Monthly Archives: September 2015

Germanic Loanwords

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Saskia Pronk-Tiethoff has recently published her study on “The Germanic Loanwords in Proto-Slavic”.  Despite some quibbling we have had with her concepts of a Proto-Slavic homeland, her book is very interesting and recommended to anyone interested in the topic.  One of the curious aspects of her work is what emerges once you tabulate some of the results as regards one categorization of each word.  Namely, assuming that Pronk-Tiethoff is correct that a particular word is in fact a borrowing from some Germanic language into Slavic, Pronk-Tiethoff’s work includes a designation of the source of such word.  In general, the designation is either a West-Germanic (WG) or Gothic (East Germanic or GO) or unknown Germanic (UG).

radishes

“Welcome to Europe Slavs! – here is what we call a radish”

We have no view on whether a particular word is a borrowing or whether it is correctly classified as either WG or GO or UG.  (e.g., she assumes that no borrowings exist from or into Proto-Germanic because no contacts existed between Slavs and Germanics until after the break up of the Proto-Germanic community – for present purposes we are willing to along with that assumption).  What we would like to highlight is what emerges.  We have followed her designations tallying the words as above plus two additional categories of “probable WG” and “probable GO”.  Where Pronk-Tiethoff vacillates we’ve made the call that seems to have been closest to her heart.  We did not include words that she considers as of uncertain origin (ones that “cannot be regarded as certain Germanic loanwords in Proto-Slavic).

Here is what we get:

  • Uncertain Germanic (UG) – 19
  • West Germanic (WG) – 21
    • probable WG – 12
  • East Germanic/Gothic (GO) – 13
    • probable GO – 5

This (to us) seems strange.  If Gothic was really the first Germanic language that the Slavs came into contact with and, as Golab asserts, if the Slavs lived under Gothic domination or at least in contact with the Goths for about 600 years then one would have thought that the vast majority of the borrowings would be from GO not WG.

But maybe this reflects the fact that Slavs (after the freed themselves of Goths) lived a much longer time alongside of WG speakers?

  • Except that, remember, we are talking about borrowings into Proto-Slavic, i.e., before the breakup of the Slavic linguistic community which would have been, at the latest, about 600 or so. 

But maybe these WG words represent concepts that did not exist during the Gothic-Slavic cohabitation?

  • Except that it is difficult to claim that the types of WG words as are found in Slavic languages are the kind of words that naturally must have been borrowed after Slavs settled in their destination countries (e.g., redka – radish (originally from Latin into Germanic) or pila – saw).  One can see how words representing concepts obviously unknown to pre-medieval societies could not have come from Gothic but radishes?

Finally, were we to ask mainstream historians how Gothic words ended up in Proto-Slavic the answer they would produce is (given their assumptions) perfectly logical – all Slavs are posited by them to have been dominated by the Goths up to 400s-600s.  The much more difficult question is how words that are WG borrowings spread from WG dominated areas into all of Slavdom and done so sufficiently early to have made their way into Proto-Slavic (pre-600s).  No one amongst mainstream historians claims that all Slavs ever lived next to WG tribes.  So what’s the answer?

And then there is the question whether there is any variation among Slavic languages today between the West and East Germanic groups (note all those words are posited to have been present in Proto-Slavic but they are not all attested in all Slavic languages).

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September 30, 2015

Suevic Names

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Incidentally, the below are the only known names of people called the Suevi or who could be considered Suevi before the 5th century (in fact, the century is noted on the left side).  suevi suevi2 suevi3

Incidentally, Bissula may be a diminutive of Bissa (e.g., Ursa > Ursula) but that kind of a diminutive is hardly restricted to Germanic languages (it may also be worth noting that that is the name that Ammianus Marcelinus gives to the Vistula).  E.g., Wojciech > Wojtyła; Tomasz > Tomala; matka > matula.  As in:

Lulajże, Jezuniu, lulajże, lulaj!
A Ty Go, Matulu w płaczu utulaj.

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September 29, 2015

Wulfstan (& Ohthere) on the Wends (and a little bit on the Esti)

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We’ve discussed chapters 11 & 12 of King Alfred’s Orosius which chapters deal with Europe’s geography previously.  What follows those chapters are accounts of:

  • the explorations by Ohthere who sailed along the Norwegian coast all the way to the White  Sea (chapters 13-19);
  • the trip of Wulfstan who travelled from Denmark to the Prussian town of Truso (chapter 20), and
  • the customs of the Esti, by which the writer of Alfred’s book meant the various Baltic tribes (chapters 21-23).

