Saturday, 5 August 2017

Alidjun

Muslims from Zenica region celebrating Aliđun 1936

Second of August lies midway between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox. It also lies bang in the middle of the zodiac sign of Leo (July 23 to August 22 each year) which is ruled by the sun. The sun god Svetovid ascends to it's throne on the summer solstice day (21. of Jun). But the power of the sun is not at it's maximum yet. The power of the sun is the greatest on the 2nd of August. This is the hottest part of the year, the time of droughts. I talked about this in my post "Two crosses". And right there, after the day of the maximum heat, the days start getting cooler. This is why the 2nd of August, marks the end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn. In Serbia it is actually believed that it is summer until the noon and autumn from the noon onward. 

This day, the 2nd of August, is in Serbia known as Ilindan (Day of Ilija the Thunderer). I wrote about this day in my post "The thundering sun god". Ilindan is one of the most important Slavas (Holy days) in Serbia. In Serbia there is a saying "Od Svetog Ilije sunce sve milije" meaning "From St Elijah the sun gets more pleasant (kinder, milder)". 

But what most people don't know is that Ilindan is also one of the most important Slavas (Holy days) among Northern Albanian and Bosnian Muslims, who are almost all converted Slavs (Serbs). The Balkan Muslims call this day "Aliđun" (pronounced "Aligjun") and meaning "The day of Ali or the day of Ilija". This is the day of fairs when people from all the surrounding villages gather to celebrate together, exchange goods, arrange marriages. 

What is very interesting is the Balkan Muslims have preserved the memory that this day used to be dedicated to Perun. 

And this is why:

Veles, the great horned serpent, the dragon, the symbol of the heat of the sun, stole "the waters of heaven", "the celestial cows (clouds)" from Perun at the beginning of the summer. Basically this is the description of what the excessive heat of the sun does during the summer. It causes drought. 

So on the 2nd of August, the day of the most intense drought, people would climb the mountain tops where they would light bonfires and pray to Perun for rain. Each family sacrificed a cockerel (which must be the same color, red is considered the most favorable). The reason why red cockerel is sacrificed to Perun is because fire cockerel was a sacred bird dedicated to Perun. I wrote about this in my post "Cockerel and lion". 

And if the drought was really bad, the whole village would sacrifice a bull. Bull was another animal sacred to Perun. The reason for this is that bull is the symbol of the summer which starts on the 6th of May, in the Taurus. The bull literally brings the summer heat between its horns. This is why killing of the bull on the 2nd of August symbolizes killing of the summer summer heat. It represents the end of the summer. 

The most interesting thing that shows the link between Perun and the bull is a special type of bull fights that are organized in Bosnia on the first Sunday in August. 



I wrote about these bull fights in my post "Bo - Vo". 

In these bull fights, bulls fight bulls and the idea is to find the alpha male bull which is then used for fertilizing the cows in order to improve the stock blood line. I believe that originally these bull fights were probably part of the Ilindan (Aliđun), Perundan celebrations organized on the 2nd of August. I wouldn't be surprised that during the times of extreme droughts the winner was sacrificed to Perun as a special offering. 

I believe that these bull fights come from the Serbian tradition, but they are today part of Orthodox, Muslims and Catholics tradition in Bosnia. 

So the bonfires are lit, the sacrifices are made. 

And every year, on the 2nd of August, Perun hears the prayers of the faithful, accepts the offerings and kills Veles. And releases the waters of heaven, the celestial cows. The clouds return to the sky and the rain starts falling...

The summer ends and the autumn begins. 

Until 100 years ago people in Bosnia, Orthodox, Muslims and Catholics celebrated Ilindan (Aliđun) together...






Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The thundering sun god

In North Germany, the peasants say, when they hear the low rumbling of distant thunder, "Use Herr Gott mangelt" meaning 'The Lord is mangling, or rolling the thunder.

