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Indogermanische Forschungen

Zeitschrift für Indogermanistik und historische Sprachwissenschaft / Journal of Indo-European Studies and Historical Linguistics

Ed. by Fortson, Benjamin W. / Keydana, Götz / Rieken, Elisabeth / Widmer, Paul


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.237

CiteScore 2018: 0.30

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.152
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.570

Online
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1613-0405
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Volume 120, Issue 1

Issues

Greek λοιμός, Middle Persian rēm, and the Avestan root rai̯-

Paolo Milizia
Published Online: 2015-11-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/if-2015-0006

Abstract

The Greek name of the plague has not received a satisfactory etymological explanation so far. On the other hand, the largely accepted hypothesis that the Middle Persian noun rēm ‘dirt, impurity’ is derived from a verbal base meaning ‘defecate’ is, in fact, problematic. The present paper aims to show that MPers. rēm and Gk. λοιμός can be viewed as reflexes of a PIE stem *loi̯-mó- indicating a ‘polluted (and polluting) substance’ and that the Avestan root rai̯-, probably connected with MPers. rēm, must have had the generic meaning of ‘to dirt, to pollute’.

Keywords: Greek; Middle Persian; Iranian; Proto-Indo-European; plague; purity; cultural reconstruction; etymology

About the article

Published Online: 2015-11-07

Published in Print: 2015-10-16


Citation Information: Indogermanische Forschungen, Volume 120, Issue 1, Pages 87–106, ISSN (Online) 1613-0405, ISSN (Print) 0019-7262, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/if-2015-0006.

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