The Language of the Thracians, Ivan Duridanov

IV. The Thracian onomastics


   A. Geographical names (O - Z)

Oskios (Thuk.), Skios (Hdt.), Oiskos (Ptol.) Oescus (Plin.), Hiscus, Uscus (Iord.), Iskos (Hierokl. Syn.), Yscos (Cod. Theod.) - the modern river of Iskər. The name is usually linked to the Old-Ir. u(i)sce ‘water’, the Old-Cymr uisc, the Irish esc ‘water, bog, swamp’ - from the IE *udesko-.  ...

Ostaphos (Ptol.) - town in the eastern part of Haemus, between Nicopolis at Haemus and Valla. The name has two components: the Thracian *Ost-aphos, resp. *Ust-aphus (or -apha) from the IE *Ōust-po-s (or -apā). The second component is the already known word, related to the Old-Pruss. ape ‘river’, and the first one can be explained from the Baltic river names: the Lith. UõstasŨstas (a lake), the Latv. Uost-upe, Ũost-up (compare also with the place name Uōst-upi) - from the Lith. úostas, uostà ‘river mouth, harbour’, resp. the Latv. uosts, uosta ‘the same’, related to the Old-Bulg. oustie ‘river mouth; mountain pass’, the Latin ostium ‘river mouth’. Structurally the Thracian name is identical to the Latv. Uost-upe. Astaphos - the form given by Procopius (with an initial A- instead of O-) came under the influence of the Greek ásty ‘town’.

Ostudizos, Ostodizos, Ostidizos (in guide-books) - station SE of Adrianopolis (Edirne), today - Hafsa in Turkish Thracia. A two-component name meaning ‘town at the (river) mouth’). Ostu- is identical to Ost- of the previous entry, for -dizos ‘fortress’ see above under Burtudizos.

*Paisula - place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Zeus - Paisulēnos (in an inscription from the Kavala district). The name is composed of a suffix -ulā and a stem which is related to the Lith. paišai ‘soot’; compare it with the Baltic place names: the Old-Pruss. Paissyn, the Lith. Paišeliai.

Palae (in a guide-book) - village at the middle course of Hebros, west of the town of Harmanli. The name is identical with the Lith. river name Palà, from the Lith. pãlios (pl.) ‘big swamp, bog’, related to the Latv. paļas, paļi ‘swampy banks of a lake’, the Latv. palus ‘swamp’, the Old-Ind. palvalá- ‘swamp, bog’, the river name Palis, a right tributary of Tiber in Italy.

Palma (in an inscription) - village in the Philippoplis (Plovdiv) district. The name has nothing to do with the Latin palma ‘palm-tree’. It is Thracian and derived from an initial river name, related to the Russ. Palьma (a river in the Dnepr basin) which is thought to be Baltic in origin. Compare also to the Lith. river name Palminỹs, the place name Palmajos káimas, the Latv. river name Pamuota. The name, most probably, was built of the IE suffix -ma and a stem, which is also presented in the Lith. river name Palà, pãlios (pl.) ‘bog swamp, bog’, etc. (see the previous entry).

Panax, Accus. Panaka (Kantak.) - river in the region of Pangeus (today Purnardag). The name is explained  as a derivative from the IE *pon(i) in the Goth. fani ‘silt’, the Old-Icel. fen ‘swamp’, the Old-Pruss. pannean ‘swamp, quagmire’, the Gal. anam (Accus.) ‘swamp’; compare to the Old-Pruss. place names Panyen, Panyn (a swamp), the Russ. river name Ponja (from the Baltic *Panā), etc.

Panion (Suid., Const. Porphyr.) - town in Propontida (the Sea of Marmara). From the Thracian *Panian, identical to the Old-Pruss. pannean ‘swamp, quagmire’ (see the previous entry).

Panisas (Plin., variants: Pannisis, Panisa, Panissa) - coastal river in the region Tjunias in Turkish Thracia. The name is a derivative with a suffix -is- of the Thracian *pan(i) ‘swamp, bog’ (see for detail under Panax).

Pannysis (Plin., Variants: Pannisis, Panysis, Panysus), Panýs(s)os (Ptol.) - the modern Kamchija river; Pannisus (Tan. Peut.) - station on the Kamchija river. The name is identical with the previous one.

Pautalia (Ptol. Steph. Byz.; in inscriptions) - town of the tribe of Danteleti, the modern town of Kjustendil. Structurally the name is similar to the Latv. place name Pauteli, formed from *pauta, which is present in a number of Baltic names: the Old-Pruss. Pauta (a river), Pauten (a lake), the Lith. river name Paũt-upis, the Latv. river name Paut-upīte, Pautu-strauts, etc.; these names are related to the Lith. putà, pl. pùtos ‘foam, froth’, putóti ‘to foam’, the Latv. putas ‘foam’ from the IE stem *peut-: *put-. Having in mind that Kjustendil is situated on a river (Banshtica), in a place with many hot springs, it can be assumed Pautalia was derived from an original river name of *Pautala(s), Pautela(s) or similar, meaning ‘foaming (river)’. Further support offers another river name with the same meaning - the river name of Pena (‘foam’), a left tributary of the upper Vardar.

