Monthly Archives: May 2014

Colm, Colum, Columb, Golub

In Irish we have a word “colm” which means pigeon, dove. Official etymology of this word is that it comes from Middle Irish “colum”, from Old Irish “columb”, from Latin “columbus”, from Ancient Greek “κόλυμβος” kolumbos. 

In Serbian we have a word golub which means pigeon. Official etymology of this word is that it comes form proto Slavic golǫbь, of unknown origin. Possibly related to Latin columba, columbus.

I would like here to propose an alternative etymology for these two words from Irish and Serbian language. 

I believe that both Irish “columb” and Serbian “golub” come from the same root “golub, gulub” which comes from some old Central European language. I believe that  both Irish “columb” and Serbian “golub” predate Latin words columba, columbus, and that Latin columba, columbus are actually based on the root word “golub” with “a” ending added for feminine dove and “us” ending added for masculine pigeon. I also believe that Old Greek word “κόλυμβος” kolumbos has nothing to do with pigeon or dove. 

Serbian word “golub” is direct cognate of old Irish word “colum(b)”. The difference is only in the pronunciation of the interchangeable undifferentiated consonant groups kghj and pvbmf. 

Let me explain what I mean.  

Undifferentiated sound group is a group of sounds, which can all be produced by the same gross mouth position. The differentiated sounds are produces by tiny variation of lip, tong and throat position and pressure. The sounds from the same undifferentiated sound group are interchangeable. Like baba, papa meaning father. Or ban, van meaning white. Or this, dis meaning this. Or pana, bana meaning bread. Of foot, put, meaning foot and road. 

Originally all sounds were undifferentiated, as human ability to speak developed. There was no m,p,b,v,f there was something like mpbvf which is basically undifferentiated sound which is the root sound of the above consonant group. The whole group is produced by the same gross mouth position. The differentiated sounds are produced by tiny variation of lip position and pressure. As people developed their speech abilities, as they used speech more and more, their genes changed, enabling them to control their speech apparatus more and more precisely. This lead to sound differentiation, and  mpbvf turned first to diphthongs, like bv, mp, pf and then to individual sound m,p,b,v,f. And because these sounds are so close together, tiniest change in our ability to hear them and to pronounce them will lead to additional sound changes which can then be propagated to the rest of the family and clan…

As babies learn how to speak they start by using undifferentiated sounds, they bubble. As they developed their speech abilities, as they use speech more and more, their control of their speech apparatus becomes more and more precise. This lead to sound differentiation. What used to be bhfabhfa is now baba. 

These are undifferentiated sound groups:

Vowels can change through these undifferentiated sound groups:

uo
oa
ae
ei

Consonants can change through these undifferentiated sound groups:

m,p,b,v,f – Slowly reduce pressure between your lips while slowly opening your mouth. You will go through all these sounds one after the other.
g,k,h,j – Slowly move pressure in your throat backwards while slowly opening your mouth. You will go through all these sounds one after the other. Difference between j and h is just in tiny adjustment in the shape of the back of your throat. 
r – slowly move your tong backwards while reducing pressure between you tong and the roof of your mouth. You will go from hard to soft r. French r is produced in the throat and is related to Arabic h more than European r. 
l,d,n,t, c(ts) – Put tong in starting position. Slide it outward you get L. Pop it lightly you get T. Apply more pressure and pop it you get D. Don’t move it and you get N. Don’t move it and slowly reduce pressure and you get C(ts)
s,z,ž,š – Slide your tong backward and you will go through all these sounds one after the other.
č, dž – Pronounce the sound with your teeth apart you get č.  Pronounce the sound with your teeth touching you get dž

dj, lj, nj, tj – These sounds are all produced by sliding tong forward from original J position. 

v,w,u are also interchangeable sounds. The original sound for v was probably undifferentiated wu sound which later became differentiated into v.

m and n are also interchangeable, as you can produce either one of them with the same position of your mouth, by changing slightly the position of your tong.

So depending on pronunciation “golub” can become “colum(b)” through transformation of g –> c and b –> m(b). This means that these two words are effectively one and the same and both come from the same undifferentiated root (kgh)olu(mpbv). 

Latin columba meaning dove and columbus meaning pigeon, are actually based on the root word “(c)golu(m)b” with “a” ending added for feminine dove and “us” ending added for masculine pigeon. Official etymology is that this word is derived from Ancient Greek κόλυμβος. However word κόλυμβος, kolumbos means “a diver”, from κολυμβάω (kolumbao, “dive, plunge headlong, swim”). If you look at Old Greek dictionaries you will see that this word is never applied to pigeon. 

Aristophanes [Birds, 304] lists various birds one of them is pigeon and another one was diver. This is the excerpt in question:

Epops, Pointing to the various species:

Here is the magpie, the turtle-dove, the swallow, the horned-owl, the buzzard, the pigeon, the falcon, the ring-dove, the cuckoo, the red-foot, the red-cap, the purple-cap, the kestrel, the diver, the ousel, the osprey, the woodpecker . . .

Old Greek dictionary gives us this list of pigeon words. κόλυμβος, kolumbos is not one of them:

φάσσα, φάψ, πέλεια, περιστερά…

The last word περιστερά (peristera) is modern Greek word for pigeon, dove.

The result is the same for dove words. κόλυμβος, kolumbos is not one of them:

πέλειατρυγών

So Latin words columbus, columba could not be derived from old Greek κόλυμβος. 

If we look at Evroasian languages, we see that the only language groups in which word for pigeon is (c)golu(m)b are Slavic and Gaelic – Gallic languages groups. 

All Slavic languages use word “golub” for pigeon (golub, holub, holb, golob, gulab). 

Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, Breton all use version of “colum”. 

Welsh colomen
Cornish colom 
Breton coulm

This shows clear transformation of g–>c and b–>m. 

It is very interesting that word for pigeon, brakes the P Celtic – Q Celtic transformation rule of C transforming to P. 

Apart from Slavic, Gaelic and Gallic languages, these languages also have a word based on the root (c)golu(m)b:

French: colombe – white dove, not pigeon. Word for pigeon is pigeon. Probably from Breton.
Italian: colomba – dove, not pigeon. Word for pigeon is piccione.
Hungarian: galamb – pigeon. Probably from surrounding Slavic languages.  
Romanian: columbă, columbofil – pigeon. Probably from surrounding Slavic languages. Romanian has another word for pigeon: porumbei.
Catalan: colom – pigeon, dove.

Compare this with Germanic words for pigeon, dove:

From Middle English dove, douve, duve, from Old English *dūfe (“dove, pigeon”), from Proto-Germanic *dūbǭ (“dove”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeubʰ- (“to whisk, smoke, be obscure”). Cognate with Scots doo, dow (“dove”), West Frisian do (“dove”), Dutch duif (“dove, pigeon”), Low German (Low Saxon) Duuv (“dove, pigeon”), German Taube (“dove, pigeon”), Danish due (“dove”), Swedish duva (“dove”), Icelandic dúfa (“dove”), Gothic dubo.

