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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)