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Cimmeria - Simmeria Or Kimmeria ?


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#1 PaulMc

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 02:21 PM

Just curious how y'all pronounce Cimmeria.

Seems a no-brainer to me that Konan would come from Kimmeria, but I know in one of the movies they said, "Simmeria" (not that the movies are a R. E. Howard scholar's encyclopedia, of course ;) )

Of course, I'm biased toward the hard-C sound because I have Keltic (not Seltic!) roots.

What's your take?

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#2 Kortoso

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 05:22 PM

This is a sticky question. Historically the word Cimmeria comes from the Greek Kimmerioi so that would appear to be that.

But REH himself is recorded as pronouncing it "Simeria". This is from someone who tracked all the different real and imaginary relations of this word.

I'd say, your choice.

#3 Kane

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 07:15 PM

Kortoso has it right when he said it was the readers choice.

As for myself, when I'm reading I always here the words as;

Conan= Ko-nan
Cimmeria= Ky-meria
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#4 Mondas

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 01:53 AM

The Cimmerians were an actual people and there were described by homer. They first appeared in Assyrian annals around 700BC and were said to have lived around the northern Turkey region. The Cimmerians were an ancient people of unknown affinity, possibly of Anatolian, Thracian or Iranian origin, who lived in the south of modern-day Ukraine (Crimea and northern Black sea coast) and Russia (Black Sea coast and Caucasus), at least in the 8th and 7th century BC. In the early twentieth century the home of the Cimmerians in the Caucasus led to their association with the ancient Aryans. This may be partially true. It seems that their leaders may have been of Iranian linguistic origin like those of Scythians. I found a few websites about them.

http://www.grohol.co...wiki/Cimmerians

http://www.worldhist.../Cimmerians.htm

Read these two and judge for yourself. I think RE Hoawrd used real life names to give the reader a sence of what type of people inhabited his stories. :)
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#5 Kortoso

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 06:01 AM

Howard wrote about the "Gomer" of the Bible, and I thought that naught but fancy but here is something to deepen that:
http://www.uhcg.org/...acing-dan3.html

Exiled Israel was called "Khumri" by their Assyrian captors. They also were called Gimir or Gomer. The term "Gimiri" in Babylon meant "tribes." The similar sounding "gamira" denoted mobility and hints at nomadism, or exile, or both. The Scythians also were called Gimiri, meaning Cimmerian. The Cimmerians first appeared on the fringes of the Assyrian Empire in the Middle East. Yair Davidy goes into lengthy detail about the Israelites serving in the Assyrian armies as mercenaries, with their own Israelite leaders, but time and space do not allow this study to trace them. Solomon himself started what we today term "cavalry" fighting, with Israelites first using it and continuing it into modern times, right up to and including WWI, (the United States and the British Commonwealth being Israel). 1 Kings 4:26 says that King Solomon had kept "Forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots and twelve thousand horsemen." 1 Kings 10:28 tells us, "The source of Solomon's horses was from Mitsrayim (i.e., Musasir) and from Que, the merchants of the king would take them from Que at a price." (Note that although the KJV translates "Mitsrayim" as "Egypt," the "Mutsri" of the north in Assyrian inscriptions is often taken to be Cappadocia (pronounced Cappa dok ia) on the Black Sea shore of the Pontus to the northwest of Assyria and Urartu (in present-day Turkey). The term also was applicable to Musasir to the north of Assyria between Mannae and Urartu.) 5


http://britam.org/CimmScyth.html
Cimmerians, Scythians, and Israel

Foor for thought... :)

#6 Ironhand

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 07:57 AM

I figured that since the word "Cimmeria" was first reported by the Greeks, it would have to have been the Greek pronunciation (actually, the Greek spelling, of Kimmeria).
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

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#7 PainBrush

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 12:56 AM

Great topic ! I always pronounced it (S)immer(y)a, but in stories of some of Howards other characters Commoria is mentioned & I pronounced that (K)ommoria, don't know why. Kail mentioned the pronunciation of Khitai also, I always thought of it as (ky-tay) rather than (kee-tee)or (ky-ty), I always imagined that Howard thought of it as the origin of "Cathay" (China) which he used in other historical stories & poems.

That link above to the tribal history page is excellent, thanks for that Kortoso ! I read something almost identical years ago but forgot where, I am a glutton for obscure history, particularly biblical & pre-historic (I know thats an oxymoron, I mean pre-written history I guess). I didn't read that entire site yet or part 2 (but i put it in favorites )- In the stuff I read on that subject some time ago (about the tribe of Dan & connection to the Scandinavians,& Teutonic, land of Dan-Mark etc.)I recall a lot of information also about the origins of Germanic religion/mythology & that WoDan (original pronunc.?)-in other words, Thors daddy, was based in pre-history on half forgotten stories of Dan, of the lost tribe mentioned in the bible . Paulmc mentioned the words Ceasar & Kaiser, you forgot the Russian version "Czar" or "Tsar".

Edited by PAINBRUSH, 16 July 2005 - 11:10 PM.

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#8 Junior

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 03:10 PM

Just started playing the Conan PC game last night and the narrator prounounces it as

Ko-non (as in non-dairy creamer)

of

Simeereeya

Just thought I'd make note of that. I prefer Kimmeria myself...Sounds tougher.

