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Old 09-29-2000, 08:31 AM
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In connection with the now-defunct mythology thread, I got to thinking about the Latin declensions for the names of the gods and planets.

I understand that all Latin nouns are identified by giving the nominative and genitive singular, so that one knows to which declension they belong and what the correct root is. So I quite understand the root forms for many of the gods' names:

Mercurius, Mercurii (2nd decl.)
Venus, Veneris? (3rd decl.)
Mars, Martis (3rd decl.)
Vesta, -ae (1st decl.)
Apollo, Apollonis (3rd decl)

and so on.

Jupiter, however, is extremely unusual. The root bears absolutely no resemblance to the nominative form at all:

Iupiter, Iovis (3rd decl.)

I also understand that this is why the adjective which applies to the planet Jupiter and its environs is "Jovian". And the expression "By Jove!" uses the vocative form of the root.

My question is this: where did this root/name "Iov-" come from? Is this just a Latin anomaly, or is there a historical/mythological reason for this? For instance, was the Roman state god "Iupiter" an amalgam of two or more earlier Italian gods/numina, one of which was named "Iove"?

Maeglin If you're reading this, I'm counting on you to help me!
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Old 09-29-2000, 08:39 AM
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Jupiter is the Greek name.
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Old 09-29-2000, 08:52 AM
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No, "Zeus" is the Greek name.


"Jupiter" comes, ultimateley from the Sanskrit root "Dyaus Piter" = "Sky Father". "Dyaus" also was the root for "Zeus" and for "Jove". Please note (as we were taught in Latin) that "J" is pronounced and "Y" and "V" as "W", so "Jove" comes out more like "Yahweh", w3hich is the Hebrew name for god. For which I suggest you read Elias Auerbach's book "Moses".

As for why the Latin form has the odd conjugation, I couldn't tell you. Sorry. Maybe it's just another irregular form.
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Old 09-29-2000, 08:54 AM
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Really? Interesting, I had never come across that fact in my Latin and classical studies before. But that still doesn't answer the question of where the "Iov-" root came from. Or does it?
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Old 09-29-2000, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CalMeacham
"Jupiter" comes, ultimateley from the Sanskrit root "Dyaus Piter" = "Sky Father". "Dyaus" also was the root for "Zeus" and for "Jove". Please note (as we were taught in Latin) that "J" is pronounced and "Y" and "V" as "W", so "Jove" comes out more like "Yahweh", w3hich is the Hebrew name for god. For which I suggest you read Elias Auerbach's book "Moses".

As for why the Latin form has the odd conjugation, I couldn't tell you. Sorry. Maybe it's just another irregular form.
We simul-posted; my previous post was in reply to Keeve.

Thanks, that does go far in explaining this. That is, for some reason Latin adopted the "hard" sound of "-piter" for the nominative, and used a "softer" root. Could it be the other way around from what Keeve suggested -- that they borrowed "Jove" from the Greek "Zeus"?

Because to me, "Jupiter, Jupiteris" doesn't exactly trip off the tongue and I would imagine the Romans thought so, too.

I will check out the book you recommend. I remember how to pronounce classical Latin (and shudder at Church Latin!) but I hadn't made a connection between "iove" and "yahweh". Hmmm...
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Old 09-29-2000, 09:14 AM
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Maeglin Weighs In


Etymology is no longer my strong point, for having graduated college, I don't have access to some of the linguistic resources that I am accustomed to. So I turned to the Lewis and Short online dictionary located at the Perseus Site and found the entry for Jupiter.

The etymological portion is brief:

Jovis-pater; Jovis for Djovis, kindred to Sanscr. dyô

To my eye, a few things are possible here. Jupiter could be a conflation of Jovis-pater. Alternatively, Jupiter in the nominative could be a pre-Latin or extremely early Latin word coupled with more modernized oblique cases.

For the record, the Greek Zeus is also highly irregular. Zeus in the nominative yields dios in the genitive.

