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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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Scythian Onomasticon


CBI – STRUVE V.V. (Ed.) 1965. Korpus bosporskikh nadpisey – (In Russian) – Corps of Bosporus Inscriptions. Moscow-Leningrad. Nauka.

LBIA – LATYSHEV BASILIUS. 1885-1901. Inscriptiones antiquae orae septentrionalis Ponti Euxini grecae et latinae. Vol. 1,2,3. Petropoli.

Initially, the Scythian Onomasikon was compiled as an argument in favor of the Bulgarish origin of the Scythians. Subsequently, it was repeatedly corrected and shortened, and in the meantime, more convincing arguments were found and its real correction is being carried out to prevent the spread of erroneous etymologies, of which there were quite a lot in the original version. The errors were unsystematic in nature and did not contradict the conclusions drawn, however, they should be eliminated as a useless background. Work on Scythian and Sarmatian names has been carried out for many years by many researchers. It is significant that all lexical material dating back to the Scythian-Sarmatian time is studied mainly with the help of Iranian languages, assuming the Iranian ethnicity of both the Scythians and Sarmatians. In reality, these are completely different categories. If Scythians in the narrow sense of the word can be understood as one ethnic group, although in a broad sense, the population of the entire Northern Black Sea region was often called so over a large period of history, then Sarmatians should be understood as the population of that region, regardless of the ethnicity of a later time.

Accordingly, all the extensive material was divided by a chronological principle, being assigned to the Scythian and Sarmatian periods, the border between which is not clearly defined. The Scythian period began after the migration of the ancient Bulgars from Western Ukraine to the steppes, previously inhabited by the Cimmerians, who were the Adyghe tribes (see Genesis of Scythian culture). After the Bulgars, the Anglo-Saxons, whose ancestral home was in the area limited by the Pripyat, Sluch, and Teterev rivers (see Germanic Tribes in Eastern Europe at the Bronze Age ) began to penetrate into the steppes. At the same time, from Asia Minor along the eastern coast of the Black Sea to the Taman Peninsula, the ancestors of modern Kurds advanced, whom their contemporaries also classified as Cimmerians (see Cimmerians in Eastern European History). The Cimmerian Kurds became the founders of the Bosporus Kingdom, with the development of which began the Sarmatian period, which is characterized by the settlement of the autochthonous inhabitants of the North Caucasus and the arrival of new ethnic groups from the north and east to the Northern Black Sea region. A large group consisted of the ancestors of modern Ossetians arriving from the upper reaches of the Dnieper, smaller groups were the Magyars who came from beyond the Don and the Balts. Such an ethnic mosaic manifested itself in attempts to decipher epigraphy using Indo-European, Turkic, Caucasian, Finno-Ugric, and Baltic languages. The Sarmatian period corresponds to a representative sample from the Sarmatian onomasticon, the volume of material of which is several times greater than the material that can be attributed to the Scythian time.

Most of the Scythian onomasticon consists of glosses that are deciphered using the Chuvash language, which has preserved the features of Old Bulgarian. Since the phonetics of this language differed significantly from Greek, the reflection of the phonemes of Bulgarian names by means of Greek writing in different sources could differ somewhat, but in general, the reflection of consonants has fairly clear patterns. The main ones are: Gr. β, π, φ correspond to Cuv. p; Gr. γκ do to Chuv. k, Gr. δ, θ, τ do to Chuv. t; Gr. ζ do to Chuv.ç, sometimes š; Gr. ξ do to Chuv. š. The reflexivity of vowels has unless the certain law in the division of the for and back vowels, e.g. frequently Greek α corresponds Chuvash u or ă. The phonetics of Greek, Iranian, and Old English languages are more similar to each other, so finding matches in them does not cause difficulties. The difficulty lies in the fact that some glosses can be interpreted in several languages. Such cases were not included in the onomasticon. Below are glosses from various sources that can be most reliably deciphered only using one language.

