Geographical names (A – Z)

Achelos, Acheln (Leo Gramm., Georg. Amartol., Georg. Mon.; AD 917) – small river near the town ofAnchialo (Pomorie) on theBlack Sea. The name is explained from the IE *kel- ‘water’, preserved in the Lith. hydronym Akkl (lake). It is also compared with the Lydian river name of Achéles, Akéles, the Phrygian akala ‘water’. As identical are given also the name of Achelos of five rivers inGreece. The same Thracian name is hidden in the name of the smallBlack Sea town ofAnchialo, attested by Strabo under the form of Anchiál and by Apian as Anchíalos, which is in fact a Grecized form of the Thracian name, linked with the Greek word anchíalos ‘coastal’.

Aiziké (Steph. Byz.) – part of Thracia. It meant ‘country of the goats’. Compare with the Armen. aic, the Greek aix, from the IE *aig’-. Similar is the origin of the Dacian place name Aizisís (a village inBanat).

*Alaaibria – place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Zeus and Hera – Alaaibrinoi (in an inscription from Thracia). As -bria means ‘town’, the whole name may be explained as ‘a town on *Alaja (river)’, and *Alaja is supposedly a river name, which is identical to the Lith. hydronym Alajà (lake), extended from *ala < IE *ola from the IE stem *el-, *ol- ‘to flow’ in the Lith. aléti ‘to be flooded’.

Altos (Steph. Byz.) – village near Thessalonici. Taking into account its location (in a low-land, periodically flooded by theVardar river), its name (from the IE *Olto-s) must have meant something similar – ‘a flooded place’. Compare with the Illyrian river nameAltus (near Dures), the Lith. river name Altis, the Russ. (from Balt.) river name Al’ta, from the IE stem *el-, *ol- in the Lith. aléti ‘to be flooded’.

Anasamus, Ansamus (in guide-books) – fortress at the mouth of the river Assamus (modern Osm). The name e=an(a) ‘on’, compare with the Avest. ana ‘along, on’, the Greek aná ‘on. along’, the Goth. ana ‘on. towards’ + Asamus.

Angissós (in a literary source) – town in Thracia. The name is derived with the suffix -is- from the IE stem *ank-, *ang- in the Old-Ind. añcati ‘to twist, to bend’, anká-h ‘a bend, a curve’, the Greek ankos ‘a valley, an abyss’, the Church Slavic onkot ‘a hook’. Compare to the Thracian village name of Kuprisos, the river name of Panisas (Panisos), etc.

Angítes (Hdt.) – tributary ofStruma, today Andzhista. The name means ‘bent (river)’ from the IE *ank-, *ang- ‘to bend, to twist’.

Anthium (Plin.), Antheia (Steph. Byz.), today Atija – rocky peninsula to the west of the town ofSozopol on theBlack Sea. The name is explained as a Grecized form (interpreted as the Greek antheion, anthos ‘flower’) from the Thracian *Athija < IE *Akti, related to the Greek akt’ ‘steep banks, peninsula, cape’, found in Greek place names such as Akt’, Aktion, the Pelasg. Atthis, etc.

Antisara (Steph. Byz.) – a town and a port of the tribe of Dateni in the region of the lower course of theStruma and Mesta rivers, near the modern town ofKavala. The name is explained from ant(i) ‘against’, compare with the Old-Ind. ánti ‘opposite, nearby’, the Lith. añt ‘towards, against’, the Toch. ant ‘through’, the Greek antí ‘against, in front of’  +  sara ‘a flow’, the Old-Ind. sara ‘river, stream’, the Pol. river name Sara,  from the IE *sor, Old-Pruss. Sarupe, Latv. Sarija. Its structure can be compared with the Lithuanian place names Añt-alksne (:Aksnas, a lake), Añt-ilge (:Ilgs, a lake), Ant-liede (Lieds, a lake).

Apsinthos, Apsynthos (Dion., Steph. Byz.) – a frontier river and a main settlement of the tribe of Apsinthioi (Hdt.) to the north of the Thracian Chersones (modern Galipoli peninsula); Apsinthis (Apsynthis) (Strab., Steph. Byz.) – the country of the same tribe. The name is linked with apsinthion ‘wormwood’, a word thought to be of Pelasgian origin in the Greek language, or with the Illyrian river name Apsus, derived from the IE *p- respectively *ab- ‘water, river’. My opinion is that it is probably connected with the IE *aps ‘aspen’, attested in the Latv. apse, the Old-Pruss. abse, the Lith. apu, the Pol. osa, osina, Old-HighGerman aspa. Compare with the Old-Pruss. place name Abs-medie, Ans-wangen, the Lith. Ap-lavas (a lake), the river name Ap-riuotis.

*Armula – a place name, reconstructed from Hera’s epithet Armuln in an inscription from theSofia district. Compare to the LIth. river name Armul-ikis , from the Lith. arma ‘swamp, bog’, the river name Arma (inPiedmont), Armit (in Scotalnd).

*Arsela – a place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Sabasios (a Thracian deity) – Arselnos (in an inscription from Nova Zagora). Compare with the river names Old-Pruss. Arsio, Arse, Old-Latv. Arsen, further Arsia (inIstria), Erse < *Ersene < *Arsina (inGermany), etc. – all of them from the IE *ors-, *ers- ‘to flow; moisture’ in the Old-Ind. ársati ‘to flow’, the Hett. ar- ‘the same’. Similar is also the origin of the Dacian place names Arsa, Arsaza, Arsena, Arsila.

Artáns (Hdt.) – a southern tributary ofDanube, in the region of the Jantra river. Compare to the Old-Ind. árdati ‘to flow’, the Greek ard ‘to bedew’, the Lith. river name Ardijà. The same is also the origin of the river name Artáns in Bythinia (Asia Minor).

Artiskos (Hdt.), Artákes or Artakos (Theophan. cont.) – river in the country of the Odrises, a tributary of Marica. The name is derived from the same stem, as the previous entry.

Arzos (Ptol.) – a tributary of Hebros (Marica), today – Sazlijka; Arzon (Prok.), Arzum (Tab. Peut.) – a fortress on the same river. – From the IE *arg’o- ‘white, shining’ in the Greek argós ‘white’, the Toch. A rki-, B rkwi- ‘white’, the Hett. har-ki-i (harkis) ‘white’. The name meant ‘white river’.

Asamus (Plin.) – the modernriver ofOsm. The name was interpreted long time ago as ‘stony river’ from the IE *ak’amo- ‘stony’ in the Old-Ind. asman- ‘stone; sky’, the Avest. asman ‘the same’, the Pelasg. asaminthos ’(stone) bath’, the Lith. akmuo, -eñs ‘stone’. This interpretation fits perfectly to the character of Osm, with stony bed in its upper and partially in its middle course. Compare with Assamum (a town inDalmatia), which was renamed in the middle ages in Larida from the Latin lapis, -idis ‘stone’.

Asermos (in a literary source) – a place in the Thracian Chersones. It means ‘on the river’: from the IE *ad- ‘at, towards’, the Latin ad ‘towards, at’, the Old-Icel. at ‘at, opposite to’, etc.  +  the IE *sermo- ‘stream, river’, compare with the Old-Ind. sárma-h ‘stream’, the Thracian river name Sérm (today Strjama), etc. The place names with a preposition are something common in the IE languages, compare the Latin place names ad Aquas, ad Statuas, Asilva (Prok.) = ad Silcam ‘at the forest’, the Bulg. place names Pri drjana, Pri krushata, etc (in the Sevlievo district).

Aths (Hom., Steph. Byz. and others), Athos (Ovid.), Athn (Hdt., Strab.) – mountain on the Akt peninsula in Chalkdiki. The name is explained from the IE *Akt(n), compare with the Greek akt’ ‘(high, steep) sea coast’, with the IE -kt- being transformed in Thracian into -tt.

Athrys (Hdt.), Ieterus (Plin.), Iatrus (Iord.) – the Jantra river, which is called Etr at Gabrovo, and Jetr – from Trnovo to its mouth by the old, local population. The name is interpreted from the IE *tro- ‘quick, nimble’ in the Old-HighGerman tar ‘quick’, the Latv. atrs ‘quick’, etc. Ieterus is the Thracian form, while the forms with A-,Ia- are Dacian, in which the IE  was transformed into a, ia.

Atlas (Hdt.) – river with sources in Hemus (Stara Planina, the Balkan m-s), a tributary ofDanube between theBlack Sea and Jantra. The name is identical with the Latvian river name Adula, the German river name Attel < Attula (807 AD) from *Adulla or *Adula; Adulas was also called the Saint Gotard pass in theAlps after the rivers there. The Thracian Atlas comes from the older *Atulas from the IE *Adulos. All these form s are derived from the IE stem *ad(u)- ‘stream.

