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Query: spelling and etymology of Erra

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  • Miguel Valerio
    Dear members, Currently preparing an article on the relationship between Greek war god Ares and the Anatolian god of pestilence Yarri, the latter inspired on
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 29, 2006
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      Dear members,

      Currently preparing an article on the relationship between Greek war god
      Ares and the Anatolian god of pestilence Yarri, the latter inspired on
      Mesopotamian Erra, I came across some doubts.

      I know that in his "The Poem of Erra" (1977), Luigi Cagni defended that
      spelling the name of the Akkadian god as Irra, Ira or Era was inaccurate
      (p. 14), although I have not read that text myself. I wonder on what
      grounds did Cagni assert that those variants are inaccurate and whether
      posing that the god was also called Irra does not solve its emergence as
      Yarri in Anatolia.

      I have also looked for an etymology of the god's name and came up with
      different results: 1) an encyclopedia which fails to quote a source (!)
      asserts that Erra is related to Akk. erreru 'he who curses' as well as
      araru 'course, insult'; 2) J. J. Roberts, "Erra - Scorched Earth," Journal
      of Cuneiform Studies 24, (1971), pp. 13-14., traces the name to a Semitic
      root *hrr- 'to scorch', due to Erra's relationship to igneous phenomena.
      Which one is, in fact, the most plausible etymology and can it support
      Irra as a valid spelling?

      I would be much obliged if someone could help me clear these questions,
      with the proper references, of course.

      Thanks very much in advance,
      Miguel Valério




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