Thus naught is laid to have been learnt
That thought the hale heart have burnt
À çíàòü íàì íè÷åãî, ÿ âèæó íå äàíî!
È ýòîé äóìîþ âñå ñåðäöå ñîææåíî
The problem of the language of the Huns
§1. The question of the (European) Hunnic language is extremely controversial.
All kinds of views were expressed, and no one has yet succeeded in at least getting close to the possibility of any
solution. In such circumstances, the very appeal to this topic may seem very risky, not to mention
trying to make a final judgment. Consequently, I can state no more than my own opinion, which does
not in the least exclude the possibility of other points of view. True, I ask you to bear in mind
that here is proposed an overview of the material on the Huns, which should be contested if
necessary only by contrasting it with a new such review, and not by criticizing the details.
I ask the reader for indulgence, if my presentation turned out to be very tight, which can easily
give the impression of some (completely unintentional) categorical. In fact, this could be a topic
(albeit in a more extensive exposition) of a whole dissertation. But the results of this work are
critical and negative. And who will undertake to write a dissertation leading to negative
Actually, the European Hunnic
language is not controversial at all. There is a long chain of historic
testimonies connecting one pastoralist group with another, there are live people who pass along
their family tradition of Hunnic origin, there is a mountain of archeological, cultural, societal and
ethnological evidence, and finally, there are piles of linguistic traces. In opposition to that is a
minority of a special class of linguists who are building alternate theories. Compared with the
Scythian situation, Huns have an easy life. To build an alternate reality, experts have to limit
their purview to a selected small sample, ignore the evidentiary balance, atomize the selected
evidence, and find fragments inconsistent with their expectations. That is not a tough task either,
historiography is full of such conflicts, from the invention of writing to today's weather reports.
§2. The origin of the (European) Huns is a subject of discussion both in historical and archaeological
terms. Since DeGuignes (1756-8), there have always been researchers who identified them with the East Asian Huns
(Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu, Ñþííó) who over the centuries
moved westward; attempts have also been made to link the European Huns to the
East Asian nation of Hun or Hün (Xwn), which, according to Fr. Althheim and G.-W.Haussig, were not
identical with the Hunnu. At the same time already
from the time of Abel-Remusat (1788 – 1832) there is a point of view that the identity of the European Huns
to any Eastern Asiatic people (in particular the Sünnu (Eastern Huns
in Russian lingo after introduction of Pinyin, to make them distinct from the Western Huns) is absolutely not proven and worthy of the most
skeptical attitude; Alongside with Fr.Altheim (1898 - 1976 Nazi classical philology, Nazi ancestor heritage)
(1916 - 1994, a dazzling historian) also of a similar nature.
Can linguistics come to the aid? Is it able to prove or deny the identity of the European
Huns to the Central Asian people, Hun or Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu)? Is it able to classify the language of all these
peoples in one definite, already known language family (for example, the Türkic)?
§3. The language of the people of the Hun (Xwn) (Xwn refers to the Jie
branch of the Eastern Huns of 329AD, Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu, Ñþííó. What the Sogdian letter calls Xwn,
the Chinese annals call Jie or Jie Huns, a more specific appellation because the Jie Huns branch
were not entire Huns) is completely unknown, and it seems that there is
not a single source of information about it. Therefore, the possibility of comparing it with the
language of the European Huns (Western Huns, Hunnen) (or the Huns) is no longer valid. And even if the Huns
(Hunnen) were originally
identical to the (Eastern) Huns, we still could not extract any knowledge of the Huns
(Hunnen) from this, that is,
above all, their language. Huns, a small ruling people among the many peoples they conquered, could,
have moved to the west, lose their language (like their culture) and change to another. There
are infinitely many such examples in history (just the Altai and other nomadic peoples) (Bulgarians,
Turks-Mamluks in Egypt, Mongols in Iran, etc.). Let us also recall the Normans, who for a certain
time used three different languages (Scandinavian, French, English).
The identity: Huns
(Hunnen) = Hun = (?) Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) is not only an archaeological5, but also a
The screaming ignorance of the G.Doerfer's “my own opinion”, which kindly allows “other
points of view” does not understand the nature of the Hunnic “conquest”. Unlike the European
conquests, the Hunnic “conquest” was an imposition of alliance and allegiance that administratively
united theretofore independent principalities as allies and marital partners. By demanding
allegiance of few willing and unwilling, Huns cemented an advantage and independence for both. The
Hunnic model is best illustrated by the European union, where all members sit in a Parliament, the
head is elected, and the boot is cooperatively divided to minimize any resentment. In the European
union, marital connections are free, domicile residency is free, the language used is free. The only difference is that the
Hunnic leader is elected from the dynastic clan, like in some autonomous European
monarchies. None of the languages is threatened to be lost, although English is a de facto lingua
franca of the Union.
Linguistic examples closer to home would be the German of South Africa with a small
ruling people among the many peoples they conquered, or Brits of America who were a small ruling
people among the many peoples they conquered, or Brits of India who were a small ruling people among
the many peoples they conquered, or Spaniards of Latin America who were a small ruling people among
the many peoples they conquered. And who knows the cited example of the Altai, and the Bulgarians whose
ruling class was nearly completely wiped out in the Simeon's coup and whose Türkic population was
renamed Turks. The Mongols in Persia were
ethnically Türkic, like in the Rus, and Iran still has its many Türkic tribes speaking various Türkic
languages, most of them are natives of Persia from before Persia became a Persia in the 6th c. BC.
China, which for 2 millennia lived under a refurbished Hunnic systems of rule under a litany of
alien rules, also nicely preserved its language side-by-side with the languages of its
The G.Doerfer's speculation taken for a premise is a complete nonsense. The
bulk of the data had been around long before G.Doerfer compiled his assessment. What was and still
remains in imbalance is the effort to roundly investigate, assess, and systematize the wealth at our
The archaeological problem is the problem of archaeologists and politicking,
science vs. parochial beliefs. That problem is being powerfully sorted out by the geneticists, to
the desperate consternation of quite a few European linguists. The despised Kurgans turned out to be
their ancestors. Europe was, and still is, predominantly populated by former nomadic, pastoral,
horse-riding Kurganians. No archeological facts need to be re-written, but mountains of
interpretations are due to the historical trash bin. For example, see Hyun Jin Kim, The Huns,
Rome, and the birth of Europe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013, ISBN
978-1-107-00906-6; M. Loeuwe, E.L. Shaughnessy, eds. The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From
the Origins of Civilization to 221BC,
Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 9780521470308,
§4. So far, only about 20 (European) Hunnic words have become the property of science and the
transmitted with Chinese caracters (the volume is 10 syllables). The shortness of the material resists
the abundance of hypotheses. On the question of identifying the Hsien (Hsiung-nu,
Xiongnu), the following hypotheses are
a) they were Mongols (P.-S.Pallas, B.Berman, J.Venlin, D.L.Ilovaisky, N.Ja.Bichurin, K.F.Neyman,
apparently, also DeGuignes who, however , almost does not distinguish between Mongols and Türks);
b) they were Turks (Abel-Remusat, J.Klaproth , p. P Semenov-Tianshansky, K. Ritter, I.Koskinen,
K.Siratori7, O.Pritsak8, W. Samolin9, Fr.Altheim, the supporters of this hypothesis also
differ: according to Fr.Altheim, they spoke practically the Old Türkic language
(a scholarly model, not a language),
according to O.Pritsak, the language of Türk-Bulgarians) (Ogur-type
language, vs. predominantly Oguz-type of the “Old Türkic”);
c) they were Finns (V. de Saint-Martin);
d) they are a mixture of Turks and Mongols (E.Parker, L. Kaen);
e) they were a mixture of Mongols and Tungus (K.Siratori)10;
f) they were a mixture of Turks, Mongols, Tungus and Finns (M.A. Kastren);
g) they were not a tribe at all, but a political union, which means practically incompatible
confusion and multilingualism (T. de Lacunery);
h) they were Kets or Yenisei Ostyaks (L.Ligeti11, E.Pulleyblank12) ;
i) most likely, they were Iranians (E.Moore)13;
j) “And it is still impossible to connect the Hun language with any of
the great language families of Eurasia.” 14
As we see, even in recent times (1970s), opinions are still very divergent. We certainly can not accept the
argument of W.Samolin (1957),15 who wrote that, according to Chinese sources, the Turks were descendants
of the Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu), i.e. as if the Huns (Hsiung-nu,
Xiongnu) spoke Türkic. Everyone who is familiar with Chinese
indifference towards the cultures and languages of the “barbarians” will agree that this testimony
can not be given any importance.
|Scientists are accustomed to work with a poor source base, under normal
conditions the poor state of the source base is an impetus for scientific explorations. Ignoring
scientific opportunities turns scientists into journeymen. The failure to explore all possible sources is illustrated by never published sources,
like the list of of 278 Eastern Hunnic words as a concise and scholarly tabulation supposedly
compiled by E.Pulleyblank (1922 - 2013, The Consonantal System Of Old Chinese, Part II, Asia
Major, The Hsiung-nu Language Appendix, 1962/3, 9:59-144 and 206-265). Or a study of the
Caucasian Huns linguistic inheritance preserved in Dagestan. Or the rich Indian sources. Or the rich
European sources, including those internalized by the Germanic languages, culture, and societal
organization. The attempt to minimize the present (1973) and perspective sources is embarrassing.
Embarrassing is the passing reference to the Hunnic couplet. Of the dozen scholars who
studied it, all but 2 confirmed its Türkic origin. The other two are routinely cited as
preeminent authority, although they had produced a zilch of results. The Hunnic oracle reads:
Sü chi Ti li gang // Puguchu Tu dang (Chinese phonetization, recorded in 4th c. AD, included in
the annals in 6th c. AD)
Süči (Süchi) tiligan // Pugu'yu tutan (Türkic)
Huça teme // Pugu tytkäna (Chuvash, ungrammatical approximation)
(If) army-man (would) go // Pugu would (be) capture(ed) (English)
In the oracle couplet, all words are Türkic, available for anyone's examination and verification.
The sentence is syntactically Türkic. Morphemes -či, -gan, -'yu, -an are Türkic
grammatical suffixes. Most of the modern Türkic 42+ language speakers would get it on a first
attempt, although there is no guarantee that all words have survived in any particular language with
exactly the same meaning.
|Informal sampling of Hunnic-Türkic lexicon (16 words) from
Dybo A.V. (2013), Xiongnu, Huns. Who are they? Lecture given October 24, 2013,
||god, heaven, sky
The above Hunnic words from the Chinese annals, must be some of the words included in the
unpublished E.Pulleyblank's tabulation herein ignored by G.Doerfer.'
The differences between attributions to the Old Türkic vs. Bulgarian Türkic can't be dramatized.
The Old Türkic is no more a language than the Germanic language. Neither one does exist, they are
only the terms of linguistic classification. German and English are Germanic languages, real and
spoken, while the Germanic is not a language at all, it can't be spoken. The term Old Türkic is a
periodical classification of the written materials from numerous sources in numerous languages
belonging to the Türkic family and specifically of the Middle Age period. The Middle Age sources
largely illuminate the languages of the neighboring Oguz branch, while the western (during Middle
Ages) Ogur branch is represented by few accidental lexemes. They are identifiable by an anlaut
consonant preceding the anlaut vowel of the Common (Oguz) Türkic, i.e. they show up only in few
available examples. The Chinese records there are practically absent from all dictionaries. A
Swadesh analysis shows that basic lexical retention in the Oguz Türkic languages vary from high 98%
(Tatar - Kazakh) to low 75% (Turkish - Sakha), attesting to a great linguistic diversity. That
analysis does not discriminate between the Ogur and Oguz forms, it only addresses the differences
between languages. In all likelihood, in the European Hunnic state predominated the Oguric
languages, with the Oguzic languages in demographical minority. With those caveats, both Fr.Altheim
and O.Pritsak stated the same, the Hunnic and the Old Türkic compilation were somewhat different
realizations of the Türkic linguistic family.
Embarrassing is the casual dismissal of W.Samolin who risked his carrier and livelihood, but by
1957 already not his life to publically assert a forbidden theme contrary to the ruling Communist
Party decree against ancientization of the Türkic history. Rewriting history and ignoring
annalistic testimony was a domain of the Soviet racistic propaganda atypical in the free world of
science. G.Doerfer is dismissing but one testimony out of a litany of the annalistic records, and
accusing Chinese annalists of knowing nothing about the enemy China fought for a millennium, from
the 2nd c. BC to the 8th c. AD, the enemy the Hun China used to paid tribute, and the enemy China
spied on for a millennium.
§5. The material relating to the Huns is composed of a large number of glosses (E.Poullblänk
claims that he collected 190 gloss16, O.Menchen-Helfen speaks even of “hundreds of words of
Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu)” in
Chinese sources17) and, apparently, the mentioned couplet. As you know, individual glosses
(moreover, in the transmission by a Chinese script, which, among other things, does not distinguish
l and r and are not familiar with the Türkic-Mongolian (-German-English-Slavic) vowels
ö, ü) are often interpretable only
with great difficulty and with a small share of reliability. In that case, the oracle maxim should
be considered a reliable source, which is a text with a Chinese translation (from Jin-shu)
(approximately: “Bring out the army, seize the commander”. However, it is unreliable for the
a) To reconstruct the text's recorded Chinese letter symbols phonetically is difficult. And although
various authors almost always viewed it as originally Türkic (and restored accordingly),
they all read and interpreted this text very differently. The author of the last of these works
suggested (admittedly, only in the form of irony and for the sake of the reductio ad absurdum of
previous interpretations) to admit that this text was written in Akkadian, and showed that it is
quite possible (with equal success it could be taken as an example and the Eskimo language). And
according to E.Poullblänk19, the couplet can not be read in any of the known languages (including Ket).
b) As O.Menchen-Helfen remarked, even if the text were indeed Türkic, its language, referring to the
4th century AD (actually, 329 AD), does not need to be identical to the language of the
3rd c. BC Maodun-shanyu Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu).
(The ancestors of William the Conqueror did not speak French)20.
c) Finally, as established by L. Ligeti21, who carefully studied the original source, the couplet
was not written in the language of the Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu), but in the language of the
Hu, and it is impossible
to say that Hu and Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) are one and the same, in no case.
The actual E.G.Pulleyblank's statement is “I have gathered some 190 probable Hsiung-nu words for
the Former Han period from the Shih-chi and Han-shu, 57 more from the Hou Han-shu, and 31 from the
Chin-shu.” That totals 278 Hunnic words, never published as a concise and scholarly tabulation,
which still await its time. G.Doerfer's linguistic arithmetic's is not entirely precise.
a) In addition, there are numerous mutually incomprehensible Chinese languages now, and probably
even more so in the 4th c. AD That expands the field of possibilities tremendously even before any
attempt for phonetic reconstruction. The only test of accurate phonetization is the result where the
guessed phonetics brings about a sensible reading consistent with the content of the Chinese
translation. V.S. Taskin, whose Chinese was his native language, did not have to jump through these
hoops to read the Chinese transcription in his native Harbin Chinese dialect. Having observed numerous Türkic words and expressions in the Hun's lexicon,
he came to his own independent conviction that the Huns were a collection of Türkic tribes, who for a relatively long period ruled a vast number of ethnically different people, including Chinese.
For him the mysterious phonetization was an open book, he read it directly without any
reconstructions. His reading was “Army-man would go Pugu'd be captured” (Russian - “Ñþ÷æè òèëèãàí Ïóãó öçþéòóäàí”,
English transcription - “Süčy tiligan Pugu qüitudan”).”By any measure, the
result of this test is incontrovertible.
b) No language stays the same between generations, it is a common truth. German has changed too,
demographically and linguistically. Still we call German a German for two millennia, and should
apply that convention equally to all. The evolution of languages is irrelevant to the subject.
c) Every chicken is a bird, but not every bird is a chicken, this logic is applicable to the
German and the Hunnic cases too. History is full of monikers, where terms like Redskin and
White-skinned proliferate(d). The context makes clear if a Redskin is a snow-white Eskimo, or a
White-skinned is an Oklahoma Cherokee. The point is mute and irrelevant, because the Hu birds and
Chinese neighbors included the Hun chicken chicks, and nothing prevents a qualified linguist to find
attested Hunnic words among the non-chicken populations. If there were any, we would have known by
It appear that if the Huns spoke modern German, the Chinese used Roman alphabet and used a single
moniker for the Huns, the European linguistic scholars would not have had any problems. Otherwise,
the linguistic and demographic problems for their level of science seem to be insurmountable.
§6. This is the case (Hu vs. Hun) with a single text in the language of the Huns. Glosses, in their turn, are
mostly names. The latter, as is known, are amenable to interpretation with great difficulty (see
§15). The fact that it has so far been possible to build ten different hypotheses about the
linguistic identification of these glosses and that the same author (K.Siratori) interpreted the
same material once (in 1902) as a Türkic and one once (in 1923) as a Mongol-Tungus. However,
almost all interpretations of K.Siratori are disputed by almost all other researchers. It would be
superfluous to refute here all the opinions expressed so far about the Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) language; in the
majority they rely on some random similarity between words. Let us dwell on two possibilities, the
assumption of which, it seems, is not without some grounds.
The position that the language of the Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu), supposedly Türkic at the present time
(1973) has a widespread
support. It is based on the indisputable fact that the Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) language and the
Türkic languages have some common words, in particular: ch'eng-li = türk, täŋri 'sky'22, hiep-hö,
hiəp- < ɣəu = yabɣu (title)23; eu-ta, wo-lu-to, ao-t'ot = ordo 'military camp'24. Fr.Altheim tried
to draw a conclusion from this that the Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) should have been
Türkic (even if they spoke directly
in Old Türkic). This can be objected to as follows:
a) The overwhelming majority of the words of the Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) do not lend themselves to interpretation on
the Türkic soil.
b) In addition, in the view of Fr.Altheim25 there is a vicious circle: it would be convincing only
if the words mentioned above were first registered in the Türkic languages, and after that the Hunnic (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu). But in fact the Huns'
words (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu)
belong to the 2nd c. BC, and the Türkic - to the 8th c. AD.
* Founder of the Hun Empire (Sünnu) in Central Asia. Ruled ca.. 200-176 BC.
[ Note. S.K.].
Therefore, it is much more likely to presume that those are only the Hunnic lexical borrowings into
the Türkic languages.26 The Hunnic word ordo, for example, penetrated even into European languages (compare
German Horde 'horde, crowd, gang'). (And hundreds and hundreds more,
predating the European Huns by a mile. In English, for example, 40% of vocabulary with 2000 most
frequently used words are genetically Türkic. And that is in the 21st, not the 8th century. The “Likely to presume” does not hold water.)
c) In addition, none of the above words (the roots in the Türkic languages are so long) can not be
etymologized on the Türkic material (for example, the interpretation of the word yabɣu 'lord of the
archers' proposed by Fr.Altheim is untenable, this in Türkic should have sounded *yačï bägi).
Reference Fr. Alteheim and R. Stiehl27 to the unreliable Proto-Bulgarian (from Shumen) *ya-bäg
does not give anything. The development of the Türkic ya 'bow' + East Iranian baɣu <bagam 'god'
> yabaɣu > yabɣu- is absolutely incredible.
d) The word täŋri, at last, has a very peculiar structure. The combination of consonants
in general the entire appearance of the word non-Türkic. And since in addition in many Türkic
languages this word appears in the form *täŋrï (Turkish, Azeri
tanrï, Turku täŋrï, Yak. (Saha) tanara,
Chuv. tura (Chuv. tura Cf. Gothic Thor)),
it is easy to assume that the original form was tanri (which later was phonetically adapted in
different ways in accordance with the possibilities of Türkic harmony of vowels). And this form,
because of the lack of harmony of vowels, could not have been originally Türkic.
Thus, the fact that there are common words in the Türkic languages and in the
Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) language does
not advance us a step further, because these common words were originally Hunnic, and in the Türkic
languages they are secondary, borrowed. And if we would like to insist on the hypothesis of Fr.Altheim, it would be nothing more than if on the basis of the comparison of the Arabic word
haikal 'temple' and the Sumerian e-gal with the same meaning we would come to the conclusion that
the Türkic language was an Arabic dialect, although in fact the Arabic word ultimately comes from
G.Doerfer does not mention “some random similarity” in case of the German Horde “horde, crowd, gang”
that he ascribes to the language of the European Huns. Evidently, those types of haphazard qualifications do not extend to the German language.
Agglutinative languages form different, at times contradictory, derivatives of the same root, the
recipient languages tend to borrow only a fraction of those fuzzy meanings. That is one of the criteria
for the direction of borrowing. In addition to the notion “crowd, army” in German, the Türkic Horde means “center, capital” borrowed independently into
the Russian but missing from the German. However, the “some random similarity” has a statistical
probability value to justify the assertion, without a proper justification assertion of “randomness”
is just a gentle sway of warm air. Not a small matter, the “random similarity” used to be shoved around
with ease and authority to disqualify real but unpalatable events. While the phonetic similarity,
especially for phonetically shorter words, is an unavoidable occurrence between any two languages,
the combination of phonetics and semantics is a statistically very rare event, and for slightly
longer words has a vanishingly small probability.
Mongols and Tunguses share the same Y-DNA haplogroup C, attesting to their common genetic origin.
Türkic people belong to a common Y-DNA haplogroup R1 (of the -a or -b variety). That attests
to impossibility of a common linguistic origin of the two distinct groups. From the end of the 3rd
mill. BC the nomadic pastoralists, archeologically termed Scythians or Kurganians, extended down to
the Far East in the pre-historical time, and from about 16th c. BC, if not earlier, showed up in the
first written Chinese annals. That gives plenty of opportunity for the internalization of the Türkic
words into the Tungus and subsequently Mongol languages. During the Syanbi (Xianbei 鮮卑) period
starting in 93 AD, 100,000 Hunnic families numbering 500,000+ people submitted to the Syanbi ruling
minority, making Hunnic a demographically dominant language. K.Siratori can't be blamed for his
vacillation, both ideas may be quite right. The case illustrates that jumping to conclusions, G.Doerfer
did not know the falsity of his many premises.
The term “Old Türkic” is extremely conditional, and therefore misleading, at least fore some
folks. It refers to the languages of M.Kashari time, of M.Kashari perusal of the Türkic Islamic
neighbors of Kashgar, and of the Islamic written sources. Thus, it is not old, with the cuneiform
recodes 3000 years older, it is not Türkic because it is at the most half-Türkic, and even within
that limited scope, it mostly covers Islamic written sources, and probably less than a quarter of
the Türkic languages. Even with these severe limitations, it includes about 20 different languages,
a range of syntaxes, and a sprinkling of a sea of differences. Most importantly, it practically does
not include the Ogur languages or the -h- languages. And those would be most useful for
understanding the Ogur languages of the Huns. In no way could the Huns speak the Old Türkic which is
younger then the Huns by a millennium, and the composition, including linguistic composition, of the
Huns was drastically different from that of the Old Türkic.
a) We just started to learn how to read the Hunnic, we know is that it is a version of the
Türkic grammar and lexis. It is our ignorance that does not allow us to read the Hunnic, see the
case of V.Taskin's reading above
b) Compared with the Rosetta language and the Sumerian cuneiform, the development of the Hunnic literacy
follows the same cycle of a spiral progress, a loop after loop. The progress since 1972 shows that
prior to the 1972 it was a vicious circle only for some myopic eyes. G.Doerfer should have known
from before he approached the subject that the idea of “Hun lexical
borrowings into the Türkic languages” is a nonsense, because all readings starting from 1902 K.Siratori work included various
Türkic suffixes that matched the presumed or figured out Hunnic suffixes (see §4 comments), and
syntactic markers are not flowing from language to language, Cp. morphological differences even
within the Germanic branch. In each individual case, a word can be internalized complete with a suffix, Cf.
Germanic Horde from or- (v.) “lay down, place” + locative suffix -da (-du), with a
prosthetic anlaut h- typical for the Aral-Ural-Caspian Türkic vernaculars. As a rule, words
are internalized with the receptor's morphology, Cf. German gatte, Anglo-Saxon gada (m.)
“comrade, companion” and Türkic qadash “comrade, companion”; German (v.) hehlen,
Anglo-Saxon helan (v.) “cover, hide” and Türkic holey “opening (yurt’s vent)”,
c) The roots in the Türkic languages are short, not long. One syllable, two or three-phonemes
roots are overwhelming majority of the roots, even two-syllable roots are a small minority, and
three-syllable roots are a miniscule minority. The length of the word is defined by the length of
the agglutinated morphological suffixes, similarly to the Germanic morphology and in contrast with
the English morphology. A faulty premise leads to faulty analysis. Then, yabgu consists of the root
yab/ya:b (n.) “coaxing, cajoling” and the denoun noun/adjective suffix -gü/-ɣu,
lit. “coaxer, cajoler”, i.e. “enforcer, administrator”. G.Doerfer is right that the etymologies he
is citing are “absolutely incredible”, but dead wrong that yabgu “can not be etymologized on the Türkic material”.
Quite the opposite, it can and it is.
d) The first appearance of täŋrï “Heaven, God” comes from the Sumetian
pre-cuneiform depiction, later syllabified into Dingir (approximate phonetization by European
scholars with now fossilized spelling) “Heaven, God”. Sumerians, in turn, at least partially are
marked by R1b Y-DNA haplogroup of their Assyrian ancestors, which attests to their Kurgan horsemen origin and
a link with the Celtic circum-Mediterranean migration. That directly connects the Türkic Täŋrï
with the Sumerian Dingir and the Germanic Thor, Celtic Welsh Duw, and Irish,
Gaelic Dia. Scholastic speculation on the intricacy of phonetics on the events 6 thousand
years ago are childish, and any conclusions are whimsical. Not only the very Germanic god is
inseparable from the Türkic Täŋrï, but its entire European terminology is umbilically
connected to the religion professed by the Kurgan horsemen.
An eminent scholar with many deserving contributions, so prejudiced as to be utterly blind to his
own native history, and especially linguistically insensitive to his own language, embark impudently
and ignorantly on subject is degrading.
§7. The hypothesis of the Yenisei-Osyak origin of the Huns was first outlined in general terms by
O. Menhen-Helfen. Then it was supported by L. Ligeti, who cited as an example the Hun word so-to,
the more ancient *säkd'äk = saɣdaq 'boot', which is comparable only with the Ket
Finally, E.Poullblänk devoted a whole monograph to this topic, and he qualified 12 of the 190 words
he collected as Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) as Ket. E.Poullblenk's
observations can objected to by the following:
a) The random selection of 12 words out of 190 does not give us reliable and sufficient material for
Just by virtue of the laws of probability theory, it is always possible to find several such
correspondences, regardless of which language is taken as an initial basis. So, for example, the
word ku-t' u 'son', the more ancient *kwah-δah, could be asserted not with the Ket
falla, but equally with with the Khaladj-Türkic word qät 'child' (seek and
b) Therefore, many of the words cited by E.Poullblänk can be interpreted in a different way. He
himself points out that the word *saɣdaq (= Ket. sägdi) can be brought closer to the middle Persian
(möcak) säxtak 'boots made of well-dressed skin'.
c) Ket language is known (as separate glossed) only from XIIV c. From the Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu)
text it is separated by almost two millennia. The
Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) text was in Chinese, which is unsuitable for transmission of foreign sounds (see above). And besides, Sinologists are not unanimous on the sounds of the
letter characters in antiquity (G.Serruys,
G.Khaloun, B.Karlgren interpreted Chinese pronunciation unlike E.Pulleyblank, and all Sinologists differ in this matter
between themselves). Is it possible at all in these circumstances to make
an accurate comparison? It would not mean the same as if we wanted to compare the Javanese pat 'four'
with (presuming that we do not know Latin) a Rumanian patru with the same meaning, which is
absolutely unacceptable. If we do not know neither the Chinese pronunciation of the 2nd c. BC
(329 AD text, 4th c. AD), nor the ancient Chinese forms of
the same time, we have an equation with two unknowns.
d) Finally, E.Pulleyblank did not see the possibility that - if one considers that some of his
decisions are correct - a conversation could turn (as in the case of the German word Horde, see above)
the Hun lexical borrowings in the Ket language.
After all, these words are just sporadic glosses, mostly cultural words, and they easily wander from
language to language. The situation would be different if one could find in the Ket language, for
example, the Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) numerals from 1 to 10. In that case we would
had have a systematically
organized group of basic words (and then even resolved the difficulty discussed in (c)), but in the
Hunnic material there is nothing like that.
True, the hypothesis of L.Ligeti - E.Pulleyblank still seems the least improbable. After all,
some words seem convincing, for example, the Hunnic chieh < *kiat 'stone' = Ket. khes, kit. I would
also put here: t'ieh-fah 'iron'31 < *tiet-bat.