When I was a kid, I spent my summers with my grandparents. One year, around the 2nd of August, the day of the St Ilija the Thunderer, a late summer storm was rumbling over the village. My grandmother turned to me and said: "It's St Ilia the Thunderer driving his chariot over the clouds. The rolling thunder and flashing in the clouds are made by the fiery wheels of St Ilia's chariots bouncing off the bumpy tops of the clouds".


So this would indicate St Ilija the Thunderer is probably the Christianized pagan god of thunder lightning and rain.

But Serbian folk tradition also says that St Ilija the Thunderer gets so angry  "burn the whole world". As I already explained in my post "Two crosses", the 21st of June, the mid summer, is the day of the maximum sun light. But it is the 2nd of August the day that marks the end of summer, that is the day of maximum sun heat. And this is the day when Serbs celebrate St Ilia the Thunderer. The period three days before and the three days after the 2nd of August, is in South Slavic tradition called Kresovi meaning Fires. These are the days of wild fires and droughts. These days are also known as the dog days, because these are the days when the dog star Sirius is in the sky with the sun.

But thankfully "Ilia the thunderer" does not burn the earth. Every year, on his day, the 2nd of August, the day of St Ilija the Thunderer, he gets persuaded by his wife, Ognjena Marija (Fiary Mary) to calm down. In Serbia there is a saying: "Od svetog Ilije sunce sve milije" which means "From St Ilija the sun starts getting kinder, milder, gentler". The first part of the 2nd of August is considered summer and the second is considered to be Autumn. And thus every year on the 2nd of August the summer ends and the autumn begins.

The fact that it is "Ilija the thunderer" who is accused of "wanting to burn the whole word", shows direct link between "Ilija the thunderer" and the burning late summer sun. Is it possible that Ilia the thunderer is also a Christianized sun god?

How is it possible that the same character could personify the burning sun and the storms?

Well do you remember my post "Sun, Thunder, Fire"? In it explained how modern science has proven the existence of the direct link between the solar winds and lightning. In short, without solar winds there would be no lightning.

When we compare our current knowledge of the development of thunder and lightning with the above description of the "Thundering sun god driving his chariots over the tops of the clouds with flashes of lightning sparking from the chariot wheels", we can see that this is pretty faithful description of what is actually happening during August thunderstorms. 

There are two basic types of lightnings:

1. Vertical, cloud to earth (or earth to cloud)


2. Horizontal, cloud to cloud.



A vertical lightning strike from cloud to earth arrives at the ear as a bang. A cloud to cloud strike can sound like rolling thunder because the bang you hear comes along the length of the bolt.

Belgrade school of meteorology has been conducting 35 year long research in frequency and characteristics of lightning over Serbia. 

In Serbia the number of thunder and lightnings is the highest at the end of June and beginning of July, but during that time thundering is very strong and short due to the angle under which the solar wind enters the atmosphere. If there is rolling thunder it is always very short.

On the contrary, the first days of August have the largest number of rolling thunder and lightnings. This is the period of the year when solar wind arrives from the sun under the smaller angle which creates longest rolling time of the solar wind particles over the tops of the clouds. Heliocentric electromagnetic research have shown that due to high speed, particles of the solar wind bounce off the tops of the clouds in the same way a flat stone bounces of the surface of water. Every bounce causes a sound effect in the shape of thunder and a flash of lightning. During that period you can hear how the fireball consisting of the particles of the solar wind, approaches and then goes away. Based on the audio and visual data you can precisely calculate the line and direction of the rolling of the thunder wheel. 

Just as if "the thundering sun god was driving his chariots over the tops of the clouds with flashes of lightning sparking from the chariot wheels"...


We know that wheel is a symbol directly linked with sun. But it is also linked with thunder and fire. We can see this through the symbols of Svetovid and Perun: their wheels. The wheel of Perun is "like" the wheel of Svetovid. It is actually the fiery version of the wheel of Svetovid. Sun creating fire through lightning. 

So the fiery wheels of Perun, the Thunder god, are actually burning sun wheels of Svetovid, the Sun god.  This is symbolic representation of now scientifically proven link between the sun and lightning. 