Périnthos (Hdt., Ptol.), Perinthus (Liv., Plin.) - town on Propontida in Thracia, today Heraclea, the Turkish Eregli. The name is probably an extension with the IE suffix -nt-, resp. -ent- of the stem *per(u)- ‘a rock’, in the Hett. peruna- ‘a rock’ and the Old-Ind. párvata- ‘a mountain’ - the IE *per-to-. A genetic link with the name of the Bulgarian mountain of Pirin (Perin) is doubtful.

Pizos (in an inscription and in guide-books) - village in Thracia, today - Jastreb, the Chirpan district. The initial form must have been *Pisus (-as) with the sounding of the invervocal -s- as -z-, a characteristic peculiarity of the Thracian language. Related to this name are the Old-Pruss. Pissa, Pissen (a lake and a river), Pisse (a lake and a village), the place names Pyse-kaym, Pise-lauk, the Latv. Pisa ezers (a lake). The stem is preserved in Latvian: pīsa from the IE *pīdsā ‘a bog, where only small birch or spruce trees can grow’, related to the Greek pisea (pl.) ‘damp place, meadows’.

Poltymbría (Strab., Steph. Byz.) - the modern town of Enos on the Aegean coast of Thracia. A two-component name: Poltym- = póltyn ‘fence of boards, a fortification of beams and boards’, and bria ‘town’.

Prasiàs límnē (Hdt.) - the modern Tahino lake on the lower course of the Struma river. It is a Grecized form from the Greek práson ‘onion, leeks’, the original Thracian name must have been *Prausias or similar - a word related to the Lith. praũsti (prausiù, -siaũ) ‘to wash’, prausỹnės ‘washing’, the Latv. prauslât ‘to spray, to sprinkle’, the Bulg. prəsna, prəskam ‘the same’, the Old-Ind. prusnoti ‘to sprinkle’; compare also the Lith. river name Praustuv, a derivative of prausta ‘washing’. The lake was called ‘washing’ its banks.

Pupe(n)sis vicus (in an inscription) - village in the Philippopolis (Plovdiv) district. The name was Latinized: vicus is ‘a village’, and Pupe(n)sis is a Latin adjective from the local place name *Pupa, -as or *Pupai. Counterparts of the latter are found in the Baltics: the Old-Pruss. village names Pup-kaym (-kaym = Old. Pruss. caymis ‘a village’), Paupayn, the Lith. Pupių káimas, Pupinė, the Latv. Pupa (a place), explained from the Lith. pupà ‘beans’, the Latv. pupa ‘the same’. The Bulg. village names of Bobov dol, Boben, Bobishta has the same meaning. The Albanian pupë ‘a hill’ offers an alternative explanation. The local geographical context is, however, unknown and either interpretation is possible.

Purdae (in a guide-book) - village in Aegean Thracia, NW of the Mesta mouth, today - the village of Sarushaban. Related names are the Old-Pruss. Porden, Purde (a lake), the Zhemait. (XVI-th c.) Purdjaknisə Popelьki - from the stem *purd- ‘damp’, wet’, in the Latv. purduļi ‘a snivel’, related to the Greek pardakós, pordakós ‘wet, damp’.

Pusinón (Prok.) - fortress in the region of the Hebros river. Related to the Lith. place name Pušinė, Pušyno káimas, the river name Pusyne, the Zhemait. Pushina (a stream), Pushine (meadows), etc. - all from the Lith. pušýnas ‘spruce forest’, from the Lith. pušìs ‘spruce’.

*Raimula - place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Apollo - Raimullus (in an inscription). The name is obviously formed with the suffix -ulā from a stem, related to the Lith. ráimas (raimas) ‘motley, particoloured’, as the Jatvig (Balt.) place name Raimoche (1265 AD).

Rhakúle (Prok.) - fortress in Hemimontus (a region between Anchialo and Adrianopolis). The name is related to the Lith river name Rãkija, the place name Rakavos káimas, the Old-Pruss. place name Rok-lawken, Rocke, etc., from the Lith. ràkti, ra(n), rak(i) ‘to dig out, unearth’, the Latv. rakt, rùoku ‘to dig’, rakņât ‘to dig’. The name meant ‘a gully’.