We will get back to Esti (Balts) later (they appear in Tacitus, Jordanes, Cassiodorus and Alfred’s Orosius) as they provide useful clues to the location and identity of the Veneti.  With one exception we will not spend time on Ohthere as his trip was not through Slavic lands.  But we do want to give the full (a shorter version was previously discussed here) account of Wulfstan as he travelled to Truso along the entire Pomeranian coast and so we do that here (we also note the one mention of the Wends in the Ohthere account at the end of chapter 19).  As with the Geography section before, we first give the Old English versions followed by the English.

As before, a reminder on the Old English letters is in order:

  • Þ þ – “thorn” – basically a “th”;
  • Ð ð – “eth” – roughly the same “th”;
  • Æ æ – “ash – representing a middle sound between “a” and “e”;

sweonla

Chapter 19

Ohthere’s Account – Last Section

Old English 

“And of Sciringes heale he cwæð þæt he seglode on fif dagan to þæm porte þe mon hæt æt Hæþum; se stent betuh Winedum, and Seaxum, and Angle, and hyrð in on Dene. Ða he þiderweard seglode fram Sciringes heale, þa wæs him on þæt bæcbord Denamearc, and on þæt steorbord widsæ þry dagas;  and þa, twegen dagas ær he to Hæþum come, him wæs on þæt steorbord Gotland, and Sillende, and iglanda fela.  On þæm landum eardodon Engle, ær hi hider on land coman.  And hym wæs ða twegen dagas on ðæt bæcbord þa igland þe in Denemearce hyrað.”

English

“From Sciringes heal he said that he sailed in five days to the trading-town called Hedeby, which is situated among Wends, Saxons and Angles and belongs to the Danes. When he sailed there from Sciringes heal he had Denmark to port and the open sea to starboard for three days. Then two days before he arrived at Hedeby he had Jutland and Sillende and many islands to starboard. The Angles lived in these districts before they came to this land.  On the port side he had, for two days, those islands which belong to Denmark.”

othetherewulfstani

11th century MS BL Cotton Tiberius B.i

Chapter 20

Wulfstan’s Account

Old English 

“Wulfstan sæde  þæt he gefore of Hæðum, þæt he wære on Truso on syfan dagum & nihtum, þæt þæt scip wæs ealne weg yrnende under segle.  Weonoðland him wæs on steorbord, & on bæcbord him wæs Langaland, & Læland, & Falster, & S[c]oneg; & þas land eall hyrað to Denemearcan.  & þonne Burgenda land wæs us on bæcbord, & þa habbað him sylf cyning. Þonne æfter Burgenda lande wæron us þas land, þa synd hatene ærest Blecingaeg, & Meore, & Eowland, & Gotland on bæcbord; & þas land hyrað to Sweon.  & Weonodland wæs us ealne weg on steorbord oð Wislemuðan.  Seo Wisle is swyðe mycel ea, & hio tolið WitlandWeonodland;  & þæt Witland belimpeð to Estum; & seo Wisle lið ut of Weonodlande, & lið in Estmere; & se Estmere is huru fiftene mila brad.  Þonne cymeð Ilfing eastan in Estmere of ðæm mere ðe Truso standeð in staðe, & cumað ut samod in Estmere, Ilfing eastan of Estlande, & Wisle suðan of Winodlande.  & þonne benimð Wisle Ilfing hire naman, & ligeð of  þæm mere west & norð on sæ; for ðy hit man hæt Wislemuða.  Þæt Estland is swyðe* mycel, & þær bið swyðe manig burh, & on ælcere byrig bið cyningc; & þær bið swyðe mycel hunig, & fiscað; & se cyning & þa ricostan men drincað myran meolc, & þa unspedigan & þa beowan drincað medo.  Þær bið swyðe mycel gewinn betweonan him; & ne bið ðær nænig ealo gebrowen mid E’stum, ac þær bið medo genoh.”

swyðe as in “very, exceedingly or severely” – see, for example, the River Swider.