Bairos (Ptol.) – town in Mygdonia (a country to the east of the lower course of theVardar river). The names (the Greek B=v) must have sounded as *Vairos from the IE *Uoiro-s and must be identical with the Lithuanian place name Vaira from the adjective vairùs, vairas ‘spinning’, related to the Swed. vrr ‘a spiral’. From here it can be compared to the Bulg. Vurteshka, Vurtol.

Batkúnion (in Byzantine sources) – fortress in Thracia, on the northern slopes of the Rhodopes near thevillage ofBatkun, Pazardzhik district. There is also another woody place to the north of thevillage ofSkravena, Botevgrad district, near the Preobrazhenski monastery, which is also called Batkun. The exact correspondence is found in the Baltic languages – the Zhematian (from the XVI-th c.) place name Batkunii, in the Lithuanian Batkunu káimas (‘thevillage ofBatkuni’), initially a clan name from the Lith. personal name of Batknas.

Bérs (Steph. Byz.) – town in Thracia. The name is derived from the adjective, analogous to the Lith. b’ras ‘brown, swarthy’, the Latv. brs ‘the same’ – from the IE *bher-. Probably it is derived from the soil colour or it was a river name. Compare the river names in Lithuania Br, Br,  Br-upis, Br-up, in Latvia Br-upe, Berka.

Bérg (Strab.) – village in Bisaltia, today Tahino on the western bank of thelakePrasias (Tahino). This name contains the Thracian word *berg(s) ‘a high place, bank, mountain’ from the IE *bhergho- in the Old-Bulg. breg ‘bank, coast’, Old-Icel. berg, Old-HighGerman berg, German Berg ‘mountain’.

Bergépolis (Steph. Byz.) – town in Thracia. The name has two components: the Thracian Berge- (see the previous entry)  +  the Greek pólis ‘town’.

Bergison (Steph. Byz.) – fortress on the upper course of Hebros (Marica). It is derived from the Thracian *berga(s) with the suffix -is.

Bergúl (Prok.) – town in Turkish Thracia, today Ljule-Burgas. It is derived from the Thracian *berga(s) with the suffix -ula.

Bersamae (G. Rav.) – a village between Anchialo and Kabile, today Ajtos. Probably it comes from the Thracian *berza or *berzas ‘birch’, related to the Lith. béras, the Latv. brzs, Old-Pruss. berse, Russ. bereza, Bulg. breza, etc. from the IE stem *bher()g- ‘to shine, white’. The same is also the origin of the Dacian name Berssovia (a town).

Bólb (Thuk., Strab.) – lake in Mygdonia, today Beshikgjol. The name is identical to a number of Baltic names: the Latv. place names Balvi, Bàlvis, the Old-Latv. Bolva (from *Balv), the Russ. (from Balt.) river name Bolva, the Lith. Bálvis (a lake), the Old-Pruss. Balweniken. The initial common noun *balva had not been obviously preserved, it can be explained from the Lith. balà ‘a swamp’, the Latv. bala ‘a clayey valley’, pl. balas ‘bad, wet soil’. The Thracian Bolb (from the IE *Bholu) instead of *Balva was obviously early Grecized because if its linking with the Greek bólbos ‘onion’, bolbine ‘a type of plant’, etc.

*Bolbabria – a place name, reconstructed from the dweller’s name Bolbabrinoi (in an inscription from Stanke Dimitrov [Dupnica]). The name has two components: Bolba-=Bolb (see above) and bria ‘town’.

Bórmiskos (Thuk.) – a village in Mygdonia, at the outlet of thelakeBolb into the sea. It was probably derived from the earlier form of *Bermiskos and is related with Bermion oros (Hdt.), a mountain in the district ofVerija,Macedonia. It can be explained as derived from a Thracian word, similar to the Old-Icel. barmr ‘a border region’ from the IE *bhermo-, *bhormo-, with the suffix -isk-.

Bredai (Prok.) – fortress in the region of Hemimont, near the modernvillage ofMomkovo, Svilengrad district. It is explained from the IE *bhredh- ‘to wade, to trample’ and probably was identical with the Russ. bred, bredina ‘pasture-ground’, the Russ, Church Slavic bredon bresti ‘to cross by a ford’, the common Slavic brod ‘a ford’, the Lith. brada ‘soft soil’.

Brendice, Brentice (in guide-books) – village in the Gjumjurdzhina (Komotini) district, today Kapdzhilar. The name is derived from the Thracian *brenta(s) ‘a deer’ (see below).

Brentopara (in a Greek inscription) – village in Thracia, probably in the district of Karlovo. It is a two-component name, Brento- is identical to the Messapian bréndon ‘deer’ (Hesych.), from the IE *bhrento-s. Compare also the Latv. bridis ‘deer’, the Lith. bríedis (a loan-word from Latvian), the Old-Pruss. braydis ‘the same’, etc. For the second element -para see below, chapter V.

Burdapa (from an inscription) – village with a sanctuary of the nymphs Burdapnai, today – thevillage ofSaladinovo, Pazardzhik district. A two-component name, meaning ‘ford of a river’: the Thracian *burd- ‘ford’ from the IE *bhd(h)-, the common Slavic brod ‘ford’  +  -apa ‘water, river’, identical to the Old-Pruss. ape ‘water, river’, apus ‘a spring’, the Old-Ind. ap- ‘water’.

Burdenis, Burdipa (from guide-books), Burdepto (Prok.) – station of the left bank of Hebros. The modern Hissar opposite to the bridge over Marica near Svilengrad. The name is a derivative of burd- ‘a ford’.

Burticom (in a guide-book) – village at theBlack Sea, between Apollonia and Tjunias, approximately near the modernvillage ofBrodilovo. A two-component name, the first part Burti-, Burdi- is identical to Burd- in Burdapa (see above); -dizos, -dizon (found also under the form of -diza in place names) means ‘a fortress’ and is related to the Avest. uz-daza- ‘a heaping, a fortification’, pairi-daza ‘a fence’ from the IE *dheig’ho, Old-Pers. did, New-Pers. diz, dez ‘a fortress’, from the IE *dhig’h.

Byzántion (Hdt., Thuk., Ptol., etc.), Byzantium (Liv., Amm. Marc., etc.) – the town Byzantion at theBosporus (later -Constantinople). The name contains an extinct tribal name meaning ‘goats’ with -antes: compare the Avest. bza ‘goat’ from the IE *bhg’o-s, the New-Pers. buz ‘goat’, the Old-Ir. bocc, the Cymr. bwch ‘goat’, etc.

Calsus (in an inscription) – village in Thracia,Stara Zagora district. Its stem is identical to the Latvian place names Kalsi, Kalsi, Kals-Strauts ‘dry river’, from the Latv. kàlst (-stu, -tu) ‘to dry out’. The Thracian Calsus from the initial *Kaltsus < IE *(s)kolt-so- must had meant ‘a dry place’.

Chalástra (Strab., Steph. Byz.), Chalestra (Hdt.) – village at the mouth of theVardar river. It can be interpreted as a two-component one from the IE *Kalo-sro ‘muddy, swampy river’. Compare the first part to the Old-Bulg. kal, the Bulg. kal ‘mud’, etc.; -stra comes from the older *strava, related to the Lith. sravà ‘a stream’, the Latv. strava ‘stream, torrent’, the Greek rhóos ‘stream, river’.

Daphabae (in a guide-book) – village near Adrianopolis (Edirne), today – Tehekan. A composite name which first part Daph- is related to the Lith. dpas ‘a flood’ from the IE *dhapo-s; -abae may be with a secondary -b- from the earlier -apae as in the place name Zald-aba, which also appeared in the form with -p- (Zald-apa). The latter is derived from the IE *p ‘water, river’ in the Old-Ind. p- ‘water’, the Old-Pruss. ape ‘river’.

Dáton, Dátos (Hdt., Strab., Steph. Byz.) – village of the tribe of Edoni near the modern town ofKavala. It is identified with thevillage ofBereketli. Identical to the Alb. datë ‘place, settlement’ from the IE *dht.

Dingion (Prok.) – fortress near Marica. Identical to a number of Baltic place names: the Old-Pruss. Dinge (forest), the Latv. place name Diñgas, Dindzhe (meadow), Ding-upte (stream), etc., interpreted from the Latv. dinga ‘a plant’ and ‘fertile place’, related to the Old-Icel. dyngia ‘dunghill’, the Anglo-Saxon dynge, the Old-HighGerman tunga ‘manuring’.

Dunax (Strab.), Donuca (Liv.), Dinace (in an inscription) – the Rila mountain. The name is derived from the IE *dhnk- and is related to the Anglo-Saxon dun ‘hill, mountain’, the German Düne ‘dune’, the Gal. dnum ‘fortress’ from the IE *dhn-.