Rhamae (in a guide-book) - village in Thracia near the modern village of Ljubimec, NW of Svilengrad. The name is related to the Old-Pruss. river names Ramio, Rammenflys, the Lith. Rãmis (a lake), the river name Ramùne, etc., from the Lith. ramùs ‘quiet, silent’.

Rhodópe (Hdt., Thuk., etc.), Rhodopa (Thepkr.), Rhodope (Verg., Ovid., Plin.) - the Rhodope m-s. The name is explained from an initial river name (probably the modern Dospatska river) and is identical with the Lith. river names Rùd-upė, Rũd-upė, the Latv. river name Rud-upe, the Zhemait. (XVI-th c.) river names Rudupja, Rudupə, the place name Rudupi, etc. - all from the Lith. rùdas (from the IE *rudho-s) ‘reddish, ruddy, dark yellow’ and the Lith. ùpė ‘river’. It is quite common when a river name becomes also the name of the mountain. It is known that the name of the Rila mountain was also originally a river name - the modern Rilska river was previously called Rila, from the Bulg. verb rija ‘to dig’.

Rhusion (Hierokl. Synekd.) - another name of the ancient town of Topejra on the eastern bank of the Mesta river above its mouth. The name can be compared with the Old-Pruss. place names Russe (a village and a swamp), Russien, Ruse-moter, etc., which are explained either from the Lith. rūsỹs (and rúsas) ‘a pit for potatoes; cellar, basement’, the Latv. rūsa ‘a pit’, or from the Lith. verb rusė'ti ‘to flow slowly’. The latter fits better to the names of rivers, such as the Old-Pruss. Russa.

Rumbodona (in a guide-book) - village in Aegean Thracia, today - Geniseja (before Enidzhe). A two-component name: Rhumbo- is identical  to the Latv. Rum̃ba, a main tributary of the Dvina river, the place names Rum̃ba, Rum̃b, Rum̃bas, the Latv. place name Rumbai, etc., from the Latv. rum̃ba ‘waterfall, river rapids (on Dvinam Vindau)’, related to the Lith. rum̃bas, rùmbas, rumbà ‘periphery’, from the IE *rb(h)-; the second component -dona is related to the Old-Ir. dū, (Genitive) don ‘place, country’, the Greek chthōn ‘soil, land’, from the IE *ghdhōm.

*Saldokela - the name of the source (a spring) of the Panega (Zlatna Panega) river, reconstructed from the epithet of Asklepius - Saldokelēnos in an inscription from Glava Panega. The name is explained as ‘golden spring’ in connection with the greenish (greenish-reddish) shade of the colour of the water of the spring: Saldo- is derived from the IE *g’holto- ‘gold, golden’, assuming that the Greek - denoted the Thracian z (there is no confirmative evidence, however) and -kela ‘a spring’ from the IE *gelnā, which also appears in the village name of Kellai.

Sártē (Hdt., Steph. Byz.) - town in the eastern corner of the Sitonia peninsula, the modern Longos in Chalkidiki. The name is identical with the Lith. river name Sar̃tė, Sartà, the Latv. Sār̃te or Sārt-upe, the Zhemait. river name Sarta, the place name Sarti, etc., from the Lith. sar̃tas ‘light red (for horses)’, the Latv. sarts ‘red (for the face), fresh’. The Thracian name was obviously derived from the soil colour.

Scretisca (in a guide-book) - village between Meldia and Serdica, near the modern village of Kostinbrod. Both the stem and the suffix of this name are identical to the Lith. place name Skrẽtiškė, which is part (in Genitive) of the name Skrẽtiškės ẽžeras (a lake). They are formed from the Thracian suffix -išk-, the Lithuanian -isk- from the stem *skret- ‘a circle’; compare with the Lith. skret ‘a (round) disk’, skrìtė ‘circumference’.

*Seietovia - place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Zeus - Seietovien[us] (in an inscription from southern Bulgaria). The name is probably related to the Lith. river names Sietuvà, Siẽtuvas, the Zhemait. Setuva - from the Lith. sietuvà (dial. siẽtuva) ‘a deep place in the river, pool, pit’ from the IE *seitā, resp. *seitoā. Compare also with the Illyrian place name Setovia (in Dalmatia). The Thracian *Seietovia sounded initially as *Seiatovia (through a vocal assimilation e-a > e-e) from the IE *Seiətoā.