English

“Wulfstan said that he travelled from Hedeby, arriving in Truso after seven days and nights, the boat running under sail the whole way.  To starboard he had Weonodland, to port Langaland, Laeland, and Falster and Skane [?].  All these lands belong to Denmark.   And then we had Burgenda land [Bornholm?] to port, where the people have their own king. Then after Burgenda land [Bornholm] we had on our port side the lands which are called Blekingey, and Meore, and Eoland [Oeland] and Gotland, and these lands belong to the Swedes.  And we had Weonodland to starboard, the whole of the way to the mouth of the Wisle [Vistula] [i.e.,Wislemuðan].  This Wisle [Vistula] is a very large river and she separates Witland and Weonodland;  Witland belongs to the Este.  The Wisle [Vistula] flows out of Weonodland and into Estmere; and the Estmere is indeed [here?] fifteen miles wide.  The Ilfing flows into Estmere from the lake on the shore of which the town of Truso stands, and they flow together into Estmere, the Ilfing east of [out of the East from?] Estland and the Wisle [Vistula] south of [out of the South from?]** Weonodland.  And there Wisle [Vistula] deprives the Ilfing of its name and lies/flows north-west towards the sea as from then on the [estuary] is known as the Wislemuda [Vistula estuary].  This Estland is very large and has many fortified settlements [burgs], and in each of these there is a king.  And there is a great deal of honey and fishing.  And the king and the most powerful men drink mare’s milk, the poor men and the slaves drink mead. There is very much strife among them.  And there is no ale brewed among the Este but there is plenty of mead.”

** The translations correct this to say that the Ilfing flows west and the Vistula north but the text says the opposite – we provide an alternative form of reading as in “out of”.

 

shiffern
A Description of the Esti follows thereafter as to which we shall have more to say later.

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September 28, 2015

Batavian Veleti – Part II

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We previously discussed Dutch references to the Veleti or, more precisely, Wiltzi, as they were known to the Franks.  Such mentions were made by the Venerable Bede and, perhaps, if you believe Safarik on this, by an even earlier source (to be discussed later).  The notion that there had been Slavs in Holland, however, continued after Bede and into the Middle Ages and beyond.

worcum

Thus, during the late Middle Ages, we have the famous ChronographiaJan Beka (or Jan Beke)’s (Johannes de Beke or Beka) chronicle of “counts of Holland and the bishops of Utrecht” (or Chronicon episcoporumTraiectensium et comitum Hollandiae).  Beke who some think was a monk at the Egmond Abbey (alternatively a canon at the Utrecht cathedral, or both) wrote his chronicle in (written in 1343-1346) as a call to reconciliation between Utrecht and Holland (those were different back then) and, therefore, dedicated his work to to Jan van Arkel, bishop of Utrecht (1342-1364) and William V of Bavaria, count of Holland (1346-1358).  The chronicle starts back in Roman times and continues until his day (i.e., through 1346).  Historians believe the chronicle to be a compilation of other material including the Melis Stoke (circa 1235 -circa 1305) chronicle of Holland (Rijmkroniek, or the Rhyming Chronicle which was, in fact, written, in rhyme just as, e.g., the Dalimil Chronicle a sign of the times) and others (perhaps, also Bede’s work).

The Latin version of the chronicle was edited by other authors and parts were added to it up until 1393.  Antheun Janse states that it was translated into the Dutch vernacular about the year 1395.  It was then supplemented by additions into the 15th century.  It proved popular since there are 20 known manuscripts in Latin, 21 in Dutch and seven in French.

Beka’s Story (& Where It Came From?)

The story that Beka tells us is one of a Roman town called Antonina.   Antonina was founded by as well as named after Antonius, a refugee from Nero’s Rome.  According to Beka, the place was run by Antonius’ heirs up until various barbarians invaded the area coming from the Sea of Azov and Scandinavia.  Among the barbarians were the Slavs named Wilti/Wiltzi who conquered/lay waste all of Holland.  After some time, the Wiltzi conspired with the Frisians to conquer all of Gall.  However, the emperor Valentinian defeated them and cast down the castle of Wiltenburg.  Later the Frankish king Dagobert rebuilt the castle and had it called  Traiectum (Utrecht) in the Latin language.

The most recent thorough interpretation of how this story came about is presented in the Czech historian’s Libuše Hrabová‘s article WIltenburg und der hollaendische Mythus von den Anfaengen in The Medieval Chronicle III: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on the Medieval Chronicle (edited by Erik Kooper) (the conference was held in 2002 in, of course, Utrecht).   We set out what Libuše Hrabová discovered here below.

First, she speculates that Jan Beka could have known that several miles east of Utrecht there were ancient Roman ruins.  The ruins had been subject to archeological most recently in 1994 (by Van Es en Hessing).  The archeologists had assumed the name of the town had been Fectio.  The reason for this assumption lay in the fact that, already in 1869, so writes Hrabová, an altar to Jupiter was found in the area dedicated by Tungrian boatmen “who made up Fectio” (qui Fectionem consistuunt).  The town nearby is called Vechten to this day.

