January 17, 2006

Some more random (?) facts

A sequel to the previous post, with some more random (?) facts.

"The Lycians are in good truth anciently from Crete; which island, in former days, was wholly peopled with barbarians. A quarrel arising there between the two sons of Europa, Sarpedon and Minos, as to which of them should be king, Minos, whose party prevailed, drove Sarpedon and his followers into banishment. The exiles sailed to Asia, and landed on the Milyan territory. Milyas was the ancient name of the country now inhabited by the Lycians: the Milyae of the present day were, in those times, called Solymi. So long as Sarpedon reigned, his followers kept the name which they brought with them from Crete, and were called Termilae, as the Lycians still are by those who live in their neighbourhood. But after Lycus, the son of Pandion, banished from Athens by his brother Aegeus had found a refuge with Sarpedon in the country of these Termilae, they came, in course of time, to be called from him Lycians. Their customs are partly Cretan, partly Carian. They have, however, one singular custom in which they differ from every other nation in the world. They take the mother's and not the father's name. Ask a Lycian who he is, and he answers by giving his own name, that of his mother, and so on in the female line. Moreover, if a free woman marry a man who is a slave, their children are full citizens; but if a free man marry a foreign woman, or live with a concubine, even though he be the first person in the State, the children forfeit all the rights of citizenship."
Herodotus, Histories, 1.173

"Lycian, a language of SW Anatolia for which there are written records dated from about the 5th to 4th cent. B.C., may have been a continuation of Luwian."
Anatolian Languages in The Columbia Encyclopedia

"As in the Bronze Age syllabary more certainly evolved for the recording of Luvian, the so-called Hittite hieroglyphs, the sound values of the Linear A signary seem designed to represent exactly the Luvian phonetic system having 3 long vowels, 3 short. And like its Anatolian counterpart, where certain of the syllabograms demonstrably match the sound of the first syllable in Luvian of the object that inspired its sign-shapes, the Linear A signary too would appear to have been built on the acrophonic principle. So far, some three dozen matches between Ventris' Linear B sound values (slightly altered to reflect the Greek 5-vowel system) and the Luvian name for the object often still identifiable in the Linear A sign--e.g., AB40/L28: WI as in WIdula-, the Hittite (and likely Luvian) term for 'chariot box'."
Edwin L. Brown faculty page

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