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Re: Contact between Indo-Aryans and Semites in India

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  • Francesco Brighenti
    ... The reliable cognates of Hebrew tannîn (not tammim !) sea-dragon, (mythical) snake are restricted to Northwest Semitic: http://tinyurl.com/39jbkg6 Both
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 18, 2010
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      --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Joao S. Lopes" <josimo70@...> wrote:

      > > Taimâta, name of an evil black serpent whose poison is said to be
      > > destroyed by the uttering of this Vedic snake-charm; cp. Old
      > > Babylonian Tiâmat 'name of the primeval water-dragon of
      > > Babylonian mythology'. Taimâta is derived by some scholars from
      > > Skt. timi 'big fish' via an unattested form *timâta, but this is
      > > speculative.
      >
      >
      > timi akin to Semitic tammim "big fish, sea monster"?

      The reliable cognates of Hebrew tannîn (not "tammim"!) 'sea-dragon, (mythical) snake' are restricted to Northwest Semitic:

      http://tinyurl.com/39jbkg6

      Both the geographical distance and the lexical distance of Skt. timi from this Semitic word (whose reconstructed proto-form is *tVnnVn- according to A. Militarev's Semitic etymological database) makes this comparison rather unlikely.

      Skt. timi 'a kind of whale, fabulous fish of enormous size', is first attested in the Mahâbhârata (viz., it is a post-Vedic term). Later on it was also glossed as 'sea'. The etymology is unknown, or at least "not clear" (thus Mayrhofer). A connection had been earlier proposed with the verbal root tim- 'to become wet', which would make of this balaenoptera-like creature "one whose whole body is wet (with oil)?", but this seems rather weak to me.

      The connection I have mentioned, of timi with the Vedic mythological serpent Taimâta (vr.ddhi form of a proper noun *Timâta, in turn derived from timi 'whale'?), is equally problematic.

      We are left with this apparent similarity of Sanskrit Taimâta to Old Babylonian Tiâmat. Look-alikes?

      Best,
      Francesco
    • Joao S. Lopes
      Oh, sorry, I replied too fast and forgot to check the correct spelling: it s tannan- of course. It s not similar to timi-, in fact. How did Mesopotamian myths
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 18, 2010
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        Oh, sorry, I replied too fast and forgot to check the correct spelling: it's tannan- of course. It's not similar to timi-, in fact.

        How did Mesopotamian myths reach India? How if Babylonian and Indian parallels reflect a common substratal Pre-Aryan = Pre-Semitic?

        JS Lopes



        De: Francesco Brighenti <frabrig@...>
        Para: cybalist@yahoogroups.com
        Enviadas: Sexta-feira, 18 de Junho de 2010 21:11:27
        Assunto: [tied] Re: Contact between Indo-Aryans and Semites in India

         



        --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Joao S. Lopes" <josimo70@...> wrote:

        > > Taimâta, name of an evil black serpent whose poison is said to be
        > > destroyed by the uttering of this Vedic snake-charm; cp. Old
        > > Babylonian Tiâmat 'name of the primeval water-dragon of
        > > Babylonian mythology'. Taimâta is derived by some scholars from
        > > Skt. timi 'big fish' via an unattested form *timâta, but this is
        > > speculative.
        >
        >
        > timi akin to Semitic tammim "big fish, sea monster"?

        The reliable cognates of Hebrew tannîn (not "tammim"!) 'sea-dragon, (mythical) snake' are restricted to Northwest Semitic:

        http://tinyurl.com/39jbkg6

        Both the geographical distance and the lexical distance of Skt. timi from this Semitic word (whose reconstructed proto-form is *tVnnVn- according to A. Militarev's Semitic etymological database) makes this comparison rather unlikely.

        Skt. timi 'a kind of whale, fabulous fish of enormous size', is first attested in the Mahâbhârata (viz., it is a post-Vedic term). Later on it was also glossed as 'sea'. The etymology is unknown, or at least "not clear" (thus Mayrhofer). A connection had been earlier proposed with the verbal root tim- 'to become wet', which would make of this balaenoptera-like creature "one whose whole body is wet (with oil)?", but this seems rather weak to me.

