Why did the Byzantine record the name of Osman Ghazi as Otoman?

By: | Post date: 2016-09-26 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Mediaeval Greek

Here’s some data, from Gyula Moravcsik’s Byzantinoturcica, a dictionary of all Turkic names and words that ended up in Byzantine Greek. The names are in roughly chronological order.

Osman is named as:

  • Atman (George Pachymeres, Nicephorus Gregoras)
  • Atouman Atoumanos Atoumanes (Notitiae Chronicae, Chronicon Turcorum)
  • Otmanos Otmanes (Hierax, Chronica Minora)
  • Otoumanos (Chalcocondyles)
  • Othmanos Othman Otthmanos Otthmanes Otthamanes
  • Osouman

From Turkish Atman, Ataman, Azman, Tuman? ~ Arabic Otmān.

So Moravcsik accepts that the name originated as Atman, with abundant bibliography, and the very earliest mentions are as Atman. The versions with an initial O- and with a -th- are 15th and 16th century.

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