Dm (Ptol.), Dimae, Dymae, Demae (in guide-books) – town in Thracia, today – Feredzhik at the lower course of Hebros (Marica). Related names are found in the Baltics: the Old-Pruss. place name Dumen, the Lith. river name Dm, the Latv. place names Dmis, Dmiciems, Dmu-kalns, the Russ. Dima, Dimica (from the Balt. *Duma). All these names are derived from the Lith. dumas ‘dark, dark-brown (for cattle)’, resp. the Latv. dms ‘dark-brown’ – from the IE *dhmo-s. The place name Dimum (Tab.Peut) from the district of Svishtov has the same origin.

Egerica (in a guide-book) – a village in western Thracia, today – Leshta-han near Ihtiman. Egerica is probably a Grecized from *Egerik, an adjective from a local name, which probably sounded as *Vegera. The latter has exact counterparts in the Baltics: the Lith. river name Veger, the Zhemait. (XVI-th c.) Vegera (a river), the Latv. river name Vedzere = ve-dzere from the IE *egera, a derivative from the IE stem *eg – ‘damp, wet’ in the Dutch wak ‘damp’, the Engl. wake. The initial V- disappeared under a Greek influence.

Ereta (Plin.) – town to the south of Odessos (Varna),  at the mouth of Panissos (today – Kamchija). The name is derived form the initial *Vereta, the initial V- having disappeared under Greek influence. The reconstructed form is identical to the Lithuanian river name Veretà, which is derived from the IE stem *er in the Lith. vírti (vérdu, viriau) ‘to boil, to bubble’, the Old-Bulg. vreti vria ‘to boil’. The village obviously got its name from a spring.

Germanía (Prok.) – town in the region of Pautalia (Kjustendil), today – Sapareva banja. The town was situated along theriver ofDzherman, previously known as Germanica (1378 AD), German (1479), from the antique German-. It is explained from the IE *ghermo- ‘warm’ in the Old-Ind. gharmá ‘heat’, the Armen. jerm ‘warm’, the Greek themós ‘the same’. The Thracian village obviously got its name from the river name of *Germana (resp. -as). Similar name is attested in the Baltics: Germona (in a Russian source from 1559 AD).

*Gesia (or *Gesiai) – place name reconstructed from the epithet of Heros – Gsienos (in an inscription from the district of Plovdiv). Similar are the Old. Pruss. place names Gesaw (the Lith. Gesavà), Geyze-lawken, the Latv. Dzêsiens (a swamp), explained from the Old-Pruss. geeyse ‘a stork kingfisher’, the Latv. dzse, dzs(n)is ‘heron, kingfisher’.

Ginula (in an inscription from the district of Topolovgrad, the reading is uncertain) – a region of Thracia. A similar name is found in Old-Kurian (Baltic): “an dem Ginulle-Bache, … den Ginullen-Bache anwärts”; it is explained as ‘a dried out stream’ from the Latv. g’inis, g’inst ‘to spoil’. Compare also the Latv. place name of Gi’nuli.

Háimon (Hdt., Strab.), Háimos (Prol., Steph. Byz.), Haemus (Plin.) – the Balkan m-s (Stara planina). The name is explained from the earlier Thracian form *Saiman (resp. -as) meaning ‘a ridge, a chain’ from the IE stem *si-: si- (sei- : si-) ‘to link’ in the Old-Ind. smán- ‘a ridge, a boundary’, the Irish sm ‘a chain’. The initial S- was transformed in spiritus asper (denoted with H-) under a Greek influence, when the name was interpreted with the identical Greek haimós ‘thicket, brushwood’. The old name of Haemus was preserved in the Bulgarian dialects as Im(-mountain); it is also preserved in the name Emine-burun – a cape on theBlack Sea.

Harmonia (Hierokl., Synekd.) – village to the east of the middle course ofVardar. It is supposed Harmonia is a Grecized form of some Thracian name – *-Armonia or *Armania (compare the village name of Germanía, formed from a river name with the suffix -i). As such it can be compared with the Lith. river name Armona, Armenà, from the Lith. armuõ, -eñs ‘a swamp, bog’, arma ‘the same’; for more related names see above under *Armula.

Harpessós (App.) – river in Thracia, a tributary of Hebros. It can be reconstructed as the Thracian *Varpassas (resp. *Varpatas), which was interpreted in Greek as *Arpsos and received the initial H- after words such as the Greek hárpax ‘predatory’, hárpe ‘a falcon’. Related to the Thracian name are the Latv. vrpats ‘whirlpool’, the Lith. varpti (-pa, -pia) ‘to dig’ as well as a number of Baltic place names: the Old-Pruss. Warpen, Warpunen, the Lith. river names Vape, Varputs, Várpapievis, etc.

Hebros (Hdt., Thuk., Eurip., etc.), Hebrus (Plin., Verg., Ovid.) – the modern Marica river. The old name is preserved in the upper course as Ibr and also in the village name of Poibrene, Panagjurishte district. Other identical names are: Ibar,Morava’s tributary inSerbia, the Old-Bulg. Ibr; Ibr, Teterev’s tributary in theNorthern Ukraine nearKiev; Ibru (river) inRomania. The Bulg. Obr and the Serb. Ibar are derived from an earlier form *Ibr. Apparently, it was an identical form in various IE l-s – Thracian, Illyrian, Dacian, etc. As the short e in foreign names cannot produce -i- in Bulgarian, Serbian, etc., we must assume the Greek rendering with e was incorrect, living aside the added initial H-. The forms Ibr, Ibar, Ibr can be derived: from the IE *Eibhro-s, assuming the diphthong ei was monoftongisied in Slavic in a long i; or from  the IE *Jbhro-s, leading to the Slavic *Jbr = *Ibr. The Thracian name obviously had a diphthong in the beginning. It can be supposed it is derivative from the IE stem *eibh- in the Pelasgian (pre-Greek) eib ‘to drip, to spill’ and ‘to flow’, which looks plausible for a river name. Nonetheless the interpretation of this name is still unclear.

Id (Skyl.) – town in the Thracian Chersones (Galipoli). It is explained form the IE *idhu- ‘a tree’ in Old-Ir. fid, Genitive fedo ‘a tree, trees, forest’, the Old-Icel. vidr ‘forest, trees, a tree’, the Old-HighGerman witu, wito ‘a tree’. The initial V- disappeared under a Greek influence.

Idakos (Thuk.) – another village in the Thracian Chersones. From the initial *Vidak-, a derivative of the IE *idhu- ‘a tree’ (see the previous entry).

Ilion (Steph. Byz.) – town in SE Thracia. The name is explained from the IE *l-, *lu- ‘mud, slime’ in the Greek ls, -os ‘mud, slime’, the Church Slavic il ‘mud’. Compare also with the Old-Pruss. river name Ilie.

Iuras (Plin.) – river in the Strandzha mountain between Samjudesos (Midija) and Tjunias (Kap-Inead on theBlack Sea). The name is identical with the Lith. river names J’ra, J’r, J’r-upis, the Zhemait. (XVI c.) river name Jura, etc. The correspondent common nouns in the Baltic l-s – the Lith. jra, pl. jros, jrs, the Latv. jra, jre, pl. jras, the Old-Pruss. Accusative jrin – mean ‘a sea’.

Kabl (Harpokr., Demosth., Ptol.; in inscriptions), Cabyle (Eutrop., Amm. Marc.) – town in Thracia, to the NE of the modernvillage ofIzvor (previously Tavshantepe), the Jambol district, at the bend of Tundzha. The place is flooded by the high waters of Tundzha even nowadays. Opposite to thevillage ofZavoj Tundzha is joined by a large tributary, called in Turkish Azmak = ‘bog, swamp’. Taking into account the geographical context, Kabyl can be compared with the English quab, the Norw. dial. kvapa ‘to pour a liquid’. An exact counterpart is found in Old-Pruss – the river name Cabula (instead of *Gabula), attested in 1273 AD. These names are derived from the IE *Gbhul from the stem *gebh-, which contains the cited above English and Norwegian words.

Kalíndonia, Kalíndia (Ptol.) – town in Mygdonia. The name is related to the Old-Pruss. Galindo (a place name, from 1231 AD) and the tribal name Galindai, attested by Ptolemeus. Compare also with the Old-Pruss. Galynde (forest), Galinden (a village), etc. These name are derivatives from the Lith. gãlas ‘end, border of a field, meadow or forest’, the Latv. gals ‘environs’ – from the IE *golo-s. Compare to the semantic parallels in Bulgarian: the place names Krajna, Krajno selo, Kraishta, etc.

Kapistúria (Prok.) – fortress along the upper course of Hebros, near Bessapara. It meant ‘hilly country’: Kapi- is related to the Latv. kãpa, kãpe ‘long mountainous strip, dune, slope’, the Lith. kopà ‘sandy hill’; -sturia comes from the IE *stri ‘country, environs’, compare with the Old-Bulg. strana from the Proto-Slavic *strn, the Bulg. pro-stor, the Old-Bulg. prostereti ‘to extend’. Compare structurally to the Old-Pruss. place name Kappe-galin, the Latv. Kapas-gals, the Lith. Kap-lava.

