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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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Kurds at the Origins of Lithuanian Statehood


A detailed substantiation of the presence of Kurds in Lithuania is given in the article "Cimmerians".

It is possible to interpret the names of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania using the Kurdish language:

Mindaugas, Mendog, the first known Grand Duke of Lithuania and the only Christian King of Lithuania (1253–1263) – Kurd. mend "modest", awqas "so much" ("very"?);

Treniota, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1263—1264) – Kurd. ture “angry”, nêt “thought, desire”;

Vaišelga, Wojsiełk, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1264—1267) – Kurd. xwey "master", şûlq "wave";

Švarnas, Szwarno, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1267/1268—1269) – Kurd. şarm "shame", "shyness" out of *şfarm as the metathesis of OIr. *fšarma "shame";

Traidenis, Trojden, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1269—1281) – Kurd. tureyî “anger”, dên “sight”;

Daumantas, Dovmunt, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1282—1285) – Kurd. devam “long”, entam “limb”, “stature”;

Pukuwer, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1291—1295) – Kurd. pevketin “make peace, agree”, wêran “destroyed”;

Vytenis, Witenes, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1295—1316) – Kurd. wetîn "love", "wish";

Gediminas, Gedymin, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1316-1341) – Kurd. hedimîn 1. "to collapse, fall apart", 2. "perish";

Algirdas, Olgierd, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1345-1377) – Kurd. ol "creed, religion", gerd 1. "great", 2. "great man";

Jogaila, Jagiełło, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1377-1392) and the King of Poland (1386–1434) – Kurd. egal "hero", yê egal "heroic", lawe (lo) "child, son";

Kęstutis, Kiejstut, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1381-1382) – Kurd. key "king", and the second part of the name may come from the Indo-European root word meaning "to stand" that has disappeared from the Kurdish language (cf. Kurd. stûn "pillar");

Vytauta, Witold, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1392-1430) – Kurd. xwî "prominent, obvious", tawet "strength, power";

Švitrigaila, Świdrygiełło, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1430-1432) – Kurd. swînd "oath", -r – the case suffix, egal "hero", lawe (lo) "child, son".

Even the very name Lithuania, which does not have a satisfactory etymology, could be given by the Kurds (cf. Kurd. lûtf, litf "favor, mercy"). This Kurdish word is considered to be borrowed from the Arabic language. In fact, the Cimmerians should have borrowed it from Akkadian during their stay in Asia Minor. Akkadian is one of the oldest Semitic languages spoken by the Assyrians. The Baltic languages also have borrowings from Kurdish:

Lith. balvas, Let. balva "gift, bribe" – Kurd. belwa "temptation";

Lith. daba "nature, kind, way", Let. dāba "natural quality, habit, nature", Blr. doba "nature" – Kurd. dab "custom, disposition, habit", which, in turn, was borrowed from Akkadian (Ar. tabia “nature”).

Lith. ežeras, Let. ezers "lake, pond" – Kurd. zirē "lake";

Lith. galata "deceiver" – Kurd. galte "joke";

Lith. kūdikis "child" – Kurd. kudik "youngling, baby";

Lith. manga "lewd person, prostitute" – Kurd. mange "cow, she buffalo";

Lith. miškas "forest" – Kurd. mêşe, bêşe "forest, grove";

Lith. Nemunas "Neman" – Kurd. nem "wet, moist", yan "side";

Lith. vaisba "trading" – Kurd. bayi "trading".

The presence of the Kurds in Lithuania is confirmed by the numerous place names of the country, deciphered using the Kurdish language (see the map below).



Migration paths of Cimmerian Kurds in the mirror of onomastics

On the map, black dots indicate the settlements of the alleged Kurdish origin, purple ones are of Adyghe origin.
Red dots mark settlements of Ukraine where surnames of Kurdish origin are recorded.
Burgundy dots correspond to place names of Baltic origin.
The area of distribution of the culture long kurgans is marked in gray. The monuments of this culture are marked with blue stars.

Here are some examples of interpretations:

Klaipeda (old name Kalojpeda) – Kurd. kala "goods, property", peyda, pêde "be found".

Telšiai – Kurd telaš 1. "yarn", 2. "sliver, shavings", 3. "effort".

Šiauliai – Kurd. şewl "a ray of light", "shine".

Kadikai – Kurd. kedî "accustomed", kaye "game". Cf. Kadıköy in Turkey.

Tarakonys – Kyrd. tarî “dark”, konî "spring, well".

Baltic, Kurdish and Adyghe place names mark the ancient route of communication between the Baltics and the North Caucasus.