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The Scytho-Sarmatian Problems / Alan-Anglo-Saxon Onomasticon

Alan-Anglo-Saxon Onomasticon


This onomastikon was compiled in order to demonstrate how many names of the Scythian-Sarmatian time can be etymologized using the English language, but not all of the names here may have Old English origin. Nevertheless, even if those names are just a few, it is already strong evidence for the presence of Anglo-Saxons in the northern Black Sea coast in the prehistoric time. And apparently, these names exsist.

Ababa, Hababa (the mother of of Roman Emperor Maximianus, the Alanian woman) – V.I. Abayev explained the name as "Good weaver" on the basis of the OS. wafun "to weave" and Old Iran. *hu-"good", which seems far-fetched. The last word is absent in the modern Iranian languages, and existed only in compound words of Ancient Iranian. Obviously, the word fell into disuse for a long time, so it is highly doubtful that it could be present in the language of the Sarmatians. It is noteworthy that Maximianus’ father was a Goth Mickey. In this regard, the name can be considered to be of Old English origin, although to make the final choice is difficult. Such variant can be considered: OE hebba "the beginning, the rise” (in the sense of the beginning of the family) but it is likely compound word which consist of OE ǽw having several meanings, including "laws, customs, marriage, wife”, and āwa “always, forever”. In addition, the Old English personal name existed, recorded as Eawa.

Αγαθιρσ (agathirs), Αγαθιρσοι (agatirsoi) – according to Herodotus Agathyrsos was a son of Heracles and gave rise to the tribe of the Agathyrsians – OE đyrs (thyrs) "a giant demon, a magician" is well suited for both the name and the ethnonym. For the first part of the name, we find OE ege "fear, terror", and the whole means "terrible giants or demons". However, OE āga "owner", āgan "to have, take, receive, possess" suite phonetically better. Then the ethnonym can be understood as "having giants". Below, we decipher the ethnonym the Thyssagetai (see Θυσσαγεται) as a nation of giants in the north of Scythia. Thus, we can suppose that the Agathyrsians subdued the Thyssagetai

ακινακεσ (akinakes), a short, iron Scythian sword – the name of the sword is sometimes associated with the Iranian word kynk "sword". OE ǽces "an ax" and nǽcan "to kill" suit better.

Αλαζωνεσ (aladzo:nes), the Alazonians, the tribe inhabiting the territory of the Dniester above the Callipidai, – the name can be translated as “the born in a shirt” (αλαζωνεσ – OE hāla “afterbirth, placenta”, sunu "a son").

Αλανοι (alanoi), the name of a tribe of Alans – from Old Pers aryana- "Aryas", Os allon? However, this ethnonym can be viewed as tainted "Angles" (angloi → aŋloi → alŋoi → alanoi). Cf. Ρευκαναλοι.

Αλανορσοι (alanorsoi), the name of a tribe of Alans – "the white Alans" (Os ors "white")? Rather, "Riding Alans" (OE hors "a horse").

Αμαγη (amage:), Sarmatian queen – the Ossetian language has no match, Old Iran. ama "strong, powerful". OE hām "house, home" and āga "an owner, proprietor", āge “ownership, possession” suit perfectly for the name of a queen phonetically and by meaning. Obviously the name should be understood as "mistress of home".

Αμωσπαδοσ (amospados), Olbia, Latyshev – Old Ir ama "strong, powerful", spāda "army" The studies show that the ancient Iranian roots without matches in the Kurdish, Ossetian, or Afghan language did not help deciphering the names. Thus, OE spœd "success, happiness and wealth" can be entered into the name. For the first part of the word, OE hām "a house, home" or hama "clothing" can be suggested.

