Onomastic survey in Eurasia
For the first time, the topic of ancient toponymy in Ukraine of Germanic and Bulgarish origin was raised in a small brochure published in the Ukrainian language twenty years ago [STETSYUK VALENTYN. 2002]. This publication remained practically without attention in the scientific world, and in the future I had to seriously develop this topic alone, expanding the territory of research and the languages involved in deciphering enigmatic place names. Quite a lot of material relating to the whole of Eurasia has been collected, and over time it will be systematized and presented to the attention of inquisitive researchers
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of place names for the restoration of historical events, not reflected in written sources or oral traditions. In this sense, toponymy is not only a linguistic but also a historical science that helps to uncover the secrets of peoples living on some territory and their economic and cultural activities. Taking into account the great stability and survivability of geographical names, their careful study and linguistic analysis can provide us with, particularly reliable information.
People and their languages can disappear from the face of the earth, but toponymic names as a kind of proper names, not otherwise designating anything other than the object behind which they are entrenched, are easily assimilated by other peoples and thus can persist for thousands of years. Common words of the language are often replaced by foreign borrowings, as a result of the actions of various associations, new words arise that supplant the old ones with time. Similar processes in the field of toponymic names are not observed (SEREBRENNIKOV B.A.1959: 37).
The opinion of the Russian linguist is confirmed by the famous British typologist Bernard Comrie in an article devoted to a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the problems of human prehistory:
It is known that when some people capture territories formerly inhabited by other nationalities, the names of the localities (toponyms) used by the original settlers are most often preserved by new settlers. A striking example of this throughout history is the fact that many of the place names in North America are of Indian origin, including the names of such large cities as Chicago and Ottawa, both of Algonquian origin (COMRIE B. 2000: 5).
However, in order to restore prehistoric processes, it is important to know the location of the ancestral homes of individual ethnic groups, since the formation of the language and culture of peoples takes place under the influence of natural conditions and other geographical factors that determine, among other things, also the linguistic substrate and contacts with neighboring ethnic groups that played a significant role in the whole complex of ethnogenetic processes. Having no other reliable data, scientists for a long time placed great hopes on the toponymy data of distinct territories, believing that the linguistic affiliation of the prevailing toponymy could give grounds to consider these territories as the ancestral home of the speakers of the corresponding language. It is also important to know the chronological framework of the appearance of place names, but they themselves don’t give the answers to this question and therein the difficulty of its use lies. The place-name study (toponymy), really, couldn’t have probative value and gradually doubts about its use in studies began to be expressed because "… toponymic etymology is almost always conditional since it is unproven in the vast majority of cases" (MATVEYEV A.K.,1965: 10)
In the case of the Slavs, even a paradoxical situation turned out, where, according to L. Nederle, "there is no area in Europe, in general, that could be considered a Slavic Urheimat, as no region exists where geographical terminology would purely Slavic" (NIDERLE LUBORЪ., 1956: 34).
Throughout Europe, there are a large number of names of settlements, rivers, mountains, and lakes, which cannot be explained by means of the languages of the local population and therefore can be recognized as "dark". A peculiarity of the search for the interpretation of toponymy is that often in a certain area there are names that are accidentally consonant with the words of a language whose speakers now live far from these places, but whether they once lived here or not remains unknown. Therefore, in order to decipher the enigmatic place names, one must have a clear idea of which peoples lived in the territory under study and when. In many cases, historical information helps to find the truth, but some of the place names can come from prehistoric times and researchers make a mistake, restoring the events of bygone times only on the basis of a guessing interpretation of incomprehensible names and often in favor of their own people. Many modern ethnogenetic theories arose back in those days when comparative historical linguistics as a science was only taking its first steps, but erroneous ideas are firmly entrenched in the scientific world, and sometimes even the most dubious of them are used to create new far-fetched theories. In this case, the incomprehensible toponymy is adjusted to fit the previously drawn false picture. As an example, we can cite the seemingly solid work of the Kyiv linguist prof. K. Tishchenko, which is based on the theory of O.N. Trubachev about the Slavic ancestral home in the Danube region (TYSHCHENKO KOSTYANTYN. 2006). In addition, the professor, in his confused work, adheres to rather original views, according to which the early Slavs had "pre-Indo-European contacts" (ibid., 51). Such a statement is reminiscent of the thought of one of the characters Yaroslav Hasek, who claimed that there is another one inside the globe, and moreover, the larger one. Kostyantin Tyshchenko knows a lot of languages. If you have such a mass of information in your head, you can extract facts from it for any theory. And this is a typical approach of many linguists to scientific work. But knowledge does not guarantee success in science.