*Seinulaza(s) - place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Heros - Seinulaziēs (in an inscription from Plovdiv). The epithet can be explained from an initial dweller’s name ending in -ijas, resp. -ijis from a place name. Compare the correspondent formation in Lithuanian: medijas ‘a hunter’ (initially ‘a forest dweller’) from the Lith. mede ‘forest’, Seirìjis (a lake), derived from the river name Seirà. The Thracian *Seino-laza(s) probably denoted a ‘village (settlement) *Laza(s)’: Seino- from the IE *k??þeno, related to the Armen. šen, (Genitive) šini ‘village’, the Greek (Rodoss) króinā ‘place of residence’ - from the IE *kþo; the second component -laza(s) is related to the  Serbo-Croat läz ‘a clearing in the forest’, the Russ. laz ‘animal pathway to a river (lake)’, lazina ‘forest glade, clearing’, the Latv. laza ‘a camp’, from the IE stem *leg’h. The Slavic and Baltic derivatives on this basis are well known.

*Sēkina - a place name, reconstructed from the dweller’s Sēkinēnos (in an inscription from the Stanke Dimitrovo [Dupnica] district). The name is identical to the Lith. river name Šėkỹnė, a derivative from the Lith. šė'kas ‘recently mowed down grass; hay’, related to the Latv. sêks ‘the same’ - from the IE *k’eko-. Compare semantically with the Bulg. village name Senovo, the Slovenian Senovo, the Serbo-Croat Senovac.

Sérmē (in a literary source), Syrmus (Plin.) - the modern river of Strjama, a left tributary of Marica. Identical in the basis are the river names from Lithuania Séemas, from Poland S’rem - from the IE *sermo- ‘river, current’ in the Old-Ind. sárma-h ‘current’.

Sérmē (in a literary source) - village SE of Thessalonici, attested in the later, Grecized form of Thermē (Strab.) The name is identical to the previous one.

Sílta (Strab.) - village in south-eastern Thracia near Aphrodisia, the modern Siltikjoj. Baltic counterparts of this name are: the Latv. place names Siltie, Siltums, Siltine, the Lith. river name Šit-upis, which are explained from the Lith. šitas ‘warm, pleasant’, resp. the Latv. ts ‘warm’, related to the Cymr clyd ‘warm, warming’  - from the IE *k’to-. The Thracian Silta meant ‘a warm place’.

Síndos (Hdt.), Sinthos (Steph. Byz.) - town between Therme and Halastra (at the mouth of Vardar). Probably an initial river name, related to the Old-Ind. síndhu- ‘river’, the Old-Pers. hindus, the Avest. hapta hindava, the river name from Asia Minor Indus (form *Hindus), the place name Sinda, a town in Pisidia on the upper course of Indus.

Síngos (Hdt., Ptol., Strab., Steph. Byz.), Siggos (Plin.) - town on the eastern coast of the Sitonia peninsula in Athon. The name meant ‘collapsed, low place’ from the IE *sgo-s towards the IE stem *seng- ‘to fall, to sink’ in the Goth. sigqan, the Old-HighGerman sinkan, the German sinken ‘to sink, to fall’, the Anglo-Saxon sīhte ‘swampy’ (from the German *sinthi-), the German seicht ‘shallow’. The same is also the origin of the first component of the Dacian place ame Singí-daua (Ptol.)

*Skalpa - a place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Asklepius - Skalpēnós (in an inscription from Kjustendil). The name is related to the Lith. river names Skab-upis, Skalbýn-upis, Skabstas, from the Lith. skabti (-biù, -biaũ) ‘beetle, dolly (laundry)’

Skaplizō' (Prok.) - fortress in the region of Germenne in Upper Struma. The name is derived with the suffix -is- (the intervocal -s- > -z- in Thracian) from a word, related to the Lith. skãplis ‘a type of axe’. Compare semantically with the Bulg village name Sekirka, the Serbo-Croat Sekurje, Sekirica, etc.

Skaptēsýlē (Theophr.), Skaptē hýlē (Hdt.), Scaptensula (Lucr.) - a place name of the gold mines in the Pangeus mountain (the modern Purnardag). It has two-components: Skaptē- (Skapten-) is related to the Lith. skaptúoti ‘to cut, to carve (in wood)’, the place name Skaptotai, the river name Skaptùtis; also to the Greek skáptō ‘to dig’; the second component (-sula) is related to the Greek hylē ‘forest, grove’.

*Skaptopara - a place name, reconstructed from the dweller’s name Skaptoparēnoi (in an inscription from the Blagoevgrad district). A two-component name: for Skapto- see the previous entry, the second -para means ‘a village’.

*Skarsa - a place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Hera - Skarsēnē (in an inscription from the Elhovo district). The basis is identical with the Old-Pruss. Skarsin, Skarsaw (a lake), related to the Lith. sker̃sas ‘transverse, oblique, slanting’ in river names such as Sker̃, Sker̃s-upỹs, Sker̃s-ravis; compare also with the Greek en-kársios, epi-kársis ‘curved, bent, transverse’: from the IE *skert-so-s, *skort-so-s.

