Why is Remus written as Ῥῶμος in Ancient Greek?

Villeggiatura

Senior Member
Russian
Is Ῥῶμος actually the original? If not, why did the Ancient Greek authors use omega instead of eta or epsilon for the e in Remus as if Ῥώμυλος (Romulus) were a diminutive of Ῥῶμος?

In terms of the Latin diminutive suffix -ulus and its Greek counterpart -υλ(λ)ος (e.g., ἀρκτύλος, dim. of ἄρκτος; καθάρυλλος, dim. of καθαρός), which is more original?
 
  • Erkattäññe

    Member
    Spanish - Argentina
    Is Ῥῶμος actually the original? If not, why did the Ancient Greek authors use omega instead of eta or epsilon for the e in Remus as if Ῥώμυλος (Romulus) were a diminutive of Ῥῶμος?

    In terms of the Latin diminutive suffix -ulus and its Greek counterpart -υλ(λ)ος (e.g., ἀρκτύλος, dim. of ἄρκτος; καθάρυλλος, dim. of καθαρός), which is more original?
    I wonder if there is some correlation with variations such as hemo: /homo:; uerto: /uorto:
    I don't have examples with long vowels though
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Actually, Latin Remus has a short vowel, so this Ῥῶμος (survived till now: Ρωμύλος και Ρώμος - Βικιπαίδεια) looks strange. In Latin, Remus seems to have no etymology. There is the word rēmus "oar", but, with its long vowel, it is unrelated.

    A diminutive Remulus is also attested — Remulus Silvius, king of Alba Longa (Definition of Remulus (noun, LNS, Remulus) - Numen - The Latin Lexicon - An Online Latin Dictionary).

    There seems to have existed a parallel name of Rome — Remora (Definition of Remora (noun, LNS, Remora) - Numen - The Latin Lexicon - An Online Latin Dictionary).


    The Latin -ul- comes from the ancient *-el- before a back vowel; after i the outcome is o: filiolus; before the front vowel we find -il-: Rōmilia, a Roman tribe (i. e. *Rōmos, *Rōmelos, *Rōmelia); cp. also Σικελία > Sicilia : σικελός > siculus, similis : simulō, Oscan famel vs. Latin famul : familia.

    Versus, verrō, vester, vertex, vetō are attested since the middle 2nd century BC: before that the vowel was o: vorsus, vorrō, voster (preserved or restored after noster in Romance), vortex, votō. This change was known to Quintilian (Perseus Under Philologic: Quint. 1.7.25 — 1.7.26).

    The origin of homō is ascribed to the assimilation e — o > o — o attested in several words: dvenos>dvonos>bonus (but *dvenē>bene), *hemō (attested in hemōnem) > homō, *vemō>vomō.

     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    The earliest available version of the story of the foundation of Rome is a fragment of the Greek historian Alcimus (Alkimos) from the 4th century BC (Jacoby, FGrH. no. 840). This says that Rhōmylos was the son of Aeneas and the father of Rhōmos. Later Greek versions make them not father and son, but brothers. The latter name occurs in Greek also as Rhōmē and Rhōmanos; these, like Rhōmylos, were all obviously invented for no other purpose than to supply an etymology for the name of the city of Rome.

    In Latin, the names Romulus and Remus occur together from 3rd century BC. It is likely that Remus and Rhōmos are two different names, but that at some point they were amalgamated, with the result that Remus took over Rhōmos’s role as co-founder of Rome. Linguistically Rĕmus and Rhōmos can hardly be identical.
     
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    AnnapolisKen

    New Member
    English
    I thought Remus with a short 'e' was linked with the Indo-European Divine Twins, like Castor and Pollux. At least in the Iranian Avestan manifestation I thought the twins were named Manus and Yima (=human and twin, Yima being cognate with geminus), and so we have another creation myth with divine twins Rome-dude and Ro-twin. Here's an article on the twins which mentions Remus and other Indo-European analogues. https://philarchive.org/archive/LINPKT-2 I believe the Anglo-Saxon brothers Hengist and Horsa who led the expedition/invasion of Britain were also horserider divine twin analogues like Castor and Pollux.
     

    Apollodorus

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I thought Remus with a short 'e' was linked with the Indo-European Divine Twins, like Castor and Pollux.

    Unfortunately, the twin motif doesn’t resolve the issue of etymology/spelling. It may well be that there was just one founder who ended up with two names (or the same name in different dialects/languages).

    If Rome/Remus/Romulus have no known Latin etymology, then they may have a non-Latin origin, including Etruscan or Greek. What is interesting is that according to the Romans themselves, there was supposed to be a Greek or Trojan connection.

    Contacts between Italic populations and the Mycenaean world go back to the Late Bronze Age, as attested by Mycenaean pottery found in many parts of the peninsula.

    Greeks from Euboea established a colony not far from Latium at Cumae (Greek Kymai, Κύμαι) in the eighth century BC. Greek language and culture were introduced to the region at the time, including the alphabet which was adopted by the Etruscans and later by the Romans. This may be the origin of the belief that Rome was founded by Greeks (or Pelasgians, Trojans, etc.). If the Romulus and Remus narrative originated in the fourth century BC, it may itself be of Greek origin.

    In Greek tradition, the foundation of a city was usually connected with a deity. Rhea Sylvia, the mother of Romulus and Remus, is named after the Greek goddess Rhea. In his discussion of the origin of the name Rhea, Socrates mentions Heraclitus’ comparison of the universe to the constant current of a river, thus deriving Rhea from ῥέω (rhéo), “to flow” (Plato, Cratylus 402b-c).

    On this account, one etymology may be *Rēmos, from a masculine form of rheuma, “current, stream”, from rhéo, “to flow”.

    Alternative possibilities include:

    From rhṓmē (ῥώμη), “strength” (Plutarch, Romulus 1.1).

    From rhṓomai (ῥώομαι), “to move intensively or violently”, which some have connected with a Hittite word meaning “to attack” (Beekes).
     
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