We have previously written about signs throughout Europe of the Goddess Lada (see here and here). Aleksander Brückner famously derided the idea of Lada being a Goddess, instead claiming that the word simply meant “my love” or “my dearest” or “wife” (in male form lado, also husband). We have addressed this issue here and, specifically, here showing that Brückner’s arguments really do not shed any light regarding the question of the divinity of Lada.
On one thing, however, Brückner was potentially right about is that in Eastern Slavdom, the name lada really did mean “my love” and “wife”.
What is interesting is that the name appears outside of Europe. Specifically, in Anatolia where, in today’s Turkey, there was once a region called Lycia.
Several books came out in the 19th century regarding the Lycian language mostly keying off of the various inscriptions found there. For example:
- “The Lycian inscriptions” by Moriz W. J. Schmidt, or
- “Neue lykische Studien” by the same author.
It turns out that the same name Lada appears in these Lycian inscriptions and, there, it does mean “wife.” Although other Lycian words do not bear an immediate similarity to Slavic, the fact that this one word should have the exact same meaning as the East Slavic lada is peculiar.
Gattin means “wife” or “spouse” in German so there you have it.
Thus, lada has the same meaning in Slavic and Lycian languages. Query then the nature of the Lycian language.
(Incidentally, a town named Liada also appears between Nicomedia and Ancyra in the Itinerarium Burdigalense – a pilgrim’s itinerary dated to the year 333. As another point of interest, there is, in the same segment of that journey, also a mention of a town named Malogardis which has been interpreted as Manegordus.)
How is that the same term means the same thing in Slavic and Lycian languages? The languages seemingly do not contain that many other connections but then does this mean that the Lycians spent time in Slav lands or Slavs in Lycian lands to have made this borrowing?
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