And this work of the Kyiv linguist, and others like it, do not deserve attention, since they represent an arbitrary manipulation of temporal and spatial facts. However, in the second half of the 20th century, internal trends in the development of social sciences led to the use of precise, mathematical methods in them. This was also facilitated by the development of technology, which provided powerful means of the mathematization of science – electronic computers. Gradually, starting from the simplest processing of statistical data, special mathematical methods were worked out in various branches of the social sciences, and a systematic approach to the study of social, historical, and linguistic processes even led to the development of special sciences that synthesize traditional and new mathematical methods of research. An example of such a science can be mathematical linguistics, a very broad science that uses mathematical methods of various kinds. In the short descriptions of the surveys proposed here, the deciphering of toponyms was based primarily on data on the original places of settlement of peoples obtained by the graphic-analytical method (STESYUK VALENTYN 1998., STESYUK VALENTYN. 2000) and paths of their further migrations restored by other methods. The essence of the method is to build a graphical model (scheme) of the relationship of languages of one language family or group based on lexical and statistical data. For the obtained model, a place is found on a geographical map with areas formed by natural boundaries (rivers, mountain ranges, etc.), which in ancient times limited contact between the population of these areas and contributed to the formation of separate dialects based on a common language. However, there can be no complete confidence in the correct placement of the circuit. We need additional facts that can be provided by archeology, toponymy, and linguistic substratum. If these facts do not contradict each other, then we can talk about the high reliability of the results obtained using the graphic-analytical method, and archeology allows us to determine the time frame for the stay of different ethnic groups in certain territories. Thus, the existence of such ethno-producing areas is a kind of empirical generalization, which, in the words of Vernadsky, "does not differ from a scientifically established fact"(VERNADSKY V.I. 2004, § 15).
On the formed clusters of areas, several dozens of primary ethnic groups were formed, the vast majority of which, either under the influence of various natural and historical circumstances, developed into modern nations, or, despite these circumstances, have retained their ethnic identity to this day. However, in the overwhelming majority of cases, peoples did not stay near their ancestral home, but for various reasons migrated to their places of present residence.
In identifying substrate toponymy in general, the so-called areal-retrogressive method of A.P. Dulzon was used i.e. discarding later stranger language layers on the substrate basis (POPOVA V.N. 2000: 50). This is trivial. Each name that attracted attention was checked for the possibility of etymologization using dictionaries of languages close to the language of the population that inhabited the study area in prehistoric times, and in the absence of such, etymological and bilingual dictionaries of modern languages were used. Deciphering toponyms has its own characteristics
Applying standard etymological methods to toponymy does not give reliable results because toponyms do not have semantics that can be explored in the same way as the rest of the vocabulary. Since toponyms tend to lose their connection with the lexemes from which they are formed, it is typical for toponyms not to follow exactly the same phonological changes as the rest of the vocabulary. (SAARIKIVI JANNE. 2006: 291).
The reliability of deciphers of place names can be evaluated not only by a good phonetic similarity, but by the possible correspondence of the local topography, historical evidence, and the very location of toponyms. In the process of searching, their methodology was improved, and some regularities were also identified. If place names formed dense clusters or legible chains that reflect migration routes, then this already indicated that random coincidences interspersed in them did not distort the overall picture. The searches made it possible to decipher about four thousand dark toponyms in Europe and more than a hundred in Asia. Every year this number increases and any professional linguist could replenish the lists of deciphered place names. However, the author has no followers. This can only testify to one thing – the results of the work done are not perceived by academic science. And this happens at a time when earthlings are going to colonize space, which is impossible without complex mathematical calculations. It is much easier to calculate the probability of randomness of all four thousand decodings, but the state of modern humanities is such that their development is carried out mainly on the principle of "believe it or not."
Let's get back to toponymy. Deciphering testifies that some of the place names must have been preserved for several millennia, and therefore it is possible that those toponyms that cannot be deciphered at all represent a Paleo-European substratum. Separating them from the general mass can be one of the ways to restore the Paleo-European languages.
The ethnic identity of the peoples during the relocation was kept if it took place in droves with the preservation of family and tribal structure. Distinct families were moved by their own transport, together with their belongings, household appliances, and livestock. Such a convoy, accompanied by armed guards, stretching for several kilometers was unable to do a great day's march. Talking about the Celts and Scythians in the chapter CAIUS MARIUS, Pluiarch pointed out that "they did not swarm out of their country all at once, or on a sudden, but advancing by force of arms, in the summer season, every year, in the course of time they crossed the whole continent". (PLUTARCH, 1987, 516). Obviously, in summer, stops of various lengths are made in convenient places to study the possibilities of settlement. They were also being used for grazing livestock, replenishing water and food supplies, repairing carts, etc. Very often, at such stops, some group of migrants remains forever. These can be people who are tired of camp life, tired physically and mentally, sick, wounded, and relatives who remain with them. As a result, a chain of settlements appears along the migration routes, the names of which are mostly adopted by newcomers, and thus they have been preserved to this day. This allows us to change our view of existing ideas about the predetermining factors for the emergence of permanent migration routes.
