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Dyaus in the Germanic Weekdays

In his book German Mythology (Deutsche Mythologie) 1 Jacob Grimm documents the ancient entries for the Germanic days of the week, which had been registered in medieval manuscripts and inscriptions. The weekdays' names are known to document the archaic divine names for some of the mayor pagan deities, which may help us to identify the archaic pronouns for several Germanic dialects.

According to Jacob Grimm the Germanic weekdays have been centered around Wednesday, which has been devoted to the principal Germanic deity UUodan 2 , whose name varied from Odin in North Germanic to Wōden in West Germanic and Godan in Lombardic.

Wōden had been flanked 3 by two “sons” Thyr and Thur, who may be considered as etymological twins. Tyr 4 and Thur 5 may even have represented the Y- and U-antipodes of the PIE-sky-god Dyeus' yeu-core.

Both Tyr and Thor have been correlated to the sky-god Dyaus 6 and all three have been memorized in one of the days of the week:

Tuesday: Týr (Old Norse), Tīw, Tīg (both Old English), Ziu (Old High German), Dis (Dutch). This deity has been from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz "God” and correlated to Dyaus. The name Dis had been recorded by Julius Caesar, in Commentaries on the Gallic Wars VI:18, where he says that the Gauls all claimed descent from Dis Pater (Proto-Indo- European Dyeus Phter) 7

Wednesday (In French devoted to Mercury) : Odin: Óðinn (North Germanic), Wōden (West Germanic), *Wōdanaz (Proto-Germanic) (see List of names of Odin for more) 8 . In the Swabian altar the principal deity Odin had been placed in the center, flanked by his sons Tyr and Thor. Wôdanes dag (Wôdan's day) for the fourth day of the week, for in Westphalia it is still called Godenstag, Gonstag, Gaunstag, Gunstag, at Aix Gouesdag, in Lower Rhen. urkunden Gudestag, Günther, 3, 585. 611 (A.D. 1380-7), Gudenstag, Kindlinger hörigk. p. 577-8 (A.D. 1448).-----

Thursday: Thor: Þórr (North Germanic), Þunor (Old English), Thunaer (Old Saxon), Donar (Southern Germanic areas)

1 Edition Göttingen: Dieterich, 1835

3 Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie (supplement – notes to page 105, Swabian Altar), Chapter VI. Götter (“Gods”) p. 127 n. ): On the Roman altar in Swabia, see Stälin, 1, 111. One the circle of planetary gods, Lersch in Jb. d. Rheinlande iv. 183. v. 298-314. The 8 figures on the altar may signify the gods of nundinae. Ther Germ. week has Odin in the middle, his sons Tyr and Thor next to him: Mars, Mercury, Jupiter.

4 Týr (Old Norse), Tīw, Tīg (Old English), Ziu (Old High German), *Tîwaz

5 Þunor (Old English), Thunaer (Old Saxon), Thor (North Germanic), Donar (Southern Germanic areas)

7 In ancient Roman mythology, Dis Pater ("Father Dis") is the ruler of the underworld and is named as such in the sixth book of Vergil's "Aeneid", one of the principal influences on Dante in his depiction of hell.

8 In Old-Saxon/Westphalia Wôdenes Day seems to have been named “Godenstag” and in the lower Rhine region “Gudenstag” (which may be correlating to “God”?)

The derivation of ego-pronouns

Mediterranean ego-pronouns

In the Mediterranean area the days of the week suggest to derive the divine names from the Thursday's names, which result in the following list of vowel sequences as familiar divine names and may have been valid around 100-300 AD 9 :

Simultaneously southern-European Ego-pronouns 10 seem to consist of genuine concentrated vowel- sequences such as 11 :

iu ,

ja, : я (ja),

and Y, I.

Germanic ego-pronouns

For its correlation to the ego-pronouns (in Germanic language mostly “Ih”, respectively “I”) the most important Germanic deities are those which are related to Tuesday: Týr, Tiw, Tig and Ziu. This deity mainly is attested in the Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, skaldic poems and Hadrian's Wall altar.

sdagr,

Finnish ty

In English Wycliffe's ego-pronoun “Y” may correlate to Old-Frisian Ty

ego-pronoun “ Y ” may correlate to Old-Frisian T y stai, Old-Saxon d y nsdais. sdei,
ego-pronoun “ Y ” may correlate to Old-Frisian T y stai, Old-Saxon d y nsdais. sdei,

stai, Old-Saxon dy

nsdais.

may correlate to Old-Frisian T y stai, Old-Saxon d y nsdais. sdei, Old Norse T y
may correlate to Old-Frisian T y stai, Old-Saxon d y nsdais. sdei, Old Norse T y

sdei, Old Norse Ty

The modern ego-pronoun “I” may correlate to Mid.-Dutch disdag, Dissendag, New Frisian tisdej, Swedish Tisdag,, Swed. Lapp. Tisdag 12 .

Although the divine triad Wōden, Tyr and Thur suggest to consider a divine triad-structure the ego- pronouns do not reveal such an equivalent triad-structure or a bipolar IU-structure. The English ego-pronoun “I” and “Y” as well as the old-German ego-pronoun “Ih” seem to be correlated to “Tis” respectively “Dis”.

