> Subject: [tied] Pramantha/Prometheus: a false etymology?
>
>
> It's often been claimed that the Greek name, Prometheus, was
derived from
> Pramantha, a fire-stick [Kuhn, Adalbert (1886), Die Herabkunft des
Feuers
> und des Gottertranks, 2nd ed., Gutersloh: 15 ff. Mayrhofer,
Manfred. 1962.
> Kurzgefasstes etymologisches Worterbuch des Altindischen.
Heidelberg: vol.
> 2, 567 f; 578 ff.] But the theory has also been attacked [Pauly-
Wissowa
> Real Encyclopaedie Vol. XXXIII (i) (1957) p. 690. Roscher, W.H.:
> Ausf├╝hrliches Lexikon der Griechischen und Romischen Mythologie,
B.G.
> Teubner, Leipzig 1884-1937: 3033-3034].
>
> As I'm not a linguist myself, I wondered what Cybalist's opinion
was.
>
> Jean Kelly
>

--- In cybalist@..., Piotr Gasiorowski <piotr.gasiorowski@...>
wrote:
> <prome:tHeus> and <epime:tHeus> are telling names in
Greek: 'Forethought' and 'Afterthought', respectively. The etymology
is obvious, cf. Gk. prome:tHe:s 'provident, thinking in advance'.
Skt. pramantHa- (derived from a verb meaning 'stir violently') does
mean 'fire-drill', but it doesn't quite match "Prometheus" formally;
nor does it account for "Epimetheus". The similarity, so cherished by
theosophists, is accidental, except for the <pro->/<pra-> part, which
is the same inherited prefix in both cases (PIE *pro- 'forth').
>
> Piotr
>

1) Did the "stick"/"stir" word survive in Greek?

2) If not, how can one be sure that the Greek Prometheus is not a
folk etymology of a forgotten meaningless word (and Epimetheus added
for systematic completeness)?

Torsten