As has shown E.Pulleyblank. even when reading very old texts one can neglect the consonant in the
auslaut, so that the actual pronunciation was something like *tieba32. But this form could be
an ancient Ket's; in modern dialects, according to Ligeti, we have t'ip, t'ep33.
It is also significant that in the Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu)
language there are a lot of words that have in the anlaut 1- (21 of 190)34. And in
the Türkic and Mongolian languages, apparently, there are no native words beginning with l-, while
such words are characteristic of the Ket language! However, some Old Türkic words, for example
lačïn 'falcon', laɣïn 'pig' can be both borrowed from the Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) language, and possibly from the Avar
a) E.Pullyblank's selection was not random, he surmised that 12 out of 190 words could be
cognates, i.e. their phonetics and semantics allowed to suspect that they are cognates. Contrary to the G.Doerfer's assertion on the probability, that is a very high number even
for a collection of one-syllable words, exceedingly high number if the selection included
two-syllable words, and nearly absolutely impossible if there were three-syllable words. Actually, probability of finding just one cognate
between unconnected languages is exceedingly low, in the range of 1 in a million. The G.Doerfer's
example of the Ket ku-t'u “son” illustrates the point, Cf.
German gatt(e), Anglo-Saxon gad(a)
“comrade, companion”, Türkic qad(ash) “comrade, companion” and the Ket ku-t'(u) “son”.
The reason all these words are cognates is because in a given phonetical form all of them define a
human related to another human. Allowing 100 words in that category, from agnate to spouse within a
10,000 dictionary, makes a probability of one (1) semantic match between 2 languages, like an agnate
in one language being a spouse in another language, 1/100 2 = 1/10,000, two
(2) semantic matches between 2 languages 1/10,0002, = 1/100,000,000, and so on. To have 3
unrelated language with 1 match in each would be 1/100 3 = 1/1,000,000, one in a
million, probability. The probability of a phonetic match in this statistical assessment is
1.0: all three tested languages have the phonetic match. The case of ku-t'u – gatt(e) –
presents a choice: it either is a one in a million probability, or it is a borrowing into 2
languages. Since the European farmers never relocated to the Central Siberia, nor the Ket
hunter-gatherers never migrated in mass to Europe, there remains only one possible reasonable
source: the Kurganians who are archeologically and biologically proven to expand to both areas. The G.Doerfer's
sarcastic example proves the opposite: that the Germanic and Enisean languages were both
enriched by the Türkic horse-riding Kurganians.
b) A case study similar to comment a) above can be made for case b). Historically and
ethnographically, high boots were a hallmark of the nomadic horse-riding attire, widely known from
the annalistic works and archeology, while the southern and northern farmers wore their trademark
sandals and bast shoes respectively. The army of the Alexander the Macedonian conquered southwestern
Asia wearing sandals, as depicted in numerous contemporaneous images. Ötzi wore leather-soled
grass sandals. At his time, with all sizes of leather tubes running around in abundant herds, nomads
did not have a clue of how to make a grass or bast footwear. The Chinese phonetization saɣdaq of the Hunnic for “high boots” echoes the Türkic
for the quiver tube, and they could be possibly interchangeable, especially so because the high
boots doubled as quivers for extra arrows. We should not forget, that the German socke,
English sock, Russian nosok “sock” refers to a footwear tube, the English sack “enclosed
tube, bag”, all have that element saɣ/sag of the Türkic sok-, suk- (v.)
“insert, thrust, fill up, stuff, hide”.
Deprecatingly, the eminent German linguist seeks in the Middle East what lays right under his
own bare feet,
while acclaiming the same Hunnic component in the distant Ket language.
c) The same phonetic problem faced the scholars with the Rosetta and Cuneiform texts. Our difficulties extend
from there to today's English and French. Few scholars were intimidated by problems and declared
them irresolvable. In science, consensus is unproductive, take the geocentric world, flat earth,
creation, ether, etc. The case of the V.Taskin's reading above illustrates that in science, a fresh approach is a way the science works.
d) “Rather than mumbling gossip, better turn to see yourself”. After critiquing a few and suggesting
that all 12 Ket words are cultural borrowings, G.Doerfer still endorsed the loony Ket idea as a “least improbable”.
That verdict G.Doerfer took to his grave, having never retracted his endorsement in spite of the
tremendous progress in the Hunnic studies made between 1973 and 2003.
To reject a candidate language based on a single indicator, like the
prosthetic initial l- in the Chinese renditions, is inconceivable and opposite of any
competent analysis. Since G.Doerfer pretends that we do not have a clue of the Hunnic language, his suggestions on the
reality and direction of borrowing are as loony as the endorsement of the Ket idea. For the l- argument, there are counterindicators: a second high position in the
Ulu Beg/Bek “Great Prince”, is written Lulu Bek (Lulu Wang) in the Sima Qian annals
staring with a liquid. In the Hunnic and Türkic societies, that position was held by the head of the
maternal dynastic clan. Undoubtedly, the initial L- has nothing to do with the Türkic
languages, it reflects the Chinese idiosyncrasies, and thus confuses Sinologists. If we can bravely drop
an auslaut consonant, before jumping to global conclusions we may meekly reassess the need for the initial l-.in
the Chinese records, and on the way may learn a thing or two. Moreover, the presence of the initial
h-/g- in the Hunnic words starting with a vowel in Common Türkic points to a connection to the
Aral-Ural-Caspian Türkic vernaculars, and the same trait of the Germanic and Spanish languages
points to the same linguistically unique area. The Aral-Ural-Caspian linguistic traits reached the
shores of Atlantic and Pacific, probably during the 2nd-1st mill. BC, carried by the people
predominantly marked by the blends of R1a (older, Oguric) and R1b (younger, Oguzic) Y-DNA
haplogroups. The resolution of the subclades allows to date fairly accurately the times of the
genetic splits, with the prongs of the splits geographically carried by demographic waves.
§8. Let's sum up: we can say with confidence that the language of the Huns was not either Türkic
or Mongolian. It is likely that this is an extinct isolated language (as in the case of the Ugaritic
or Sumerian languages). It can not be ruled out that the language of the Huns
(Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) continues to live in
the modern Yenisei-Ostyak language (perhaps, only as an adstrate), but the evidence in favor of
this is either questionable or inadequate.
Since chunks of Sumerian lexicon continue their life in English, other Germanic languages, and in
all 42+ Türkic languages, the news of the Sumerian language death is somewhat premature. In the
agglutinative Germanic (German, Dutch) and all Türkic languages of SOV type, the Sumerian grammar is
also alive and kicking. Ditto with the Hunnic.
§9. Before turning to the question of the origin of the European Huns, a few words about the
ethnonym itself; because it should have been given a particularly important role in solving the
problem of the Hun ethnogenesis. Its etymology is controversial. It is further disputable whether
the name of the Huns (Ουννοι, Hunni, etc.) is identical to the ethnonym of the
Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) and how this
latter should be etymologized. It is often assumed that the Huns are mentioned in a private Sogdian
letter of the 4th c. AD
(329 AD text) as Xwn37, which is identical sei, the Chinese
hïn, but not identical to the Hsiung-nu38. Moreover, it is not
entirely clear whether it is possible to equate the Ptolemy (II century) name Χουνοι and the name
Ouννοι, Ηunni, in Priscus and Jordan (5th and 6th cc.), and
whether these peoples represented the same thing or not (E. Shafer, E.Moore39,
others speak in favor of their identity, the opposite position is by G.-W.Haussig). In
addition, the name of the Huns is so often found in so many different places that the identity of
the Huns of Attila and all these peoples can not be a limine (from the threshold) recognized as
obvious. (Why such prejudice? They all were kins, at least linguistically
and culturally, accustomed to far routs in their normal life)
We will not deal with all these vast problems, but confine ourselves to the Huns of the era of
Attila and the Empire of Attila, let's say, Pannonia of the 5th c. Until we are in a position,
for example, to compare the language of the Huns of Ptolemy with the language of the Priscus Huns,
do not know anything about their identity; the same is true of the Caucasian Huns of the 6th c.
A large number of the Türkic tribes carried the term Hun during the historic past, it is apparent that the term is a
collective classifier, similar to the terms Goth/Got/Guz/Uz “Tribe”, Alan, As “Low-Lander”, Takhar,
Saka “Highlander”. Thus, it became clear that the term Hun refers to kindred tribes: in the written sources all or nearly all
Old Türkic tribes (Türks, Kirkuns,
Agach-eri, On-ok, Tabgach, Comans, Yomuts, Tuhses, Kuyan, Sybuk, Lan, Kut, Goklan, Orpan, Ushin and
others) carried the name “Huns”, rendered in Chinese as “giuən” and “kiən”. Yu. Zuev (1960) came to a conclusion that because nearly every tribe of
the Hunnic circle had the name Hun appended to the name of the tribe
“the term “Hun” in each separate case was equivalent to the self-name of a tribe, but at the same
time it was a wider concept, reflecting a certain commonality of the ethnic origin.” Other
cognates of the word Hun are the Goth. kuni “family, race”, English kin “kindred,
relative, related”, and the Türkic hun/hün, kun/kün “kin”.
He came to a conclusion that the name Hun is
a generic term for “kindred tribes” [Yu.A.
Zuev, Ethnic History of the Usuns,
Works of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazakh SSR, History, Archeology And Ethnography Institute,
Alma-Ata, Vol. 8, 1960]. The mystery of the notion “Hun” was broken in 1960, but since his
essay stayed uncorrected, apparently G.Doerfer
remained unwitting neither in 1960s nor in 2003.
The term “Hun” had a time dimension, prior
to being an empire, the term applied to any ethnically related group, like in the today's lingo
“Are your new neighbors Americans or what?”. In such a question, “Americans” includes
any Caucasian European extract. With the rise of the empire, the term grew to include allegiance.
Thus, in some contexts Tibetans and Syanbi could be called “Huns”. That is the case with the
European Hunnic empire, the Germanic tribes, including the Anglo-Saxons, Slavs, etc., politically
were Huns. With the fragmentation of the empire, many ethnicities regained their ethnic names, on
the European scene appear Vandals, Burgunds, Alans, Bulgars, Akathirs, Savirs, and then Sclaveni.
They continued to be kins, i.e. “Huns”, but the ethnic name “Hun” was retained only by some tribes,
like the Caucasus Savirs and many others who retained their Hunnic ethnicity in their Sherjere,
the family nominalias.
These temporal gradations are rather unrelated to the linguistics, and trying to pinpoint the
language of the random source is fairly pointless. The same event would be described differently by
Slavic, Germanic, or a Türkic informer.
But the reference to the Caucasian Huns is quite different, due to the Armenian, other local,
and Byzantine sources. They relay that the Huns joined Masguts at about 150 AD as an allied force,
by about 300 AD they were already a leading force under the Masgut command, and came on the top
during the Persian invasions of the next century. The Caucasus Huns are also called Caspian Huns and
Scythian Huns. The moniker Scythian Huns, where Scythian is a generic for horse-riding nomads,
positively attests that the Caspian Huns were Türkic-speaking horse pastoralists.
European attempts to reconstruct the old Chinese phonetics largely failed, with limited
confirmed successes, and definitely can't be relied upon to phoneticise neither individual lexemes
nor a coherent text, although any success must be celebrated. A main reason must be in the
interpretation of the term Chinese, which of the numerous Chinese languages are called Chinese and
used as an umbrella term. When two Chinese need to turn to the sign language pictures to exchange
phrases, phonetics is mute, reconstructions speculative, and every philological speculation at best
§10. However, even confining ourselves to the European Huns, we are faced with a multitude of
questions. But it is possible to raise these issues (and see these problems) only on condition that
we first develop clear concepts. Therefore, in the following discussion, I will strive to
a) The language names; example: English, although it is the language of several peoples
(English, North Americans, etc.), this name is a monolithic termin, i.e. in spite of the
dialectal differences, something essentially unified, integral. Further, this name is both
diachronic and synchronous (the English language existed earlier and exists nowadays),
it is genuine (indeed, this name English is used by the Anglosaxes themselves). The word “Anglo-Saxon” and “Anglo-Sax” could also, of course, be a designation of the language and its
b) Ethnonyms; example: Englishmen. Here the same definitions apply as for the names of languages
(synchronous and diachronic, authentic, monolithic). But still, by means of ethnonyms, they
designate national, and not linguistic, communities;
c) Names of states; examples: United Kingdom, Switzerland. Synchronous and diachronic, authentic,
but not (necessarily) monolithic (can, if necessary, include a number of languages and peoples).
The same applies to the words “Briton”,“Swiss”;
d) “Wandering” names; examples: Prussians, French, Bulgarians. These names arose as a result of
historical contacts, but now they have lost their former significance. (The Prussians are no longer Balts, the French are not Franks, Bulgarians are not Bulgarians-Turks). They are diachronic in
origin, authentic, not necessarily (but often) monolithic;
e) Collective names: synchronous, non-genuine, non-monolithic. They are “inauthentic” insofar as
they have no support in the self-names of the respective peoples (or linguistic communities)
(Cf. Germans, Türkic “manly, strong”), but
are based on ignorance or indifference towards sources. Thus, all Brits (including Scots, Welsh,
etc.) in Germany are often identified by a word corresponding to the Russian “Englishmen”. Often,
these collective names are the consequence of the fact that the ethnonym of the predominant element
in the state is mistakenly used as the name of the state (more precisely, as a designation of the
citizen of the state). Such a phenomenon has, for example, a place when in our
time the citizens of the USSR are called “Russians”, in contrast, the word “Russian” applied, for example, in pre-revolutionary Russia
to a Ukrainian it seems was a correct
designation of a citizen of the country. But the situation is different with the designation “Bulgarian”. Of course, it is “incorrect” to the extent that Bulgarians are not Bulgarians-Turks;
but this is a correct self-name, and therefore - a “wandering” name; The latter could previously be
used by foreigners also as a collective name. The predominant elites do not necessarily have to be
the most numerous;
e) Portable name: diachronic, unauthentic. Such designations are a consequence of the fact that
the names of peoples known from ancient times were transferred (due to ignorance, indifferent
attitude or for the purpose of conscious humiliation) to peoples who were similar to the peoples
known before, left the same country, etc. Such portable names are often found in Byzantine
literature. Thus, the word Σκυθαι (Scythians) denotes42 the Huns of Attila, Kutrigur, Utigur,
Onogur, Türks (who, strictly speaking, should have been called Τουρκοι), Avar, Khazar,
Bulgarians, Hungarians, Pechenegs, Uzes, Κomans, Seljuks, Mongols, Ottomans, and also
Slavs, Russes43 (and, of course, the Scythians themselves). The name Τουρκοι, Türk, on the other
hand, means not only the ancient Türks, but also the Khazars, Hungarians, Ottomans, etc. (and, in
addition, Muslim sources also include Mordva, Ostyaks, Tibetans, and the Russes).44
Thus, the same designation applies to different peoples; and the same people appear under different
names.45 An example of a pejorative portable name: during the First World War, the Germans were called “Huns”. However, it is often very difficult to draw a line between collective and portable
g) Other names: in the sources repeatedly appeared appellations, which do not correspond to the
self-names of these or other peoples. Partly this is due to the fact that any nation was named after
a first encountered part, (for example, the French call the Germans Allemands - Alemanni, Finns -
Saksalaiset - Lower-Saxons). However, there are also names that now
no longer have any relation to the peoples concerned, be it nicknames (e.g. derisive,
such as Samoyed (Self-eating)) or (rarely encountered) the taboo
names. I would consider to be a taboo the name “Tatars” in the western sources
in respect to the Mongols of the 13th-14th cc. Although Tatars themselves
were, in fact, exterminated (see below about this), their name became a generally accepted
appellation for the Mongols, their sworn enemies. It is possible that the Mongols themselves chose
it to avoid retribution from the deities of the conquered countries (after extermination of so many
people). According to E.Haenisch46, the Mongols, feigning to be Tatars to the Russians and other
peoples wanted to direct the fury of the local gods towards the antagonistic tribe. Of course,
portable names also represent other people's names, but they arise for different historical reasons;
h) Random coincidence of names. This phenomenon occurs, perhaps, not so often, but it should be
borne in mind. If two units appear under the same or two similar names, then this is not necessarily
causal (i.e., due to any contacts), or may be a result of a pure coincidence. Examples are
found in O.Menchen-Helfen48: Walloons and Welshmen, Venice (in German:
Venedig) and the country of
the Venedi; the author also cites a number of cases that I would classify as wandering or
portable names. Examples of such coincidences are easily found in any list of tribal names. For
example, the Evenki-Russian dictionary49 has such clan names as Alagir (compare
(Cf. Baghdad), Kantagir (compare Cantabria), but if the names of clearly
unrelated peoples can be wholly or in part, etc., which are very far removed from each other
geographically, then, of course, one can never rule out that the names of such peoples can coincide,
which (in time one after another) appeared approximately on the same territory, that is, for example
, the names 2nd c. Χουνοι and 5th c. Ουννοι.
In the O. Maenchen-Helfen's favorite expression, it is a complete galimatia.
The rigid classification offered by G.Doerfer is a pile of nonsense. Every ethnonym exists in time,
and changes with time. Every ethnonym at any given time has a range of overlapping meanings. To
create a rigid table and place a single ethnonym in each cell is ridiculous even if each ethnonym was a
single dot in time instead of a continuous curve with numerous trunks: Deutsch is not
German, but Celtic “folk”; German is not German, but
Ogur Türkic “manly”, while today's German Türks are Germans; Mesopotamian Türüks
are not the Türks of the First Kaganate and not the Ottoman Türks, Ptolemy's Chuni are neither the Western Huns nor the
Eastern Huns, etc.
It is impossible to compress the subject of onomastics into 8 brief
paragraphs, and then refer to them as qualifiers or premises to serve as a logical backbone. Some of the justifications are
erroneous, like the Alans “Low-Lander, Steppe people” and Alagir ~ Alats, Khalages,
Nuristani Kalasha, and more, lit. “Motley (horses)”, both ethnonyms of very prominent Türkic tribes of antiquity.
A brave linguist dipping into ethnic history first needs to learn how to swim.
Or the anecdotal citations on Tatars “Aliens”, a term used across Eurasia a
millennium before Mongols came to the scene. In the 6th c. AD the local term Tatars applied
to agglomerates of various refugees in the western part of the modern Mongolia, where refugees could
find some safety. Like the Altai, that area was gaining refugees from every cataclysm that impacted
nomadic masses, including fractionation of the Hunnic state, internecine wars in the First Türkic
Kaganate, the fall of the Second Kaganate, the fall of the Uigur Kaganate, etc. The introducer of
the term Mongol and the founder of the Mongol state Chingiz Khan of the clan Borjigin, a
descendent of the Uigur dynastic line Djalair, was marked with the R1b Y-DNA haplogroup typical for
the Tele-descendent tribes. Chingiz Khan's ancestors fled to the Tatars and too became a component
of the Tatar “Aliens” safe from the pursuit of the Kirgizes and Chinese. In the Eastern Europe, the Türkic
term Tat, Tatar was used by the Türkic, Slavic, and all other populations to designate
strangers. It just happened that those “strangers” were mostly the handy Türkic tribes at the
disposal of Chingiz Khan. Derogatory fabrications are not helpful to the thesis of the work.
§11. We, the modern Europeans, are generally accustomed to established concepts and to
unambiguous ethnonyms (for example, the Italian, the Greek, the Swede); categories in points a)
through c) that we know well, and we are too inclined to operate only in
them in all circumstances. However, in ancient (and not only eastern) sources, we very often
encounter phenomena that are reflected in less stable categories, discussed in points
d) through h).
So, for example, in the Mongolian “Secret History” (13th c.) “Mongols” are called a
small tribe (from which, by the way, Genghis Khan came out (sic!)), i.e. it is an ethnonym. In later Muslim
sources (in particular, Rashid ad-Din, 16th c.) this word
is used as a name for peoples who spoke the same language as the Mongols (Oirats, Tatars,
etc., i.e. it was already the name of the language), and, on the other hand, with respect to all these “Mongols”
sometimes the collective name “Türks” is used. However, due to historical contacts,
the word “Mongols” has become a “wandering” name: among the Uzbeks in Afghanistan51 and among the Evenks, it appears as the name of the clans (in the latter, according to G.M. Vasilevich52:
Mongo, Mongoli, Mungal; although that may also partially be a coincidence)
(no, it is an originally Mongol clan among Evenks, like a Turkish clan in Germany is not called
Türklar). Of course, in the sources of the
11th-131th cc. the word “Mongols” also appears as the name of the state: thus, the “Mongolian” warriors of the Golden Horde were overwhelmingly Turks53, but nevertheless subjects of the
Mongolian empire (hence, in this case, this word also acts as a collective name). Thus, if the
modern population of the Tatar ASSR is called Tatars,; then this name arose not by language - at
least in the historical aspect. However, from different angles of view, this name can be interpreted
as wandering, portable, and alien.
Eastern names are very often ambiguous. So, the Khalajas, on the one hand, are the Türkic
people in the Central Iran, and on the other - also a Kurdish tribe in the Northeastern Iran. The author
of this work collected linguistic material from both varieties of Khalaj. Any historical contacts
between the two can not be traced. Therefore, it is also unclear whether Halaji, Hilgi of India were
Turks or Kurds, or it was some third people. (Originally Khalaj/Alat people
assimilated to Kurdish. Eastern names are not a problem, special case interpretation is) “Tatars” was originally called a small Mongol-speaking
tribe (Otuz Tatars “Confederation of 30 Tatar (tribes)” were mentioned as a
large principality in
the Orkhon inscriptions, 400 years before they could become Mongols), which was destroyed by Genghis Khan as an ethnic unit (only women and young children were
left alive and then assimilated) (that is nonsense, only the nearest
population could be exterminated); their name, now transferred to many Türkic tribes
(in the alien lingo based on ignorance or indifference only, a special
case), is at the same
time wandering, and, for example, in Russian sources in application to the Mongols of the 15th c.. tabooed (stranger) (see above). Often there is enough insignificant contact between the
tribes, so that the name begins to “wander”, often the most insignificant historical relationships
are enough to give sources a reason to transfer names and use them as collective names.
This is precisely what happened with the name of the Huns54 (though, of course, some
role could also have been accidental). As most probable I consider the following hypothesis: the
name of the “Hun” probably belonged to the speakers of a certain language (see §20), in the same way
that once it was an ethnonym, but it is also known (see §12) that the Hun Empire united many nations,
races and languages, and therefore the “Huns” was also the name of the state or a collective name
(not all subjects of the empire, who were simply called “Huns”, were ethnically or language-based)
(Like the British empire, Russia, or USA or any state anywhere in the
But this name could also “wander” or be used as portable (it is not clear whether the Caucasian Huns were
“Huns”, see below).
Let's see in how this name is used by Yu.Moravchik. It turns out that the word
1) the Huns of the Attila Empire and its predecessors (sometimes it is definitely the name
of the language or the ethnonym, if, of course, Attila is called Hun, but in general it is
rather the name of the state, referring to all subjects of this multiracial empire; it is unclear to
what extent Ouννοι is a portable name from Ptolemy's Χουνοι);
2) “Huns” in the most general sense (cases (d), (e), (g));
3) Some people belonging to the Huns, who are not called more specifically (it is hardly a name of
the language, rather a collective, and sometimes portable name);
6) Ephtalites (No 4-6 - these are the peoples living near Iran, in part collective names, partly - portable
7) Akatthirs (Akathirs);
11) Kutrigurs (No 7-11 are collective or, more likely, portable names, see §19);
people who lived in the 15th c. next to the Alans (No 12-20 - portable names).
Now it is clear to us how multilayer the problem is of interest to us. If individuals or tribes in
the sources are called “Huns”, we can in no case unconditionally associate this word with the name
of the language or take it for an ethnonym and interpret all “Hun” names as a Hun language material.
Probably to make a case for “We don't have a clue” the best way is to maximize unknowns and
minimize the number of equations as much as possible. To muddy waters and use demagoguery is a trade of a con artist,
not unheard of in science. Quite
a few of the 20 are either known or well known:
Akathirs fled to the
Crimea, to Ottomans, and finally to Persia, where they are still domicile; they were forest-dwelling
Scythians, not Huns; they probably belonged to the R1b Sarmatian circle; their name is an
Savirs aka Caucasus Huns played a leading role in the pre-Khazar, Khazar, and post-Khazar history,
fought with the incipient Rus for the leadership, lost, and either joined the Itil Bugars (Suvars) or assimilated
with the Slavic population of the Ukraine;
Onogurs were a Sarmat confederation of 10 tribes - unrelated to Huns;
Utigurs were an East Wing of the Hunnic state, a supra-ethnic assembly of the Hun state;
Kutrigurs were a West Wing of the Hunnic state, a supra-ethnic assembly of the Hun state;
and so on. A multilayer is the history, not the problem. Don't blame “the problem” for the
§12. From the Hun language, three common nouns and a material consisting of about 100 names of
tribes and personal names reached us. As for their identification, the following hypotheses exist on
A) They were Mongols (H.Degin (see §4), P.-S.Pallas, B.Bergman and others)
( §12A) Mongols, Not addressed);
B) Finns (Abel-Remusat, V. de Saint-Martin)
( §12B) Finns, Not addressed);
C) Slavs (Y. Venelin, A. Weltman, I.E.Zabelin, D.I.Ilovaisky, V.M.Florinsky)
( §12C) Slavs);
D) Hungarians, as well as Caucasians (Lezgins, Avars), they were supposed to be the ancestors of the
Hungarians (J.Klaproth , a similar position in P.P.Semenov-Tianshansky)
( §12D) Hungarians/Caucasians, Not addressed);
E) They were a mixture of Türks and Finns (K.Inostrantsev)
( §12E) Türks/Finns, Not addressed);
F) They were Caucasians (E.Moore)57
( §12F) Caucasians);
G) They were Türks-Bulgarians (O.Pritsak58, V.V.Bartold59, N.I.Ashmarin60)
( §12G) Türks-Bulgarians);
H) In the opinion of Fr.Altheim and R.Stiehl61, the languages of the Huns (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) and Huns - is the
Old Türkic language that “has long been established”. This is the most frequently encountered
point of view, earlier it had especially many supporters: K.Tiuss, A.Kunik, F.Muller, V.Tomashek,
M.Sokolov, F.Y.Korsh, V.F.Miller, V.Vasilevsky, G.E.Vithersheim (with the addition of Finnish and
Tungus elements), A.Vamberi, V.V.Radlov, N.A.Aristov, and J.Nemeth62. Even O.Menchen-Helfen, usually
inclined more toward skepticism, is convinced that the decisive component of the Huns were the
( §12H) Türks).
Below we will talk about the points of view (§12C)
Türks-Bulgarians) and (§12H)
Old Türkic). In favor of one of them you can
find some evidence (§12C)
Slavs), point of view
( §12H) Türks) is very common, and the rest
( §12F) Caucasians) and
( §12G) Türks-Bulgarians) have gained
supporters not so long ago.
First of all, it is clear: the Hun Empire was definitely as
multi-ethnic and multilingual as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which later occupied the same
territory. Hence, it can not be about establishing the language of a single multi-ethnic state, but
about revealing the predominant and primordially Hunnic component: it could be (in this I am in
agreement with Yu.Moravchik65) on the
language of a very small dominant layer. Scientists of the most diverse areas are unanimous in that
the Hun Empire had a motley genetic and linguistic composition.66 (And which empire did not? By definition...
So we would argue the language of the British or Russian Empire? Funny...)
|An easily discerned and well-documented difference between the European
and Northern Asian polities was that the first was driven by greed and ambitions to dominate, while
the second was driven by an impulse to unite kindred and allied tribesmen. The first type did not
have any limits, the second type was limited by the extent of the kindred populations. In both cases
alien influences could somewhat debase the backbone motivation, but could not override it. In
execution of both greed and unification, a primary difference was the nature of the target
population: the farmers and cities were sitting ducks waiting for conquest, while the pastoralists
could easily escape since mobility was their livelihood. Darius, for example, could not catch the
Scythians (516 - 513 BC), the As-Tochar coalition (Ch. Yuezhi 月氏) fled form the Huns back to the
Aral (2nd c. BC), Sarmatians fled from the Jeskazgan-type invader assault to the Central Europe (2nd
c. BC), Huns dissipated from the Chinese-organized pursuits to Altai, Sayans, Aral, Caucasus, and
Upper Itil eventually reaching Scythians and Germans (1st c. BC - 2nd c. AD), Avars fled from the
Aral to Pannonia (6th c. AD), etc. The way for
pastoralists to unite was to gain allies, while the non-Türkic interspersed sedentary and hunter-gatherer
populations were not incorporated into the state and were held as autonomous tributaries.