Αναχαρσισ (anaxarsis), the Scythian famous traveller and sage – the name has many interpretations. V.I. Abayev explains it as "safe" (Av ana-hvarti, Os änäxwälc). However, Anacharsis was not a Scythian. It can be concluded from the phrase of Herodotus: "Now the region of the Euxine upon which Dareios was preparing to march has, apart from the Scythian race, the most ignorant nations within it of all lands: for we can neither put forward any nation of those who dwell within the region of Pontus as eminent in ability, nor do we know of any man of learning having arisen there, apart from the Scythian nation and Anacharsis". (HERODOTUS, IV, 46 ). Anachars was the son of Gnuros, the son of Lycos, the son of Spargapeithes (see Σπαργαπειθησ). All three last names can be decrypted by means of Old English. Then, an Old English match must also be found for the name Anacharsis: Old Saxon. āno "without", OE hors/hyrs "horse" (ie, "Horseless").

αντακαιοι (antakaioi), a large boneless fish – the word can not be convincing decoded. In accordance with the characteristics of the fish, the prefix could mean "no, without". The Germanic languages have such words (an/on, OE un). Then the root would have the meaning "a bone". Theoretically, an initial form for Dutch tak "branch" and Ger Zacke "a prong", the words without of certain etymology, can suit here when akin English word was lost.

Αργαμηνοσ (argame:nos) – OE earg “cowardly”, mann “a man”.

Αρθιεμανοσ (artiemanos), Berezan’ the interpretation of the name by V.I. Abaev as "a spearman" (Os arcä "a spear", Av manu "a man") is doubtful because of the phonetic mismatch. The Greek letter θ is reflected just as aspirated th in most cases, therefore OE earđ "plowing" or eorđe "land " and mann "a man" could be taken to explain the name as "a tiller".

Αριαντασ (ariantas), the name of a Scythian king – OE ārian "to honor".

Αριαπειθεσ (ariapeithes), the name of a Scythian king – OE ār „honor, dignity, glory” (ārian "to honor"), fǽtan „to decorate” (“adorned with glory”). The ruler of the Agathyrsians Spargapeites lived at the same time (see Σπαργαπειθησ). He killed Ariapeithes.

Αριι (arii), the Sarmatian tribe – widespread tribal name among Indo-Europeans. It can have the same origin as the OE ār "honor".

Αριφαρνησ (arifarnes), according to Diodor of Sicily “the name of the king of the tribe Θατεισ”) – the root farn occurred in the ephygrafy of the Black Sea Area repeatedly. There is in Iranian mythology farn/xvarna- „divine force”, „celestial grace”, but Ossetic word farn means „rest”, Afg parnā “sleepy, inert”. The words of this root are also present in the Germanic and other languages. The leader of Goths Farnobius is known in the history. F. Holthausen gave also the proper names Farnoin and Farnulf and explained OE farnian “to have happiness” as a loan-word from OIc (farna-sk). In general, Germanic languages have the words of this root, which means „fern” (a kind of plant – Ger Farn). According to folk legends the flower of the fern brings good luck. Sanskrit purna means “full”. The Chuvash language has the word parne, which means “a present, gift”, and purăn “to live”. Thus, we could suppose that the word of the root parn/farn/purn having the meaning „happiness, peace of mind, grace, favor” existed in many languages of Eastern Europe. Therefore, one has to consider the possibility of both Iranian, and Germanic, and other origin of similar names. As the first part of Arifarnes’ name cannot be good explicated by means of other languages except Old English (OE. ār, āre „honour”), we may reason to translate the name as somewhat similar to “honorable fortune”.

Ατεασ (ateas), by Strabo Atheas, the mighty Scythian king, united under his rule all Scythia and was killed as 90-year-old man in a battle with the Macedonian king Philip II in 339 BC – according to Abaev "true" (Av haiθya-, Old Pers. hašya-, Os äc-, äcäg-, which phonetically are faulty). Better, according to Holthausen, occurred in names OE æđ, going back to æđele "noble, honourable, glorious" (Holthausen F, 1974, 13)

Beorgus, the Alanian king who invaded Italy in V century AD – OE beorg 1. "a mountain, hill", 2. "protection", 3. "asylum".

