1 Şubat 2016 Pazartesi




Berel Kurganı - Kazakistan

Specifics of poetics in the "Scythian text"

 In the beginning of the experiment choice fell on the Herodotus story in the book 4, which tells about the message of the "Royal Scythians" to the king of Persians Darius. A resonance of that message is found in Plutarch, who cites a popular among the Alexandrians proverb: "Scythians responded to Persian king Darius, that they wish him grief (to cry)". One of the most well-known "Scythian texts" looks as follows:

"It was repeating frequently until eventually Darius found himself in a difficult position. The Scythian kings, learning about it, sent to Darius a herald with gifts, sending him a bird, a mouse, a frog and five arrows. The Persians asked the messenger what these gifts mean, but he answered, that he was ordered to only to deliver the gifts and reverse as soon as possible. In his words, if the Persians were clever enough, they should understand the meaning of these gifts" (Herodotus, IV, 131)

"Hearing it, the Persians collected a council. Darius believed that the Scythians are submitting to his authority and brought him [as a token of humility] the land and water, as the mouse lives in the ground feeding, like a human, of its fruits; the frog lives in the water, the bird most of all is similar [in speed] to a horse, and the arrows mean that the Scythians drop their resistance. Such an opinion stated Darius. Against it spoke Gobry (one of the seven men who overthrew the magician). He explained the meaning of the gifts thus: "If you, the Persians, do not fly to the sky as the birds, or would not hide in the ground as mice, or would not jump into a bog like frogs, you will reverse back, struck by these arrows" (Herodotus, IV, 132).

Below is shown a first attempt of translation, from the ancient Greek in the Ancient Türkic language, of the "Royal Scythians" message to the Persian king Darius, who set out to a war against the Scythian lands. For the translation are taken only those Ancient Türkic words which, as noted above, are recognized by the world science as the genuine Türkic, and present in the written Ancient Türkic sources before the 13th-14th centuries.

The translation of the explanation given by Gobry, into the Ancient Türkic language gave a predicted result. The analysis of the translation showed that all first syllables of the words belong to the "Scythian word-formation module". Moreover, it turned out that the first syllables of all the words of the text in the translation into the Ancient Türkic language came from the "Scythian word-formation module", as a derivative of the name Kolaksai. In this translation, consisting of 17 words, are 6 variations of the root components:

qal (8 times), qar (5 times), qur (l time), kül (1 time), çül (1 time), çur (1 time).

The text of the "Royal Scythians" message to the Persian king Darius in the explanatory of Gobry, in the Ancient Türkic language looks as follows:

Qali, Qali, qarğa qahqa qal ı masanız,

Qali, qaraqu qarima küliməsəniz,
Qali, qurbağa çülimənə qalimasaniz,
Qalti, çuramlarla qartlanmiş qarşibolmassiniz.

This Scythian message, in translation from the ancient Greek language in the Ancient Türkic, eloquently confirms the forecast about a detection as a first or root component, of the "Scythian word-formation modules". Translation clearly shows the system of the Scythian poetry-forming, and its poetic, lexical and, the most important, logical unity with the Türkic language traditions, Türkic legends, and in particular with the traditions of the known ancient Türkic texts.

In the translation of the message from the "Royal Scythians" to Darius in the Ancient Türkic language was found an unusual for the world poetry phonetic rhythm of the initial syllables, which substantially stands above the known methods, the alliteration and assonance (6).

The rhyming of the first syllables by the "Royal Scythians" represents a phonetic phenomenon which displays an art of execution much ahead of their contemporaries, and of all subsequent generations. With the help of alliteration, assonance, parallelism, internal rhyme, and phonetic repetitions of diphthongs of the first syllables, such as qar-qur-qal, is achieved here a surprising harmony of sounds.

The functional analysis of the Scythian message to Darius, specifically in the translation in the Ancient Türkic language, allows to establish (or, more precisely, to restore) the phonetic features characteristical for an ultimatum. The "Imperial Scythians" widely used the alliteration and rhyming of the first syllables to create a rhythm inherent in the military marches, or the messages containing a threat.

That text was translated from the ancient Greek to the medieval Greek, to English, German, Russian, Persian, modern Türksh, Azerbaijani, and other languages, but not in a single of these languages was achieved such a phonetical-semantical logic of the text, i.e. is displayed a similar rhyme of the first syllables, as comes to light in a case of the translation into the Ancient Türkic. It gives a basis to believe that much of what is stated by Herodotus has been provided to him and his informants by the native storytellers.

