28 March 2013

Latin satellēs 'bodyguard'

Latin satellēs 'bodyguard', whose accusative satellite- was borrowed into French satellite, is a loanword from Etruscan zatlaθ 'axe-bearer', from zaθ, zat 'axe'1. I think likely a connection with IE *H4adhes- 'axe, adze' (Hittite ates, atessa-, English adze, Latin assis, asser).

This formation is parallel to the theonym Raθlθ 'Stick-carrier', from raθ 'stick'2, possibly related to IE *wraHd- 'root, branch' > Latin rādix 'root', a Wanderwort also found in Afrasian *rVhVt’- 'branch, rafter' (Semitic, Berber) and Georgian rt’o 'branch, bough'. Latin rāmus 'branch, bunch' < *wrād-mo- is cognate to Greek rhádamnos 'branch, twig', a Pre-Greek substrate loanword also found as rhódamnos, oródamnos.
1 Etruscan z stands for /ts/.
2 Latin ratis 'rafter' must be an Etruscan loanword.

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