Mōtung:Sigelhearwenaland

Fram Wikipǣdian
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hi, I came across this page randomly and don't speak Old English. I'm just wondering what Sigelhearwenaland means and why the name is different from all other languages.

I can't tell the origin for sure, but Sigelhearwa (and variant spellings) is a well attested word in Old English for an Ethiopian, appearing in several texts; likewise we have Sigelhearwan for 'Ethiopian' as an adjective. One manuscript has 'Sigylhearwan' glossed as Aethiopes.
Old English tends to refer to nations rather than their land, so we say for example "on Francum" ('amongst the French') rather than "in Franclande"; for that reason while you can find a word for Ethiopians there will not necessarily be one for Ethiopia. The land name is derived in the usual way for Old English: 'Sigelhearwenaland' mens "Ethiopians' land".
The word is likely to be related to the word sigel, a word for "Sun" (mainly old or poetic). Interstingly, Sigelhweorfa means "heliotrope", presumably as an attempt to translate the Greek (helios is Greek for "Sun"). I cannot explain the latter part of the word. (Hearwian means "to cool", but I can't see the relevance. Hogweard

(mōtung) 23:34, 11 Wēodmōnaþ 2016 (UTC)