And the same link between Thunder and Lightning (Perun) and Sun (Svetovid), is also represented by the character of Ilija the Thunderer, the Thundering Sun...The thundering sun god driving his chariots over the tops of the clouds with flashes of lightning sparking from the chariot wheels...

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Reek Sunday


This is Croagh Patrick, Ireland's holiest mountain. The mountain is known locally as "Reek". The word "reek" comes from  Proto-Germanic "*hraukaz" which means "sheaf, stack of corn, pile of grain, mountain". 

Today is Reek Sunday. Reek Sunday is the name for the last Sunday in July. The reason why the last Sunday in July is called "Reek Sunday" is because on this day, every year, pilgrims climb Reek (Croagh Patrick). 

Interestingly, around the Reek (Irish: Cruach which also means sheaf, stack of corn, pile of grain, mountain), people call Reek Sunday "Domhnach Crom Dubh" which means "Crom Dubh's Sunday". Crom Dubh was the old Irish Solar and Agricultural deity which was "defeated" by St Patrick. And even more interestingly, it is believed that Crom Dubh could have been another name for yet another old Irish deity: Crom Cruach...

I wrote about Crom Dubh in the article "How old is Crom Dubh" and in many other posts.

Now "Croagh Patrick" comes from the Irish "Cruach Phádraig" meaning "Patrick's stack (of corn), Patrick's mountain". 

I wander if Crom Cruach was not another name for Crom Dubh, but if instead it was the old Irish name for the holy mountain dedicated to Crom Dubh. In which case Crom Cruach would mean "Crom's stack (of corn), Crom's mountain", "Crom Dubh's stack (of corn), Crom Dubh's mountain". 

This would explain why, after Patrick defeated Crom Dubh, Crom's Stack, Crom's Mountain (Crom Cruach) was renamed into Cruach Phádraig...

Before you say that if Crom Cruach really meant Crom's Stack, Crom's Mountain, it would have had to be written Cruach Crom. This is because the Irish grammar says that when making compound words, you should always put adjectives after nouns. However there are lots of place names in Ireland that do not confirm to this rule. Place names such as Dubh Linn ("black pool" = Dublin) and Leixlip ("salmon leap") for instance. These place names were attributed to the Norse settlers who learned Irish had trouble with putting adjectives after nouns, so they often put them before the noun. This is exactly what happens when you force the new language on subjected population. They pick up the words but keep their own grammar. But this "incorrect" use of Irish grammar is present in all old Irish texts, which shows that it predates the Norse arrival to Ireland. For instance Táin Bó Cúailnge, is filled with epithets like finnbennach "white-horned", dóeltenga "beetle-tongued", echbél "horse-lipped", rúadruca "red-blushing", and the like. 

Funnily enough most toponymes and hydronymes of Celtic origin in central Europe follow this "incorrect grammar" and have adjective before the noun.

Here is an example:

Gaelic word for “big” is Mór. (Pronounced as the English word more)
Gaelic word for “river” is Abhainn . (Pronounced “awon” similar to the English word award). Proto celtic word is awa. 

In central Europe there are numerous rivers called Morava.

Morava = mor + ava = Mór Abhainn = Mor Awa= big river 

Morava is the biggest river in Serbia and also in Czech republic, territories which were considered Celtic heartland. These rivers gave the name to the territory upper and lower Moravia. 

In Ireland there is a river named the Avonmore River (Irish: Abhainn Mhor, meaning "big river") which is the same as Mor Ava just using Gaelic grammar.

So it is quite possible that Crom Cruach really meant "Crom's Stack (of corn), Crom's Mountan".

What do you think? 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Àth Cliath

On the Wiki page "History of roads in Ireland" we can read that according to an entry in the Annals of the Four Masters for AD 123, there were five principal highways (Irish: slighe) leading to Tara (Irish: Teamhair) in Early Medieval Ireland. The entry in the Annals claims that these routes were 'discovered' at the birth of Conn of the Hundred Battles:

"The night of Conn's birth were discovered five principal roads leading to Teamhair, which were never observed till then. These are their names: Slighe Asail, Slighe Midhluachra, Slighe Cualann, Slighe Mhór, Slighe Dala. Slighe Mhór is that called Eiscir Riada, i.e. the division line of Ireland into two parts, between Conn and Eoghan Mór."