According to Radan Květ, the entire crust can be dismembered into numerous fractures – a geological phenomenon of fundamental importance. A dense network of fractures determines the configuration of the hydrological network as the main characteristic of the prevailing landscape types on the planet. The hydrological network is associated with a network of prehistoric footpaths that arose along the streams in antiquity due to the fact that after settlement a person with his involuntary efforts laid footpaths most often on the fluvial terrace nearest to the water flow. Among other things, the trails served as a means of transmitting information between distant human groups:
In the history of mankind, the original network of trails became the first information network. It did not have the main purpose of trade and military treks: all sorts of technological experience, as, of course, cultural, led to the union of thoughts, ideas, philosophical and religious beliefs, just as artistic tastes. (KVĚT R., 1998: 43).
Radan Kvet did not deny the existence of other possibilities for passing the terrain in later times, for example, "along the upper route." The prerequisites for the emergence of hiking trails were, first of all, physiographic, but sociogeographical aspects also arose. These latter determined the migration routes not connected with water flows, but, having arisen once, they continued to exist for many centuries and even millennia, improving as new technical capabilities developed. So, for example, along the modern Russian highway going from Moscow towards the Baltics, a clear chain of Estonian place names stretches, although the road goes through rough terrain without reference to any water flow. The same can be said about the E30 road, which runs through Poland from Brest through Warsaw to Poznan, along which a chain of Anglo-Saxon place names stretches.
The numerous toponymy in Central Europe was left by the Celts, who were the first Indo-Europeans to settle this territory. However, a significant number of alleged Celtic toponyms, despite the efforts of many researchers, did not receive a reliable interpretation, as evidenced by disagreements in views and scientific disputes over many decades (cf. MEES B. 2001). This is due to ignorance about the first inhabitants of Europe, which gave names to numerous settlements that still exist. These were not only Paleo-Europeans, whose languages are unknown to us, but also Turkic tribes related to the later Bulgars, who were the carriers of the Corded Ware Cultures (CWC).
It was they who left those ancient toponyms of Europe that we managed to decipher. For decoding, the Chuvsh language was used, because the Chuvash are the ancestors of the ancient Bulgars. In total, more than a thousand Bulgarish place names were found in continental Europe. Various variants of the KSHK were common in Europe from the Volga to the Rhine and from Southern Scandinavia to the Carpathians (see the section "Ethnicity of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures of Eastern Europe ". It is on this wide territory that all Bulgarish toponymy is distributed. Most of the Bulgars assimilated among the later population, but those Bulgars who inhabited Western Ukraine retained their ethnicity and in Scythian times again settled in a wide area of Eastern and Central Europe (see the cycle "The Scytho-Sarmatian Problems").
In this regard, all Bulgarish place names can be divided into two groups – the times of the CWC and the times of the Scythians. The place names of Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, Germany, Scandinavia, and the Baltics definitely belong to the first group. They also include two strips of toponyms, one of which stretches along the Dnieper to Northern Belarus, and the other along the Desna to the area of distribution of the Fatyanovo and Balano cultures in the Upper Volga region and adjacent areas. They correlate to a large extent with the CWC sites. The second group includes two strips of toponyms from Western Ukraine, one of which stretches towards the Dnieper, and the second – to the Black Sea and further to Romania, as well as the toponyms of Hungary and Left-Bank Ukraine (see the mape below).
Overview Map of the Bulgarish Toponymy of Ancient Times
On the map, icons in the form of purple dots indicate settlements with names of Bulgar origin, which may correspond to the times of the Corded Ware or close to them. Burgundy – later, Scythian time. Sites of CWC are marked with blue icons.
The deciphering of individual Bulgarish place names can demonstrate its methods and logic in general. The most common Bulgarish [lace name on the territory of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland are containing the root zhuk"beetle" (Zhukovo, Zhukovka, Zhukovskaya, etc.). Moreover, the name of the villages of Zhukovo in Russia is one of the most common (more than eighty) among all, which in itself is surprising. It is doubtful that the Slavic name of the beetle insect was so often used for the names of human settlements. In German-speaking and English-speaking countries, there are literally a few toponyms from the corresponding appellative (German Käfer and English beetle "beetle"). The impetus for unraveling was given by the names of the villages of Zhukotin in the Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk regions of Ukraine and the ancient city in Volga Bulgaria. The second part of these names – tin is not a possessive suffix, but a wandering word with the meaning "village", "settlement", or "fence" (for more details see below). Chuv. çăka"linden" is good for the first part because the abundance of lindens in these villages is striking. This word exists in similar forms in many modern Turkic languages (ancient Turk. jöke "linden").