MR
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Old 09-29-2000, 09:36 AM
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Thanks to you as well, Maeglin. I was hoping you'd help out.

I think this answers my basic question. The origin of the Latin form is mostly etymological (due to various forms and corrupted forms of the root Sanskrit word), not a conflation of historical/mythological images.

Maeglin, BTW: in our earlier thread we discussed the association of the Viking's Odin with specific Roman gods. While I understand, both from this and our earlier discussion, that "Odin" and "Jupiter/Zeus" are related etymologically, I was saying that the Romans (or specifically, Gaius Julius Caesar) associated the persona of Odin/Wotan with his own Mercury. This is found in his treatise on Germania, I believe.

This doesn't alter the etymologically similarities between Odin/Wotan and Jupiter/Zeus, but Caesar would not necessarily have been aware of these.
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Old 09-29-2000, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
I was saying that the Romans (or
specifically, Gaius Julius Caesar) associated the persona of Odin/Wotan with his own Mercury. This is found in his treatise on
Germania, I believe.
In my opinion, Caesar had an imperfect understanding of northern religion. One look at the Bellum Gallicum is all it takes to discredit him. Caesar may have been able to report what he witnessed with some accuracy, but I would not trust him for any real understanding of the depth of northern religion.

Furthermore, what texts we have about Odin, etc are all from a considerably later period. It is impossible to verify Caesar's judgments due to lack of information. One can only turn to his inconsistencies elsewhere and surmise that maybe he wasn't that well informed.

I do not mean to disparrage Caesar at all. I just don't want to stretch his worth more than it can bear.

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Old 09-29-2000, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CalMeacham
No, "Zeus" is the Greek name.
You are so right. I absolutely cannot believe I forgot that. My bad. Sorry, all.

[... slinking away in shame ...]
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Old 09-29-2000, 11:23 AM
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Maeglin I see; you have a point. Caesar was a warrior, not a priest, so how reliable could his assessment be? I can't remember whether he offers any specific reasons for making the Mercury/Wotan association -- but the association persists into the present day:

Mercury/Mercury-day/Mercredi (in French)

Wotan/Wotansdag/Wednesday

And the "sygil" for Wednesday is the same as that for the planet Mercury.

The latter is more of an astrological rather than a mythological correlation, but it illustrates my point that someone besides Caesar accepted the Wotan/Mercury association.

Not to disagree with you -- just to point out that Caesar's perhaps erroneous assessment may have carried a lot of weight.

As always, very informative chatting with you!
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Old 09-29-2000, 11:31 AM
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Another question, apropos of Jupiter/Jove: a seldom-encountered synonym of Mars is Mavors; does anyone know the etymology of this?
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Old 09-29-2000, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
"Jupiter" comes, ultimateley from the Sanskrit root "Dyaus Piter" = "Sky Father".
This statement is inaccurate. Latin and the other Indo-European languages do not "come from Sanskrit." Sanskrit and the other Indo-European languages are all derived from Proto-Indo-European. Sanskrit is not identical with Proto-Indo-European, it is just part of one branch of the Indo-European daughter languages.
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Old 09-29-2000, 11:54 AM
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Ishmitingas:
Picky, picky. You know what I mean.

Scratch: I haven't heard Mavores (which doesn't mean it's wrong -- just that I haven't heard it.) I have heard "Mamers" as another form of "Mars". Hence the "Mamertine Wars" with folks who worshipped that god.
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Old 09-29-2000, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CalMeacham
Ishmitingas:
Picky, picky. You know what I mean.
At least you didn't say it was Esperanto!
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Old 09-29-2000, 12:32 PM
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I admit that I don't really understand how the selection of day names and astrology really work, but I don't see why the connection between Wednesday and mercredi even has to exist at all. Can it not be merely coincidence that in the northern tradition Wednesday is named after Wotan and in the southern the day is named for Mercury? If I am not mistaken, vendredi is named for Venus, and Friday for Frey. Are these connected?

Maybe you can inform me, MJH2.

