“…it is very interesting to note that many of the authentic ancient Macedonian words, according to their etymology and pronunciation, have a striking resemblance to the appropriate words used in the modern Macedonian language (and other so called “Slav”[sic] languages).”…”Nana. The noun “nana” in the Macedonian language today is used to signify an older female relative. In dialectal form “nana” takes the form of the verb, to sleep. The name Nana is present in todays’ Macedonian onomasticon.” Quote taken from: “Similarities between ancient Macedonian and today’s’ Macedonian Culture (Linguistics and Onomastics)” by Aleksandar Donski, celebrity propagandist-historian from FYROM.
Νana / Νανά
The Geographer Pausanias lived in the second century AD. He toured Greece keeping a detailed travel log. He visited cities and smaller towns, he took the boat and he walked, as travelers did in that age. He described temples and statues, city walls and tombs of heroes. He talked to simple people and to city magistrates; he gathered information from priests and story tellers. He has left us invaluable information from the lands that he visited. Our knowledge of ancient Architecture and ancient topography, religion and myths of the ancient Greeks would so much the poorer were it not for Pausanias and his travel logs. Not a single archaeologist can venture into the field in Greece unless he has read and knows his Pausanias by heart: this is how a modern scholar can identify in whose deity’s name the small shrine was dedicated to, the one to the right of the large temple that belongs to Artemis, whose temple was located just across the theater, and had the library behind it, in such and such a city: It’s easy: all you need to do is read what Pausanias wrote describing his walk through the agora of that city.
As Pausanias was going through Achaia, on the northern coast of the Peloponnese, traveling eastwards from Patra to Corinth, he passed by the town of Dyme/Δύμη. Being the eternally curious adult child that he was, as soon as he found the Ιερόν/Hieron, the Sactuary of Cybele and Attis, he wanted to get to the bottom of it and learn the “secrets” he was sure were somehow hiding under the thin skin of religious cover. He probably got disappointed not to dig any dirt, but he related the stories he heard for us to read 1900 years later. Let us follow him describe what he heard, which he related in his book Achaica:
7.17.9] Δυμαίοις δὲ ἔστι μὲν Ἀθηνᾶς ναὸς καὶ ἄγαλμα ἐς τὰ μάλιστα ἀρχαῖον, ἔστι δὲ καὶ ἄλλο ἱερόν σφισι Δινδυμήνῃ μητρὶ καὶ Ἄττῃ πεποιημένον. Ἄττης δὲ ὅστις ἦν, οὐδὲν οἷός τε ἦν ἀπόρρητον ἐς αὐτὸν ἐξευρεῖν, ἀλλὰ Ἑρμησιάνακτι μὲν τῷ τὰ ἐλεγεῖα γράψαντι πεποιημένα ἐστὶν ὡς υἱός τε ἦν Καλαοῦ Φρυγὸς καὶ ὡς οὐ τεκνοποιὸς ὑπὸ τῆς μητρὸς τεχθείη: ἐπεὶ δὲ ηὔξητο, μετῴκησεν ἐς Λυδίαν τῷ Ἑρμησιάνακτος λόγῳ καὶ Λυδοῖς ὄργια ἐτέλει Μητρός, ἐς τοσοῦτο ἥκων παρ’ αὐτῇ τιμῆς ὡς Δία αὐτῇ νεμεσήσαντα ὗν ἐπὶ τὰ ἔργα ἐπιπέμψαι τῶν Λυδῶν.
7.17.9] The people of Dyme have a temple of Athena with an extremely ancient image; they have as well a sanctuary built for the Dindymenian mother and Attis. As to Attis, I could learn no secret about him, but Hermesianax, the elegiac poet, says in a poem that he was the son of Galaus the Phrygian, and that he was a eunuch from birth. The account of Hermesianax goes on to say that, on growing up, Attis migrated to Lydia and celebrated for the Lydians the orgies of the Mother; that he rose to such honor with her that Zeus, being wroth at it, sent a boar to destroy the tillage of the Lydians.