Among the enigmatic place names of Russia, one of the most common is also the name Akulovo (35 cases) and its variant Okulovo (20 cases) in the places of the "o"-speaking population. In addition, in Russia, there are five more villages of Akulino and several others with the same root in the name. In general, there are more than sixty settlements of this type, and mainly in the northern regions northwest of the Tula-Nizhny Novgorod line. Given the high prevalence of these names, consideration of their origin from the word akula"shark" is not serious. Chuv. aka "arable land, plowing" is well suited for decoding decorated with the affix -la, which forms adjectives with a similar meaning from the nominal stem, however, there is also a verb akala "to plow ". For the agricultural population of the Fatyanovo variant of the CWC, moving from the forest-steppe zone in search of free land, this name suits the new settlements very well.
The most convincing examples of place names are those that can be associated with geographical terrain features. For example, the town of Khyriv in Stary Sambir district of Lviv Region is located in an area rich in pine forests. Since the Chuvash xyr means "pine tree ", the origin of the name from this word is probable. When similar examples could be found enough, the presence of the ancestors of the Bulgars in Western Ukraine should not have doubt. Sometimes the connection of a name with the peculiarities of settlements is compelling. The village Havarechchyna not far from the town of Zolochiv in Lviv Region is known for black pottery, which is manufactured according to the old original technology of firing. The name of the village just points out to the folk craft spread here – Chuv kăvar "embers" and ěççyni "a worker" united in kǎvarěççyni would mean "a worker with hot coals", that is "a potter". A common surname Bakusevich in this village may also have Bulgarish origin since an old man's name Pakkuç was used by Chuvash.
The name of the rocky ridge Tovtry in western Ukraine could be etymologized by Chuvash tu "mountain" and tără "top". As the name of the mountain sounds tau in many other Turkic languages, the primary name of the ridge could be Tautără. The mountain range on the border of Slovakia and Poland Tatry had the same protoform too. Tovtry stretch from Zolochiv in the Lviv Region to northern Moldavia and appear as separate limestone ledges and ridges that protrude above the surrounding expressive, mostly fairly level terrain, ie explanation as "mountain peaks" fits very well.
Among the clusters of toponyms of Bulgarish origin are present those that directly indicate the Chuvash ethnicity of the inhabitants of some settlements:
Chaus, a village in Mezhev district of Dnepropetrovsk Region. Ukraine.
Chausove, a village in Pervomaysk district of Mykolayiv Region. Ukraine.
Chausove, a settlement in Zhukovskiy district of Kaluga Region. Russia.
Chausy, a village in Pogar district of Briansk Region. Russia.
Chausovo, a village in Novodugino district of Smolensk Region. Russia.
Chavusy, a town im Mogilev Region. Belarus.
All the given names contain a root that corresponds to Chuv. chăvash "Chuvash". Apparently, the ancient Bulgars stayed in the noted settlements before arriving Slavic population which called by them according to the self-names of the inhabitants.
Even more than the Bulgars, the Anglo-Saxons left their traces in the toponymy, whose ancestral home was localized in the ethno-producing area between the Sluch, Pripyat, and Teterev rivers (see section Germanic Tribes in Eastern Europe at the Bronze Age). Most of the Anglo-Saxons at one time migrated to the British Isles, but some of their groups chose other paths that help restore the toponymy of Eastern Europe. Among the predominant Slavic names there are those that look completely non-Slavic. Quite densely they are located on the territory of the Sosnitsa culture of the Bronze Age. Some of them are strikingly similar to English words: Berkovo, Boldino, Brest, Burgovo, Volfa, Grinevo, Linda, Narovlya, Rikhta, Saltov, Sinkovo, Strypa, Fastov, Firstvo, Fishovo. It was near them that the search for Anglo-Saxon place names began. A concise Anglo-Saxon dictionary (HALL JOHN R. CLARK. 1916) and an etymological dictionary of Old English (HOLTHAUSEN F. 1974) were used. As a result, approximately one thousand three hundred possible Anglo-Saxon place names were found on the territory of continental Europe, some of which, however, can be attributed to random coincidences. A complete list of the place names is submitted separately on the Google map (see below), but the most convincing cases will be given here.