Βορυσθενεοσ, Borysthenes, the Dnieper River – A.K. Shaposhnikov asserts that the name has nothing to do with the Iranian languages and that attempts to give it an interpretation on the material of the Indo-Iranian or Slavic languages "look too artificial". He himself gives the Greek etymology, also very doubtful (SHAPOSHNIKOV A.K. 2005: 39). The name can be interpreted more faithfully by means of Old English – OE bearu, Gen bearwes "a forest", đion "to grow". F. Kluge restored the Germanic root of the last word as đenh, ie the name of the river can be explained as "forested".

Βουδινοι (budinoi) Boudinoi, rather, Woudinoi, the people who lived, according to Herodotus, in the country, overgrown with various trees – a satisfactory interpretation of the word is so far not found. By the meaning and phonetic OE widu, wudu “tree, wood", Eng wooden approach perfectly. The word wuden is not found in Old English, but according to the laws of English grammar, it could exist and mean "forest".

Γ’αστεισ (gasteis), Γαστεισ, Γαστεησ, Gorgippia, Panticapaeum – V.I. Abayev connects these names with the word guest which forms are present in many Slavic and Germanic languages (Goth gast-s "a guest, stranger", OE gǽst), but similar word is not fixed in the Iranian languages. The second meaning of English words 1. "spirit, soul, life”, 2. "a demon."

Γνυροσ (gnuros), the son of Lykos – as Shaposhnikov asserts, the name has no features as of Indo-Iranian and Eastern-Iranian origin (SHAPOSHNIKOV A.K. 2005, 39), but cf. OE gnyrran "to grind". Akin Germanic words mean "to roar, growl." These senses do not seem suitable for a name, but derived nouns from these verbs could be the name of a beast. For example, Ukrainian word knur means "a male pig" which origin is considered to be onomatopoeic, but other words of such a root are absent in Ukrainian. We can assume that this actually onomatopoeic word was arisen in Old English, and then was borrowed into Ukrainian. Then the name of the grandson of the king could mean “a wild boar”. See Θυσκεσ.

Γοδοσαυοσ (godosauos) – proposed by V. Abayev “black thinking” (Os ğud „thought” and saw „black”) is far phonetic. Perheps the name is compilled by OE god "god", ōs "pagan god", ǽw "law, religion".

Γωαρ (go:ar), Alanian leader in Gaul at the beginning of the 5th century. – OE gear "protection, weapon". See Eochar.

Γωδιγασοσ (go:digasos), Tanais – „good thinker”? (îñ. ğud „thought” and igas „intact, safe”). Better "godly fright, horror" (OE god "god" and egesa "fear, fright, horror").

Ηλμανοσ (e:lmanos), Olbia, Vasmer – OE el “strange”, mann "a man".

Eochar, Alanian king in Armorica (north-west France) – proposed by G. Miller explanation of the names as “he who eats millet” (Os jäw "millet", xwärun "to eat") has to be decisively thrown. It is far phonetically and absolutely does not fit for the king’s name. OE eoh "a horse" and ār "a messenger, herald, apostle" suit best of all. However Eochar and Γωαρ (see) could be the same person.

Ευβαρνακτεσ (eubarnaktes), Tanaïs – OE eoh "a horse", bær "a cart", nacod “empty”.

Θιαγαροσ (thiagaros), Tanais – OE ǽger "an egg".

Θιαρμακοσ (thiarmakos), Tanais – OE đi instrumental of đǽt "this, that" and earm "an arm".

Θυσκεσ (thuskes), Olbia – Os tusk’a "a boar" which derived from the Turkic čočqa "a pig". Cf. Γνυροσ. OE tūsc "a fang" of unclear origin can be considered too.

