My prior comments on Lupercalia and Etruscans bring up an interesting potential wanderword in Italy. While some mentally ill surfers enjoy preying on random bloggers with the bait of aimless opinions and fake interest to lead one's readers off topic, the delete button prunes away the rubbish in seconds. Another blog with a lower bar of entry can suit these persons' needs if that sort of discussion is so pressing for them. For me however, the relatively virgin topic on the origins of the Lupercalia festival and wolf themes is more satisfying.
The real questions that need to be investigated are:
- What was the Etruscan word for 'wolf'?
- Was an Umbrian loanword involved (and what was its word for 'wolf')?
- Why do so many religion-related terms from Umbrian appear to be loaned into Etruscan?
Does this say something specific about the nature of early Etruscan-Umbrian relations?
- Did Etruscans bring these themes to Italy from Lydia?
Were they organic to Italy itself?
- When did the aforementioned lupus/lupu pun first surface?
Did the wolf-Hades theme originate with the wordplay?
Or did this wordplay only accommodate a pre-existing theme perhaps?
- Is this Etruscan theme founded on an older Egyptian chthonic canine motif seen in Anubis?
Many irregular sound changes are present in European words for 'wolf' but the unfirm cognates are somehow tolerated by Indoeuropeanists. Hotwords like taboo are the usual exit door in journal articles to escape the mind-boggling complexities of the topic in 10 pages or less but key problems remain:
- Germanic *wulfaz has an *f when *hw should be reflexed.
- Latin lupus 'wolf' is waved away as random metathesis due to taboo.
- An obvious Latin doublet, lupus 'wolf' and volpēs 'fox', is left unexplained.
- How might Greek ἀλώπηξ (alōpēx) meaning 'fox' be related?
- And what too about Luwian ulipna-/walipna- 'fox'?
Why that unexpected -p- again?