Alternative Historical Linguistics
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The Urheimat of the Nostratic Languages

The Relationship of the Altaic and Turkic languages. Origin and development.

Scythian Mythology

            Identifying the ancient Bulgars with Scythians, we receive the satisfactory explanation for the unresolved issues of the Scythian mythology and of the significant fact of absence of the cult of fire, wheels, and chariots at the Scythians, so typical for the Iranians. The names of the characters of the Scythian mythology are good decrypted by means of the Chuvash language. First let us consider the legend about the origin of the Scythians. According to this legend, the first man in the once desolate country was Targitaios, the son of Zeus and the daughter of the deity of the river Borysthen (HERODOTUS., 1993: IV, 5). Experts know, that Old-Turkic a was reflected as u in the Chuvash language. The Old-Turkic g has been turned in in Chuvash to v which together with next vowels gives a diphthong, and in our case did ă (RONA-TAS A. 1987-1: 45-47). Having taken into account this law, Targitaios can be explained as "the wedding of gods” according to Chuv. tură "a god" and tuy "a wedding". This wedding can be attributed to the known in mythology category of "the sacred marriages" of old ancestors (Mify narodov mira. 1991). Targitaios had three sons: Lipoxais (Λιποξαισ), Arpaxais (Αρποξαισ) and Colaxais (Κολαξαισ). V. Abayev believed that the second part of these names is -ksay and explained it as "a king-ruler" (Av *xayaš “to shine”), and gave for Colaksay such ethymology: *Xola-xayaša "Sun-king" (ABAYEV V.I. 1965: 35). The first part of the restored name is questionable in the absence of Iran *xola though words xor/xur "a sun" are present in some Iranian languages. V. Abaev himself considered the transition r l for the Iranian languages uncharacteristic and searched for its explanations (Ibid: 36) but later in another paper, nevertheless acknowledged that "the first part is not clear" (ABAYEV V. I., 1979: 310). Other two names have been usually explained as Mountain-king and Depth-king that allows seeing in all names the connection with the elements of the universe as the Upper, Middle and Lower Worlds (DUDKO D.M., 1988: 66).
            However other opportunity of interpretation of all three names can be given by means of the Chuvash language. First of all, the attention is paid by the Turk. arpa "barley" (Chuv. urpa) and, further, the typically Turkic say which, as well as ksay, can be the second part of all three names. In that case, these names can be devided into two parts so: Arpak-say, Colak-say and Lipok-say. Chuv. săy "dish, course" together with arpa suits to name Targitaios situational good as it is clear that wedding is impossible without a banquet. Thus, Arpaxais means "the dish of barley”. The sound k appeared in this word obviously due the similarity to two other names. According to the sense of the word arpa, kolak and lipok also should mean such subjects which can suit for preparing some food. Absolutely exact correspondence to these words was not found in the Chuvash language. However Chuv. kayăk "bird" instead of kolak can be taken in view of the sense as Chuv. a can correspond old. Turc. o, and Chuv. ă does old Turk. a (RONA-TAS A., 1987-1: 47). The only objection can be caused by the discrepancy ly. Old Turk. l was kept in the Chuvash language therefore this transition is not natural here but in principle it often takes place in other languages. Besides, Herodotus could make an error. Also, Colaxais can be translated as "the course of bird”. As for the name Lipoxais, probably, it is a little deformed by Herodotus or by his informant. Probably, Lipoxais should sound as Paliksais then the first part of the name would good correspond to Turk. balyk "fish" (modern-day Chuv. pulă). Hence, to the wedding of gods, three dishes have been sent – the course of bird, barley and fish. The first dish could correspond to Scythian imaginations about "Upper World", the second dish would concern to "Middle World", and the third one does to "Low World". Such personification of the elements of the universe corresponds better to the idea because understanding of mountain as "the middle world" must be recognized only by the big effort. The mountain approaches to the concept of "Upper World" more likely.
            Using the Chuvash vocabulary, one can explain the names of all Scythian gods mentioned by Herodotus. The most worshipped by the Scythians goddess who corresponds to chaste Greek Hestia, the goddess of a home, had the name Tabiti which can be explained as "who has given the vow of chastity", according to Chuv. tupa "oath" and te "to speak". Greek Zeus and Gaia, by Herodotus, had Scythian matches Papaios and Api which names can be understood as "Grandfather" and "Grandmother", h.e. "Primogenitors", according to Chuv. papay "a grandfather" and Chuv. epi "a midwife". The functions of Greek god Apollo were various but he acted as an arrow-shooter or a destroyer most frequently. He can be connected with Oitosyros of Scythian mythology, which name name could be understood as "who calls down trouble” (Chuv. ayta "to call" and šar "trouble"). The name of Scythian goddess Argimpasa, which was corresponded the Greek goddess of fertility Aphrodite, is possible to explain by means of Chuv. arăm "a wife" or ărăm "swear" and pusă "field". By the certain presumption, it is possible to explain also the name of Scythian god Thagimasadas which corresponds to Greek Poseidon, the god of seas and all water elements. In due time Poseidon, trying to ruin Odyssey, has broken his raft therefore Chuv. takana "a trough" (might to be earlier "a boat" too) and šăt "to hole" can have interest in this case.
            And, at last, we shall talk about legendary Amazons. This name (from Gr. Αμαζων) is known us from Herodotus and means aggressive horsewomen. According to the ancient Greek national etymology, it was cleared as α-μαζωσ "breastless" (μαζωσ Gr poetically "breast") as amazons, according some Greek myth, had cut off the right breast themselves for better to shoot with a bow. The explanation is interesting but it doesn’t satisfy scientists. Another explanation could be given by means of Chuvash vocabulary. This mysterious name could have something similar to Chuv. çyn "a person, man". Taking into account Chuv. amă “a female, mother”, we find the explanation to the word the amazon – “the mother of people”. Herodotus explained the origin of Sauromatians from the marriage of the Amazons with Scythians and wrote:

            …now the Amazons are called by the Scythians Oiorpata, which name means in the Hellenic tongue "slayers of men," for "a man" they call oior, and pata means "to slay…(HERODOTUS, 1993: IV, 110-116).

            Thus, Herodotus precisely specifies two Scythian words oyor and pata and gives their sense. In modern Chuvash language ăyăr means "stallion", and patak does "a stick". The first word could mean as well "a male", also therefore and "a man". The second word can be a derivative from not fixed Chuv. pata "to beat, kill". Mr. Fatih Şengül (Turkey) informed me that er, eyr or uri means “man, husband” and pata means “to kill, to hit” in Turkic.
           As you can see, Herodotus, speaking of the myths and beliefs of the Scythians, dindn’t mention of the cult of fire, wheels, and chariots, always present in the beliefs of various Iranian tribes. It is doubtful that the Scythians, being of Iranian origin, could radically change their beliefs. Therefore the absence at the Scythians these cults gives an additional argument against identifying them with the Iranians. However, the Iranian element, if not among the Scythians, then, at least among the different population of Scythia is present. We have seen that the Petrov’s Onomastikon has Iranian matches mostly from the Kurdish language (about six dozen). At the same time more than twenty words of Onomastikon have counterparts only in the Kurdish language, and some of them well-suited for anthroponymy (see Αβαβοσ, Αβλωνακοσ, Διζα-Ζελμισ, etc). Keeping in mind that Onomastikon could have not only Scythian words, we can say with certainty about the presence of Kurds in the South of Ukraine in the late first millennium BC and early first millennium AD We identified the Kurds with the Alazonians of Herodotus, which he located just south of the Scythians-plowmen. Farther to the south, according to Herodotus, the Callipidai lived, which were characterized by him as Hellenic Scythians. Perhaps they were the descendants of those Proto-Greeks who stayed in the Black Sea, where most of them migrated to the Balkans.

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