1. Αγαρος (agaros), Scythian king according to Diodorus Siculus, Αγαροι a Scythian tribe according to Appian – Hung. agár "scent hound".

2. Αγαθιρς (agathirs), Αγαθιρσοι (agatirsoi) – according to Herodotus Agathyrsos was a son of Heracles and gave rise to the tribe of the Agathyrsians – OE đyrs (thyrs) "a giant demon, a magician" is well suited for both the name and the ethnonym. For the first part of the name, we find OE ege "fear, terror", and the whole means "terrible giants or demons". However, OE āga "owner", āgan "to have, take, receive, possess" suit phonetically better. Then the ethnonym can be understood as "having giants". Below, we decipher the ethnonym the Thyssagetai (see Θυσσαγεται) as a nation of giants in the north of Scythia. Thus, we can suppose that the Agathyrsians subdued the Thyssagetai

3. ακινακες (akinakes), a short, iron Scythian sword – the name of the sword is sometimes associated with the Iranian word kynk "sword". OE ǽces "an ax" and nǽcan "to kill" suit better.

4. Αλαζωνες (aladzo:nes), the Alazonians, the tribe inhabiting the territory of the Dniester above the Callipidai, – the name can be translated as “the born in a shirt” (OE hāla “afterbirth, placenta”, sunu "a son").

5. Ἀμαζόνες (Amazons), a group of female warriors and hunters, who were as skilled and courageous as men – Chuv. ama “a female, mother” and çyn "a person, man".

6. Αμιζωκες (amidzo:kes), a Schythian, the friend of Dandamis (see Δανδαμις). Lucian – Chuv. ami "friend", çăk "bail, surety".

7. Αναχαρσις (anaxarsis), the Scythian famous traveler and sage – the name has many interpretations. V.I. Abayev explains it as "safe" (Av ana-hvarti, Os änäxwälc). However, Anacharsis was not a Scythian. It can be concluded from the phrase of Herodotus: "Now the region of the Euxine upon which Dareios was preparing to march has, apart from the Scythian race, the most ignorant nations within it of all lands: for we can neither put forward any nation of those who dwell within the region of Pontus as eminent in ability nor do we know of any man of learning having arisen there, apart from the Scythian nation and Anacharsis". (HERODOTUS, IV: 46 ). Anacharsis was the son of Gnuros, the son of Lycos, the son of Spargapeithes (see Σπαργαπειθησ). All three last names can be decrypted by means of Old English. Then, an Old English match must also be found for the name Anacharsis: Old Saxon. āno "without", OE hors/hyrs "horse" (ie, "Horseless").

8. Ἀργίμπασα (argimpasa), a Scythian goddess which was corresponded to the Greek goddess of fertility Aphrodite – Chuv. ar "husband, head of the family", kin "daughter-in-law", pakha "dear, valuable". Maybe she was a daughter-in-law of Papay.

9. Αργιππαι (argippai), a peaceful tribe, (HERODOTUS, IV: 23) – Chuv. ar “man”, küp “to swell”, and pay ”part, portion”.

10. Αριαντας (ariantas), the Scythian king, Herodotus – Chuv. ar "man", ant "oath", OE ārian "to honor".

11. Αριαπειθες (ariapeithes), a Scythian king, the husband of the daughter of Teres and Opoie, the father of Skyl (see Σκυλησ), Oktamasad (see Οκταμασαδησ), and Orik – OE ār „honor, dignity, glory”, pǽđ „path, trail”. The ruler of the Agathyrsians Spargapeites lived at the same time (see Σπαργαπειθησ). He killed Ariapeithes.

12. Аρπόξαϊς (Arpoksais), one of the three mythical kings of the Scythians – Turk. arpa "barley" (Chuv. urpa), săy "dish, course".