Three Hunnic appellatives ( §12C) Slavs)
§13. Most likely, the three words described as Hunnic are Slavic. I will arrange them in descending order
the probability degree of a Slavic origin.
a) strava '(Attila's) wake, Sl. trizna'. In Jordan67: “After he was mourned by such
lamentations, they conduct a strava (as they call it themselves) on his kurgan, accompanying
it with a huge feast.” Now, attempts to find Gothic etymology for this word have already been
abandoned. It is not noted in the common German language. The attempt to find a Türkic explanation,
to connect it with the Karaim root astra- 'to hide, to bury' is also unsuccessful. This is
the Mongolian borrowing, which came to the Turks in the 13th c.69 Further, the
Moor assertion70 that this word can't be etymologized is erroneous . Nor can it be
ascended to the
Slavic “trizna” (the objection of D.I.Ilovaysky71). Mistaken is also its comparison with the Bulgarian zdravitsa 'salutation toast', offered by Fr.Altheim and R.
Stiehl72 (the latter is
derived from the zdrav 'healthy').
The word rendered as strava is ya:sturbar “conduct mourning, lamentation” of the
root ya:s/ya:s- (n., v) “mourning, lamentation, mourn, lament” + causative/active
voice verbal suffix -dur-/-dür-/-tur- + suffix (or postposition) bar-/ber-/-var/-va:r
“bear, carry, convey, give” (Cf.
elteber “viceroy” lit. “lead-bear”,
yala:var “envoy”), the initial b- is articulated
v- in the Southwestern Türkic languages: Azeri, Ottoman, it is a marker attesting to the word's
articulatory origin from the Black Sea-Caspian area (G.Clauson 1972 p. 973.). The auslaut -r
is elided, typical for the Sarmat vernaculars, that also corroborates the origin from the Black
Sea-Caspian basin. Semantics is perfect for a funeral feast and phonetics is near-perfect. Some
phonetic differences are unavoidable in internalization, transmission, and rendition. Hence the
Slavic articulation strava.
Ya:sturbar is translated to Slavic as plach (ïëà÷) “weeping”, Cf.
Yaroslavna's lament in the "Lay of Igor's Host" (Ïëà÷ ßðîñëàâíû â “Ñëîâå î ïîëêó Èãîðåâå”).
It is an element of the funeral ritual. The
“funeral feast” is not a feast, but a part of the mourning ritual, of ïš-töri-
“arrangement”, to equip the deceased with the travel necessities for a travel to Tengri for
reincarnation. Hence the Slavic articulation strava.
By some smile of fate, a word synonymous with ya:sturbar is sığta:r,
causative form of the verb sığta:- “weep, lament, bewail, grieve, mourn”, a denoun
verb from sığıt “weeping, lamentation”. With the same suffix -bar it would
form the word sığta:rbar-/sığta:rvar- “conduct mourning, lamentation”, a sığta:rva-
with -v- articulation, and strava- in a consonantal language like Slavic. In both cases
semantics is perfect for a funeral feast, and phonetics is near-perfect. Some phonetic differences
are unavoidable in internalization, transmission, and rendition. The only problem with sığta:r
is that it is unattested, while the ya:stur is numerously attested.
In addition to its prime meaning, the word yasturbar is loaded with homophony and numerous semantic echoes: is
“comrade, companion”, iš
“task, business”, istä-
“to desire”, ïš-töri- (tautological compound) “commit, arrange”, ïšla-
“to fume, smoke”, ast “bottom, lower surface, beneath”, i.e. grave, underworld,
netherworld, Hades; these applications of the root ïš formed the Slavic word
ustroit (óñòðîèòü) “organize, arrange” that has no other no etymology. The Tengrian ritual
of sending off the deceased to Tengri for reincarnation conveyed sending off with the smoke the
spirit of the deceased along with his travel necessities of food, transportation, tools, and
utensils. It was the most important religious ritual for the deceased, and his people.
Statistically, to have a single coincidence for a 6-phoneme word in two unrelated languages is
near impossible. To have two such words is truly miraculous. Notably, the other speculations on the origin of the strava are either
appallingly vague, like the “sounds like Slavic” to an alien ear, or appeal to an earthly literal translation like “food, eating, feast” etc.
or suggest odd things like some undefined Mongolian origin. That is, after dismissing the only real funeral
sacrament word ystrau “funeral feast” retained in the Karaim language, and its homophone astra-
“to bury”. Hence a third way to the Slavic articulation strava.
However, in R.Trautman we read: Ostrava is nothing but a Slavic word, which we later find in the Old
Polish language: strewa 'epulae, feralis' (delicate, wild) (memorial meal) and in the Old Bohemian: strva 'funeral
service')72. According to L.Niderle, this word is the Slavic name of the feast in memory of the
deceased, and the fact that it is used by the Jordan, shows that “Attila's subjects in Central
Hungary must have been Slavs then73”. It is recorded in many Slavic languages, one root with
'digest' (s-trava) (which is why T. Mommsen's assumption that the Slavs borrowed it from Goths is
not realistic) and has a clearly European origin. Many other Slavists also consider the Hunnic
strava a Slavic word. In that it is Slavic, there can not be the slightest doubt. Another
solution could only be a consequence of an explicit prejudice. To show skepticism here would be
completely inappropriate. (To show too much skepticism is uncritical).
G.Doerfer's enthusiasm toward Slavic origin of strava is not justified:
- digest is not the best term to send off your parent to the Heavenly Thor or Tengri
- the Slavic root
trav- means something like “poison” in most if not all of the Slavic languages, while it
means something like “gastric digestion” in few at the most, and ultimately only in a single
language if Polish and Czech are viewed before, say, the 8th c. AD. That oddity attests to the word
strawić (Pol.), strávit (Cz.) to be a loanword. In no case it means anything close to
“meal, feast, dinner”, or the like, it rather means “consume, forage”, and is a derivative of the
(Pol.), trava (Cz.) “grass”. It can be held that
ya:sturbar and strawić/strávit/trawienie/trávení are rather homophones, with a particular
Slavic group conflating a strange word with their native Slavic word, and with an informer passing in
good faith that peculiar form to a stranger unfamiliar with neither Hunnic nor Slavic
- we know nothing about the Slavic pre-historic (pre-literate) and little about the Slavic early
historic funeral tradition (pre-9th c. AD), and nothing of a tradition matching the Türkic/Kurgan
attested tradition of furnishing the deceased with a kurgan and a funeral feast. The Slavic word
rites from the death to the years after death, including body washing and dressing, klad
(firewood steeple), cremation, pot with ashes set on a pillar at a crossroad, and a series of pominki
(wakes) held at certain times for months or years. Wakes, including banquet, were held as public
events, under a generic term trizna with a specific meaning “wake”. Of the 28 local Slavic
terms for “wake”, none has any connection with the word strava.
Other than a flight of fantasy, there is no reason to suspect a Slavic term for a key event not in
the Slavic funeral tradition.
- the all-Germanic wake (wache, vagne, wekker, väckning, etc.) is not using a sememe
“digestion” or “eat” or “feast” for the wake “funeral feast” ritual. It is somewhat puzzling that
counter to their own experience, German linguists tried to explore only literally the Priscus'
translation of the alien word. A myopic approach could only bring myopic results. The English word wake is probably a cognate of the
Basque beila, a cognate of the English wail, howl, yell, a cognate of the Türkic yel (n.) “wind, demonic (howl)”
expressing the mourning lamentation.
the case of the Karaim root astra- “to hide, to bury” at the beginning of the
Türkic homophonic line can't be dismissed offhand, because among the Türkic
homophones ultimately stands out the root ya:s- (v.) that leads to the Karaim ystrau “funeral feast”, its
Türkic root ya:s- “mourning, lamentation, mourn, lament” and leads to its
full derivative ya:sturbar “conduct mourning, lamentation”
- the case for the ya:sturbar is as speculative as is the case for the Slavic strava,
since neither one can be independently corroborated with a back-up testimony, but unlike the strava,
it is not an oddball, it is a root widely used across all Türkic languages, it is grammatically
consistent with the attested Türkic morphology and syntax, consistent with the Türkic morphological
rules, truly reflects the archeologically and ethnographically attested funeral rites, and the
underlying etiological base.
The G.Doerfer's preamble that he “can state no more than my own opinion” is
true, and here it must be obvious that his judgment badly fails a requirement of objectivity. By
1973, all linguistic elements were in place, the ya:s = “mourning, lamentation” was
explicitly recorded twice, for Chagatai and Horezmian records, the suffixes were registered and
annotated (Old Türkic Dictionary, 1969; G.Clauson, 1972), and the path was widely open to pursue examination further.
In an objective assessment, an arbitrary decision to dismiss one hypothesis in favor of another can't stand.
b) medos 'drink of the Hun country inhabitants, met'. Prisk77 says: “Instead of wine
the country had a commonly accepted (drink) called met (μεδος)” (in the hut of a modest inhabitant, not, say, at
What is the origin of this word? It is certainly Indo-European78
(Indo-Germanic). And, of course, similar forms are
found in many Indo-European (Indo-Germanic) languages. So, in the dictionary of Pokornyj79 we find the Slav
but there are also Celtic (for example, the Cymrian (Cymr.) medd) and all-German (for example, Anglo-Saxon
meodo, Old High German metu and Gothic *medus ?). This word could, of course, also exist in
the Phrygian language.
In addition to V.G.Vasil'evskii (who regards it as Slavic or Thracian) and E.Moore80 (who
indecisively calls it Indo-European), almost all researchers agree that it should be regarded as
Slavic, and this point of view is closest to the truth81. Otherwise, we should have argued that
although the words strava and medos are both Indo-European (which they are quite obvious)
(or Chinese, obvious), they come
from some other Indo-European language and only occasionally both appear in Slavic languages (and
here only these two words) in the exact form they should be.
The IE idea to a linguist can only come in a bad dream under high fever. The
most wild “point of view is closest to the truth”. G.Doerfer's
support for the claim to the Indo-European fame
(Indo-Germanic in the G.Doerfer's lingo) fails miserably. The word medos
is dozen of millenniums older than the budding of the IE languages (3rd mill. BC, Corded Ware
period), and its spread is far beyond the teeny footprint of the IE languages even as late as of the 10th c. AD:
(ca 15th mill. BC) miski, michqui (ONP Y-DNA haplogroup, ancestor of R haplogroup)
Sumerian, Akkadian (ca 5th mill. BC) matqu (honey), mudgi (sweetness) (R1b Y-DNA
Celtic (ca 5th mill. BC) mil, mez
(R1b Y-DNA haplogroup)
European IE (ca 3rd mill. BC) met, mead, med (polemized Y-DNA haplogroups, the I hg almost
Etruscan (1st mill. BC) mathkva (honey-like), math (honeyed wine) (detected Near
Eastern G, J2 Y-DNA haplogroups)
Finno-Ugrian mez, mete, mesi,
mede (N Y-DNA haplogroup)
Coptic abat (m/b alternation)
Türkic bal, mir, mis (m/b alternation) (R1a, b Y-DNA haplogroup)
Japanese amai (sweet) (D Y-DNA haplogroup)
Chinese mi (honey) (O Y-DNA haplogroup)
As of today, the majority of the Earth's people who
use the word medos
are Chinese, and the IE speakers are badly split and barely stay somewhere in the runner-up category. As to the
Hunnic language, population probably used the commercial term of the local suppliers, and the form
mead/med in that context is quite credible: the steppe nomadic Huns did not engage in
apiculture, but consumed huge quantities of honey, especially for body preservation while the ground
is frozen. The term could co-exist with the allophonic Hunnic-Türkic bal, mir, mis, as a
regional sermo franco.
c) The most difficult and most unreliable is, finally, the word kamon
(καμον) (hardly kamos (καμος)) 'drink of the Hun country
inhabitants'. Priscus says82: “A drink from barley, the barbarians call it kamon.”
The interpretation of this word is difficult already because in Latin in the
cc. in the pre-Hunnic era, the word camum was known as the name of one drink of the Peonians
(a teeny group of a district size in today's Macedonia, with its own
Should we think that in Priscus we are dealing with academic reminiscence (a form of citation)? I
think that this is hardly possible (his story is based on his own experience, and he leads him again
in the hut of the barbarian). The Celtic, Thracian (or Illyrian) origin of this word is unprovable;
that point of view now anyone is hardly defends. However, often a suggestion is made about its
Türkic origin (qïmïz 'kumiss')83; quite often they write erroneously
qumïz (but this is only
A fallacy of presenting the 42+ Türkic languages spread across 12 time zones
articulating the same word exactly the same is obvious, for comparison just look at the nicely fitting into
compact 2 time zones the Germanic linguistic group with its spectrum of articulations and language
Against the hypothesis of a Türkic origin, one can object the following.
Semantics - Hunnic “barley beer” and Türkic “fermented and fermented mare's milk” - hardly have
anything in common. True, this shortcoming might not be as insurmountable as Fr. Altheim and R.Stiehl showed. You can never completely exclude a semantic shift.
A second meaning of kumiss,
kumyshka (êóìûñ, êóìûøêà) is “beer suds”, which is applicable exactly to the “barley beer” (E.
Shipova, 1976, Dictionary of Türkisms in Russian Language, Alma-Ata, “Science”, p. 208). The Türkic bo:r as generic fermented alcoholic drink was a precursor term for
the Germanic beer and the Türkic
“wine”. Also, since Germanic beer, bier is a cognate of the Slavic braga (áðàãà)
“home-made barley beer”, a cognate of the
Türkic Chuvash peraqa “marc, suds” and of the English marc “mash” (with m/b
alternation) also applied to “liquid beer” (M.Vasmer, 1953-55, 1, 205), the northwestern European
terms in general and Germanic terms in particular for beer, kumiss/kumys,
and booze are indelibly connected. The last, booze, appear in Middle English, Middle
Dutch bouse, Slavic buzit (áóçèòü), and Türkic buz- (v.), all “drink
heavily, misbehave”. Such directional massive paradigmatic transfer of the Türkic alcoholic lexicon
to particular European linguistic groups can't be ignored or dismissed offhandedly.
2. Since the word kamon, camum was recorded in Pannonia in the pre-Hunnic time, the Huns (or “Huns”) could at best borrow from the ancestral inhabitants. And the latter were by no means Turks.
Therefore, Fr.Altheim refused to identify the word kamon with the Türkic qumïz85.
A dogma that the ancestral inhabitants were by no means Türkic was
reliably crushed by 2015 by a tragic discovery that the Kurgan people were in fact the ancestors of
the Y-DNA R1b modern people in Europe. The ethnological continuity in all imaginable aspects between
the Kurgans and the Türkic horsemen pastoralists is attested archeologically, literary, and
biologically. The naive Fr.Altheim's premise was a result of a parochial ideological warfare that occupied
the larger part of the past two millennia. Counterindicators were a plenty, especially so in the
ignored linguistic base, and the qumïz/kamon may be one of such attestations, a foreign
word adjusted for local articulation and syntax millenniums before the Hun migration. The alternate
terms for the very word kurgan linguistically attest to the Türkic-European amalgamation:
- besides English tumulus, the Türkic tumlu “tomb” is
Dutch tombe, Danish tomben; Irish tuama; Old French tombe, Italian tomba, Sp tumba, Late Latin
tumba; Greek tymbos “kurgan, cairn”; Azeri türbə, Turkish türbe; Mongolian tuun “tomb”,
- besides English mengir, the Türkic meŋgü “memorial monument, stela”, from
meŋü, beŋü “memorial”, is Breton menhir , Welsh maen hir, Cornish medn hir,
- besides English grave, the Türkic gür “grave” with allophones gör/gür/kör/xöor
“grave, ditch, cave”, is A.-Sax. græf
(Middle Ages to 17th c.) “grave, ditch, cave”, Old Saxon graf,
Old Frisian gref, Dutch graf,
Danish grav, German grab, Icelandic
gröf, Norwegian, Swedish grav, Old High German grab “grave, tomb”, Old Norse gröf
“cave”, Gothic graba
“ditch”; Welsh garnedd, carnedd “burial kurgan”; Lithuanian, Slavic grob “grave”; Old Curch Slavonic grobu, grobnica
With such dispersion of articulative and syntactic variations, qumïz/kamon is just
another illustration of the stochastic ways for internalization.
3. Moreover, the vocalism of the Türkic
qïmïz does not fit the word kamon, rather the Greek *χιμις should be expected.
Perhaps this word should also be interpreted
as Slavic (of course, not the way D.I.Ilovaiski did it86, who raised
it to the Russian word kvass). In this connection, I think of the Slavic word
kom87, which generally means 'lump', but in some languages in the main or derived forms the
meaning is 'grape squeezers' (Serb. kom, Bulgarian komon, Czech kominy); in Serbia from the “kom”
is produced vodka komovica88.
However, the remoteness of the meaning of “barley beer” - “squeezed” can be overcome only with the
help of the bold assumption that the word “kom” could earlier also denote barley mass, and therefore
the very beer that is brewed from it.
On the Peonians, i.e. the population of Paeonia see: Paulys Real-Encyclopädie der classischen
Altertumswissenschaft. Neue Bearbeitung, pegönnen von Georg Wissowa unter Mitwirkung zahlreicher
Fachgenossen. Sechsunddreiesigster Halbband. Erstes Drittel. Orphische Dichtung - Palatini,
Stuttgart, 194-2, stb. 2403 - 2408 [translator's Note].
From the phonetic point of view, everything is perfect here:
the Old Slavonic /o/ was actually pronounced earlier as a labialized /a/ and in Greek and Latin
sources is represented through /a/89.
The following words are of interest to
L. Niederle: “The name of another beverage obtained from
barley, καμος, is used by the Balkan Slavs from the 10th c.. (komina), but
its Slavic90 origin is doubtful. “True, I could not find in the Slavic languages the meaning of
drink” for the words kom, komina91. It is possible, of course, that the Slav kom(ina) meaning
'fermentation mass, hence the drink', from which an alcoholic beverage is obtained, and the beverage
from this mass is borrowed from some pre-Slavic language, for example, from Thracian or Celtic
settlers (compare English whiskey of the Celtic language).”
Of course, from a historical point of view, something is unclear here. “According to N.S.Derzhavin,92
the first information about the Slavs (although not in Pannonia) in Pliny, Tacitus, Ptolemy refers
to 1st-2nd cc., and then to Jordan and Procopius only by the VI century. The assumption of L.
Niderle that the Slavs as early as the first century BC AD settled apart among the Illyrians and
Thracians, is hardly provable. However, the Slavs in the 6th c. and just in Pannonia there is an
unequivocal testimony from the Jordan: “Sklavens dwell from the town of Novietunum (Noviodun) and
the lake, called Murcian, up to Danastra (Slavic Dniester) and north to the Vistula”. The town of
Noviodunum, Neviodunum (Priscus Νοβιδουνον) is located on the river Sava approximately 45° 55'N. It is quite possible that the Slavs settled in Pannonia already in the 5th c.. (the century
of Attila); 1st-5th cc. could, of course, be a typical transitional period, which, perhaps,
finds expression already in the name of the city near the Jordan: it means “Novgorod”. (The name Noviodunum, i.e.
New City, had various Gallic cities: modern Nevers, Nyons, Soissons, etc.).
The fact that most of the Hunnic subjects
in any case spoke not in Hunnic (and, perhaps, in any
Slavonic language) seems to be evidenced by the place in Prisk, where he says that the Scythians
(portable name = Hunnic subjects) (Rather, the Huns and their ilk,
including Scythians) in addition to their own barbarous language, used the Hunnic
(later Gothic and Latin95). In Greek sources, the Goths, the Slavs, the Russians
(Positively, in the 5th c. AD yet, no Slavs, no Ruses, and moreover no Russians), are also called
the “Scythians”96: (i.e., in contrast to the names Τουρκοι, Ουννοι97), this word denotes not only
(originally) Asian steppe peoples98.
Suppose that the three nominal names discussed above are all Slavic (which is not
established for the third name). This, of course, would not mean that the Huns were
Slavs,99 but only that in the Tissa and Danube regions we can count on finding the Slavs conquered
by the Huns100, a small nomadic ruling class dominating numerous Slavic population - a picture well
known from history (Bulgars in Bulgaria, Golden Horde Mongols in Russia, Ottomans
in the Slavic Balkans, etc.). We do not find Slav names among the Huns at all (the matchings of
Yu.Velenin101 should be held as totally unreliable: Balamber, Balamer = Vladimir, Attila
= Tilan, Bleda = Vlad, etc.). Following L.Schöenfeld102, the origin of the Hun ruler Balamber name, for example,
should be held as unknown, neither the Slavonic nor the Mongolian etymologies103 are convincing; too bold
would be an attempt to explain it from the German *Bala-mers104, also is implausible the
hypothesis that in Balamber should be seen the Türkic böri 'wolf'. Therefore, it is
necessary to reject the point of view ( §12C)
Slavs) (Huns = Slavs).
G.Vernadsky106 interpreted the word Βαλαν (genitive case) encountered in Procopius 'black horse with a
white spot on the forehead' as a Türkic bulan. Previously, this was referred to as a Germanic (Gothic
bals); in the extreme case, it would be possible to attract the Slavic belanu 'white horse'108
(the Slavic e in ancient times was pronounced as ä, and in Greek it was often transmitted by the
letter α109). However, the clear evidence against the Slavic or Hunnic origin of this word is the
fact that it is used in the story of the battle of the Mulva Bridge between Belisarius and the
Eastern Goths (537), about a century after the collapse of the Hun Empire (and therefore the German
etymology should be preferred). The assumption of G. Vernadsky that the horse of Belisarius “was, apparently, raised by Hunnic horse-breeders”, is not based on anything. Semantically, the word
bulan also does not fit.
vocalism of the Türkic
The Türkic qïmïz is also gïmïz, qïmïj,
q'm'z, qimiz, qïmïs,
kïmïz, êümüz, qəməs, hïmïs (Sevortyan E., 1997, ESTJA,
vol. 6-2, letter K), and
probably a few times more of undocumented or extinct versions. The only permanent feature of the
records is the umlaut -m-, to
take any one version as codified and argue its veracity is unprofessional for any linguist. The adaptations outside of the immediate modern Türkic vernaculars
in time and local vernaculars can't be credibly argued at all, which is precisely what the fit between
qïmïz and kamon is.
I think of the Slavic word
The Old Slavonic phonetics was not codified and remains fuzzy, and also
unknown is the demographic origin of the Slavonic components before the coming of the Slavonic
alphabets and the earliest writings, their ethnic and geographic origins, their migrations and
admixtures from Priscus to Cyril. It is a lunacy to assert an uniform or firm phonetics for the
tumultuous illiterate period. There is also a slight of hands in comparing the Balto-Slavic kom
with a “squeeze”, like squeezing a balloon. Rather, kom is “compress”, like in Latin
compressus, compressare, comprimere “to press together”, a totally different action and effect.
One can compress a cloth or a sheet of paper into a compact lump kom, but not squeeze them into a
kom. The cited vodka is distilled out of a root ball, which in Slavic languages is called koml
or komel, the ball is compressed but not squeezable. The barley or millet mush can settle
into a usable lump, and so does the mush of the fermented milk, either one can be called kom
or a small komok. The speculation rests solely on phonetical resemblance.
N.S.Derzhavin refers to Slavs by association, the sources tell of the Veneds/Vends, the Slavs at some other location and time are dubbed
Veneds/Vends. Equating Slavs and Veneds is like equating Goths/Germans with the Huns who
Another association, of the Sklavens with the Slavs. Sklavens
were a warrior people in pursuit of tribute engaged in annual warfare against their sedentary neighbors, while the Slavs were subsistent farmers suitable
for being raided and for indentured labor as an unarmed
auxiliary force (Curta F., 2001, Making of the Slavs, Cambridge University Press). Ethnologically, Sklavens
could be the Dobruja Scythians or Seklers, or Saklans from the Saksin area about the Lower Itil
Scythians portable name
Portable name in the European lingo of the times. And also tribal names in native vernaculars, Dobruja Scythians or Seklers, Saklans,
and more, from Saka “Piedmonter”, “Foot-hiller”, somebody who lives in the foothills.
Balamber is a transparent compound
of two popular Türkic naming elements, bala = “small, child, baby” and ber
“carry, bear, gift”, i.e. “baby-gift”, “God-given, granted, awarded, bestowed baby”, etc. The
element bala is popular across the globe and is well known from
all kinds of religious mythologies, where old parents finally get their long-expected baby-boy (Cf.
Ak Bala: “White/Noble baby”, Ay Bala: “Moon/Beautiful baby”). The name Balamber is a
child name, to be replaced by a series of adult names during a lifetime. One possible scenario is
that among the ruling sequence of brothers under a Lateral Order of Succession, a childless
ruler was due to transfer his post, say, at a deathbed, to a younger brother, thus taking out his
entire progeny line from ever climbing back to the top. At that time, his first wife Hatun of the
dynastic maternal clan brings him a newborn son. The son, who could be a child when his turn comes
up for a scepter after a death of his much older ruling cousin, gets his turn to the crown still
before he adopts his adult name. In a week after his ascend to the throne, all ambassadors send
their emergency reports to their courts calling him Balamber, but a week later he adopts an
adult name, say Attila “Father of the Land”, and all ambassadors again send their emergency
reports to their courts notifying that Balamber disappeared, probably killed by a competitor,
and the ruler is now a mature Attila. A two-line familiarity with the reality of the subject
would resolve all linguistic torments in a flush. A similar scenario would be connected with the
positions of the Right Wing (Western, Kötur Kanat, hence the Köturgur “Western troops”, Greek Kutriguri, etc.) and the Center Wing (Otra Kanat, hence the Otragur
“Center troops”, Greek Utigurs, etc.). More plausible scenarios can be invented along the same
lines. But the deep thought that Huns ≠ Slavs is absolutely correct, in spite of their co-existence
in time, space, and society, the nomads remain nomads, and farmers remain farmers.
In the pre-organized religion times, proper names were a freewheeling enterprise. There were no cadastres for naming, and any word
in any grammatical function could have been used, especially past the child name stage. The
situation has changed with the rise and victory of the state religions, when names were divided into
us and them, us being Christians and Moslems, them were all the rest. A
scholar habituated to predetermined naming set must be ready to encounter unexpected in content and
in distortion. A first option for the officials' names is the position, Cf. Hunnic Ulu(g),
Türkic Ulug, Chinese Lulu, “Great (adj)”; Hunnic Jükü Türkic Ükü Chinese
Tuqi “Wise (adj)”.
G.Vernadsky106 interpreted the word Βαλαν
An uncouth comment, since in every society names are recycled for
millenniums, Cf. Gerhard III (1292–1340), Gerhard/Gerard/Gerardo/Gerrit/Gearoid/Gellert/Kai etc. “Spear
Strong”. The Greek transcription Βαλαν may stand for numerous Türkic
words, among them the bolan/bulan “elk, stag”, which is used as a proper name and
as a breed name for horses. The name reflects a golden hue, the breed may be marked with a white
star on the forehead. The G.Doerfer's inability to face the facts borders on lunacy.
§13 closes the section on the European material evidence, and transits to supposedly more
( §12G) Türks-Bulgarians)
§14. There are several names whose meaning seemed to some authors so transparent that they were
inclined to liken their names to some common names. Here we talk about two of them.
1. Jordan speaks of the Dnieper, “which the Huns in their language call War”.
According to O. Prytsak121, this is simply the same as the Hun var (still today
Chuvash = Volgo-Bulgarian var 'ravine, valley'), which corresponds to the common Türkic
öz. This would seem to prove that the
Huns spoke Bulgarian-Türkic. (So, by the way, thought N.I.Ashmarin113).
Fr.Altheim calls the word var in the number of Hunnic names, without
giving any etymology114. The juxtaposition of this word with the Lezgin-Avar or, hor, ouor
is incredible115, even E.Moore116, who views Huns as Caucasians, did not use it. The most
probable is the Hunnic origin of this name. In the work of A. Tamb and R. Haushild we read118: “And the Volga also had once the Indian name: Herodotus calls it
O'aros (Ionian transmission of the
word varos) = Skr. var(i) 'water'.
