Monday, November 26, 2012

Niebuhr Makes Clear Sabelli = Sabine

The names Sabini and Sabelli are the same, just as Hispani and Hispalli, Graeci and Graeculi. The form Sabelli is either a diminutive or changed by a pleonasm, Sabinulus, and, with a change of vowel, Sabellus. This nation occupies a large extent of country in history ; but we should be mistaken, if we were to suppose, that all the tribes included under the name were pure Sabines and that they alone inhabited the countries governed by them ; for they did not by any means extirpate the ancient inhabitants when they conquered a country.
Also Strabo notes in his Geography:

It is reasonable to suppose therefore that their name "Sabelli" is a diminutive derived from the name of their forefathers.

εἰκὸς δὲ διὰ τοῦτο καὶ Σαβέλλους αὐτοὺς ὑποκοριστικῶς ἀπὸ τῶν γονέων προσαγορευθῆναι(Geography 5.4)

The Greek word here means both 'diminutive' and 'nickname.' For some reason I can't get the heresy of the Μαρκελλιανοὺς out of my mind and all the heretics that have the -ιανοὺς suffix.

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