One of the more interesting words in Slavic is taran.  It means, literally, a battering ram.  Interestingly, the word for “ram” is also related being baran.

Baran Taran

The thing is the word taran can be derived from the Slavic tarać meaning to tear.  It may also be that the same etymology explains the word targ where people go to tarać or targować meaning to haggle (think of the verbal back & forth much as the physical).

an urword of uncertain origin

And there is Tharant which may have been an old name of a reindeer?

Lucan’s Pharsalia

Which raises a question: how is that a word survived in Slavic that so well matches the name of a Celtic God known from Marcus Annaeus Lucanus or Lucan (On the Civil War or Pharsalia, Book I):

at mihi semper
tu, quaecumque moues tam crebros causa meatus,
ut superi uoluere, late. tum rura Nemetis
qui tenet et ripas Atyri, qua litore curuo
molliter admissum claudit Tarbellicus aequor,
signa mouet, gaudetque amoto Santonus hoste
et Biturix longisque leues Suessones in armis,
optimus excusso Leucus Remusque lacerto,
optima gens flexis in gyrum Sequana frenis,
et docilis rector monstrati Belga couinni,
Aruernique, ausi Latio se fingere fratres
sanguine ab Iliaco populi, nimiumque rebellis
Neruius et caesi pollutus foedere Cottae,
et qui te laxis imitantur, Sarmata, bracis
Vangiones, Batauique truces, quos aere recuruo
stridentes acuere tubae; qua Cinga pererrat
gurgite, qua Rhodanus raptum uelocibus undis
in mare fert Ararim, qua montibus ardua summis
gens habitat cana pendentes rupe Cebennas.
tu quoque laetatus conuerti proelia, Treuir,
et nunc tonse Ligur, quondam per colla decore
crinibus effusis toti praelate Comatae,
et quibus inmitis placatur sanguine diro
Teutates horrensque feris altaribus Esus
et Taranis Scythicae non mitior ara Dianae.
uos quoque, qui fortes animas belloque peremptas
laudibus in longum uates dimittitis aeuum,
plurima securi fudistis carmina, Bardi.

or in the rather crappy Ridley translation:

The tents are vacant by Lake Leman’s side;
The camps upon the beetling crags of Vosges
No longer hold the warlike Lingon down,
Fierce in his painted arms; Isere is left,
Who past his shallows gliding, flows at last
Into the current of more famous Rhone,
To reach the ocean in another name.
The fair-haired people of Cevennes are free:
Soft Aude rejoicing bears no Roman keel,
Nor pleasant Var, since then Italia‘s bound…

…No skilful warrior of Seine directs
The chariot scythed against his country’s foe.
Now rest the Belgians, and th’ Arvernian race
That boasts our kinship by descent from Troy;
And those brave rebels whose undaunted hands
Were dipped in Cotta’s blood, and those who wear
Sarmatian garb.  Batavia‘s warriors fierce
No longer listen for the trumpet’s call,
Nor those who dwell where Rhone‘s swift eddies sweep
Saone to the ocean; nor the mountain tribes
Who dwell about its source. Thou, too, oh Treves,
Rejoicest that the war has left thy bounds.
Ligurian tribes, now shorn, in ancient days
First of the long-haired nations, on whose necks
Once flowed the auburn locks in pride supreme;
And those who pacify with blood accursed
Savage Teutates, Hesus’ horrid shrines,
And Taranis’ altars, cruel as were those
Loved by Diana, goddess of the north;
All these now rest in peace. And you, ye Bards,
Whose martial lays send down to distant times

(Hey, didn’t that say Taranis Scythicae above?)

This name survived in Celtic languages as well (Irish toran or now toirneach thunder) but that is little wonder.  After all, Taranis was supposed to have been a Celtic God.

The Slavic remainder of the name and the connection to the ram should leave people scratching their heads.

Taranis was associated with the wheel but was it a wheel or a sun disk?

(And speaking of wheels, try looking up the etymology of koło or kula or kulka (from kūle?)).

Esus may well be Yesza.  Teutates on the other hand may well be the same as Tuisco.

The Tusk of Esus and Taranis?

Now we hear that a tusk has been discovered which reads (or so it seems as of now and there are questions already):


For Esus for Toranis?

(arguably, it seems to say giesuitoranei to the extent you can read it at all).

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October 29, 2017

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