Disputatio:Tauthe

E Vicipaedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Would anyone object to using the Classical forms found in Eudemus (and listed at Religio Mesopotamena)? --Iustinus 20:23, 13 Iulii 2010 (UTC)

I suppose the objection in the case of Tiamat is that all three names you have found are Greek, and appear to be undeclinable even in Greek, therefore not much help in Latin text; in addition, less accurate than a modern transliteration. So, I don't feel attracted to them as yet ...
I must admit, though, that in general we might prefer a classical Greek source for "Latinity" to no source at all. Had some Roman written about these gods, he would no doubt have transliterated the forms found in Eudemus or Berossus. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 08:23, 14 Iulii 2010 (UTC)
  1. "Greek": you have already answered this yourself. I add that some portions of Berossus are only preserved in Latin (mostly, I think, in Eusebius' Chronicon)
  2. "Undeclinable": So is Tiamat, unless we chose to decline it as Akkadian (I think that goes nom. Tiāmatu(m), acc. Tiāmata(m), gen. Tiāmati(m), but my knowledge of Akkadian grammar is less than basic.)
  3. "Less accurate": Here I would make the same argument I do for Egyptian names: you can claim that the ancients were careless about transcribing foreign names, but at least they got to hear them, whereas we are stuck with transcribing little wedge-clusters.
This last point in particular deserves some elaboration. Tauthe may look like a horrible corrupt blunder, but I don't think it is. FIrst of all, there is evidence from throughout the history of Akkadian for a soundchange of /m/ > [w] in many positions—if you look at the transcriptions of Persian names in the Akkadian and Elamite sections of the Behistun inscription, there are several instances of /w/s being written with <m>s! The evidence from the Graeco-Babyloniaca—a number of fascinating texts where Akkadian or Sumerian is written in both Cuneiform and Greek (I really need to write that article!)—shows that this soundchange was going nuts by the Graeco-Roman era, occurring in many places it apparently hadn't even half a millennium ago, e.g. Šamaš "Sun" is written ΣΑΥΑΣ. So the u in Tauthe is likely quite accurate. (Though as I note at Religio Mesopotamena there may be some interference from Tamtu "Sea.")
--Iustinus 15:18, 14 Iulii 2010 (UTC)
Notice also, e.g. in BM 34428, that the Akkadian word for Greek is written KURIa-man-nu, c.f. Hebrew Yǝwånīm, Old Persian Yaunā, and so on, derived from Greek Ἰάϝονες. (Egyptian on the other hand jumbles this root into Wynn, apparently pronounced something like /wǝjenin/ (not quite certain where the accent falls)). --Iustinus 19:00, 23 Iunii 2011 (UTC)
OK, thanks for explaining further. I think you're right -- where there are no Latin forms and there are classical Greek forms, we should choose the best Greek form. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 16:16, 14 Iulii 2010 (UTC)
You may have noticed that I'm a little bit obsessed with how Ancient languages spelled each other :) --Iustinus 16:29, 14 Iulii 2010 (UTC)
I think Vicipaedia should be the home of all who are obsessed with this subject. And if you want to move the page, go ahead as far as I'm concerned. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 19:11, 23 Iunii 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I'll get to it eventually ;) --Iustinus 22:13, 23 Iunii 2011 (UTC)
OK, how's that? --Iustinus 07:52, 25 Iunii 2011 (UTC)