No matter how we explain this name, in any case, we should take into account
E.Moore's119 point that
the word var should not necessarily be originally Hunnic, but simply a designation of the
inhabitants, which the Huns, of course, borrowed. The words Tiber or Volga are also
used in German, but they are not German. By the way, it is very debatable whether the common Türkic
ö:z could by the 6th century develop into the Bolgaro-Türkic var and whether we are dealing
here with an anachronism.120 Thus, we have finished with the point of view
( §12G) Türks-Bulgarians) (the Huns = Türkic
Bulgarians), since this was its only reasonable support (sic!).
|This is a most funny statement. At best, linguistic evidence would be just
an icing on the cake, on top of a mountain of other direct and indirect evidence outside of the
G.Doerfer's purview but absolutely within the topic. The G.Doerfer's purview may have looked
unsuccessful even if the topic had little need for additional substantiation. The purview failed to
prove the Türks-Bulgarians as Huns, which was contrary to G.Doerfer's objective anyway, but it
brought attention to the Herodotus' Borysthenes as its Scythian-Türkic compounded name,
explaining the Skt. Var and how the name was recycled by later Gothic, Hunnic, and Bulgar
It is quite easy to refute as an
anachronism the Fr.Altheim and G.-W.Haussig's121 assertion that the Hunnic (?) tribal
(Ultizur/Ultigur) should be interpreted as
ultï čur (“Six Princes”), that it represents, strictly speaking, the
designation of the six highest dignitaries and that this proves the Bulgarian origin of the Huns,
since only the Chuvash language (= Volgo-Bulgarian) has u- in the numeral ultta 'six' instead of
a- in the common Türkic altï (ditto). Still in the Itil Bugar gravestone inscriptions of the XI-XIV
cc. “six” is given in the form altï122, and the vowel a still persists in the Chuvash
borrowings in the Mountain Mari language123 of the ÕV-ÕVI ââ.123
Borysthenes (Herodotus IV 9, 10; Ptolemy3-5) - a name vaguely assigned to a number of locations,
including Hipanis-Buh, Dnieper, an island, an original name for city Olbia, and more, and connected
with the Scythian Agathyrs/Agach-eri “Forest people” tribe, Amadok (Αμαδοκοι) farming tribe, Avhatai (Αυχαται)
“Hunter clan” Scythian clan, legendary Hercules “Man-lake” and his son Gelon “Snake”, Hercules' son
forefather Targitai (Ταργιταος) (Kerait Torgut tribe of the “Sacred Legend”, toponym
Targitui in the Baikal area, tai/sai stands for “clan”, lit. English “(family) ties”) and Targitai's
three tribal forefathers sons, Borysthenetai the original name for city of Olbia (Ολβία Ποντική).
Borysthen(es) Böri/Buri/Baro “bear, wolf”, than “body of
water, water space, river”, i.e. “Bear River”. Each and every name has a transparent Türkic
etymology. Other forms of Borysthen(es) from the later sources: Bechen (Πατζινακΐται, Patzinaks) Baroux (Constantine VII
Porphyrogenitus, “De Administrando Imperio”), Bulgar Buri-chai (chai “river” ).
The internecine fight between “Utigurs” and “Kutrigurs” defined the fate
of the Europe for the following millennia, it collided two Hunnic forces, Bulgars and Suvars,
essentially dismembering the state and opening a gate for the Germanic tribes to come to the
geopolitical scene. G.Doerfer failed to grasp the names of the crucial forces that would as
destructive to his thesis as the their fight was fatal to the Hunnic state.
The Greek Ουλτιζουροι
confuses similarly-sounding to the European ear two names of the traditional Türkic state
organization, the Eastern Wing Utragur (Utra Kanat, Greek
Utigur, etc.) and the Center Wing Otragur (Otra Kanat, Greek the same Utigur). The
confusion does not allow to discern for sure which of the two groups is involved, but likely it is
the Center Wing, because the Eastern and Western divisions (Western, Kötur Kanat, hence the Köturgur “Western troops”, Greek
Kutriguri, etc.) are separated by the Central domain, the internecine fighting between wings
is disallowed, the Center has a military power to punish excessive autonomy, and there is a historical
analogy when the Center (Queen Boarix/Boyarkyz, i.e. Ilchibika (“Gostun”, English Custodian ~ Regent) Boyarkyz
“Boarix”, ruled 520- 535, widow of the Western Huns' King Bulyak Djilki (“Horse”) “Bolokh”, ruled 520-522) decimated the
insubordinate forces of a separatist division.
2. O.Menchen-Helfen124 attributes the word Atakam to the names with Türkic etymology beyond any doubt
(as A.Vamberi already believed125). Even E.Moor126 believes that “this is the only Türkic
interpretation of the Hunnic proper name... which at least in a formal sense can be considered
flawless” (however, this is just a chance event). G.-W.Haussig draw the following conclusion: “The dignity of this supreme shaman required ... old age. This also finds expression in
the name of this man, who was called Ατακαμ 'ata-qam' by the Huns, the father of shamans' (Priscus,
Excerpta de legationibus, pp. 122, 15)127. This an example at the first
sight makes an absolutely convincing impression - and that is why I chose it (in particular, to
show that even such names, whose Türkic nature is unquestionable, can turn out to be non-Türkic -
not to mention the many names for which very tortured Türkic etymologies were sought; I do not want
to deal here with their refutation).
One can object the following.
1. On the merits of the question: in no historical source is there any evidence that the Huns had
shamanism.128 After all, G.-W.Haussig himself concluded this from the name mentioned (hysteron-proton (reverse sequence)).
2. The original text is unclear. It is said that Attila ordered the crucifixion of some barbarians
who had fled to the Romans (εν οις και παιδες Μαμα και Αταχαμ του βασιλειον γενονς...
(and the children of Mama and Atakam the king are born...)). Here the
form Mαμα και Αταχαμ should be considered a genitive case.129 (Fr.Altheim,
E.Moore and E.A.Thompson130 see
here an appositive connection, so in translation this would mean 'Mama's children
and Atakam's ', which would completely exclude the interpretation of 'shaman-father '). Thus
the correct translation should be: 'Among them (were) also the children of Mama and Atakam from the ruling
family'. However, the genitive case allows for a double interpretation of the sex of the persons
mentioned; even the sex of these persons (not found anywhere else in Priscus) is not established. And
besides, the 'father' interpretation is unreliable.
The context has nothing to do with shamanism. Huns did and did not have shamanism. Tengrianism is a “pure” priestless religion, as attested by the
Germanic native religion where Tengri is articulated Thor, and by the subsequent syncretic but
monotheistic “Arianism”. Tengrianism co-existed with the folk traditions dubbed “shamanism”, where a qam serves
the same function as a priest in Catholicism but not as a mullah in Islam or a
rabbi in Judaism. A Catholic priest is an intermediary between the earthly and the mystical
worlds. The attributes of the qam's business are identical to the Christian attributes:
chanting, iterative music, mysterious words, smoke, incense, iterative movements, untestable
assertions, plenty of symbology, and, most important, reliance on blind faith. Neither one has anything to do with
animalism. Use of the derisive word “shamanism” and
equating it with the word qam is biased, qam is healer, curer, fortuneteller,
foreteller, conjurer, wizard, sorcerer, magician, enchanter, warlock (OTD 1969, p. 413). In respect
to Attila, the appellative Ata-qam the king means foreteller visionary, endowed with
miraculous powers of genius. The appellation reflects the myth and fame of Attila among his subjects
including Germanic subjects. It is preposterous to equate the magic image of Attila with the
Sex is denoted contextually, mamas are usually females, and fathers the males. Ata is father in Türkic,
interpretation of “shaman-father” is erroneous in the “shaman” part, Ata-qam is the
“father-foreteller”, “father-wizard”. The Greek grammar and syntactic expression are irrelevant to
the subject, and there is no reason to doubt that the Ata father was a male.
3. In addition, we are dealing with an anachronism. The Türkic word ata 'father' was originally a
children's word, just like the baba, which later significantly pushed the word ata (sic!).
But the latter (baba) was registered for the first time in the eleventh century (in Kutadgu Bilig, dated
1069); in the Orkhon inscriptions of the 8th c. is used instead the ancient word qan131. And even in the
manuscripts from the Dunhuan there is only one word qan131. The Hunnic ata would
be separated from the actual
first record of this word by six centuries. (Anachronism in linguistics is no better than an
anachronism in history.)
The assertion on the “children's word” ata is a self-deprecating
nonsense, considering that Kurgan migrants brought the word to Iberia ca. 2800 BC, Cf. Celtic Irish athir, Basque
aita “father”. G.Doerfer was not in a position to assert or speculate on the pedigree
of the word ata. Etymology is not based on the timing of any particular source, which is a
Hunnic names ( §12H) Türks)
§15. Let us now explain the Hun names. However, at first I would like to make one methodological
consideration. Everything that is essential in linguistics can be expressed with the help of a
paradox. The paradox of onomastics says: “In the interpretation of any appellation or name, a possible
detection of meaning is, of course, a pleasant concomitant circumstance, but it can not be
considered an essential or indispensable condition. Of the decisive importance is certain (for
the uninitiated, absolutely insignificant) formal criteria.”
The most important of them are the
A. The phonetic structure of words is relevant. For example, such anlauts as
st-, ak-, gl-, tr- generally
are a sign of Indo-European names. Further, in general, it is inadmissible to ascribe any word
having in the anlaut, say, st-, to a language that does not know this anlaut, but the
mentioned anlaut should be ascended, for example, to the combination: vowel + st- or zt-.
B. Some characteristic suffixes are essential for the ethnic qualification of the onomastic
material. Thus, the suffix -on-is typical for Illyrian hydronyms. In general, it is inadmissible to
interpret any word as a combination of root and unproductive suffix, unless it is shown that this
suffix as an exception is often found in names and titles.
C. The main attention should be directed to constantly recurring characteristic elements. For
example, German proper names are often binomial and by the way the second is often an element -wig
'fight, battle', but they never have a noun of the middle gender.
Of course, these formal criteria can play a role and be effective only if significant material is
accumulated; with one or two syllables nothing can be done at all. In any case, in onomastics, there
is no acceptance that the obviously heterogeneous material is first turned into some random
mixture and then cherry-picking individual loose elements (suitable for a preferred point of view).
is obvious that meaning there does not play any significant role: the suggested meaning is always
only possible, and often arbitrary (what you seek you will find); so, when interpreting
badly preserved ancient sources, it is often not subject to control at all. Moreover, it is in the
proper names that the obsolete elements are often contained (e.g. Gerhard “spear hard/strong/brave”,
the name probably predating the first Roman assault on the Germanic lands), i.e. the significance of elements can
not be identified at all (which is incredibly characteristic, for example, for Mongolian personal
names). It is precisely on the subject material (which is Hunnic), the
identification of meanings is absolutely unreliable: each will bring only its own specific prejudice
to it. (The case with Attila and Dingizikh shows otherwise) I want to give a methodological, although fictitious, example. Let's take the first two
Eskimo names that came across from E.G.Rubtsova's book132.
meaning there does not play any significant role
G.Doerfer proclaims an absolute truth without specifying its boundary conditions, i.e. the area
beyond which the absolute truth is neither absolute nor necessarily truth. That simple understanding
universally applies everywhere, including linguistics. Since relatively homophonic short words can
be found in any language, the G.Doerfer's is correct in respect to short words: a probability of
finding identical short words in unconnected languages is nearly 1.0. Every additional phoneme reduces that
probability: the number of phonetically similar words is reduced by an order of magnitude with a
single extra phoneme, by two orders of magnitude with two extra phonemes, etc. Thus, we can be
absolutely sure that the word revolution is a loanword in every linguistic family save for
one: a chance appearance of a same 10-phoneme word in two unconnected languages is a disappearinglt
small probability of about 10-7
(generously allowing P=1.0 for 3-phoneme lexemes). The word Αττιλα (5
phonemes with ending, 4 phonemes without auslaut -α) has P=10-2 chances compared with Χαρατων
P=10-4. The would be encountered 100 times less than the Αττιλα. In other words, it would take 100 more
dictionaries to equalize chances for random coincidence. If it takes 20 dictionaries to encounter
another Αττιλα, it would take 2000 dictionaries (1/3rd of the entire Earth's languages) to
encounter another Χαρατων. And the
miniscule probability of a chance coincidence would make the probability of a semantic connection very
near an absolute certainty: in Türkic Χαρατων
is “black-donned”, and Hunnic Χαρατων
is “black-donned”, because any other semantics would have probability of less than 1 in million
(2,000 dictionaries at 10,000 words each makes probability of chance phonetic coincidence 2x10-7).
The substance of the semantical content does not matter, at could be “black-donned” or a “brilliant
linguist”, the probability of a chance is nil. As
they say in commercials, “The length does matter!”, and before cavalierly dismissing them G.Doerfer should have better
bothered to sort things
out. Unlike in politics, in science political exaggerations do not count.
Two examples similar to the Αττιλα-Χαρατων Türkic-Hunnic
case would further reinforce the Türkic-Hunnic connection, since the combined case would
drastically reduce the probability of a chance coincidence: P = (1 - P1 x P2
x...). Both surety and accidental probability values change exponentially with each additional data
I want to prove that they can be interpreted without any
difficulty and in the most excellent manner as Türkic (this fictional game with equal success could be carried out with Hottentot or Botokud names). The first of these is the male name of
K'alıu. It is certainly Türkic, after all qal means 'old man'133 or 'crazy, strong'134.
Then there is an element iyu 'pursuer', parsable into iy- 'pursue, suppress'135 and suffix
-u/-ü136. Result: 'an old (or insane) pursuer'. An absolutely suitable name for the hunter! The
second is the female name Arıypakıi. Of course, it is also Türkic. In fact:
arï means 'pure,
undefiled '(frequent Türkic epitheton ornana (behavioral term) for
females137) +bäk (or baqi) 'permanent'138. A
wonderful name that adorns a woman! It is a pity that these Türkic etymologies of Eskimo names are,
of course, invented; they are, in fact, much better than some Türkic etymologies of the Hun names,
also invented, only the authors simply did not realize that. The beauty of etymology is not very
attractive to an onomatologist, it is not proving anything at all.
The fallacy of this example is that the examples are not random,
the faux scholar selected suitable examples from many available. The interpreted Hunnic names, in
contrast, are random. They are not selected for interpretation in Türkic. A random example of Eskimo
names would bring near zero successful Türkic interpretations. This is a routine trick of cheaters,
for example in coin minting. Each coin is within a weight tolerance, just below the required nominal
weight, but it takes few more coins to get a required total weight. The coin weight does not follow
the Gaussian distribution. The coins are selected for underweight. A faux example leads to a faux
analysis, a faux criteria, a faux conclusion, and a faux method. Ingenious in a circus, unacceptable
in science save for linguistics.
And now two examples of incorrect (1) and correct (2) etymology of proper names:
1) Let's say that we want to explain the name of the greatest ruler of the Ottomans,
Süleiman. As a
matter of course, we accept that it must be Türkic, and we find the Old Türkic word sülä-
wage war” as a suitable basis. From this follows an exceptionally beautiful etymology - “he who
conducts war, warrior”. This interpretation is extremely convincing, in particular for two reasons:
a) because it explains the name of the Türkic ruler on the Türkic soil, b) because it so perfectly suits
the ruler. However, it is wrong: in fact Suleiman - is borrowed from the Arabic name of Sulaiman
(the latter, in turn, comes from the Hebrew name derived from the Semitic root šlm
(šalom) 'peace', which
is exactly the opposite of war). An analysis based on formal criteria would give the following results:
a) the vowel harmony does not work in this word (in the real Türkic word, the vowels e and
coincide); and this contradicts the first condition; b) the suffix -yman is not found in the
Türkic languages, so the interpretation does not meet the second condition. Therefore, it is
unacceptable, and the word should be explained as non-Türkic.
Again, example is suitably selected for illustration, but offered for
systematic analysis. A rabbit from a hat can't be extrapolated on the origin of the rabbits as a
2) Suppose that in some Central Asian or Eastern European source of the XIII-XIV cc. we will
find the name barulatai. We want to establish which language it belonged to. We know that in the
Mongolian language (and only in it) there is a common type of names, consisting of the name of the
and the suffix -tai (or -dai). The Mongolian tribe
Barulas is also known. Hence, Barulatai must be a
Mongolian name. And it does not matter at all that the Mongolian name of the Barulas tribe actually
does not lend itself to etymologization.
Actually, all human (and animal) names carry some sememe. What does not lend
itself to etymologization depends on the ability of the scholar to get to the bottom of it.
With the help of formal criteria it is possible to operate with the material of even completely
unfamiliar languages. Suppose that we have a mixed onomastic material comprising (a) a layer in
which many names begin with sk-, st-, often along with the suffix -tun (and never have
suffix -lak), and (b) from another layer, in which words never start with sk-, st-, do not have the suffix
-tun, but often have the suffix -lak. We can easily distinguish between both layers (a) and (b),
although we can not etymologize a single word. We will try to analyze the Hun names ourselves,
guided by the above considerations. But again, it is necessary to account for some caveats.
A. The phonetic structure of words is relevant.
And vice-versa, languages that drop an anlaut vowel or add a prosthetic
consonant internalizing a word should be allowed an anlaut vowel in the original. Cf. prosthetic
h-, f-/v-, p- in Germanic and other languages, i.e. Türkic er vs. Germanic Herr,
Türkic ata vs Germanic vat(er), Türkic orta “top rail (gate,
door), middle (part)” vs. Slavic vorota (âîðîòà) “gateway”, Latin porta “gateway”.
Don't sing what you see, like in many examples herein, expand the vision to the scale of reality.
B. Some characteristic suffixes
The best examples are
the Anglo-Saxon adjectival suffix -lic, German -lich (Germanic group),
Türkic denoun adjectival suffix lig/lïg/-lïɣ/luɣ/laɣ/läg “like”,
Cf. Kutluğ “fortunate”;
Türkic diminutive suffix -ïq/-ik found in the name of the
Attila's second son Diggizikh (Priscus) “(Little, Dear, Precious) Sea”, Tiŋiz/Deŋiz “sea, ocean,
body of water”. Metaphorically, the name is identical to Hercul(es) “Man-lake”, “Giant”, and
Chingiz-khan “Sea, Ocean Khan”, “Giant, Great Khan”.
suffix -tai (or -dai)
Good idea, a terribly bad example. Not only tai is
not a suffix, but it also indelibly connected with the Herodotus Scythians, i.e. Targitai (Ταργίταος), Avhatai (Αυχαται), Arpoksai (Αρποξαις), Kolaksai (Κολαξαις), Lipoksai (Λιποξαις),
Afgani and Pakistani clan names, and Türkic nouns like Kurultai. The Türkic and English use the word tai (tie) “link” in the family context (Cf. synonymous
“family ties” and Kurultai “curing (family) ties”). That Mongolia has Türkic clans and tribes is no
wonder, the Türkic-Mongolian symbiosis is documented for two millennia, and archeologically extends
for another two millennia. German and other Germanic languages use the Türkic synonymous ba-/bind,
with that word Kurultai would be called something like Kurulban.
example of Eskimo names
Eskimo example runs contrary to the systematic approach argued right above it. Cherry-picking two
examples because they are homophonic with words in another language is not productive, unless the
similarity is systemic, which is impossible with native names (or words) in unrelated languages. For
short words, every language has numerous homophones in every other language.
2) Mongolian tribe
Good idea, a terribly bad example. Certainly, contrary
to G.Doerfer, Barulas not only
nicely lends itself to etymologization, but it is unlikely that its modern descendents have
forgotten the origin of their name. This example shows that shallow presumptions lead to deep
embarrassment even within solid methodology.
§16. In etymologizing Hunnic names and appellatives, we encounter three equally unpleasant alternatives.
(1) We confine ourselves to the names of such persons, whose belonging to the Huns is beyond any
doubt. Then only the names of Attila and some of his relatives remain at our disposal. This material
is too insignificant to be able to draw reliable conclusions (i.e., it does not meet condition for
the accumulation of material, §15); moreover, as it will be shown, it has a heterogeneous (at least
|Without understanding Hunnic/Türkic social structure any analysis is
incompetent. The first and prime element is the dual maternal and paternal division, headed by the
maternal and paternal dynastic clans and their elder leaders. The second element is Lateral
Succession, which sequences statutory elders of the paternal dynastic clan as the heads of the
states. In the Attila's line, all brothers and nephews are Dulo. Chances that a son inherits his
father are next to nil, most likely he would inherit from his reigning uncle or elder brother. In
the Attila's line, all brothers and nephews are Dulo. The supreme ruler has his cabinet, a
descending series of positions of two lines, maternal and paternal. Each position comes with a name,
and its holder is called either by that name or his personal name. The tri-partite division of the
state creates a descending two-line series of positions for the East and the West Wings, with a
primacy of the East Wing. An accession moves the entire structure one step up, a Dauphin brother
becomes a supreme Khan, every eligible nephew moves one rung up, the head of the Western Wing moves
to head the Eastern Wing. People who move up gain the new official names of their new positions.
Neighbors and subjects know only an immediate ruler, when that ruler moves up to the center, he
disappears from their horizon, and they come to know a new immediate ruler. In case of Attila, we do
not know for sure if he was a head of the state or only a commander of the West Wing. The subsequent
orderly succession of Ellak (Illek, 453-454), Dengizik (Tingiz/Diggiz, 455) and
Ernak (Irnik, Hernach, Bel-Kermek, 455-465) indicates that the capital was moved to Pannonia, and
for that, at his death Attila had to be a head of the Hunnic state.
Under a most rigorous approach only the following names would remain: the
Huns' own name (Oυννοι,
hunni), then names from the Greek literature (at Yu.Moravchik): 'Ατακαμ,' Αττιλας, Βληδας,
Γιεσμος, Δεγγιζιχ (also Δινζιχ, Latin
Dintzic139), 'Ηρναχ, Μαμας, Μουνδιουχις, Μουνδος, Ουλδης,
Ουπταρος, 'Πουας, Χαρατον, 'Ωηβαρσιος.
In addition, the names found in Latin literature (at L.Schöenfeld, T.Mommzen): Ballamber, Ellac, Laudaricus, Emnetzur, Ultzindur.
Total - 20 names. It is
often difficult to distinguish this material from the one discussed in (2) and (3) below (thus the
material becomes even less reliable). In all probability, here does not belong the name Δονατος
(he is not a Hun). In regard to Ουλδης and Χαρατον, it is also not entirely clear whether their
bearers were somehow connected with the line of Attila and generally whether they at all were Huns; see
also paragraph (2).
Since we have broken down annalistic Huns into subgroup Huns, the “at all
Huns” becomes an another rhetoric “subgroup”. In case of the Χαρατον,
he probably was a leader of the allied Χαρατον tribe known from the later Slavic sources as
Black Klobuks “Black-donned”, which could be a part of the Eastern Huns westward migration, a
Suvar tribe, or a local N. Pontic tribe, and probably is now called with the modern equivalent
Kara Kalpak “Black Hats”. Administratively, the Χαρατον
tribe likely belonged to the Köturgur (Greek Kutrigur) West Wing maternal dynastic
line of the Hun state.
(2) A second alternative would be to include the names of the Huns (“Huns”?)
Attila's courtiers or in some other equally lucid quality (which nevertheless can
be an evidence
that they were foreigners). This case would include the following names from the Greek
literature (from Yu.Moravchik): 'Αδαμις, Βεριχος, 'Εδεχον,
'Εσχαμ, Εσλας, Κρεχα
Ονηγησιος, Ουλιμουθ (?)142 ,
Σχοτας, and from the Latin literature (L.Schöenfeld), maybe even
Tuldila. It is sometimes difficult to draw a boundary between points (1) and (2). Rather, to
(3) (and perhaps it would be better to consider them non-Hunnic) belong the names Ουαλιψ143 and
Σεγγιλαχος144. And the Βασιχ
Κουρσιχ, it seems, belong to the point 2. True, Yu.Moravchik
considers their bearers to be simply Hunnic commanders (ca. 440), but according to O.Pritsak and
O.Menhen-Helfen145 they are the early Hun rulers (about 395)146.
To reach the Late Classical records, the named commanders must be the top
commanders, at least the highest and the next highest positions in the army. Those positions are
statutorily occupied by the members of the court, the direct or in-laws relatives of the head of
state belonging either to the paternal (East Wing) or maternal (West Wing) dynastic lines. Since we
do not know who became the maternal dynastic line, we can suspect a marital union with the Gothic
dynastic line. In that case, we have two maternal dynastic lines, an “old” one and a “new”
one. Till adolescence, the sons from the marriages would stay with their mothers and mothers language, and
then switch to the care of the paternal side, which would be exclusively Hunnic and of the dynastic blood.
Commanders or rulers, they had to be Hunnic.
Chinese chroniclers also faced the dilemmas of the unpleasant alternatives, even though they had
identical system of double-naming, with child and adult name. But the Hunnic naming system included a
third name, the title, which also could have a local and a state name. The Hunnic or Türkic
tradition of name-changing have survived into the present, with the new crown and papal names, that
custom seems to be
quite natural in the eyes of the modern Europeans of the G.Doerfer class.
Peculiarly, G.Doerfer does not dwell on the morphological and phonetical criteria discussed in
the methodological discourse at the beginning of the section, to explain his judgments. That is just
too bad, without precise elucidation, the judgments are whimsical and arbitrary. There is no use of
learning the claimed benefits of the sk-, st- markers to only learn that they are no use and
are not used. Apparently, after a high-brow introduction, G.Doerfer taciturnly switches back to the
old “method of personal intuition” and ingrained preconceptions.
(3) The last, extreme possibility would be to involve all who are somehow connected with the Huns.
This would mean that we would have attracted those who have been mentioned by Yu.Moravchik as “lesser
known Huns” as well as, for example, the name of Μοδαρες and others, which are accompanied by a
litter “Byzantine military leader of Scythian (= Hunnic or Gothic) origin”. As Yu.Moravchik noted,
almost all such “Huns” have Iranian names147. In the same way, we would have to attract such a name
as Akatsir, although, in fact, from the words that the Huns conquered the Akatsirs (“an unknown but
brave people”), it would follow that they certainly were not Huns.148 (Priskus' words
were Huns, along with his assertion that they are Scythian people, in my opinion should be
considered a “collective name”: a people with a certain nomadic nomadic way of life, see §11.) On
the numerous Caucasian Huns, see also §19.
Thus, if we involve everything that could somehow be Hunnic, then we will receive a completely
unreliable material, because the Hun empire should be regarded as a multiethnic state, and the truly
Hunnic origin must be first proved in each concrete case (hysteron-proteron (reverse sequence)). Otherwise, our
search could be likened to attempts to explain all the names and ethnonyms in the Soviet
Union solely based on the Russian language.
Scythian (= Hunnic or Gothic) origin
G.Doerfer's presumption allowing only Huns and Goths to be Scythians is not
accurate. As a generic “collective name”, the names Scythians, Huns, Kurgans, Massagets/Masguts etc.
are proper, but such blurred “Scythians” had their own tribal and/or confederation names. The Dobruja
Scythians was a specific name, and so were the names Saka, Saxons, Seklers/Esegels/Esgels, Saklans,
and more. They are reflexes of the
S'k/Sek “Scyth, Saka”. They all share the root S'k meaning “Piedmonter”, “Foot-hiller”. During
the Herodotus' time, Akatsirs (Akathyrs, Agathyrsi of Ptolemy ca 140 AD) were a member
of the Scythian confederation, and in the early period of the European Huns they remained the
northern neighbors of the Dobruja Scythians.
The history of the Akatsirs is fairly well known. As a coherent tribe, Akatsirs
migrated from the Crimea to Anatolia. In the 15th century Akatsirs
lived in the region of Marash-Elbistan in Central Anatolia, they were called Agach-Eriler (Türkic pl. of Agach-er
“Forest People”, from agach “tree”, Cf. acacia tree, German Akazie). A group Agach-Eriler
then immigrated to the Safavid (Azeri dynasty) Persia. Nowadays this branch of Agachers lives in Iran under the name Aghajari and
Agatharias. There is no mystery about this ancient tribe. G.Doerfer had to turn a blind eye to
manufacture his thesis. The Akatsirs' anabasis happened because they were Huns, i.e. kins,
and they sought safety among the kindred people in the Crimea, in Anatolia, and in Persia.
if we involve everything that could somehow be Hunnic
However, to dismiss all names across Germany, Soviet Union, or any other
country as useless in ethnic and ethnological studies would be absurd.
Any thought can be brought to the point of absurdity, not exactly a proven scientific technique.
Onomastics studies forms and origins of proper names, not the ethnicity of their carriers, confusing
one with the other is absurd. The degree of ethnic component in an onomasticon is the result, not a
premise as stipulated by G.Doerfer.
