Etymology of the word 'Pyramid'

Status
Not open for further replies.

Asgaard

Member
usa, english
Hi all,

I have seen many ' etymologies ' of the word Pyramid, so I have no clue which one is the accepted one.
Please help.


Thanks
Asgaard
 
  • mgwls

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Two sources I've checked (1 and 2) coincide in indicating that pyramid came into English through Old French pyramide, which is a word of Latin origin. Latin had borrowed its term from Greek pyramis which, it seems, has its origin in the very Egyptian language, in the word pimar, which stood for pyramid.

    It seems that up to the Greek word there is full consensus of the etymology.

    Another etymology I've found for Greek pyramis (in Spanish) relates it to Greek pira, pyre in English, because of their similar shape.

    Finally, the RAE (also in Spanish) points out that pyramis originally stood for a kind of wheat flour cake in the shape of a pyramid, and that pyros meant wheat flour.

    I guess you already knew about this etymologies. In my opinion of the four sources I've mentioned the first two are the most reliable. I hope this will help you.
     
    Last edited:

    Asgaard

    Member
    usa, english
    Hi,


    In Ancient Egyptian, house was 'PR' and the word for Pyramid was 'MR'.

    I was wondering if the word Ramadan - which according to some sources comes from the Arabic root word for "parched thirst" and "sun-baked ground" -- "Ramida"="to burn" - is somehow related to the word PyRamid(a)

    Brick in Romanian is CARAMIDA and in Greek - KERAMIDI
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    But pyramids were made of stone not of sun-backed clay bricks (adobe)! Anyway, in Arabic, ramidha is not with a d sound, rather it is with the letter dhaad. In any case, if it is related then it should be related to an older semetic root not the Arabic one because if you are going as far back as the ancient Greeks then it seems unlikely it's borrowed from Arabic. Hence the question becomes: do older semetic language have the root ramidha? Is it a proto-semetic root?

    By the way, in Arabic a pyramid is haram, it seems totally unrelated.
     

    Asgaard

    Member
    usa, english
    Hi,

    But pyramids were made of stone not of sun-backed clay bricks (adobe)! .
    There are new scientific proofs that some of the blocks were casted. You can see a video here

    If indeed some of the pyramid (pyramis) blocks were casted and sun backed , could we assume that the Greeks would call such a process ... πυρ_άμμος ( pir_ammos ) = fire + sand ?

    Coincidence?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    There are new scientific proofs that some of the blocks were casted. You can see a video here

    If indeed some of the pyramid (pyramis) blocks were casted and sun backed , could we assume that the Greeks would call such a process ... πυρ_άμμος ( pir_ammos ) = fire + sand ?
    Seems like a big stretch.

    More plausibly, it could be that "pyramid" was a reference to sun-baked bricks already in Egyptian, because the very first funeral monuments -- whose construction the Greeks never got to see -- were made of bricks. (Actually, the Greeks did not see the pyramids being built, either. They arrived in Egypt much too late.)

    And I thought sun-baked bricks were made of mud, not sand...

    But all this is pure speculation. None of the sources found so far makes any association with bricks.
     

    raptor

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    As far as I remember, the first (step) pyramid was built of thousands of small adobe or clay bricks. It was a variation on the original kind of tomb called a mastaba (Arabic for bench, apparently).
    The later pyramids were built of limestone blocks of several tons each. This could never have been done with clay.

    If the word comes from the classical 'pyramid age' then it wouldn't likely have anything to do with clay, unless the original Egyptian word for pyramid had it's etymology in it's word for clay. (Could someone supply the Egyptian word for clay, mud, adobe, something relating to this building material that might be relevant?)

    From what I've heard, pyramid may have come from Greek "pyre", so "fire-begotten" though I'm not sure of how that works or if it is accepted. Also, the word pharaoh itself came from Egyption (don't know how to spell it) PAH-RA, meaning "great house" (he lived in a great house, so he was a PAH-RA). Are these two words related somehow? The word for the pharaoh and his palace, and (theoretically) his tomb.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    There is indeed a hypothesis that pyramids were built using natural polymeres by the way, but I cannot give the correct reference, right now !