Skómbros (Thuk., Aristot.) - the Vitosha mountain. The Thracian form can be reconstructed as *Skumbras (in the classical Greek the foreign u was denoted by o) and to correlate it with the Lith. kumbrỹs, kum̃bris ‘hill, top of a mountain; small mountain’, the Latv. kum̃br(i)s ‘hump, hunch’, the Norw. hump ‘mountain, small hill’ - from the IE *(s)kemb-. The Thracian name was derived from the IE *Skbro-s.

*Sonkēta - a place name, reconstructed from Hera’s epithets Sonketene (in inscriptions from the Radomir district and Svərlig, eastern Serbia). The name must have sounded as *Sunketa, formed from a word, related to the eastern Lith. sunkà ‘sap (of a tree); fluid’, in the Lith. village name Sunkyniai (Sunkynių káimas), the river name Sunkìnė - from the IE stem *sk-.

*Spindea - a place name, reconstructed from Apollo’s epithet Spindeenos (in an inscription from the Ivajlovgrad district). It is related to the Lith. place name Spindžių káimas, Spindžiùs (a lake), the Latv. river name Spindags, which are explained from the Lith. spindùs ‘shining’ or from the Lith. spiñdis ‘clearing (in a forest)’ from the IE *(s)pd-. The second word fits better semantically to the Thracian name, compare it semantically to the Bulg. place names Proseka, Prosechenik.

Strámbai (Steph. Byz.) - town in Thracia. The name is derived from a Thracian word, related to the Old-Pruss. strambo ‘stubble-field’, the Latv. strùobs ‘a spray, a stem, a straw’ (from the Baltic *strambas), occurring in the Latv. place names Strũobas, Struõbas, from the IE *stromb-. The combination mb in the Thracian name replaces the expected there mp.

Struneilon (in an inscription from the Chirpan district) - village in Thracia. The name is structurally similar to the Lith. river name Strūnẽlė (with a dialectal str- instead of sr-), a derivative from a basis, represented in the Lith. river name Strūnà, the Zhemait. Struna (a stream), Strunəi (an estate) - from the IE *srūnā, extended from the stem of the verb srūti (srūvù, dial. srūnù) ‘to fill with water, with blood; to flow, to outflow the banks (for a river)’, from the IE stem *sreu-, *sr-; compare also with the Lith. sraunà ‘a current’.

Strӯmō'n (Hesiod.), Middle Bulg. Strouma - the Struma river. The name is derived from the IE *Srū-mōn from the IE stem *sreu-: *sr- ‘to flow; a current’, preserved in the Lithuanian sruti (srūvù, srūnù) ‘to fill with water’ to flow’ (see the previous entry); compare also to the Pol. strumien’ ‘a stream’, the Old-HighGerman stroum, the German Strom ‘current, river’, the Old-Ir. sruaimm ‘river’, the Lith. sraumuõ, -eñs (and dial. straumuõ, -eñs) ‘fast current’.

Strýmē (Hdt., Steph. Byz.) - village in Greek Thracia. The name is of the same origin as Strymōn (see above) and must have sounded *Strūmā in Thracian. From a similar name was derived the name of the modern village name Strima (a village in the Kumanovo district) from the earlier *Stryma, initially - a rive name.

Succi (Amm. Marc.), Sukeis (Philostorgii Hist. ecel.) - a mountain pass between the Rhodopes and the Haemus, today Trajanovi vrata (Gates of Trajan). Probably identical to the Latv. place name Sukas, Sucis (a lake), the Lith. river name Šukis (and Šùk-upis), from the Lith. šùkė ‘a gap, a crack’, the Latv. sukums ‘a gap, a notch, a nick’ - from the IE *k’uk-: *k’euk-. The Thracian name meant a ‘crack, a gorge, a pass’.

*Suitulla - a place name, reconstructed from the Heros’ epithet Suitulenos (in inscriptions from the districts of Radomir and Kərdzhali). The name is derived from the IE *k’itulā and is identical in its basis to the Lith. švitulỹs ‘something shining, a light’, extended with the suffix -ul- from a word, occurring in the Old-Pruss. place name Swit-the, the Latv. river name Svite, compare also to the Lith. švitė'ti (-, -te’jau) ‘to shine, to twinkle’, the Old-Bulg. svьteti sja ‘to shine’.

Suras (Prok.) - fortress in Hemimontus. The name is probably related to the Lith. river named Sū'ris, Sū'r-upė, Sū'-upis, the Old-Pruss. Sure (a stream), from the Lith. sū'ras ‘salty’, the Latv. sũrs ‘salty, bitter, sour’. Compare also with the Celtic river name Sūra, the German Sauer.

Syracella (in guide-books) - village in Turkish Thracia, the modern town of Malgara. A two-component name meaning ‘a salty (bitter, sour) spring’: Syra- = Sura-, for which see the previous entry; -cella from the IE *gelnā ‘a spring’, from which is also the Thracian place name Kellai.

