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by H. Crosthwaite



In Chapter XXII, in the section on writing, I quoted examples of words which, when read backwards, have the same meaning in another language. I wrote that more examples may exist. It seems best to put some of them in an appendix. Most have been mentioned already in various contexts.

Correspondence between a Semitic language and Latin

Ar. balta, axe; Lat. dolabra, Lydian labrus.

Ar. raqs, dance; Lat. sacer.

Heb. sakin, Ar. sikina, knife, Lat. sica; Heb. nachush, bronze.

Ar. al shark the east; Lat. cras, tomorrow.

Heb. keneset, Ar. kinisa, religious meeting place; Lat. sancio, sanctify, give life.

Heb. palda, iron; Lat. fala, scaffolding, Etr. falandum, sky, Lat. dolabra, fire from the sky, axe; Lydian labrus, Gk. laburinthos.

Heb. methalleah, tooth; Gk. metallon is a mine, especially a silver mine.

Lat. letum = death. The tooth of the cobra, and metal, may constitute a link with the electrical deity and the danger of sudden death.

Semitic - Greek

Heb. baraq, lightning; Gk. karabos, stag beetle, scarab, boat. (all have divine significance)

Phoenician Anath; Gk. Athene.

Heb. qol, voice; Gk. logos, word.

Etruscan - Latin

Etr. subura, city; Lat. urbs, city.

Etr. ims, Gk. hemisu, half; Lat. semi-, half-.

Lat. cortina, cauldron; Etr. tark, bull. Greek, is, in-, strength. cf.

Tarquin. Greek kerata, horns, Slavonic tur, bull, aurochs.

Egyptian - Etruscan

Eg. herit, fear; Etr. tru, drouna, fear. Cf. Sert. Semitic -Etruscan Heb. lahat, flame, magic. Etr. thal, sprout, flourish. Cf. dasha, qadhosh, of divine fire on altar or ark. Gk. thallo, flourish, abound. Heb. kashil, axe, hoe; Losk gleam (from Slavonic; cf. Finish loista). Lat. luscus, one-eyed.


Gk. temenos, enclosure, shrine; Celtic nemeton, Lat. nemus, grove.

Slavonic - Greek

Slav. gora, mountain; Gk. argos, shining. The link may be Etruscan, as in the case of losk luscus.

Three of the above call for comment. Sakin and sikina, knife, read in reverse, give the consonants nks, which could be Heb. nachush, bronze. The difference between the sounds of sin, 's', and shin, 'sh', is not great enough to prevent confusion.

Sacer, holy, and raqs, dance, also suggest Lat. rex, regis, king. Kings danced before arks, which in Egypt were associated with Osiris, who, hidden in a chest, had the title Seker, the name of the earth deity.

The Greek akra, point, peak, which contains the Egyptian ka and ra, also contains the Etruscan ar, fire, when the whole word is read from right to left, giving the Latin arca, chest. Furthermore, 'car' in Egyptian is the pupil of the eye.

In general, Latin and Greek were written left to right, Semitic languages the reverse. It is easy to see that mistakes could have occurred which resulted in the creation of new words such as urbs. Etruscan is the joker in the pack; Etruscan inscriptions were written sometimes from right to left, sometimes from left to right. The resulting confusion arose from an area where the two styles of writing met, with Etruscan in the middle. A typical example would be balta, axe, Lydian labrus (Gk. laburinthos), with dolabra entering Latin via Etruscan. The pattern that emerges is in harmony with the statement of Herodotus that the Etruscans came from Lydia. When asking oneself whether the direction of writing and the connections between different languages are mere coincidence or not, the fact that the words quoted all have a religious significance and, if the texts quoted and the conclusions reached in this book are right, electrical implications, should be taken into account.

If the pattern were seen as significant, it would have obvious relevance not only to the study of the Etruscan language, but also to the problems of the political geography, and probably the chronology, of the Mediterranean world at a time of disturbances and migrations.

The Greek 'limen' is a harbor. Its consonants, LMN, when read backward, give NML. 'Namal' is Hebrew for a harbor.

Al Mina, 'The Harbor, ' was the Arabic name for a city and port on the mouth of the Orontes in NW Syria. After its destruction, conventionally attributed to the 'Peoples of the Sea', the Greeks rebuilt it. The Greek name for Al Mina was Posideion; the earliest level of the rebuilt city, according to Woolley, its excavator, dates to the eighth century B. C., and thus creates a gap of about 400 years between the rebuilding and the earlier destruction of Alalakh, the associated city a little further inland which used the harbour, and Al Mina. There is a full account of Alalakh, Al Mina and Posideion in Sir Leonard Woolley's book, A Forgotten Kingdom (Penguin 1953). In Chapter X, he discusses its importance for trade between Greece and the east.

Herodotus states that the builder of Posideion was Amphilochus. Amphilochus was the son of one of the Seven against Thebes, Amphiaraus. He must therefore have been contemporary with the siege of Troy, whose conventional date is, in round figures, 1200 b. c.

The chronological difficulty arising from the situation at Posideion is not unique. It is typical of sites throughout the Mediterranean area. Several of the cited works below would dispose of the "Greek Dark Ages," in order to marry far-removed dates and events.

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