The practice of rhyming the initial letters was found in the Ancient Türkic texts given by Malov, and the rhyming of the first syllables was an exceptional phenomenon of the "Scythian texts". But Herodotus and his informants did not perceive it, and it seemed to them to be no more than a minor ornamentation of the legend about the Darius campaign. However, even if the Greek translator (and may be Herodotus himself) has retained the idea of the phonetic phenomenon of the "Royal Scythians" (at least the principle of alliteration, assonance, because to retain the real phonetic background of rhyming the first syllables of all used words is practically impossible), he likely would not manage to retain the effect of the ultimatum articulation at a phonetic level (gal, gar, gor, gur). Only the people related with the "Royal Scythians" can reproduce in a translation all the phonetic harmony of their language.

The responsibility for results of experiment

 Presenting to the scientific community a translation into the Ancient Türkic language of the "Scythian text" and the results of the detected patterns of the Türkic word-formation, we realize clearly our responsibility. In an analogous situation occurred the translator S.E.Malov, recognized all over the world. He too hesitated before daring to offer his translation of the text "Monuments of Kirgizia" called the "Wooden plank with runes" (aka " Achiktash (Talas) plank" - Translator's Note).

Malov wrote: "For a long time I hesitated to recognize the inscription on the plank as the Türkic runes. Only a gradual discertion of the phrase "aşu baş", similar to the extant one in the Tonyukuk inscription, (somewhat) shook my doubts. The reading and translation of the monument done by me are much presumptious. There are new letters with unknown for me values, and considering the general mysteriousness, rebus-likeness of the small runic inscriptions, it all taken together defines the position of my translation attempt. It already became a common rule that the first translations of similar small inscriptions, for example on the Yenisei and Talas monuments, is fast rejected. But however bad these translations are, all of them help the subsequent scientists and bring their share of benefit. And if my this translation would not avoid the usual fate, at least in this publication of a new monument, the reading of which in the (photographic) reproduction here and in the sketch is now accessible for everyone desiring to propose his, truer than mine, translation, and the subsequent researcher would not repeat again my path and would avoid my mistakes" (7). (Malov S.E. Monuments of the Ancient Turkic writing of Mongolia and Kirgizia. M. - L., 1959, p. 68, Fig. 14-18- Translator's Note)

The work submitted by us is the first attempt of such experiment, a comparison of the Scythian and Ancient Türkic languages on the basis of the reverse translation. It is possible that someone would treat with cold skepticism and mistrust both the our attempt, and the results of the experimental test of the hypothesis, and would try to diminish the value and the benefit of our identification. But we believe nevertheless that we have created a certain precedent which can be a stimulus for a continuation of the Scythian-Grecian-Türkic identification based on the Scythian-Türkic reverse translation, i.e. reconstruction of the text to its indigenous language that would help the subsequent scientists, already in the 21st century, to make it more complete and better than us.

Literary traditions of the Scythian epoch

 The "Royal Scythian's" literary works of various genres, likethose of their contemporaries, were transmitted by storytellers, narrators. The abundance of the images in this small work makes possible to draw the analogies with the samples of poetry of the other peoples.

The noted features of the phonetic harmony of the first syllables in the "Scythian text" have an ancient tradition. In the epic legends of that remote epoch were valued much the metaphor, figurativeness, parallelism and technical refinement. The storyteller had to succeed to charm the listener with the metaphors, cascades of unexpected phonetic effects. In the ancient poetic literature, various in its genres, in the hymns to gods and kings, in the love lyrics, in the laudatory songs, the rhythm of a verse frequently was composed with accented syllables.

The rhythm and even the full rhyme of the initial syllables in the "Scythian texts", detected in the process of translation to the Ancient Türkic language, are probably absent in the Greek language. However would Herodotus have wished to reproduce in Greek the precise poetic (phonetic, rhythmic) traits of the "Royal Scythian" language, he could not have done it. It could be only be brought out in a reverse translation of the text onto the indigenous language of the "Royal Scythians", or  in an one of the related languages. In the opinion of the experts, in the Greek literature the technique of alliteration and rhyming of the initial syllables were not developed, tand herefore it is quite possible that Herodotus' informants have not noticed this hallmark of the Scythian message.