Tarpodizos, Tarpudizos (in guide-books), Tarpudison (Rav.) - station north of Lozengrad (Kurkleleri), the modern Kovchas in Turkey. A two-component name: Tarpo- is related to the Lith. tárpas ‘an interstice’ and ‘a gap, a crack’, the Church Slavic trapə, the New  Bulg. trap ‘a pit, a ditch’; compare also with the Lith. river name Tárpija, the Zhemait. place names Tarpu kalьne, Tarp-dovdəi, the Latv. place names Târpi, Tārpu pļava. About the second component -dizos, -dison ‘a fortress’ see Burtudizos.

Tárpōron (Prok.) - fortress in the Pautalia (Kjustendil) district). The name is extended from the Thracian word *tarpa(s) = Lith. tárpas ‘an interstice’ (see the previous entry).

Térpyl(l)os (Ptol.) - town in Mygdonia. The name is derived with the common Thracian toponymic suffix -ul- from *terpa(s), a variant of *tarpa(s), which is contained in the place names Tarpodizos and Tarporon. About the alternation e : a before r compare the Lith. térpe = tárpas, the river names Terpìnė - Tárpija.

Tirsai (Steph. Byz.) - town in Mygdonia. The name is derived from the IE *Tsoi (pl.) and is identical to the first component of the Old-Pruss. place name Tirs-kaymen (-kaymen = Old-Pruss. caymis ‘a village’), related to the Lith. tir̃štis ‘density, thickness’ and ‘thicket, brush-wood’, from the stem of the verb tir̃šti (tirštù, tiršaũ) ‘to thicken, to darken, to harden’.

Tonzos (on coins from the II-th c. BC; Ptol.), Tounza (Theoph. Chronogr., VIII-th c.) - the Tundzha river. There was a town with the same name on its middle course. The older form is still preserved in the upper course which is still called Təzha, from the IE *(s)tundío-, related to the Armen. t’ndium ‘noice, movement, pushing, knocking’, the Alb. shty(n)j ‘to push’ from the IE *studnō, the Latin tundō ‘to push, to knock’, the Old-Ind. tundatē ‘to push’. There is another possible interpretation - taking into account that the oldest names of rivers had meant ‘water, river’, it is possible to link Tonzos with the Old-Icel. þund ‘river’ and to derive it from the IE *td(h)o- from the IE stem *tend(h)- in the Anglo-Saxon dindan ‘to swell, to rise’.

Tranupara (Tab. Peut.) - town in Paeonia, somewhere between Kochani and Kratovo. A two-component name, which first component can be compared to the Latv. place name Trani, Tranava, the Lith. river name Tranỹs, etc., from the Lith. trenė'ti ‘to rot, to decay’, the Latv. trenêt ‘the same’; the second element -para means ‘a village’.

Trauos (Hdt., var. Strauos) - river in the littoral region of the tribe of Bistoni, to the east of the Mesta’s mouth. The name can be explained from the initial form *Trausos, the intervocal -s- having disappeared under a Greek influence. Then it is identical to the first component of the Lith. river name Traũš-upis, meaning ‘a breaking, crushing river’, from the Lith. traũšti ‘to break, to crumble’, traušus ‘brittle’, the Latv. traušs, trausls ‘brittle, fragile’. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the upper course of that river was inhabited by the tribe of Trausoi, who were probably named after the river. V. Tomaschek offered an alternative etymology - Strauos from the Latv. strava ‘current’, the Lith. sravà ‘the same’, the  Old-Bulg. strouja ‘a stream’, etc. from the IE *sreu- *sr- ‘to flow’.

*Tynta - a place name, reconstructed from the dweller’s name Tyntemoi (on coins). Counterparts of this name are found in the Baltics: the Latv. place names Tunti, Tunte, the Old-Pruss. village name Thunt-lawken (lawken = Old. Pruss. laucks ‘a field’), from the Lith. tuñtas ‘a flock, a flight; a heap, a pile’ (from an earlier *tumtas), a derivative of the stem of the Lith. verb  tumė'ti ‘to thicken, to clot’.

Ucasus (in a guide-book) - the modern Javorica river, a tributary of Topolnica, in the region of the Succi pass. The name  obviously consists of the suffix -ās- and a word, related to the Lith. kas ‘a mist; clouding; fume, vapour’, ū'kanas ‘cloudy, turbid’, compare also with the Lith. river names kis, Ukõjas, the Latv. Uk'is (a lake). Compare semantically to the Bulg. river names Məglenica, Mətnica.

