Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2003-07 > 1058743944

From: (jallan)
Subject: Re: An honest question, Re: Annalistic Writing - Ancient Ireland: SCIENCE and MYTHOLOGY -
Date: 20 Jul 2003 16:32:24 -0700
References: <> <> <> <> <>

If one link in a chain of argument is false, then the argument fails.

Curtis Clark may be an excellent biologist and creator of fonts. That
does not mame him knowledgeable about Gaelic.

If you wish to use the tree alphabet, you will have to come to terms
with the fact that Graves' meanings are sometimes dubious and
sometimes wrong, that he even invents a syntactically incorrect name
_nGetal_ and then applies an incorrect meaning to that form.

Since Graves is wrong, Clark's identifications are incomplete and

Here's another link to a site that gives the Graves identifications
but then also idependently the actual meanings of the letter names in

I also point out that Everson's site which supposedly points to all
Ogham references on the web mentions casually of one of Clark's site
(with a dead link): *Natural History of the Trees of the Ogham* Curtis
Clark's list of the Ogham character names with some explanations as to
their meanings. Some errors in the names. See

You are dealing with dirty data, unless you can idependently show that
both that Peter Berresford Ellis translations and commentary is
incorrect and that Graves, who knew no Gaelic, is correct.

Gaelic _tinne_ 'link' is at
traced back to the Gaelic root _tana_. See from Indo-European

See for etymology of _tinder_
which is part of your German complex of spark words.

Attemping to connect these with each other and an attempt to connect
Arabic _tin_, Hebrew _te'en_ 'fig' to either of these seems to me

If you did demonstrate a connection, what would it show?

You still wouldn't know what tree was represented in the Ogham
alphabet or even that it is a tree.

Graves makes _tinne_ mean both "ash" and "holly" for unstated reasons.
What have these to do with "fig"?

In any case, pointing out similarities of individual words in
different languages indictes nothing. There are always words in one
language that seem similar to words in other languages, especially
short words. You need more to prove borrowing.

If you can't establish firmly the meaning of the suppposed tree
alphabet and an early date for it you can't reasonably go any farther.