In reality, the ancient road system (such as it was - there cannot have been a developed national system) fanned out not from Tara but from Dublin.

The Slighe Assail went due west towards Lough Owel in Co. Westmeath, then to Cruachain. The Slighe Midluachra went towards Slane, through the Moyry Pass north of Dundalk, round the base of Slieve Fuaid, near Newtownhamilton in Co. Armagh, to Emain Macha, ending at Dunseverick on the north coast of Co. Antrim. The Slighe Cualann ran south-east through Dublin, crossing the River Liffey via a "hurdle-ford", then went south "through the old district of Cualann, which it first entered a little north of Dublin, and from which it took its name". The Slighe Dala ran towards and through Ossory in Co. Kilkenny. Finally, the Slighe Mhór ("Great Highway") joined the Esker Riada. It then, more-or-less, followed the Esker Riada to Co. Galway.

It is believed that this "hurdle bridge" was built across the river Liffey in 1014 AD.

In "A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland..." which was published by Joyce, P. W. (Patrick Weston) in 1906, we can read in the section entitled "Bridges" that the place chosen for the erection of a bridge was very usually where the river had already been crossed by a ford; for, besides the convenience of retaining the previously existing roads, the point most easily fordable was in general most suitable for a bridge. There is no evidence to show that the Irish built stone bridges before the Anglo-Norman invasion. Bridges were very often built of planks laid across the stream from bank to bank if it was narrow enough, or supported on rests of natural rock or on artificial piers if the river was wide: a kind of bridge occasionally used at the present day. Sometimes bridges were constructed of strong hurdles supported on piles; like that across the Liffey which gave Dublin its old name. These timber bridges of the several kinds were extremely common, and they are frequently mentioned in old authorities.

The fact that both articles talk about the "hurdle bridge" across river Liffey, which "gave Dublin its old Gaelic name" is actually very interesting.

This is because the old Gaelic name for Dublin is "Baile Atha Cliath" which translates literally as "town of the hurdle ford" and not as "town of the hurdle bridge".

Irish "baile" meaning "home, settlement". From Old Irish "baile", meaning "place; settlement; farm, farmstead; (fortified) village, town, city".

Irish "áth" meaning "ford, river crossing". From Old Irish "áth" meaning "ford, open space or hollow between two objects, a shallow area of the river that can be crossed on foot", from Proto-Celtic *yātus meaning "ford", from Proto-Indo-European *yeh₂- meaning "ride, go".


Irish "cliath" meaning wattled, latticed frame; hurdle. From Old Irish clíath, from Proto-Celtic *klētā. Cognate with French claie (From Gaulish *cleta attested in medieval Latin clida) and Welsh clwyd, both meaning hurdle, wattle (stick) fence.


There are other towns of the same name, such as Àth Cliath in East Ayrshire, Scotland, which is Anglicised as Hurlford.

So before any permanent bridge was built, river Liffey was crossed at the ford.

The ford's exact location is a mystery today. It is proposed that it could have been somewhere near Usher's Island (when it still was an island), maybe a hundred yards west of what is now the Father Mathew Bridge, near St Paul's Church.



So ford is basically a river crossing. The place where you can "walk across the river".

I came across this artist's impression of the "hurdled ford":


I doubt that this is actually what the "hurdle ford" looked like. This half submerged structure would not provide any benefits to the people crossing the river. They would still get wet. But there is another type of wooden structure that would fit the description of a "Àth Cliath":


This is the type of a primitive wooden river crossing that can be seen in remove rural areas all over the world. The most primitive type consists of one or two long logs placed across the river. They are supported either by the banks alone or by the banks and wooden stakes stuck into the river bed.


