Etruscan / Pelasgian

philjennings at philjennings at
Mon Apr 16 21:30:26 UTC 2001

My previous email on this topic was almost perversely unclear about
"Huwarsanassans."  Of course it's difficult to be other than unclear about
what Kilday terms "a bizarre maze of contortions."  I shall try again.

I assume an original root here, very like "Rasna" or "Rasenna," the
Etruscans' own name for themselves.

On this root, an IE language has worked two changes.  (1) Since the
initial "R" is unpronounceable, it becomes an aspirated "Hr."  (2) This
modified ethnonym is used to describe a city or geo-political entity,
which is given the suffix familiar to us as "-assos" in Greek.  The
place: Western Asia Minor.  The time, prior to 1330 bce.

The result is a city which, if it had kept the name to classical times,
might have been known as Rhasnassos.  The Hittites came to know it as
Hursanassa.  The Hittites called the people of this location
"Hursansassans."  Or "Huwarsanassans," but I'd rather not dwell on that,
since I can't explain the "wa".

This is as if people walking out of the movie "Gladiator," in talking
about the war against "Germania," began to talk about those stupid
"Germanians."  In other words, the Hittites couldn't have been too close
to or familiar with the people of Hursanassa.  At least, Mursilis II

However, the Rasenna did not carry the burden of this Hittite name with
them into Aegean exile (1330-1180 bce), so at this point, the next IE
people they encounter, get a fresh chance to mess up their name, minus the
"Hu" and the "-assa."  This next group imposes a "tV" prefix that becomes
"Ty-" in Greek.  We see other instances of this prefix along the Aegean
coast of Asia Minor, in the names "Troy" and "Termilae."  I speculate that
this prefix means something like "speakers of ___ language", on the basis
of a widespread Anatolian word "ta" that means "speak" or "talk."

The resultant Tyrsennoi become the Tursha of the sea peoples who attack
Egypt, and the Etruscans of Northern Italy.

In parallel with this national career, the Suruda, mentioned with the
Hursanassans in Mursilis II's Annals, may be associated with another city
that the Hittites want to conquer, Sardis.  Some escape as the
Hursanassans do, become the Sherdana of the sea peoples, and the
Sardinians of Sardinia.  I am a little smitten by this parallelism.  It's
as if each folkwandering theory isn't balanced enough to hold itself up, but
the two theories together support each other.  In most cases, a fanciful
theory plus a second fanciful theory make for extra weakness:  here
there's something almost like what the physicists call "beauty."

However, the Attarimmans, third part of the original gang of renegadoes
mentioned in the Annals of Mursilis II, apparently drop from view.

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