§17. In any case, it is certain that much of what (politically) is called Hunnic can be excluded from
(the ethnic) consideration in advance. Thus, the “Hunnic” onomatological material
of Fr. Althheim and R.Stiehl was
rejected by W.B.Henning150 and then by J.Harmatta
and M.Pekara151 (in fact, the matter was the Iranian names of the titles).
With the assertion that the Danube Bulgarians were Huns and, therefore, their princely
nominalia of the 7th-8th cc. is a monument of the Hunnic language152 convincingly ended
G.Doerfer is inconsistent in first arguing that the original meanings of the
names do not matter, and then uncritically accepting the works of Iranistic proponents as a given
truth. Considering that too little is known of what assembled Persian in the 1000 years between the
Indo-Aryans arrival on the Iranian Pleteau and the first Persian inscriptions, and that the Türkic
tribes were there for a long time at the time of Indo-Aryan arrival, some amalgamation to form the
Persian may have occurred, and there may be some grain of truth in the cited research. The Hunnic,
however, did not have any chances to pick up Persian vernaculars between the 1st c. BC and the 4th
The “Hun runes” studied by Fr.Altheim154 definitely should not be interpreted as he did (if at all they are amenable to interpretation). Take, for example, an
inscription on a vessel consisting of only four words. Fr. Altheim read it in Old Türkic: qadɣu qoqunï qu(w)raɣïn öy 'sadness (genitive)
reduces period of socialization'. In this interpretation,
from the point of view of Old Türkic grammar and vocabulary, as well as the Türkic linguistic
structure, were made 12 mistakes. Let us recall, Fr.Altheim writes: “It can be assumed that the Huns
an Altaian language that was closely related to the Old Türkic language, if it was not the same thing.”155 And in a work written
together with R. Stiehl156, he goes even further,
arguing that the languages of the Eastern Huns and Western Huns are the Old Türkic language, and that
that “have long been established”. Let's try to approach the interpretation of Fr.Altheim with his
own formula “Hun language = Old Türkic language”. Then the following is incorrect:
(1) 'Sadness' (genitive) should have been
qadɣuɣ. In addition, the prepositional unformatted and
indefinite accusative case qadɣu '(any) sorrow' from a stylistic point of view should be considered
extremely unusual (already due to possible confusion: normally qadɣu, which stands in the first
place, is perceived as a nominative, subject case); the addition must be in front of the verb, and
the last at the end of the sentence.
(2) The verb qoq- is not 'to decrease (something)', but to 'become
smaller'. Hence, the meaning is given incorrectly.
(3) In addition; The reflexive suffix -un- in the form qoqun- is completely superfluous; form
of course, and is not registered in the Old Türkic language. It in fact would mean to
“decrease itself itself”.
(4) qoqun-ï can not be understood as a personal form, it could only be the gerund
(5) The reflexive suffix -un- must be followed by a
gerund marker in the form -u, not -ï.
(6) And if qoqunï would really be a personal
verbal form (and there is no other verb in the sentence), then
it should have been at the end of the sentence.
(7) In the language of runic inscriptions we also have qubraɣ, and not quwraɣ and this -b- in no case can be omitted.
(8) In addition,
qubraɣ, quwraɣ means not 'socialization' but 'society' (in
the best case), more precisely: 'crowd, meeting'.
(9) In qu(w)raɣ-ïn the genitive case is represented by the
marker -ïn. It
is impossible in the Old Türkic (in extreme case it could be an anachronistic rustic form); there
should have been a
marker -ïŋ. However, there is a reason to believe that in ancient times the genitive case
in the Old Türkic language had an indicator -ïɣ and that -ïŋ arose only secondary from
-n- pronominal declension.
(+ïŋ (+iŋ) see +ŋ
poss., +ŋ gen.
-ïŋ (-iŋ) see -ŋ verbal finite imper. form.)
(10) 'Time' in Old Türkic is not
öd, but üd. So in the texts written by brahmi157, and also in the
Sino-Uighur dictionary of the Ming era, published by L.Ligeti158 (from L.Ligeti öd, but in the
Chinese original yü, read üd: Chinese yü is always used for transcribing words
starting with ü-)159 .
(-ö-, -ü- interchaneability:
öδik, üδik, ÷óâñòâî, ñòðàñòü, ñèëüíîå ÷óâñòâî
ögit-, ügit-, ïîáóä. îò ügi-: ìîëîòü (õëåá) (grind)
ӧgük, ükük, ðåáåíîê, ãðóäíè÷îê, ñîñóíîê, ìëàäåíåö, äåòåíûø æèâîòíûõ, ïòåíåö
ökil, ükil, ìíîãî, ìíîæåñòâî, ìíîãî÷èñëåííûé)
(11) öy with -y instead of
-d (üd) - an anachronism. The reference by Fr.Altheim to certain late
cases of the transition -d-> -y- in the intervocal position does not prove anything with respect to
the auslaut; in ancient texts, in particular the 8th-10th centuries, -d- (and of course -d)
is completely preserved. The form öy was anachronistic and vernacular.
(12) In addition, the 'socialization time' (genitive) would have to be expressed by the construction of
the qubraɣïŋ üd-in with the possessive suffix of the accusative case -in.*
That's, perhaps, is all about Fr.Altheim.
OK, G.Doerfer tried to prove that he knows the grammar of the 40 different Türkic
languages, old and new and vernacular variety, better than the illiterate Hunnic etcher, he but still does not know how to read the
Hunnic inscriptions. So what? So much ink for an exercise in futility. That kind of negative input
is utterly unproductive. Fr.Altheim transliterated inscription, anybody in the world can correct it,
improve on it, make a better sense of it, be useful. Vain whining does not cut it.
Already Yu.Moravchik distinguishes in the index of his book160 “the Huns themselves” (notably, all
appellations, except for the hunnoi, are historical reminiscences, portable names, for
example: gotthoi, kimmerioi, massagetai, etc.). And “Huns or people subjugated by the Huns” (this means that such names as
amilzuroi, etc., in fact, are unclear both in ethnic and linguistic
terms), as well as “Huns proper” (as many as 28 names) and “less known Huns” (i.e.,
* This objection seems to be based on a misunderstanding, since Fr.Altheim, judging by the words of
G.Doerfer himself, does not consider that qubraɣïŋ öy appears in the accusative form; for him it is
the subject and, therefore, the nominative case. After all, in German, this inscription by
Fr.Altheim translates: Den Kummer vermindert der Geschelkeit Zeit (Grief decreased sociability time)
whose affiliation with the Huns is highly doubtful; among them are
bearing Iranian names bodyguards already mentioned in §16: Χορσαμαντις, Χορσομανος161. Even in relation to the
“Huns proper”, in my opinion, it is not always known whether they were Huns. Why, for example, “the confidant of
the Hun Princess Kreka” 'Αδαμις (Adam
“man”, i.e. servant, ις is a Greek suffix, Cf. Biblical Adam “man”) must necessarily be a Hun, as thinks
Yu.Moravchik162. Was the
Iranian Mongols' vizier Rashid ad-Din a Mongol, and not a Persian Jew? In approaching strict
standards, therefore, instead of approximately 100 Hunnic names and appellatives of the Greek literature, we
only get 24 (such that concur with the points (1) and (2) of the §16) or even only 15 (of the point
(1)) 7. And the Latin
literature does not give too many additions (6 or 5 words).
O. Menhen-Helfen and E.Moore, who usually diverge
on almost all questions, have one thing in
common: they did not distinguish between the three groups of names and titles referred to in points
(a), (b) and (c) (§10). Thus, O.Menchen-Helfen argues163 that the “Huns” had many Iranian names,
for example, Ζαρτηρ = Persian Zartir; in fact, it is mentioned in the name of
Yu.Moravchik as the
name of “bodyguard of the Massaget (= Hunnic or Alanic) origin in the Byzantine army around 540.”164
- an already familiar case; and E.Moore165 calls
Βαλας a Hun, also similarly mentioned by Yu. Moravcik166. In both cases, we are talking about a group of
names, which is described in paragraph (d) in §10, which it would be better to exclude from
Try to get f:y:cn:rd:ths:. If you can read this, you may be able to read the Hunnic (or Türkic) runes. Provided that you know the Hunnic (or
Türkic) language, their alphabet, know their phonetic and graphic conventions, and
differences between different conventions. Otherwise it is a steep climb, in many cases it takes
more than a single brain, and usually the progress comes in stages, a new attempt comes on the
shoulders of the predecessors. The following G.Doerfer's criticism is not really negative, any sound
point serves to improve understanding, he is standing on the Fr.Altheim's shoulders. The gently cursed Fr.Altheim did the most important work,
from the runic abracadabra he
established the parsing and the roots of the words, a key for the agglutinative languages. G.Doerfer
does not dispute transliteration or the roots. The morphology, syntax, references of what we know,
and assumptions on what we do not know, are an icing on the cake. The Orkhon inscription is still
debated and interpreted, 125 years after the Chinese-Türkic bilingual
inscription was finally read by Vilhelm Thomsen (1842 - 1927) in 1893. Fr.Altheim did not have a
Chinese text to go by. There is no point in addressing G.Doerfer's points here. All that is needed
to know here in respect to the negativity is that the European Hunnic language is as far from the
Asian Hunnic language as the modern American English is far from Shakespeare language, both are
separated by 400 years, a continent-wide distance, and phonetic, semantic, and lexical contributions
from all imaginable languages. It is tough enough even speaking the same language, and way tougher,
say, for the Greek linguists. We should also remember that unlike ourselves and G.Doerfer, the
Hunnic (or Türkic) runic scribes did not go even to an elementary school, there was no formalized
language or script, and all vernaculars were rustic, vulgar (like the Vulgar Latin). Cherry-picking
Germanic vernaculars by the same method would disprove that Germanic languages are Germanic.
the Iranian names of the titles
1973 probably was a climax of the Scytho-Iranian theory. The theory first
suggested in the early 19th c. was
advocated in the European political and scientific circles, it came to saturate encyclopedias and textbooks,
and to support an entire scientific cottage industry. In the 1960s came out the first timid publications that
indirectly criticized the theory by bringing up theretofore suppressed and ignored Turkological knowledge. By
the 1980s, critique gained a full speed, the falsity of the theory was openly discussed from numerous
directions, and the proponents of the theory had to ignore counterarguments while going on defensive with more substantial studies
and in spots a higher pitch of counterpropaganda. Painfully for the theory, an additional mass of the Chinese
annals was translated, adding substantial insights to the criticisms. Genetics rose to play a
spoiler, and the defenders of the theory had to go on a perpetual retreat, conceding one position
after another. Still, a circular logics reigned, archeologists cited linguists, and linguists cited
archeologists. But archeology, biology, genetics, metallurgy, written sources, and other multidiscipline
evidence reduced the quasi-scientific theory to a state of ideological faith. The last stand is
largely held by the European Indo-European linguists and the European historians-generalists, alone
against the world of facts.
(9) suffix -ïnɣ
That's a great observation toward the origin of the English -ing. The pertinent Old Türkic
Noun: -ïŋ/-iŋ genitive
Verb: -ïŋ/-iŋ finite imperative
According to G.Doerfer, Türkic -ïŋ/-iŋ is a
modification of the suffix -ïnɣ which is a modification of the suffix -ïɣ with
-n-. Consequently, English has inherited the suffix -ïnɣ after the initial
suffix -ïɣ acquired a pronominal declension
-n-, turned into suffix -ïnɣ, which turned into the English suffix -ing
and into Türkic suffix -ïŋ/-iŋ.
The noun genitive function of -ing and -ïŋ/-iŋ
survived into the Old English as a patronymic suffix
denoting common origin, now expressed with a possessive ending 's.
The verbal finite imperative function of -ing survived into the early Old English to
denote completed or habitual action.
Another conversion event, unexpected, was that of the Anglo-Saxon gerund suffix -ende, -eonde to
the English gerund suffix -ing: glowende “glowing”, sittende “sitting”. This is
a glowing example of the stochastic nature of the linguistic modifications: no modern philologist
living in the 12th c. could have predicted that conversion in the immediately next century. This
example shows futility of the phonetic prediction, be it retrospect or forward, and the
incredibility of projecting phonetic changes either backwards or forwards. Thus, the oft used
dismissals of suspected cognates based on phonetical grounds are more pretentious than credible.
Every trend and tendency have their limitations, ignoring them is nescient and perilous.
(10) öd versus üd
The ö and ü in Türkic are interchangeable to a degree that in writing
they were expressed with a single rune. Examples:
öδik, üδik, feeling, passion
ögit-, ügit-, grind (grain)
ӧgük, ükük, child, babe, sucker, baby
The assertion (10) is erroneous, the Chinese transliteration only reflects the ability of the
Chinese vernaculars to render alien sounds
(11) in particular the 8th-10th centuries
What is Old Türkic (8th-10th cc.) for G.Doerfer
is very New Türkic in the history of the Türkic languages. The elements of the oldest Türkic lexicon
are preserved millennia earlier that the 8th-10th cc. AD. Example:
Akkadian cuneiform records on the period of the Gutian rule, ca. 22nd c. BC, specifically the Gutian
title Yarğan “Judge, Tribune”, a deverbal derivative of the Türkic yarlïqa- “to rule”,
ultimately from the noun yarğu: “splitter, tribunal”, a deverbal noun derivative from the
verb yar- “split, cleave”. Cognates: English Earl, Anglo-Saxon eorl “leader,
chief”, Danish, Old Norse jarl “under-king”, viceroys under the Danish dynasty in England.
all appellations, except for the hunnoi, are historical reminiscences, portable names
G.Doerfer defines as portable names those that jump to unrelated ethnoses, not
individuals, like the Danes and Frisians in Germany who are called Germans. This definition does not
apply to the Huns who are kindred tribes (kin is an allophone of Hun), to the
Scythians and Sakas who are kindred tribes (sağa is the foot of a mountain), to the
Gutes and Guzes who are kindred tribes (gut/got/guz is tribe), to the Ases and Ars who
are kindred tribes (as/ar is man), and a few more. The fact that the European and
Chinese aliens applied some of the tribal names as portable names has no bearing on the ethnic
identity or language of the kindred tribes, no study may dismiss any diagnostic information just
because in some particular situations sources filled in the blanks with something familiar in their
circle. Just the opposite, the complexity of the subject demands a high sensitivity and intelligence
of the scholar. The accumulated mass of the knowledge, and not an anecdotal evidence that make a
scientific work credible.
§18. In what follows, we shall only consider the material of paragraph (1), and also in some cases
of paragraph (2) of §16.
There is no point in following what follows, because the whole body of
argumentation consists of “he said, she said”, and both biased and arbitrary judgments. Like in
a case with bacteria, which did not exist till a microscope was brought about and closed the
discussion, a closer vision needed to replace any myopic speculations, partisan opinions, and
parochial etiology. An early clinical amnesia may also be suspected in dispensing with critical and
tinkering with minute. Since 1973, the body of our knowledge grew by orders of magnitude, a handful of
early explorers was replaced by an army from numerous disciplines, and we know much better.
After having fairly well dismissed the onomastics, G.Doerfer spilled a barrel
of ink arguing against onomastic indicators and for the arbitrary Germanic and Iranian origin.
Germanic or possibly Germanic words; here belong, for example, for sure,
further Ουπταρος (?, see below), 'Ρουγας, Μουνιιουχος, Μουνδος, probably also
includes the name of Attila himself.
Schramm considers these names, in particular 'Ρουγας and Μουνδιουχος, to be only
Germanized names168. By
the way, E.A.Thompson held to that opinion.169 But in that case at least (there, E.Moore is right170), for example, 'Ρου(γ) is not a Türkic (and not Altai) name, since there is not a single Türkic (and Altaic) word that would begin with r-
(the etymology of Yu. Moravcik171 from the
Türkic Uruq (descendents, posterity) is absolutely unbelievable from the phonetic point of view
(sic!)). After all, it is impossible not to
see contradictions in the fact that Schramm, on the one hand, considers the Altaic origin of the
Hun language as quite probable
(which, among other things, manifests itself in the fact
that he admits the presence of the suffix
in some of the Hun names, which is very similar to the Altai, see below), and on the other hand, he
does not pay attention to the fact that the r- anlaut sharply contradicts all that we know
about the Altaic languages. I do not see the reason why the name Ruga could not be Germanic
(or Eskimo?). Why
could not Huns have Germanic names, but only the native Hunnic? Are such names of Turkish sultans as
Selim and Suleiman need to be interpreted as an Arabic transmission of the Türkic proper
names, and not as Arab
names? And just like the victorious Türks adopted names from their subjects, the victorious Huns
could do the same with the Germanic names (Bulgars and Oguz Türks had to take Moslem
names with conversion to the Moslem religion, like did the Germans at conversion to Christianity.
Name was an enforced ideological statement).
To show what problems we are facing here, I would like to take a closer look at the two names -
Attila (German Etzel) and his father Mundiuhos (Mundzuk).
The name of Attila is impeccably and without any doubts etymologized on Gothic soil and means in
Gothic “father”. (The poor Sakha north of Manchuria had to learn the
word ata “father” from their Gothic brethren on the opposite end of the globe. Could G.Doerfer
(1920 – 2003) have missed the news that his contemporary, the President Ataturk, who ruled 1923 -
1938, was a “father” of the Turk nation?) It was recognized as a Germanic transmission of some Hunnic native name (see above).173 However,
L.Schöenfeld, D.Sinor, J.Harmatta and A.Bach
hold it unequivocally German. There have been attempts to interpret this name as Hungarian (J.Klaproth 175), Slavic (Y. Venelin)176,
Tocharian (P.Pouha)177 and in various ways as having a Türkic origin. O.Pritsak178 attracts the
Türkic äs-tïl 'great sea' and connects the name of Attila with the Türkic Atil 'Volga'179.
The etymology of the name of the Volga is definitely wrong, as the word til 'sea' is not recorded in
the Türkic languages. To reinforce his hypothesis, O.Pritsak refers to the name of the Central Asian
river Qara-Tal, as if in it we have a tal-/tïl- 'river'. But in fact Qara-Tal simply means '(river)
Black willow': qara-tal is a special kind of willow180. Such river names, indeed, occur quite
often, for example, the river Kizil Buye = Turk. qïzïl buya 'red weed grass'181, river
Kök Terek = Turk. kök teräk 'blue (green) poplar'182.
But the word äs 'big' is more than doubtful. According to O.Pritsak, it was preserved only in the
Chuvash as-la 'great, important, noble', and also in the verbs as-lan- 'expand', as- lat-
'to expand'. But both
these verbs are the result of a haplologic elision of syllables in the forms aslä-lan-, aslä-lat-183. To
clarify the origin of the word as-la we turn to the dictionary184: as 'memory' (this is
common Türkic, Radlov: äs 'acumen, sagacity, memory, consciousness'185, hence the äs-li
Crimea-Tatar, Karachai 'adult', Chagatai 'big'), asla 'older' (by age), 'senior'
'higher' (school, court), 'wide, spread out' (field, road), 'great' (leader). It seems quite clear to me that
the Chuvash aslä is the
result of (productive) word-formation from the word äs 'memory' (and perhaps earlier, as in the
rest of the Türkic languages, 'reason') with the following semantic transitions: rational >
older, adult > big (about person) > big, vast (in general). Since the Türkic tïl
actually has only the meaning of 'language' (like tell and
tale in English, mitteilen in German), then äs tïl could only mean 'intelligence (and) language' (or
'prey and language'186).
And it is extremely improbable that you can simply identify the name of Attila with the name of the
Volga. (So far, the only sane statement)
R.A.Reynolds cited the Türkic
ata 'father'; the suffix -ila seems to always indicate the Hun's name (which is
erroneous, it is typically Germanic, mostly Gothic, see L.Schöenfeld: Sindila, Adila, Albila, etc., as well as Totila188); cf. also my remark to the name of Atakam, §14.
It seems that the name of Attila can in no case be treated as a Türkic one. One objection, which can
not be completely overlooked, was already voiced by E.Moore: the combination of two consonants -tt
(in the alien rendition)
is a completely non-Türkic phenomenon189 (the objection of O.Menchen-Helfen190 that
supposedly the Türkic languages often have doubled consonants is untenable, for he relies
only on secondary phenomena in some Türkic dialects in relation to the late time, and in respect of
the Old Türkic language it is not valid).
Of course, one could interpret the name of Attila,
for example, as a Germanic transmission of the Old Türkic at-laɣ 'glorified'191. Consonant ɣ here could somehow (hardly more amenable to
further clarification) fall out (or be silent, as it is in most dialects). But who can guarantee that this “beautiful” explanation is correct?
If one approaches unbiased, then the name of Attila can not be interpreted differently other than
(just as the name Suleiman can be interpreted only as Arabic, although it is a Türkic and not an
Arabic ruler, the name of King George is only Greek, although it is English, and not the Greek ruler,
etc.): the word atta 'father' is as well known from the Gothic language as the diminutive suffix
-ila. (The marker -a is a Gothic male ending vs. -o, -ei
for female, a must marker for native and alien words. The -il is Türkic “country, land”.
The analysis fails to mention gender suffixes. The equilibristics on the theme of diminutive is thus
not needed. A sample list of Gothic-Sakha/Türkic extends far beyond atta 'father' (examples from J.Wright,
1910, Grammar of the Gothic Language):
akeit (aket), akeits, vinegar. OE.eced, OHG. eçjçih, Lat. acetum,
from Türkic ashi “acid”,
alan, to grow, OE. alan, Lat. alere, to nourish, from Türkic alan
asilus, ass, OE. esol, OHG. esil, from Türkic äshkäk “donkey”,
atta, father, forefather, OHG. atto, Lat. atta, Gr. αττα,
from Türkic ata “father”
bairan, to bear, carry, bring forth, OE., OHG. beran, from Türkic ber- “to
brofor, OHG. bruoder, from Türkic birader “brother”,
dags, day, from Türkic daŋ “sunrise”,
gabei, riches, from Türkic bei “rich”,
-leikos, like, Anglo-Saxon -lice, from Türkic -lig “like”,
mahtjan, to do violence, injure, damage, revile, from Türkic -mak “make”...
and so on down the Gothic alphabet)
The objection of O.Pritsak192 and Schramm193
that it is improbable for Attila to be
called by the Gothic caressing name “father” is too rationalistic: cf. at least the fact that in the
Serbo-Croatian folk song Tito is called “white violet” (ljubičica bela)
or cf. the phrase “tsar-father”, which was often encountered earlier in the Russian language.
Similarly dispelled is the Schramm's objection that it is unbelievable “that this greatest
leader of the Huns had a Germanic name”: the greatest leader of the Ottomans (Suleiman) bore the
Arabic name, the greatest Russian ruler, King Peter I, had a Greek name, etc.
(Was Attila's name a throne name like the Suleiman or Peter to be compatible?)
I consider it quite hopeless to look for some underlying “Hunnic” (or Türkic) basic form. True, it can
not be denied that the Hunnic (and Germanic) names are sometimes Grecicized or Latinized: it is, in
fact, a completely understandable distortion of the source, about which wrote Yu.Moravchik195. For
example, the name 'Ονεγησλος (see §20), which
J.Harmatta ascended to the name of Hunigis, should
rather have started on Ου- (since this is only how short Germanic a
converted into o196); true, some Greek names could be assimilated197, just as the
Vandal King Hunireiks198 (Huni Arïɣ “Hun the
Unblemished, Perfect”, the title Unblemished turned into the European rex “king”) appears in
the sources not only as Huniricus, etc., but also as Honoricus (beginning with the 5th c.).
Of course, we would have escaped the phonetic difficulty if, following L.Schöenfeld in the eastern name
of Unigis (6th c.) < Hunigeis proposed the presence of a brief u, but this is a very unreliable
way. The truth is, I do not understand why E.Thompson, in connection with the name 'Ονεγησιος
directly uses the expression “this Greek name” 200: I did not find a similar Greek name either from
Fr.Bechtel201 nor from G.E.Benzeler202. There are names with the meaning “useful”, which begin with
or 'Ονηρι (such a name apparently has nothing to do with the Greek word ονηγος
'donkey-driver'203). However, such a Greco-Latin distortion in general rarely prevents
the interpretation of names whose origin is known, which confirms all the material from Yu.Moravchik.
If indeed all the Hunnic names, as E.Thompson wrote, were first Germanized and then still
Grecicized, i.e. as if twice passed through a mill of distortion, in my opinion in the extreme
case it would only mean that we must leave all the onomastic material without interpretation and
we can donothing about it, Ignoramus, ignorabimus? (We do not know and we will not know?). And this
should be the limit of our knowledge? I think this again would mean too much skepticism, and the
surplus of skepticism is uncritical. That is why I see no reason to give the name Attila any meaning
different from that which it really has, and this meaning we find right in the Gothic language.
Controversial is also the name of
Μουνδιουχος (so at Priscus, and at the Jordan -
Mundzucus), J.Klaproth tried to ascend it to the Hungarian word Mentseg (sic!),
which he says means “patronage”204. That is already impossible for phonetic reasons, besides the usual meaning of the word
'apology, excuse'. According to E.Moore, this name can not be Türkic, since in the anlaut it has
m-205. And O.Menchen-Helfen206, who indeed refuted many misconceptions of E.Moore, returned
to the point of view of A.Vamberi, J.Nemeth., L.Rashonya (Yu.Moravchik wrote that this is the point of
view of most Hungarian scientists207) according to which this name is identical with the Türkic word
munjuq 'pearl, bead' (or 'bunchuk'); however, the objection of O.Menchen-Helfen to E.Moore (and
L.Ligeti) by the way misses the target: in the language of the most Old Türkic runic monuments
still preserved before subsequent nasal consonants, so one would expect 'bunčuk' (the modern
form in the Kars dialect
which O.Menchen-Helfen cites in support of his hypothesis,
proves nothing). And L.Schöenfeld208, K.V.Muellenhoff
(see Th.Mommsen)209 and others210 treat this name as Germanic.
Especially G. Schramm was engaged in detail. And he defends his thesis that Mundiuhos is
just a Germanized and Latinized Hunnic name211. He, in particular, refers to the name of a certain
Sabir prince 'Αμ(β)αζαυχες212. In his opinion
that name also contains the same element -ǰuq,
which he sees in the name *munǰuq = Mundiuhos (mün “”monetary wealth, capital”). To G. Schramm can be raised the following objections.
Reference to “the language of the most Old Türkic runic monuments” is uncouth
because that language was only one of many Türkic languages of the time, and it can't be used
as a criteria language representing all and every Türkic language.
1. His position would be more solid if through some distorted forms of names some well-known
example Türkic, was clearly visible, but in this case it definitely not so (see above).
(Quite the opposite, the semantic choice for Türkic munǰuq is immense,
ditto for -ǰuq/-čuq etc.)
O.Menchen-Helfen, following W.B.Henning, showed that the name 'Αμβαζαυχες
is Iranian213. This is
evidenced not only by its appearance, but also by the fact that the Sabirs were not (at least not
necessarily) Huns, and Iranian names are characteristic of the Caucasian Huns (see §19). In other
words, this name has no form, which would be parallel to the name of Mundiuhos; the nominational
condition B, put forward by us in §15, is not fulfilled. There is no suffix -ǰuq in the Iranian
Ironically, Amaba/Ambal/Anbal is an once popular Türkic name
(moniker) for 1. a baby of a royal concubine from bal “honey”, 2. something
massive and slow or stupe, lit. “castrated ox”, Cf. Khan Ambal mountains, ca 39°N, 93°E,
east of lake Gezkul in the Chinese Chinghai province. And ironically, Sabirs/Savirs/Subars were attested as
speaking similarly to the Türkic Bulgars, and if anything, much later they could switch to Moslem
or Jewish names, and still much later, a part of them switched to Slavic names. Unless Persians invented the word, they used the Türkic word,
or probably a person was not a Persian.
A fascinating argument is the “appearance”, a criteria neither listed nor defined in this
essay, or probably anywhere in the word. It must be a product of a fussy linguistic intuition stated
as a fact to substantiate an arbitrary speculation. “Registered in the Germanic (Persian, etc.) languages”
becomes a valid criteria.
3. Undoubtedly, the Huns have some Germanic names (see above). This is the name
Laudaricus214, which corresponds to the onomatological condition B (typically a German compound
word, see also Heinrich, etc.). This is the name of Ruga215. The initial r- indicates non-Türkic
origin (condition A), it was
registered in the Germanic languages. The coexistence of forms with and without a consonant
in Socrates Scholast, about 439, 'Pîυας in Priscus, about 472) and variants
with or without the German diminutive suffix -ila (forms with this suffix are in Theodoret of
Kyros, died about 450), is, in spite of the position of Schramm216, a testimony not against, but in favor of the German origin
of this name. In fact, it was Gothic -g- pronounced as (in some cases, rather weak) -ɣ-; so we
find German names in ancient sources with and without -g-. Suffice it to recall from L.Schöenfeld
the names Agiulfus, Alavivust, Arigernus, etc.) Similarly, the name of the same person often appears
with a diminutive suffix, then without it, cf. L.Schöenfeld names: Badvila, Theia (and in German
Walther = Waltherchen, etc.).
