On Mon, 7 Mar 2016 16:19:41 +0000, Martin Counihan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>On 07/03/2016 14:10, Helen McKay wrote:
>> .... Wikipedia: The Latin name Hercules was borrowed through Etruscan,
>> where it is represented variously as Heracle, Hercle, and other forms.
>> Hercules was a favorite subject for Etruscan art, and appears often on
>> bronze mirrors. The Etruscan form Herceler derives from the Greek
>> Heracles via syncope < NW IE *haérku̯os ‘bow and/or arrow’; Latin
>> arcus, earlier arquus; Gothic arƕazna ‘arrow’, OE earh. So this is my
>> question: Is this very ancient tale and name of Hercules from this
>> same old root of *haérku̯os ‘bow and/or arrow’ ? I
>It has been my belief that the Greek "Heracles" means "famous protector"
>and has nothing to do with bows or arrows. the "-cles" element
>("famous") is the same as in names like Damocles, Sophocles, etc. etc.
Thanks Martin. What you say about 'cles' is fine. And its also said that the Hera- part is from Hera (who basically hated him, so why would he be her champion?) The problem I think is that this name is probably really ancient, so that each culture may have over the many centuries adapted his name to something that makes sense to them in their language. That's a common adaption of famous names and places. So we know that Hercules wasn't a native Greek hero, he had to come from somewhere else, so my question is whether the story was a SW European one first? not the other way round ...?