Herodotus's Scythians and Ptolemy's Central Asia
Humbach, Helmut [u.a.]:
Herodotus's Scythians and Ptolemy's Central Asia : semasiological and onomasiological studies / Helmut Humbach and Klaus Faiss. - Wiesbaden : Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2012. - XII, 91 S.
This book covers semasiological and onomasiological studies on Herodotus and Ptolemy. In part A on Herodotus are first discussed the names of gods and persons collected in his famous portrayal of the Scythians of the northern Black Sea region, a well-known Iranian people, and secondly the Scythian tribes living on the northern border of Darius the Great's empire.
The link between Herodotus and Ptolemy is established by the fact that Ptolemy also mentions Scythians, namely in his description of the Central Asiatic countries as in Book 6 of his 'Geography,' which dates from about 150 C.E. and so being ca. 600 years younger. The description of those countries tackled in part B is the main subject of the investigation.
For the first time in the long tradition of Ptolemy studies the numerous predominantly geographical and ethnographical names are examined philologically. They are of very different origins. Preserved in bad condition, they principally consist of epithets of deities allowing a deeper insight into the religious rather than the political and cultural background of the time.
The indexes C and D serve to better understand the meaning of the entries in part B. [Verlagsinformation]
Select Literature. VIII
A. HERODOTUS'S SCYTHIANS. 1
General Remarks. 1
1. Mythical and legendary history of the Scythians. 1
2. Scythian gods. 4
3. List of Scythian names transmitted by Herodotus. 8
4. Post-Herodotean materials. 15
5. Hesychius's Scythian glosses. 17
6. Hecataeus's inheritance. 18
7. Scythians in the east. 19
B. PTOLEMY'S CENTRAL ASIA. 22
General Remarks. 22
The Countries. 29
6,9. Hyrkania (Gorgān). 29
6,10. Margianē (Turkmenistan). 32
6,11. Baktrianē (North Afghānistān). 35
6,12. Sogdianoi (Uzbekistan/Tājīkistān). 39
6,13. Sakai (Pāmīr Region). 42
6,14. Skythia hē Entos Imaou orous (Scythia on this side of Mount Imaon). 43
6,15. Skythia hē Ektos Imaou orous (Scythia beyond Mount Imaon). 48
6,16. Sērikē (Xinjiang/Sinkiang, China). 49
6,17. Areia (Northwest Afghānistān). 52
6,18. Paropanisadai (Hindukush Region). 57
6,19. Drangianē (Sīstān). 60
6,20. Arachōsia (South Afghānistān). 63
6,21. Gedrōsia (Makrān). 65
Appendix: Chariot in Central Asia. 68
C. Іndexes of Old Iranian, Greek, and Sanskrit Elements in B. Ptolemy's Central Asia. 70
D. Index of Entries in B. Ptolemy's Central Asia. 86
HELMUT HUMBACH (*1921), emeritus professor of Comparative (Indoeuropean) Linguistics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Germany), studied Indoeuropean and Classical Philology in Munich. In 1956 he was appointed to a chair at the University of the Saarland, in 1961 he accepted the chair at Mainz University. To the current formalism of linguistic prehistory, he preferred the philological and historical approach to texts of the past, which he consistently carried out in teaching and research. His expertise has been requested and welcome all over the world.
KLAUS FAISS (*1940), emeritus professor of English Philology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Germany), studied English and Romance Philology. After a three-year professorship at the Ruhr University Bochum, he accepted a chair at Mainz University in 1976 teaching English linguistics, both modern and historical, till 2006. His main fields of research are the history of the English language, especially morphology, word formation, and syntax as well as their interrelations.
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