Macedonian names and makeDONSKI pseudo-linguistics: The case of the name Perustae

Miltiades Elia Bolaris
April 04, 2010
Balkan Illusion – phantasia archaica:

“…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). “Perustae. The noun “perustija” in the present day Macedonian language means an iron spit for cooking meat over a fire, an item that had great significance in the preparation of food in the past. The name Peruska 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 historian from FYROM.

Perustae / Peirustae / Περουσται

Adamantios Korais/Αδαμάντιος Κοραής (Smyrna 1748-Paris 1833) was a man of Letters, a philosopher, a linguist, a medical doctor, a translator of the classics, a writer, a lexicographer and a polemicist who believed in the ideals of the French Revolution and its potential in transforming all of Europe, including the nascent world of the Ottoman-occupied Balkan peninsula. Korais lived in Paris during the Age of Enlightenment and he had correspondence with the great men of his time, including Thomas Jefferson the American revolutionary whom he greatly admired. Korais helped usher in the Modern Greek Enlightenment movement the Diaphotismos/Διαφωτισμος (=enlightment). He is also credited with helping purify the modern Greek language of what he considered the more vulgar and foreign intrusions into the language of Homer and the Attic Classics, the language of the New Testament.

His influence in the development of the modern Greek language as it is spoken today is enormous. Among the hundreds of works that Korais had produced is also the first Modern Greek lexical dictionary, in the early years of the 19th century, which he named ATAKTA (the unclassified ones). In the Atakta, among thousands of other Greek words we also find this interesting entry:

“ΠΥΡΩΣΤΙΑ με συνων. Σιδεροστία, Σ. Και εξήγησιν Alare (chenet), Πυροστατης, Δ. Με εξήγησιν Olla, Lebes (marmite), λαβών από τόν Ευσταθιον. Ο Ευσταθιος όμως λέγει (Οδυσσ. Ρ, 455, σελ. 1827 “επίστατος ο και πυρίστατος καλουμενος, όν δηλαδη Πυροστατην οι αγροικοτεροι λέγουσι”. Αλλου δέ (λέξ. Στία) ο Δ. Φερει μαρτυρίαν γραμματικού ταυτην: “Εν ώ απτεται πυρ, ο τόπος εκείνος Εστία καλειται, καί τό πυρ εκείνο της Εστιας λεγεται. Η γαρ βαρβαρικώς Παραστια, παρα δέ τινων Πυραστια, αυτό σημαινει, όπερ ειπον ανωθεν. Πυρ γαρ εστιας όφειλον λέγεσθαι, βαρβαρωθέν Πυροστια λέγεται”. Ο δε σχολιαστης του Σοφοκλέους εις τούτο του τραγωδού τό μερος (Αιαντ. 1404),


Τριποδ’ αμφίπυρον λουτρών οσίων,

εξηγει τόν πυροστατην: “τριποδ’ αμφιπυρον, ήγουν χυτρόποδα αμφοτερόθεν τό πυρ δεχόμενον…Χυτρόπους ο κοινός ως και Λασανον λέγεται”.”

Αδαμαντιος Κοραης, Aτακτα , Τομος Τεταρτος, Μερος Δευτερον

In English, I would translate above as follows:

“PYROSTIA being synonymous to Siderostia, which (in Italian) means Alare and (in French) means chenet. Pyrostatis which means Olla, Lebes (marmite) [as taken from Eustathios. But Eustathios says that (Odyssey P, 455, page 1827, “epistatos is also called pyristatos, which in other words is what the farmer folk call Pyrostatis”. And elsewhere (word entry: Stia) D. brings to us the testimony of a grammatician: “the place where the pyr (fire) is being lit and kept, that place is called Estia, and that pyr (fire) therefore is appropriately named Estia’s pyr (Estia’s fire). And the meaning of the item which in a barbaric fashion is now called by some Parastia, and by certain others Pyrastia, we have already explained above. Pyr of Estia is what it should properly be called, yet in a barbarian-like way it is now called Pyrostia”.

And the commentator of Sophocles in that part of the tragedy (Ajax 1404),

Υψίβατον ……………..Hypsibaton

(High standing)

Τριποδ’ αμφίπυρον λουτρών οσίων,

Tripod’ amphipyron loutron osion

(Tripod allowing fire from every side that permits (in boiling water) for the bath),

and he explains in this way the pyrostatis: “Tripod allowing fire from every side, which means [it is being used as] legs for a pot accepting fire from both sides…common Pot-legs and also called Laganon”.”

