20 May 2011

Uncovering more Etruscan geography

As I might have mentioned before, each and every word in a vocabulary of a particular language is in itself a universe of details. Details about origins, usage, semantic shift, etc. Each word can give us a little history lesson if we're willing to devote the time and focus.

Another universe unraveled itself upon coming to my latest examination of Aχratina which is attested in TLE 930 with two case endings chained to the end in the form Aχratinaliśa, conveying the ancestry of the person in question. Transparently Aχratina can be broken down to mean 'of *Aχrate' by way of the productive suffix -na. In turn, this implicit base *Aχrate ends in the ethonymic -te suggesting a meaning of 'someone from *Achra'. Is there such a place though?

Indeed there's a perfect match in a Sicilian town which the Romans called Acrae and which the Greeks knew as Akrai (Ἄκραι < ἄκρα 'height, hill-top, citadel'). One would therefore surmise from the above that the Etruscans approximated that name as *Aχra.


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