13. Ατεας (ateas), according to Strabo the mighty Scythian king, united under his rule all Scythia and was killed as a 90-year-old man in a battle with the Macedonian king Philip II in 339 BC – In all the languages used to decipher Scythian names, nothing better was found than Chuv. ată “boot”. Such a name is not suitable for a king and this is a reason to better understand the origins of Ate.

14. Βασθης (baste:s), according to Lucian, a Scythian, the friend of Belitt (see Βελιττας) – Chuv. pas "hoarfrost, frost", chas "early", "easy". Cf. Δανδαμις. Chuvash is used for deciphering because the name of the friend is well deciphered with it.

15. Βελιττας (belittas), a Scythian, the cousin of Amizokes (see Αμιζωκες), a friend of Bastheas (see Βασθης) – Chuv. pĕlĕt "sky", tasa "clean".

16. Βορυσθενεος (Boristheneos), the Dnieper River – OE. bearu, Gen. bearwes „forest”, đennan „to expand, extend”.

17. βούτῡρον (boturon), butter – Chuv vat „to beat, crash”, yră „colostrum, beestings”.

18. Βουδῖνοι (Budinoi), perhaps even "Wudinoi", according to Herodotus, were the inhabitants of the forest country. In this case, OE widu, wudu "wood, forest", and Eng wooden by the meaning and phonetically are suitable perfect. The word wuden was not found in Old English but it could exist and be an adjective von "forest" on the laws of English grammar.

19. Βυζάντιον (bydzantyon), Byzantium – Chuv. piçĕ "firm, durable", ant "oath".

20. Γερβης (gerbe:s), Myrmēkion, Zgusta – Chuv. kěr "autumn" and pas “hoarfrost, rime”.

21. Γερρος (Gerros), a river in Sythia – Chuv. kěre "a ford".

22. Γέται (Getae), a tribe that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube – Chuv kĕtỹ "a flock, herd".

23. Γνυρος (gnuros), the son of Lykos, the father of Anacharsis – as Shaposhnikov asserts, the name has no features as of Indo-Iranian and Eastern-Iranian origin (SHAPOSHNIKOV A.K. 2005, 39), but cf. OE gnyrran "to grind". Akin Germanic words mean "to roar, growl." These senses do not seem suitable for a name, but derived nouns from these verbs could be the name of a beast. Ukrainian, Belorussian, Russian, Polish words knur, knur mean "a male pig". Moreover, in the same languages, as well as in Slovak and Lusatian, there are words close to the Greek form of the word (Ukr., Rus. knoroz, Blr. knorez, Slk. kurnaz, Pol. kiernoz, Up.-Lus. kundroz – all "male pig"). In the etymological dictionaries of the Ukrainian and Russian languages, explanations of the origin of all these words are considered unsatisfactory, not quite clear, or onomatopoeic (A. VASMER MAX. 1967: 264-265 and A. MELNYCHUK O.S., Ed. 1985: 474) as a corresponding root is absent in the Slavic languages. It can be assumed that in Old English there was the word gnyr "boar, wild boar" and it was borrowed by the Slavs in this sense. Thus, the name of the king's grandson could mean "wild boar". Cf. Θυσκεσ. How the Slavic languages have got also the Greek form of the word, it is necessary to find out, because such word is absent in the Greek language. Perhaps, in the language of the Greeks who inhabited Ukraine in Scythian times, it existed, being borrowed from the neighboring Anglo-Saxons.

24. Δαδαιος (dadaios), the father of Drobolus, Kerch the 4th century BC. Latyshev – OE dǣda "offender, perpetrator".

25. Δαλας (dalas), gen. Δαλατος (dalatos), the father of Doron. Panticapaeum, Latyshev – Chuv. tulă “wheat”;

26. Δανδαμις (dandamis), a Scythian, the friend of Amidzokes (see Αμιζωκες). Lucian – Chuv. tan “equal, the same”, tăm “frost”;

27. Ιδανθιρσος (idanthirsos), Scythian king – OE eadan "performed, satisfied” and đyrs "a giant, demon, wizard".