Keiris (Dio.) – cave in western Hemus. The name was rendered in Greek as Keiris (with ei-i) and must have sounded in Thracian as *Kiris, which was probably the Thracian word for ‘mountain’ or ‘forest’, related with the Old-Ind. girí-h ‘mountain’, the Avest. gairi- ‘the same’, the Lith. girià, the Zhemait. gìré ‘forest’, the village name Gires káimas, the Latv. dzira, dzire ‘forest’ – from the IE *gr(i)-. That a cave can be named after a neighbouring mountain or a hill is evident from modern names, such as Magurata, a cave near the village of Rabisha, Belogradchik district, which name = the Rom. magura ‘hill’, a loan-word from Slavic, from *mgyl. Related to the Thracian Keiris (=Kiris) is also the Dacian Giri- in the place name *Giri-dava, reconstructed from a dweller’s name of Giridavenses (in an inscription from the Pleven district), ‘a mountain or forest town’ as in Ziri- (with Z- from g) in the village name Zirí-daua (Ptol.), a town in Thracia.

Keirpara (in an inscription from the Goce Delchev district) – village, identified with Ciropol (today – Gospodinci) near the town if Goce Delchev. The name is rendered in Greek as Keirpara (with ei=i) and must have sounded *Kirpara in Thracian. The first component Kir- comes from kiri-, ‘mountain’ or ‘forest’ (see the previous entry) and -para ‘village’. Structurally and semantically, Keirpara is similar with the Latv. Dzir-ciems = dzira, dzire ‘forest’ and ciems ‘village’.

Kellai (in an inscription), Cillae, Cillium (in guide-books) – station near Chirpan, to the north of Hebros. The name is compared with the Old-HighGerman quella, the German Quelle ‘a spring’ from the IE *geln. Similar is also the origin of the name of the station of Kelle on the Roman road Via Egnatia inMacedonia.

Kripárn (Prok.) – fortress in Hemimontus. The name was rendered Kiripáron in Greek and is identical to that of the previous entry.

*Kersula – a place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Zeuz – Kersullos (in an inscription). Compare with the Lith. place name Kerulikiu káimas, probably from the Lith. kerulis ‘wood-pigeon, cushat’, derived from the Lith. kéras ‘with black and white dots’ from the IE *k()er()so-s ‘black’.

Kurpisos (in an inscription) – village in Thracia, probably in the Chirpan district. The name obviously contains the suffix -is- and kurp and is related to the Lith. place name Kurp kámas, Kurpu-laukis, the Latv. Kaz-kurpe, Kurpes-grvis, Kurp-kalns, etc., explained from the Lith. kupti (-iù) ‘to dig’, similar to the Russ. korpat’ ‘dig around’, the Ukr. korpati ‘to dig’ from the Proto-Slavic *krpati. From the same stem are also the Bulg. village name Krpec and the Croat. Krpec.

Kurtuxura (Prok.) – fortress north of Hebros. A two-component name which must have sounded *Kurtuzura in Thracian, meaning ‘a forest stream’. It is related to the Old-Pruss. korto ‘grove’ (from the Baltic *kurt), the Greek krtos ‘a tangle of reed’; -zura=*sura ‘current, stream’, compare the Old-Ind. sir’ ‘current’ from the stem *ser- ‘to flow’, compared with -sura in the Thracian village name Kará-sura (Prok.), a fortress in Thracia.

Kpsela (Strab., Ptol., etc.) – town on the lower course of Hebros, today – Ipsala. The Thracian name must have been *Kupsela, related to the Lith. kupslis ‘heap, small hill’, compare with the place names in Lithuania Kupliai, in Latvia – Kupei.

Lingos (Steph. Byz.) – fortress of the tribe of Potidei. The name is identical to the Latv. place name Lingas; compare also with the Latv. place names Lingi, Ling’i, Lingas-dik’is, the Lith. Ling, Lingenai, the Zhemait. (XVI-th c.) place name Lingi, the Old-Pruss. Ling-war. All these names contain the reduced *lg of the IE stem *leng- in the Lith. léng ‘lowland, a meadow in a lowland’ the Old-Bulg. long, the New Bulg. lg ‘meadow’, the Russ. lug, etc.

Markéllai, Markela (in Byzantine sources) – village in Thracia, on the left bank of the Mochurica river (previously – Azmakdere), today – the ruins Karnobatski Hissar near Karnobat. It is supposed that the name contains the name of the upper course of that river: Marcil (Marsil, Mrsil). Probably Markellai is a derivative of the original river name. Similar names are found inLithuania – Marklis (a lake), Markelne (a river). They are derived from the Lith. markà ‘a pit for steeping flax or hemp’, the Pol. river name Mrocza, the Bulg. Mraká(ta) (a place in SW Bulgaria), the Old-Lith. river name Mark-up (in a Russian source), the Old-Pruss. place name Marken.

Meldia (in a guide-book) – station between the modern towns of Slivnica and Dragoman, NW of Sofia. Counterparts of this name are found in the Baltics: the Lith. river name Med, Meldínis (a lake), the Latv. place name Meldine, Medini, the Zhemait. place name Meldi-kvirshe, Meldini, the Old-Pruss. Mildio, Mildie (a stream), etc. All these name are explained from the Lith. meldà, méldas ‘marsh reed’ , the Latv. meldi ‘reed’, related to the Old-HighGerman melta, the Anglo-Saxon melde, etc., from the IE stem *meldh-.

*Msypa – place name, reconstructed from the dweller’s name Msypnoi (in an inscription from the Karlovo district). The name is derived from the IE *Ms-up ‘mossy river’: from the IE *mso-s in the Old-HighGerman, Anglo-Saxon mos ‘moss, swamp’, the Old-Icel. mosi ‘the same’, the Lith. msai ‘mould on yoghourt’, the river name Msys, the Church Slavic mh ‘moss’, etc.; the second component upa = the Lith. ùp ‘river’, the Latv. upe ‘river, stream’.

Mygdonía (Thuk., Ptol.), Mygdonís (Strab.), Mygdonia (Plin.) – region along the middle and lower course of Ehedoros (Galiko) down to the sea, to the east ofVardar. These low-lands contain a number of swamps, that is why Mygdonia may be interpreted as ‘swampy country’ from the IE *Mko-ghdhm, the first component being related to the Latv. muka ‘swamp, where one can sink’, mukls ‘swampy’, the Lith. muklìs ‘damp, swampy’, compare with the Lith. river name Mk, the Zhemait. river name Muka, Mukja, the Latv. place name Mukas, etc.; the second component is related to the Greek chthn ‘soil, land’, the Old-Ir. du, (Genitive) don ‘place, country’, etc. Compare also the Thracian place name Rumbo-dona.

Néstos (Hdt., Thuk., Arist., Strab., Mela, etc.) – the river Mesta. The name is explained from the initial *Nettos  from the IE *Ned-to-s from the IE stem *ned- in the Old-Ind. nádati ‘rumlble, roar’, nadi- ‘river’, the Old-Ir. nes ‘river’, the river names Neda inGreece  (Arcadia), Nedn (inMessenia). Similar is also the origin of the river names Nestos inDalmatia and at theisland ofParos. As early as Plinius (I-th c. BC) recorded the form Mestus, II-III-th c. AD coins have ‘Mestos’ which was adopted by the Slavs, who, however, changed the gender (–> Mesta) following that of the common noun reka. Most probably the Greeks gave a new meaning to the initial Nestos from the Greek adjective mestós ‘full’ (e.g. in the expression mestós hdatos ‘full with water’). The earlier form was preserved in the name of an upper tributary of Mesta – Nestenica.

Oskios (Thuk.), Skios (Hdt.), Oiskos (Ptol.) Oescus (Plin.), Hiscus, Uscus (Iord.), Iskos (Hierokl. Syn.), Yscos (Cod. Theod.) – the modernriver ofIskr. The name is usually linked to the Old-Ir. u(i)sce ‘water’, the Old-Cymr uisc, the Irish esc ‘water, bog, swamp’ – from the IE *udesko-.  …

Ostaphos (Ptol.) – town in the eastern part of Haemus, between Nicopolis at Haemus and Valla. The name has two components: the Thracian *Ost-aphos, resp. *Ust-aphus (or -apha) from the IE *ust-po-s (or -ap). The second component is the already known word, related to the Old-Pruss. ape ;river’, and the first one can be explained from the Baltic river names: the Lith. Uõstas, stas (a lake), the Latv. Uost-upe, ost-up (compare also with the place name Ust-upi) – from the Lith. úostas, uostà ‘river mouth, harbour’, resp. the Latv. uosts, uosta ‘the same’, related to the Old-Bulg. oustie ‘river mouth; mountain pass’, the Latin ostium ‘river mouth’. Structurally the Thracian name is identical to the Latv. Uost-upe. Astaphos – the form given by Procopius (with an initial A- instead of O-) came under the influence of the Greek ásty ‘town’.