As for Mavors...again Lewis and Short does the trick. Here's the skinny:

from mah, magh, to cut; Gr. machę, machaira, and vor, root of vortere; i. e. the turner of the battle

Mavors is an archaic and poetic usage, btw.

Hope this helps!

MR
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Old 09-29-2000, 01:08 PM
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Wouldn't Apollo have a Greek root, since they used the name first?

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Old 09-29-2000, 01:11 PM
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Maeglin: I admit that I don't really understand how the selection of day names and astrology really work, but I don't see why the connection between Wednesday and mercredi even has to exist at all. Can it not be merely coincidence that in the northern tradition Wednesday is named after Wotan and in the southern the day is named for Mercury?

Probably not. As for the weekday-naming thing: We know (cf. O. Neugebauer, History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy) that the Greeks (following the practice of the Babylonians, but using different deities) named the five star-planets after gods: Ares, Aphrodite, Hermes, Kronos, Zeus ("aster Aphrodites" = Venus, etc.). As far back as Cicero, we see attested in ancient works the standard Hellenistic order of the seven planets (including the sun and moon) in descending order of apparent angular velocity, and by hypothesis, of geocentric distance:

Saturn Jupiter Mars Sun Venus Mercury Moon

(Kronos) (Zeus) (Ares) (Helios) (Aphrodite) (Hermes) (Selene)

The arrangement of the weekdays (standard everywhere that Greek astrology had influence) uses the same seven bodies but in a different order:

Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn

The question is, how was that "mixed-up" (i.e., not obviously related to any astronomical quantity) order derived? Cassius Dio in about 200 CE suggested two derivations (implying that even back then the question had become kind of mysterious). One was based on harmonic intervals, and the other depended on the astrological system of the rulers of the hours. By that system, each of the 24 hours of a day has one of the seven planets as its ruler, and the lord of the first hour of a weekday is the lord of the day itself.

So assuming that the ruler of the first hour of the first day ought to be the Sun, as the most powerful, we start counting in sequence down the standard Hellenistic order from the Sun:
1-Sun, 2-Venus, 3-Mercury, 4-Moon, 5-Saturn, 6-Jupiter, 7-Mars, 8-Sun, 9-Venus, etc. etc. When we get to 24, we're on Mercury, so the ruler of the last hour of the first day is Mercury. So continuing the sequence, the ruler of the first hour of the second day is the next planet, i.e. the Moon. So the Moon is lord of the second day of the week. And so it goes and so it goes, down through Saturday. (Since 24 and 7 are relatively prime, we don't get any repeats in the first-lord position till we've completed the whole week, which is nice.)

The Romans borrowed this system but, of course, stuck in the corresponding Roman deities:

Sol Luna Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn

Again, in the Norse system we get the same arrangement, but somewhat different (although corresponding) deities:

Sun Moon Tyr Wotan Thor Freya (Saturn?)

Considering the basic similarity of order, and the resemblances between, say, Jupiter and Thor and Venus and Freya, I think it's very unlikely that this is coincidental. Although I confess I don't know much about how Graeco-Roman astrology was transmitted to the northern barbarians...was it really as early as Caesar's Germania?
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Old 09-29-2000, 01:15 PM
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Apollo is a Latinization of the Greek Apollon. I am not entirely sure how this relationship works. In early Latin, Apollo was actually Apello, and inscription evidence declines Apollo in all sorts of weird ways: Apolonei, Apolone, etc.

MR
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Old 09-29-2000, 01:25 PM
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That is some interesting material, Kimstu, though I wouldn't trust Cassius Dio farther than I can throw the Loeb volumes of his works.

I would hope that a Hellenistic attestation of planetary order goes farther back than Cicero. Although I read the Somnium Scipionis some time ago, I do remember that Cicero is extremely vague on the positions of the heavenly bodies. Does he discuss this at more length in his treatise on divination or on the nature of the gods? Offhand, do you know what Aratus had to say about this?