    ‘bomos’ (Gr., mv. ‘bomides’) altaar Herodotos considers piramids places of sacrifices
    (// Hebreeuws ‘Mitsbah’, altar)

    Rules for altars in Bible : not sculpted (Ex. 20, 25). The building of altars in Hebrew happens by petrification, agglomeraton.

    ‘krossai’ (Gr., onbekend eigenlijk) Voor Herodotos sacred & stone(s)

    Basic consonants : q r s of q r th of q r sh of q r t s

    To bed found in sacré
    créer
    [creation is pretrification of clay and loam]

    zigutath (sqrth)
    iqurah (gem, buildign stone of temple)
    iquros iiguroth
    [Hebr.] (petrify) melting freeze [quartz]
    together (formation))
    [Gr] chrysos
    [gold, building 'matter' of the gods]

    SO : ‘the holy incarnates into stone [krossai]'
     
    Last edited:

    raptor

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    "Natural polymers"? I thought they were big blocks of stone :confused: Do you mean the polymers are thought to have aided the construction of the pyramids, such as ropes or something?

    Pyramids were not altars of sacrifice in Egypt. They were in Latin America, as demonstrated by an altar, wide stairs (that could be climbed up), and depicted as such in Mayan/Aztec art and writing. The pyramids in Egypt were originally covered with a glaze of white limestone, perfectly smooth right to the apex. Also, there are no depictions of pyramid sacrifices in Egypt, though one of the Egyptian gods (Anubis? I can't remember) weighed the heart of the pharaoh before allowing him into the afterlife.

    Also, I don't believe that the Egyptian pyramids were designed by ancient Hebrews, so I doubt the pharaoh or the architect would have used (or heard of) their methods.

    The link should be most enlightening!

    Saludos
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Wait a sec ! There is some misunderstanding at least !

    1. Natural polymers: the author's hypothesis was that the piramids were not built with large 'massive' blocks of stone, but that natural polymeres were used like some kind of cement, in order to create those blocks. Thus they did not have to be carried all the way and involve that many people.

    2. Altars: I think the author is mainly referring to the holiness of the piramid (holy and stoney/ ... seem linked)

    3. He did not mean to say that Hebrews designed, he only pointed out the etymological links...

    As for the author: it was a book about the Breton/ Celtic symbol comparable to a swastika but with only three ... (parts). And yes, I have found it back !!!! These are the references: Jacques BONVIN, La forme et la pierre. [d'après]Triskel, pierre de vie, Ed. Mosaïque, 1997. The most interesting part was the cultural analysis of symbols, the rest is publicity for this particular kind of "magic" triskels.
     
    Last edited:

    raptor

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    1. Natural polymers: the author's hypothesis was that the piramids were not built with large 'massive' blocks of stone, but that natural polymeres were used like some kind of cement, in order to create those blocks. Thus they did not have to be carried all the way and involve that many people.
    So, the idea is that there were lots of little limestone blocks, that were cemented together with natural polymers after they had been carried to where they would be placed in the pyramid? Wouldn't the cement or cracks between the blocks have been visible? Also, I'm not sure why the cement would make the distance they would have to travel less.

    Saludos!
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    The transport would be for the cement only, you see, as the natural polymers are - so I understood - some kind of cement, which is way easier to be transported than huge blocks... But I am not a handyman !
     

    neoluna

    New Member
    English
    In his book "Technology of the Gods" Childress states that pyramid is Greek for 'fire in the center.' He gives no sources or etymology.
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    In his book "Technology of the Gods" Childress states that pyramid is Greek for 'fire in the center.' He gives no sources or etymology.
    With a title and topic like that, who needs a source , etymology or reference? :D

    Anyway, this old thread seems to have evolved from a regular EHL question into "Pyramids for DIYers". I think it's time to close the thread before it morphs into "Pyramids, a gift from planet
    Umph
    ".

    Groetjes,

    Frank
    Moderator EHL
     
    Status
    Not open for further replies.
    < Previous | Next >
    Top