Apparent root for all the above words is apparently “Proto-Indo-European *dʰeubʰ- (“to whisk, smoke, be obscure”)” which is frankly very unlikely. The real root is probably something like Proto-Germanic *dūbǭ (“dove”). Please compare this with the word for pigeon, dove from the most westerly Slavic languge, Polabian: ďölǫb. We see how here Slavic, Gallic, Gaelic golub becomes dolQb. This word sits between Slavic golub and Germanic dūbǭ. This is one example of the linguistic Slavic – Germanic continuum with Polabian language being the link which shows how languages mixed.

I believe that the original word golub (colum) arose somewhere in the Balkans or in Central Europe. I also believe that the word is very old, probably even dating from neolithic times. 

Common pigeon or wood pigeon is common to all of Europe. 

It is the same for European dove:

The call made by wood pigeon sounds like cucu, gugu, gogo, huhu. The name for Eurasian collared dove, of just dove in Serbian is gugutka, which means bird that says gugu. Eurasian collared dove call does sound like cucu, gugu, gogo, huhu. 

This is probably the oldest onomatopoeic name for pigeon, dove. “gugu” – a bird that says “gu”. If we look at Sanskrit we find these words for pigeon, dove: kokathu, kaukkuTika, kokadeva, ghughukRt… 

So where does the word “golub” come from?

Pigeons and Doves are monogamous, they mate for life. Their courting includes head-bobbing, coo-ing and “kissing“. So pigeons and doves are birds which kiss, which are in love. 

If we look at Indoeuropean dictionary we find this word root: *lewbʰ– to love, to desire. We find that all “derived” words, mean desire, praise, love, have sex. 

Albanian: lyp – beg, ask, need, pleadLithuanian: liaupsė – praiseGermanic: *lubō, *leubō, *lubą, *leubaz: love, affectionLatin: libet – it is pleasing; it is agreeableOscan: laufit (could not find this word anywhere)Sanskrit: lubhyati – desire greatly, long for, be interested in, covetSlavic: ljubav – love

What is interesting is that only in Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Slovenian, in Western Balkan Slavic languages, the word “lub”, “ljub” also means kiss. This is the root of the word “ljubav” meaning love which we find in other Slavic languages. ljubav = ljub + bav = kiss + do, perform. It literally means “doing kissing”. The word “ljub” is actually an onomatopoeic word.  It actually describes the act of kissing. You can only produce sound “lj” by sticking your tong out. So “lj” means sticking tong out. Sound “u” means in, into, putting into. So sound “u” means putting tong into. Sounds “b,p,m” are sounds made by smacking your lips, like when sucking. Sound “mama”, “baba”, “papa” are all made by babies when they are looking for breast to suck, to put into their mouth. So sound “b” means mouth, suck. 
All together “ljub” literally means: stick tong out, put it into someones mouth and then suck it = kiss. When you say “ljub”, you are actually going through all the mouth movement involved in kissing. Try it.

It is interesting that only in Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Slovenian languages and in Sanskrit, word “ljub” has this old, physical love meaning, but only in Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Slovenian languages it means to kiss. 

These are main meanings of word “ljub” in Serbian:

Ljubiti, poljubiti – love, kiss
Ljuba, ljubovca, ljubavnica – mistress, female lover, wife
ljubavnik – male lover
Obljubiti – have sex with
Preljubnik, preljubnica –  adulterer
Ljubav, ljubva – love
Ljubimac – favourite person, pet
Ljubomora – jealousy, literally love dread 
Ljubazan – pleasent
Ljubak, ljubi, ljubljen, ljuven – dear
Priljubiti – stick close together, like when kissing, having sex
Rodoljub – patriot, literally tribe lover

In wiktionary you can find that Latin word Columba means dove, but also is a “term of endearment”. In Serbian Golub, Golubica are also terms of endearment. And you can see why. Golub = go + ljub = it, him, her + love.

So where does the word golub come from?

Is golub = coo(goo) + ljub = “sound of cooing” + “kiss, love” = a bird that says cu, gu, co, go and kisses, loves? Maybe. But if we look at South Serbian dialects, the etymology becomes even simpler go lub(i) = it, him, her + kisses, loves = birds that kiss, love each other?
 
Is this the origin of word Golub? And if so, is old Irish Colum(b) come from Golub and is Latin Columba, Columbus derived from Golub or its derivation Colum(b)? And if this is the case, how old is word Golub? And why is it that again we find that Slavic, Gaelic and Gallic languages seem to be in the same group, even though they are supposed to belong to different distant branches of Indoeuropean language?

There is actually good reason to suspect that “kissing bird” is the actual etymology for word golub. I have written in my post about bran, vran, that word gavran, govran meaning raven can be broken into gav, gov + vran = speaking + blac, crow. This is a perfect description of a raven, as it is the only European talking bird. Golub, bird that kisses is a perfect description of a pigeon, dove, as they are the only European kissing birds.

What does this mean for our St Columban? I wrote in my last post that his name means white dove. Columban = Colum + ban = pigeon + white. His name stay Irish and is not Latin. Which is in keeping with what we find when we look at the list of early Irish saints. All of them have Irish names. So Columban being derived from Latin would have been a glaring exception impossible to explain. 

So Columban is an Irish name, but Irish name with root in some old Balkan language, which is preserved in Western South Slavic languages, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Slovenian…

More and more questions…

Gavran and Golub ban

 
In Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Makedonian and Bulgarian word for raven is “gavran”. Other languages where we find similar word for raven are other western Slavic languages like Polish, Czech and Slovak, where word for raven is “havran” and Welsh where word for raven is cigfran (lit. meat-crow) but because bran is feminine, the raven = y gigfran. The Breton is marc’hvran. In Welsh, the element march- (lit. horse, stallion) is often used to indicate great size, assuming Breton does the same, marc’hvran = great crow

In Irish, word for raven is fiach. Yet when we look at the Irish and Scotish old personal names which appear in old chronicles we find many people with personal name Gavran, Gavra, Gewran, Gabran. 

In Gaelic we have a word gabhar meaning goat. It comes from Old Irish gabor (“goat, horse, white hued, bright”), from Proto-Celtic *gabros (“he-goat”), from Proto-Indo-European *kapros (“male hooved animal”), *kapro-. Cognate with Latin caper (“goat”) and Ancient Greek κάπρος (kápros, “wild boar”). So Gabhran whould then mean little goat or little horse. We also have a word gabhrán meaning traveler. 

I have searched old Irish texts and could not find one example of Gabráin, Gabrán, Gabhran being used with a meaning little goat, little horse. It was always ever used as a personal or place name. Can anyone point me to a source which i can quote for this meaning. I know it is grammatically possible but I would like to be able to quote a source. It is interesting that in Serbian there is an expression “ružna kao gabor” used for women meaning “ugly like a gabor”. No one knows what gabor means exactly, only that it is something ugly. Does it mean as ugly as a goat?

Do these names mean raven or goat, horse?

One of these people was Gabrán mac Domangairt, king of Dál Riata in the mid-6th century:

Gabrán mac Domangairt (Old Welsh: Gawran map Dinwarch) or Gabrán the Traitor (Gwran Wradouc) was king of Dál Riata in the mid-6th century. He is the eponymous ancestor of the Cenél nGabraín. Gabrán’s chief importance is as the presumed ancestor of the Cenél nGabraín, a kingroup which dominated the kingship of Dál Riata until the late 7th century and continued to provide kings thereafter.