Θυσσαγεται (thussagetai), the Thyssagetai, one of the folks in Northern Scythia mentioned by Herodotus, or Thyrsagetae (by Valery Flaccus) – V.I. Abayev explains this name as "fast deer" (Pers, Kurd. tūr "rabid"), Os sag "a deer". The presence of the morpheme getai/ketai (Μασσαγεται, Ματυκεται, Μυργεται) in the names of several tribes is noteworthy . In addition, the Thracian tribes Getae (Γεαται) are known in history. We can suppose that this word means "people". The closest to it is the Chuv kĕtỹ "a flock, herd". Then Thyssagetai were "unruly people" (OE đyssa "rowdy”). If the form of Valery Flaccus is more correct, as it is likely, since it echoes the name of the Agathyrsians. (see Αγαθιρσ, Αγαθιρσοι), then the Thyrsagetae means "the people of giants and wizards" (O. Eng đyrs "a giant, demon, wizard").

Ιδανθιρσοσ (idantirsos), Scythian king – OE eadan "performed, satisfied” and đyrs "a giant, demon, wizard".

Ιεζδραδοσ (iedzdrados), Olbia –Abayev displays the word out of Os izäd "deity." Instead, we can see in the name OE. đræd "thread, wire”, while the first part of the name semantic approach OE īse(r)n "iron, of iron", deived from Old Turkic jerz (later jez) "copper". See "The Names of Metals in the Turkic and Indo-European Languages".

Ιωδασ (io:das), Panticapaeum (Latyshev) – possible origin of the Os od "soul ", if i is the article, according to Abayev. OE jeđe and eađe "light and pleasant". Since this root in the next word is semantically good suit to the meaning “taste”, we may take this variant.

Ιωδεσμαγοσ (iodesmagos), Olbia – explanation of the name by Abaev as "the breath of life" from Os od "soul " and äsmag "smell, breath looks good, but OE words jeđe/eađe "light, pleasant” and smæcc "taste, smell".

Κοφαρνοσ (kopharnos), Tanaïs – OE cofa "cave, hut" and ærn "home" suit good phonetically but the whole meaning is doubtful for a human name. Maybe OE “a cow” and the mentioned above farn suit better.

Λικοσ (likos), the son of Spargapeithes – by OE līc "body" could be called a man of large stature.

Λογχατησ (longchate:s), Lucian – Longhates was the friend of Arsacomas (see Αρσακομασ) and helped him to kidnap a bride – the name can be explained as "long-haired" (OE long "long", hæd “hair”).

Μαζαια (madzaia), the daughter of Masteira and the king of the Bosporus Leukanorus – OE māse "titmouse."

Μακαγου (makagou) – OE maca „comrade, companion”, geow, giow „hawk”.

Μακεντησ (makente:s), according Lucian, the friend of a Scythian Arsacomas – OE maca "a friend, companion" included, according to Holthausen in such Anglo-Saxon proper nouns as Meaca, Mackenthorp, Mackensen (A. HOLTHAUSEN F. 1974: 209, 216), and OE. ent "a giant".

Μαστειρα (masteira), the Alanian, the wife of the king of the Bosporus Leukanorus, the mother of Madzaia – OE māst "most", āre "honor, dignity."

Μαστουσ (mastous), Tanaïs, Panticapaeum – the explanation of the name out of the common Ir mast "intoxicated" is doubtful, though possible, but OE māst "the biggest, the greatest" is better suited

Ματυκεται (matuketai), a Scythian tribe – assuming primary meaning "people" for Chuv kĕtỹ, OE mattuc, meattoc "hoe" can be taken for the first part of the word. In this case the name of a tribe can be interpreted as "farmers", which can correspond to agricultural Scythians mentioned by Herodotus

Μηθακον (me:thakon), Μηταγοσ (me:takos) – OE mattuc, meattoc „hoe”.

Μουγισαγοσ, (mougisagos), Olbia – The origin of the word from Os mugǽ "seed" and sag "deer", as considered Abayev, is acceptable but most likely it is based on OE mūga "heap of grain" (akin Old Sw mōghe "people, community") and saku "dispute, war" or saga / sagu "story, a saga," because similar name is used by Strabo for Germanic tribe of Mugilones (Gr Μουγίλωνες Lat Mūgilōnēs).

