Paeonian Language
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Paeonian Language
Native toNorth Macedonia, northern Greece, south-eastern Serbia, south-western Bulgaria
Extinctprobably 4th century CE[1]
  • Paeonian
Language codes
None (mis)

Paeonian,[2] sometimes spelled Paionian, is a poorly attested, extinct language spoken by the ancient Paeonians until late antiquity.

Paeonia once stretched north of Macedon, into Dardania, and in earlier times into southwestern Thrace.


Classical sources usually considered the Paeonians distinct from the rest of the Paleo-Balkan people, comprising their own ethnicity and language. It is considered a Paleo-Balkan language but this is only a geographical grouping, not a genealogical one. Modern linguists are uncertain as to the classification of Paeonian, due to the extreme scarcity of surviving materials in the language, with numerous hypotheses having been published:

Paeonian vocabulary

Several Paeonian words are known from classical sources:

A number of anthroponyms (some known only from Paeonian coinage) are attested: Agis (?), Patraos (?), Lycpeios (), Audoleon (), Eupolemos (), Ariston (?), etc. In addition several toponyms (Bylazora (), Astibos (?) and a few theonyms Dryalus (?), Dyalos (), the Paeonian Dionysus, as well as the following:

  • Pontos, affluent of the Strumica River, perhaps from *ponktos, "boggy" (cf. German feucht, "wet", Middle Irish éicne "salmon", Sanskrit pánka "mud, mire", Greek pontos "passage", "way");
  • Idomenae (?) (nowadays near Gevgelija), name of a city (cf. Greek Idomeneus, proper name in Homer, "Ida", mountain in Crete);
  • Stoboi (nowadays Gradsko), name of a city, from *stob(h) (cf. Old Prussian stabis "rock", Old Church Slavonic stoboru, "pillar", Old English stapol, "post", Ancient Greek stobos, "scolding, bad language");
  • Dysoron (? and ?[10]) (nowadays Dysoro ()), name of a mountain, from "dys-", "bad" (cf. Greek dyskolos "difficult", and "oros" Greek oros, "mountain");
  • Agrianes, name of a tribe, possibly from *agro- "field" (cf. Lat. ager, Grc. agros, Eng. acre) with cognates in the Greek tribe of Agraioi who lived in Aetolia, and the name of the month Agrianos which is found throughout the Dorian and Aeolian worlds.[6][11]

The Indo-European voiced aspirates (*bh, *dh, etc.) became plain voiced consonants (/b/, /d/, etc.), just like in Illyrian, Thracian, and Phrygian.[]


  1. ^ "Paeonia". Encyclopædia Britannica online.
  2. ^ Harry van der Hulst, Rob Goedemans and Ellen van Zanten as ed., A Survey of Word Accentual Patterns in the Languages of the World, Empirical Approaches to Language Typology, Walter de Gruyter, 2010, ISBN 311019631X, p. 433.
  3. ^ a b c Radoslav Katicic, (2012) Ancient Languages of the Balkans: n.a. Volume 4 of Trends in Linguistics. Walter de Gruyter, p. 119, ISBN 3111568873.
  4. ^ Susan Wise Bauer (2007). The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome. ISBN 0-393-05974-X, page 518: "... Italy); to the north, Thracian tribes known collectively as the Paeonians."
  5. ^ Francesco Villari. Gli Indoeuropei e le origini dell'Europa. Il Mulino, 1997. ISBN 88-15-05708-0.
  6. ^ a b Merker, Irwin L. (1965). "THE ANCIENT KINGDOM OF PAIONIA". Institute for Balkan Studies (Greece). 6 (1): 36-37.
  7. ^ cite journal|Hrach Martirosyan "Origins and historical development of the Armenian language" in Journal of Language Relationship, International Scientific Periodical, n.º10 (2013). Russian State University for the Humanities, Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
  8. ^ Martirosyan, Hrach (2014). "Origins and Historical Development of the Armenian Language" (PDF). Leiden University: 1-23. Retrieved 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ I. M. Diakonoff The Problem of the Mushki Archived August 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine in The Prehistory of the Armenian People
  10. ^ Suda, delta, 1679
  11. ^ Cuche, Vincent (2017), "Dorian festivals", The Encyclopedia of Ancient History, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, pp. 1-2, doi:10.1002/9781444338386.wbeah30116, ISBN 978-1-4443-3838-6, retrieved , Agrianos month is found throughout the Dorian and Aeolian worlds. (Burkert 1983: 168-79).

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