The walking surface can be made wider and more stable by nailing or tying short cross logs on top of the original two logs spanning the river.


If you spread the logs spanning the river and make the cross logs wider, and add you get something like this, a narrow corduroy road bridge.


Now in my post "Togher wooden trackways" I talked about a millenniums long Irish tradition of building wooden walkways (toghers). They are basically corduroy roads and bridges built all over the country across marshes and bogs from Bronze age until Early medieval time.


Exactly the same construction can be used, supported on parallel logs lying on stakes stuck into the river bed, to build bridges. Like this one:


So if there ever was "Àth Cliath" across river Liffey, it probably went through these evolution steps, from a simple logs crossing to the logs bridge. 

But, I can hear people saying, cliath means hurdle. 

In my post "Kolac - Golac" I talked about the existence of a whole cluster of words based on the base word "cleath" meaning stick, pole. 

cleath, -eithe, -eatha, f., a goad, a wattle, pole, stake; a fishing-rod.
cleath thiomána, a goad.
cleath-ailpín, a short stick with a knob.
cleathach, -aighe, a., ribbed, composed of wattle-work (cage, basket, granary).
cleathar, -air, pl. id., m., a stake, a pole; a pile or post; fig., a prince, a chief.
cleatharáil, -ála, f., a severe beating, a dressing, a flogging.
cleath-chur, m., a planting of trees; hence the correlative or collateral branches of a pedigree 

I also talked about the fact that this cluster has its cognate, and possible root, in Slavic word "kol" meaning "stake, stick" and which comes from the word "gol" meaning "naked, bare, stripped" of leaves, branches, which is how you make sticks and stakes. I also talked about the Slavic word "klada" which means log (a tree trunk stripped of branches) and which probably comes from the same root "kol, gol". 

Now if we look at the above walkways we can see that they are made from stakes (Irish cleath, Slavic kol) and logs (Slavic klada). If a Slavic person wanted to describe the walkway construction he could describe it as "koljat, koljast" (made of kolje, stakes, sticks).

That takes care of "cliath". It actually doesn't have to mean hurdle. It can mean anything made from stripped off branches, trunks (sticks, stakes, logs). 

Now about the word "Àth". In Irish the word means ford, the place where you can walk across rivers. The official etymology states that this word comes from "Proto-Celtic *yātus meaning ford, from Proto-Indo-European *yeh₂- meaning ride, go". I would not agree with this. The proposed "Proto Celtic" root was never attested. The only descendant is Gaelic Àth (pronounced "oh" but which used to be pronounced "oth"). 

In my post "Odin the wandering deity" I talked about the Serbian word "od" meaning "walking". This Serbian word comes from Proto Slavic "xodъ" and has cognates in all Slavic languages. It also has a cognate in Ancient Greek "ὁδός" (odos), alternative "οὐδός" (oudós) – Homeric (used only once in Odyssey) meaning "way, road, path", basically something you "od", walk on. 

The official etymology says that these words come from Proto-Indo-European *sodos, from *sed- (“to sit”)!!! I don't have to say how ridiculous this sounds...The root has to be preserved in Slavic "od, hod" meaning "walk, walking"...Road, path, way is what you walk on and derives its meaning from the fact that you walk on it...

Now if the Irish "Àth" meaning "ford, walkway, place where you can walk across the river" has any cognates, they have to be Slavic "od (hod)" meaning "walk, walking" and Ancient and Modern Greek "ὁδός (odos)" meaning "way, road, path". 

Now knowing all this, let's have a look again at the phrase "Àth Cliath":


Irish: "Àth Cliath (Cleath)" = Ford, Walkway, the place where you walk across the river made of sticks, stakes
Serbian (Slavic): "Od koljat" = Walkway, the place where you walk across the river made of sticks, stakes

Interesting don't you think?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Kolac - Golac

In my post about Prokletija - the Cursing ceremony, I described a strange Serbian custom in which a stake was cursed and stoned in place of an unknown or missing offender. I explained that in South Slavic languages the word "klet, klijet" means curse and I wondered where could that word have come from. 

