Earlier I interpreted the text se Seg 'this is Saka (Scythians)' from the Western Slavonic calendar as a mark of the east and of the summer solstice. Moreover, this people - the Saka (Scythians) (1) - is known as Sesah in the Bible (the Book of Jeremiah, 25: 19-26): "Here is the list of all the others who had to drink from the cup: [the kings of different states are mentioned]. Every nation of the face of the earth had to drink from it. Last of all, the king of Sesah will drink from it" (Good News Bible 1982: 758; Bibliya 1990: 54). The cup means figuratively the force of God's anger. Actually, Nineveh, the capital of the empire of Assyria, was destroyed by the Scythians in 612 B.C., and the prophet Jeremiah started preaching in 626 B.C.. So he could hear something about the Scythians.
The mysterious record was discovered in a Saka burial (Martynov 1996: 224, figure 8). This text is presented in the figure 1.
The text of Saka consists of the two parts. The upper text has one determinative, the sign of a horse on the right. This text reads p(i)-u-r-u v(e) n-r v(e) l-e-sh HORSE. The first word is comparable with Russian burya 'storm', Sivka-burka (Belyakova 1995: 131) 'fairytale horse' (where the epithet Sivka may be compared with the name of the Indo-Aryan god Shiva). The sign of the Linear A (B) 75 ve is a preposition, cf. Russian v 'in, into, at'. The word n-r, otherwise nar is comparable with Old Church Slavonic naroy 'fury; aspiration'. The term lesh is comparable with Russian loshad' 'horse' and Old Church Slavonic l'shchati 'to shine' (Rjabchikov 1998a: 8). It is known that the horse is equal to the fire in the Indo-Aryan mythology (Propp 1998: 264). I think that the decoded fragment reports about the solar horse (2).
The second fragment of the record reads s-e v(e)-e-r A-n-i p(e)-u-t n-b-e-u 'This is the fire of (the supreme god) Ani = Agni 'Fire', the path though the sky'. Cf. ancient Slavonic se 'this; that', Russian vertet' 'to turn round and round', (solntse)vorot 'motion of the sun', vershina 'top', varit' 'to boil', and Etruscan verse 'fire'. Interestingly, according to the Scythian beliefs, the north is associated with the mountains (Raevsky 1992: 448), cf. the wordplay: Russian sever 'north' and the examined expression se ver 'this is fire/top'. The word n-b-e-u (nabeu) corresponds to Russian po nebu 'through the sky'. The form nab- 'sky' compares with Russian nebo and Old Indian nabhas 'sky'. It is possible that the name of the Scythian god Agin/Agni may have the variant Ani, too.
I conclude that the Scythian religion came from the Indo-Arian one. I am glad that my decipherment of the record of the Phaistos disk is apparently correct!
So the Scythians used the script (almost the alphabet with several syllables and determinatives). This fact concurs with the following data. Saint John Chrysostomus informed in 4th c. A.D. that the Scythians translated the New Testament into the native language (Ebert 1921: 109). Then Saint Cyril (Constantine) received the books of the New Testament and the Psalter written by the Russian letters (lit. rous'skymi pismeny) from a Christian at the Crimea in 9th c. A.D. (Glukhov 1974: 21, figure).
2. See also (Martynov 1996: 225).
Belyakova, G.S., 1995. Slavyanskaya mifologiya. Moscow: Prosveshchenie.
Biliya, 1991, Vol. 2: Dukhovnoe Prosveshchenie.
Ebert, M., 1921. Südrußland im Altertum. Bonn - Leipzig.
Glukhov, A.G., 1974. "V leto 1037...". Moscow: Sovetskaya Rossiya.
Good News Bible, 1982. Glasgow: Collins.
Martynov, A.I., 1996. Arkheologiya. Moscow: Vysshaya shkola.
Propp, V.Y., 1998. Morfologiya/Istoricheskie korni volshebnoy skazki. Moscow: Labirint.
Raevsky, D.S., 1992. Skifo-sarmatskaya mifologiya. In: S.A. Tokarev (ed.) Mify narodov mira. Vol. 2. Moscow: Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya, pp. 445-50.
Rjabchikov, S.V., 1998a. Drevnie texty slavyan i adygov. Krasnodar: Torgovo-promyshlennaya palata Krasnodarskogo kraya.
Rjabchikov, S.V., 1998b. Tainstvennaya Tmutarakan'. Krasnodar: Torgovo-promyshlennaya palata Krasnodarskogo kraya.
Copyright © 1999 by Sergei V. Rjabchikov. All Rights Reserved.
Published 25 October 1999.
Sergei V. Rjabchikov, Krasnodar, RUSSIA.
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