28. Eξαμπαiος (Exampaios), the name of the area between the Borysthenes and Hypanis Rivers – Chuv. uksăm "wild garlic" and puy "to grow rich".

29. Θαγιμασάδας, Thagimasadas, a Scythian god – Chuv. takam "somebody", "nobody" and asatte "grandfather".

30. Θυσσαγεται (thussagetai), the Thyssagetai, one of the tribe in Northern Scythia mentioned by Herodotus, or Thyrsagetae (by Valery Flaccus) – The presence of the morpheme getai/ketai (Γεαται, Μασσαγεται, Ματυκεται, Μυργεται) in the names of several tribes is noteworthy. One may suppose that this word means "people" in some languages. The closest to it is the Chuv kĕtỹ "a flock, herd". Then Thyssagetai were "unruly people" (OE đyssa "rowdy”). If the name Thirsagetai is true, then, taking into account the Old English. đyrs “giant, demon, wizard”, then there must be a people of giants or wizards.

31. Ἰύρκαι, Irycai, an ancient nation described by Herodotus beyond the Thyssagetae – Chuv. ürěk "agile".

32. Ἰσσηδόνες (isse:dones), a tribe driven out of their country by the Arimaspians – "people in warm clothes” (Turkic issi/yssy "warm" and don "clothes").

33. Κατιαροι (katiaroi), Scythian race, descendants of Arpoxais – Chuv xăta “a matchmaker”, ar “a man”.

34. Κολάξαϊς (Kolaksais), one of the three mythical kings of the Scythians – Chuv. kayăk) "bird, fowl", săy "dish, course".

35. Κρόβυζοι (krobuzoi), a Thracian tribe mentioned from VI-V cent. BC by Hecataeus, Herodotus, Strabo – Chuv. kăra "rowdy", "testy" and puç "head". Cf. Θυσσαγεται.

36. Κυδραις (kudraios), a Scythian king, the husband of (Zarinaia), A Westemann (JUSTI FERDINAND. 1895: 166) – Chuv. kǎtra „curly”.

37. Λύκος(likos), the son of Spargapeithes – by OE līc "body" could be called a man of large stature. Doubtful origin from gr. λύκος "wolf", since the name of his son Gnur is indecipherable in Greek.

38. Λιπόξαϊς (Lipoksais spoiled from Paliksais), one of the three mythical kings of the Scythians – Turk. balyk "fish" (modern-day Chuv. pulă), săy "dish, course".

39. Μαιῶται, Maeotians, an ancient people dwelling along the Sea of Azov – OE meotod "fate" from metian "consider".

40. Μανις (manis), Kerch, the 4th century BC. CBI – Chuv. mănaç “proud” or mănă “great”;

41. Μασσαγέται, Massagetae, a large and warlike Asian tribe (HERODOTUS, I: 201) – OE māst "greatest", kĕtỹ "a flock, herd".

42. Μελαγχλαινοι, Melanchlainoi, a not Scythian tribe (HERODOTUS, IV: 20) – OE a-meallian "to become insane, reckless", hleonian "to protect".

43. Νευροὶ, Neuroi, a tribe left their own land and settled among the Budinoi (HERODOTUS, IV: 105) – OE niwra "more new", "newcomer".

44. Οδατισ (odatis), according to the story of Chares of Mytilene (Χάρης ὁ Μυτιληναῖος, the 4th cent. BC) the only daughter of the Scythian king Omart (see. Ομαρτησ) – Chuv. atte "of the father", těs "kin, appearance, face".

45. Οἰόρπατα (Oiorpata), this is what the Scythians called the Amazons, that is, “killers of men,” for Herodotus argued that in the Scythian language oior meant “man”, and pata “to kill” (HERODOTUS, IV, 110-116) – Chuv. ăyăr "stallion", that is "male" and could also mean "man" and patak "stick", the origin of which is unclear; possibly formed from borrowed from Old English. beatan "to beat".

