Father

The most constant title of the gods who inherit *Dyeus' name is 'father'. Scholars long ago noted the striking agreement of the vocatives Diaus pitar (RV 6. 51. 5, al.), Zeû nârep, and the agglutinated Iupater or Iuppiter of the Italic peoples. The phrase is used equally in the nominative (RV 4. 1. 10 Diaus pitâ, 1. 89. 4 pita Dyauh; Il. 11. 201 Zevs (pe) narrjp, 4. 235 nar^p Zevs; Illyrian Deipaturos; Latin Diespiter, Iuppiter), and to some extent in other cases too (RV 1. 71. 5 pitré .. . Divé; Homeric narpos AOs, Ail narpi; Italic Dipoteres, Ioues patres, Iuve patre).

Herodotus (4. 59. 2) reports that the Scythians, 'most correctly in my opinion', call Zeus 'Papaios'. He must have understood the name to mean 'father' or 'fatherly', and he was very likely right. This looks like another reflex of Father Dyeus. The same is assumed for the Bithynian Zeus nanias or nannmos.17 The 'father' title may perhaps also survive in the name of the Old Russian deity Stribogu, if stri- is from *ptr-.18 In the Latvian songs we find the declinable formula Dievs debess tevs, 'God, father of heaven' (LD 31167, 9291, 269 = Jonval nos. 79-81). An ecclesiastical source dating from 1604 records that the Letts believed in a supreme deity whom they called

16 LD 33799, Jonval no. 139. Other references are LD 12238, 19491 (Jonval no. 10), 27601, 27690 var. 2, 27378, 27850. There is no lexically equivalent phrase in Homer, but one may refer to the nvXai Gvpavov, 'gates of heaven', of Il. 5. 749 = 8. 393. For Semitic parallels see West (1997), 141-3.

17 Kretschmer (1896), 241 f.; RExviii(2). 934, 977, 1083 f., and Supp. xv. 1471.

'Tebo Deves'; this may represent debess Dievs 'God of heaven' or tevs Dievs 'father God'.19

The title of 'father' was not confined to MIE. We have seen that in Anatolian *Dyeus, as a specific deity, became identified with the Sun. But the divine name and its variants continued to be associated with the term 'father'. In the Hittite phrase attas dUTU-us, attas is 'father', dUTU is a Sumerogram denoting a Sun-god, and -us is a phonetic complement helping the reader to identify the Hittite name and case-ending. Here it is possibly to be read as Sius, though Istanus, a solar name borrowed from Hattic, may be a stronger candidate. Also attested, however, are a Luwian tatis dTiwaz and a Palaic Tiyaz . .. papaz. The words for 'father' are not the same as Vedic piti, Greek naT^p, Latin pater; they are hypocoristic forms, related to them as 'dad' or 'papa' to 'father'. We can infer nevertheless that the combination 'Father *Dyeus' goes back to PIE.

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