The aim of this paper is to show that the mycenaean anthroponymy could provide an indication, although generic, about relations between Crete, Greek Mainland and the aegaean coast of Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age. Among the Linear B tablets, the record of si-mi-te-u/Smintheus, personal name at Cnossos and Thebes and common noun with a widespread diffusion in Troad (where it is also a toponym) and at Rhodes during the I millennium BC, suggests a very interesting working hypothesis. Indeed, this term seems to be, with good deal of evidence, an hellenized one, for the nominal element that precedes the suffix -eus has no explanation in greek, and the suffix -nth- shows its microasiatic origin. Moreover, and it is a very uncommon case, we have reminiscences and etymological informations about it, although dissonants, in the scoliographic and lexicographic sources. The sources explain the term alternatively as equivalent of greek mus in the mysian or cretan language and Smintheus, in the Apollo epithet’s sense, as appellative deriving from substantive or, according to an interpretation that goes back to Aristarcus, as etnic of Sminthe, city of Troad. Of greatest interest seems to be the tradition quoted by Eustatius’ scolium ad Iliadem I.39, according to which the Cretans founded in the Troad a colony, named Sminthia, and a temple of Apollo worshipped as Smintheus, in the meaning of “Mouse-killer” since, in their dialect, the mice were called sminthi. Leaving the historicity of that event out of consideration, undoubtedly the scoliast’s historical memory preserves a link between the Cretans and the inhabitants of anatolian coast so strong that he presupposes a minoan colonization of these coasts. Therefore, the hint that seems more interesting to us is to follow the cretan origin of the term and, afterwards, the evidence, through both toponym and appellative, of a minoan familiarity with the north-west coast of Anatolia. In historical times as well, Apollo Smintheus seems to be especially linked with Crete, and the presence of the anthroponym at Cnossos (the name of a shepherd, perhaps a “minoan”) acquires an important value. Finally, if we could attribute the sillabical value of Linear B signs to the omographes ones of Linear A, we might be able to read on a tablet from Haghia Triada (TH 96a) the term si-mi-ta, probably a personal name. The diffusion both of the toponym and of the appellative gived by Strabo includes a geographical area that, besides Rhodes, joins Tenedos, Chrysa, Hamaxitos (where an Apollo Smintheus’ temple lies), Larisa and the islands between Lesbos and the Anatolic coast. From an archaeological point of view, this area provides only few sherds of minoan and mycenaean wares, but it was probably, in the light of recent exavations at Troy, part of Minoan and (most probably) Mycenaean trading area. With a great deal of hypoteticity, this study could confirm, from a linguistic point of view, the great dynamism of connections between the inhabitants of the aegaean and anatolian areas.

“si-mi-te-u/Smintheus: una testimonianza cretese dalla Troade?”

CIVITILLO, MATILDE
2005

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to show that the mycenaean anthroponymy could provide an indication, although generic, about relations between Crete, Greek Mainland and the aegaean coast of Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age. Among the Linear B tablets, the record of si-mi-te-u/Smintheus, personal name at Cnossos and Thebes and common noun with a widespread diffusion in Troad (where it is also a toponym) and at Rhodes during the I millennium BC, suggests a very interesting working hypothesis. Indeed, this term seems to be, with good deal of evidence, an hellenized one, for the nominal element that precedes the suffix -eus has no explanation in greek, and the suffix -nth- shows its microasiatic origin. Moreover, and it is a very uncommon case, we have reminiscences and etymological informations about it, although dissonants, in the scoliographic and lexicographic sources. The sources explain the term alternatively as equivalent of greek mus in the mysian or cretan language and Smintheus, in the Apollo epithet’s sense, as appellative deriving from substantive or, according to an interpretation that goes back to Aristarcus, as etnic of Sminthe, city of Troad. Of greatest interest seems to be the tradition quoted by Eustatius’ scolium ad Iliadem I.39, according to which the Cretans founded in the Troad a colony, named Sminthia, and a temple of Apollo worshipped as Smintheus, in the meaning of “Mouse-killer” since, in their dialect, the mice were called sminthi. Leaving the historicity of that event out of consideration, undoubtedly the scoliast’s historical memory preserves a link between the Cretans and the inhabitants of anatolian coast so strong that he presupposes a minoan colonization of these coasts. Therefore, the hint that seems more interesting to us is to follow the cretan origin of the term and, afterwards, the evidence, through both toponym and appellative, of a minoan familiarity with the north-west coast of Anatolia. In historical times as well, Apollo Smintheus seems to be especially linked with Crete, and the presence of the anthroponym at Cnossos (the name of a shepherd, perhaps a “minoan”) acquires an important value. Finally, if we could attribute the sillabical value of Linear B signs to the omographes ones of Linear A, we might be able to read on a tablet from Haghia Triada (TH 96a) the term si-mi-ta, probably a personal name. The diffusion both of the toponym and of the appellative gived by Strabo includes a geographical area that, besides Rhodes, joins Tenedos, Chrysa, Hamaxitos (where an Apollo Smintheus’ temple lies), Larisa and the islands between Lesbos and the Anatolic coast. From an archaeological point of view, this area provides only few sherds of minoan and mycenaean wares, but it was probably, in the light of recent exavations at Troy, part of Minoan and (most probably) Mycenaean trading area. With a great deal of hypoteticity, this study could confirm, from a linguistic point of view, the great dynamism of connections between the inhabitants of the aegaean and anatolian areas.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/9984
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