Quote:
Although I confess I don't know much about how Graeco-Roman astrology was transmitted to the northern barbarians...was it really as early as Caesar's Germania?
My gut tells me not. I'll do a little digging if I can (I don't have enough specialized resources here at work), but I think that the order of the weekdays is a much later convention.

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Old 09-29-2000, 01:31 PM
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Aha, Maeglin, now you've stumbled into (or close to) my esoteric little corner of the Known Universe...

The correlation between days of the week, names of gods and planetary/astrological associations holds for most other days as well.

Continuing with French and English (pardon any incorrect Nordic/Germanic misspellings):

Monday and Sunday are named for (and symbolized by) the Moon and Sun respectively. In French, lundi makes sense but dimanche isn't immediately obvious in this context. ( -manche? Qu'est-ce que c'est? "Sleeve"?)

Tuesday -- mardi -- Tyr/Mars
Thursday -- jeudi -- Thor/Jupiter (which makes sense, in light of the earlier etymology/pronunciation discussion)
Wedneday -- mercredi -- Wotan/Mercury
Friday -- vendredi -- Freya/Venus
Saturday -- samedi -- ???/ Saturn

Saturday stands out as only one for which, in English, the day is named after the Roman god/titan, not the Germanic one. However, I don't know who the Germanic deity is, or if samedi can be derived from that name... Was there a Germanic/Nordic god of time?

The astrological/planetary associations hold for all seven days.

So IMHO, it's more than coincidence that four, possibly five, days of the week reflect associations between astrology, the visible planets and two different pantheons. As I said a while back, these associations might not always be obvious to us today, but we don't worship these gods; the Romans and Germanic tribes did.
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Old 09-29-2000, 01:39 PM
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Maeglin: You and kimstu were having your discussion as I wrote and posted.

Let me just clarify something: I'm not suggesting the ordering of weekdays is an ancient convention. I am suggesting that by the time the convention was adopted, associations between Roman and Germanic deities were already established.

Perhaps the Romans made the associations they thought best fitted, regardless of what the Germanic peoples thought, and imposed their system on everyone. But Caesar certainly didn't do this all by himself.

C'est tout.
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Old 09-29-2000, 02:11 PM
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Dimanche comes from Latin dies dominicalis: the "Lord's Day." Compare Italian domenico, Spanish domingo.

Samedi probably comes from Sabbath, as Sabbath is the basis for Saturday in most languages: Italian sabato, Spanish sabado, Polish sobota, Russian subota, Hungarian szombat, Arabic sabt, etc.

Odd that while English kept the original Germanic names for six of the days, it uses one Latinism: Saturday. While the Romance languages have dropped Saturn from the week! What was the original Germanic name for Saturday?

German has dropped most of the mythological names and invented new ones: Saturday is Sonnabend, 'Sunday eve'. But another German name for Saturday is Samstag -- borrowed from samedi?

Dutch, like English, has picked up the Latinism: Zaterdag. But Danish and Swedish have lřrdag, lördag. What the heck does lör- mean?
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Old 09-29-2000, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ishmintingas
Danish and Swedish have lřrdag, lördag. What the heck does lör- mean?
Just a thought, but might it be clue to the name of the Nordic god? Assuming samedi comes from "sabbath", then samedi/Saturday and other forms offer us no clues about the name of the Nordic/Germanic deity associated with Saturn and that day of the week.
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Old 09-29-2000, 03:17 PM
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Maeglin: I would hope that a Hellenistic attestation of planetary order goes farther back than Cicero.

I would hope. Plato in the Epinomis says, "The moon describes its own orbit quickest of all, bringing the month and the first full moon; and we must regard as second the sun, which executes its turnings during its own complete circuit, and the planets which keep it company." That seems to imply that to Plato, the second closest planet is the sun, or maybe the sun together with Mercury and Venus. By the time of Geminus in about 70 BCE, though, the "standard order" is firmly established, as he describes it in the Isagoge. I would imagine that it was accepted as early as Eudoxus and Callippus with their systems of homocentric spheres, but I don't know of an explicit attestation of the entire order that goes back that far.

