Horutani – The Mountain People


Karantania, Karinthia, KÄRNTEN (Korotan)? Horutani, (Korotani, Koročani, Gorotani – people dwelling in the mountains) were the Slavic people but they had not been using the name Slovenians before the second half of 19th century.

Interesting, today’s Croatia is constituted of the former Austria- Hungarian provinces Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia and Istria. As we can see, the most part of modern Croatia is Slavonia, the name almost the same as Slovenia (both names referring to the common /general/ name of the Slavs – Sloveni).

On the other side, Horutani or Gorotani were the Slavs that were named like that according to high mountains they were living on (Serbo- Slavic gora, hora mountain); cf. Slovenian toponyms Koruška, Gorenjsko, Kranj, Gorica.

The ur-syllable Hor is a part of the name of Horus sun god (Slavic Hors) and in a combination with the other paleo-syllable (Gon) it could have been marking

1) round form of the sun [Serb.Slav. krug circle]

a) district, area [Serb-Slav. okrug, kraj, krajina; for instance Serbian Krajina in Croatia)

b) any protuberance of an approximately round form [Serb-Slav. kvrga “bump, nub, node”; hence horje, gorje “mountains”; cf. Slovenian Po-horje; Bosnian mountain Ja-horina, Montenegrin Pod-gorica is a town placed “beneath the mountain”; Pod-gorica = Sub-mountain]

2) irradiation of light and heat that comes from the sun [Serb-Slav. gorenje burning]

a) black color as a result of burning [Serb-Slav. crno, černo]

b) ember [Serb-Slav. žar; adjective žarno, žarko hot; žarenje annealing]

c) shining, blazing [Serb-Slav. jarko from harko; Hor-Gon basis]

Now we can clearly see that Horutani, Gorotani or Goričani (the former Karantanian citizens) acquired their name in accordance with the mountainous region they were occupied [cf. Serbian Crna Gora; calqued by Venetians as Montenegro – Black Mountain].

Croatian name (Hrvati, Horvati) is also related to mountainous region of the today’s Central Croatia (Za-gorje!, Zagreb and Krapina county). Krapina is Grbina; i.e. Serb-Slav. grba (again “bump” or “node”, “bulge”) similar to above kvrga (bump, node). In this case, Croatia could be derived from the Hor-Bel basis as well as from Hor-Gon. It means that the above-mentioned Horutani (Mountain-People) might have changed their name to Horuati (Hor-Gon) and finally to Horuvati (prosthetic ‘v’).

But whatever we accept as a right geneses of the Croatian name one thing is certain: Croats are the highlanders or mountaineers because their name suggests it clearly as well as it suggests the name of the old Slavic tribe (Horutani, Goričani) today known under the name Slovenians (or Slovenes).

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Explore posts in the same categories: Comparative Linguistics, History

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