        The connection I have mentioned, of timi with the Vedic mythological serpent Taimâta (vr.ddhi form of a proper noun *Timâta, in turn derived from timi 'whale'?), is equally problematic.

        We are left with this apparent similarity of Sanskrit Taimâta to Old Babylonian Tiâmat. Look-alikes?

        Best,
        Francesco


         
      • Francesco Brighenti
        ... *IF* an echo or resonance of the Tiamat myth ever reached India (which is something I still doubt), it might have been carried there via direct or
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 19, 2010
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          --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Joao S. Lopes" <josimo70@...> wrote:

          > How did Mesopotamian myths reach India? How if Babylonian and
          > Indian parallels reflect a common substratal Pre-Aryan = Pre-
          > Semitic?

          *IF* an echo or resonance of the Tiamat myth ever reached India (which is something I still doubt), it might have been carried there via direct or indirect sea trade with Mesopotamia. Some scholars have hypothesized that the trade connections linking the India-Pakistan coastal tracts on the Arabian Sea with the Gulf and Mesopotamia, established during the Mature Harappan period, continued well into the late second millennium BCE (by which time the Atharvavedic hymns started being composed). Anyway, all such hypotheses rest on very meager archaeological and literary evidence.

          Regards,
          Francesco
        • Joao S. Lopes
          I suspect a relation between Tiamat and Greek Te:thys, with -m- -v- -F-, although the role of Tiamat in Sumerian theogony was played by Gaia as Mother
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 19, 2010
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            I suspect a relation between Tiamat and Greek Te:thys, with -m- > -v- > -F-, although the role of Tiamat in Sumerian theogony was played by Gaia as Mother Goddess and Mother of Monsters, and maybe sea-goddess Ke:to:. Sumerian Ea seems to be one of the sources of Greek Prometheus (mixed to elements of PIE fire-god, heavenly messenger and trickster), as the manhood-friendly wise god rival to a rageous Storm-god Zeus.


            JS Lopes


            De: Francesco Brighenti <frabrig@...>
            Para: cybalist@yahoogroups.com
            Enviadas: Sábado, 19 de Junho de 2010 4:25:41
            Assunto: [tied] Re: Contact between Indo-Aryans and Semites in India

             



            --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Joao S. Lopes" <josimo70@...> wrote:

            > How did Mesopotamian myths reach India? How if Babylonian and
            > Indian parallels reflect a common substratal Pre-Aryan = Pre-
            > Semitic?

            *IF* an echo or resonance of the Tiamat myth ever reached India (which is something I still doubt), it might have been carried there via direct or indirect sea trade with Mesopotamia. Some scholars have hypothesized that the trade connections linking the India-Pakistan coastal tracts on the Arabian Sea with the Gulf and Mesopotamia, established during the Mature Harappan period, continued well into the late second millennium BCE (by which time the Atharvavedic hymns started being composed). Anyway, all such hypotheses rest on very meager archaeological and literary evidence.

            Regards,
            Francesco


             
          • Francesco Brighenti
            ... I suspect a relation between Tiamat and Greek Te:thys, with -m- -v- -F-. At M.L. West proposes the following: PSem.
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 19, 2010
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              --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Joao S. Lopes" <josimo70@...> wrote:

              "I suspect a relation between Tiamat and Greek Te:thys, with -m- > -v-> -F-."

              At <http://tinyurl.com/3y4djok> M.L. West proposes the following:

              PSem. *tiha:matu (f.) 'sea, the deep' > Akk. tia:m(a)tu, tâm(a)tu, têmtu (Mari), taken over as a loan in Greek as *te:(m)thu > te:thus.

              See also footnote 200 on the same page for his critique of Burkert, who derives Te:thys from the Akk. form taw(a)tu attested occasionally in the Enuma Elish. The historical change in Old Babylonian is from intervocalic -w- to -m-, not vice versa.

              Regards,
              Francesco
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