As for Cassius Dio, we don't have to believe his reconstruction (though I confess I can't see any equally plausible reason why the weekdays should be ordered as they are), but at least we know that by his day, the order of the weekdays was sufficiently long-established that its origins had become somewhat uncertain.
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Old 09-30-2000, 04:52 PM
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Dyaus-pitar


I thought Dyaus meant god and pitar meant father in Proto-Indo-European. Then through language change we eventually get the Greek Dyaus alone as Zeus, which I am guessing was probably pronounced more like JOWSS than like
ZOOSS in real Greek, and in Latin we keep the father part and have Jupiter. Similarly, Demeter can be worked out as going back to Da (god) Mother, the Mother Goddess as Zeus was the Father God. Then Poseidon is also traceable back to Dyaus-pitar only backwards, as the don part going back to the dyaus and the pos going back to pitar. They say in any case that most of the Greek gods's names have unknown etymologies, and that they survive in Albanian as the closest language to their ancient Greek names! (See Albanian on the internet).But I think what is interesting is that thus we see how the gods as personalities were originally merely people playing roles in rituals as the Father God and the Mother Goddess, etc., just like all throughout the world then and now people like to put on masks of "the gods" or spirits and dance around. (Vide opening of Olympics, ie., the Aboriginees dancing with masks on). Those who took the roles literally began thinking of these roles on a stage as being references to gods who pre-existed the ceremonies, although there are many myths that read like they are institutions of ceremonies that they are celebrating, which is also revelatory.
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Old 09-30-2000, 08:44 PM
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my $0.02...


I just had a quick discuss with the b/f on this. He's pretty knowledgable about Norse culture and mythology. According to him, from reading various sources, apparently the Norse only worked with a 5 day week rather than a 7 day week as was used in the area around the Mediterrean Sea. It would appear that the days we attribute to weekends didn't exist in the Norse calendar system. I'm trying to get a source out of him for this.

As for Odin/Wotan and Hermes/Mercury, both are gods of magic and patrons of travelers (according to the old sources) so I think that's how the association goes.

I'll post more as I get it.
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Old 10-02-2000, 07:39 AM
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...whereas Thor and Jupiter/Zeus are strongly associated because they were both controllers of thunder and lightning.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:53 AM
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Here I come to save the day hehehe, not really but an explanation of how language works.
Iuppiter, Iovis... Now the thing that sticks out the most is the "PP" to "V" change. We must think outside of the box. what does "P" become when aspirated? The answer is "PH" or "F" and what does that become when adding voice beneath it? Quite simply, it becomes "BH" or "V"...
So basically P,B, F, V and yes even M are related in the whole relativity of language.

Coincidentally this also explains Irish Gaelic spellings for the V sound as "MH" and "BH"... In some words "MH" also symbolizes "W" as in english "water" . Plus we must keep in mind that "V" was not really the letter that it is today when the Romans had thir influence on the north sea islands. it was the vowel "U".
To this day the Irish Alphabet contains no V or W... these sounds were earlier written adding a dot about the P B and M.
Irish days are as follow:
Dé Luain
Dé Máirt
Dé Céadaoin
Déardaoin
Dé hAoine
Dé Sathairn
Dé Domhnaigh



Quote:
Originally Posted by MJH2 View Post
In connection with the now-defunct mythology thread, I got to thinking about the Latin declensions for the names of the gods and planets.

I understand that all Latin nouns are identified by giving the nominative and genitive singular, so that one knows to which declension they belong and what the correct root is. So I quite understand the root forms for many of the gods' names:

Mercurius, Mercurii (2nd decl.)
Venus, Veneris? (3rd decl.)
Mars, Martis (3rd decl.)
Vesta, -ae (1st decl.)
Apollo, Apollonis (3rd decl)

and so on.

Jupiter, however, is extremely unusual. The root bears absolutely no resemblance to the nominative form at all:

Iupiter, Iovis (3rd decl.)