Ostudizos, Ostodizos, Ostidizos (in guide-books) – station SE of Adrianopolis (Edirne), today – Hafsa in Turkish Thracia. A two-component name meaning ‘town at the (river) mouth’). Ostu- is identical to Ost- of the previous entry, for -dizos ‘fortress’ see above under Burtudizos.

*Paisula – place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Zeus – Paisulnos (in an inscription from the Kavala district). The name is composed of a suffix -ul and a stem which is related to the Lith. paiai ‘soot’; compare it with the Baltic place names: the Old-Pruss. Paissyn, the Lith. Paieliai.

Palae (in a guide-book) – village at the middle course of Hebros, west of the town ofHarmanli. The name is identical with the Lith. river name Palà, from the Lith. pãlios (pl.) ‘big swamp, bog’, related to the Latv. paas, pai ‘swampy banks of a lake’, the Latv. palus ‘swamp’, the Old-Ind. palvalá- ‘swamp, bog’, the river name Palis, a right tributary ofTiber inItaly.

Palma (in an inscription) – village in the Philippoplis (Plovdiv) district. The name has nothing to do with the Latinpalma ‘palm-tree’. It is Thracian and derived from an initial river name, related to the Russ. Palma (a river in the Dnepr basin) which is thought to be Baltic in orogin. Compare also to the Lith. river name Palmins, the place name Palmajos káimas, the Latv. river name Pamuota. The name, most probably, was built of the IE suffix -ma and a stem, which is also presented in the Lith. river name Palà, pãlios (pl.) ‘bog swamp, bog’, etc. (see the previous entry).

Panax, Accus. Panaka (Kantak.) – river in the region of Pangeus (today Putnardag). The name is explained  as a derivative from the IE *pon(i) in the Goth. fani ‘silt’, the Old-Icel. fen ‘swamp’, the Old-Pruss. pannean ‘swamp, quagmire’, the Gal. anam (Accus.) ‘swamp’; compare to the Old-Pruss. place names Panyen, Panyn (a swamp), the Russ. river name Ponja (from the Baltic *Pan), etc.

Panion (Suid., Const. Porphyr.) – town in Propontida (the Sea of Marmara). From the Thracian *Panian, identical to the Old-Pruss. pannean ‘swamp, quagmire’ (see the previous entry).

Panisas (Plin., variants: Pannisis, Panisa, Panissa) – coastal river in the region Tjunias in Turkish Thracia. The name is a derivative with a suffix -is- of the Thracian *pan(i) ‘swamp, bog’ (see for detail under Panax).

Pannysis (Plin., Variants: Pannisis, Panysis, Panysus), Pans(s)os (Ptol.) – the modern Kamchija river; Pannisus (Tan. Peut.) – station on the Kamchija river. The name is identical with the previous one.

Pautalia (Ptol. Steph. Byz.; in inscriptions) – town of the tribe of Danteleti, the modern town of Kjustendil. Structurally the name is similar to the Latv. place name Pauteli, formed from *pauta, which is present in a number of Baltic names: the Old-Pruss. Pauta (a river), Pauten (a lake), the Lith. river name Pat-upis, the Latv. river name Paut-upte, Pautu-strauts, etc.; these names are related to the Lith. putà, pl. pùtos ‘foam, froth’, putóti ‘to foam’, the Latv. putas ‘foam’ from the IE stem *peut-: *put-. Having in mind that Kjustendil is situated on a river (Banshtica), in a place with many hot springs, it can be assumed Pautalia was derived from an original river name of *Pautala(s), Pautela(s) or similar, meaning ‘foaming (river)’. Further support offers another river name with the same meaning – the river name of Pena (‘foam’), a left tributary of the upper Vardar.

Périnthos (Hdt., Ptol.), Perinthus (Liv., Plin.) – town on Propontida in Thracia, today Heraclea, the Turkish Eregli. The name is probably an extension with the IE suffix -nt-, resp. -ent- of the stem *per(u)- ‘a rock’, in the Hett. peruna- ‘a rock’ and the Old-Ind. párvata- ‘a mountain’ – the IE *per-to-. A genetic link with the name of the Bulgarian mountain of Pirin (Perin) is doubtful.

Pizos (in an inscription and in guide-books) – village in Thracia, today – Jastreb, the Chirpan district. The initial form must have been *Pisus (-as) with the sounding of the invervocal -s- as -z-, a characteristic peculiarity of the Thracian language. Related to this name are the Old-Pruss. Pissa, Pissen (a lake and a river), Pisse (a lake and a village), the place names Pyse-kaym, Pise-lauk, the Latv. Pisa ezers (a lake). The stem is preserved in Latvian: psa from the IE *pds ‘a bog, where only small birch or spruce trees can grow’, related to the Greek pisea (pl.) ‘damp place, meadows’.

Poltymbría (Strab., Steph. Byz.) – the modern town of Enos on the Aegean coast of Thracia. A two-component name: Poltym- = póltyn ‘fence of boards, a fortification of beams and boards’, and bria ‘town’.

Prasiàs límn (Hdt.) – the modern Tahino lake on the lower course of the Struma river. It is a Grecized form from the Greek práson ‘onion, leeks’, the original Thracian name must have been *Prausias or similar – a word related to the Lith. prasti (prausiù, -sia) ‘to wash’, prausns ‘washing’, the Latv. prauslât ‘to spray, to sprinkle’, the Bulg. prsna, prskam ‘the same’, the Old-Ind. prusnoti ‘to sprinkle’; compare also the Lith. river name Praustuv, a derivative of prausta ‘washing’. The lake was called ‘washing’ its banks.

Pupe(n)sis vicus (in an inscription) – village in the Philippopolis (Plovdiv) district. The name was Latinized: vicus is ‘a village’, and Pupe(n)sis is a Latin adjective from the local place name *Pupa, -as or *Pupai. Counterparts of the latter are found in the Baltics: the Old-Pruss. village names Pup-kaym (-kaym = Old. Pruss. caymis ‘a village’), Paupayn, the Lith. Pupi káimas, Pupin, the Latv. Pupa (a place), explained from the Lith. pupà ‘beans’, the Latv. pupa ‘the same’. The Bulg. village names Bobov dol, Boben, Bobishta has the same meaning. The Albanian pupë ‘a hill’ offers an alternative explanation. The local geographical context is, however, unknown and the both interpretations are possible.

Purdae (in a guide-book) – village in Aegean Thracia, NW of the Mesta mouth, today – the village of Sarushaban. Related names are the Old-Pruss. Porden, Purde (a lake), the Zhemait. (XVI-th c.) Purdjaknis Popelki – from the stem *purd- ‘damp’, wet’, in the Latv. purdui ‘a snivel’, related to the Greek pardakós, pordakós ‘wet, damp’.

Pusinón (Prok.) – fortress in the region of the Hebros river. Related to the Lith. place name Puin, Puyno káimas, the river name Pusyne, the Zhemait. Pushina (a stream), Pushine (meadows), etc. – all from the Lith. punas ‘spruce forest’, from the Lith. puìs ‘spruce’.

*Raimula – place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Apollo – Raimullus (in an inscription). The name is obviously formed with the suffix -ul from a stem, related to the Lith. ráimas (raimas) ‘motley, particoloured’, as the Jatvig (Balt.) place name Raimoche (1265 AD).

Rhakúle (Prok.) – fortress in Hemimontus (a region between Anchialo and Adrianopolis). The name is related to the Lith river name Rãkija, the place name Rakavos káimas, the Old-Pruss. place name Rok-lawken, Rocke, etc., from the Lith. ràkti, ra(n)kù, rak(i)a ‘to dig out, unearth’, the Latv. rakt, rùoku ‘to dig’, rakât ‘to dig’. The name meant ‘a gully’.

Rhamae (in a guide-book) – village in Thracia near the modern village of Ljubimec, NW of Svilengrad. The name is related to the Old-Pruss. river names Ramio, Rammenflys, the Lith. Rãmis (a lake), the river name Ramùne, etc., from the Lith. ramùs ‘quiet, silent’.

Rhodópe (Hdt., Thuk., etc.), Rhodopa (Thepkr.), Rhodope (Verg., Ovid., Plin.) – the Rhodope m-s. The name is explained from an initial river name (probably the modern Dospatska river) and is identical with the Lith. river names Rùd-up, Rd-up, the Latv. river name Rud-upe, the Zhemait. (XVI-th c.) river names Rudupja, Rudup, the place name Rudupi, etc. – all from the Lith. rùdas (from the IE *rudho-s) ‘reddish, ruddy, dark yellow’ and the Lith. ùp ‘river’. It is quite common when a river name becomes also the name of the mountain. It is known that the name of the Rila mountain was also originally a river name – the modern Rilska river was previously called Rila, from the Bulg. verb rija ‘to dig’.

