Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

DU PONT À LA MER MAJEURE : NOTES DE PHILOLOGIE ET D'HISTOIRE

Abstract : The ancient name of the Black Sea, the Pontos Axe(i)nos/Euxe(i)nos, can be explain by the Greek word “povnto"” (derived from the Indo-European radical *pent-) denoting the sea as seen by a far-off mariner (contrarily to “pevlago"”, meaning the sea as seen by the inhabitants of its shores). As the Hellespontos and the Propontis, the Euxine kept its name of “difficult passage” and even became, at the latest in the 5th century BC, the “Pontos”: its appellation by its inhabitants, who did not know or did not frequent other seas, could have been equally encouraged by its extreme position, in connection with the encircling Ocean, or by its overestimated dimensions, as it will be the case, in Byzantine times, for the name “Greater sea”. The epithet “a[xe(i)no"”, probably changed by antiphrasis or euphemism in “eu[xe(i)no"”, is a phonetic calque from an indo-iranian name of a northern, “black” sea, opposed to a southern, “red” one; borrowed from the Achaemenid geo-chromatic representation of the world, through different intermediaries, the two thalassonymes lost in Greek their original meaning. Even if the Black sea became “Black” again only through Turkish dialects, several “black” hydronymes and toponymes of the thraco-scythian region as well as the association, since the 6th century BC, of the Black Sea with the infernal world probably encouraged the preservation of these adjectives, unusual in maritime designations.
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [129 references]  Display  Hide  Download

https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02435545
Contributor : Anca Dan <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 2:41:44 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:10:55 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 12:25:52 PM

File

08-Dan-A(1).pdf
Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : halshs-02435545, version 1

Collections

Citation

Anca Dan. DU PONT À LA MER MAJEURE : NOTES DE PHILOLOGIE ET D'HISTOIRE. PEUCE, 2008, 6, pp.165-188. ⟨halshs-02435545⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

90

Files downloads

53