Anglo-Saxon toponymy in Eastern Europe
On the map, the Anglo-Saxon ancestral home is marked in pink, and the borders of the Sosnica culture are marked in blue.
The most common toponym in Russia, in general, may be Markovo, which has been recorded 97 times. One might think that they all originated from the name of a person, but such a name was not so popular among the people that the corresponding anthropotoponyms would far outnumber others in number. For example, the anthropotoponym Matveevo was found only 20 times, and only 60 from the most common name Ivan. Of course, part of the place names came from the name Mark, but still small, the bulk can be compared with OE. mearc, mearca "border", "sign", "county", "marked space". Such meanings of words are well suited for the names of settlements and are phonetically impeccable (modern English mark "sign", border"). The widespread Bulgar toponyms in Eastern Europe Mayak and Mayaki, which can be associated with Chuv mayak "landmark sign". In Russia alone, there are about fifty toponyms Mayak, although some of them come from Rus. mayak "lighthouse". The origin of the Chuvash word is not considered in etymological dictionaries (YEGOROV V.G. 1964; FEDOTOV M.R. 1996 etc.), apparently, it was not borrowed from Russian in the indicated meaning. It is almost impossible to separate the place names Mayak of Bulgar and Russian origin; one can speak more confidently about those that are among the clusters of other Bulgar ones or as part of chains consisting of place names of the same origin. This additional criterion is always used if it appears. The same place names that are located in isolation are taken into consideration cautiously or completely ignored.
There is also a fairly large group of Anglo-Saxon toponyms, which at first glance also come from another little popular name Victor. In Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus there are more than six dozen toponyms Viktorov, Viktorovo, Viktorovka. Such a number is simply incredible, given the low prevalence of this name among the Slavs, although some names of settlements can still come from this name. However, most of them were left by the Anglo-Saxons. OE wīċ "dwelling, village" and Þūr/Þōr "thunder god".
In general, when analyzing enigmatic toponymy, quite often it is surprising a large number of similar names that supposedly contain a Slavic appellative, but their form, motivation, and especially an extremely large number, cast doubt on this. For example, more than fifty such suspicious place names are based on the root rak "crayfish" in the Slavic languages – (Rakovets, Rakovitsa and similar.) This could be the name of a river or stream in which crayfish are found, but the vast majority of such names refer to settlements and only a few of them are hydronyms. In this case, an attempt was made to decipher them using Old English, in which the words racu "bed, stream" and the already mentioned wīċ "dwelling, village" were found. The motivation for the name of the settlement on the river bank is understandable. Two dozen toponyms Lukovets and under were formed in a similar way. from OE loca "fence, enclose".
Place names that contain the final formant -tyn/-tin /-ten/-den belong to the same type. Their search began after Ihor Danylyuk, one of the readers of my site, drew my attention to the fact that in Ukraine there are several dozen names of settlements ending in -ting. At first glance, this formant could be an extension of the possessive suffix -in, however, type formants – nyn, -ryn, -byn etc. almost never found in Ukraine. In this regard, it was assumed that the word tyn, as a component of a complex name, has its own specific meaning.
The search for its proto-form was carried out in several languages, and it turned out that the most suitable for the place names is OE tūn "fence", "field", "courtyard", "house", "dwelling", "village", "city" (modern English town "city "). The word has matches in other Germanic and Celtic languages. From some Germanic language, the Slavs borrowed the word tyn "fence", which now has a narrower meaning, but earlier it was used to refer to various kinds of settlements, as evidenced by such names as Kozyatyn, Krivotyn, Pravutyn, Lyubotyn, having a clearly Slavic component. It can be assumed that the word tyn in the meaning of "village" was also common among the population of Ukraine of a different ethnicity since there are examples of this word merging with non-Germanic and non-Slavic words (Zhukotin and others).
Locality names with similar formants tyn/tin/ten/den are often found in Central Europe, although they may have not only Germanic, but also Celtic origin, based on Irish dun(um) and Gal. dinum. Below are given as an example of several toponyms of possible Anglo-Saxon origin scattered throughout Eastern and Central Europe, which contain the component -tyn/-tin/-ten/-den:
Avratin, Boratyn, Boryatyn, Boryatyno, Burtyn, Delyatyn, Dirdyn, Dresden, Khotin, Manyatyn, Mirotyn, Obertyn, Eutin, Rybotyn, Roggentin, Rukhotyn, Skovyatyn, Wettin.
Most of the Anglo-Saxon place names were found in Russia, and some of them are quite common:
Levkovo (25 cases) , Levkovka, Levkov a.o. – OE. lēf "weak", cofa "hut, cabin".
