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About the place-name Ragusa for Dubrovnik

Miroslav Kravar

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 356 Kb

str. 77-87

preuzimanja: 1.461



The search for an etymology of the place-name Ragusa for Dubrovnik has a rather long tradition in the European linguistics. The old and well-known explanation of the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenetos which derived the name at issue — according to him 'Paouaiov or 'Paauai — from Dalm.-Rom. /.aij ‘rock’ has strongly and for a long time influenced the modem research, so among others P. Skok, G. Alessio, A. Mayer and V. Putanec; only E. Qabej presented his own yet a neither phonologically nor semantically plausible solution: Alb. rrush ‘grape’ (as against Alb. Rush ‘Raguse/Dubrovnik’) from suposed *ragus to connect with Gr. QaE,, Gen. gay oc, ‘grape beny’ .
In the preceding paper a new etymological proposal is made. It is based on the readymade Greek adjective Q0.y0V0(0)a < Quyoeaaa, feminine of Qayoeic; ‘full of clefts’ cognate with ¿ayrj ‘cleft’ from the root &ay-/QT]y- (as in of|YVU|j.i, ‘break’ , med.-pass. aor. ¿qq&YTIV); as to the ending -ova(a)a < -oeaoa (i.e. o-stem plus suffix -we(n)t-) it was very widespread in antiquity all over the Mediterranean including the Adriatic Sea itself. Many similar names survive in the area till today. The adjective concerned as an islandname ¿ a y o 0G(a)a viz. vriaog, i.e. ‘island full of clefts’ , corresponds very well to the configuration of the rocky sea-shore of the islet, presumed *'PayoOo(a)a, on whose crags took rise the homonymous city called later also 'Pa(y)auaiov or R(h)agusium. The same would apply mutatis mutandis to Ragusa in Sicily, too. Moreover, the names of the ancient cities o f'Pay a in the eastern Media and of 'Priyiov/R(h)egium in Bruttium were in antiquity associated with the same notion.
Thus the place-name Ragusa < *'PayoOo(a)a as a Greek name points by itself to the
ancient origin of the site.

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