One thing becoming apparent immediately is that Attis was somehow connected with fertility and agriculture. The Great Mother, was Cybele and she represented earth and fertility, while the boar was the quintessential symbol of the destructive forces that plagued the tilled land of the ancient farmer. The Erymanthian/Ερυμάνθιος boar that Hercules had to capture in one of his labors, reminds us of the importance that the ancient farmer attributed to the dangers the wild boar represented to his crops, his wealth, his livelihood. We should leave Pausanias continue his narration:
7.17.10]ἐνταῦθα ἄλλοι τε τῶν Λυδῶν καὶ αὐτὸς Ἄττης ἀπέθανεν ὑπὸ τοῦ ὑός: καί τι ἑπόμενον τούτοις Γαλατῶν δρῶσιν οἱ Πεσσινοῦντα ἔχοντες, ὑῶν οὐχ ἁπτόμενοι. νομίζουσί γε μὴν οὐχ οὕτω τὰ ἐς τὸν Ἄττην, ἀλλὰ ἐπιχώριός ἐστιν ἄλλος σφίσιν ἐς αὐτὸν λόγος, Δία ὑπνωμένον ἀφεῖναι σπέρμα ἐς γῆν, τὴν δὲ ἀνὰ χρόνον ἀνεῖναι δαίμονα διπλᾶ ἔχοντα αἰδοῖα, τὰ μὲν ἀνδρός, τὰ δὲ αὐτῶν γυναικός: ὄνομα δὲ Ἄγδιστιν αὐτῷ τίθενται. θεοὶ δὲ Ἄγδιστιν δείσαντες τὰ αἰδοῖά οἱ τὰ ἀνδρὸς ἀποκόπτουσιν.
7.17.10] Then certain Lydians, with Attis himself, were killed by the boar, and it is consistent with this that the Gauls who inhabit Pessinus abstain from pork. But the current view about Attis is different, the local legend about him being this. Zeus, it is said, let fall in his sleep seed upon the ground, which in course of time sent up a demon, with two sexual organs, male and female. They call the demon Agdistis. But the gods, fearing Agdistis, cut off the male organ.
In the first version of the myth, we find confirmation of our understanding that Attis was connected to fertility when we hear that it was a wild boar that killed him. But then another more complicated rendition of it emerges, deeper and more primeval. Zeus is the supreme God of the Hellenic Pantheon, but always in essence a sky God. He was benevolent when he brought rain yet destructive when he sent thunderbolts. His sperm impregnated Earth. Agdistis was born, a hermaphrodite, male and female at the same time, with the positive but aggressive nature of masculinity conjoined with the calmer, fertile nature of the female gene. The Gods had good reasons to fear such an omnipotent, independent force: they had to castrate its aggressive energy. An almond tree grew as the product of the fertile union of Agdistis’ severed organ and Earth.
7.17.11] ὡς δὲ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ἀναφῦσα ἀμυγδαλῆ εἶχεν ὡραῖον τὸν καρπόν, θυγατέρα τοῦ Σαγγαρίου ποταμοῦ λαβεῖν φασι τοῦ καρποῦ: ἐσθεμένης δὲ ἐς τὸν κόλπον καρπὸς μὲν ἐκεῖνος ἦν αὐτίκα ἀφανής, αὐτὴ δὲ ἐκύει: τεκούσης δὲ τράγος περιεῖπε τὸν παῖδα ἐκκείμενον. ὡς δὲ αὐξανομένῳ κάλλους οἱ μετῆν πλέον ἢ κατὰ εἶδος ἀνθρώπου, ἐνταῦθα τοῦ παιδὸς ἔρως ἔσχεν Ἄγδιστιν. αὐξηθέντα δὲ Ἄττην ἀποστέλλουσιν ἐς Πεσσινοῦντα οἱ προσήκοντες συνοικήσοντα τοῦ βασιλέως θυγατρί:
7.17.11] There grew up from it an almond-tree with its fruit ripe, and a daughter of the river Sangarius they say, took of the fruit and laid it in her bosom, when it at once disappeared, but she was with child. A boy was born, and exposed, but was tended by a he-goat. As he grew up his beauty was more than human, and Agdistis fell in love with him. When he had grown up, Attis was sent by his relatives to Pessinus, that he might wed the king’s daughter.