Dál Riata kingdom

 
It is very interesting that Gabran, Gavran had a son, Áedán mac Gabráin, who was, according to “Encyclopaedia Londinensis, or, Universal dictionary of arts …“, crowned by St Columba on the Island of Iona.

Áedán mac Gabráin (pronounced [ˈaiðaːn mak ˈɡavɾaːnʲ] in Old Irish) was a king of Dál Riata from circa 574 until circa 609. The kingdom of Dál Riata was situated in modern Argyll and Bute, Scotland, and parts of County Antrim, Ireland. Genealogies record that Áedán was a son of Gabrán mac Domangairt. He was a contemporary of Saint Columba, and much that is recorded of his life and career comes from hagiography such as Adomnán of Iona’s Life of Saint Columba. Áedán appears as a character in Old Irish and Middle Irish language works of prose and verse, some now lost.

Áedán mac Gabráin the son of Gavran was crowned by St Columba, who belonged to the same tribe, and whose name is said to mean dove and whose symbol is a white dove.  Áedán’s ordaining as king by Columba, was the first example of an ordination known in Britain and Ireland.

Saint Columba (Irish: Colm Cille, ‘church dove’; 7 December 521 – 9 June 597) was an Irish abbot and missionary credited with spreading Christianity in present-day Scotland. He founded the important abbey on Iona, which became a dominant religious and political institution in the region for centuries. He is the Patron Saint of Derry. He was highly regarded by both the Gaels of Dál Riata and the Picts, and is remembered today as a Christian saint and one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland.

Another Irish saint from the same period with a similar name is St Columbanus. His name also means dove and his symbol is dove:

Columbanus (Irish: Columbán, 543 – 21 November 615) was an Irish missionary notable for founding a number of monasteries on the European continent from around 590 in the Frankish and Lombard kingdoms, most notably Luxeuil Abbey in present-day France and Bobbio Abbey in present-day Italy. He is remembered as an exemplar of Irish missionary activity in early medieval Europe. Columbanus (the Latinised form of Columbán, meaning the white dove) was born in the Kingdom of Meath, now part of Leinster…

What is interesting is that in Serbian Golub means dove, pigeon. Goluban is a Serbian personal name. Golubić, Golubović are Serbian surnames, meaning son of Golub. Golubac, Golubnjak, Golubinja, Golubić are names of mountain tops in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia. Golubinci, Golubac, Golubovac, Golubinje, Goluban are place names in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia…I wrote a separate article about words golub, colum here.

King Gabran ruled in the North East of Ireland and southwest of Scotland, where even today we find a lot of I2a people.

Áedán mac Gabráin belonged to Dal Riata who we are told were Gaels. Next to Dal Riata we find Dál nAraidi

 They are accepted to be Picts and we are told that we should not confuse Dál Riata and Dál nAraidi. However several Welsh works claim a Brittonic pedigree for Áedán. It has even been suggested that Gartnait son of Áedán could be the same person as Gartnait son of Domelch, king of the Picts. This means that there are claims that Áedán mac Gabráin was a Pict. This forces me to ask this question: Were Dal Riata and Dál nAraidi one and the same people, Cruithin, Picts? Or were Pictish kings of Dál nAraidi ruling Dal Riata? Was Áedán mac Gabráin a Pict? He could well have been. It has been suggested that Picts 
used matrilineal inheritance. A very good article called “The Female Royal Line: matrilineal succession amongst the Picts?” discusses this issue in detail. This is what Bede had to say about Picts:

Bede recounts the following colourful origin legend for the Picts:

    ….the nation of the Picts, from Scythia, as is reported, putting to sea, in a few long ships, were driven by the winds beyond the shores of Britain, and arrived on the northern coast of Ireland, where, finding the nation of the Scots, they begged to be allowed to settle among them, but could not succeed in obtaining their request. Ireland is the greatest island next to Britain, and lies to the west of it; but as it is shorter than Britain to the north, so, on the other hand, it runs out far beyond it to the south, opposite to the northern parts of Spain, though a spacious sea lies between them. The Picts, as has been said, arriving in this island by sea, desired to have a place granted them in which they might settle. The Scots answered that the island could not contain them both; but “We can give you good advice,” said they, “what to do; we know there is another island, not far from ours, to the eastward, which we often see at a distance, when the days are clear. if you will go thither, you will obtain settlements; or, if they should oppose you, you shall have our assistance.” The Picts, accordingly, sailing over into Britain, began to inhabit the northern parts thereof, for the Britons were possessed of the southern. Now the Picts had no wives, and asked them of the Scots; who would not consent to grant them upon any other terms, than that when any difficulty should arise, they should choose a king from the female royal race rather than from the male: which custom, as is well known, has been observed among the Picts to this day.

–Bede, Ecclesiastical History, Book I Ch.1 

If we look at the royal line of Dal Riata to which Áedán mac Gabráin belonged we find this:

Áedán mac Gabráin, son of Gabrán mac Domangairt, son of Fergus Mór, son of Eirc. This is where it gets interesting: 

Erc son of Eochaid Muinremuir was king of Irish Dál Riata until 474. He was the father of Fergus Mór and Loarn mac Eirc, and may have been the great-grandfather of Muirchertach mac Muiredaig. Confusion arises from the latter’s matronym, Macc Ercae, said to come from his legendary mother Erca, daughter of Loarn mac Eirc. She married Muiredach mac Eógain. 

So was Eirc actually Erca? And was the line of Dal Riata based on a woman not a man? And ultimately were then Dal Riata actually Picts on their male side but Gaels on their Female side?

Here is something interesting about I2a2a1-M284 (formerly I2b1a) in Ireland. Ireland is very good for genetic genealogy research because of its clans and a long written history. I2a2a1 (M284) seems to have arisen in Britain, where it is most common. It is very rare in Continental Europe. M284 is comparatively rare in Ireland. Where it is found in those of Irish descent with Gaelic surnames, and particularly in baronial families with a credible pedigree back to a Cruithin (Pictish) origin. For example it is found in McGuinness and McCartan men descended from the Uí Echach Cobha, a lineage considered Cruithin in the 6th century AD. 

The Cruthin; Middle Irish Cruithnig or Cruithni; Modern Irish: Cruithne were a people of early Ireland, who occupied parts of the present day Counties of Down, Antrim and Londonderry in the early medieval period.

Their ruling dynasties included the Dál nAraidi in southern Antrim and the Uí Echach Cobo in western Down. Early sources preserve a distinction between the Cruthin and the Ulaid, who gave their name to the province of Ulster, although the Dál nAraide claimed in their genealogies to be na fir Ulaid, “the true Ulaid”. The Loígis, who gave their name to County Laois in Leinster, and the Sogain of Connacht are also claimed as Cruthin in early Irish genealog

Early Irish writers used the name Cruthin to refer to both the north-eastern Irish group and to the Picts of Scotland.[5] Likewise, the Scottish Gaelic word for a Pict is Cruithen or Cruithneach, and for Pictland is Cruithentúath. It has thus been suggested that the Cruthin and Picts were the same people or were in some way linked.

What is also interesting is that many other Irish cepts, including Ui Neill have been found to contain families with I2a genes as well. Particularly interesting are the Loígis of the Laigin. 