I then proposed that the word "klet, kliet" could have come into Slavic languages from Irish where we find a whole cluster of words based on the base word "cleath" meaning stick, pole. 

cleath, -eithe, -eatha, f., a goad, a wattle, pole, stake; a fishing-rod.
cleath thiomána, a goad.
cleath-ailpín, a short stick with a knob.
cleathach, -aighe, a., ribbed, composed of wattle-work (cage, basket, granary).
cleathar, -air, pl. id., m., a stake, a pole; a pile or post; fig., a prince, a chief.
cleatharáil, -ála, f., a severe beating, a dressing, a flogging.
cleath-chur, m., a planting of trees; hence the correlative or collateral branches of a pedigree 

When, after this post was published, someone asked me why I believe that this word has come from Irish into Serbian I replied: 

"Because I couldn't find the base word in South Slavic languages that could give the rise to the above word cluster. You find the root words, you find the origin of all the derived words."

Now this is a great example of what happens when one gets struck with a sudden onset of acute blindness, deafness and dumbness. 

Why?

Because there actually is a word in Serbian which can give the rise to the above cluster.

That word is "kolac" pronounced "kolats". The word means "stick, stake, pole". 



Serbian Kolac is the exact cognate of Irish "Cleath". The pronunciation is slightly different but the root is the same "klt".

The thing is Kolac is not the actual root word in Serbian. The root word is actually "kol". 

kol, kolj, kalj - stake
kolje - stakes
kolina - large stake.
kolinec, kolje - young forest.
koljenika - spindle

In Gaelic (Irish and Scots) we have these words for stake and pilar:


cuaille, g. id., pl. -acha (cuailne), f., a stake, a pole, a club, a baton; do bhuail sé an ch. comhraic, he brandished the battle-staff; cuaille fir, a tall, slender man;

gallan - pilar, standing stone (Originally people used standing wooden totem and demarcation poles which were only much later replaced with standing stones)


In Danish the word "Kølle" means hockey stick, golf club, baton, nightstick, (slang) penis

These words sound very much like kol, gol which are the root words for kolac, golac. I believe that these words have the same root.  

And that the root comes from Serbian.

Why?

This is why. What is the difference between a branch, a sapling and a stick, a stake, a pole? Well, stick, stake, pole are stripped of side branches and leaves. They are made bare, naked. 




Serbian word for naked, bare is "go, gol". This word is the root word of a whole cluster of words:

go, gol, golahan - naked
golać - naked
puž golać - slug
goleti - strip (of clothes, of branches, of vegetation)
ogoleti - make bare, make naked
golet - land stripped of vegetation
golja - poor person, someone who has nothing

If you take a branch and you strip it bare of branches and leaves, if you make it "gol" (bare, naked) you get "kol" (stick, stake, pole). 

I talked about this morphing of the "g" into "k" in my post "Koleno - goleno". There I talked about the Serbian word for knee = koljeno, koleno, kaljen, kalino, kolino, golino which comes from the word "goleno" meaning "naked, bared". 

In my post "Klet" I talked about another South Slavic word "klet, klijet" which means "wooden hut made from poles, logs, sticks". In other Slavic languages and in Baltic languages, this word means a shack, but also more narrowly granary, basket, cage...



Baskets (klet) are made from sticks (kolje) which are branches which were stripped of their leaves, which were made bare (gole) 


The early granaries were basically raised baskets made from sticks, like these primitive granaries from California. 


Which later developed into wattle granaries, like these ones from the Balkans:


And also houses made using wattle and daub technique. 


"Wattling" is a way of building walls by weaving sticks in and out of upright posts. "Daubing" is the method used to weather proof these stick walls using mud or mud mixed with hay. 


Wattle and daub technique was certainly used in Europe in Bronze Age, around 3000 years ago but it could be much older. And it continued to be the main house building technique in continental European villages until very recently.

