h₁n̥gʷnis is the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European name of the fire god in the Proto-Indo-European mythology.


The archaic Proto-Indo-European language (ca. 4500–4000 BC) had a two-gender system which originally divided words between animate and inanimate, a system used to distinguish a common term from its deified synonym. Therefore, fire as an animate entity and active force was known as *h₁n̥gʷnis, while the inanimate entity and natural substance was named *péh₂ur (cf. Greek pyr; English fire).[1][2]

In some traditions, as the sacral name of the dangerous fire may have become a word taboo,[3] the stem *h₁n̥gʷnis served as an ordinary term for fire, as in the Latin ignis.[1]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Mallory & Adams 2006, p. 122.
  2. ^ West 2007, p. 135–136.
  3. ^ a b West 2007, p. 266.
  4. ^ a b Lubotsky 2011, s.v. agni-.
  5. ^ Derksen 2008, p. 364.
  6. ^ a b West 2007, p. 269.
  7. ^ a b Orel 1998, p. 88.


  • Derksen, Rick (2008). Etymological Dictionary of the Slavic Inherited Lexicon. Brill. ISBN 9789004155046.
  • Lubotsky, Alexander (2011), "Indo-Aryan Inherited Lexicon", Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Project, Brill
  • Mallory, James P.; Adams, Douglas Q. (2006). The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-929668-2.
  • Orel, Vladimir (1998). Albanian etymological dictionary. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-11024-3.
  • West, Martin Litchfield (2007). Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-928075-9.