Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Sat Jun 27 14:23:07 UTC 1998

On Sat, 27 Jun 1998, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:

> At 09:14 27.06.98 +0200, you wrote:
> >Lars Martin Fosse wrote:
> >>I am sorry to disappoint you, but Tvisto and Tvashtr have nothing to do with
> >>each other. Tvisto means Twin (Yama), the first part of the word tvi- is the
> >>same as skt. dvi-. As it happens, Germanic t usually corresponds to Skt. d.
> >>(Skt. dh corresponds to Germanic d).
> Tvasht.r is the name used for the "builder" of the universe, in other words,
> ..... form tvasht.r, but it means the same as tasht.r,

Indeed, there is the Indo-Iranian root *tvarc' as in Avestan
thwOres`'tar- "creator' = tvaSTar- .

The Indo-Aryans have eliminated the -r-.  Mayrhofer, Etym.  Woerterbuch
1986-96, p. 685 thinks, either due to phonetic interference (note that
several r often have such effects) or due to, as Lars Fosse hinted at,
interference from takS. He compares greek sarx  'flesh', (Aeolian pl.
surkes). In that case, IE *twerk'.

As for Tuisto. Lars is of course right: Tuisto ~~  old Norse twistr
'bi-sexual being', or if with some MSS: Tuisco < Germ.
*Tiwisko, son of FatherHeavn, *Tiwas (= Dyaus Pitar).

The interesting correlate is that the (west) Germanic tribes did not only
have Mannus as their ancestor (Tacitus, Germania 2) but that the (north)
Germanic groups also (Old Norse) Ymir (Edda: Voeluspa 3) as a god, very
early in the mythological story of 'creation'...

We thus have Mannus (Tacitus' spelling)  = Manu and we have Ymir (Ymi-R)
< *Yemos = Yama.

Some want to add the Roman 'ancestor' Remus, brother of Romulus (Remus <
*Yemos ).

In short, some really old ideas about twins as ancestors of Indo-European

Michael Witzel                       witzel at

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