*Urda - a place name, reconstructed from the Apollo epithet Urdenos (in an inscription from the Pərvomaj district). Related Baltic names are: the Lith. river names Ùrd-upis, Urdenà, the Zhemait. place name Urdishki, the Latv. river name Urdava, which are derivatives from a basis, contained in the Lith. urdulỹs ‘a (mountain) stream; pool’, the Latv. urdaviņa ‘a stream’. Similar is probably also the origin of the river names Urda, today l’Ourde in France, and Urft (Urd-efa in 1075 AD) in Germany (probably Celtic in origin).

Urdaus (Prok.) - fortress in the region of Hebros. It sounded initially as *Urdav-(us) or similar and in this case is identical to the Latv. river name Urdava, related to the Latv. urdaviņa ‘a stream’ (see the previous entry for more details).

*Uerzela (*Verzela) - a local name, reconstructed from the Dionysos’ epithet Vērzelēnos. The name is a derivative with the suffix -elā (compare to the village name Kypsela) from a basis *verza- ‘a barrier for fishing; dam, weir’ from the IE *erg’hā (resp. -o-s) and is related to the Lith. river names Vérža, Véržas, also váržas ‘a basket for fish’, the Latv. varza ‘dam’.

Uscudama (Ruf. Fest., Eutrop., etc.) - the modern town of Edirne (Adrianopolis). A two-component name: Uscu- from the IE *udsko- (*utsko > usko-) ‘water’, compare to the Old-Ir. u(i)sce ‘water, the Old-Cymr. uisc, the Irish esc ‘water, bog, swamp’; -dama from the IE *dhəmā ‘settlement, place of residence’, related to the Greek thaimós ‘house; sowing’ from the IE *dhəmo-, the Old-Ind. dhāman- ‘place for living’. This interpretation fits to the location of the town, at the confluence of three rivers - Marica, Tundzha and Arda.

Utus (Plin.) - the Vit river; Utos (Prok.) - fortress on its mouth. The name is explained from the IE *ūdo-s from the IE stem *d-, ed-: *od- ‘water’ in the Old-Ind. ud-án- ‘water’, the Greek hydos ‘water’, etc. The IE d was transformed into the Thracian t.  The initial Utus led to the New Bulg. Vit.

Vevocasenus vicus (in a Latin inscription) - village in the Philippopolis (Plovdiv) district. The Latin vicus meant ‘a village’, and Vevocasenus is a Latin adjective from the hybrid place name *Vevocasa, formed from the Thracian -Vevo and the Latin casa ‘a house, a hut’. The Latinized form Vevo- was probably derived from an earlier *Vaevo (the change ae > e is attested in the Latin in the Danubian provinces in the I-st c. AD). Thus we can reconstruct the Thracian form as *Vaivas or -ā and to compare it with the Latv. place name Vaiva (a meadow), the river name Vàive, the Old-Pruss. Woywe, Wewa, Waywe (a district). The initial word is not preserved in the Baltic languages; it can be assumed it consisted of the IE suffix -a and a stem of the verb *ei: *eə-: *i- ‘to curve, to wind’ in the Lith. výti veju ‘to curve, to wind’, the Old-Bulg. viti vьju ‘the same’, etc.

Zburulus (in a Latin inscription) - village in the Philippopolis (Plovdiv) district. A synkopped form of the earlier *Ziburulus. As such the name was extended with the suffix -ul- from a word, found in the Lith. place name Žiburių káimas from the Lith. žiburỹs ‘a fire, a light, something burning; a torch’.

Zē'rynthos (Steph. Byz.), Zē'rybthion (Suid.), Zē'rinthon  (Schol. ad Lykophr.), Zē'rynthon (Etym. M.), Zerynthium (Liv.) - a cave and a town on the island of Samothraci and in Thracia. The name can be compared to the Lith. river name Žveriñčius from the basis Žverint-, a derivative from the Lith. žverìs ‘a beast’, related to the Old-Bulg. zverə ‘a beast’, the Greek thēr - from the IE *g’hēr-.

Zilmissus (in a literary source) - hill in Thracia. The name is derivative with a suffix from the basis zilma- from the IE *g’hmo- or -d, related to the Lith. river name Žilmà, Žilmas (a lake), the Latv. zelme ‘green grass or wheat’.

horos Zyakozreron (in an inscription from Gramadi, SW of Kjustendil) - a village on the old road Kjustendil - Kratovo and Kochani. The word hóros is Greek and means ‘a boundary, a frontier stone, column’ and the whole expression means ‘boundary (frontier stone) of Svakozrera (or -i)’ Zyakozreron is therefore a plural Genitive form (in Greek) of *Zyakozrera or *Zuakozreroi, a two-component village name, meaning ‘the bright, the light  stones’: Zyakoz- is probably the Thracian *Zvakuz-, which basis is identical to the Latv. village name Zvakūži, related to the Lith. river name Žvakùtė - from the Lith. žvãkė ‘a light, a candle’, related to the Latin fax (old faces) ‘a torch, a light (of celestial bodies)’, etc. - from the IE stem *g’hək: *ghōk- ‘to glimmer, to flicker’. The second component -rera (or rerai) came (through an assimilation) of the initial *lera (resp. -ai) from the IE *lēurā ‘stones, stony ground’, compare to the Alb. lerë, -a ‘stones, rock; fallen stones’.