Adamantios Korais, “Atakta” (The unclassified ones), Book Fourth, Part Second

Pyrostia/Πυροστιά is a Greek word that is typically (but not necessarily) describing an iron tripod placed inside the estia, the fireplace, and is used as a pot holder for cooking. The closeest English equivalent is the andiron. Albanian Latin and Slavic populations of the southern Balkans use the word pyrostia, adapting it to their respective phonetic rules. The Slavs of what used to be until recently southern Yugoslavia, now FYROM, call it Perustija. Go a little further north and in Serbia the same item has a Slavonic name called Ognjisate, a Slavic word derived from огњ/ognj, Slavonic for “fire”.

Let us compare the two words:

The first part of the Serbian word огњиште/ognjište, comes from the Slavic word for fire: огнь/Ognj, in Serbian: огaњ/Oganj.

Let us look at what fire is called in some of the Slavic languages:

Russian : Oгонь/Ogonj

Czech : Oheň

Slovak : Oheň

Slovenian : Ogenj

Bulgarian: Oгън / Ogjn

The similarities are of course striking: it is for all practical purposes the same, only word slightly modified from one Slavic dialect or language to another. Theya re all derived from the Proto-Slavic word for fire: *ognь, and by extension from the from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ngʷni-.

In the Baltic languages which are the long ago distant cousins of Slavonic we again find a similar word for fire:

Latvian : Uguns

Lithuanian : Ugnis

The Balto-Slavic word for Fire is connected through common Indo-European linguistic roots to the Sanskrit अग्नि/Agni, the name of one of the most important of the Hindu Vedic Gods. Agni is the God of fire in the Vedes. The same word incidentally exists in Greek, as Agne/Αγνη and Agnos/Αγνος, which means ore. Over the millennia it has lost its original connection to fire, of something being cleansed-purified through fire. The same word has survived in Germanic English in the verb: to ignite (fire). The Latins had the same word as ignis, and the Latin name Ignatius contains the meaning “the one who sparkles, who starts flames”. The root word of these words is thought to have sounded something like: *hxngwnis, in primitive Indo-European and we leave it at that for now.

From another Indo-European root word for fire: *pe’h2ur we have a different series of word derivatives:

Hittite: Pahhur

Tocharian B: Puwar

Armenian: Hur

German: Feuer

Italian: Fuoco (though in Latin: Ignis)

Italic Umbrian: Pir

English: Fire

Norwegian: Fir

Greek: Πυρ/Pyr

Having looked at the words of fire from the two different Indo-European linguistic avenues we can now again compare the word: Pirustija, used in Southern Yugoslavia against the Greek word Pyrostia and the originaly Slavonic-Serbian word огњиште/ognjište. There is no doubt that far from being a Slavic word,and unlike the Serbian Ognjisqte, Pirustija is simply a Slavonic adaptation of the modern Greek word Pirostia, a loanword, which is in itself a combination of the two Greek words Pyr=fire and Estia= fireplace i.e. the place where the fire is ignited and kept:

Pyr is its nominative form and Pyros is the genitive. Pyros-estia = place-of-fire, hence: Pyrostia.

Having searched the meaning of perustija, and having explained its Hellenic linguistic roots, which have nothing to do with Slavonic, except as a loan word, Perustija from Pyrostia, taken from Greek and used in the Slavomacedonian dialect, we now move to the Peirustae. We need to remember what Aleksander Donski told us earlier:

“Perustae. The noun “perustija” in the present day Macedonian language means an iron spit for cooking meat over a fire, an item that had great significance in the preparation of food in the past.”

Donski, without any proof or documentation tries to pass his smoke as fact, and he attempts to make it seem like the Perustae/Peirustae were some sort of “Macedonians”, or (more properly) some ancient Protoslavonic “Makedonci” who supposedly took their name from a word that HE THINKS is Slavomacedonian. Aleksandar Donski obviously was not a stellar student in his geometry or algebra class back in high school:…his sequence of his logic is abysmally lacking in basic coherence. Had he been a lawyer, he would have starved, losing one case after another. Becoming a propagandist apostle of pseudo-macedonism was a stroke of genius, for someone with such a limited capacity in logical argumentation: when you lie through your teeth, and when you preach to the converted (the VMRO-DPMNE cadre and the ultra-nationalist Slavomacedonian emigres in search of an identity in Canada or Australia, you can pretty much sell any book filled with garbage masquerader as History and Linguistics. Once these books get translated into a well read European language, like English, though, then the bird gets out of the cage: you can fool a few people (half of the Slavomacedonians) all the time, as Abraham Lincoln wisely said, or all the people (the other half of the Slavomacedonians and the rest of the world) for a short time, but you cannot fool ALL the people ALL the time! This is the tragic fate of the pseudo-scientist: temporary glory (and monetary advancement, obviously, Donski does not give out his books) followed by eternal derision, once the truth shines over his lies.