46. Οκτομασαδησ (oktomasade:s), a Scythian king, the son of Ariapeith (see Αριαπειθεσ), the brother of Skil (see Σκυλησ ) – Gr. ὀκτώ "eight" is well suited for the first part of the word but there is nothing similar for the second part in the Greek language: the names of the father and brother are deciphered in Old English, so this name can be associated with Old English. œhtan “pursue”, but there is nothing for the second part either. Most likely, the Thracian mother gave her son a Thracian name.

47. Ομαρτησ (omartes), a Scythian king, the father of Odatis (see. Οδατισ) – Chuv. ămărt "eagle".

48. Ορικος (orikos), the son of the Scythian king Ariapeites (see Αριαπειθεσ)– OE wœrig "tired", wōrian „to walk”.

49. Παβας (pabas), Παπας (papas), Παπα (papa), Παπιας (papias), Παππος (pappas), Anapa, Tanais, Kerch. CBI – These names appear more than forty times in the epigraphy of the Northern Black Sea region and are predominantly of Greek origin, but the form Παβας must correspond to Chuv. papay " grandfather".

50. Παπαῖος (Papay), a Scythian deity, see Παβας

51. πανδουρα (pandoura)"кіфара", давньогрецький музичний інструмент – чув. păntăr-păntăr –наслідування бреньканню, триньканню струн, păntărtat – 1. бренькати, бриніти, тринькати(про струнні інструменти), 2. тріщати, гуркотіти (про барабан) та інші подібні.

Праворуч: Скіфський музика на Сахнівській пластині

52. Παραλαται (paralatai or paradatai?), Scythian race, descendants of Kolaxais – Chuv. părala "to drill", tu "to make".

53. Σαυλιοσ (saulios), the son of Gnuros – apparently from OE sāwol "soul".

54. Σκοπασισ (skopasis), Scythian military commander during the war with the Persians – perhaps the word is derived from OE scop "a poet, singer." OE ease "cup" can be offered for the second part of the word. However, the Greek sculptor Skopas was known (Gr σχοψ "an owl").

55. Σκυθαι, the Greek name of the Scythians - OE scytta "a shooter"

56. Σπαργαπειθησ (spargapeithes), the name of two men, one of them was the Agathyrsian king, another was the king of the Scythians – the name can be translated as "a hewing spark" by means OE spearca “a spark" and restored word *pathan “to beat". Restoring followed in such a way. Old English had the word pađ “a path” but it is known that the words path, road are often attributed as "beaten". Farther, OE pȳtan had one meaning "to squeeze, push". In addition, Herodotus translated Oyor-pata as "killing men". Obviously, the Turkic word pata- “to beat” was borrowed by Old English and lost later. It should not confuse the names of Agathyrsian and Scythian kings who had German origins. The fact of the transition of royal names from one nation to another is known (ARTAMONOV M.I. 1974, 131).

57. Ταβιτί (tabiti), Табіті, скіфська богиня, відповідниця грецької Гестії богині сімейного вогнища – чув. тупа ту клятва вірності перед вступом у шлюб.

Ліворуч: 57. Богиня Табіті (Ταβιτί) з дзеркалом у руці. Золота бляха з чортомлицького кургану.

Ліворуч: Богиня Табіті (Ταβιτί) з дзеркалом у руці. Золота бляха з чортомлицького кургану.

60. Ταβιτί, Tabiti, a Scythian goddess of home – Chuvash expression tupa tu "to give an oath", which may mean "she who gave the vow of celibacy".

59. Τάναϊς, Tanais, the name of the Don River – Chuv. tănăs "quiet, calm".

59. Ταργιτάος, Targitaos, the ancestral god of the Scythians – Old Turkic täŋri 1. "heaven", 2. "god", Chuv. tură, Chuv. tuj "wedding", that is the name may be explained as "the wedding of gods”.