Churilovo (24) – there was not found any reliable interpretation of the toponym in Russian, allegedly originating out of the name Churilo, which itself has no explanation. The high prevalence of the place name suggests that it should be based on a commonly used word and such is proposed by OE. ceorl "a man, peasant, husband", which corresponds Eng. churl.
Shadrino (24) – some of the names may occur from the dial. shadra “smallpox”, but their prevalence raises doubts about this interpretation for the overwhelming majority of cases. Usually, names with a negative meaning are very rare. M. Vasmer does not consider the origin of this word, therefore it can be assumed that it originates from an OE sceard "maimed, chipped" taking into account the metathesis of consonants. Another meaning of this word is "plundered". Such a name could be given to the settlements of the local population ravaged by the Anglo-Saxons. You can also consider OE sceader from scead "shadow, protection".
Ryazanovo (22) – the name may be partially assigned to settlements by people from the Ryazan region, and the name Ryazan itself, which occurs 5 times in Russia, can be of Slavic origin, although there is no certainty about this. You can keep in mind the OE rāsian “to survey”, which could be used during the resettlement of people when they have to find a suitable place to stop.
Boldino (11) – OE bold "house, home" is good suitable by meaning and phonetically. So could be called the individual estates of landowners.
The highest density of Anglo-Saxon toponyms is observed on the territory of the former Vladimir-Suzdal principality (see Ancient Anglo-Saxon Place Names in Continental Europe). There are especially many alleged Anglo-Saxon settlements on the territory of Moscow and in the immediate vicinity. Their density is such that it makes sense to show their location on a separate map (see below).
Some names have given decoding above, for others the following are proposed:
Chertanovo – OE. ceart "a wasteland, wild common land".
Kartmazovo – OE. ceart "a wasteland, wild common land", māga "son, descendant", or maga "powerful, well-off, capable".
Kitaygorod – д.-анг. ciete "hut, cabin".
Kuntsevo – OE cynca "cluster, bunch".
Lytkarino – OE. lyt "little", carr "stone, rock".
Mamyri – OE. mamor(a) "deep sleep".
Miusy, a historical district in Moscow – OE. mēos "swamp, bog".
Penyagino – OE. pæneg "coin, money".
Reutov – OE. reotan "cry, complain".
Place names cannot be not always connected directly with other data, and then the question of staying of an ethnic group on a certain territory is solved by comparison with reliable data on neighboring territories. For example, the Baltic place names in the basin of Pripyat, Desna, and Seym clearly indicate that sometimes this territory was inhabited by the Balts. V Toporov and the O. Trubachiov consider such names of the Vessia, Kovna, Luniya, Mazha, Morozha, Mytvitsa, Narovla, Nacha, Nertka, Osvitsa, Tremlia, Tsna, Shacha Rivers and many others as Baltic ones. Perhaps some of these names have Slavic origin, but in the mass, these names do not look Slavic. Other data about the presence of the Balts in these places are absent, but we know that the Urheimat of the Baltic was in another place and took a much smaller area. On the other hand, there are linguistic data about the contact of the Baltic with the Thracians, the place, and the time of their settlements are known to us. Thus, we can confidently say about the migration of the Balts to the basin of the Pripyat and its chronological framework. The boundary of the Baltic and Finno-Ugric place names quite clearly delineates the boundaries of settlements of the Finno-Ugric peoples in the west of their territory before the Slavic expansion:
As a whole, the northern and eastern boundaries of the Baltic tribes of the early Iron Age in the main coincide with the boundary separating the Baltic and Finno-Ugric toponymies and hydronyms. This boundary ran from the Gulf of Riga to the upper reaches of the Western Dvina and the Volga rivers. Turning further to the south, it is cut off Riverlands of the Moscow River from the basin of the Volga River and the upper reaches of the Oka River, then along the watershed of the Oka and the upper reaches of the Don came to the steppe (TRET'YAKOV P.N., 1982: 54-55)
Many information can be given by the study of Thracian or Illyrian hydronyms that is concentrated in certain small regions. On the contrary, the analysis of the Turkic place names can give only scanty material to draw conclusions. The Turkic languages are quite conservative, so in the first place, it is difficult to make the stratigraphy of the Turkic place names, knowing that Turks inhabited some areas in ancient and in quite recent times. Secondly, the Turkic place names are spread over a very large area, so it is difficult to localize the primary places of Turkic settlements. Thirdly, the number of Turkic people is numerous, so sometimes it is difficult to bind a certain Turkic name to a specific ethnic group. Approximately the same, but to a lesser extent, can be said about the Iranian place names. The analysis of the Slavic place names generally wound scientists to a standstill, as evidenced by the above words L. Niderle. However, we can get a lot of information by a comparative analysis of place names of modern Slavic territories and their Urheimat. Though such comparisons are not always possible or very difficult. For example, the comparison of the place names of present-day Poland and the former Polish Urheimat has no sense, since the Polish influences reached far into the territory of Belarus still in fairly recent times. The same applies to the Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Russian place names. The results may give a comparative study of place names of the Slavic peoples, the ancestral home of which lie far from their present-day territories. This applies to the Czech and Slovak place names and place names of the South Slavs.