We now need to find out about the tribe of the Peirustae, their ethnic affiliation and answer the question as to what was their connection to the ancient Macedonians. Strabo the ancient Greek Geographer was very clear of their location:

“Ἔθνη δ’ ἐστὶ τῶν Παννονίων Βρεῦκοι καὶ Ἀνδιζήτιοι καὶ Διτίωνες καὶ Πειροῦσται καὶ Μαζαῖοι καὶ Δαισιτιᾶται, ὧν Βάτων ἡγεμών, καὶ ἄλλα ἀσημότερα μικρά, {ἃ} διατείνει μέχρι Δαλματίας, σχεδὸν δέ τι καὶ Ἀρδιαίων ἰόντι πρὸς νότον· ἅπασα {δ’} ἡ ἀπὸ τοῦ μυ χοῦ τοῦ Ἀδρίου παρήκουσα ὀρεινὴ μέχρι τοῦ Ῥιζονικοῦ κόλπου καὶ τῆς Ἀρδιαίων γῆς … Μεταξὺ πίπτουσα τῆς τε θαλάττης καὶ τῶν Παννονίων ἐθνῶν.” Στράβων, Γεωγραφικά, [7,5,3]

“The tribes of the Pannonii are: the Breuci, the Andizetii, the Ditiones, the Peirustae, the Mazaei, and the Daesitiatae, whose leader is Bato, and also other small tribes of lesser significance which extend as far as Dalmatia and, as one goes south, almost as far as the land of the Ardiaei. The whole of the mountainous country that stretches alongside Pannonia from the recess of the Adriatic as far as the Rhizonic Gulf and the land of the Ardiaei is Illyrian, falling as it does between the sea and the Pannonian tribes.”

Strabo, Geographica, Book VII.5.3

In other words Strabo is placing all of the above peoples in the mountainous area that lies between what is now the Dalmatian coast of Croatia and up to the Pannonian plains of Vojvodina in northern Serbia and Hungary. They were Pannonian Illyrians. What was their connections to the ancient Macedonians? The short answer to this question is: Zero! None of these Pannonian or any other Illyrians had anything to do with ancient Macedonia! They were ethnically, culturally and linguistically unrelated to the Greek speaking Macedonians. It also goes without saying that none of these Illyrians had anything to do with the Slavs who appeared in these areas a little more than a millennium later (or, for that matter, with the Albanians who appeared even later, during the 11th century, coming south from their original Carpathian mountainous homeland).

John Wilkes, a British historian specializing in Balkan history and Archaeology, in his trail blazing book on the Illyrians specifically pinpoints the Illyrian tribe of the Perustae/Pirustae/Peirustae on the modern map:

“Pirustae dwelt some way to the north in Bosnia and Northern Montenegro and were among the last of the Illyrians to surrender to the Romans.”

John Wilkes, The Illyrians, Page 98

“In eastern Bosnia, the use of Glasinac plateau for burials throughout most of the millenium BC suggests a continuity of population, possibly the Autariatae, who may have been the ancestors of the historical Daesitates and Pirustae.”

John Wilkes, The Illyrians,Page 205

Wilkes then offers us more historical background and direct information for the final fate of the Peirustae:

“Valleius Paterculus officer of the Roman army and an eyewitness of the Pannonian uprising : For the Perustae and the Desidiates, Dalmatian tribes who were almost unconquerable on account of the position of their strongholds in the mountains, their warlike temper, their wonderful knowledge of fighting, and, above all, the narrow passes in which they lived, were then at last pacified, not now under the mere generalship but by the strength in arms of (Tiberius) Caesar himself, and even then only when they were all but exterminated” (2.115). The Pirustae, who inhabited the high valleys of southeast Bosnia and northern Montenegro, seem to have been divided between the Ceraunii (24 decuriae), whose name deriving from the Greek for “thunderbolt” links them with high mountains, Siculotae (24), Glintidiones (44) and Scirtari, who dwelt along the border with Macedonia.”