4. And on the other hand, many Hunnic names such as Emnetzur, Ultzindur, absolutely were not
Germanized, nor Latinized, nor Grecicized. How so? Some names were subjected to Germanization (etc.),
while others were not? See also below (7).
Probably second-rank princelings born of Latin, Greek, Slavic mothers carried
their first languages through the rest of their lives, including their names. But the examples are
erroneous, the suffix -gur (-zur/-dur) attests that
these are collective names, tribal or administrative, Cf. mother, father with plural/collective suffix
-dur/-ther. Germanized, Latinized, Grecicized were not the names but the perceptions reflected
in the transcriptions. Different ear, different transcription.
5. If, in particular, refer to the name of
Balamber, - how tempting to liken it to the Gothic Vala - mers (or * Bala - mers 'loud glory')
217 (in Priscus Βαλαμερος!). But this name completely
preserved its alien originality. Therefore, I believe that ancient writers quite accurately conveyed
in writing the Hun names, of course within the modest phonetic means they possessed. How easily
could the name Kursikh be compared to numerous German names ending in -ιχος
(Gothic -eiks), i.e. *Κουρσιχος.
6. But why should the Hun rulers have all the Hunnic
proper names? Why should they not be elements of mixed
origin, consisting of native and borrowed elements? Do not such elements occur much
more often than pure elements? Do not German names have very different origins (Germanic, Roman,
Greek, Hebrew, etc.)? And it was the nomads who repeatedly took foreign names. Cf. for example, the
names of the great Seljukids: Togrul-bek (Türkic) and his brother Dawood (Arabic),
(Türkic), Melik-shah (Arab.-Pers.), Mahmud (Arabic), Berk-Jaruk (Türkic),
Mohammed (Arabic), etc. When they try to interpret all Hunnic names as necessarily Hunnic
names and in no way as Germanic (or Iranian), this seems to me to be the same as if they tried to
build the name of the Ottoman ruler to the Old Türkic sülä 'to wage war' (see §15).
Seljukids are Moslems, look at Christianity that took over baptisms from the parents to the
church “fathers”. Etymology without history is like a body without a brain, it does not hold.
7. It seems to me unprovable that
Priscus heard the names of the Hunnic rulers through the intermediary
of Germans speaking Latin.218
If you remember that, for example, he himself heard and recorded the words
μεδος, καμον (and, in all
probability, correctly committed them to writing), then one should rather think that he correctly
perceived the sound image of the rulers' names. And after all, we find those names that
obviously do not give an impression of Germanic but look very exotic, for example, Kursih (or Χελκαλ).
Why, then, could he not be imagined the Hunnic name *Munǰuq, as suggested by Schramm,
transcribed as Μουνζουκ? And vice versa, why does the name
'Hrναχ appear exactly in this form,
why was it not Germanized or Grecicized as 'Hrνακος? G. Schramm writes that
name [Mundiuxos] in a Latin context from some Germanic informer (at the Attila's court)”219. But why
should he have heard the name of the dead Mundiuhos in a Germanized-Latinized form, and not
the name of the Attila son Hernak, who was alive and present at the court? For what reason was the
latter not subjected to Germanization-Romanization? (Almost suggests a comparison with such Germanic names as
Erna, Ernst). And why are there no names Βασιχος, Κουρβιχος?
8. Let's try to understand the name of
Mundiuhos, bolstering on L.Schöenfeld and considering all
possible ways. In connection with the first element of the compound names, he points to the name
Anne-mondus220. It contains the element mund = 'hand', 'defense', cf. also
Munderichus < Goth. Mundi-reiks, Mundila etc.221 But the element mund(i)
often appears in the names both as the first and the second component; this is a characteristic part
of the species; it corresponds to the condition B (L.Schöenfeld has four examples in which this element is the first component, 21
examples with it a second component222, compare still nowadays Edmund, Sigismund).
second component of this name, first of all L.Schöenfeld points to the name Gundiuchus < Gundi-vichus223, and then to the name of
Chlodavichus224. It is a well-known part of the Germanic names that goes back to
the Gothic word weihs “struggle” (weihan
“to fight, strive”) (according to L.Schöenfeld, in two cases it is a
first, in nine cases a second component225), in particular also cf. Erduic226 (= Goth.)
(Airþa-weihs: airþa earth, land, region, OE. eorþe, OHG.
erda, Türkic jer, yö:r “earth, land, region”, yerde: in the place, in places, te:ŋri yerende:
in God's abode, the directional suffix -de is preserved in German erde and English
earth; weihan to fight, strive (the cited weihs apparently is a secondary,
conjugated form), Anglo-Saxon wegan to fight. Apparently, weg, wegan is
the original, pre-Corded Ware and pre-Germanic, European word) Thus, this element also
corresponds to condition B. (compare modern names Hedwig, Ludwig). Following this path, we would
have received the Gothic form Mundi-weihs 'defensive
battle', which from the point of view of German onomastics would be flawless in both form and
meaning. But then why this form is written Μουνδιουχος? Why not Μουνδιουιοος? Here I would like to
point out one important, albeit unobtrusive, place of L.Schöenfeld (which Schmem seems to have
missed precisely because it does not catch sight).
In the article on the word Wilia about the form of Ουλαιας, which is available in Procopius, it is
said: “In Procopius, we always find Ουι in lieu of Ου, it could equally apply to
however, has little onomatological material and who does not accidentally have any name on Ου or
Ουι)”228. However, in Procopius this graphical feature is also found in the inlaut. In
we read: “Latin (Cassiodorus, etc.) Amalasuintha (Eastern Gothic Princess) in Procopius is written
'Αμαλασουνθα'.”229. In accordance with this,
Μουνδιουχος = Μουνδιουιχος <
Goth. Mundi-weihs, with
Goth. -s = Greek. -os, while the actual Hunnic names usually do not have an ending, i.e. appear as
Greek indeclinable words (ending in a consonant), such as Κουρσιχ, not
Κουρσιχος, etc. (Following this method, from any
language can be pulled two short words and compiled into an etymology, see G.Doerfer's example on Eskimo.
is obvious adjectival derivative of Türkic Kur/Kir “brave, hence prince”
with adjectival suffix -sïɣ/-sig/-čïɣ/-čig transcribed
in a script with no appropriate grapheme for a dental sibilant of the -th- type,
“princely”, Cf. Kurbat, Kir (Cyrus), Moyun-Chur, Küli Čur, etc.)
9. And thus we have found one more formal feature (which corresponds to condition B (§15): all names
that can be treated as Germanic are declined.
In particular, the following matches are found:
|Gothic = s
||Greek = os
||Latin = us
More complicated cases such as the Greek Ουπταρος =
Lat. Οctar = Goth. *Üftar? The Greek -π-
does not correspond to Latin -c-; therefore, L.Schöenfeld suggested that Jordan had a cliche. But
theoretically, the cliche could have been in the inscription of Ουπταρος232;
however, the Armenian
form of 'Utpa233 testifies against this, as well as the eastern name of Οπταρις in Procopius.
Therefore, the name Optar sooner corresponds to the Latin Octar. Perhaps the Greek -os at the end
appeared again, it is also possible that in Latin this name is shortened by the pattern of words
such as vir, puer (declension to o), also possible an analogy with the name Caesar. Finally,
there is the possibility that, in this case, there was indeed Grecicized some Hunnic name. The Greek
Mîυνδος, corresponding to the Latin Mundo (Marcellin
Comitatus, Jordan), Mundus (Zacharias of Mytilene)
looks somewhat original. In Gothic, apparently, there should have been Mundo(n). In Latin,
was apparently formed
by the models known in that language (Scipio, etc.), whereas the Greek language preferred to
translate this name into the most common declension on -o (it is possible that such cases as the
Latin Stilico = Greek Στιλικων are very close to it, after consonant to
-n). These two unclear cases can not shake the distinctly observed rule: Goth. -a = Greek
-as = Lat. -a; Goth. -a = Greek -os = Lat. -us. And all the German names are declined. In other words, these
“Hunnic” forms of German origin behave in the same way as other undoubtedly Germanic and used to
refer to the Germans, such as Gothic names on -reiks = Greek. -rikos = Lat. -ricus (in L.Schöenfeld235: Goth. Aþanareiks = Greek. 'Αθαναρικοσ,
= Lat. Athanaricus) and Gothic names on -ila (Goth. Ansila
= Greek 'Ανσιλασ = Lat. Ansila). But the names that can not be interpreted as Germanic are seldom
declined, for example: Μαμας (= Hun. *Mama, according to Yu.Moravchik236,
in Greek the foreign-language
names on -a always end in -as), 'Ωηβαρσιος, (which , however,
ισ not Hunnic but Germanic
see §19) and, finally, Ουλδης. The latter in Latin corresponds to
Huldin. It is the Latin variant,
perhaps, which represents the original Hunnic form, whereas in Greek Huldin was interpreted as the
accusative case and the corresponding nominative case Ουλδης was formed. This phenomenon is written
by Yu.Moravchik237, who cites a number of similar examples (for example, the Türkic name
Arslan language has the form 'Αρσιλας in Greek). But all the other Hun names are declined.238 In other words,
they obviously have, according to the Hunnic patterns, no endings -s, -os, -us: Βαδικ, Κουρσικ,
Ατακαμ, Δεγγιζικ (Denzicis, Dintzic),
'Hernac, Balamber, Ellac, Emnetzur, Ultzindur. (For the names of Χαρατον and
Ουλδης, see §16).
Thus, we can formulate a rule: the Hunnic
names of German origin are declined (primarily with -os, -us), the
original Hunnic names are not declined (they end with a consonant); Germanic or Hunnic names ending
in a vowel represent a special case, since in Greek they end with -as, in Latin - with -a.
In linguistics, it is perilous to proclaim a rule, and even worse to proclaim a law. The stochastic
nature of the linguistic development throws a monkey wrench in any “rule” or “law”. What was a
simple static “law” in the 19th c. became a “rule” in the 20th c., like the Aristotle geocentric
model it was numerously modified with ever more elaborated improvement wiggles, and kept swaging down to mere
“tendency”. In inflectional languages, uninflected noun does not make sense, thus the Coca Cola
becomes koka (fem.), koku, koke, kokoy in Slavic languages, with a very similar procession in the
Gothic. Note that koka does not become Gothic or German, it is its grammatical form that
become Gothic or German, i.e. Gothicized or Germanized. To be
Germanized, the original word is inescapably deformed. One can figure out that the root of koka stands for Coca and ultimately for coca leaves
which would exclude non-tropical origins, but dispensing with the root and analyzing suffixes and
endings would never bring any sane results, not even a linguistic affiliation of the subject word.
The vicious circle would bring a conscientious explorer back to square one, “we do not have a clue”.
Thus, it is a “we do not have a clue” rule.
The trick here is to reduce the unknowns to fixed knowns, and then to solve for a single remaining unknown. Like a rabbit
in the hat trick, a win is ensured every time.
Well, now we can state: (I) the Hun names sometimes have a foreign language appearance (onomatological
condition A), for example, Emnetzur, and Germanic names of the Huns have a typically
(i.e. “typically”) German anlaut,
such as bl- in Bleda; (2) in the morphological sense, the Huns' Germanic names are
characterized by the suffix -s, -os, -us and are always declined,
the Hun's names do not have this suffix and in the overwhelming majority are not
condition B), the name of Attila, for example, has a real Gothic suffix; (3) names such as Mundiweihs,
Gaismoþs, Laudareiks are real Gothic-German compound words that do not occur among the
actual Hun words (onomatological condition B). But this means that the etymologization of names on
German soil, including the name Mundiuhos, satisfies all three onomatological conditions, and the
etymologization of Schramm does none.
Once again [see (7)]: it is generally impossible to understand why a “Germanized” form is found in
the name of Mundiukhos, and the name 'Hrνακ does not. If we were told that only some
were subjected to Germanization, while others were not, then this would not be a new argument, but
merely a repetition of a preconceived opinion. Schramm writes that Mundiukhos was probably
born before 375, hardly after 380, i.e. “A few years after the Germans were first conquered by the Huns.
It is hardly possible to think that during those early years, relations between the
victors and the vanquished have had formed, and the German culture had won a firm and honorable
place among the Hun nobility. And this should have preceded for any noble Hun to be called a
German name.”239 Schramm did not appreciate that such close contact (in specific
form of relationship between the winners and the conquered) is not at all a condition for
borrowing names, for which quite often very weak and distant mutual influences (cf. in German
a name Olga from the Russian, Harry from English).
Below, for purposes of clarity, a list of Hunnic princely names is given (see table). The dates
quoted more often denote the time of appearing in the sources, and the time of the rule only in some
cases; however, sometimes there are discrepancies between dates; so the information of Yu.Moravchik and
Fr.Altheim240 often differ by one year (for us these discrepancies are
For the questions about the names Ουλδες è Χαρατων,
see §16. Concerning the time of the creation of the work of Marcellin Comitatus: he completed his
work in 534, an unknown author brought it to 548.
Hunnic princely names
|I divided the princes into four generations:
I - the ancestors of Attila (or at any rate the early Huns' rulers),
II - father and uncles of Attila,
III - Attila and his own generation,
sons, nephews and grandchildren, as well as other more distant relatives of Attila.
Some random and obvious Türkic translations countering unsustainable
assertions are shown in
(parentheses). Other versions of translations are shown herein and in numerous sources, Cf.
O.Pritsak, 1982, The Hunnic Language of the Attila Clan, etc.
||Hunnic (bala ber baby-gift)
||Hunnic (basïɣ domestics)
||Hunnic (kursig/kursïɣ princely)
||Sozomen, ca. 450
||Hunnic (yultuz star), aka Odin
||Marcellin Comitatus 534
||Hunnic (kara ton black-donned)
||Gothic (uruq descendents, posterity)
||Gaul Chronicle 452
||d. ca 430
||Iranian (yolbars tiger, lit. striped bars)
||Marcellin Comitatus 534
||Hunnic (Ata father, il land, country)
||Marcellin Comitatus 534
||d. after 474
||Marcellin Comitatus 534
||Marcellin Comitatus 534
||Gaul Chronicle 6th c.
It seems that on this list you can see the following scheme: under the number I we have purely Hunnic
names (as you would expect), under the figure II, the German fashion is revealed, the names under
the third (III) symbol are mixed (with ruler names continuing the German fashion), under the
figure IV at first proper Hunnic names, then again Germanic. This change of fashion for proper names
is very similar to the processes in modern European countries, in particular in Germany. True, the
meager material does not allow to draw definitive conclusions...
O.Pritsak241 also calls a number of late Caucasian Huns as successors to Attila:
520), Γλωνης and Στυραξ?, (About 527), etc. But here the relationship with the Huns of Attila is
less obvious; apparently, we have less than in the case of the names Ουλδες
and Χαρατων, the reason to expect that between them
and the Huns of Attila there is a continuous line of communication. The connection of the Ernak's
Dobruja Huns and the “Huns” of the Sea of Azov and the Caucasus is
not at all an axiom (this was already discussed in §16, see also §29).
Among the names relating to paragraph (2) of §16, there are certainly many German names, too. And
they were partially interpreted as Türkic. So, it seems, did J.Harmatta with the word Σκοτταξ,
which is perfectly identified with the German Skutta 'shooter' (According to L.Schöenfeld,243, the
East Germanic vowel u is represented in Latin and Greek sources by the vowel o). It is quite
obvious that this name is not Türkic because it has sk-244 in anlaut (onomatological condition
A). It is unconvincing to interpret it as “Skythe” (“Scyth”)245. It is completely
unacceptable and erroneous in the methodological way to attempt to create this name to the Old
Türkic word oz-ɣut-a 'savior, liberator'246: in the Old Türkic language
the suffix -ɣut and the
suffix -a are unproductive (violation of the
Condition B, very reminiscent of the absolutely invented etymologies of Eskimo names in §15). In
general, Germanic etymologies are preferred by: T. Mommsen, L.Schöenfeld, J.Harmatta, the
Türkic by O.Menchen-Helfen, R.A.Reynolds, Fr.Altheim247.
After dismissing the most popular ethnonym S'k (Sïk), and the universal tendency to call
outsiders by their ethnicity, and appropriating the anlaut sk- exclusively to his own ilk,
from the remaining sand the anxious scholars can build any kinds of castles they desire. According
to the Chinese annals, Esgels were the most mighty of all Hunnic tribes. The -t in Scyth, Scott, Skutta
and the like is either directional suffix (-ta/-da “from the mountains”) or pl. suffix -t
(Piemounters, Mountaineers). The name Sekler is synonymous, formed with the pl. suffix -lar/-ler.
§19. The Iranian (Alanian), in all probability, is the name 'Ωηβαρσος. Previously, this name was
etymologized as Türkic oy-bars 'gray (or red-brown) lynx'248,
(yolbars tiger, lit. striped bars) 'forest tiger'249 or as ay-bars 'panther-moon'250 (reference by Yu.Moravchik251 to Mamluk name
(rank of commander, general) at Sauvaget is insufficient to
justify reading in Türkic oy-bars, ay-bars)252. In Türkic languages, neither the word
ay-bars (also as the proper name) (however it should be ay-barsi), nor oy-bars (oy
is known only as a designation of a horse hue and is not suitable for denoting the color of a lynx). In a word, these
Türkic names are absolutely a fantasy. But in the Iranian area, there are really suitable and
similar names. Herodotus mentions the groom of Darius, named Οιβαρις, and (even better),
points to the Iranian name Wehbarz, Wahubarz, in the Greek sources' Οβορζος253.
Since Persian practically does not have native roots with anlaut bar- (most of those are
Türkic roots), it is hard to imagine an Iranian name based on a
couple of native words (rain, clear, bravo, about), or an omission of an attested Türkic-Hunnic rank
yolbars for a general
O.Menchen-Helfen wrote about Iranian names among “Huns.”254 However, almost all
that is about
dubious Huns. For example, the names of the Caucasian Huns (Huns?) are predominantly Iranian, see in §28
the name 'Αμβαζαυχες. So are the names Ζαβεργαν255,
Γλονης256, Στυρας257. These Caucasian
“Huns” refer to those that are united in the name of Yu.Moravchik by the name Ουννοι, the peoples mentioned
in §11 as category 7-11. Most likely these are Alans (or at least the Iranized Huns). In any case,
the Türkic etymologies of all these names are completely unreliable. Take, for example, the name
Στυρας. Fr.Altheim258 etymologizes it as the Old
Türkic öz-turač 'one that is a
shield'. But the diminutive suffix -č is unproductive here, which contradicts the onomatological
condition B. In addition, according to the rules of the Old Türkic grammar, this meaning should be
conveyed by özi turač, and öz-turač should be translated as “his small shield”. It
is quite obvious that the only convincing is to ascend this name to the Iranian Stürak, and
Στυραξ? is the Greek name in which the stürak was
reinterpreted. The names of “Hun” bodyguards in the Byzantine army are also mostly Iranian.259
Fr.Altheim, 1962, was unfortunately ahead of his time, his sources were very limited, ahead of the
A.Shcherbak, 1961, Animal Names; the Old Türkic Dictionary, (ODT), 1969; G.Clauson 1972,
Etymological Dictionary of Pre-Thirteenth-Century Turkish
(EDT); E.Sevortyan 1974, 1978 on, Etymological Dictionary of Türkic Languages
(ESTJA), etc., which broke “Turkish” into
dozens of Türkic languages, and supplied the animal names so important to understand the Hunnic/Türkic ranking system.
Contrary to G.Doerfer's assertions, all attempts to insert “Iranian” into the Hunnic subject
fail miserably, even worse than the Germanic-Hunnic amalgamation.
* On the word tura see: G. Dîåãfåã. Russ. tury 'Schonzkörbe'
(terem, tower, lit. protective baskets). - ZfslPh. Bd. XXIX, H. 2. 1961,
p. 288-502 [Note. Translator].
§20. Therefore, there are still names: Βασιχ, Κουρσιχ,
'Ατακαμ (see §14), Mαμας, Δεγγιζιχ, Ηρναχ,
Balamber, Ellac, Emnetzur, Ultzindur (and Ουλδες and Χαρατων, but see §§ 16). Of course, they too
(as well as the names relating to item (2), in particular Ονεγησιος - Hunnic
aristocrat at the Attila's court), many interpreted as Türkic. Thus, O.Menchen-Helfen, B.Arnim, G.V. Khausseig,
Fr.Altheim compared the name of Δεγγιζιχ with the Türkic word
täŋiz (respectively with the
Bolgaro-Türkic *täŋir) 'sea'260. Objecting to that, E.Moore rightly pointed out that in the Old Türkic there are no
words with initial d-261 (the O. Menhen-Helfen retort262 to the Greek (in
Menander) δογια 'wake' = Old Türkic yîγ is untenable, because in this case
δ or d corresponds to the Türkic y and not t, as is the case with the Δεγγιζιχ
with Old Türkic täŋiz. And the transition t- > d- (as in the Turkish deniz) occurred very late and only in a few Türkic languages (in the
Ottoman language , the predecessor of the modern Turkish language, only in the 11th-21st centuries
AD263). To suppose that this transition could have taken place in the language of the of
the 5th c. Huns is an anachronism.
The chew of this this entire exchange is nonsensical because of the attested
45th c. BC Sumerian Dingir vs. ubiquitous Türkic Teŋri,
Gothic Thor, Turkish tŋri, and the attestation “always deŋri in the Türkic hP’ags-pa
texts” - “God”
Common for the attempts to etymologize all these names is that either recognizing
all of them as Türkic was not justified (as in the case of the name Mαμας), or their
Türkic origin is
extremely controversial. Thus, Fr.Altheim explained the name 'Ονηγησιος
“friendless, singleton”, from ınağ “buddy,
partner”, reasonably homophonic with Greek Ονηγησιος/Onigisios “honorable”) as the
Old Türkic on-iyiz 'the one followed by ten'264 (again with an unproductive suffix, besides one would expect
*on-iyizi, cf. on-bašï 'the leader of the ten' (military rank), and the name
the Old Türkic ädgü 'good'.265 However, O.Menchen-Helfen, who generally prefers the
for the Hunnic names, did not dare to explain them as Türkic.226 J.Harmatta, in turn, treats the name
(and in my opinion, convincingly) as Germanic (Hunigis)267 (as, incidentally, earlied did
J.Marquart, however see §18). The name Βεριχος was perceived by O.Menchen-Helfen
as undoubtedly Türkic268, and G.-W.Haussig interprets it as an “Ossetian” (i.e., Alanian)269, while Fr. Altheim is indecisive.270 The
interpretation of the name Hernac ('Ηερναχ)
(also Irnik of Nominalia, erinik/irnik “little squawker”, a
child name) as Türkic ärŋäk 'finger' (more precisely, 'thumb'),
proposed by Fr. Althheim,271 is unconvincing: the explanation that it meant “finger”, since
Ernak “was the youngest and therefore the smallest son of Attila” does not convince (where was Attila to
know that he will remain the smallest?). No one has joined this interpretation.
The remaining etymologies are based on unproductive suffixes. Such are the proposed etymologies of
the name Βασιχ273 (G.-W.Haussig noted that A.fon Gabain gives very few examples with the suffix
and among them there is no word baš-sïɣ)274 and the name Ηεσλας, which Fr.Altheim explains as
'work' with the (denoun verbal) suffix -la275, which, however, A.fon Gabain
(incorrectly, e.g. EDT lists 509 cases) comments “extremely rare.”276
“Rare” is a bad excuse, since our knowledge is severely limited by the eastern
sources, while after the all-permeating religious “enlightenment” of the Middle Ages the western sources are nearly completely missing. That allows only a scattered
knowledge of the Ogur languages, the dominating branch in Europe well into the Middle Age. In addition
to the regular phonetic alternations, functionally identical morphological elements, and entire lexemes
were used with radically different frequencies in the east, west, south, and north. “Rare” is a
function of “where”.
Among the Hun names of items (1) and (2), there is not a single one that can be
unambiguously etymologized as a Türkic. Therefore, the point of view (
§12H) - Old Türkic) in §12 should also be
After forcefully preaching (§15) that onomastics is a minefield that methodologically should comply with formal
criteria: “In the interpretation of any appellation or name, a possible
detection of meaning is, of course, a pleasant concomitant circumstance, but it can not be
considered an essential or indispensable condition. Of the decisive importance is certain formal criteria”,
under most flimsy and arbitrary pretensions G.Doerfer completely skips the reading of the
phonetic/graphic correspondences between the Türkic and Greek/Roman idiosyncrasies embedded in the
transcriptions used, completely discards roots together with their morphological elements (like the
diminutive -ik, adjectival -sig), with the old traditional practices of naming,
with ethnographic material, with societal traditions, and even with annalistic material
(connection Huns-Bulgars and Bulgars-Türks-Burgunds). With such parody on the “formal criteria”, G.Doerfer
proclaims that “there is not a single one that can be unambiguously etymologized as a Türkic”.
whole routine of the “formal criteria” is a quasi-scientific farce, even for a stripped bare
And it is not at all that the Hun names are imperfectly transmitted in Latin or Greek sources (O.
Menhen-Helfen objection277). Suffice it to recall that the Türkic names in the transmission of the
Arabic script - which is even less suitable for this than the Greek, because it does not distinguish
between vowels and equally badly distinguish between consonants k and g and so on! - almost always is easy to
explain unambiguously, in particular the Mamluk names278 (for example: qr'l'ğyn = qara-lačïn
'black falcon', qurqma's = qorqmas 'abreast'279, etc.); in the overwhelming majority, the names of
Ottoman rulers in Greek texts are uniquely etymologized (for example, in Yu.Moravchik280:
'Αλπιχαρας = alp-qara 'brave, black', 'Αλαδινες = Alaeddin, etc.).
There is not a single Hun name, about the interpretation of which all researchers would have been as
unanimous as in the question of interpreting 'lp 'rsl'n in Persian texts (= alp-arslan 'brave lion') or
Σουλεïμανης in Greek sources (= Suleiman from the Arabic
Still, the same G.Doerfer somehow failed to see the same
χαρα (qara) “black” in Χαρατων “black clothes, shirt”, and the English don, German
zieh “dress, to dress” in ton (don), Cf. Slavic calque Cherny Clobuki (×åðíû Êëîáóêè)
“black hats”. G.Doerfer would have a his first Eureka! moment
of the “not a single” parade if not for the a case of mental block. For some, reading Persian at times is
easier than reading Greek, English, Slavic, or even native German.
Further, there is not a single Hun name
that could also be easily found in Türkic onomastics, as, say, the Hun names of German origin in
German onomastics (compare, for example, 'Ρουγας and the Old High
German Rugo281, typical constituent parts of the names mundi- and weihs in the name
Since the origin of the German Rugo is unknown, its closest relative
in time and space is
the Hunnic 'Ρουγας (439) and the suitable meaning “offspring”, that's
the best of our knowledge. Since mund in German is “mouth” vs. the European “world”, neither
one would make sense for a title-name. At
the same time the German meinung, English mind, and Türkic ming (meji/meŋä/meŋi/men/min/ben/bin/beñi:)
are obvious cognates related to “brain”, it is easy to see that the suffix -χος/-zuk/-ǰuq
serves the same grammatical function, in this case related to “brain, mind”, something like “brainy, clever”. It does not take a rocket scientist to put two and two together. Moreover, since
suggestions are not verifiable, the cluster of suitable forms with proper suffix to satisfy the
“formal criteria”, and suitable title-name meanings is wide open.
Of course, Türkic onomastics in Greek sources also reveals some ambiguities. But this is partly
explained by the fact that there are many non-Türkic elements in the Old Türkic names and
titles282. At the same time, much is very clear in them, for example, such names as 'Αρσιλας =
arslan 'lion', Ταρδον = Old Türkic Tardu (documented in the sources), as well as
Τουρκοι = türk 'Türks',
δογλα 'wake', titles such as ταρχαν, τουδουνος, χαγανος are well-known typical terms
from the sphere of the steppe nomads social organization.283
So, it is quite obvious that the Hunnic names can not be
unequivocally explained as Türkic, or rather - they do not lend themselves to etymologization at all, they belong to some unknown language.
