Arzawa = Razawa?

Douglas G Kilday acnasvers at
Fri Mar 9 11:58:28 UTC 2001

philjennings at (5 Mar 2001) wrote:

>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.

Rasenna is not "earlier". It is transcribed from the Greek spelling of
Dionysius of Halicarnassus, which has an acute on the epsilon not
corresponding to the Etruscan accent, but showing that the final alpha is
long. Extant Etruscan inscriptions, which predate Dionysius, have forms of
Rasna (or Ras'na in the North). We can deduce that Rasna was trisyllabic,
and the <n> sounded long to Dionysius, who was obliged to include epsilon in
order to produce a legible Greek word. Etruscan allows non-vocalic
continuants as syllabic nuclei, seen in words such as <cn>, <cnl>, <clthi>,
and <ps'l>.

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

One could just as easily give them an "Assyrian" homeland by identifying
Rasna with the city of Resen (Gen. 10:12), which someone else has done. In
this business "simple steps" alone don't amount to much. Unless they are
backed up by other evidence, they usually turn out to be steps in the wrong

>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.

The "initial-T version" is attested earlier, as Tursikina on the fibula of
Clusium (ca. 600 BCE). Forms of Rasna belong to the 4th cent. BCE or later.
I do not believe that Rasna arose by truncation or any other process from
Turs-. I know of no example of such phonetic contortion during the
historical period of Etruscan. Ras- and Turs- should be regarded as two
distinct roots.

>  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.


Ingenious, but not very convincing.


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