The Loígis, Laígsi or Laoighisi, were mercenary tribes of the Laigin and possibly of Cruithin (Pict) origin. The Loígis claim descendancy from Lugaid Loígsech, son of Conall Cernach. From Conall’s line also descend the Dál n-Araide of Ulster. Beginning in the 11th century, the Annals cite the Ua Mórdha (O’More, Moore) as chiefs of Laíghisi. They are later represented by the ‘Seven Septs of Leix’, i.e. O’Moore, O’Kelly, O’Deevy, O’Doran, O’Lalor, O’Dowling and McEvoy. As legend and history cite, this confederation began after the 3rd century CE, when the family group that would become the O’Mores came from Ulster to Leinster under the leadership of Laoighseach Cean More, son of Connall Cearnach of the Red Branch, and helped to defend Leinster under the kingship of Cu chorb, and expelled the Munster forces from the region. They continued to hold principality over what became Leix (Laois), so named after Laoighseach, and this confederation continued through the Elizabethian wars of the 1500’s.

O’Donovan in the Ordnance Survey letters cites that “Laoighis really contained about half the Queen’s County. Take away the Baronies of Upper Ossory, Portnahinch and Tinahinch, and the remaining part of the Queen’s County will be Laoighis or Leix.”

The genetic data shows that Loígis belong to I2a Y haplogroup.

So it is assumed that Cruithin were Picts and Cruithin have turned out to be I2a people. So it seems that there is a definite link between Cruithin (Picts) and I2a Y haplogroup. 

Here is an obelisk (of unknown age, but possibly medieval) found in the mountains in Bosnia, another I2a land. If it was found in Scotland, would it have been declared as Pictish?

If we look at the I2a distribution maps from Eupedia, we see that there are two major sub groups of I2a: I2a1 (Balkan) and I2a2 (Baltic). 

I2a1 has its hot spot in the Balkans among the so called Serbs, Croats and Bosnians. Extremely high percentage is found in all territories around lower Danube river valley, lower Volga river valley and north Black Sea coast where we find oldest European cultures. It is also extremely high in old Hittite lands.
 

I2a2 has its hot spot right below the Jutland peninsula, right at the area of Laba (Elbe) river. This is the place where once lived Polabian Slavs, northern (White) Serbs, Sorbs and Northern (White) Croats. These were the Pomorjani, Pomori, Fomori from Irish legends, and Wilti, Volci, Wendi who were part of the Anglo Saxon tribal federation as described in the book “The origin of the Anglo Saxon race“. This is also the line of the old border between the Franks and the Slavs. This is the place where we find Cauci, Chauci, Καῦκοι, Caülci. And where we find Longobards, the people with long beards who have been linked to Obodrites. Being the border area, people who lived there probably mixed, so I think that most of the people from this area were of mixed genetic makeup, probably mix of R1b, R1a and I2a.

Encyclopaedia Londinensis, or, Universal dictionary of arts …” says that Áedán mac Gabráin ruled in Valentia, the area between Hadrian and Antonin walls. This is also the area which is said to be inhabited by “sceites”. 

The area ruled by Áedán mac Gabráin in both Northern Ireland and Scotland is the area where we find higher percentage of I2a and R1a genes. This is the area inhabited by Picts but also by “sceites”. Are these “sceites” Scots (Irish) or are they actually Scythians, or are Scots and Scythians one and the same? And were they the same as Crutheni, Picts? 

We have seen that gaelic name for picts was Cruithin. Variations of the name Cruithin include Cruthen, Crutheni, Cruthin, Cruthini, Cruthne, Cruthni, Cruithni and Cruithini. It is generally accepted that this is the Goidelic languages version of the Brittonic term *Pritani or *Priteni. From the latter came Britanni, the Latin name for those now called the Britons. Current accepted oppinion is that the name Variations of the name include Cruthen, Crutheni, Cruthin, Cruthini, Cruthne, Cruthni, Cruithni and Cruithini. Original Greek chronicles record the name as Prettanoi. In Latin usage from the first records Britanni was standard, with -tt- spelling also in the later Impérial period. In the Celtic speech of these islands, beside official Britanni introduced by Latin speakers at the conquest of A.D. 43, older *Pritani naturally survived, and from it came eventually Welsh Prydain. From Latin Britanni. It is generally accepted that this is the Goidelic languages version of the Brittonic term *Pritani or *Priteni, both derived from an earlier Insular Celtic form *Qritani or *Qriteni “Painted/tattooed people”.

What If Gaelic *Qritani or *Qriteni was not the original word from which *Pritani or *Priteni was formed? What if Crutheni was created from some existing actual ethnic name by conversion of P into C in Gaelic? If that was the case then the original name of the Scottish Crutheni would not have been Prithani, but Pruteni. What if Pruteni were not the same people as Pritani? Were there any people anywhere at the time of Crutheni which were called Prutheni, Pruteni? 

There were. In south Baltic again.

The Old Prussians or Baltic Prussians (German: Pruzzen or Prußen; Latin: Pruteni; Latvian: Prūši; Lithuanian: Prūsai; Polish: Prusowie; Kashubian: Prësowié) were an ethnic group of autochthonous Baltic tribes that inhabited Prussia, the lands of the southeastern Baltic Sea in the area around the Vistula and Curonian Lagoons. They spoke a language now known as Old Prussian and followed pagan Prussian mythology.

Is there anything apart from a similar name, that we can use to connect Pruteni of South Baltic with Crutheni in North of Ireland? Well there is quite a lot of stuff which points to potential link. But the most striking one is this:

 Prussian baba stone

Do you remember my article about Scythian baba stones? And how in Ireland, these baba stones are all found only in the area of Ulster inhabited in early medieval time by Crutheni, Picts? So in South Baltic Scythian, Slavs, Prussians (Pruteni) make Baba stones. In Ireland only Ulster Crutheni make Baba stones. So let me ask the same question again:

Are the “sceites” Scots (Irish) or are they actually Scythians, or are Scots and Scythians one and the same? And were they the same as Crutheni, Picts? 

Were Pruteni Prussians? In Prussian mythology both Goat and Horse were holy animals linked with the thunder god Perkunas. Prussians, Crutheni and Serbs have strange beliefs and customs related to men and horses. I will write about this in a separate post. So Gabran could mean a little mare or son of a mare. In Serbian word for mare is kobila and greatest Serbian epic hero is called Kobilic, the son of a mare. Is Uffington white horse linked to this belief system?

 Does it stem from the old Celtic horse worship which is evident from Celtic coins?
 This is not all that is strange about Áedán mac Gabráin and what links him to South Baltic people.

What is interesting is that in Slavic religion white horse is associated with Svetovid and summer solstice.

Some sources say that Áedán mac Gabráin had a twin brother called Brandub mac Echach and that Aedáin is actually the son of the Laigin king of Leinster:

The Rawlinson B 502 manuscript, dated to c. 1130, contains the tale Gein Branduib maic Echach ocus Aedáin maic Gabráin (The Birth of Brandub son of Eochu and of Aedán son of Gabrán). In this story, Áedán is the twin brother of Brandub mac Echach, a King of Leinster who belonged to the Uí Cheinnselaig kindred. Áedán is exchanged at birth for one of the twin daughters of Gabrán, born the same night, so that each family might have a son….

Áedán additionally appears in a variety of Welsh sources, making him one of the few non-Britons to figure in Welsh tradition.One of the Triads records Áedán’s host as one of the “Three Faithful War-Bands of the Island of Britain”, as they “went to the sea for their lord”. This may point to an otherwise lost tradition concerning one of Áedán’s sea expeditions, such as to Orkney or the Isle of Man. Additionally, several Welsh works claim a Brittonic pedigree for Áedán. It has even been suggested that Gartnait son of Áedán could be the same person as Gartnait son of Domelch, king of the Picts. This shows the importance of Áedán.

If the story is true, the real Áedán mac Gabráin’s fater belonged to the clan Uí Cheinnselaig.

Uí Cheinnselaig descended from Labraid Laidech, son of Bressal Bélach, son of Fiachu Baicced, son of Cathair Mór. The Uí Cheinnselaig dynasty branched out into the powerful sept of the Sil Fáelchán (Mac Murrough), as well as the septs of the Uí Felmeda Thes (Murphy), the Uí Felmeda Tuaid (O’Garvey), the Sil Chormaic, the Sil Máeluidir (Hartley), the Uí Fergusa of Wexford, the Clann Guaire, and the Clann Fiachu meic Ailella.

Alfred Smyth (Celtic Leinster) provides an interesting theory on the rise of the Uí Cheinnselaig. He cites an early center of power of Uí Cheinnselaig based at Rathvilly in Carlow, as shown by early tradition in the Vita Tripartita of St. Patrick, as well as by earlier documents in the Book of Armagh. The monastery of St. Mullins in southern Carlow had earlier claims to Uí Cheinnselaig patronage than did the house of Ferns in Wexford, which by the 11th century became the overall center of their dynastic power. He speculates the Uí Cheinnselaig ‘invaded’, not earlier than the 5th century, through the pass of Gowran from Ossory, in order to explain how St. Mullins had earlier connections to the group, as well as to explain how the Uí Cheinnselaig broke the power of Uí Bairrche… Smyth goes on to speculate the Uí Cheinnselaig expanded into Wexford down the Slaney valley through a pass between the Balckstairs and the Wicklow Mountains.

So Brandub mac Echach, the alleged twin brother of Áedán mac Gabráin belongs to a clan that comes from Ossory and which invaded Leinster through the pass of Gowran. What a lot of people don’t know is that the capital of the kingdom of Ossory was in a place called Gowran, and that kings of Ossory were also known as Kings of Gowran. 

The book “Round About the County of Limerick” by Rev James Dawd says says that the old name of Gowran was Gavran:

Over the great plain of Femin and across the s peckled summit of Slieve-na-man-finn, all over East Munster and West Munster, as far as Balla-Gavran (now Gowran in Co. Kilkenny), on the one side and on the other across the Shannon to Cratloe, near Limerid of the Blue Waters… In a remote place to the north-west a fine sepulchral monument is called Labha Iscur, the resting-place of Oscar who fell at the battle of Gavra in 284…

Ossory is another place which has very strong cultural links with Slavs, which I will explain in detail in one of my next posts. Ossory is also very important as a place where we find first Irish High Crosses. 

Irish High Crosses

High Crosses or Celtic Crosses as they are also known, are found throughout Ireland on old monastic sites. Some were probably used as meeting points for religious ceremonies and others were used to mark boundaries. The earliest crosses in Ireland were made of wood and metal and probably much smaller than the great stone monuments we see today. It was generally accepted that the Western Ossory group were amongst the earliest examples of High Crosses to be found in Ireland. Their design imitates the wood and metal crosses before them; but a recent study suggests they may not be 8th century but possibly mid 9th century. These crosses are found within a few miles of each other at Kilkieran, Kilree, Killamery and the finest examples at Ahenny. The majority of scriptural crosses are also believed to have been erected around the 9th century and there are several local groupings: the North Leinster group includes Kells, Monasterboice and Duleek; the Midlands group includes Clonmacnois and Durrow; and another distinct group of granite High Crosses are those of the Barrow valley that includes Castledermot, Graiguenamanagh, Moone and Ullard. 

If the earliest crosses in Ireland were made of wood and metal were they maybe looking like this wooden standing cross from south of Serbia:



What is very interesting about the distribution of the major early high crosses is that they are all found within the lands of Kingdom of Osraige (Ossory), Kindom of Mide and kindom of Brega. Have a look at this map:

The early High Cross groups seem to surround the lands of the Laigin. Were these high crosses boundary, border markers? Both kings of Osraige and Mide were linked to Laigin. For the kings of Osraige we read that they “…have been shown to have been, like the Osraige, of Erainn origins, notwithstanding their later genealogies which attempted to make them Laigin…”. For the kings of Mide we read that they”…belonged to the Laigin, but may also be associated with the Érainn…“.  

Laigin are one of the people who directly link Ireland, Wales and Serbia.

So Aedan, the son of Gavran, crowned by Golub ban, could have been Laigin (potentially Germanic – Western Slavic), Cruthin (Pict) or Briton. All three of these groups have direct genetic, linguistic and cultural links with the Serbs and Southern and Western Slavs. 

So according to the above story,  Áedán mac Gabráin, was officially son of Gabrán mac Domangairt, king of Dál Riata, but he could actually have been one of the kings of Gabran from ossory. Does Áedán mac Gabráin then actually mean from Gabran (Ossory)? Gabran is clearly not a Gaelic name, and the only languages where it has a meaning are Slavic and Welsh.

This is indeed all very, very strange. But it gets even stranger. At the time of Áedán mac Gabráin, north east of Ireland was engulfed in a war. And here are the protagonists of that war:

1. Áedán mac Gabráin was a king of Dál Riata from circa 574 until circa 609. Crowned by St Columba. 

2. Áed mac Echach Tirmcharna (died 575) was a King of Connacht from the Uí Briúin branch of the Connachta. High king Diarmait mac Cerbaill killed Diarmait of Curnán, son of Áed mac Echach (d.575), the King of Connacht who was under Columba’s protection.
 

3. Áed Dub mac Suibni (died c. 588) was an Irish king of the Cruthin of Dál nAraidi. Cursed by St Columba for killing for killing the last high king of Ireland Diarmait mac Cerbaill who is said to have been his step father. 

4. Áed mac Ainmuirech was the king of northern Uí Néill. He was St Columba’s first cousin once removed.Áed had close relations with his cousin Saint Columba. He may have commissioned a eulogy upon the saint’s death and most likely granted the land for the monastery of Durrow. He is known to have met with Áedán mac Gabráin, king of Dál Riata, in 575 at The Synod or Convention of Drumceat, to agree an alliance, presumably arranged by his cousin Columba. Áed came into conflict with Brandub mac Echach, King of Leinster from the Uí Cheinnselaig who was resisting Ui Neill encroachment. According to the saga tradition preserved in the Borúma Laigin (Cattle Tribute of Leinster), Brandub had killed Cummascach, the son of Áed for demanding the right to sleep with Brandub’s wife during a royal tour. The annals record Brandub’s killing of Áed’s son Cummascach in 597 at Dún Buchat. However, at the battle of Dún Bolg (Dunboyke, modern County Wicklow) in 598, Áed was defeated and killed by Brandub.

5. Brandub mac Echach was a twin brother of Áedán mac Gabráin.

It seems that all the main kings of the north east of Ireland were Aeds and were all connected to Columba, Golub ban in some way, and were all connected to Cruithin, Picts in some way. 
Áedán mac Gabráin was likely Cruithin Pict. 
Áed Dub mac Suibni was Cruithin Pict. 
Áed mac Ainmuirech was possibly Cruithin Pict. 
The only king not named Aed is Aedan’s twin brother, and maybe Aedan himself. Aeddan means given by Aed. Also Brandub mac Echach was a Laigin, and Laigin were through Loígis, Laígsi or Laoighisi also linked to Cruithin Picts.

Are we seeing here the emergence of a Cruithin, Pict, Laigin, Non Gael North East of Ireland? Here is what we can read on the Wiktionary page dedicated to Dál Fiatach who were said to have ruled Ulster during the reign of Áedán mac Gabráin:

Although Francis John Byrne describes the few La Tène artefacts discovered in Ireland as ‘rather scanty’, most of the La Tène artefacts (mostly weapons and harness pieces) have been found in the North of Ireland, suggesting ‘small bands of settlers (warriors and metalworkers) arrived’ from Britain in the 3rd century BC, and may have been absorbed into the Ulaid population… The Dál Fiatach are considered by scholars to be the true historical Ulaid, but after the fortunes of the dynasty declined in the 7th century, the legendary heroes of the Ulster Cycle were in fact claimed as ancestors by the rival and unrelated Dál nAraidi or Cruthin, claiming for political reasons to be the “true Ulaid” themselves and descendants of Rudraige mac Sithrigi through Conall Cernach. Rudraige, son of Sitric, son of Dub, son of Fomor, son of Airgetmar, was, according to medieval Irish legend and historical tradition, a High King of IrelandRudraige was particularly associated with the northern part of Ireland: the dynasty of the Dál nAraidi, who ruled eastern Ulster in the early Middle Ages, traced their descent from him, and the Lebor Gabála Érenn names him as the grandfather of the Ulaid hero Conall Cernach.

So the land of Ulaid, the land of La Tene, Central European Celts, Was the land of Dál nAraidi who traced their roots to Rudraige, son of Sitric, son of Dub, son of Fomor…And here we are, back on the south Baltic coast, in Pomerania, Pomorje, the land of Fomori, Pomori, Pomorjani, I2a Western Slavs, Prussians and Germanics.

Is this where Gavran and Golub ban came to Ireland from?

Baba

In Serbian, there are two main words for father: tata and otac (pronounced otats) and four words for mother: mama, mati, matera, majka.

tat(a) – father
mat(a) = root for mother in Slavic languages

In Serbian expression TATAMATA means someone who knows all and can do all. Literal meaning of this expression is “father and mother”, “parent”, “ancestor”, “progenitor”, “creator”, the one from which all knowledge comes from.

In Serbian we also have these two words:

baba (grandmother), deda (grandfather). 

Baba”  is a type of stone statue, an idol whose meaning and purpose is still debated. It is presumed that they are associated with the cult of the ancestors. These stone images, anthropomorphic stone sculptures, range in height from 1 to 4 m. 

The word baba in Serbian also means “kamen, utvrda” (stone, fortress). We see this from the following names for fortresses in Serbia: Baba “grad Orlovića Pavla” (Baba, the fortress of Orlović Pavle, 10 km east of Paraćin; Baba Vida “Tvrdava Vidin” (Vidin fortress) and Baba Finka “Utvrdenje Hajduk Veljka” (The fortress of Hajduk Veljko). So baba just means a stone.

The earliest anthropomorphic stelae date to the 4th millennium BC, and are associated with the early Bronze Age Yamna Horizon, in particular with the Kemi Oba culture of the Crimea and adjacent steppe region. Those in Ukraine number around three hundred, most of them very crude stone slabs with a simple schematic protruding head and a few features such as eyes or breasts carved into the stone. Some twenty specimens, known as statue menhirs, are more complex, featuring ornaments, weapons, human or animal figures.

The simple, early type of anthropomorphic stelae are also found in the Alpine region of Italy, southern France and Portugal. Examples have also been found in Bulgaria at Plachidol, Vezevero, and Durankulak. The example illustrated above was found at Hamangia-Baia, Romania.

The distribution of later stelae is limited in the west by the Odessa district, Podolsk province, Galicia, Kalisz province, Prussia; in the south by Kacha River, Crimea; in the south-east by Kuma River in the Stavropol province and Kuban region; in the north by Minsk province and Oboyan district of the Kursk province (in some opinions even the Ryazan province), Ahtyr district in the Kharkov province, Voronej province, Balash and Atkar districts in the Saratov province to the banks of Samara River in Buzuluk districts in the Samara province, in the east they are spread in the Kyrgyz (Kazakh) steppe to the banks of the Irtysh River and to Turkestan (near Issyk Kul, Tokmak district), then in upper courses of rivers Tom and Yenisei, in Sagai steppe in Mongolia (according to Potanin and Yadrintseva).

The Cimmerians of the early 1st millennium BC left a small number (about ten are known) of distinctive stone stelae. Another four or five “deer stones” dating to the same time are known from the northern Caucasus.

From the 7th century BC, Scythian tribes began to dominate the Pontic steppe. They were in turn displaced by the Sarmatians from the 2nd century BC, except in Crimea, where they persisted for a few centuries longer. These peoples left carefully crafted stone stelae, with all features cut in deep relief.

Early Slavic stelae are again more primitive. There are some thirty sites of the middle Dniestr region where such anthropomorphic figures were found. The most famous of these is the Zbruch Idol (c. 10th century), a post measuring about 3 meters, with four faces under a single pointed hat (c.f. Svetovid). Boris Rybakov argued for identification of the faces with the gods Perun, Makosh, Lado and Veles.

The following picture shows examples of Baba statues from Eurasian steppes: 1. Stone statue standing above a burial site in Central Asia. 2. A statue presently standing in the garden of the Bishkek museum, Kyrgyzstan. 3. Scythian statue holding a cylindrical vessel from Kiev, Ukraine. 4. Statue from the Autonomous Republic of Tuva, Russia. 5. From the city of Taraz – Jambul Oblast of Kazakhstan (2).

There are two types of “Baba” statues.
 
First type are the statues of male warriors, fully armed, are made of monolithic boulders that were first roughly hewn, then skillfully turned into low relief shapes with a chisel. Most of these warriors were portrayed as wearing a helmet, a broad belt with a sword, battle axe, and a heavy necklace testifying to their status. Typically, there were three or four items found on them – horn, quiver, dagger, and/or sword. These are male ancestor, progenitor statues. Sometimes these male ancestor statues are just phallic shaped standing stones.
 
Second type are statues portraying a woman with naked breasts and hands near or on her vagina. These are female progenitor statues. Sometimes these statues are stylized female shaped standing stones.

Noted Ukrainian archaeologist, Terenozhkin, insisted that the stone statues were placed along the perimeter of the Scythian state,  and that they were regarded as deities that stood guard of the Scythian lands.

The origin of the name Baba is unclear. It could be derived from Slavic word baba meaning grandmother, progenitor. In Serbian word “babica” means midwife, word “babičenje” means labour. The name can equally come from from Turkic word baba meaning father.

It is very interesting that we find these Baba statues in the north of Ireland, in the area which was in the Early medieval times inhabited by people of Cruithin (Pictish) origin. 