Comparison of the poetics in the "Scythian texts" and the monuments of Oguzes

 To corroborate the strength in the confirmation of the Scythian-Türkic language congruity, obviously it is necessary to continue a search for the similarity in the figurative thinking of the "Royal Scythians" and Türks. To confirm the congruity, we shall display one of the most known samples of the Türkic text, contained in the inscriptions of the Bilge-Kagan:

Türük-oğuz beqleri boduni eşidinq,
Üzə tenqri basmasar, asra yir telinmeser, Türük bodun!
Elinqin törönqin kim artatı udaçı erti.
Türük bodun ertin! Ökün! (8)

 Beks (Begs) and the people, Türks-Oguzes, listen!
Until the high sky falls down
Until the land that brought you up have not yawn, 
Who can destroy your land and your descendants, Türks?
Be brave! Learn yourself!

Let's try to compare the poetics of the Scythian and Türkic texts cited above.

These two texts are united by the subject that talks about the destiny of the ethnos, in the case of the "Royal Scythians" it is about the actions of the aggressor menacing them, and in the case with the Türks it is about the actions of inhabitants of the land. The subject of the texts and their addressee is the ethnos (conqueror Persians, "Royal Scythians" reflecting aggression, and the Türks-Oguzes protecting their land). In both cases the sky, the land, and the water participate in the fate of the ethnos. The difference is shown only in the actions of the ethnoses in the fate-deciding situations, as the actions of an aggressor are in one case, and in another the actions are about the fighting spirit of the owners of the land. The "Royal Scythians" advise the aggressor to stop on time his encroachment on the other's land (to fly as a bird to heaven, to hide as the mouse in the ground, and to hop as a frog to a bog), and the Türks-Oguzes owners of the land are offered to protect the land to the end until the sky falls down and the land yawns by the will of the god Tengri.

The poem-composing pattern of the "Royal Scythians" and Türks is identical. It corresponds to the modern white verse.

The comparative analysis of the two statements, which are the classical examples of the mythological thinking of the "Royal Scythians" and the Türks-Oguzes, reveals a complete congruity of the poetic thought of two ethnoses which are distanced in time from each other by the 1100 years ("Royal Scythians" of the 5th c. BC and the Türks of the 6th c. AD).

Comparison of the "Scythian texts" poetics and monuments of Kirgizia

 As was noted above, the text of the Scythian appeal to Darius applied a rhyming the first syllable of the "word-forming module", drawn from the name of Kolaksai. A similar device is found in the Ancient Türkic texts in the group of the Kirgizian monuments called "Wooden plank with runes". S.E.Malov has determined from the surviving part of the inscription that  the text on the plank is "some kind of a traveling staff, a guiding stick". That gives a reason to relate it to the ritual texts. I cite the transcription per Malov:

1. ağıpaşu altım əbəşiq... amidişaçu...
2. əğopa açışın ağuiqipmçip qiçup(?) skmuqç(?).
3. ağıltım-nayazıiç ağızığaşa... ağışəd...
4. açuəğiz aşuaz.

In the text only 14 words are readable. Of them, 12 start with "á" (the other two words, as believes Malov, are distorted); the use of the rhyme of the first syllables looks as follows:

 ağ (6 times) aç (2 times), al, əb, am, aş.

Translation of the text:

1. Having risen, I passed over the top of the mountain. My childhood pals... Opening the vessels now...
2. On the brim (located on the bend, at the edge) knoll (or a stone bullwark, sacrificial pile of rocks).
Helping each other on a new path over the top of the mountain
and reaching the top, thus going over...
3. I came; here's the plain. Passing over an internal gorge (a mouth of the mountain),
the ascention we(ll)...
4. Initiating (the road) and crossing the top, a little...


Translator's Notes
Notes in the text are by the author.
Publication: Заур Гасанов, ЦАРСКИЕ СКИФЫ, (Zaur Gasanov, ROYAL SCYTHIANS) Liberty publishing House, NY, 2002, ISBN 0-914481-61-4 - link

Who is Zaur Hasanov:
Institute of the Archaelogy and Etnography of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan / link
His Works and International Symposium list / link

Eğer kuş olup uçmazsanız, 
fare olup yerin altına girmezseniz ve 
kurbağa olup bataklığa atlamazsanız, 
yurdunuza dönemeyeceksiniz, 
oklarla vurulup öleceksiniz.

İskit Kanatlı Kurt