I also understand that this is why the adjective which applies to the planet Jupiter and its environs is "Jovian". And the expression "By Jove!" uses the vocative form of the root.

My question is this: where did this root/name "Iov-" come from? Is this just a Latin anomaly, or is there a historical/mythological reason for this? For instance, was the Roman state god "Iupiter" an amalgam of two or more earlier Italian gods/numina, one of which was named "Iove"?

Maeglin If you're reading this, I'm counting on you to help me!
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
Dimanche comes from Latin dies dominicalis: the "Lord's Day." Compare Italian domenico, Spanish domingo.
Isn't it domenica, in Italian? Domenico would be when it's a man's name. Portuguese and Galego call it domingo as well; Catalan is similar to French (diumenge) (hey, it's a zombie, but it's a multilingual one!).

Last edited by Nava; 02-07-2011 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:01 AM
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Odd that while English kept the original Germanic names for six of the days, it uses one Latinism: Saturday. While the Romance languages have dropped Saturn from the week! What was the original Germanic name for Saturday?

German has dropped most of the mythological names and invented new ones: Saturday is Sonnabend, 'Sunday eve'. But another German name for Saturday is Samstag -- borrowed from samedi?

Dutch, like English, has picked up the Latinism: Zaterdag. But Danish and Swedish have lřrdag, lördag. What the heck does lör- mean?

Unlike the other divinely inspired days, the origin of Lřrdag appears to be sadly prosaic:

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/laugardagr

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiktionary
laugardagr
Old Norse
Noun
laugardagr Means actually bathing day.
1. Saturday
Just in case you should forget your weekly shower, I guess it's handy to have the name of the day to remind you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
"Jupiter" comes, ultimateley from the Sanskrit root "Dyaus Piter" = "Sky Father".
I can see "Deus" and "Dio" in there... that is, God. Which is kinda cool.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
Dutch, like English, has picked up the Latinism: Zaterdag. But Danish and Swedish have lřrdag, lördag. What the heck does lör- mean?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJH2 View Post
Just a thought, but might it be clue to the name of the Nordic god? Assuming samedi comes from "sabbath", then samedi/Saturday and other forms offer us no clues about the name of the Nordic/Germanic deity associated with Saturn and that day of the week.
Nah, it's short for "lögardagen" -- from proto-German Laugr, "waterfall."

In other words, "bath day"!
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:49 AM
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Zombi
Zombi
Zombem
Zombis
Zombi
Zombe

Zombes
Zombes
Zombes
Zombium
Zombibus
Zombibus

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Old 02-07-2011, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by TizzoneIA View Post
Here I come to save the day hehehe, not really but an explanation of how language works.
Iuppiter, Iovis... Now the thing that sticks out the most is the "PP" to "V" change.
Except this is an illusion. As mentioned in zombie-days, "Iuppiter" is two words:

Iu + (p)piter. The double-p is an orthographic convention to indicate a geminated consonant in the middle of the word, a slight difference that has been explained to me a million times and I still don't get. Still found in Southern Italian dialects.

The "v" is also an illusion. In Classical Latin, "u" and "v" were not distinguished in writing, and in sound were more like English u + w.

So it's:

Iu ppiter
Iouis
Ioui
Iouem
Ioue

So the question shouldn't be about p / v, but u / ou, and where the initial d- went.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:35 PM
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Incidentally, the phenomenon of supplementing the inflexions of a word with etymologically distinct forms is called http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suppletion, and can be found in many more prosaic situations, for example go and went.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:43 PM
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Well, it was Baron Samedi who was the leader of the zombies, right?
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:58 PM
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While we're at it, an aspirated P isn't like a F; it's like a P with an aspiration after it. The association between phi and f is fairly recent (at least, more recent than classical times).
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:20 PM
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I thought Dyaus meant god and pitar meant father in Proto-Indo-European. Then through language change we eventually get the Greek Dyaus alone as Zeus, which I am guessing was probably pronounced more like JOWSS than like
ZOOSS in real Greek
I know this is a zombie, but what the hell, I might as well chime in that Zeus in Greek is prounounced as ZDAY-oos. In Classical Greek, zeta is a diagraph pronounced as a -zd- sound (like the middle consonant sound made in "Mazda"). So the path from Zeus to Dios isn't really that far. It just elides the leading -z- sound.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:26 PM
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While we're at it, an aspirated P isn't like a F; it's like a P with an aspiration after it. The association between phi and f is fairly recent (at least, more recent than classical times).
I don't think TizzoneIA was using the linguistic definition of aspiration; based on the other examples, he/she was probably referring to the use of that word in Irish Gaelic: Irish initial mutations. Sometimes lenition is referred to as "aspiration" in English.