Μυργεται (murgetai), a Scythian tribe – no information about this tribe is not found yet, maybe its name is associated with common Iranian murg "a bird". Consistently linking morpheme getai/ketai with meaning "people" we can take for the first part of the name OE mōr "swamp, heath", ie as a whole "bog people".

Οδιαρδοσ (odiardos), Tanaïs – Os od „soul”: „soul filled by ard” (see Αρδαβουριοσ)? OE wōd "jealousy, rage” and eard "humility, obedience, destiny".

Ομρασμακοσ (omrasmakos), Tanaïs – Abayev explains the word on the basis of Av rasman "military convoy, troop”, which has no match in the Ossetian language. Attempts to decipher the words on the basis of many other languages have been failed. The word can be explained with the Germanic languages as "sour taste". Kluge restores Germanic word which has the relevant in modern German as *am(p)ra "sour" (primarily refers to acid plant – Ger Ampfer "dock", OE ampre "acid"). The words of this root are present in the other Indo-European and Finno-Ugric languages (Russian omela “mistletoe”, Lit. amalas "mistletoe", OInd ambla "sour", Lat amarus "bitter", Mord umbrav "sorrel", Mari umla "hops”, Komi omra "angelica"). The second part of the word corresponds to the first perfect, it means "taste" (Gmc *smakka "taste", Eng smack "taste", Ger. schmecken "to be delicious"). The words of this root are not found in the Finno-Ugric languages, so the Finno-Ugric origin of the name is discarded.

Ορικοσ (orikos), the son of the Scythian king Ariapeites – OE wœrig "tired", wōrian „to walk”.

Πουρταιοσ (pourtauos), Πουρθειον (pourtheion) – the name can have many interpretations on the basis of the Iranian, Baltic, Chuvash, Old English languages. (Os furt/fyrt "a son", a Kurd pûrt "hair", Lit. purtyti "to shake" Chuv purtă "an ax", OE furđor "forward", etc).

Ραθαγωσοσ (rathagosos), Olbia – OE hrađe “fast, swift”, gōs "a goose". About people-geese see Σατρααβατησ in the Sarmatian Onomasticon.

Ρευκαναλοι (Reukanaloi), a Sarmatian tribe – V.I. Abayev saw in the name the metathesis of Ρευκαλανοι and explained it as "light Alans" (Old Pers rauča, Os ruxs "light"). This assumption confirms possible correspondence between the ethnonyms Engls and Alans (angloi → aŋloi → alŋoi → alanoi), the more the first part of the word could be considered as OE reoc "wild, savage".

sabar, alanian word, "oats" (ABAYAV V.I., 1965) – OSax haβaro “oats”.

σαγαρισ (sagaris), battle axe, the Scythian weapon – OE sacu "strife, war" and earh "an arrow".

Σαδαλον (sadalon) – good Iranian matches are not found. Maybe OE sadol "saddle" can be taken to consideration?

Σαδιμανοσ (sadimanos) – OE sǽd "sated, satiated" and mann "a man".

Σαιταφαρνησ (saitafarnes), Sarmatian ruler – OE sæta "dwelling, dweller" and farnian "to have luck" or fearn "fern".

σακυνδακη (sakundake:), Scythian clothing according Hesychius – hardly a "clothes from reindeer fur", how it was explained by V.I. Abayev, using Os tag/dag. "thread, woven fabric”. There were no deer in the steppes, where the Scythians had their habitat, thus we can talk not about the fabric but about hide clothing. No doubt the second part of the word is OE đæce "clothes", akin to Lat tŏga "toga" and Os tag/dag. The first part of a word can be translated as "Saks." If the word has German origin, under Saks may be hiding the Germanic tribe of Saxons. Such assumption is all the more justified, that Alan could be ancient Angles (see Αλανοιι).