Rhusion (Hierokl. Synekd.) – another name of the ancient town of Topejra on the eastern bank of the Mesta river above its mouth. The name can be compared with the Old-Pruss. place names Russe (a village and a swamp), Russien, Ruse-moter, etc., which are explained either from the Lith. rss (and rúsas) ‘a pit for potatoes; cellar, basement’, the Latv. rsa ‘a pit’, or from the Lith. verb rus’ti ‘to flow slowly’. The latter fits better to the names of rivers, such as the Old-Pruss. Russa.

Rumbodona (in a guide-book) – village in Aegean Thracia, today – Geniseja (before Enidzhe). A two-component name: Rhumbo- is identical  to the Latv. Ruba, a main tributary of the Dvina river, the place names Ruba, Rub, Rubas, the Latv. place name Rumbai, etc., from the Latv. ruba ‘waterfall, river rapids (on Dvinam Vindau)’, related to the Lith. rubas, rùmbas, rumbà ‘periphery’, from the IE *rb(h)-; the second component -dona is related to the Old-Ir. d, (Genitive) don ‘place, country’, the Greek chthn ‘soil, land’, from the IE *ghdhm.

*Saldokela – the name of the source (a spring) of the Panega (Zlatna Panega) river, reconstructed from the epithet of Asklepius – Saldokelnos in an inscription from Glava Panega. The name is explained as ‘golden spring’ in connection with the greenish (greenish-reddish) shade of the colour of the water of the spring: Saldo- is derived from the IE *g’holto- ‘gold, golden’, assuming that the Greek – denoted the Thracian z (there is no confirmative evidence, however) and -kela ‘a spring’ from the IE *geln, which also appears in the village name of Kellai.

Sárt (Hdt., Steph. Byz.) – town in the eastern corner of the Sitonia peninsula, the modern Longos in Chalkidiki. The name is identical with the Lith. river name Sat, Sartà, the Latv. Ste or Srt-upe, the Zhemait. river name Sarta, the place name Sarti, etc., from the Lith. satas ‘light red (for horses)’, the Latv. sarts ‘red (for the face), fresh’. The Thracian name was obviously derived from the soil colour.

Scretisca (in a guide-book) – village between Meldia and Serdica, near the modern village of Kostinbrod. Both the stem and the suffix of this name are identical to the Lith. place name Skrtik, which is part (in Genitive) of the name Skrtiks eras (a lake). They are formed from the Thracian suffix -ik-, the Lithuanian -isk- from the stem *skret- ‘a circle’; compare with the Lith. skret ‘a (round) disk’, skrìt ‘circumference’.

*Seietovia – place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Zeus – Seietovien[us] (in an inscription from southern Bulgaria). The name is probably related to the Lith. river names Sietuvà, Situvas, the Zhemait. Setuva – from the Lith. sietuvà (dial. situva) ‘a deep place in the river, pool, pit’ from the IE *seit, resp. *seito. Compare also with the Illyrian place name Setovia (in Dalmatia). The Thracian *Seietovia sounded initially as *Seiatovia (through a vocal assimilation e-a > e-e) from the IE *Seito.

*Seinulaza(s) – place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Heros – Seinulazis (in an inscription from Plovdiv). The epithet can be explained from an initial dweller’s name ending in -ijas, resp. -ijis from a place name. Compare the correspondent formation in Lithuanian: medijas ‘a hunter’ (initially ‘a forest dweller’) from the Lith. mede ‘forest’, Seirìjis (a lake), derived from the river name Seirà. The Thracian *Seino-laza(s) probably denoted a ‘village (settlement) *Laza(s)’: Seino- from the IE *kþeno, related to the Armen. en, (Genitive) ini ‘village’, the Greek (Rodoss) króin ‘place of residence’ – from the IE *kþon; the second component -laza(s) is related to the  Serbo-Croat läz ‘a clearing in the forest’, the Russ. laz ‘animal pathway to a river (lake)’, lazina ‘forest glade, clearing’, the Latv. laza ‘a camp’, from the IE stem *leg’h. The Slavic and Baltic derivatives on this basis are well known.

*Skina – a place name, reconstructed from the dweller’s Skinnos (in an inscription from the Stanke Dimitrovo [Dupnica] district). The name is identical to the Lith. river name kn, a derivative from the Lith. ‘kas ‘recently mowed down grass; hay’, related to the Latv. sêks ‘the same’ – from the IE *k’eko-. Compare semantically with the Bulg. village name Senovo, the Slovenian Senovo, the Serbo-Croat Senovac.

Sérm (in a literary source), Syrmus (Plin.) – the modern river of Strjama, a left tributary of Marica. Identical in the basis are the river names from Lithuania Séemas, from Poland S’rem – from the IE *sermo- ‘river, current’ in the Old-Ind. sárma-h ‘current’.

Sérm (in a literary source) – village SE of Thessalonici, attested in the later, Grecized form of Therm (Strab.) The name is identical to the previous one.

Sílta (Strab.) – village in south-eastern Thracia near Aphrodisia, the modern Siltikjoj. Baltic counterparts of this name are: the Latv. place names Siltie, Siltums, Siltine, the Lith. river name it-upis, which are explained from the Lith. itas ‘warm, pleasant’, resp. the Latv. sìts ‘warm’, related to the Cymr clyd ‘warm, warming’  – from the IE *k’to-. The Thracian Silta meant ‘a warm place’.

Síndos (Hdt.), Sinthos (Steph. Byz.) – town between Therme and Halastra (at the mouth of Vardar). Probably an initial river name, related to the Old-Ind. síndhu- ‘river’, the Old-Pers. hindus, the Avest. hapta hindava, the river name from Asia Minor Indus (form *Hindus), the place name Sinda, a town in Pisidia on the upper course of Indus.

Síngos (Hdt., Ptol., Strab., Steph. Byz.), Siggos (Plin.) – town on the eastern coast of the Sitonia peninsula in Athon. The name meant ‘collapsed, low place’ from the IE *sgo-s towards the IE stem *seng- ‘to fall, to sink’ in the Goth. sigqan, the Old-HighGerman sinkan, the German sinken ‘to sink, to fall’, the Anglo-Saxon shte ‘swampy’ (from the German *sinthi-), the German seicht ‘shallow’. The same is also the origin of the first component of the Dacian place ame Singí-daua (Ptol.)

*Skalpa – a place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Asklepius – Skalpnós (in an inscription from Kjustendil). The name is related to the Lith. river names Skab-upis, Skalbn-upis, Skabstas, from the Lith. skabti (-biù, -bia) ‘beetle, dolly (laundry)’

Skapliz’ (Prok.) – fortress in the region of Germenne in Upper Struma. The name is derived with the suffix -is- (the intervocal -s- > -z- in Thracian) from a word, related to the Lith. skãplis ‘a type of axe’. Compare semantically with the Bulg village name Sekirka, the Serbo-Croat Sekurje, Sekirica, etc.

Skaptsl (Theophr.), Skapt hl (Hdt.), Scaptensula (Lucr.) – a place name of the gold mines in the Pangeus mountain (the modern Purnardag). It has two-components: Skapt- (Skapten-) is related to the Lith. skaptúoti ‘to cut, to carve (in wood)’, the place name Skaptotai, the river name Skaptùtis; also to the Greek skápt ‘to dig’; the second component (-sula) is related to the Greek hyl ‘forest, grove’.

*Skaptopara – a place name, reconstructed from the dweller’s name Skaptoparnoi (in an inscription from the Blagoevgrad district). A two-component name: for Skapto- see the previous entry, the second -para means ‘a village’.

*Skarsa – a place name, reconstructed from the epithet of Hera – Skarsn (in an inscription from the Elhovo district). The basis is identical with the Old-Pruss. Skarsin, Skarsaw (a lake), related to the Lith. skesas ‘transverse, oblique, slanting’ in river names such as Skes, Skes-ups, Skes-ravis; compare also with the Greek en-kársios, epi-kársis ‘curved, bent, transverse’: from the IE *skert-so-s, *skort-so-s.

Skómbros (Thuk., Aristot.) – the Vitosha mountain. The Thracian form can be reconstructed as *Skumbras (in the classical Greek the foreign u was denoted by o) and to correlate it with the Lith. kumbrs, kubris ‘hill, top of a mountain; small mountain’, the Latv. kubr(i)s ‘hump, hunch’, the Norw. hump ‘mountain, small hill’ – from the IE *(s)kemb-. The Thracian name was derived from the IE *Skbro-s.

*Sonkta – a place name, reconstructed from Hera’s epithets Sonketene (in inscriptions from the Radomir district and Svrlig, eastern Serbia). The name must have sounded as *Sunketa, formed from a word, related to the eastern Lith. sunkà ‘sap (of a tree); fluid’, in the Lith. village name Sunkyniai (Sunkyni káimas), the river name Sunkìn – from the IE stem *sk-.