#9 Valin

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 06:37 PM

When I first read the Conan stories in high school, I pronounced his nation with the soft C sound. For some reason when I started re-reading them recently it was with the hard C sound (perhaps because I had read about the Greek pronounciation a few years ago). Either way, this is an interesting thread.
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#10 Mikey_C

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 09:22 PM

Well, I've always pronounced it to myself as Cimmeria, on no authority at all, but if REH said it that way, that's good enough for me! :D
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#11 Ironhand

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 01:44 AM

One problem with using the "S" sound is it leads to people saying "Conan of Sumeria".
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#12 Primeval

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 02:09 AM

One problem with using the "S" sound is it leads to people saying "Conan of Sumeria".

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I have always read it as "sim-meria" even before hearing anyone else ever pronounce it, but I have no idea why. That is a good point about confusing it with Sumeria though. But if Howard really said it as "sim-meria" then that's what I will continue with. :)

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#13 Ancient Ages

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 12:34 PM

Kail mentioned the pronunciation of Khitai also, I always thought of it as (ky-tay) rather than (kee-tee)or (ky-ty), I always imagined that Howard thought of it as the origin of "Cathay" (China) which he used in other historical stories & poems.


Possibly. But I believe it's more likely based on the country of Khara Khitai, in modern day western China. That would correspond with its location on the map of Hyboria I think.

Edited by Ancient Ages, 11 August 2005 - 12:35 PM.


#14 moss ryder

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 06:07 AM

in my opinion, the word should be considered as we consider the given names of the various lands around the world. Pronounce them as local custom dictates, as we do with countries such as china, russia, germany, and many others. if, as an american, canadian, brit, or whatever, you feel the word should be pronounced a certain way, according to your local dialect,language or custom, then do so.

i always pronounced it symEEReea, but the arguments for kim EER ia and KI mer ia are enthralling. just my opinion...


e

#15 Kortoso

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 04:52 PM

And don't forget we're translating the name Cimmeria into English. I wonder what the original Cimmerian pronunciation would sound like? Something harsh and guttural, no doubt.
And because every country has different versions of their name throughout the world - Scotland, Escocia, Ecosse etc -? what would Cimmeria be known as in, say, Koth or Zingara

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

A very good question Kail, and one that I'm working hard to solve. The word "Cimmeria" is actually glossed in Old Irish dictionaries, which are based on translations of the Bible and other Latin texts by Irish monks in the Dark Ages.

However, it's probable that Cimmerian (pretending here that the language actually existed) was very early Celtic or pre-Celtic. The original roots are there, but they require some digging. :)

Obviously, most of the names that we read in the tales are the Nemedian versions, since they are chronicled by Nemedians to tell Conan's saga.

Edited by Kortoso, 16 August 2005 - 04:54 PM.


#16 blacksagelobo

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 05:07 PM

I read somewhere that Howard pronouned KO-n'n and Sim-MEER-ia according to Novalyn Price (Howard's closest female friend).

Edited by blacksagelobo, 20 August 2005 - 12:54 AM.


#17 Ant

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 06:19 PM

... 'Keltic' seems to be the accepted version of 'Celtic', but in fact both 'Keltic' and 'Seltic' are acceptable, the former taking over in recent centuries. ...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was surprised when I read this as I'd been taught at school that it was pronounced /'kel-tik/, except when you meant one of the two Glasgow soccer teams (which is always /'sel-tik/). But checking dictionaries on my bookshelf and online does indeed show that /'sel-tik/ is acceptable.

/'kel-tic/ is closer, though, to the original Greek, which would by why it's favoured by purists.

Hence, Cimmerian should be /k&-'mir-E-&n/, if you followed its etymology.

But, according to my dictionaries, /s&-'mir-E-&n/ (hear it!) is the only accepted pronunciation!

Strange!

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#18 Kortoso

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 07:36 PM

I read somewhere that Howard pronouned Ko-N'N and Sim-MEER-ia according to Novalyn Price (Howard's closest female friend).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That seems to be accurate.

#19 Ironhand

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 11:08 PM

I guess you should pronounce Cimmeria the same way you pronounce Celt: with an "S" if you're from Boston or Glasgow, but with a "K" if you're from anywhere else.

I like Konan of Kimmeria because it has an alliterative ring to it.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
"... you speak of Venarium familiarly. Perhaps you were there?"
"I was," grunted [Conan]. "I was one of the horde that swarmed over the hills. I hadn't yet seen fifteen snows, but already my name was repeated about the council fires." - "Beyond the Black River", by Robert E. Howard

Read my Conan screenplays at The Scrolls of Ironhand (in particular my transcription of THE FROST GIANT'S DAUGHTER in Act II of "The Snow Devil") at
http://www.scrollsof...d.us/index.html or at
http://www.delicious...ic=ConanProject

#20 PaulMc

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 01:17 AM

I guess you should pronounce Cimmeria the same way you pronounce Celt:  with an "S" if you're from Boston or Glasgow, but with a "K" if you're from anywhere else.

I like Konan of Kimmeria because it has an alliterative ring to it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Of course, I'm from Boston - I never understood that such a large Irish-American population let them get away with the "Seltic" pronounciation!

Then again, at least when I say "Keltic", no one mistakes my conversation for one about basketball.

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