Alans in Spain, Giomar, Gayomart
- --- In email@example.com, amicus@... wrote:
>Yes, Alans were nomads speaking an eastern Iranian language of the
> I have an offbeat question. I understand that the Alans were a Persian
> people. I guess then they spoke some language related to Persian. The
> Alans passed through Spain. Any evidence of their presence there now?
same family of Persian. Their descendants are the Ossetes, living
north of the Caucasus and extensively studied for language, mythology
and traditiond (see Dumezil's work).
I do not know anything of their traces in Spain, but I always thought
of the Mediaeval Spanish name Giomar, still used today. In the Persian
pre-Islamic tradition Gayomart (in modern Persian Kiumars)is the first
man, so I wonder if Giomar does not come from Gayomart in some way.
True, I seem to remember that in Ossetic mythology the nome Gayomart
does not appear, therefore this origin is not very likely, but I still
- May I point out the relation of "qualat" and greek galata (Galata in
Constantinopole, Galtis on Alutha in Jordannes).
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Rydwlf <mitsuhippon@...> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I'm glad that the information I posted was of your interest.
> Heinrich Lausberg in his "Romance Linguistics" talks about the
tendency in Low Latin to avoid final consonants. He says that this
tendency consolidated more intensely in Italian, a little less in
Spanish and Portuguese and even less in Rumanian, Provençal and
> Coming to the final -s, Lausberg states that the Latin final -s
remains in Sardinian and in the Western Romance languages (Romansh,
French, Provençal, Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese) while in the
Eastern Romance languages (Romanian, Center and South Italian) it
became [i]. The noun example that Lausberg provides is
Latin "feminas" (females, women) that becomes "hembras" in Spanish.
Although "feminas" is an accusative plural, and not a nominative
singular like in "burgus", should we conclude that it is more
feasible that "burgus" evolved into Sp. "burgos"?
> In the formation of Old Spanish from Low Latin, there was a
preference to form the masculine plural from the Latin nom./acc.
plural, using the particle -os (which shows some Celtic substrate
biasing, and as opposed to p.e. Italian that preferred the nom.
plural -i). In Modern Spanish the standard masculine plural mark is -
> I don't know to which declination belongs "burgus". From the
Nom. final -us, itcan only be 2nd (stem -o-) or 4th (stem -u-). The
acc. pl. would be in that case "burgos" and "burgus", provided the
name is masculine (if it is neuter, in both cases the Acc.pl. would
be "burga"). I have read somewhere that masculine names both from
the 2nd and 4th declination took the final -os anyway. I don't know
in which stage did they, but even in the "Glosas Emilianenses"
(late X century) we can find the text "enos sieculos delo sieculos",
that is "in the centuries of the centuries", being Latin "saeculum"
of the 2nd declination (but neuter), so the use of final -os seems
old enough and consolidated in the first stages of the formation of
the Spanish language. This can also be taken as a proof that all the
names from the Latin 2nd declination took the -os plural mark in Old
Spanish, be them masculine or neuter in Latin.
> This explain the plural form of "burgos", but, what about the
singular form, burgo/s?
> According to Lausberg, although he focuses in final -s in
plurals and verbs, the final -s should be preserved also in the
singular Spanish names. But the general theory is that the
masculine -us and neuter -um endings evolved to -o in Old Spanish.
Even in the same Glosas Emilianenses we find "dueno" ("lord", from
Latin 2nd dec. dominus), "Cristo" ("Christ", from 2nd dec
Christus), "sancto" ("holy", adjective but from Latin masc.
sanctus). To add some confussion, the Golsas include an adjective in
nom.plural "gaudioso", (joyous) finishing in -o, not in -os.
> In conclussion, it seems that it's highly probable that at an
early stage of the language, the forms were "burgo" for the singular
and "burgos" for the plural. I haven't been able to find any
masculine name that preserve the final -s of the Latin nom. sg.
> About the concentration of Spanish place names with the "burg"
component in the North of Spain, I have the feeling that it is
significant, but Ï have reached no conclussion. There is a
distinctively high number of such places in A Coruña (17) and some
presence also in the rest of the provinces of Galicia, which
corresponds almost exactly to the limits of the Roman Province
Gallaecia (in which the Suebian Kingdom was founded in 410), at
least the part in modern Spain. It would be interesting studying the
number of place names with "burg" in the Portuguese part of what
Gallaecia was; I suppose it was also high. I think this relatively
high number of "burg" place names in modern Galicia is related to
the Suebian Kingdom. How exactly, though, I don't know. I'm also
dubious about the origin of "burg" place names in other Northern
areas, but it's interesting to note that Soria and Burgos (which sum
up to 13 "burg" place names) are considered areas in which the
> settlement was high and deep, if I remember well.
> Was the initial mindset of the Germanic peoples in Iberia
comparatively more focused in the military than in later imes? Could
that explain the abundance of "burg" based place names in an old
stage, coinciding with the military nature of their entrance in
Iberia both of Suebi (although later recognized as foedi) and
Visigoths (first as a countenance measure against Vandals and Alans,
later against Suebi)? In that case, the "burg" based place names
(excuse my adoption of the term) would be the result of this
military campaigns and would be of very old origin. This is an
hypothesis, but the Moorish sway in the South could be also a
possible reason of the different name distribution. For example, the
term "medina", Arab for "city", appears in 24 toponymes. Similar
words for fortifications appearing in Spanish modern place names are
> mahsan -> fortified place
> rabita -> frontier military settlement
> qalat -> castle
> meriya -> watching tower.
> There are toponymes with these roots all over Spain, but they
are more frequent in the Half South, specially in modern Andalusia
and Eastern regions.
> llama_nom <600cell@...> wrote:
> > There are currently two main theories about the origin of the
> Burgos toponyme. Both of them, though, take the name "Burgos" as
> coming from Germanic burgs through Latin.burgus. The first theory
> "Burgos" as evolving directly from burgus (with the final -s). The
> second theory assumes that the word descending from burgus was
> not burgos. In that case, the name "Burgos" would be a plural and
> would be a reference to an agglomeration of fortresses or castles.
> Thanks Rydwlf! At first sight, the second of these theories seems
> more logical, and maybe it's supported by those placenames where
> article appears: los burgos, el burgo. At the very leastm that must
> be how such names where interpreted in later times. But are there
> other inherited words where Latin -s of the nominative singular is
> preserved, and under what circumstances would that happen?
> Do you think it's significant that the names are concentrated in
> north? Could this imply that they were indeed originally connected
> with the Gothic and/or Suebic settlement? Or are there other
> which could account for that, e.g. Moorish sway in the south, later
> Frankish influences elsewhere; or simply geographical factors? Are
> there other words applied in placenames to the same sorts of
> in the south?
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