Last edited by Dr. Drake; 02-07-2011 at 02:27 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:29 PM
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I've always thought the bovine tie-ins were interesting. Practically all ancient civilizations held the bull in great and almost divine regard as a symbol and as late as The Illiad Hera is being referred to as cow-eyed (and not as an insult) and the cow as still her symbol. Both Zeus/Jupiter and Osiris had tales in which they transformed into bulls. In the tale of the Exodus the Hebrews fashion a bull calf when their collective ADHD makes them forget God parting the waters the week before. I wonder if these can all ultimately be traced to the same source as the veneration of cattle in Hinduism.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:38 PM
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I've always thought the bovine tie-ins were interesting. Practically all ancient civilizations held the bull in great and almost divine regard as a symbol and as late as The Illiad Hera is being referred to as cow-eyed (and not as an insult) and the cow as still her symbol. Both Zeus/Jupiter and Osiris had tales in which they transformed into bulls. In the tale of the Exodus the Hebrews fashion a bull calf when their collective ADHD makes them forget God parting the waters the week before. I wonder if these can all ultimately be traced to the same source as the veneration of cattle in Hinduism.
If I remember right, can't our letter A be traced back to a drawing of an ox head?
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:26 PM
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While we're at it, an aspirated P isn't like a F; it's like a P with an aspiration after it. The association between phi and f is fairly recent (at least, more recent than classical times).
TizzonelA's examples suggest he/she had Irish phonology in mind. The word "aspiration" is commonly (if inaccurately) used to refer to lenition of consonants in Irish. A word beginning with [p], when "aspirated", becomes "ph-", pronounced [f].

[Edited to add:] or, exactly what Dr Drake posted an hour ago.

Last edited by hibernicus; 02-07-2011 at 03:29 PM. Reason: Drake said it first
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:36 PM
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I can see "Deus" and "Dio" in there... that is, God. Which is kinda cool.
And "Theos".
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:03 PM
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doesn't matter

Last edited by clairobscur; 02-07-2011 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
I know this is a zombie, but what the hell, I might as well chime in that Zeus in Greek is prounounced as ZDAY-oos. In Classical Greek, zeta is a diagraph pronounced as a -zd- sound (like the middle consonant sound made in "Mazda"). So the path from Zeus to Dios isn't really that far. It just elides the leading -z- sound.
I'm not challenging this, Dio, but I'd love to have a link or other reference to learn more about this, as it's something I've never encountered in years of reading up on classical Greek phono0logy.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:47 PM
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The cool kids pronounce zeta as ds, as I learned it, but now I also here people say sd, so I guess no one really knows to pronounce Ancient Greek
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:56 PM
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I'm not challenging this, Dio, but I'd love to have a link or other reference to learn more about this, as it's something I've never encountered in years of reading up on classical Greek phono0logy.
I learned it from my college Attic Greek classes. It was the latest "reconstruction" at the time, and it may have changed.

I see wiki has some material on it, but says it's disputed. In my university courses, we had to say "zd," though.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
In the tale of the Exodus the Hebrews fashion a bull calf when their collective ADHD makes them forget God parting the waters the week before.
They didn't forget Yahweh parting the waters: The Golden Calf was meant as a representation of Yahweh. What they had forgotten was that any depiction of Yahweh, even a flattering one, was forbidden.
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