The second main house, barn building technique in continental European villages was a log cabin, a shack made from interwoven logs, like this Latvian klēts:



These logs are tree trunks which were stripped of the branches and leaves (gol). In Serbian, apart from the word "kol" meaning stick, stake, pole, we also have a word "klada" which means log. This word also comes from the word "gol" meaning "naked, bare". Klada (log) is what bearing, stripping of a tree of its branches and leaves gives us. In Serbian this is "gol + da" = bear, naked + gives...

What happens when you strip branch, sapling of its branches and leaves is that you turn a bushy branch into a smooth stick, stake pole. In Serbian the word for smooth is "gladak".  This word has its cognate in all Slavic languages, but also in Baltic languages, Germanic languages and Latin. But not in Celtic languages. I believe that this word comes from the same root "gol" meaning bare, naked and not from Proto-Indo-European *gʰelh₂- (“to shine”). Shininess is a consequence of smoothness which is a consequence of bareness, nakedness. Incidentally the Serbian word "gol" (naked) comes from Proto-Indo-European *galw- (*kalw- ) meaning naked, bare. There are words in Indoiranian, Baltic, Slavic, Italic and Germanic languages based on this root. But not in Celtic...

In my post "Klet" I pointed at the fact that Latvian klēts, Lithuanian klė́tis, Old Prussian clenan are basically raised log cabins. I mentioned that I have already written in my post "Log cabin" that this type of house construction was brought to Baltic by Slavs. So I concluded the name for these structures must also have been brought to Baltic by Slavs. 

Now that we know about the "kol" (stake) and "gol" (naked) root there is no doubt any more that these words are indeed of Slavic origin. 

But then I said that before Slavs the log cabins were in central Europe built by Celts. Which means that the original name for these structures was Celtic "cleathach" based on the root "cleath" meaning a goad, a wattle, pole, stake, which I already mentioned above.

Well, was it? Or was it the other way round? :) Are these Irish words based on Serbian (Slavic) words "kol" (stick, stake, pole) and "kolje" (sticks, stakes, poles)?

I am glad the attack of blindness, deafness and dumbness was just temporary...

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Klet

In my post about Prokletija - the Cursing ceremony, I described a strange Serbian custom in which a stake was cursed and stoned in place of an unknown or missing offender. I explained that in South Slavic languages the word "klet, klijet" means curse and I wondered where could that word have come from. 

I then proposed that the word "klet, kliet" could have come into Slavic languages from Irish where we find a whole cluster of words based on the base word "cleath" meaning stick, pole. 

cleath, -eithe, -eatha, f., a goad, a wattle, pole, stake; a fishing-rod;

That this is indeed a possibility can be seen from the fact that in South Slavic languages the word "klet, klijet" has another meaning: wooden hut made from poles, logs, sticks. Like this one from Rudno in Serbia:



This word is also present in other Slavic languages with the same meaning. 

Old Church Slavonic клѣть ‎(klětǐ), Russian клеть ‎(klet'), Belarusian клець ‎(klec'), Ukrainian кліть ‎(klit'), Bulgarian клет ‎(klet), Czech klec, Polish kleć. This is kleć (shack) from Kudricze in Polesia in Belarus.



In Baltic languages (Latvian klēts, Lithuanian klė́tis, Old Prussian clenan) and in some Slavic languages the word is found with narrower meaning of granary, cage, crate, basket, container. 

Baltic granaries are made from interwoven logs, like this Latvian klēts:



You can see that this is basically a raises log cabin. I have already written in my post "Log cabin" that this type of house construction was brought to Baltic by Slavs. So the name for these structures must also have been brought to Baltic by Slavs and that Latvian klēts, Lithuanian klė́tis, Old Prussian clenan have Slavic origin. And guess what. Before Slavs the log cabins were in central Europe built by Celts. 

