- Dawn goddess (Proto-Indo-European)
One of the most important goddesses of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion is the dawn goddess. Her name is reconstructed as Ausōs (PIE *h₂ewsṓs- or *h2ausōs-, an s-stem), besides numerous epithets.
Cognates of *h₂ewsṓs in the historical mythologies of Indo-European peoples include Indian Uṣas, Greek Ἠώς (Ēōs), Latin Aurōra, and Baltic Aušra ("dawn", c.f. Lithuanian Aušrinė). Germanic *Austrōn- is from an extended stem *h₂ews-tro-.
Names and function
The name *h₂ewsṓs is derived from a root *h₂wes / *au̯es "to shine", thus translating to "the shining one". Both the English word east and the Latin auster "south" are from a root cognate adjective *aws-t(e)ro-. Also cognate is aurum "gold", from *awso-. The name for "spring season", *wes-r- is also from the same root. The dawn goddess was also the goddess of spring, involved in the mythology of the Indo-European new year, where the dawn goddess is liberated from imprisonment by a god (reflected in the Rigveda as Indra, in Greek mythology as Dionysus and Cronus).
Besides the name most amenable to reconstruction, *h₂ewsṓs, a number of epithets of the dawn goddess may be reconstructed with some certainty. Among these is *wenos- (also an s-stem), whence Sanskrit vanas "loveliness; desire", used of Uṣas in the Rigveda, and the Latin name Venus and the Norse Vanir. The name indicates that the goddess was imagined as a beautiful nubile woman, who also had aspects of a love goddess.
As a consequence, the love goddess aspect was separated from the personification of dawn in a number of traditions, including Roman Venus vs. Aurora, and Greek Aphrodite vs. Eos. The name of Aphrodite Άφροδίτη may still preserve her role as a dawn goddess, etymologized as "she who shines from the foam [ocean]" (from aphros "foam" and deato "to shine"). J.P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams (1997) have also proposed an etymology based on the connection with the Indo-European dawn goddess, from *abhor- "very" and *dhei "to shine".
Other epithets include Ἠριγόνη Erigone "early-born" in Greek.
The abduction and imprisonment of the dawn goddess, and her liberation by a heroic god slaying the dragon who imprisons her, is a central myth of Indo-European religion, reflected in numerous traditions.
- ^ Mallory (1997:148—149).
- ^ Pokorny (1959) s.v. au̯es- (p. 86f.); ablaut grades ā̆us-, u̯es-, us-.
- ^ Janda (2010), p. 65
- ^ Mallory, J.P. and D.Q. Adams. Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishing, 1997.
- ^ West (2007:226).
- ^ The view of Ushas and the surrounding Rigvedic ritual as a New Year celebration was first suggested by Hillebrandt in the 1920s. The proposal was at the time rejected by critics, but has since become the mainstream view, following a learned defense by Kuiper (1960). See West (2007), p. 225.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Proto-Indo-European religion — The chariot, as a symbol of social rank and military strength but also mythologically as the sun chariot (Trundholm sun chariot pictured, Nordic Bronze Age, ca. 160 … Wikipedia
Celts — Celt redirects here. For other uses, see Celt (disambiguation). This article is about the ancient peoples of Europe. For Celts of the present day, see Celts (modern). Diachronic distribution of Celtic peoples … Wikipedia
Aphrodite — This article is about the Greek goddess. For other uses, see Aphrodite (disambiguation). Pandemos redirects here. For the butterfly, see Pandemos (butterfly). Aphrodite … Wikipedia
History of ancient Tunisia — The present day Republic of Tunisia, al Jumhuriyyah at Tunisiyyah , has over ten million citizens, almost all of Arab Berber descent. The Mediterranean Sea is to the north and east, Libya to the southeast, and Algeria to the west. Tunis is the… … Wikipedia
Slavic mythology — is the mythological aspect of the polytheistic religion that was practised by the Slavs before Christianisation. The religion possesses many common traits with other religions descended from the Proto Indo European religion. Zbruch Idol. Contents … Wikipedia
Hinduism — An article related to Hinduism … Wikipedia
Solar deity — Sun god redirects here. For other uses, see Sun god (disambiguation). Sun Chariot redirects here. For the racehorse, see Sun Chariot (horse). The Trundholm sun chariot pulled by a horse is believed to be a sculpture illustrating the sun, an… … Wikipedia
Ēostre — Ostara redirects here. For other uses, see Ostara (disambiguation). Ostara (1884) by Johannes Gehrts. The goddess flies through the he … Wikipedia
Rigveda — The Rigveda (Sanskrit sa. ऋग्वेद IAST|ṛgveda , a compound of IAST|ṛc praise, verse [derived from the root IAST|ṛc to praise , cf. Dhātupātha 28.19. Monier Williams translates a Veda of Praise or Hymn Veda ] and IAST|veda knowledge ) is an ancient … Wikipedia
Celtic polytheism — Series on Celtic mythology Celtic polytheism Celtic deities (list) Gaelic mythology I … Wikipedia