Jim Allan


"Chris & Tom Tinney, Sr." <> wrote in message news:<>...
> The page I linked to included the reference of
> Curtis Clark, whose Curriculum Vitae is at:
> Refereed Publications
> He has written about Celtic Ogham.
> "When we look at the entire list of twenty ogham
> plants plus common mistletoe, we find only four
> countries that have them all (Fig. 1): France,
> Germany, Switzerland, and Italy." . . . "If one
> were to pick a region where the plants of the
> ogham were best represented, it would be the
> valley of the Rhine River, home of the Iron Age
> La Tène culture that is regarded to be ancestral
> to the Celts."
> Mention is made in your article that [T = Tinne
> claimed as ash and sometimes holly) means a bar,
> rod of metal, ingot etc.] Richard Polwhele mentions
> in his book republished in A.D. 1978,
> The Language, Literature, and Literary Characters
> of Cornwall, Vol. 6, page 95, that the word Tine,
> means "…to light." A Concise Dictionary of Old
> Icelandic, by Geir T. Zoega, lists: Tinna, f.
> means "flint", a spark producing alloy or very hard,
> fine-grained quartz that sparks when struck with steel.
> [See: Flint-working in the Metal Age, an article
> by Stephen Ford, Richard Bradley, John Hawkes
> and Peter Fisher; in Oxford Journal of Archaeology,
> Vol. 3, No. 2, July 1984, pages 157-174. This paper
> considers the relationship between flint technology
> and the development of metalworking in Britain.]
> The concept of light is also carried down in Norwegian.
> The Norwegian English Dictionary, by Einar Haugen,
> Ph.D., published 1985, p. 426, defines:
> tenne V . . . light; fire, ignite, kindle . . .
> set off (an explosion, a mine), start . . .
> switch on, turn on (electric light) . . .
> However Tin is also found in the Index of Arabic
> Names from Moses Maimonides' Glossary of Drug Names,
> translated from Max Meyerhof's French Edition;
> edited by Fred Rosner, Long Island, (New York, USA)
> Jewish-Hillside Medical Center; published 1979 by
> The American Philosophical Society. Moses, son of
> Maimon, (Rambam), in Hebrew, Abu Irran Musa Ibn Maimun
> in Arabic, was born in Cordova, Spain on 30 Mar 1135
> . . . Maimonides turned to medicine as a livelihood
> only after the death of his father in A.D. 1166
> and the death of his brother in a shipwreck shortly
> thereafter.
> Mention is made in the Content of the Glossary of
> Drug Names, that Maimonides excluded from his list
> well known drugs and, of course, those with only
> one name. As examples of the latter one might
> mention: . . . fig (tin) and cantharides (dararih),
> which are often described among the simple remedies
> in Maimonides' medical and theological works, but
> which are lacking in his glossary of synonyms of
> drugs. A fig (tin), is any of several trees or
> shrubs native to the Mediterranean region or
> warm regions, widely cultivated for its edible
> fruit. The sweet, pear-shaped many-seeded
> fruit of this tree is greenish, yellowish to
> orange, or purple when ripe. According to
> The Babylonian Talmud, Vol. 17, Seder Kodashim,
> (Vol. III), Tamid, Chapter II, 13-14, there was
> a connection between frankincense and the fig tree.
> In placing fire upon the Altar in the Temple at
> Jerusalem, what was mostly used were boughs of
> fig trees and of nut trees and of oil trees.
> "They picked out from there some specially good
> fig-tree branches and with these he laid a
> second fire for the incense."
> "In the Index of Arabic Names,
> [These are nearly all the medicamented earths
> introduced into medicine by the Greeks. The Arabs
> faithfully preserved the names, although it was
> impossible for them to procure the earths of
> the Greek island.],
> a listing is given of:
> tin, number 172, listed under Chapter Ta',
> on page 122a, Clay, argil. Argil is clay,
> especially a white clay used by potters,
> from Greek argillos. The Indo-Europeans
> knew metal and metallurgy and silver was *arg-,
> meaning "white (metal)"; Latin argentium, silver.
> Tin was also a malleable, silvery metallic element
> obtained chiefly from cassiterite.
> The Index of Arabic Names continues with:
> tin ahdar, number 249, (at-tin al-ahdar), "green earth".
> tin ahmar, number 238, (at-tin al-ahmar), "the red earth".
> tin el-fil, number 82, tin el-fil, ("elephant fig").
> tin al-akl, number 172, "edible earth", is a white argil.
> tin armalli, number 172, Armenian bole still sold in Cairo;
> a clay earth tinted red by iron oxide.
> tin armini, number 172, "Armenian earth" is a red
> and viscous argil . . .
> (for compresses on fractures which required reduction).
> tin Hawa, number 172, "Eve's earth".
> tin huzi, number 172, "Khouzistan earth", named
> for the province in the southwest of Persia.
> tin ibliz, number 172, is the ancient name of
> the (sour) lime of the Nile (Egypt),
> still used today in compresses.
> tin al-kawkab, number 172, "star earth",
> same as "Samos earth".
> tin mahtum, number 172, Sigillate earth,
> a hydrated peroxide of iron (antitoxin).
> tin misri, number 172, "Egyptian earth",
> the same as Tin ibliz.
> tin naisaburi, number 172, "the earth of Nichapour",
> (Oriental Persia), is a white argil. The custom of
> eating one type of earth still persists in Afghanistan.
> tin Qimuliya, number 172, "cimolite earth".
> tin qubrusi, number 172, "Cyprus earth", similar
> to the "Armenian earth"; a clay earth tinted
> red by iron oxide.
> tin rumi, number 172, "Romaic earth", similar
> to the "Armenian earth"; also called ("Greek earth");
> a clay earth tinted red by iron oxide.
> tin Samus, number 172, "Samos earth", the same
> as "star earth"; Samian earth was very well known
> in European medicine, and used to arrest hemorrhages
> according to the prescriptions of Galen.
> Respectfully yours,
> Tom Tinney, Sr.
> Who's Who in America, Millennium Edition [54th] - on
> Who's Who In Genealogy and Heraldry, [both editions]
> The Genealogy and Family History Internet Web Directory
> has recently been updated. It contains over 5,000 quality
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