Gothic Year/Season Words
- My understanding was that Gothic 'athana' meant 'year.'
'Juleis' (?) would be a two-month season around November-December,
and 'wintrus' would (presumably) be a(nother) two-month season around
January-February, although the part can refer to the whole (as in
modern English: '# winters old'). I figured that 'jer,' like
'wintrus,' had referred to one season and (by extension) to the year,
and had later displaced 'athana.'
- ju haf wintrus-winter.....ju haf asan-summer-time of harvest......ju haf brunni-spring......jah ju haf gadrah-fall........wen ,ik im raight mith thizos insahts......
--- On Mon, 10/22/12, autoreport <griffon77@...> wrote:
From: autoreport <griffon77@...>
Subject: [gothic-l] Re: Gothic Year/Season Words
Date: Monday, October 22, 2012, 11:23 PM
Athana- is a Latinized version of the original Gothic in names such as Athanaildus and Athanaricus, apparently through analogy with unrelated Greek Athanasios. The Gothic word is recorded in the compound at-athni "this year" (dative). The only known cognate is Latin annus, primitive *atnos. While yer/jer is directly cognate with other Germanic words for year, it is more distantly related to Greek hora "season" (a different grade of the European root). Counting years by winters is simply analogous to counting days by nights (a se'ennight, a fortnight etc.). We commonly count "how many sleeps", "how many winters". While "season" may have been a primitive sense of year, it was not a specific season (summer, lenten, winter, harvest), but a season in the broadest sense—a span of time.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "akoddsson" <konrad_oddsson@...> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, Michael Erwin <merwin@> wrote:
> > My understanding was that Gothic 'athana' meant 'year.'
> > 'Juleis' (?) would be a two-month season around November-December,
> This is the reconstructed meaning via the Norse word y:lir (<Proto-
> Norse *jiulijaz), which means just that. Yule itself would, however,
> be *jiula, neut.pl., in Gothic (compare Norse jo:l, Gutnish jaul -
> both neut.pl., a-stem). Juileis is found, of course, on the Gothic
> calender fragment, where its meaning is less than obvious, while at
> the same time seemingly refering to a period of time/month(s).
> > and 'wintrus' would (presumably) be a(nother) two-month season
> around January-February, although the part can refer to the whole (as
> in modern English: '# winters old').
> Phrases like 'X winters old' (counting age in winters/years) are very
> typically Norse. Indeed, they seem to have been universal there. One
> could likely reconstruct this for Gothic, as well, if parallels are
> not already found in writing (Wulfila), in which case we should look
> to these first. However, I do not imagine that wintrus can mean a two-
> month period; rather, it would refer to a longer period. In Norse,
> from which the Gothic-year/year-terminology is usually reconstructed.
> winter is one half of the year (6 months), technically speaking (mid-
> Oktober- mid-April), the other half being summer (sumar). There are a
> variety of terms for autumn/fall and spring, but the basic division
> was still winter-summer (50/50). The old tradition of telling age in
> winters would also, it seem, reflect this tradition.
> > I figured that 'jer,' like 'wintrus,' had referred to one season
> and (by extension) to the year, and had later displaced 'athana.'
> Well, year could also mean 'crops/wealth/produce(of the land)' in
> Norse, as well as being a designation equivalent to ME 'year'. This
> meaning must be ancient, as the Norse were required by law in heathen
> times to sacrifice for 'good year' at fixed annual assemblies. Here
> the meaning seems to be 'harvest/produce of the land', rather than a
> fixed period of time. Thus, it would seem that the word could have
> different, but related, meanings. I suspect that this would also hold
> true for the Gothic term 'je:r'.
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