* * *

Thracian are also a number of toponyms, which had not been attested in the ancient sources and which the Slavs had adopted from the local Thracian population. Such are:

Arda - river, Marica’s tributary. The name is explained from the Old-Ind. árdati ‘to flow, to flow out’, the Greek ardō ‘to water’.

Veléka - river, flowing into the Black Sea south of Ahtopol. There is a counterpart in Lithuania: a swamp there is called Velė'kas, from the Lith. velkles ‘a place, used for washing’, a derivative from the Lith. verb vel'ėti (-'ėju, -'ėjau) ‘to wash (with a paddle)’. The name can be also compared to the German hydronyms Wasch-Bach (a stream), Waschsee (a lake), identically from the verb waschen ‘to wash’.

Erma - river in the Rhodopes. With no doubts a Thracian name, related to the Alb. jerm ‘fierce, mad’ from the IE *ermo-. This interpretation fits to a mountain river. The name of the Erma river near the town of Trən is a late literary invention, as shown by K. Irechek.

Knishava -  part of the Rila mountain. The name is attested in the XII-th s. in the so called folk passional of the saint Ivan Rilski and it can not be interpreted from Bulgarian. Probably it is a Slavicized (through the suffix -ova) Thracian name *Knisa(s) or similar, with counterparts in the Lith. place name Knisà, the Latv. place names Knīsi, Knīši, Knīsu-kalns (a mountain). These names are explained from the Lith. knìsti (-, -s(i)) ‘to dig, to rummage’, knysis ‘a digging’. The Thracian *Knisa(s) therefore meant ‘a gully’.

Marica (G. Acrop., XIII-th c.) - although it contains the Slavic suffix -ica, the name is thought to be Thracian. It is related to the Dacian river name Marisos, the modern Romanian Mures, the Hungarian Maros, the Anglo-Saxon merisc ‘swamp’, the Middle-HighGerman mersch ‘marsh, swamp’, the Middle-Latin marisca ‘the same’ (a German loan-word), etc. The preservation of the short Thracian -a- in the name shows that it became known relatively late to the Slavs (after the VIII-IX-th c.) and adopted from the local population of Thracia; it is supposed it denoted the middle and the lower course of the river.

Nesla - village in the Godech district. The name must have been a river name initially, which is supported by the existence of the river name Nesla in Russia (two rivers in the Pripet basin), thought to be Baltic. The earlier form was probably *Nestlā from the IE *Nedtlā from the stem *ned- in the Old-Ind. nádati ‘to ring, to sound, to thunder’, nadí ‘river, current’. Therefore, Nesla is related to the Thracian river name of Nestos.

Ossogovo - a mountain, also known as Ossogov, Ossogova, and Osogovska planina. The earliest examples are in Slavic sources (XIII-XIV-th c.). The name can be easily interpreted as a Thracian one from the IE *Ok’o-ghəā (-os) or *Ok’o-ghəom, which led to the Thracian *Asagav- ‘stony country, stony mountain’: Asa- ‘stony’, also found in the river name Asamus and gav- ‘country, district’, related to the Goth. gawi ‘country, countryside’, the Old-HighGerman gawi, the German Gau, the Armen. gavar ‘country, district’, the pre-Greek ‘gaia’. In Slavic the name was adopted relatively earlier and the Thracian a produced o, as in the earliest borrowings in Slavic. Therefore, the Thracian *Asagav > the Slavic Ossogovə, resp. Ossogovo. Its interpretation as ‘stony mountain’ fits well to the geographic features of the mountain, especially of its eastern part. It is known that the rivers, which have their sources in Ossogovo, and flow through the region of Kamenica (!) (kamen = ‘stone’ in Slavic) carry many large stones.

Panega, also called Zlatna (Golden) Panega - river, Iskər’s right tributary; Its source is called Glava (Source, Head) Panega. The name of Panega in a derivative of the Thracian word *pan(i)- ‘swamp, bog’ and is related to the Old-Pruss. pannean ‘swamp. quagmire’. Similar is the origin of a number of geographic names, attested in Greek and Latin sources: Panion (a village), the river names Panisas, Pannysis. Because of the preservation of the short Thracian a in the Slavic form it must be assumed it was a late borrowing in Slavic (after the VIII-IX-th c.).
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