Rather, “Greek sources also reveal some ambiguities” in case of the Hunnic and
Türkic, and probably numerous others, but the Hunnic case is artificially singled out for an
Obvious, naturally, is the opposite, unless “unequivocally” extends to
absurdly unrealistic expectations. The “unknown language” punch line is a joke.
§21. It is interesting to note that among the names relating to points (I) and (2) and even (3),
there is not one such that has an anlaut on l (so clearly encountered in the Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu) language (see
§7)) (except for the clearly Germanic name Laudaricus). This gives grounds to consider it
unbelievable that the unknown Hun layer was identical with the unknown Huns.
If Chinese spelled
it would also be either barely recognizable or not recognizable at all for those who take Chinese
renditions formally or use G.Doerfer's “formal criteria”. The meaning of that name is different in
several languages, countries and cultures. Patently Germanic is only the G.Doerfer's assertion that
it is Germanic.
Caucasian Huns ( §12F) Caucasians)
§22. And now, finally, consider the statement of E.Moore that the Huns were Caucasians.
(Huns numbering about 25,000 appeared in the S.Caucasus at about 150 AD as
companions of the Masgut (Maskut, Massaget) army under command of the Masgut king Sanesan, who was
also a king of the Huns and Agvans, to fight the encroaching Persians) How useful is the criticism by E.Moore284 of the points of view of other researchers (apart from some
of the errors pointed to by O.Menchen-Helfen285), his own theory is just as unjustified. As a “proof” of his point of view, E.Moore gives only a few significant historical and archaeological
facts286 and points to the fact that the Hun material is not Türkic, because it has many non-Türkic
phonetic features287 (to a certain extent this was done correctly, but only here it is unconvincing,
since such sounds as κ or ξ and such anlauts as at δ-, as well as the
reminants (of earlier forms of language) are found in many languages.)
E.Moore did not even attempt to etymologize on the Caucasian linguistic material at least
a single Hun
name; moreover, he unequivocally substantiated his reluctance to engage in that288 (etymologization
of names, he said, is already hopeless, we think that that is exaggerated). Then, as a typical
Hun phenomenon, he cites a fact that sometimes there are variations of the names with and without = χ
but “in the Caucasian languages we could not find any example with this morphological feature”289.
The only positive argument he has is an indication that in the names of the Hunnic tribes is
frequently found a consonant -r290. These are the names of the angisthiri, bardori, bitugori, as well
as onogurs, saragurs, etc. “Especially often the consonant -r is used in the northeastern group of
the Caucasian languages (Adyge) as a plural index”291. E.Moore
considers very typical the
fact that the Didoyes (Cze, Tsezes) (a branch of Nakhs,“Chechens”)
appear at Ptolemy as Διδουροι, and in Pliny
as a Didduri. That can be disputed with the following.
1. If we compare the Caucasian
languages presented in the publication Languages of
the Peoples of the USSR, we will see that the there, a plural index is more likely to have the
form -ar/-är: Tabasaran (p. 549), Agulic (p. 565 ), Rutulic (p. 582), Buduic
(p. 647), Lezgin (p. 532), and the Crimean (p. 630). Only Lakic has -ru/-ri (p. 491 and
later), archaic -îr/-ur (p. 611), the Khinalugic -r (p. 662), in Udin -rr (ñ 678).
In many cases, along with these indicators containing the consonant -r, there are other plural
Hin/Xin (Khinalugic) is the
traditional Caucasus form for the Hun, the suffix -lug/-lig is “like, alike”, i.e. “Hunnic”,
right under our and scholar's noses; the community of 1500 may have retained in their Lezgin dialect
traces of their 2000 years-old original language
2. Besides, the consonant -r is also used outside of the north-eastern Caucasian languages (E.Moore himself
names the Circassian, Svanets, but also compare Avar: -r/-l293).
3. And particularly the Didoy (Cze, Tsezes) language, which E.Moore considers particularly demonstrative, does
not have a plural marker with a consonant -rr ( but markers -bi, -za294).
4. It is impossible to prove that in the names of the “Hunnic” tribes one really should see the plural
form. Names of tribes (for example, Türkic) in most cases do not appear in the plural form. One
could recall the example from the Caucasus area, such as the Georgian p'šaw-ur-i 'pshaw'
that points to the origin.
5. Among the tribes which E.Moore calls “Hunnic” is not a single one
which belonging to the Huns could be
That's not accurate. After the Caucasus Huns submitted to the Khazar control
and then the fall of the Khazar Kaganate, the Suvar Hunnic community regained their independence and
eventually united as a Tarki Shamkhalate, an independent state that was eventually occupied by the expansionist
Russia and eventually dissolved (1867). By that time, Huns and Suvars lived in the Caucasus for more
than a millennium, for 40+ generations, and any initial differences thoroughly blended. After the
fall of the Masgut capital Varachan, its successor the Hunnic capital Semender became the the Shamkhalate
capital Tarki, a predecessor of the modern Mahachkala. Under ethnonym Kumyk, the successor population
of the Shamkhalate against all odds continued to dominate the old Hunnic territories well into the
Czarist and Soviet time, till the the 1944 deportation of the Kumyks to the lands of the deported Nakhs. That was only 29 years before G.Doerfer compiled his opus.
The fate of the Caucasus Huns is traceable from Ordos to Sayans/Altai to Aral basin to the Caucasus,
and from 3rd c. BC to 150 AD to the present 21st c. Albeit, under the E.Moore and G.Doerfer
methods the Suvar Huns would not qualify as the “true” Huns or “true” Caucasians worthy of their
6. In addition, the consonant
-r acts as a plural index not only in the Caucasus languages.
Therefore, it can not be recognized as a convincing evidence of linguistic affiliation. For example,
that is in the Bulgarotürkic language (Chuvash e-pe-r 'we' is a remnant of the common
Türkic with -z = Bulg. -r, which could previously have been more common), as well as in the Tungus
7. In addition, a single trait is too little for any material to be attributed to a particular
Thus, the point of view F ( §12F) Caucasians) is also untenable.
The conclusion on the Caucasians is beyond asinine. A signal single phoneme
is suggested as a criteria, and rejection of that suggestion is declared to be a final resolution.
Let's allow for a second that E.Moore is right, and that that phoneme is exclusive to some
Caucasian ethnicity. It is absolutely irrelevant. The issue would not move a single angstrom.
That nonsense is sent to the Central Asiatic Journal in1973, and apparently without a sanity check
or any editorial review the Journal published it as a valid scientific material.
§23. From all that has been said above, we can still make a positive conclusion about the social
structure of the Hunnic Empire: in it we see the same triple division as in the Mongolian state.
Rather, as the Türkic, and not the Mongolian, is profoundly a cardinal issue of
this essay, the honest version of the statement is “we see the same triple division as in the” numerous Türkic
states. The 13th c. Mongol state division was nothing other but a model described for the 3rd c. BC Maodun
Hunnic state. Even allowing that Syanbi were the first Mongolic-speaking actors on the geopolitical
scene, there is zero evidence on their language or social structure. This misleading juggling of terminology
a linguist is not a facile confusion, this is a deliberate attempt to alter a paradigm to a
less viable target.
Absolutely nothing “said above” had anything to do with the social structure of the Hunnic Empire,
that is a false claim. Rather the opposite, the “said above” ignored the bulk of the scholarship
outside of the few old European explorers, turned a blind eye to the ethnic, biological, and social
aspects, and blatantly dismissed mounds of historical and scholarship evidence.
As you know, there (13th c.) were: a) the Mongolian (Türkic,
if Chingiz Khan was an Uygur of the Borjigin line of the Yaglakar dynastic line of the Uygur
Kaganate) ruling elite, from which selected troops (guards) were recruited
and which replenished the command structure (predominantly the supreme command); b) a layer that was related
to the Altai peoples (most of them Türkic, in the east - Tungus).
The spewed details on the Chingiz Khan's 13th c. state are absolutely irrelevant to
the topic of the language of the 5th c. European Huns. We are showered with truthiness of the era of
We did not hear anything at all about Tunguses under the European or Caucasus
Huns, and nothing Tungusic with the Asian Huns after the demise of the Syanbi state and its
successors (Western Qin) in 431AD. Quite the opposite, Huns were escaping from the Tungus (future
Mongols) proxies of
the Chinese all the way to the Central Europe. What scientific perversion would allude to the
mythical Tunguses in this context is a riddle. Such historical riddles were composed in the Reich
during 1930s, but by 1970s they were very dead.
Of these, the army was recruited
and part of (mostly lower) officials and commanders came out; and, finally, c) the enslaved
population (Chinese, Iranians, Russians, etc.).
Rather, the Hunnic Confederation had a volunteer army of the allied tribes,
there was absolutely no recruitment, as the history of the European, Caucasus, and Asian Huns
attests, and that includes the Germanic allies. The militarily incapable tribes were dependents (at
a status of chattel), they were moved at will, and used for laborers. Like any chattel, they were
taken a good care of. But since the strength of the
nomadic armies is in mobility and innate proclivity, labor was needed only for stationary tasks, like
siege and bridges. Of the enslaved population, there was none. Dependents had to pay tribute (like
charcoal and iron ingots, weapons manufacture, and the like). Hunnic society did not know slavery,
just the opposite, it was a magnet of freedom for the enslaved Chinese, Slav, and European runaways.
Culturally, everything was just on the contrary: the conquered peoples were representatives of the developed, and the Mongols
were of a lesser culture.
The G.Doerfer's “Mongols” is a derisive and racistic term for the Türks. G.Doerfer can be accused in bigotry, but can't be blamed for that. His first 25 years in Germany
between the two world wars were an apogee of human racism, racial genocide, and subhuman barbarism. Even
ideological skeptics could not be untouched by the spirit of the times.
Characteristic, especially for personal names, is that the members of the Mongolian ruling
dynasty, along with Mongolian, also had originally Türkic names (Gyuk, Urunk, Uzbek, Kazan, etc.), but
at first did not accept the names of the layer (c) (only after the adoption of Islam, let's say in
Iran, were spread names like Ahmad Abusaid295. This corresponds to the structure of the empire of
the Huns: a) the Huns (speaking in an unknown language) (and their kindred
pastoral tribes, demographically overwhelmingly predominant), b) the allied Germans and Alans (personal names
characteristic of this stratum are found in the representatives of the ruling elite), c) conquered
Slavs, Fennic(although some words have reached us, they had no influence on the choice of personal
names of the ruling elite). Of course, it would be possible to include in this list a whole series
of conquered nomadic tribes and other groups (their names apparently only partially came to us), which most likely should be attributed to point (b)
(in some cases also to the point (c)).
§24. Our conclusions can be summarized in the following paragraphs, which dispel many existing
1. We do not know what language spoke Huns (Patently misleading).
2. We do not know the language of the Huns (but we know enough about
3. We do not know in what language the European Huns spoke (Patently
4. We have reason to assume that the language of the European Huns differed from the language of the
Huns, i.e., the European Huns, apparently, were not descendants of the Huns, at any rate were not
their direct descendants.
The clan Dulo of Attila likely was not a
descendent of the scattered Luanti clan of the Eastern Huns, but that has no bearing on the Hunnic
ethnicity or language, like the German Czars of Russia had no bearing on the Russian ethnicity or
language, ditto with the alien-ruled China and Iran. The Türkic notion of the blue blood of the dynastic lines has survived from before the Hunnic
times well into the modern Europe. And if the Australians and South Africans on the opposite ends of
the globe without any doubts or assumptions can still speak the Germanic English and some version of Germanic
respectively, what on earth other than the G.Doerfer's assumption precludes the Western and
Caucasian Huns speak their old Ogur-type Türkic of the Eastern Huns? This is supposed to be a
science, not a Las Vegas roulette.
5. We have reason to assume that neither the Hun (Hsiung-nu, Xiongnu)
language nor the language of the European Huns
belong to any known or existing language family, moreover (as in the case of the Sumerian, Ugaritic),
we are talking about extinct linguistic groups.
Is this conclusion unexpected? But there are more dead languages than living ones.
The notion of extinct linguistic groups is a multi-layered phenomena: people
die, languages continue in their descendents, Cf. the Old High German is extinct, the German is alive and
kicking and uses plenty of the Old High German lexicon. Sumerian is extinct, but it lives in Türkic
and Germanic languages that use Sumerian lexicon (Sumerian yer “earth”, English
earth, German erde; Sumerian me “me”, English me, German
mir, mich, etc.).
English and Old High German are mutually incomprehensible, but they still belong to the same genetic
trunk; the Western and Eastern Hunnic may have been mutually incomprehensible, but they still
belonged to the same genetic trunk. The evidence is not restricted to one signal parameter a la G.Doerfer,
it is in the cumulative effect of the converging evidence, Cf. even the evidence of the onomastic
aspect, Χαρατων “black clothes, shirt”, Balamber “baby-gift”, etc.). It is the convergence, my dear.
ADDENDA ET CORRIGENDA
There are now two new publications on the Hun language. The first is
a monograph by Otto Maenchen-Helfen (1973)296. In it, first of all, is interesting chapter IX
“Language” (pp. 376-443).
O.Menchen-Helfen basically repeats the arguments that I have already analyzed. Per the content of the material, it mainly
deals with onomastics.
He discerns: Germanized or Germanic names (which include the name
Attila), “Iranian” names, “Türkic” names, names of indeterminate origin. I will allow myself a few
remarks about the “Türkic” names (pp. 392-424, otherwise I agree with O.Menchen-Helfen).
names end in -(ï)ζουρ where O.Menchen-Helfen would like to see the Türkic title
čur. This is
evidenced by the following circumstances:
a) the same element is also found in the Hunnic (or “Hunnic” tribal names,
b) the origin of the Türkic title is unclear;
c) in reality (in accordance with the Khotan transmission čara = (čara/ čoro), Tibetan
čor) in Türkic it is necessary to read čor. (That is nonsence, which
Türkic it unconditionally
must be čor, and what is wrong with Türkic čur, or
gur, kur, or ɣur, or with a stop vowel, or similar range of
articulations? Cf. G.Clauson EDT p. 427, for example) Further,
the names with ι = ιχ are, in his opinion, Türkic:
'Αψιχ, Βαδιχ, Βεριχος, Δεγγιζιχ, Κουρσιχ. However, O.Menchen-Helfen can not find the Türkic etymology of the names
'Αψιχ (Apsig/Apsïɣ “motherly,
elderly, senior”), Κουρσιχ
(Κursig/Κursïɣ “princely”), which allows us to
assume that other names are not of Türkic origin (That is a speedy
jump to conclusions based on dubious assumptions); with respect to the name Δεγγιζιχ
see higher, p. 109, the name Βεριχος (already due to the vowel -i-) rather
lends to etymologization on German
material, as O.Menchen-Helfen himself writes (p. 406). (Hasn't G.Doerfer
argued in §7a “Just by virtue of the laws of probability theory, it is always possible to find
several such correspondences, regardless of which language is taken as an initial basis”? German or
Eskimo material, does not matter.)
Something else raise doubts; the name
'Ατακαμ (p. 406) was discussed above (p.88), regarding the name
'Eλμιγγειροσ (Elmingeiros) (O.Menchen-Helfen, pp. 407
et seq.), which allegedly ascends to the Tungus elmin 'young horse'
(Türkic elımğa:, ımğa: “mountain goat”, and the farming Tunguses are
unlikely candidates to come up with a horsemanship term into the nomadic society; they are likelier
to borrow it from the nomadic Zhou, Scythians, Huns, and the like) and of which O.Menchen-Helfen writes: “that would be the only Tungus word in the Hunnic language”, and also
about the name Mundzuc (pp. 409-412) see above, pp. 102-103, and much more.
Since such interpretations of names, as was shown in the article, are almost always unreliable, we
turn to the names of common nouns. The word Var 'Dnepr' O. Menhen-Helfen (p. 428) considers Iranian
(see the same opinion above, pp. 87-88); the word καμος, in his opinion, is Indo-European (compare
above pp. 84-86); the word μεδος is also “Indo-European, or Germanic, or Illyrian”
(as was shown, p. 84, I view it most likely as Slavic); about the word strava O.Menhen-Helfen (pp.
425 on) notes: “One of the Priscus or Jordan informants, it seems, was a Slav.” This is pretty
close to my interpretation of this word (pp. 83 on). Finally, O.Menchen-Helfen refutes the
assertion of I. Khubshmid that the word κουκουρον 'quiver' is Türkic or
Hunnic. (kolcan, kulcan
“shield”; a number of other somewhat consonant forms for “quiver”: okluk
(Oguz articulation), (g)okluk
(Ogur articulation), koboğor, kubur, kuburčuk, kurma:n,
ke:š, kešig. This is an an incomplete, time and space dependent list.) At the
end of the chapter, the author analyzes the names of the Hunnic tribes. However, in almost no case
it is not possible to find a clear Türkic etymology, if only as a possible interpretation.
These assertions are ludicrous.
What is the mysterious “almost”? What is “clear” and which “unclear” are discarded? What
calibrated scale is used to weigh the “clear” and “unclear”? These affectations sound more like a
political pamphlet than reasoned conclusions. The
Bulgars and Suvars/Savirs do not present a problem: Balkh and Water/River People
respectively. The Bulgar noble and/or dynastic clans Dulo, Ermi, Vokil (Uokil, Ukil), Ugain
are listed up to 762 AD, the Bulgar cardinals vech, tut, beh, alt(i), chit(i), shekht, tovir,
the Bulgar calendar years Somor Mouse, Shegor Bull, Beren(i?) Tiger,
Dv?a?nsh Hare, Vereni? and Samar Dragon, Dilom Snake, Teku (Tuki)
Mount, Horse, Teku (Teke) Sheep, Dokhek(?) Hen/Cock, Dokhs(?) Boar, are all listed in the “Nominalia” Sherjere.
The articulation Dilom/Yilan attests to the Ogur linguistic branch, the articulation Vokil
vs. Uokil/Ukil attest to the typical Eastern European palatalization. Attila is a Dulo,
and so is his posterity, no trace of Germanic whatsoever. There is no dead or living creature that
doubts the Türkic origin of these words and the tribal/clan names. With the exception for the G.Doerfer,
Generally, seems that a very well-read and rather critical
researcher has too insignificant independent knowledge in the field of Türkic languages in order
to justify interpretation. It suffices to recall the remark above on the word čur. In
addition, along with this, the name Βαλαχ
(bölük, bölök “province, separate, part”, Cf. wilayat)
(p. 414), for example, is also
a modern research level to interpret as malaq 'calf' (more precisely 'buffalo'). After all, this
word is known only in Turkish, and there, already because it has the anlaut m-, is a foreign
borrowing (perhaps it is mal < Arab. mal + (Türkic)
diminutive suffix -aq, something like 'cattle').
The arbitrariness of the intentional myopia is exemplified in the mistreatment of the subjects at
hand. First, the pastoral terms are not codified, at least prior to the spread of radio and
universal literacy in the 20th c. Thus, similar and/or different names were used for the same
animals. Secondly, with few meanings, and without an anchoring clue, we frequently do not know which
meaning is prime and which is metaphorical. The best example is the Türkic word be:/bele:- (ma:, me, me:, mele-, mere-),
German blöken, meckern, English “bleat”, which produced a derivative bal, mal
“cattle”, German Vieh (English cattle is a cognate of the synonymous Türkic käl, kälä
“cattle”, but Cf. veal),
Sumer bir “cattle”.
In nomadic economy, cattle was a key property, hence the metaphorical meaning of mal
“property, estate, wealth, goods”, German Besitz, English belong, Arabic mal
(partial paradigmatic transfer indicates direction of borrowing). Türkic has numerous derivative
malak “young buffalo”, mal-gara “property-cattle, cattle”,
mugar, muvar, muar “cattle”.
Whether Βαλαχ means “rich”, “buffalo”,
or something else, we may never know. But the shallowness of the argument, the indisputable Türkic
etymology down to the onomatopoeic root, the unmistakable m/b alternation traceable not only in
Türkic, but in
the G.Doerfer's own native language, make such quasi-linguistic assertions incredibly unprofessional
The second work belongs to the pen of Gottfried Schramm
(1975).297 He agrees with me that the Huns were not
Altaians (and, consequently, Turks). His valuable “critical list of names of the European Huns of
the 1st-5th cc.” (pp. 88-97) contains numerous additions and sometimes amendments to my
article. Some of the views expressed by Schramm raise objections. So, I continue to hold the
opinion that the Hun word strava 'wake' is Slavic (in spite of Schramm, p. 77-79). The
unsustainability of the assertion that the Slavic “sútrava, even if it is known to the Jordan through
the Huns, could hardly have been transmitted to them in any other way than in the form of *sutrava” was already shown by
“M.Vasmer and E. Schwartz object that at the time of Jordan, the word meaning 'food' had to be in the form
suträva (sutrava) and therefore could not be
transmitted as strava. This can not be taken seriously. Was Priscus supposed to write σοτραυβα? In
addition, I.Popovich in my opinion convincingly showed that the form strava could exist along with
the form of sutrava.298 It seems to me that the meaning of the “feast in the memory of the
deceased” appears quite distinctly at the Jordan (which of course I can not address here in detail).
But if it is very likely that this one example is Slavic (and a seepage of Slavic names into
the region of Pannonia already in the 5th c. (which I mentioned in the article, p. 86, as a
possibility) in any case can not be refuted; moreover, it is extremely likely, since their presence
there in the 6th c. has already been reliably attested), then it is impossible to deny that
other “Hunnic” words were Slavic in origin (which, of course, does not mean that the Hun nic ruling layer
was Slavonic). As for the Hunnic proper names, Schramm sometimes “refutes” what I did not say at
all (cf., for example, p. 81); further, he did not pay attention to the fact that the basic rule
formulated by me in §15 is, in the future, the norm for me.
That, by the way,
testifies against the “Hunnic” and in favor of the German interpretation of the name of Attila's
Μουνδιουχος, which I consider quite permissible in the cultural and historical plan (see
above, p. 96).
I can not discuss here all the details of this article. To do this, it would be necessary to write a
whole new article. However, this article should be strongly recommended to the reader, since it contains many
accurate observations and raises interesting questions. Juxtaposing, comparing the works of O.Menchen-Helfen,
G.Schramm and the author of these lines, the reader can be convinced that the
question of the Huns will remain controversial and difficult in the future.
The cheerful promise did not realize. The apogee of radical nationalism, when
anything impossible became quasi-possible, came and passed. W.Samolin (1957) and L.Gumilev (1961)
cracked the door open, Altaistics transitioned from a fledgling with few gurus to a real science
with an army of scholars, mightily assisted by the dissolution of the FUSSR and the rise of the
newly independent Türkic states and the third world scientists with their uninhibited scientific
insights. The long-professed “discovery” of the nomadic Kurganians' genetic unity with the majority
of the modern Europeans undercut the racial and cultural
foundation of the European
scientific exclusivity, allowing to switch from the us vs. them mentality to the us
mentality. The lopsided gurus are due to successfully fade into history.
1 R.Hirth. Über Wolga-Hunnen und Hiung-nu. - SBAW. 1899. Bd II, p. 245-278; M.Schuster.
Die Hunnenbeschreibungen bei Ammianus, Sidonius und Iordanis. - “Wiener Studien”. Bd LVIII.
Wien, 1940, p. 119-130; K.Jettmar. Hunnen und Hsiung-nu-ein archäologisches Problem. - AfV. Bd
VI-VII. Wien, 1953, p. 166-180 (Although carefully and delicately). O.Pritsak. Kultur und Sprache der Hunnen. -
Festschrift für Dmytro Cyzevskyl zum 60. Geburtstag. B., 1954, p. 238-249. Z.Takats. Neuentdeckte Denkmäler der Hunnen in Ungarn. - AOH.
Vol. IX, 1959, pp. 85-96; R.Shafer.
earliest Huns. - UAJ. Bd 38. 1966, p. 85-96.
2 Fr.Altheim, H.-W.Haussig. Die Hunnen in Osteuropa. Baden-Baden, 1958.
Huns and Hsiung-nu. - B-IJBS. American Series III. Vol. XVII. N.Y., 1944-1945, p. 222-243. E.A.Thompson. A History of Attila and the Huns. L., 1948; K.Enoki. Sogdiana
and the Hsiung-nu. - CAJ. Vol. I. 1955, pages 43-62; E.Moor. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen mit
besonderer Berücksichtigung ihres Namenmaterials. -“Beiträge zur Namenforschung”.
Bd 14. Heidelberg, 1963, p. 63-104 (Almost the same material in Hungarian See: ''Magyar Nyelv'', T.59.
Budapest, 1963, p. 53-66).
4 Fr.Altheim, H.-W.Haussig. Die Hunnen in Osteuropa, p. 14.
5 K.Jettmar. Hunnen und Hsiung-nu-ein archäologisches Problem, p. 178.
6 For the old literature, see: K.Inostrancev. Hunnu and the Huns. L., -1926; K.Shiratori.
Über die Sprache des Hiung-nu Stammes und der Tung-hu Stämme. - IAN .. Ser. W. Vol. HUP. Issue 2. St.
Petersburg, 1902, p. 01-033.
7 K.Shiratori. Über die Sprache des Hiung-nu Stammes und der Tung-hu Stämme, N. 2.
8 O.Pritsak. Kultur und Sprache der Hunnen, 1954
9 W.Samolin. Hsiung-nu, Hun, Türk. - CAJ. T III, 1956, p. 143-150.
10 K.Shiratori. Sur l'origine des Kiong-nou. - JA. Vol. I. P., 1923, p. 71-81.
11 L.Ligeti. Mots de ciylllsation de Haute Aeie en träne-cription chinoise. - AOH. Vol.
I, 1950, p. 141-185.
E.G.Pulleyblank. The Consonantal System of Old Chinese. - A.M.N.S. Vol. 9. L., 1962, part 1 p. 58-144;
part 2. p. 206-265.
13 E.Moor. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p. 65 on.
14 O.Maenchen-Helfen. Huns and Hsiung-nu, p. 224 on; cf. also: O.J.Maenchen-Helfen.
The Ethnic Name Hun. - Studie Serica dedicate to Bernhard Karlgren.
Copenhagen, 1959, p. 223-238; L.Ligeti.
A kinai aterasos barbar glosszak kerdese. - ''Hyelvtudomanyi KozlemÄnyek''. Vol. 51. Budapest, 1941,
p. 200 on.; Idem, Mots de civilisation de Haute Asie en transcription chinoise, p. 142.
15 W.Samolin. Hsiung-nu, Hun, Türk, p. 149.
E.G.Pulleyblank. The Consonantal System of Old Chinese, p. 240.
17 O.Maenchen-Helfen. Huns and Hsiung-nu, p. 224
18 For the relevant literature, see L.Ligeti. Mots de civilisation de Haute Asie en transcription
chinoise, p. 143; O.Pritsak. Ein hunnisches Wort. - ZIMG. Bd CIV, 1954, p. 135; G.Doerfer. Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neu-persischen. Bd I. Wiesbaden, 1963,
E.G.Pulleyblank. The Consonantal System of Old Chinese, p. 264
O.J.Maenchen-Helfen. The Ethnic Name Hun, p. 225.
A kinai aterasos barbar glosszak kerdese.
22 K.Shiratori. Über die Sprache des Hiung-nu Stammes und der Tung-hu Stämme, No 1;
L.Ligeti. Mots de civilisation de Haute Asie en transcription chlnolse, p. 143; Fr.Altheim.
Attila und die Hunnen, Baden-Baden, 1951, p. 61 ,95 »E.G.Pulleyblank. The Consonantal System of Old Chinese,
p. 240; G.Doerfer.
Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen. Bd
II. Wiesbaden, 1965, article 944, p. 585.
23 Fr.Altheim. Attila und die Hannen, p. 53; Fr.Altheim,
R.Stiehl. Das erste Auftreten der Hunnen. Das Alter der Jesaja-Rolle. Neue Urkunden aus Dura-Europos. Baden-Baden, 1953,
p. 49; G.Doerfer. Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen, Bd IV.
Wiesbaden, 1973, article 1825, p. 124-136.
24 C.: K.Shiratori. Über die Sprache des Hiung-nu Stammes und der Tung-hu Stamme, No 5
(although a different interpretation is proposed here); G.Doerfer. ürkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen. Bd II. Wiesbaden, 1965, article 452,
25 Fr.Altheim. Attila und die Hunnen, p. 20; Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd I. B., 1959,
This is the opinion of L.Ligeti (L.Ligeti.
Mots de civilisation de Haute Asie en transcription chlnoise, p. 143), and before that point of view
Fr.Altheim, R.Stiehl. Das erste Auftreten der Hunnen, p. 37 et seq.