*Spindea – a place name, reconstructed from Apollo’s epithet Spindeenos (in an inscription from the Ivajlovgrad district). It is related to the Lith. place name Spindi káimas, Spindiùs (a lake), the Latv. river name Spindags, which are explained from the Lith. spindùs ‘shining’ or from the Lith. spiñdis ‘clearing (in a forest)’ from the IE *(s)pd-. The second word fits better semantically to the Thracian name, compare it semantically to the Bulg. place names Proseka, Prosechenik.

Strámbai (Steph. Byz.) – town in Thracia. The name is derived from a Thracian word, related to the Old-Pruss. strambo ‘stubble-field’, the Latv. strùobs ‘a spray, a stem, a straw’ (from the Baltic *strambas), occurring in the Latv. place names Strobas, Struõbas, from the IE *stromb-. The combination mb in the Thracian name replaces the expected there mp.

Struneilon (in an inscription from the Chirpan district) – village in Thracia. The name is structurally similar to the Lith. river name Strnl (with a dialectal str- instead of sr-), a derivative from a basis, represented in the Lith. river name Strnà, the Zhemait. Struna (a stream), Struni (an estate) – from the IE *srn, extended from the stem of the verb srti (srvù, dial. srnù) ‘to fill with water, with blood; to flow, to outflow the banks (for a river)’, from the IE stem *sreu-, *sr-; compare also with the Lith. sraunà ‘a current’.

Strm’n (Hesiod.), Middle Bulg. Strouma – the Struma river. The name is derived from the IE *Sr-mn from the IE stem *sreu-: *sr- ‘to flow; a current’, preserved in the Lithuanian sruti (srvù, srnù) ‘to fill with water’ to flow’ (see the previous entry); compare also to the Pol. strumien’ ‘a stream’, the Old-HighGerman stroum, the German Strom ‘current, river’, the Old-Ir. sruaimm ‘river’, the Lith. sraumuõ, -eñs (and dial. straumuõ, -eñs) ‘fast current’.

Strm (Hdt., Steph. Byz.) – village in Greek Thracia. The name is of the same origin as Strymn (see above) and must have sounded *Strm in Thracian. From a similar name was derived the name of the modern village name Strima (a village in the Kumanovo district) from the earlier *Stryma, initially – a rive name.

Succi (Amm. Marc.), Sukeis (Philostorgii Hist. ecel.) – a mountain pass between the Rhodopes and the Haemus, today Trajanovi vrata (Gates of Trajan). Probably identical to the Latv. place name Sukas, Sucis (a lake), the Lith. river name ukis (and ùk-upis), from the Lith. ùk ‘a gap, a crack’, the Latv. sukums ‘a gap, a notch, a nick’ – from the IE *k’uk-: *k’euk-. The Thracian name meant a ‘crack, a gorge, a pass’.

*Suitulla – a place name, reconstructed from the Heros’ epithet Suitulenos (in inscriptions from the districts of Radomir and Kurdzhali). The name is derived from the IE *k’itul and is identical in its basis to the Lith. vituls ‘something shining, a light’, extended with the suffix -ul- from a word, occurring in the Old-Pruss. place name Swit-the, the Latv. river name Svite, compare also to the Lith. vit’ti (-tù, -te’jau) ‘to shine, to twinkle’, the Old-Bulg. svteti sja ‘to shine’.

Suras (Prok.) – fortress in Hemimontus. The name is probably related to the Lith. river named S’ris, S’r-up, S’-upis, the Old-Pruss. Sure (a stream), from the Lith. s’ras ‘salty’, the Latv. srs ‘salty, bitter, sour’. Compare also with the Celtic river name Sra, the German Sauer.

Syracella (in guide-books) – village in Turkish Thracia, the modern town of Malgara. A two-component name meaning ‘a salty (bitter, sour) spring’: Syra- = Sura-, for which see the previous entry; -cella from the IE *geln ‘a spring’, from which is also the Thracian place name Kellai.

Tarpodizos, Tarpudizos (in guide-books), Tarpudison (Rav.) – station north of Lozengrad (Kurkleleri), the modern Kovchas in Turkey. A two-component name: Tarpo- is related to the Lith. tárpas ‘an interstice’ and ‘a gap, a crack’, the Church Slavic trap, the New  Bulg. trap ‘a pit, a ditch’; compare also with the Lith. river name Tárpija, the Zhemait. place names Tarpu kalne, Tarp-dovdi, the Latv. place names Târpi, Trpu pava. About the second component -dizos, -dison ‘a fortress’ see Burtudizos.

Tárpron (Prok.) – fortress in the Pautalia (Kjustendil) district). The name is extended from the Thracian word *tarpa(s) = Lith. tárpas ‘an interstice’ (see the previous entry).

Térpyl(l)os (Ptol.) – town in Mygdonia. The name is derived with the common Thracian toponymic suffix -ul- from *terpa(s), a variant of *tarpa(s), which is contained in the place names Tarpodizos and Tarporon. About the alternation e : a before r compare the Lith. térpe = tárpas, the river names Terpìn – Tárpija.

Tirsai (Steph. Byz.) – town in Mygdonia. The name is derived from the IE *Tsoi (pl.) and is identical to the first component of the Old-Pruss. place name Tirs-kaymen (-kaymen = Old-Pruss. caymis ‘a village’), related to the Lith. titis ‘density, thickness’ and ‘thicket, brush-wood’, from the stem of the verb titi (tirtù, tira) ‘to thicken, to darken, to harden’.

Tonzos (on coins from the II-th c. BC; Ptol.), Tounza (Theoph. Chronogr., VIII-th c.) – the Tundzha river. There was a town with the same name on its middle course. The older form is still preserved in the upper course which is still called Tzha, from the IE *(s)tundío-, related to the Armen. t’ndium ‘noice, movement, pushing, knocking’, the Alb. shty(n)j ‘to push’ from the IE *studn, the Latin tund ‘to push, to knock’, the Old-Ind. tundat‘to push’. There is another possible interpretation – taking into account that the oldest names of rivers had meant ‘water, river’, it is possible to link Tonzos with the Old-Icel. þund ‘river’ and to derive it from the IE *td(h)o- from the IE stem *tend(h)- in the Anglo-Saxon dindan ‘to swell, to rise’.

Tranupara (Tab. Peut.) – town in Paeonia, somewhere between Kochani and Kratovo. A two-component name, which first component can be compared to the Latv. place name Trani, Tranava, the Lith. river name Trans, etc., from the Lith. tren’ti ‘to rot, to decay’, the Latv. trenêt ‘the same’; the second element -para means ‘a village’.

Trauos (Hdt., var. Strauos) – river in the littoral region of the tribe of Bistoni, to the east of the Mesta’s mouth. The name can be explained from the initial form *Trausos, the intervocal -s- having disappeared under a Greek influence. Then it is identical to the first component of the Lith. river name Tra-upis, meaning ‘a breaking, crushing river’, from the Lith. trati ‘to break, to crumble’, trauus ‘brittle’, the Latv. traus, trausls ‘brittle, fragile’. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the upper course of that river was inhabited by the tribe of Trausoi, who were probably named after the river. V. Tomaschek offered an alternative etymology – Strauos from the Latv. strava ‘current’, the Lith. sravà ‘the same’, the  Old-Bulg. strouja ‘a stream’, etc. from the IE *sreu- *sr- ‘to flow’.

*Tynta – a place name, reconstructed from the dweller’s name Tyntemoi (on coins). Counterparts of this name are found in the Baltics: the Latv. place names Tunti, Tunte, the Old-Pruss. village name Thunt-lawken (lawken = Old. Pruss. laucks ‘a field’), from the Lith. tuñtas ‘a flock, a flight; a heap, a pile’ (from an earlier *tumtas), a derivative of the stem of the Lith. verb  tum’ti ‘to thicken, to clot’.

Ucasus (in a guide-book) – the modern Javorica river, a tributary of Topolnica, in the region of the Succi pass. The name  obviously consists of the suffix -s- and a word, related to the Lith. kas ‘a mist; clouding; fume, vapour’, ‘kanas ‘cloudy, turbid’, compare also with the Lith. river names kis, Ukõjas, the Latv. Uk’is (a lake). Compare semantically to the Bulg. river names Mglenica, Mtnica.

*Urda – a place name, reconstructed from the Apollo epithet Urdenos (in an inscription from the Prvomaj district). Related Baltic names are: the Lith. river names Ùrd-upis, Urdenà, the Zhemait. place name Urdishki, the Latv. river name Urdava, which are derivatives from a basis, contained in the Lith. urduls ‘a (mountain) stream; pool’, the Latv. urdavia ‘a stream’. Similar is probably also the origin of the river names Urda, today l’Ourde in France, and Urft (Urd-efa in 1075 AD) in Germany (probably Celtic in origin).