Often, people have moved to new lands giving the same name to geographical objects, that they are accustomed to in the old places. This is manifested particularly clearly in the comparison of modern Czech and Slovak names of settlements with place names on the Urheimat of the Czechs and Slovaks. Much to a lesser extent, this phenomenon refers to the names of rivers. As an example, for the time being only the names of the Morava rivers in Bohemia and Moravia in Volyn and the names of the Uzh rovers on the ancestral homeland of the Slovaks and on the eastern border of their present territory can be cited.
However, despite the efforts made, no convincing parallels were found between Slavic toponymy in the Balkans and in the historical ancestral homeland of the southern Slavs in the basins of the left tributaries of the Dnieper River. Contrary to expectations, in an article with a promising title, only one hydronymic parallel of Ukraine and Yugoslavia was given in its various versions – Pinya, Pinch, Penya, Pina, Pena, etc. (ZHELEZNYAK I.M. 1976: 39-49). In one of his works, J. Zaimov examines the etymology of about 9,000 units of Balkan toponymy but does not provide parallels for them from the territories of southern Slavic settlements in their ancestral homeland (ZAIMOV JORDAN, 1967). Attempts to find something similar on the map of the Dnieper basin brought very scanty results. Several parallel place names of the same root were found, but they all had a different form of creation, so we can assume that these are just random coincidences: Babynino – Babino, Banichi – Banichan, Zhigayevo – Zhigantsy, Zhiglyantsy, Kokorevka – Kokorensky dol, Kokortsi, Kursk – Kuryani, Lyubazh – Lyubanci, Meshchovsk – Meshchan, Rzhanitsa – Rzhanichany, Rzhanik, Rzhenitsa, Selechnya – Selchani, Selce, Star – Staren. arise in different months max Slavic settlements independently of one another. The roots of most of these toponyms are quite common, so similar names could arise in different places of Slavic settlements independently of one another.
Investigating the names of large (longer than 100 km) and middle (50–100 km long) Balkan rivers, Georgiev came to the conclusion that out of the 27 large 16 or 19 have names of Thracian origin, 2 or 6 are Slavic. Out of 58 middle rivers, 33 have Slavic names, 13 – Turkish, and 9 – Thracian (GEORGIAN VLADIMIR, 1960: 65). These results seem to confirm the widespread view that large rivers rarely change their name when a territory is being populated by newcomers, while smaller rivers receive mostly new names. However, the study of hydronyms in Eastern Europe has shown that there is no definite pattern in the preservation of the names of large and small rivers. There are small rivers whose names go back thousands of years (for example, the Tarapunka River, rt of the Lyutenka, lt of the Pslo, lt of the Dnieper) and there are big rivers whose names have changed many times (Dnieper, Don, Dniester).
The fact of practical absence of toponymic coincidences between the Balkans and the ancestral home of the southern Slavs in the Desna and Diet basins suggests that they cannot be found in large numbers in any territories, even if they are inhabited by Slavs. In this case, the significance of the existing coincidences in the toponymy of the Czechia and Volyn, Slovakia, and the interfluve of the Slucha and Teterev rivers, however, an explanation should be sought for the absence of such a phenomenon among the southern Slavs. There may be several reasons. The first – the migration of the Slavs to the Balkans continued for several generations. This is a long period of time therefore children could forget the names of the ancestral settlements and the rivers closest to them. The second is that in the new lands, the Slavs settled in the already existing settlements. Third, in the old ancestral homeland, they either did not have permanent settlements, or these settlements had no names. The latter reason is at first glance absurd in the light of the existence of earlier Germanic toponymy. The second reason can be discarded because there are a lot of Slavic names in the Balkans and some of them undoubtedly originate from the times of the first settlers, although they have no analogs in the Dnieper region. Taking into account the large distance from the ancestral homeland of the southern Slavs to the Balkans, we can confidently say that their relocation there lasted several generations. During this resettlement, the Slavs could have been left for a long time in Transnistria, in the Carpathians, but eventually, they ended up in the Balkans. On the contrary, the resettlement of the Czechs and Slovaks should have been short-lived – at least for the life of one generation. Obviously the same can be said about the relocation of the Poles. It is even possible that their invasion beyond the Vistula led to the relocation of the Goths to the Black Sea.
