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
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’.