The fecundity story repeats itself, fertility is finding new carriers, it is not Zeus, and his fallen sperm, it is not Agdistis and his castrated organ it is now the almond tree which is full of life containing sperm, full of ripe fruits, and a girl comes by the almond tree. The Latin writer Arnobius (Arobius Adversus Nationes : 9.5.4) informs us that her name was Nana, and that she was a Neiad nymph, a water nymph, the daughter of a river. She placed the almond – sperm on her breasts (producers of fertility in themselves, of life giving milk, bringing together a fertile union of agriculture and animal husbandry), and she produced a beautiful baby, named Attis. Attis is the symbol of the eternally handsome male youth. Agdistis, is in essence Attis´ grandfather, but through castration he/she is also his grandmother. Agdistis wants Attis, indeed she has a madly uncontrollable sexual desire for him. Things become too complicated and Attis is rushed away by his relatives (in reality by the horrified bronze-age believers who cannot accept such a divine incestuous union, so utterly unacceptable in most societies): they send Attis, their God away, to have him find another, more appropriate, mate.
7.17.12] ὑμέναιος δὲ ᾔδετο καὶ Ἄγδιστις ἐφίσταται καὶ τὰ αἰδοῖα ἀπέκοψε μανεὶς ὁ Ἄττης, ἀπέκοψε δὲ καὶ ὁ τὴν θυγατέρα αὐτῷ διδούς: Ἄγδιστιν δὲ μετάνοια ἔσχεν οἷα Ἄττην ἔδρασε, καί οἱ παρὰ Διὸς εὕρετο μήτε σήπεσθαί τι Ἄττῃ τοῦ σώματος μήτε τήκεσθαι.
7.17.12] The marriage-song was being sung, when Agdistis appeared, and Attis went mad and cut off his genitals, as also did he who was giving him his daughter in marriage. But Agdistis repented of what he had done to Attis, and persuaded Zeus to grant that the body of Attis should neither rot at all nor decay.
Pausanias, Achaica (7.17.09-12) English Translation by W. H. S. Jones
Mother Earth begs for fertility, Agdistis would not allow Attis run away and bring fertility to others: wealth needs to be kept within the community. The unholy union is averted, fertility comes to the land through castration of the destructive forces that had to be tamed and brought under control: agriculture demands order, not aggressiveness, not war, disorder or destruction.
Phrygia was located in central Asia Minor, in Anatolia. Ancyra/΄Αγκυρα, modern Turkey´s capital, Ankara, was originally a Phrygian city. The Phrygians were ethnically and linguistically closely related to the Greeks. Alexander’s Macedonians conquered Asia Minor, Phrygia included, early in their campaign. The Macedonian diadochoi of Alexander made Hellenism the dominant cultural force in Asia, ushering in the Hellenistic age. The Phrygians were eventually fully absorbed into Hellenism. The Greeks always shared and exchanged Gods and myths with the Phrygians. They built shrines dedicated to some of the more exclusive Phrygian deities, like the one Pausanias mentions in the town of Deme in Achaea. Temples and shrines to Cybele and Attis have actually been found in many places, throughout Greece, including Macedonia. It is obvious that the story of Attis and Agdistis was not Greek in origin, and the Greeks never claimed it to be one. The geography of the myth located it in central Asia Minor, which until Alexander’s visit to Gordium did not have any Greek population. The whole story is tied in to the local Asian landscape: to Phrygia, the river Sangarios/Σαγγάριος, which the Turks now call Sakarya and to the mountain Agdis, identified with mount Dindyma.
This is very much a Phrygian myth, retold by the Greeks, having been translated from the Phrygian, who must have taken it in turn from their near Anatolian neighbors and predecessors. This borrowing must have happened some time after the Phrygians had moved into the central Asia Minor plateau, in the area where the modern Turkish capital city Ankara is now. The original Phrygian homeland, before 1200 BC, was the area where ancient Thrace met ancient Macedonia, just west of the river Axios by the modern city of Thessaloniki, in Northern Greece. It is almost certain that the original Phrygians were either the same people or very closely related to the Paionians of Macedonia and Paionia. Both were equally related to the Hellenic tribes of the Greeks, being of the same linguistic family, which betrays the fact that at some point in their prehistory, Greeks, Paionians and Phrygians were one and the same people, who moved into the Balkans together only to split by Geography at some point later on.
The Paionians remained further north, in what is now central Macedonia of Northern Greece, and middle FYROM in southern Yugoslavia. The Greeks, starting from Epirus moved south into the Greek peninsula early on sometime in the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, four thousand years ago, but after the turn of the first millennium BC, around the 8th cBC some of them, the Macedonians moved west and came down from their Upper Macedonian homelands and into the fertile plains of Macedonia, pushing the Paionians further north, into what is now FYROM, in Yugoslavia. The Phrygians, as we said earlier, left the plains of Macedonia towards the end of the second millennium BC and found a new home into central Asia Minor. All of them were eventually united later on, during the Hellenistic age, all of them becoming Hellenized following Alexander´s conquests.
The Phrygian language is fairly well attested, in numerous funerary inscriptions, spread over several centuries. It was written in the Greek alphabet. Phrygian not surprisingly sounds very Greek. The following inscription is from the façade of the tomb of Midas, in the ancient city of Midas city. The first line is the transliteration, the second is the original Phrygian inscription, the third is the equivalent in reconstructed Greek, and the fourth line is in English translation The information was taken from the book “The Language of the Phrygians, Description and Analysis” by Vladimir Orel, New York, 1997:
Midas-city Inscription: 1a
Ates arkiaevais akenanogavos Midai lavagtaei vanaktei edaes
ΑΤΕΣ ΑΡΚΙΑΕFΑΙΣ ΑΚΕΝΑΝΟΓΑFΟΣ ΜΙΔΑΙ ΛΑFΑΓΤΑΕΙ FΑΝΑΚΤΕΙ ΕΔΑΕΣ
Αtis, Senior official (&) Monuments keeper (to) Midas, Army-Leader (&) King (this he) dedicated
If this Phrygian sentence could have been reconstructed in Achaean Greek it would probably look as follows:
AΤΗΣ *ΑΡΧΙΓΕΥΣ *ΑΚMΩΝΑΝΩΓΑ(F)ΟΣ ΜΙΔΑΙ ΛΑFΑΓΕΤΑΙ FΑΝΑΚΤΙ EΔΩΣΕΝ
These are all Phrygian words of the 8th century BC which have almost identical twin words in Greek too. Phrygian was most probably the closest of the ancient languages to Greek, and most modern linguists studying it (“Phrygian”-Claude Brixhe, “The language of the Phrygians”-Vladimir Orel, etc) consider Phrygian to be the closest linguistic relative to Greek of any other language, belonging to the ancient branch of the Graeco-Armenian group (Eric Hamp) of Indo-European languages. The words ΛΑFΑΓΤΑΕΙ/lavagtaei and FΑΝΑΚΤΕΙ/vanaktei have such modern Greek analogous words Laoegete/ΛΑΟΗΓΕΤΗ=leader of people and Anaktoro/ΑΝΑΚΤορο = King’s palace that makes this ancient Phrygian inscription sound VERY familiar even to a modern Greek child, while to an educated adult modern Greek with some minimal background in ancient Greek it becomes surprisingly intelligible almost completely. At the same time, to a Slavonic or Albanian-speaking inhabitant of Skopje in FYROM, this inscription “is Greek to him”, pun intended.
This Anatolian myth was taken on, accepted by, adopted and flawlessly incorporated into the Phrygian cultural, ethnic and religious fabric. Centuries later, when it was revisited by Greek and Latin scholars, it forced them to deal with several levels of inconsistencies built into the myth. For example, was Agdistis the same goddess as Cybele? In some stories they are the same person while in others they are separate divinities. Should they both be identified with the Greek mother of Zeus, Rhea? For sure Cybele is the Great Mother of Anatolian religion, and her cult received a welcomed acceptance in Greece, though it was an awkward acceptance. Being an Anatolian, foreign loan into their religion, Cybele´s story remained forever exotic, unexplainable and mystical, not being an integral part but an attachment to the original fabric of the Hellenic mythical universe.
Let us look closer at Nana and her place in the myth: Is she the water used to bring life to the seed, the sperm of the almond tree? Attis her son is shown as shepherd so he protects the herders through animal fertility, but he is also a land fertility divinity. Attis and every male or hermaphrodite around him at some point loses their masculinity being forcibly or voluntarily castrated. Castration is probably representing the way the masculine, forceful and destructive forces can be tamed, to allow the Matera (ΜΑΤΕΡΑ as she is written in the Greek-like Phrygian alphabet) to become fertile.
This is precisely the ultimate sacrifice the MEKA MATEPA, the Great Mother, of the Phrygians demanded of her priests too, and many did castrate themselves in drunken orgies of sacred paranoia, just to be allowed to become her priests – servants.
How related is the myth of Nana, Cybele and Attis to Macedonia? Unlike the myth of Orpheus, for example, there is no relation of the Anatolian deities to the Balkans. While there are shrines to Attis and Cybele to be found in Macedonia as in many other places in Greece, these are later imports, centuries after the Phrygians had emigrated away from the plains of Axios.
The Phrygians were not the same people as the Greek-speaking Macedonians. What did the ancients think about the connection of the Phrygians to Macedonia? Strabo the Geographer is here to tell us:
16] τούτοις δ’ ἔοικε καὶ τὰ παρὰ τοῖς Θρᾳξὶ τά τε Κοτύττια καὶ τὰ Βενδίδεια, παρ’ οἷς καὶ τὰ Ὀρφικὰ τὴν καταρχὴν ἔσχε… ταῦτα γὰρ ἔοικε τοῖς Φρυγίοις: καὶ οὐκ ἀπεικός γε, ὥσπερ αὐτοὶ οἱ Φρύγες Θρᾳκῶν ἄποικοί εἰσιν, οὕτω καὶ τὰ ἱερὰ ἐκεῖθεν μετενηνέχθαι…  ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ μέλους καὶ τοῦ ῥυθμοῦ καὶ τῶν ὀργάνων καὶ ἡ μουσικὴ πᾶσα Θρᾳκία καὶ Ἀσιᾶτις νενόμισται. δῆλον δ’ ἔκ τε τῶν τόπων ἐν οἷς αἱ Μοῦσαι τετίμηνται: Πιερία γὰρ καὶ Ὄλυμπος καὶ Πίμπλα καὶ Λείβηθρον τὸ παλαιὸν ἦν Θρᾴκια χωρία καὶ ὄρη, νῦν δὲ ἔχουσι Μακεδόνες…
Στραβων, Γεωγραφια 10.3.16-17
16] Also resembling these rites are the Cotytian and the Bendideian rites practiced among the Thracians, among whom the Orphic rites had their beginning…
these rites resemble the Phrygian rites, and it is at least not unlikely that, just as the Phrygians themselves were colonists from Thrace, so also their sacred rites were borrowed from there…
17] From its melody and rhythm and instruments, all Thracian music has been considered to be Asiatic. And this is clear, first, from the places where the Muses have been worshiped, for Pieria and Olympus and Pimpla and Leibethron were in ancient times Thracian places and mountains, though they are now held by the Macedonians;…
Strabo, Geography 10.3.16-17
Strabo, as we can see, has no second thought about making a clear cultural distinction between the Phrygians on one hand and the Macedonians who took over the land the Phrygians left behind, on the other.
Nana would at first view seem to be a surviving, substrate, Anatolian name, someone the Phrygians took over from the Hittites upon arriving in the new lands in the central plateau of Anatolia. But it actually goes much further. The Babylonians had a great God of Light whom they called Sin. The centers of his worship were the cities of Ur, one of the oldest cities in human history and in Harran. He is holding a crescent in his hand as a symbol, and he is a Lunar God.
In a society where the lunar calendar reigned supreme, Sin is considered the supreme regulator of everything and the main God of the Mesopotamian Pantheon. His name in Sumerian is Nanna. Could he be related to our Nana? She is a girl he is an old man, she is related to fertility, he is a Lunar god of light…it seems like a dead end. You can have changes in the name or in the attributes, but there needs to be a real connecting thread…having just an isogloss synonym will not explain anything. Old man Nanna had children, like any supreme God needs to have, to explain his power over the world. His wife Ningal (Nin=lady Gal = great in Sumerian) a fertility Goddess bore him a son, Utu (= the Sun), and a daughter, Inanna.
Inanna is a Goddess that was to the Sumerians a deity that combined what the Greeks would consider Aphrodite’s, Athena’s and Demetra’s attributes, all in one: a Goddess of love and war and fertility too. She is associated with rain and storms, with water that comes down to bring fertility to the fields. The cuneiform ideogram of her name is representing a door post and a storehouse, bringing to mind fertility and wealth (entering into the room of plenty).
Her name is derived from the Sumerian Nin meaning Lady and An meaning Sky, so it becomes Nin-anna: “Queen of Heaven”, shortened to Inanna. She is known by the Babylonians and Akkadians as Ishtar. There is an interesting myth concerning Innana, who, being a Love and fertility Goddess visits the great Lady of the underworld, Ereshkigal, the Mesopotamian equivalent to Pluto.
She gets in trouble with Ereshkigal and Inanna dies down in the underworld, but is saved through the actions of two sexless (not male nor female) demons sent to save her by the water God Enki. Ereshkigal agrees to allow Inanna to come back to life, provided she offers her a replacement. Inanna sends her husband Dumuzi Ereshkigal, to live with her in Hades for six months, while she enjoys life in the sun light. Later on, they switch positions.
Amazingly, this is an almost identical story with Demetra and Persephone, Osiris and Osiris, Aphrodite and Adonis, and (we come full circle) Attis and Cybele. All of these myths incorporate a young male or female deity that dies and is mourned and desired by a mother, husband or sexual partner who tries the impossible to bring the young God or Goddess back to life, and an agreement is eventually struck with the underworld.
The tale of Inanna/Ishtar predates all of them and it shows that ancient societies accepted and incorporated within their religious system myths that made perfect sense to them: The seed goes into the earth, in autumn, stays there for half a year during the cold of winter where everything in nature seems to be dying, then it springs out of earth full of young life and returns as a fruit of plenty in the Spring, bringing food, wealth and happiness to the agricultural society that depends on this eternal cycle of life and death and rebirth.
Inanna brought her myth to the Hittites and the other Anatolians. The vegetative and fertility myth of Cybele and her beautiful attendant-lover was born. Innana the Mesopotamian survived by giving her name and some of her attributes to the water nymph who continued the eternal cycle of life, the one that all-powerful Zeus had started, by giving birth to Attis through the sperm-seed of a fertility-laden almond tree.
Nana was used as a female name by Greeks, throughout the Greek-speaking world, with most occurrences in Asia Minor, but not only:
In Athens, Attica, we find inscription:
IG II² 8735 Νάνα Φιλίππου
Nana (daughter) of Philippos
On an inscription from Oropos in Boeotia, between Athens and Thebes we read:
(IG VII) 652 Νάνα Μενίσκου.
Nana (daughter) of Meniskos
An inscription from the Greek city of Bouthrotos in Epeiros, now in Albania, reads as follows:
Πολέμων, Βοΐσκος, Στρατὼ
Νάναν· ἀφίεντι ἐλευθέραν Λυσὼ
Polemon, Boiscos, Strato to Nana who freed (the slave girl) Lyso
In Thrace and Moesia Inferior, in modern Bulgaria, we encounter inscription:
IGBulg I² 174 Διογένης Ζωπυρίωνος καὶ ἡ γυνὴ α[ὐτοῦ] [Ν]ανα Ἕλληνο̣[ς] θυγάτηρ καὶ ἡ ἑτέρα [γυνὴ] [αὐ]τοῦ Θηθεις Ἀσκληπιάδου θυγάτ̣[ηρ]
Diogenes son of Zopirion and his wife Nana daughter of Hellene (meaning: Greek) and his other wife Thethes daughter of Asclepiades
From Macedonian Lynkestis, now part of southern FYROM, comes the next inscription:
Paralovo: PorojnicaIG X,2 2 16
ἐπόησεν Νανα Κοράγου τ- οῦ ἀνδρὸς καὶ ἑαυτῆς μνή-
Nana daughter of Koragos made for her husband and herself monum-
From Magna Graecia, Southern Italy is this inscription:
IGUR II 902 μνείᾳ σου· Ἰουλία #⁵⁶ ἣ #⁵⁶ καὶ #⁵⁶ Νανα Εὐμένισσα
mention of you Ioulia…..the…..and…..Nana Eymenissa
An ancient Greek inscription found in Germany, Germania IG XIV 2578,1 reads:
․․(Τ)ΥΧΥ ΕΙΜ(Ι) ΝΑΝΑ․․ΥΑΙΛΩΝ
luck I am Nana…yailon
From Bithynia, in today’s Turkey comes this inscription:
IK Iznik 1321
Μενέλαος Ληλᾶ, γυνὴ Νάνα, υἱοὶ Παπίας, Μενεκράτης. Χαῖρε.
Menelaos son of Lelas, wife Nana sons Papias, Menekrates, Greetings
On an inscription from Paphlagonia of Pontus now in Turkey we read :
IK Sinope 64 Νάνα Ἑκαταίο
Nana daughter of Hekataios
Among numerous inscriptions found in Phrygia, with the name Nana, inscription
MAMA 5 Lists I(i):182,127 reads:
Ἀσκληπιάδης Τυχησίου Νά- νᾳ συμβίῳ μν- ήμης χάρ̣ι̣ν.
Asclepiades son of Tychesios to Nana his life’s companion in memory’s grace
In Persia, in the old Persian capital Susa, now modern Iran, inscription IK Estremo oriente 197 Susiana gives us information about a temple to Goddess Nana, to whom a Greek man, possibly a Macedonian soldier, dedicated his daughter and a large amount of money:
ἀφιέρωσεν Στράτων Σιμίου Ναναίαι θεᾶι Καν[․․․․․] τὴ[ν] παιδίσκην αὑτοῦ ὡς ἐτῶν λʹ . . . ἄκυρον καὶ προσαποτεισάτω εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν τῆς Ναναίας ἀργυ[ρίου] δραχμὰς (τρισχιλίας).
Straton son of Simios dedicated to Goddess Nanaia Kan…. the child girl of his until the age of 30 … void and deliver and commit to the sanctuary of Nanaia silver drachmas three thousand
Finally, in Egypt we find an inscription that connects Nana and Astarte together:
Bernand: Inscr.Métr. 175
φωναῖσι φράζουσ´ ἰδίαις, ἰδίαι ἐνὶ πάτρηι. Ἀστάρτην Ἄρτεμίν σε Σύροι κλῄζουσι Ναναίαν καὶ Λυκίων ἔθνη Λητοῦν καλέουσιν ἄνασσαν, speaking in their own voices specifically in the paternal language. Astarte-Artemis whom the Syrians call you Nanaia and the Lycian nations call you Leto the queen
Donski, of course gives us no indication that he has the slightest clue about the origins of Nana, the Phrygian deity. “The noun “nana”, he assures us, “in the Macedonian language (he means the Slavomacedonian/Bugarski, spoken in FYROM) today is used to signify an older female relative”. So, then, there you have it. The ancient name Nana, Donski claims, is actually connected to the baby-speech “nana´ of modern babies world-wide. It may come as an eye opening revelation to professor Aleksandar Donski, the “historian” apologist of the pseudo-Macedonian regime in Skopje, but the baby-speech “nana” is not a word exclusive to the people in FYROM.
