Too much data to find out what “bruma” means

There seem to be 336 results on a search on bruma in the PHI Latin CDROM (thanks to those who did the search).  There is probably more data in the Greek side.  And then there is the question of brumalia, which I have not even started on. 

I have only one hour this evening which is my own, and the same will be true for most evenings. I cannot grapple with that much data in that sort of time.  To digest these, collect or make translations, and tabulate them would require several uninterrupted days at least.  This means that I shall have to abandon my wish to find out what this means, by the only certain method, which is to go through the data and see what it all says.  Selective quotation is never a good idea. Nor do I propose to spend my entire Christmas holiday on it. 

It’s a pity, but the demands of earning a living will prevent me dealing with this further.

8 Responses to “Too much data to find out what “bruma” means”


  1. Tom Schmidt

    I feel your pain Roger!

  2. Roger Pearse

    It’s really annoying, because I *want* to pin this down. Maybe I can come back to it if I get some time at home. But you know what the period in the lead-up to Christmas is like, and I simply can’t deal with that lot now.

  3. Maureen

    I went looking through the Etruscan stuff, on the theory that weird Roman stuff might be Etruscan. (Or Greek. Or….) There’s a site called “Etruscan Glossary” that seems to gather together everybody’s fragments and guesses.

    Anyway, b/p/ph/f all are pretty interchangeable in theory, and there are roots like “per” or “pher” or “fer” that all mean stuff like “prepare” or “birth” or “set out”.

    And the root “-ma” means “celebration”.

    So I don’t know nothin’ from nothin’, but it sounds like maybe those old Roman stories about eating somebody else’s food were about thinking the word concerned food somebody else had prepared and set out, because they were looking at the same kind of Etruscan roots. Or Greek. Or whatever. Shrug.

  4. Roger Pearse

    Or celebration of birth (of the new sun)?

    Etruscan… wow!

  5. Maureen

    Looking at the Etruscan stuff, I can see why people get sucked into it. It has that niggling sense that all this sounds very familiar and that you should be able to understand it if you try hard enough. :) But just when you feel that you’ve got the Indo-European parts situated, all this other stuff blows in — but also seems vaguely familiar.
    But OTOH, it’s so illuminative if you can get something solid and factual. So it’s like scholar moths to flame, I’m sure….

  6. Maureen

    This might be relevant: the native Etruscan sun and moon deities were both female. Usually one is male and the other female, or vice versa, but not both male or both female. I don’t think I’ve ever run across such a case before.

    Sun=Catha or Usil
    Dawn=Thesan (also goddess)
    Moon=Tiur or Losna

    Of course, they also had just about all the Greco-Roman deities in the background.

  7. Maureen

    Or not. Apparently Etruscans had no problem depicting deities under the same name but as either gender.

    Like I say, I can see how people get sucked in. :)

  8. Roger Pearse

    Thank you! Very useful, and yes… must resist…