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Subject: Re: Bel?
From: Dennis King <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 8 May 2004 11:07:00 -0700
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Chris scríbas:

>> She translates Belatucadros as either "Fair Shining One" or
>> "Fair Slayer".
>
> Belatu- is the "Slayer" aspect of the name ...

Vendryes discusses this in terms of a possible etymology of
"Beltaine" in LEIA:

Mais l'autre étymologie, proposée par D'Arbois de Jubainville,
peut paraître préférable: comparant le n. verb. de 'at-bail',
'epeltu' « fait de mourir » (th. à nas.), il a vu dans 'Beltaine'
un dérivé du simple *beltu, gén. *beltain « mourir ».  C'est
sur la même racine *gwel- « piquer, tuer » qu'a été formé lit.
'Giltiné', nom d'une déesse de la mort, qui paraît correspondre
exactement à 'Beltaine'.  L'absence de syncope dans ce dernier
mot pourrait tenir au sentiment (erroné) [i.e. on the part of
the native speakers] qu'il s'agissait d'un composé de 'tine'.
Cette deuxième hypothèse n'exclut pas un rapprochement de
'Beltaine' avec gaul. 'Belenos'.

> Personally,  I tend to think Cormac came upon the pagan Babylonian
> god Bel/Baal in the Bible (Apocrypha, the Book of Bel and the Dragon,
> in Daniel, where it is explicitly stated that Bel was worshipped
> as an idol) and decided that the Irish word Beltaine must have been
> related.

I find that a persuasive argument.

Dennis

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