Nana happens to be an easy to vocalize baby word, like mama, tata, papa or baba, and it appears in countless languages. My father, very much a Greek man, referred to his own grandmother as “Nene”. Nan, Nana and Nanna, means grandmother in several English dialects from England to Australia. Nana also means maternal grandfather in Hindi. Nonnie and Nona are also used for grandmother, dialectically in several languages and have been adopted into American English. Nona is grandmother in Italian, and nana is also a female Japanese manga cartoon character. Nana, finally, is the title of Emile Zola´s 1880 book about a sexually permissive female character of the same name, a young lady that rises step after step onto the high French society of La Belle Epoque, using brains, passion and sexual favors. Is Emile Zola´s Nana a Slavomakedonka too? We will reserve our serious doubts on it. After all, the Slavomakedonkas of 1880 had no idea that Tito of Yugoslavia, 64 years later will re-name their daughters and grand-daughetrs “Makedonkas” (Slavomakedonians). In 1880, the Slavomakedonkas of the day still considered themselves very much Exarchist Bugarskas, or Patriarchal Greeks, if they had any kind ethnic identity and affiliation at all; a doubtful assertion in itself, to begin with.
Donski is not interested in such historical details, he continues unabashed: “In dialectal form “nana” takes the form of the verb, to sleep”. In modern Greek baby speech, “nani” means ” to sleep”: go for nani, is what a mother will tell her baby child of two or three years old, and “nini” is the baby. Nanos, a related word is the midget. Nona, in Greek, means the Godmother, and like the previous ones this is also just another baby speech word. Not only in Greek either: Nana or nanny means babysitter in English, and I am sure in other languages too. It is simply an easy word.
We will let Aleksandar Donski playing his assigned role trying to be his own people´s nana, putting them to nani in Skopje with nurturing ethnic fables of Slavo-Makedonski proto-Slavs counter-historically roaming around ancient Macedonia, with Aristotle writing his philosophical corpus in Slavonic Cyrillic (alas, no writings of Aristotle´s written in the Slavomacedonski dialect have been found to date!) and teaching Bugarski Bulgarian to Alexander the Great, Aleksandar Velikiot, as the Skopjians call him. Myths and fables are good for children, and Balkan people with a shaken identity, but even children need to grow up at some point. People who still believe in childish myths, such as the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus or, as in the case of some (not all, by any means) Skopjans, a Slavomacedonian Aristotle and a Slavomakedonski Alexander the Great, are more properly described as living a private delusion. In their case it is a dangerously disconnected from reality ultra-nationalistic “private world”.
In Greek the one who lives disconnected from reality in his own “private” world is called idiotes/ιδιώτης, a word which in other European languages has been translated as: idiot.
Moving beyond Slavomakedonski baby speech and the ethno-mythical claims of the Skopjan regime, we return to the Anatolian Nana of the Phrygians. The name Nana, as it has been adequately documented above, originates in Mesopotamia as Inanna, also known as Ishtar, the name of a Sumerian female deity that was later adopted by the Hittites of the Central Anatolian plateau and from them, in turn, by the Phrygians. The Phrygians gave the myth of Attis and Cybele the Great Mother, along with the name Nana to the Greeks who spread it to the farthest extremities of the Greek-speaking world, following the conquests of Alexander the Great and his Macedonians.
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