Sangibanus, according to Jordanes, Alanian king in Gallia in the 5th c. – the explanation of V.I. Abaev as "possessing the power of hands" (Os cong, Pers čang "a hand") is not quite right phonetically. OE sengen "to burn" and bān "a foot, bone" are better.

Σαρυκη (saruke), a feminine name, Panticapaeum – to OE. sarig “sad, anxious”?

Σαυλιοσ (saulios), the son of Gnuros – apparently from OE sāwol "soul."

Σκοπασισ (skopasis), Scythian military commander during the war with the Persians – perhaps the word is derived from OE scop "a poet, singer." OE ease "cup" can be offered for the second part of the word. However, the Greek sculptor Skopas was known (Gr σχοψ "an owl").

Σπαργαπειθησ (spargapeithes), the name of two men, one of them was the Agathyrsian king, another was the king of the Scythians – the name can be translated as "a hewing sparks" by means OE spearca “a spark" and restored word *pathan “to beat". Restoring followed such way. Old English had the word pađ “a path” bur it is known that the words path, road are often attributed as "beaten". Farther, OE pýtan had one meaning "to squeeze, push". In addition, Herodotus translated Oyor-pata as "a killing men". Obviously, the Turkic word pata- “to beat” was borrowed by Old English and lost later. It should not confuse the names of Agathyrsian and Scythians kings had German origins. The fact of the transition royal names from one nation to another is known (M.I. Artamonov, 1974, 131).

Σπαροβαισ (sparobais), Panticapaeum – no good Iranian matches are found. Chuv sapăr "affectionate" + apăs "priest" could be taken but better consider OE spær "gypsum, limestone” and býan "to build" ("a mason, builder").

Σπαροφοτοσ (sparophotos), Tanaïs – to OE spær „gypsum, limestone” and pott „pot” or sparian “to protect” and fōt “foot”.

Τασιοσ (tasios), the Roxolanian leader at the end of the 2nd cen. BC – OE tæsan "to wound"

Τιαραντοσ (tiarantos), an unknown small river in Scythia – nothing better than OE tear "tears, drops" and andian "to envy, jealousy ".

Φαδιαροαζοσ (phadiaroazos), Tanaïs – we should see in this and subsequent names OE fadian "to lead". The second part of this name means "a copper ax" (OE ær, "copper", æces "an ax").

Φαδινομοσ (phadinomos), Tanaïs – to OE fadian "to lead" and nama "name".

Φαζιναμοσ (phadzinamos), Tanaïs – to OE fācian "to seek, demand, achieve" and nama "name".

Φαλδαρανοσ (phaldaranos), Tanaïs – to OE feld „field” and earn "an eagle" ("a steppe eagle") .

Φανδαραζοσ (phandaradzos), Gorgippia– to OE fandian „to try, teat” and racian „to dominate, direct ”.

Φηδανακοσ (phedanakos), Tanaïs – to OE fadian „to lead” and naca „a boot, ship”.

Φλειμναγοσ (phliamnagos), Olbia – to OE fliema "a fugitive" and nǽgan "to approach, attack".

Φλιανοσ (phlianos), Olbia – to OE fleon "to escape, avoid".

Φοργαβακοσ (phorgabakos), Tanaïs – "roasted on the fire" (OE fýr "fire", bacan "to roast", ga-prefix participle).

Φορηρανοσ (foreranos), Tanaïs, Knipovich – Harmatta explains the name on the warrant of the hypothetical Old Ir *paru-aryana as "conquered many of the Aryans", which is too cumbersome. Maybe it should draw OE fœre "able to walk, suitable for service", ræn "a house", rān "plunder, robbery".

Φοριαυοσ (phorianos), Tanaïs – OE fōr "journey, road” and eawan "to show, open", the name could mean "a guide ".

Φοσακοσ (phosakos), Tanaïs, Knipovich – "sheep" (Os fus)? OE fūs "pressing forward" and āc "an oak" and also "ship of oak".

Χομευοσ (xomeuos), Tanaïs – OE hām "home" and æw "law, customs, marriage, wife".

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