After becoming acquainted with the published works on the toponymy of Eastern Europe, the idea arises that hydronyms are an older and more stable layer in the total volume of toponymy but place names belong to historical times. However, it turned out that this was not the case – at first glance, unpromising studies presented us with big surprises. Traces of their stay left on their ancestral lands by Germanic tribes. In addition, toponymy gives us the opportunity also to trace the migration routes of tribes of different ethnicity.
Of all the results of these studies, localization of the Turkic Urheimat in Eastern Europe excites special aversion and, in particular, the stay of the Proto-Bulgars in the Western Ukraine, and their correlation with the Scythians. But, as it was already shown, a lot of the place names of Ukraine can be etymologized by means of the Chuvash language, though the vast majority of them do not contain any relation to natural and geographical features, which could be reflected in the proposed common names. In such circumstances, when random phonetic coincidence in the whole set of the alleged Scythian place names cannot be eliminated, statistics help substantively. The concentration of etymologized names by means of Chuvash in certain areas helps to determine the primary habitat of the ancient Scythians and ways to the later migration. Herewith, place names located in isolation may be regarded as random. In order to avoid, if possible, the influence of the subjective factor, while etymologizing place names, their territorial affiliation remained unknown. Already while the first attempt whole about 350 place names was etymologized on the territory of Ukraine by means of the Chuvash language. Then they were divided into regions and it was found that most portion of them are located in the Lviv Region, that is 60. This is more than half of all place names of the Lviv region taken for analysis, despite the fact that more than a quarter of them are not etymologized at all. Cherkasy Region comes next- 38, Vinnytsia – 32, Khmelnytsky – 32, Ternopil – 24, Poltava – 24, Zhytomyr – 17, Ivano-Frankivsk -15. Thus, the assumption about the location of the primary habitat of the ancient Scythians to the south of Volhynia was confirmed by statistical data. In the course of further work, additional toponyms of Bulgarish origin were repeatedly accidentally discovered but mostly in the same areas and the above number does not correspond to reality, although in general reflects the relative distribution of place names.
When analyzing the got toponymies, it turned out that some of the names have correspondences not only throughout Ukraine but also in Germany, the Baltic States, and southern Scandinavia in the territory of the distribution of the Corded Ware culture, the creators of which were ancient Turks. There was no intention to make such searches since this culture existed five thousand years ago and there was not even a thought that the names of settlements could remain so long after repeated changes in a multilingual population. However, random finds led to targeted searches and they gave rich material. In general, at present, in Continental Europe, about 950 toponyms of alleged Bulgarian origin have been identified.
Despite the fact that the distribution of place names between administrative units gives us a certain idea of their concentration, the presence of toponyms of different origin in the same region, sometimes in approximately near proportion, misleads us, as if the speakers of two or three different languages lived here simultaneously mixed with each other. In fact, it is not so. If you put on the geographical map, for example, the place names of Bulgarish, Kurdish, Teutonic, and Old English origin and do not take into account those of them that are located in isolation among the place names of another origin, then the boundaries between clusters of toponyms look quite clear and, of course, they do not match with borders of administrative regions.
Of all the toponyms of days of yore in continental Europe, Anglo-Saxon make up more than one quarter. Their search has been promoted by the Google Map search engine, which suggests the location of similar place names in different parts of the world. Such assistance initiated the expansion of the area of toponymic surveys to the territory of Asia. The indicated Asian doublets of the Anglo-Saxon toponyms in Europe stretched out in the form of a chain, which displayed a certain regularity in their location. Searches for other Anglo-Saxon toponyms in this chain gave new additional material. In total, 125 Anlosaxon toponyms were discovered from the Urals to Sakhalin. Without a hint of technology, I would never have had the idea to look for Anglo-Saxon toponyms in Asia. Therefore I take this opportunity to thank Google Inc. for promoting scientific progress.
Despite the fact that the distribution of names by administrative units gives us some idea of their concentration, the presence in the same region of names of different origins sometimes in approximately equal proportions, has misleading, as the speakers of two or three different languages lived here simultaneously mixed among themselves. In fact, it is not. If we apply to a map, for example, the place names of the Bulgarish, Kurdish, Teutonic, and Old English origin and do not take into account isolation among other origins of place names, the boundaries between clusters of names are pretty clear, and, of course, they are not the same as regional boundaries.
Anglo-Saxon Place names in Google Map
Iranian Place Names in Google Map
Bulgarish Place Names in Google Map