Baba stones:

Ukraine
 Prussia

Northern Ireland


Mongolia


Kyrgyzstan

These statues are extremely unusual for Ireland. We don’t know their exact original location or whether there were more of these statues around Ireland. Were these boundary markers of the western border of the Scythian empire?

Crom Cruach or Cromm Crúaich, also known as Cenn Cruach or Cenncroithi, was a deity in pre-Christian Ireland, reputedly propitiated with human sacrifice, whose worship is said to have been ended by St. Patrick. According to an Irish dinsenchas (“place-lore”) poem in the 12th century Book of Leinster, Crom Cruach’s cult image, consisting of a gold figure surrounded by twelve stone figures, stood on Magh Slécht (“the plain of prostration”) in County Cavan, and was propitiated with first-born sacrifice in exchange for good yields of milk and grain. He is related to the later mythological and folkloric figure Crom Dubh. The festival for Crom Cruach is called Domhnach Crom Dubh, Crom Dubh Sunday.

Serbian tradition records existence of stone circles with a central stone or totem in the centre of the circle. The main standing stone or totem, was called Baba, meaning progenitor. 

Here is an example of one of those stone “baba” stones from Stip in Makedonia:

What is very interesting is that it seems that Baba stones are linked to calendar and the end of the year.

In Christian chronicles from 13th century, pagans were called “babuni”, probably because they made and worshiped stone idols called baba. These babuni were in Christian chronicles accused of making and worshipping stone idols. These stone idols were in Christian chronicles named as “Kumir”.

On the picture below are baba stones. First picture on the left is Scythian Baba stone. The other two are baba, kumir, stećak standing stones from Bosnia. Please note how the face is created with the the same symbol. This is glagolitic letter V, first letter of words vid (sight, light, sun), vede (knowledge). This is the first letter of the name of the sun god Vid, sveti Vid, Svetovid. The design looks similar to the ideogram for Leo (zodiac). The Leo constellation is connected in almost every way to the sun. In the zodiac, Leo is a fire sign and represents those born in the summer months. In ancient times, the constellation lined up almost perfectly with the summer solstice. Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, was often called the “Red Flame” and was thought to contribute to the heat of summer. Today middle of the Leo falls on the 2nd of August, the day of thundering sun Ilios, Perun, Crom Dubh. There are numerous representations of thunder and sun gods as well as mother goddesses, goddesses of the land and fertility standing on lions, or between lions. It is the symbol of the longest day, the position on which the sun is highest in sky, and closest to the equator.
The following picture (from excellent book “STEĆCI, LAŽ I BOGUMILI“) shows Višnji Bog (High God) with his Son Božić (Little god). These type of stone images date from the time of mixed christian pagan religion which existed in Serbia called “Poluverci” which means half believers. These people Christianized old Slavic gods Svarog and Svarožić (Dabog, Hromi daba, Chrom Dubh) and continued worshiping them as Father and son. Please note the same glagolitic symbol V for Vid, Sight, Light, Sun.

Here is another example of Baba stone from Bosnia. Please note the white horse of Svetovid symbolizing the summer solstice under the sun cross:

Crom Dubh was then probably regarded as the progenitor, the ancestor of the Fomori, Pomori, Pomorjani in the same way that Hromi Daba was regarded as progenitor of the Serbs.

This is anthropomorphic “cross”, originally probably a Baba stone, on the rock-monastery of Skellig Michael in county Kerry:

Here is another one from Kilbroney county Down:

The following three anthropomorphic “crosses”, Baba stones belong to the same type. In the first row, the first one is Scythian Baba standing stone from Ukraine, the second one is Baba, kumir, stećak standing stones from Bosnia. In the second row, the first one is fallen Baba standing stone from Bulgaria, and the second one is an anthropomorphic “cross”, Baba stone from Kilbroney, county Down, Ireland. These are all identical, prechristian symbols. 

What is very interesting is that these type of crosses are in Hungary called “Cuman” Crosses. 

In medieval times, the tradition of erecting Baba stones was continued by Cumans, a nomadic Turkic tribe of uncertain origin. 

Cumans inhabited a shifting area north of the Black Sea and along the Volga River known as Cumania, where the Cuman-Kipchaks meddled in the politics of the Caucasus and Khwarezm. Many eventually settled to the west of the Black Sea, influencing the politics of Kievan Rus’, the Golden Horde, the Second Bulgarian Empire, Serbia, the Kingdom of Hungary, Moldavia, Georgia and Wallachia. Cuman and Kipchak tribes joined politically to create the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. The Cumans were nomadic warriors of the Eurasian steppe who exerted an enduring impact on the medieval Balkans. The basic instrument of Cuman political success was military force, which dominated each of the warring Balkan factions. Groups of the Cumans settled and mingled with the local population in regions of the Balkans. Those Cumans that settled in the Balkans were the founders of three successive Bulgarian dynasties (Asenids, Terterids, and Shishmanids) and the Wallachian dynasty (Basarabids). But, in the cases of the Basarab and Asenid dynasties, medieval documents refer to them as Vlach (Romanian) dynasties. They played an active role in Byzantium, the Kingdom of Hungary, and Serbia, with Cuman immigrants being integrated into each country’s elite.

The Cumans originally lived east of the large bend of the Yellow River in China. They entered the grassland of Eastern Europe in the 11th century, from where they continued to assault the Byzantine Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary, and Kievan Rus’. The vast territory of the Cuman-Kipchak realm consisted of loosely connected tribal units who were the dominant military force but were never politically united by a strong central power. There was no state or empire of Cumania. Despite their historical status, the ethnic origins of the Cumanians are uncertain. The Cumans were reported to have blond hair, although their anthropological characteristics suggests that their geographical origin might be in Inner-Asia, South-Siberia, or as Istvan Vassary states – east of the Yellow River in China. al Marwazi, in his writings (c. 1120) states that the ‘Qun” people came from the northern Chinese borders – “the land of Qitay” (possibly during a part of a migration from further east). After leaving the lands of the Kitans, they entered the territory of the Shari/Sari people. From there the Cumans eventually reached the southern Russian steppes. It cannot be concluded whether the Cumans conquered the Kipchaks or simply represent the western mass of largely Kipchak-Turkic speaking tribes.

The name ‘Kipchak’/’Qipcak’ was not in use amongst the Cumans; ‘Qun’, Quman’ was used. The Cumans’ name in German was Falones, Phalagi, Valvi, Valewen, Valani. In Polish it was Połowcy, Plauci (Kumanowie), in Russian it was Половцы, Polovtsy, in Ukrainian it was Половці, Polovtsi, in Czech it was Plavci. German name mean “yellow”, in reference to the color of the Cumans’ hair. The Slavic word Polov, Plau, Plav means Blue but also Blond. Kuman means “pale yellow” in Turkic. So all the people who came in contact with Cumans named them “Golden”, “Blond”, because they must have been unusually blond compared with all the people that they came in contact with. This is very unusual for Turkic people and Central Asian people of Mongol origin. Genetically, Cuman people are Europeans of mostly R1a, G2a and R1b genetic types.