And in Irish, a Celtic language, we find a whole cluster of words based on the base word "cleath" meaning stick, pole. 

cleath, -eithe, -eatha, f., a goad, a wattle, pole, stake; a fishing-rod.
cleath thiomána, a goad.
cleath-ailpín, a short stick with a knob.
cleathach, -aighe, a., ribbed, composed of wattle-work (cage, basket, granary).
cleathar, -air, pl. id., m., a stake, a pole; a pile or post; fig., a prince, a chief.
cleatharáil, -ála, f., a severe beating, a dressing, a flogging.
cleath-chur, m., a planting of trees; hence the correlative or collateral branches of a pedigree 

Which means that the original name for these structures was Celtic cleathach based on the root cleath meaning a goad, a wattle, pole, stake, the building material used for making wooden shacks, both log cabins and wattle and daub ones.

Everything fits perfectly.

Well almost. But more about this in my next post :)

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Koleno - Goleno

It is very interesting is that in Serbian the words for knee, shin (bone), ankle all come from the same "kln, gln" root:

knee = koljeno, koleno, kaljen, kalino, kolino, golino
shin bone, tibia =  golijen, golin, goujeno, koljeno
ankle = gležanj




Basically we have two angles, knee (koleno, goleno) and ankle (gležanj) both made by the same bone shin bone (golijen, golin, goujeno, koljeno) and the bones connecting to it, all having names coming from the same root. And I believe that this root is "gol" meaning "naked".

Why?

Well have a look at these pictures:

Mesolithic clothing


Neolithic clothing

Bronze age clothing
 Iron age clothing


Basically during all this time, when our languages were developing, the working and fighting clothes remained the same length: they ended somewhere around the knees. There is a purely practical reason for this. A tunic or a kilt of that length allows full range of movement while providing enough cover to keep the body worm. Anything longer and you will not be able to spread your legs and walk normally or bend. Anything shorter and your balls will shrink from the cold :)

The part of the leg which was uncovered, naked (goljen in South Slavic languages) is exactly the part from knee (koleno, goleno in Serbian) to ankle (g(o)ležanj in Serbian) which are connected by the same bone, shin bone, (golijen, golin, goujeno, koljeno in Serbian), all the words based on the root "gol" meaning naked.

In "Etimologijski rjecnik Hrvatskog ili Srpskog jezika" (Croatian and Serbian etymological dictionary) by Petar Skok we read:

"Prema Sobolevskom se denominacija odnosi na dohistorijsku nošnju bez rukava i nogavica. Na to upućuje i orfološka činjenica da je golijen apstraktum deklinacije í. Znači dakle »golotinja, ono što je golo«"

"According to Sobolevski this word comes from prehistoric clothing without sleeves and legs. This is indicated by the fact that the word goljen means naked, bare"

Now if the word "gol" meaning naked is indeed the root of the word "goleno, koleno" meaing knee, then this raises an interesting question. 

In my post "From knee to knee" I wrote about the strange fact that while in almost all other Indoeuropean languages the word for knee comes from the root "gn, kn" and means knee, angle, in Celtic and Slavic languages the words for knee come from the root "gln, kln". 
The word knee also has additional meanings in Irish and Serbian which are not found in other languages:

Serbian (koleno, koljeno, kaljen, kalino, kolino, golino): knee, angle, generation, step in descent, offspring, family, clan, race, house

Gaelic (glúin): knee, angle, generation, step in descent, step in pedigree

Now if the Serbian word for knee koleno, goleno (kln, gln) comes from the Serbian (Proto Slavic) word for naked gol (gl), then where does the Gaelic word for knee gluin come from? The same Proto Slavic root?

Well actually, the Proto Slavic word "gol" (naked) comes from Proto-Indo-European *galw- (*kalw- ) meaning naked, bare. There are words in Indoiranian, Baltic, Slavic, Italic and Germanic languages based on this root. But not in Celtic...So where does the Gaelic word for knee come from? Slavic languages? Germanic languages? Latin? However only in Slavic languages the words for the bare, naked parts of the leg from knee (koleno, goleno in Serbian) to ankle (g(o)ležanj in Serbian) are based on the root "gol" meaning bare, naked. So...

What do you think?