O.Maenchen-Helfen. Huns and Hsiung-nu, p. 224.
29 L.Ligeti. Mots de civilisation de Haute Asie en transcription chlnoise.
E.G.Pulleyblank. The Consonantal System of Old Chlaese.
K.Shiratori. Über die Sprache des Hlung-nu Stammes und der Tung-hu Stämme, N“11.
E.G.Pulleyblank. The Chinese Name for the Turks.
- JAOS. Vol. 85. 1965, No. 2, p. 121-125.
33 L.Ligeti. Mots de civilisation de Haute Asle en transcription chinoise, p. 151.
E.G.Pulleyblank. The Consonantal System of Old Chinese, p. 240.244.
35 See: G.Doerfer. Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen. Bd IV, article
1728, pp. 11-14.
36 See: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica. 2. Auflage.
Bd II. B., 1958, p. 236 on; O.J.Maenchen-Helfen. The Ethnic Name Hun; Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen, Bd
I, p. 7 on; K.Inostrancev.
Hunnu and the Huns.
37 See: W.B.Henning. The Date of the Sogdian Ancient Letters. - BSOAS. Vol. HI. 1948, p. 601-615.
38 See: M.Busagli. Osservazione sul problema degli Unni. - Accademia Nazionale del Lincei.
Rendiconti della Classe di Scienze morali. Ser.VlII. Vol. V. Fasc. 3-4. Roma, 1950, p. 212-232;
p. 236 on; O.J.Maenchen-Helfen.
The Ethnic Name Hunun;
Idem. Archaistic Names of the Hiung-nu. - CAJ. Vol. VI. 1961, pages 249-261;
O.Pritsak. Kultur und Sprache der Hunnen;
Idem. Xun der Volkename der Hsiung-nu. - CAJ. Vol. V, 1959, pp. 27-34; Fr.Altheim, H.-W.Haussig.
Die Hunnen in Osteuropa; Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd I, p. 7 on. ; R.Shafer.
The Earliest Huns; H.-W.Haussig. Probleme der Westwanderung der Hunnen. - ZIMG. Supplemente. Bd 2. Wiesbaden, 1969,
p. 772-782; K.Jettmar. Hunnen und Hsiung-nu-ein archäologisches Problem; E.G.Pulleyblank. The Consonantal System of Old Chinese,
R.Shafer. The Earliest Huns; E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen.
40 H.-W.Haussig. Probleme der Westwanderung der Hunnen.
41 M.Busagli. Osservazione sul problema degli Unni.
Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 236 on.; O.Maenchen-Helfen. Pseudo-Huns. - CAJ.
1955. c.101-106; Idem. Ethnic Name Hun; R.Shafer. The Earliest Huns.
Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica pp. 279-283.
41 M.Busagli. Osservazione sul problema degli
Unni. Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 236 on. ; O.Maenchen-Helfen. Pseudo-Huns. - CAJ.
1955 c.101-106; Idem. Ethnic Name Hun; R.Shafer. The Earliest Huns.
42 See: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 279-283.
43 Ibid., p. 13.
44 G.Doerfer. Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen. Bd II, Article 888,
45 Cf. in particular: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 13-17.
46 E.Haenisch. Die Geheime Geschichte der Mongolen.
Lpx. 1948, p. 137 on
47 U.Harva. Die religiösen Vorstellungen der altaischen Völker. Helsinki, 1938, p. 420.
48 O.Maenchen-Helfen. Pseudo-Huns.
49 G.M.Vasilevich. Evenki-Russian dictionary. Moscow, 1958, p. 576-579.
G.Doerfer. Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen. Bd II, Article 888, p. 489.
H.F.Schurmann. The Mongols of Afghanistan. 's-Gravenhage, 1962, p. 99-101.
52 G.M.Vasilevich. Evenki-Russian dictionary, p. 581.
53 B.Spu1er. Die Goldene Horde. Wiesbaden, 1965, p. 281-285.
54 O.Maenchen-Helfen. Pseudo-Huns. p.102 on.
55 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica pp. 231-237.
56 For the old literature see: K.Inostrancev.
Hunnu and the Huns
E.Moor. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen.
O.Pritsak. Kultur und Sprache der Hunnen.
59 O.Maenchen-Helfen. Huns und Hsiung-nu, p. 225; (See W.W.Baratold. Works. T.U. ,
Moscow, 1968, p. 37, -
60 See: M.Ya.Sirotkin. N.I.Ashmarin and the Chuvash culture. - N.I.Ashmarin - a founder of
Chuvash linguistics. Cheboksary, 1974, p. 7; V.F.Khachovsky. N.I.Ashmarin about the origin of the Chuvash
people. - NI Ashmarin - a founder of Chuvash linguistics. Cheboksary, 1971, p. 992.
61 Fr.Altheim, R.Stiehl. Das erste Auftreten der Hunnen, p. 85.
62 Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd I, p. 7.
63 See: E.Moor. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p. 65.
64 See, for example: O.Maenchen-Helfen. Zu Moor's Thesen über die Hunnen. - Beiträge zur
Namenforschung, Bd 14. Heidelberg, 1963, p.273-278.
65 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 5 on.
66 J.Harmatta. The Golden Bow of the Huns. - AAH. Vol. I. 1951, p. 107-151; K.Jettmar. Hunnen
und Hsiung-nu-ein archäologisches Problem, p. 178; H.Pettich. La trouvaille de tombe princiere hunnique a Szeged-Bagyszäksos. - Arehaeologia Hungarica.
Vol. XXXII. Budapest, 1953, p. 109 on. G.Werner. Beiträge zur Archäologie des Attila-Reiches. - ABAW. Neue Folge. Bd 38, 1956,
p. 1; O.J.Maenchen-Helfen. The Ethnic Name Hun, p. 237 et al; R.Shafer. The
Earliest Huns, p. 6.
67 Jordan. On the origin and deeds of the Gets. Transl. E.Ch.Skrjinska. Moscow, I960, p. 117.
68 See: A.Walde. Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch.
3. Aufl. neubearb. von J.B. Hofmann. Heidelberg, 1938, p. 601; Th.Mommsen, ed, Jordanls Romane et Getica, Honumenta Germania hlstorlca, auctorum
antiqulsslmorum tomi V pars prior. V., 1961, p. 198; Cf. also: W.Samolin. Hsiung-nu, Hun,
p.144; O.Maenchen-Helfen. Huns and Hsiung-nu, p. 225; E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen,
G.Doerfer. Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen. Bd I, p. 20 on. For a different point of view, see: B.V.Arnim. Bemerkungen zum
Hunnischen. - ZfslPh. Bd. 13. 1936, pp. 100-109; Gy.Nemeth. Attila es hunjai. Budapest,
1940, pp. 217-226. Cf. also: W.Samolin. Hsiung-nu, Hun, Türk, p. 144; O.J.Maenchen-Helfen.
Huns and Hsiung-nu, p. 225; Fr.Altheim. Literatur und Gesellschaft im ausgehenden Altertum.
Halle, 1948, p. 219 on. ; Idem. Attila und die Hunnen, p. 209; Idem. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd IT. B., 1962,
E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p. 84.
71 See: K.Inostrantsev. Hunnu and the Huns, p. 106.
R.Trautmann. Die slavlschen Volker und Sprachen. Lpz., 1948, p. 22 on.
L.Nieder1e. Manuel de l'antiquitä slave. vol. II.
P., 1926, p. 51-53.
74 Th.Mommsen, ed, Jordanls Romane et Getica, p. 198.
75 M.Vasmer accompanies this word with annotations: “western", “Sevski", “Ukrane”, “Bielorussian”,
“Old Russian”, “Czech”, “Slovak”, “Polish” See: M.Vasmer. Etymological dictionary of the Russian language. Vol. III, Moscow, 1971, p. 770.
76 J.Jungmann. Slovnik česko-nemecky. Praha, 1838
(cited as Czech); Fr.Miklosich. Lexicon palaeo- slovenico-graeco-latinum, Wien, 1862-1865 (as
Old Slavonic); A.Bruckner. Slownlk etymologiczny jazyka polsklego. Krakow, 1927 (as Polish).
77 See: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 186.
78 See: M.Vasmer. Etymological dictionary of the Russian language. Vol. 2, pp. 588-589.
79 J.Pokorny. Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch.
Bd I. Bern-München, 1959, p. 707
80 E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p. 84.
In addition to the literature quoted by Gy.Moravcsik (Gy.Moravcsik, Byzantinoturcica, Bd I), see:
R.Trautmann. Die slavischen Völker und Sprachen, p. 22 on.; D.I.Ilovaiski (citation per) K.Inostrantsev.
Hunnu and Huns, p. 106; L.Nieder1e. Manuel de l'antiquite slave, p. 37 (
latter calls medu the main drink of the Slavs and gives many sources where this word occurs).
82 See: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p.186.
84 See: Gy.Nemeth. Attila es hunjai., p. 217-226; Fr.Altheim. Attila und die Hunnen,
p. 209; Fr.Altheim, R.Stiehl. Das erste Auftreten der Hunnen, p. 85 on.
85 Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd IV, p. 59 on.
86 See: K.Inostrantsev. Hunnu and Huns, p. 106.
87 M.Vasmer. Etymological dictionary of the Russian language.
Vol. 2, p. 300.
Rječnik hrvatskoga ili srpakoga jezika. Vol. 5. Zagreb, 1898-1903, p. 231.
89 See: H.H.Bielfeldt. Altslavische
Grammatik. Halle, 1961, p. 47; M.Vasmer. Die Slaven in Griechenland. - ABAW. No 12, 194-1,
90 L.Nieder1e. Manuel de l'antiquite slave, p. 37, note 4.
91 Slovnik jazyka staroslovenskeho (15.
Praha, 1967, p. 43)as an Old Slavonic word from
Bohemia cites only kominy “grape marc”
92 N.S.Dåãjavin. Die Slaven im
Altertum. Weimar, 1948, pp. 1-9
93 See: Ê.Ã.Ìeíãåñ. Âîñòî÷íûå
ýëåìåíòû â “Ñëîâå î ïîëêó Èãîðåâå”. Leningrad, 1979, p. 32.
94 See: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica,
95 Ibid, p. 6.
96 Ibid, p. 13.
97 Ibid, p. 16.
98 Cf.: E.A.Thompson. A History of Attila and the Huns. L., 1948, p. 10 on.; Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd IV,
p. 300, 302.
99 Differing view see: K.Inostrantsev. Hunnu and Huns, p. 103-109.
100 See: R.Trautmann. Die slavischen Völker und Sprachen, p. 22.
101 See: K.Inostrantsev. Hunnu and Huns, p. 103.
Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen, Heidelberg, 1911,
105 See: K.Inostrantsev. Hunnu and Huns, p. 17-50.
104 Th. Mommsen quotes K.Mullenhof: Balamber... nomen nemo nisi imperitus pro germanico vendet
“No one, except the inexperienced, will take the name Balamber for a German.” See: (Comments of E.Ch.Skrzhinsky on the translation of the Jordan in the book:) Jordan. On the origin and deeds of
the Gets, p. 323.
105 R.L.Råónolds, R.S.Lîðåz.
Odoacer: German or Hun. American Historical Review. Vol. 52. N.Y., 1946, p. 50.
106 G.Vernadsky. Der sarmatische
Hintergrund der germanischen Völkerwanderung. Saeculum, Vol. 2. Freiburg, 1951,
108 Cf.: L.Sadnik, R.Àitzetmüller.
Vergleichendes Wörterbuch der slavischen Sprachen. Bd I. Wiesbaden, 1963, p. 129,131; Rječnik hrvatskoga ili srpakoga jezika.
Vol. I. Zagreb, 1880-1882, p. 379 on.
109 See: H.H.Bielfeldt. Altelavische
Grammatik, p. 25; M.Vasmer. Die Slaven in Griechenland, p. 238, 269.
110 G.Vernadsky. Der sarmatische
Hintergrund der germanischen Völkerwanderung, p. 383.
111 See: G.Doerfer.
Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen. Bd II, article 810, pp. 356-358.
Kultur und Sprache der Hunnen,
p. 238-249; Idem Ein hunnisches Wort. - ZDMG. Bd. CIV, 1954, pp. 124-135.
113 M.Ya.Sirotkin. N.I.Ashmarin and the Chuvash culture, p. 17;
V.F.Kakhovsky. N.I.Ashmarin on the origin of the
Chuvash people, p.192. See also: J.B å ï z i n g. Zur Etymologie des russ. (o)vrag ‘Schlucht'. -ZfslPh. Bd.
20, 1950, p. 109-111.
Attila und die Hunnen,
115 See: K.Inostrantsev. Hunnu and Huns, p.
116 E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen,
So already thought J.Markvart, ñì.: Fr.Altheim,
Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd IV,
p. 335; à also:
H.-W.Haussig. Probleme der Westwanderung der Hunnen,
118 A.Thumb, R.Hauschild. Handbuch
des Sanskrit. Bd I. Heidelberg, 1958, p. 87.
119 E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen,
120 On the correlation of -z and -r see: G.Doerfer. Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen. Bd II,
p. 521-523; Ibid, Bd. 4, Wiesbaden. 1967, p. 208-210; Ibid, Bd IV, article 1921; on the
and va- see: G.Doerfer. Tschuwaschisch -m < urtürkisch (Proto-Türkic )
*-m (< gemeintürkisch
(Common Türkic) -n) -
121 Fr.Altheim, H.-W.Haussig.
Die Hunnen in Osteuropa, p. 23 on.
122 See: G.V.Yusupov. Introduction to the Bulgaro-Tatar
epigraphy. Moscow-Leningrad, I960, Tables 5, 48.
123 See: G.Doerfer. Tschuwaschisch -m < urtürkisch (Proto-Türkic )
*-m (< gemeintürkisch
(Common Türkic) -n).
The Ethnic Name Hun,
p. 231 on.
125 See: K.Inostrantsev. Hunnu and Huns, p. 111-112.
126 E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen,
127 H.-W.Haussig. Theophylakts
Exkurs über die skythischen Völker. - Byzantion. Vol. 22. Bruxelles, 1953, p. 360.
128 E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen,
apparently there should agree with H.-W.Haussig
and Gy.Moravcsik. See: Gy.Moravcsik.
Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd I,
p. 365; E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p.
95, note 42;
E.A.Thompson. A History of Attila and the Huns,
131 See: íàïðèìåð: J.R.Hamilton. Le conte boudhique du bon et du mauvais prince en version oulgoure. P., 1971, p. 4, 116.
132 E.S.Rubtsova. Materials on the Eskimo language
and folklore. 4.1. Moscow—Leningrad, 1954, p. 38.
133 See: Old Türkic Dictionary. Leningrad,
1969, p. 410 (further on OTD).
134 Ibid; see also: G.C1ausîn.
An Etymological Dictionary of Pre-thirteenth-century Turkish. Oxford, 1972, p. 614.
135 See: OTD, p. 205; G.C1ausîn. An
Etymological Dictionary, p. 266.
136 See: A.v.Gabain. Alttürkische
Grammatik. Lpz,,1950, §106.
137 See: OTD, p. 5I on.; G.C1ausîn. An Etymological Dictionary, p. 213.
138 See: OTD, p. 92,82; G.C1ausîn.
An Etymological Dictionary, p. 323.
139 See: Gy.Moravcsik.
p. 48, 117.
140 G.Schramm. Eine hunnisch-germanische Namenbeziehung? - Jahrbuch für fränkische Landesforschung. Bd 20. Erlangen,
1960, p. 144, note 45; Fr.Altheim. Attila und die Hunnen, p. 202 on, note 26.
141 See: G.Schramm. Eine hunnisch-germanische Namenbeziehung, p. 143, note. 43.
142 See: L.Schöenfeld.
Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen, p. 280 (after Procopius).
143 See: E.A.Thompson. A History of Attila and the Huns,
p. 217 on.
144 - Ibid, p. 72.
145 O.Pritsak. Die sogenannte Bulgarische Fürstenliste und Die Sprache der Protobulgaren II. - UAJ.
Bd XXVI. H. 3-4, 1954, p. 219; O.Maenchen-Helfen (Review of Fr.Altheim.
Geschichte der Hunnen
l - JAOS. Vol. 79, 1959, No 4, p. 298.
More details about this are written by Fr.Altheim, who relates them to an even earlier time. See: Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd I,
p. 12 on.
147 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 17
Objection to E.A.Thompson and Fr. Altheim, see: E.A.Thompson. A History of Attila and the Huns,
p. 95; Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd IV,
149 Fr.Altheim, R. Stiehl. Das erste Auftreten der Hunnen.
150 W.B.Henning. Review of Fr.Altheim, R.Stiehl.
Das erste Auftreten der Hunnen. - Gnomon. Bd
26. München, 1954, p. 476-480.
151 J.Harmatta, M.Pekary. The Decipherment of the Parsik Ostracon from Dura-Europos and the
Problem of the Sasanian City Organization. Roma, 1971, p. 467-475
152 See: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica,
155 Fr.Altheim, H.-W.Haussig. Die Hunnen in Osteuropa,
154 Fr.Altheim. Literatur und Gesellschaft im ausgehenden Altertum, p. 195-230.
155 Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd I,
156 Fr.Altheim, R. Stiehl. Das erste Auftreten der Hunnen,
157 See: A.v.Gabain. Türkische Turfan-Texte VIII. B., 1954, p. 102 (it says that
üt should be read
158 L.Ligeti. Un vocabulaire sino-ouigoure des Ming. Budapest, 1966, p. 189.
Ibid, p. 275 on.
160 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica,
See ibid., p. 346; O.Maenchen-Helfen. Germanic and. Hunnic Names of Iranian Origin. -
0riens, 7. Vol. 10. Leiden, 1957. pp. 280-283.
162 G.Moravciik. Byzantlnzturcica, p. 58.
163 O.J.Maenchen-Helfen. Germanic and. Hunnic Names of Iranian Origin, p. 280-283. O.Maenchen-Helfen.
Iranian Names of the Huns. - In W.B.Henning.
Memorial Volume. L., 970, pp. 272-275.
164 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica,
165 E. Moor. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen,
166 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica,
167 See: L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanisclien Personen-und Völkernamen,
p. 277, 51; Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica,
p. 91 on; as well as, for example: H.-W.Haussig.
Theophylakts Exkurs über die skythischen Völker, p. 360-362; J.Harmatta.
The Golden Bow of the Huns.
168 G.Schramm. Eine hunnisch-germanische Namenbeziehung, c, 148 on.
169 E.A.Thompson. A History of Attila and the Huns, 0.212 on.
170 E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen,
172 See: L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen,,
See also: O.Pritsak. Der Titel Attila, - Festschrift für Max Vasmer zum 70. Geburtstag am 28.
Februar 1956. B., 1956, p. 404-419.
Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen,,
p. 274 on; D.Sinîr.
Inner Asia. Bloomington - The Hague, 1969, p. 32; J.Harmatta.
The Golden Bow of the Huns,
p. 144; A.Bach. Deutsche Namenkunde. Bd I. Hf.1.2. Heidelberg, 1952, 1953, §105.
175 See: K.Inostrantsev. Hunnu and the Huns,
176 Ibid., Pp. 103-118.
127 Ya Z. Cheshon 1 d z,
177 P.Poucha. Mongolische Miszellen. IV. Zum Hunnenproblem. - CAJ. Vol. I, 1955, p. 290.
178 O.Pritsak. Der Titel Attila.
This was also believed by A.Vamberi and I.F.Gammer-Purgshtal. Cf. also: Fr.Altheim.
und die Hunnen, p. 225 on; M.Ya.Sirotkin. N.I.Ashmarin and the Chuvash culture,
p. 78 on.
180 See, for example: K.K.Yudahin. Kyrgyz-Russian dictionary. Moscow, 1965, p. 694; W.W.Radov. Experimental dictionary of the Türkic dialects.
Vol. III, St. Petersburg, 1905, column 875.
181 D.M.Farquhar, G. Jarring, E.N.Norin. Index of Geographical Names. Stockholm, 1967 (Sven
Hedin, Central Asia Atlas, Memoir on Maps, Vol. II), p. 48.
182 Ibid., p. 49.
183 See: Chuvash-Russian Dictionary. Ed. M.Ya.Sirotkina. Moscow, 1961, p. 41,
185 W.W.Radlov. Experimental dictionary of the Türkic dialects. Vol. I. St. Petersburg.,
185 See OTD, p. 183.
Odoacer: German or Hun,
188 L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen,
189 E.Moor. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen,
190 O.Maenchen-Helfen. Zu Moor's Thesen über die Hunnen,
191 About the vowel -a- Cf.: G.Doerfer. Khalaj materials. -“Uralic and Altaic Series”. Vol. 115. Bloomington, 1971, pp. 250-257, 284-288.
192 O.Pritsak. Der Titel Attila.
G.Schramm. Eine hunnisch-germanische Namenbeziehung, p. 149.
194 See: Dictionary of the Modern Russian Literary Language. Vol. 17, Moscow—Leningrad, 1965,
p. 48 on.
See L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen,
197 See also: E.A.Thompson. A History of Attila and the Huns,
198 See: L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen,,
p. 143 on.
199 Ibid., p. 246.
200 E.A.Thompson. A History of Attila and the Huns,
Fr.Bechte1. Die historischen Personennamen des Griechischen bis zur Kaiserzeit. Hildesheim,
1964 (1st edition 1917).
G.E.Bense1er. Wörterbuch der griechischen Eigennamen. Braunschweig, 1884.
203 See: H.G.Lidell, R.Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford, 1925 and others, p. 1231.
204 See: K.Inostrantsev. Hunnu and Huns, p. 63.
205 E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p. 98 on.
206 O.Maenchen-Helfen. Zu Moor's Thesen über die Hunnen, p. 277 on.
207 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 194.
208 L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen, p. 278.
209 See: Th.Mommsen. Iordanis Romana et Getica, p. 152.
210 See: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 194.
G.Schramm. Eine hunnisch-germanische Namenbeziehung, p. 138 et al.
212 Ibid., p. 139, 151.
213 O.Maenchen-Helfen. Iranian Names of the Huns, p. 275; See also: HE F e.
Zu Moor's Thesen über die Hunnen,
214 L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen und Völkernamen, p. 278.
215 Ibid., p. 279.
216 G.Schramm. Eine hunnisch-germanische Namenbeziehung, p. 148.
217 See: L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen, p. 250
on, p. 275.
218 G.Schramm. Eine hunnisch-germanische Namenbeziehung, p. 140.
220 L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen,
p. 278, 22.
221 Ibid., p. 169.
222 Ibid., p. 304.
223 Ibid., p. 1I7.
224 Ibid., p.139.
225 Ibid., p. 309.
226 Ibid., p. 75.
227 So already thought K.Mullenhof, see: Th.Mommsen. Iordanis Romana et Getica, p. 152.
228 L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen, p.
229 Ibid, p. 15.
230 On this form, see: ibid., pp. 99-101,107, sub voce: Gaisaricus, Gesalecus, Gesila, Gesimimdus,
p. 84, sub voce Evermud.
231 See: ibid, p. 280; G.Schramm. Eine hunnisch-germanische Namenbeziehung, p. 148.
232 See: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 46-49.
233 Ibid., p. 237.
See: Ibid., p. 194; L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen,
235 L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personen-und Völkernamen, p. 34.
236 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 40.
237 Ibid., p. 39.
239 G.Schramm. Eine hunnisch-germanische Namenbeziehung,
240 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica; Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd III. B., 1961.
241 O.Pritsak. Die sogenannte Bulgarische Fürstenliste und Die Sprache der Protobulgaren II, p. 216 on.
The Golden Bow of the Huns.
243 See: L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgennanischen Personen-und Völkernamen,
244 See: E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p. 84.
245 H.-W.Haussig. Probleme der Weetwanderung der Hunnen, p. 780.
246 Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen, Bd IV, p. 283 on.
247 On the question of the German names for the Huns and Huns, see: J.Harmatta.
The Golden Bow of the Huns; Idem. The Dissolution of the Hun Empire. I.
Hun Society in the Age of Attila. - AAH. Vol. II, 1952, pp. 277-304; O.J.Maenchen-Helfen.
and Hunnic Names of Iranian Origin; G.Schramm
Eine hunnisch-germanische Namenbeziehung.
248 See: J.von Benzing. Das Hunnische, Donaubolgarische und Wolgabolgarische (Sprachreste) -
Central Asiatic Journal, 17(1),
p. 14; Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd I, p. 795
on; K.Inostrantsev. Hunnu and Huns,
p. 111; B.v.Arnim, Bemerkungen zum Hunnischen.
249 See: E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p. 99.
See: ibid.; O. Maenchen-Helfen. Iranian Names of the Huns, p. 273.
251 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 350.
252 See: J.von Benzing. Das Hunnische, Donaubolgarische und Wolgabolgarische (Sprachreste), p. 14.
253 See: O.Maenchen-Helfen. Iranian Names of the Huns, p. 272 on.
and Hunnic Names of Iranian Origin; Idim.:
Iranian Names of the
255 See: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 128.
256 Ibid., p. 1I4.
257 Ibid., p. 292 on; see also: O.J.Maenchen-Helfen.
Iranian Names of the Huns, p. 274 on.
258 Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. MV, V., 1962, p. 527.
259 See: Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 17, note. 3; see also §46 of the present work.
260 O.J.Maenchen-Helfen. The
Ethnic Name Hun, p. 232; B.v.Arnim, Bemerkungen zum
Theophylakts Exkurs über die skythischen Völker, p. 360-
362; O.Pritsak. Der Titel Attila; Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd I, p. 225 on.
E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p. 86.
262 O.Maenchen-Helfen. Zu Moor's Thesen über die Hunnen, p. 276.
263 See: G.Doerfer. Ein altosmanisches Lautgesetz im Kurdischen. - WZKM. Bd 62, 1969, pp.
264 Fr.Altheim. Attila und die Hunnen, p. 99; Idem. Das Auftreten der Hunnen in Europa. - AAH. Vol. II, 1952, p. 271; Idem.
Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd IV, p. 283 on; Fr.Altheim. Literatur und Gesellschaft im ausgehenden Altertum, p. 217.
See for example: Fr.Altheim. Das Auftreten der Hunnen in Europa, p. 269-276.
266 O.J.Maenchen-Helfen. The Ethnic Name Hun, p. 232.
267 J.Harmatta. The Golden Bow of the Huns.
268 O.J.Maenchen-Helfen. The Ethnic Name Hun, p. 232.
269 H.-W.Haussig. Probleme der Westwanderung der Hunnen, p. 781.
270 Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd I, p. 225 on.
Fr.Altheim. Attila und die Hunnen, p. 155.
272 Criticism of See: E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p. 92-94-,
273 Gm .:
Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 87; Fr.Altheim. Das Auftreten der Hunnen in Europa, p. 218.
Theophylakts Exkurs über die skythischen Völker, p. 361. See also:
A.v.Gabain. Alttürkische Grammatik, §80.
275 Fr.Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen. Bd IV, p. 283 »
276 A.v.Gabain. Alttürkische Grammatik, §76.
277 O.Maenchen-Helfen. Zu Moor's Thesen über die Hunnen, p. 276.
See: J.Sauvaget. Noms et sumoms de Mamelouks. - JA. Vol. 238. 1951, p. 31.58.
279 Ibid., p. 53.
280 Gy.Moravcsik. Byzantinoturcica, p. 65.
L.Schöenfeld. Wörterbuch der altgennanischen Personen-und Völkernamen, p. 279.
282 See: L.Ligeti. Mots de civilisation de Haute Asle en transcription chinoise, p. 149.
283 G.Doerfer. Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen. Bd II, art. 879,
p. 460-474, Bd III, article 1194, p. 207-210 and article 1161, p. 141-180.
284 E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen.
285,. O.Maenchen-Helfen. Zu Moor's Thesen über die Hunnen.
286 E.Mîîr. Zur Herkunft der Hunnen, p. 73-75.
287 Ibid., p. 84-100.
288 Ibid., p. 103.
290 Ibid., p. 101 on.
Languages of the of the USSR peoples. Vol. 1. Iberian-Caucasian languages. Moscow, 1967.
293 Ibid., p. 259.
294 Ibid., p. 408.
295 Compare, for example, the genealogical tables in the work: B.Spuler. Die Goldene Horde. Wiesbaden, 1965, p. 452 on.
O.J.Menchen-Helfen. The World of the Huns. Edited by Max Knight. Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1973.
297 G.Schramm. Hunnen, Pannonier, Germanen. -“Zeitschrift für Balkanologie”. Jahrgang XI. H.2.
München, 1975, p. 71- 97.
298 O.J.Maenchen-Helfen. The World of the Huns, p. 426.