Hades

< Previous | Next >

dihydrogen monoxide

Senior Member
Slovene, Serbo-Croat
Maybe it's beyond the scope of this forum. Is Ancient Greek Hades and devil ruling over it of PIE origin or is it borrowed from another nation or is it completely of Greek origin?
 
  • Delvo

    Senior Member
    American English
    Nobody knows. Religious concepts mostly don't carry over very well from PIE to even the earliest attested IE languages, and anything about Greek that can't be traced to PIE is essentially impossible to identify as either a unique Greek invention, an import from a non-IE language, or a PIE feature that's lost in all other branches.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Two etymologies are discussed in Beekes RSP · 2010 · Etymological dictionary of Greek: 34: *n̥-u̯id- “unseen” (if aspiration is secondary) or *sm̥-u̯id- “gathering [in the underworld]”, in both cases the word is descriptive and formed from Indo-European material.
     

    dihydrogen monoxide

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    So, it could well have been something inherited from PIE, yet I don't know that the Slavs, Germanic tribes or Anatolian are familiar with the Greek concept like Hades.
     

    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    Well, in Celtic, you have the concept of the 'Otherworld' (or perhaps more accurately, the 'other world' which can be at one and the same time a part of our own world and apart from it.) This however should not be construed as a 'hellish' place as per Christian thought, but more another realm.

    If we leave aside Welsh 'Annwfn' (?'the deep place), the the following may well be of interest. Note also the regular interchange between <s> and <h> in Celtic and the Classic languages, too.

    Firstly: Irish mythological literature

    In the tales, the Otherworld is often reached by entering ancient burial mounds, such as those at Brú na Bóinne and Cnoc Meadha. These were known as sídhe ("Otherworld dwellings") and were the dwellings of the gods, later called the aos sí or daoine sí ("Otherworld folk").

    Celtic Otherworld - Wikipedia

    So do we have a connexion between 'the sidhe' and Gk. Hades?

    Secondly:

    Welsh literature

    Caer Sidi - Wikipedia

    Where this poem (probably NOT) by the Taliesin of the 6th century CE, refers to Caer Sidi/Caer Siddi. This seems to relate to the Irish term referred to above and links to 'an other world' of sorts. Again, the linkage with Hades is possible.

    Some attempts have been made to give the fortress a physical location, e.g. as the island of Grassholm off the coast of Pembrokeshire,[2] but Caer Sidi is more likely to belong to the class of otherworldly forts and islands so prevalent in Celtic mythology.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    The Greek word looks like a classical example of taboo replacement, so the original term (or an evolutionary series of such terms, replacing one another with time) may have perfectly been of substrate origin.

    In Church Slavonic > Russian, there are three words for “hell”. One (пькъло>пекло) is inherited and related to words for “pitch” in sister groups, the other (адъ>ад) is Christian, originally borrowed from Άδης orally by Balkanic Slavs, nowadays it is the generic word for “hell” (мы в аду, мама ©), and finally a Christian neologism (прѣисподьн҄ꙗꙗ>преисподняя) with the meaning “netherworld”, literally “the very lower one”, “inferna”, I guess from κατώτατη. Neither word is very old as we can see.
     

    dihydrogen monoxide

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    It's interesting to me how many times the word substrate appears when we talk about Ancient Greek and how many times pre-Greek occurs.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Beekes states that the vocabulary he calls Pre-Greek comes from a single language or a group of related languages, since it displays a set of consistent phonetic and word-formational features (and I agree with this).

    A recent paper suggests that
    all three Bronze Age groups (Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Bronze Age southwestern Anatolians) trace most of their ancestry from the earlier Neolithic populations that were very similar in Greece and western Anatolia. But, they also had some ancestry from the “east,” related to populations of the Caucasus and Iran. The Mycenaeans also had some ancestry from the “north”, related to hunter-gatherers of eastern Europe and Siberia and also to the Bronze Age people of the steppe
    .
    So, practically, when one speaks of substrate in Greek, it will be in the vast majority of cases the language of that homogeneous population living in the southern Aegean. However, there were other civilizations in north-eastern Balkans a millennium before, like the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture, so migrating Indo-Europeans (and genetics suggests it wasn't a population shift as in several other places, since the steppe component isn't high in the Balkans) should have borrowed words and concepts there as well.

    By the way, in the modern Ukrainian national ideology, the Trypillian culture is regarded as a cradle of the Ukrainian nation, which in the course of centuries suffered from various invasions, especially from Asiatic Muscovites. The Indo-European spread from the east and the eventual replacement of this culture can be regarded as a first act of this tragic history.​
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    The "un-seen" is more likely for Αϊδης (as the older form is in Homer) , since Hesychios has the word aidnos (not seen). An interesting phenomenon (but possibly accidental) is that near the Acheron (the doors to Ades) since early christian era the locals worship Saint Donatus, who in vulgar Greek is corrupted to Αιδωνάτος, very close to Αιδωνεύς (=Άδης in Homer, Aeschylus etc.)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top