Re: [tied] Yers

From: Vassil Karloukovski
Message: 22919
Date: 2003-06-09

--- In, Piotr Gasiorowski
<piotr.gasiorowski@...> wrote:

Dear Piotr,
I agree with the first part of your letter. Let's leave Dobrev out of
the discussion.

>> Avitokhol, the name of the progenitor in the Namelist of the
>> Bulgarian princes (the best the Turkic school had to offer was
>> to equate it to Attila). So there is a net gain, as I see it.

> I don't care for terms like "the Turkic/Bulgarian/Ruritanian
> school". The purpose of a scientist, as I understand it, is NOT
> to serve his or her nation. Knowledge belongs to all. National
> pride only makes people lose their objectivity and fall victim
> to wishful thinking. We've seen it too often even on this list.

fine, I have no problems with that at all and frankly don't
understand why you mention it. My own (not impartial of course) view
is that the picture of one's history as portrayed in Bulgaria over
the last century, with its idea of a micture of Slav,
Bulgar, 'Thracian' and other strands, compares favourably with the
more isolationist and autochthonist, nearly bordering on racial
purity ones in vogue in neighbouring Balkan countries.

> There's no denying that there was some Iranian influence on the
> Bulgars; George Knysh made the point too a few postings
> back. Some of the names of their aristocracy were clearly
> Iranian ("Asparukh" undoubtedly so).

yes, and there is a serious article on them by R. Schmitt I posted
here some time ago.

>Still, everybody knows how easily names are
> borrowed. We are both Slavs with etymologically Greek names
> (George is another, while Eva's name is Hebrew; are there any
> Slavs with Slavic names here :-)?).

exactly, and this is the approach adopted by the Turkologists. As V.
Beshevliev noticed none of them even refer to Asparukh's (and other)
Iranian etymology and the studies in this direction done by
Iraniologists over the last 120 years and prefer a 'shortcut'- a
Turkic word (loan?) Esbar + ... Similar is their treatment of other
names such as that of Libertin/Libertem, a Bulgar general in Pannonia
killed by the Goths - to derive it from Turkic 'ald erdem' (brave
manliness). But is this is an objective and balanced approach and a
proof of anything?

>Insight without solid knowledge isn't worth anything. You still
> need an expert to judge whether someone's insight is sound or not.

> I'd like to see a _serious_ treatment of the data first. What
> I have seen so far has not convinced me that the Iranian
> interpretation makes any sense at all. It looks amateurish and
> totally unreliable. George's questions deserve to be addressed too:
> "GK: Has there been any attempt to inform the international
> scholarly community of this esp. via conferences?

yes, there is more work done by Tzvetelin Stepanov (with proper
references at least :). He has reported some of it on conferences on
Khazar studies. The Iranian theory has also been embraced (for some
reason) by G. Bakalov, the dean of the Faculty of history at the
Sofia university and other home-grown heavyweights. I hear that it
has affected the school textbooks already.

But Bakalov is not a linguist either, he is a Byzantologist. I
understand that personal names can be easily borrowed. My question is
what about place names and the few whole sentences in proto-
Bulgarian, can anything be said on basis of them? Is it certainly non-
IE and Turkic?

What has been
> the reaction? Are all Bulgarian scholars convinced by the new
> knowledge? Are there serious non-Bulgarian scholars who are?
> It's been ten years you say. Any progress?"

I don't know about foreign scholars.


> Piotr