Urdaus (Prok.) – fortress in the region of Hebros. It sounded initially as *Urdav-(us) or similar and in this case is identical to the Latv. river name Urdava, related to the Latv. urdavia ‘a stream’ (see the previous entry for more details).

*Uerzela (*Verzela) – a local name, reconstructed from the Dionysos’ epithet Vrzelnos. The name is a derivative with the suffix -el (compare to the village name Kypsela) from a basis *verza- ‘a barrier for fishing; dam, weir’ from the IE *erg’h (resp. -o-s) and is related to the Lith. river names Véra, Véras, also váras ‘a basket for fish’, the Latv. varza ‘dam’.

Uscudama (Ruf. Fest., Eutrop., etc.) – the modern town of Edirne (Adrianopolis). A two-component name: Uscu- from the IE *udsko- (*utsko > usko-) ‘water’, compare to the Old-Ir. u(i)sce ‘water, the Old-Cymr. uisc, the Irish esc ‘water, bog, swamp’; -dama from the IE *dhm ‘settlement, place of residence’, related to the Greek thaimós ‘house; sowing’ from the IE *dhmo-, the Old-Ind. dhman- ‘place for living’. This interpretation fits to the location of the town, at the confluence of three rivers – Marica, Tundzha and Arda.

Utus (Plin.) – the Vit river; Utos (Prok.) – fortress on its mouth. The name is explained from the IE *do-s from the IE stem *d-, ed-: *od- ‘water’ in the Old-Ind. ud-án- ‘water’, the Greek hydos ‘water’, etc. The IE d was converted into the Thracian t.  The initial Utus led to the New Bulg. Vit.

Vevocasenus vicus (in a Latin inscription) – village in the Philippopolis (Plovdiv) district. The Latin vicus meant ‘a village’, and Vevocasenus is a Latin adjective from the hybrid place name *Vevocasa, formed from the Trhacian -Vevo and the Latin casa ‘a house, a hut’. The Latinized form Vevo- was probably derived from an earlier *Vaevo (the change ae > e is attested in the Latin in the Danubian provinces in the I-st c. AD). Thus we can reconstruct the Thracian form as *Vaivas or – and to compare it with the Latv. place name Vaiva (a meadow), the river name Vàive, the Old-Pruss. Woywe, Wewa, Waywe (a district). The initial word is not preserved in the Baltic languages; it can be assumed it consisted of the IE suffix -a and a stem of the verb *ei: *e-: *i- ‘to curve, to wind’ in the Lith. vti veju ‘to curve, to wind’, the Old-Bulg. viti vju ‘the same’, etc.

Zburulus (in a Latin inscription) – village in the Philippopolis (Plovdiv) district. A synkopped form of the earlier *Ziburulus. As such the name was extended with the suffix -ul- from a word, found in the Lith. place name iburi káimas from the Lith. iburs ‘a fire, a light, something burning; a torch’.

Z’rynthos (Steph. Byz.), Z’rybthion (Suid.), Z’rinthon  (Schol. ad Lykophr.), Z’rynthon (Etym. M.), Zerynthium (Liv.) – a cave and a town on the island of Samothraci and in Thracia. The name can be compared to the Lith. river name veriñius from the basis verint-, a derivative from the Lith. verìs ‘a beast’, related to the Old-Bulg. zver ‘a beast’, the Greek thr – from the IE *g’hr-.

Zilmissus (in a literary source) – hill in Thracia. The name is derivative with a suffix from the basis zilma- from the IE *g’hmo- or -d, related to the Lith. river name ilmà, ilmas (a lake), the Latv. zelme ‘green grass or wheat’.

horos Zyakozreron (in an inscription from Gramadi, SW of Kjustendil) – a village on the old road Kjustendil – Kratovo and Kochani. The word hóros is Greek and means ‘a boundary, a frontier stone, column’ and the whole expression means ‘boundary (frontier stone) of Svakozrera (or -i)’ Zyakozreron is therefore a plural Genitive form (in Greek) of *Zyakozrera or *Zuakozreroi, a two-component village name, meaning ‘the bright, the light  stones’: Zyakoz- is probably the Thracian *Zvakuz-, which basis is identical to the Latv. village name Zvaki, related to the Lith. river name vakùt – from the Lith. vãk ‘a light, a candle’, related to the Latin fax (old faces) ‘a torch, a light (of celestial bodies)’, etc. – from the IE stem *g’hk: *ghk- ‘to glimmer, to flicker’. The second component -rera (or rerai) came (through an assimilation) of the initial *lera (resp. -ai) from the IE *lur ‘stones, stony ground’, compare to the Alb. lerë, -a ‘stones, rock; fallen stones’.

* * *

 

Thracian are also a number of toponyms, which had not been attested in the ancient sources and which the Slavs had been  adopted from the local Thracian population. Such are:

Arda – river, Marica’s tributary. The name is explained from the Old-Ind. árdati ‘to flow, to flow out’, the Greek ard ‘to water’.

Veléka – river, flowing into the Black Sea south of Ahtopol. There is a counterpart in Lithuania: a swamp there is called Vel’kas, from the Lith. velkles ‘a place, used for washing’, a derivative from the Lith. verb vel’ti (-‘ju, -‘jau) ‘to wash (with a paddle)’, The name can be also compared to the German hydronyms Wasch-Bach (a stream), Waschsee (a lake), identically from the verb waschen ‘to wash’.

Erma – river in the Rhodopes. With no doubts a Thracian name, related to the Alb. jerm ‘fierce, mad’ from the IE *ermo-. This interpretation fits to a mountain river. The name of the Erma river near the town of Trn is a late literary invention, as shown by K. Irechek.

Knishava –  part of the Rila mountain. The name is attested in the XII-th s. in the so called folk passional of the saint Ivan Rilski and it can not be interpreted from Bulgarian. Probably it is a Slavicized (through the suffix -ova) Thracian name *Knisa(s) or similar, with counterparts in the Lith. place name Knisà, the Latv. place names Knsi, Kni, Knsu-kalns (a mountain). These names are explained from the Lith. knìsti (-sù, -s(i)a) ‘to dig, to rummage’, knysis ‘a digging’. The Thracian *Knisa(s) therefore meant ‘a gully’.

Marica (G. Akrop., XIII-th c.) – although it contains the Slavic suffix -ica, the name is thought to be Thracian. It is related to the Dacian river name Marisos, the modern Romanian Mures, the Hungarian Maros, the Anglo-Saxon merisc ‘swamp’, the Middle-HighGerman mersch ‘marsh, swamp’, the Middle-Latin marisca ‘the same’ (a German loan-word), etc. The preservation of the short Thracian -a- in the name shows that it became known relatively late to the Slavs (after the VIII-IX-th c.) and adopted from the local population of Thracia; it is supposed it denoted the middle and the lower course of the river.

Nesla – village in the Godech district. The name must have been a rive name initially, which is supported by the existence of the river name Nesla in Russia (two rivers in the Pripet basin), thought to be Baltic. The earlier form was probably *Nestl from the IE *Nedtl from the stem *ned- in the Old-Ind. nádati ‘to ring, to sound, to thunder’, nadí ‘river, current’. Therefore, Nesla is related to the Thracian river name of Nestos.

Ossogovo – a mountain, also known as Ossogov, Ossogova, and Osogovska planina. The earliest examples are in Slavic sources (XIII-XIV-th c.). The name can be easily interpreted as a Thracian one from the IE *Ok’o-gh (-os) or *Ok’o-ghom, which led to the Thracian *Asagav- ‘stony country, stony mountain’: Asa- ‘stony’, also found in the river name Asamus and gav- ‘country, district’, related to the Goth. gawi ‘country, countryside’, the Old-HighGerman gawi, the German Gau, the Armen. gavar ‘country, district’, the pre-Greek ‘gaia’. In Slavic the name was adopted relatively earlier and the Thracian a produced o, as in the earliest borrowings in Slavic. Therefore, the Thracian *Asagav > the Slavic Ossogov, resp. Ossogovo. Its interpretation as ‘stony mountain; fits well to the geographic features of the mountain, especially of its eastern part. It is known that the rivers, which have their sources in Ossogovo, and flow through the region of Kamenica (!) (kamen = ‘stone’ in Slavic) carry many large stones.

Panega, also called Zlatna (Golden) Panega – river, Iskr’s right tributary; Glava (Source, Head) Panega is called its source. The name of Panega in a derivative of the Thracian word *pan(i)- ‘swamp, bog’ and is related to the Old-Pruss. pannean ‘swamp. quagmire’. Similar is the origin of a number of geographic names, attested in Greek and Latin sources: Panion (a village), the river names Panisas, Pannysis. Because of the preservation of the short Thracian a in the Slavic form it must be assumed it was a late borrowing in Slavic (after the VIII-IX-th c.).