John Wilkes, The Illyrians, Pages 216-217

It is obvious that the Peirustae were Illyrians whose home was far to the north of ancient Macedonia. They only came in contact with Macedon (and then only a few of them as war refugees, running to save themselves from the Romans) only towards the end of their historic existence, before they were assimilated by other Illyrian tribes as mentioned above.

Unfortunately for the Skopjan revisionists and for those who chose to believe the ultra-nationalist fables passed on to them by the Slavomacedonski pseudo-historian Aleksandar Donski, there is absolutely no credible and documented historical connection that can be made between the Illyrian tribe of the Peirustae, who lived between what is now modern Bosnia and Serbian Vjvodina, on one hand, and the Ancient Macedonians who spoke Greek and lived in historic Macedon, in northern Greece, on the other.

What about Πерушка/Peruska? This name, according to A. Donski is related to the (Greek-derived) Perustija/Pyrostia and the (Illyrian ethnonym) Perustae. We need to look into it. Peruska/Πерушка in the Slavomacedonian dialect can mean feather, feather duster, fin, propeller etc. Peruska/Πерушка the feather as a word appears with some changes in most Slavonic languages. The original word is Πерo/pero and means: feather. But looking into some Russian sources (Словарь славянских имён Баженовой, I also found another more plausible connection to the name Πерушка/Peruska, which has probably been lost in the South Slavic languages:

Первенок/Pervenok, Первуд/Pervud, Перкунос/Perkunos, Перушко/Perushko, Перун/Perun – первый(=fist) (сын)/(=son).

Перун»/Perun – имя главного Бога-воителя у славян/ the name of the main God of the Slavs».

Πерушка/Peruska is most obviously related to Перушко/Perushko. It now makes sense that a person would be named the “First one”, or the “First born”12, especially in a traditional tribal society, like the early Slavic one. naming someone the “Feathery one”, on the other hand, makes little sense, especially someone that aspires to be a leader…enough said! One of the names in the Russian list of names above is of even more historical significance: Первуд/Pervud is the name of a tribal leader of the Slavic tribe of the Ρинхины/Rinhini, who was arrested in Thessaloniki and sent to Constantinople under orders of Emperor Constantios II, in the second part of the 7th cAD in an attempt to decapitate the leadership of the Slaves who had recently arrived in Macedonia. Pervud was executed after attempting an unsuccessful escape.

The name of Первуд/Pervud, the leader of one of these invading Slavic tribes, along with the names Первенок/Pervenok, Перкунос/Perkunos, Перун/Perun have become recessed memory in the national memory of the Slavomacedonians. Donski even tries to make a connection between the Slavic name Перушко/Perushko-Перушкa/Perushka/Peruska, meaning the “Prime one” with such unrelated Illyrian names as the Perustae.

I can fully understand why a pseudo-historian such as Aleksandar Donski is resorting to writing this kind of nonsense. Everyone has to make a living, and in a land-locked country such as FYROM, with a failing and deteriorating economy and 35% unemployment, Aleksandar Donski has found his lucrative niche: He has been asked by the Skopje VMRO-DPMNE nomenratura to invent Balkan fables in which the descendants of the Slavic tribesmen of the Brsjaci/Brzjak/Berziti, Rinhini, Draguvites, Sagudats and Smolyani Slavic tribesmen (who descended into the lower Balkans sometime in the 7th century AD) are not really Slavonic Brsjaci or Rinhini etc but “Makedonci”, directly related in both blood and language to the ancient Greek Macedonians. It is an interesting concept for pseudo-scientific mythological fiction: the creation of a uniquely Balkan parallel universe in which colorful Slavomacedonian Peruska/Πерушка feathery plumes are being used to fan a fire on a Greek Pyrostia/Πυροστιά tripod. Its smoke travels to far-off Bosnia-Herzegovina and parts of Vojvodina. The smoke message is then being read by local smoke-signal translators and the indigenous Illyrians convert to pseudo-Makedonism, gracefully adopting the name Perustae at the same time.

It is all done for the greater glory of Skopjan propaganda and for the support of a fake identity, an invented Makedonskata/Мaкедонскaтa/(=”Macedonian”)identity, a Yugoslavian-Gruevskian Big Lie, originally imposed on the people of Vardarska Banovina (now FYROM) by Tito, in 1944 and continued till today, 65 years and counting, by the Gruevski regime in Skopje.


Related posts: