Arzawa = Razawa?

philjennings at philjennings at
Mon Mar 5 22:20:54 UTC 2001

My Hittite glossary lists no words beginning in the letter R.  This could
be because

Hittite has no words beginning in R.
Hittite scribes used the AR-cuneiform syllable in an ad hoc way, to
signify AR and RA.
Hittites used initial R as a vowel.  Their ears did not distinguish AR
from RA.

Why this matters is, that the nation/confederation of ARzawa, defeated by
the Hittites a few generations before the fall of Troy, might be RAzawa,
parsed as Raza-wa, homeland of Raza.

The Etruscan name for themselves was Rasna or earlier Rasenna, parsed
Rase-na or Rasen-na.

The simple step of identifying Raza with Rase gives the Etruscans a
"Lydian" homeland.

Note that the Hittite defeat of Razawa/Arzawa could have set refugees in
motion well before the fall of Troy.

The Razawa hypothesis becomes less edifying if the Etruscans entered
pre-history with an initial-T version of their name, which was later
truncated.  For this reason, I hope this isn't the case.  I propose that
knowledge of the Etruscans was mediated to the greater world through a
non-Etruscan group of languages that used a Ta, Ter, or Ty prefix to
indicate "those who speak."  The Indo-Anatolian languages have "ta" as
"talk" or "speech."  Early Anatolians may have habitually referred to
those who spoke strange dialects as "Ta-Rasenna-(pl)", "Ter-Mil-(pl)",
"Tar-Iusa-(pl)", and so forth.  "Ta-Rasenna-(pl)" then became "Tyrsennoi"
in Greek.


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