In his work “Cumans in medieval Serbia“, Aleksandar Uzelac says: 

First contacts between Cumans and Serbs took place at the end of the 11th – beginning of the 12th century. Cuman presence in Serbian lands is attested from mid 13th century, when, according to a western contemporary source, group of nomads fled from Hungary and found refuge in Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia during the Mongol invasion (1241-1242). As mercenaries, Cumans participated in the struggle between king Stephen Uroš I and his son Stephen Dragutin in the years of c.1271-1276. Dramrgutins younger brother and successor king Stephen Uroš II Milutin (1282-1321) also employed Cuman horsemen, totaling 2.000 in number, thus being the largest foreign military contingent in Medieval Serbia. They apparently also represented royal bodyguard. In 1312 they were ceded to Byzantine emperor Andronicus II. Eight years later, Milutin vainly insisted on their return; eventually in 1327 Cumans were settled on Aegean islands.In Serbian sources written in the first half of the 14th century (Lives of Serbian kings, by archbishop Daniel II and his successor) Cumans were always mentioned under their proper name; distinguished from other eastern peoples – Tatars, Alans and Turks. In later texts (so-called Old Serbian Chronicles, dated from late 14th century) this trait fades, due to the temporal distance from the events they describe and also due to the penetration of byzantine manner of using archaic instead of contemporary ethnonyms in Serbian medieval literature. Therefore, its not surprising that in those documents one can find term Scythians instead of Cumans. Another result of this process was that Cuman acquired new meaning “heathen, pagan”, as in the text commonly known as Bulgarian Apocryphal Chronicle. In the royal charters of Nemanjić dynasty dated from 13th-14th century, there are many personal names and place-names of Cuman origin. Their frequency and diffusion indicates that the influence of those resilient, warlike and omnipresent nomads, although indirectly, had been far greater in Medieval Serbia than one can discern from scarce information regarding their military service. Their stronghold was in the Area of south Carpathian mountains of Eastern Serbia. 

So Cumans continued the Scythian tradition of building Baba stone idols and both Romans and Serbs considered Cumans to be descendants of Scythians. But did Cumans build the “Cuman” crosses? 

Considering that we know that word Cuman became synonym for “pagan”, were these crosses erected by Cumans as in Cuman people or Cumans as in Pagans? A lot of the “Cuman” Crosses, Cumirs, Kumirs, have Slavic religious symbols, like solar wheel of Svetovid:

Like on this “Solar” cross from Romania: 

Here are some more anthropomorphic crosses from across Central Europe. First row: Bosnia, Serbia, Albania (Serbian Monastery), Romania, Hungary. Second row Belarus.

The same areas reported as Cuman Strongholds in medieval Balkans are also areas where we find Vlahs, Celts. These are the areas along the Carpathian mountains and Balkan mountains. These are the same areas where we find Celtic Crosses and High Concentration of R1b Y chromosome. There are numerous Celtic archaeological finds from all over Balkans. Are there any people whose name sounds similar to Cumani but who are associated with Celts? 

There are: Cimmerians, Cimbri, Cumru. 

The Cimmerians or Kimmerians (Greek: Κιμμέριοι, Kimmerioi) were an ancient Indo-European people living north of the Caucasus and the Sea of Azov as early as 1300 BC. Herodotus thought the Cimmerians and the Thracians closely related, writing that both peoples originally inhabited the northern shore of the Black Sea, and both were displaced about 700 BC, by invaders from the east. Whereas the Cimmerians would have departed this ancestral homeland by heading east and south across the Caucasus, the Thracians migrated southwest into the Balkans, where they established a successful and long-lived culture. Premodern historians asserted Cimmerian descent for the Celts or the Germans, arguing from the similarity of Cimmerii to Cimbri or Cymry. It is unlikely that either Proto-Celtic or Proto-Germanic entered western Europe as late as the 7th century BC; their formation was commonly associated with the Bronze Age Urnfield and Nordic Bronze Age cultures, respectively. It is, however, conceivable that a small-scale (in terms of population) 8th century “Thraco-Cimmerian” migration triggered cultural changes that contributed to the transformation of the Urnfield culture into the Hallstatt C culture, ushering in the European Iron Age. Later Cimmerian remnant groups may have spread as far as to the Nordic Countries and the Rhine River. An example is the Cimbri tribe, considered to be a Germanic tribe hailing from the Himmerland (Old Danish Himber sysæl) region in northern Denmark.

Serbian medieval Nemanjić dynasty claimed descent from Cimmerians. 

What happened here? Did Cumans mix with Cimerians, Celtic Vlahs and Slavs and create a hybrid culture in Central Europe? Probably. But all these people also shared the same old cultural roots which go back to the times of Scythians and Cimmerians.  

We find thousands of these anthropomorphic crosses in the Central Europe, in the area between Balkans and Baltic which was in medieval times inhabited mostly by Slavs. It seems that the only other place where they are found in Europe is Ireland.

Who were the people who built these Baba stones and anthropomorphic crosses in Ireland? How and when did they arrive there, and how come not a word can be read about them in any modern history of Ireland? The old histories of Ireland are not so silent. The old histories talk about Scythians who came to Ireland from the Caspian sea, but these old histories are ignored by modern historians as “fanciful” and “ridiculous”. 

In his book “The origin of the Irish race” Mallory expressed scepticism regarding the book if invasions and as an example of how fanciful it is it quoted the part which tells us how the Nemedians sailed from the Caspian Sea all the way to Ireland. Mallory says that this being impossible, the chapter is and example of a later construction which was composed to link the Irish to Scythians and ultimately Christianity. In my opinion this exact chapter certifies that the book of Invasions was compiled from actual old histories. It was later doctored to suit changing ethnic, political and religious needs, but the original material was not an invention but a true description of events that actually happened. 

It seems that a lot of this “Scythian” heritage in Ireland is concentrated in the North of Ireland, in the area which was in the Early medieval times inhabited by people of Cruithin (Pictish) origin. This is also the place where we find Dál Riata and their king Gabran, Raven (or maybe Goat or Horse). In my next post I will talk about Gabran his son Aed dan and their patron saint Golub ban. 

One last thing:

In Irish mythology, the Badb or Badhbh (Pronounced baib, bab) is a war goddess. She is known to cause fear and confusion among soldiers in order to move the tide of battle to her favoured side. In Irish legends, Badb is associated with war and death, appearing either to foreshadow imminent bloodshed or to participate in battles, where she creates confusion among the soldiers. As a harbinger of doom, she appears in a number of different guises, of which the most common are an old hag and a screaming raven or crow. The fact that war goddess Badb appears as a raven is interested considering that raven (bran, vran) was the war symbol of Continental Celts (Gals). Gal actually means Raven in an archaic south Serbian dialect. 
The fact that she appears as an old hag as well creates another very interesting possibility. Baba in Slavic languages means grandmother, old hag. Did baba stone statue get its name from Badb or did Badb get its name from Baba statues? The first Baba statues of this type were found in Ukraine. I wander which part of Ukraine. Was it Galicia….According to archaeological data, Celts came to the Balkans from Galicia. Galician symbol is a raven crow. Badb was one of the Tuatha, the northerners. Ulster, the land of Ulaid was the only place where we find La Tene, central European Celtic artefacts, and this is where we find warrior Scythian Baba statues. 

Does this then put equality sign between Celts and Scythians? La Tene organic designs are predated with exactly the same early Scythian designs….

This could be very important and is definitely worth exploring in more detail…