The Germanic ego-pronouns do not match the general Mediterranean triad-structure ieu, ĵaŭ, and jou, which had been encoded in the weekdays devoted to Thursday (respectively Jupiter).

10 The personal pronoun for the first person singular

12 Appendix: Tuesday in Grimm's German Mythology

Appendix: Tuesday in Grimm's German Mythology

The most important chapter is Chapter. 6 - Gods , from which we retrieve the following entries for Tuesday's names:

German

Old High German: dies Martis, prob. Ziuwes tac (Ziu's day) among Alamanns; in the 11th

cent. Cies dac (Cie's, Zie's day), Gl. blas. 76; (22) prob. different among Bavarians and

Lombards.--

Mid. High German: The former, by a remarkable variation, was in Bavaria named Eritac, Erctac (Tuesday) (the true form not quite certain, eritag in Adelung's vat. hss. 2, 189. ergetag in Berth. 122; see examples collected from urkunden, Schm. 1, 96-7), in Swabia on the contrary Ziestac (Zie's day), for Ziewestac (Ziew's day). Both of these forms, which have nothing to do with each other, live to this day in the speech of the common people: Bav. ierte, Austr. iärta, irita, Vicentino-Germ. eörtä, Alem. ziestag, zinstag, ziestig, zistig, zienstig, zinstag. The insertion of the liquid has corrupted the word, and brought in quite irrelevant notions. In central Germany the form diestag, ticstag (Tie's day?) seems to predominate (diestik in the Rhön), whence our dienstag (less correctly dinstag, there is good reason for the ie); the spelling dingstag (thing's day), as if from ding, thing, judicium, is false; dinstag occurs in Gaupps magdeb. recht p. 272.

New High German: Dienstag (Tuesday).

Old Saxon

The third day was probably Tiwesdag (Tiw's day),

Dutch

Mid.: Disendach, Maerl. 2, 140. al. Dicendach, Dissendach, Cannaert strafrecht, pp. 124, 481 apparently corrupted from Tisdach (Ti's day).

New Dutch: dingsdag (thing's-day), formerly dinsdag, Dissendag.

Old Frisian: Tysdei (Ty's-day).

New Frisian: Tyesdey (Ty's-day).

North Frisian: Tirsdei (Tir's-day).

Anglo-Saxon

Tiwes dæg (Tíw's day).

Skandinavian

Old Norse: Tyrsdagr, Tysdagr.

Swedish: Tisdag (Ti's-day), whence even Finn. tystai.

Danish: Tirsdag (Tir's-day).

Dated

Language

Tuesday-Usage

Ego-pronouns

(reconstructed)

 

Alamannic

Ziuwes Tac, zeistig, zistag, zinstag, ziestig, zistig, zienstig, zeinstig

Iuw, ei, I, ie, ien,

ein

11

th

 

Cies Tac

ie

Century

 

Swabian

Ziestac, Ziewestac 13

Ie, iew

1310

Bavarian

Ierte, Eritac, Erctac, erchtag (1310), erichtag, eretag, Jerta 14

 
 

Austrian

Iärta, Irita 15 ,

 
 

Viventinic German

Eörta, ortä 16

 
 

Central Germany

Diestag, tiestag

ie

 

Rhön-region

diestik

ie

 

Nhd.

Dienstag 17

ien

 

Mnl.

Disendach, Dicendach, Dissendach (from Tisdach)

i

 

Nnl.

Dingsdag (from: Dinsdag, Dissendag), dinxdach, disdag, desdag, disendaighes, disendach,

i

 

Old-Frisian

Tysdei

y

 

New Frisian

Tyesdey, tishdi, tisdej

Ye, ih, i

 

Northern Frisian

Tirsdei

ir

 

Ags.

Tives däg

ive

 

English

Tuesday

ue

 

Oldenglish

tweisdaie

wei

 

Altn.

Tŷrsdagr, Tysdagr

Yr, y

 

Swedish

Tisdag

i

 

Finnish

tystai

y

 

Danish

Tirsdag

ir

 

Swiss

Cinstag

i

1306-

Old-Saxon

Dinstag (1316), dynsdais (1334), dincedagh (1306), dinstdag

i

1447

(1314, dinscdag (1320), dynstag (1315), dingstdag (1332, dynstag (1315), dincsedag, dinxtdag (1447), dynsthedach, dinschedag, dyngstedag, dincsedagh, dinghestedaghes, dingstedaghes, dynstedagehs, dyngesdaghes, dinxstedages, dingstedag, dingesdag

 

Estn.

Teisipääw (2 nd day = “second” day)

 
 

Finnish

tiistai

ii

 

Swed. Lapp.

tisdag

i

 

Norw. Lapp.

mangebarg 18

 

Table 1: Tuesday in Grimm's German Mythology

13 Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, Chapter VI. Götter (“Gods”)

14 Devoted to “Er” - according to Grimm related to “Ares” (“Mars”) and/or “Cor”

15 Devoted to “Ares” (Mars)

16 Devoted to “Ares” (Mars)

17 According to Grimm Dingstag (reference to the root “Ding” (iudicium) seems to be erroneous.