Fort Vechten – site of the former Slavic Wiltenburg?

However, the archeological digs in the area also discovered a civilian town – west of the Roman fortress.  It was there that in 1991 another altar was found dedicated to the Goddess Fortuna by one Antonius Priscus:

FORTVN(A)E
SACRVM
ANTONIVS
PRISCVS

As a side note, we note that the reference to raises another curious connection to the Wiltzi that Hrabová does not seem to have been aware of, namely the statement in William of Malmesbury Chronicle of the Kings of England:  “But the Vindelici worship fortune, and putting her idol in the most prominent location, they place a horn in her right hand, filled with Greek term we call ‘hydromel’.” (Vindelici vero Fortunam adorant; cujus idolum loco nominatissimo ponentes, cornu dextrae illius componunt plenum potu illo quem [variant: quod] Graeco vocabulo, ex aqua et melle, Hydromellum vocamus.)

Getting back to the matter at hand.

Hrabová speculates that Jan Beka could have visited the ruins and could have seen this inscription since, as per the archeologists (Van Es en Hessing, p. 206), the ruins of the Roman fortress were even in the 16th century still recognizable above ground.  He, therefore, may have invented his Antonius from that inscription and Antonina from Antonius.  Of course, one could also view the inscription as some proof of his story – but for the name Fectio as found on the other altar.  Thus, Hrabová concludes that the Roman fortress did in fact exist but its name is questionable.

Beka could also have learnt the name WIltenburg from the locals as Hrabová surmises.  But he did not have to.  As she notes, the name appears first before 732 in the work of the Venerable Bede – a topic we already discussed previously.

The reference to the Wiltenburg appears again in the Deeds of the Abbots of Fontenelle (Gesta abbatum Fontanellensium) from the 9th century – a fact which we mentioned earlier as well.  Hrabová notes too that later chronicles (which we will mention later) – from the 9th -11th centuries – also note that Utrecht was earlier called Wiltenburg.  However, these do not refer to the tribe of the Wiltzi anymore.  Hrabová notes that the first mention of the tribe again comes from the Chronicle of Sigebert de Gembloux (1030-1112) who wrote that Bishop WiIlibrod’s (Willibrod’s story was the story told by the Venerable Bede)  seat was “in a place called Wultaburg that nowadays is called Wultrecht, composed from the name of the tribes Vultari and Traiecti” (“in loco Vultaburch dicto, qui nunc Vultraiectum dicitur, a nomine gents Vultarum et Traiecto compositum“).  As Hrabová observes, however, none of these references mention the Wiltzi as a Slavic tribe.

She notes that the Wiltzi (or Wilzi) appear as a Slavic tribe in the annals of the 8th-10th century – for the first time in 789.  (You can read all about that here – “From Aachen a campaign was launched with the help of God into the land of the Slavs who are called Wilzi”, etc.).  She then speculates that the name Wilti cannot be Slavic and may be a reference to the “Wild Ones” – in a Germanic language and that the Wilti called themselves Wilci – which may mean “wolves” or Veleti meaning many peoples – Wiele-ludzi (viele-leute) – which brings up the Vidivarii to mind.  Or the name may mean something similar to volot which, in Russian, means a giant.  And, here Hrabová notes something that we already suggested earlier, the name is similar to the Celtic veldt meaning “prophet”.  She also notes that, starting in the 11th century the name of the tribe was known as the Lutici meaning – supposedly – as much as “the fierce ones” – see, e.g., the Polish (but maybe also Saxon?) name for February – Luty.

As another side note, the Croatian name for February is Veljača – suggesting  that the “fierce” etymology is correct even for the Veleti/Wilzi name but that two words existed for the same concept – perhaps even simultaneously or perhaps Veljača is older.  Or perhaps the source is different…

In any event, Hrabová then proceeds to speculate how the name of the Slavic  Wiltzi/Wilti/Wilzi could have been transferred back to the Netherlands in time for Jan Beke to make it clear that these Wiltzi were Slavs.  She looks at a number of possibilities.

  • First, the most obvious, the 12th century Dutch colonists who were settled in the country of the Lutici – then renamed Mark Brandenburg.  She discounts this possibility on the account of the fact that the old name Wiltzi would have been forgotten by the 12th century.  This seems very unconvincing.
  • Nevertheless, she prefers to think that the name may have been transferred by the family of the notorious Count Wichmann who – in the 10th century – fought both with and against the Lutici.  This is, of course, possible but seems to us far less likely than the former possibility.
  • She also thinks that Martin of Oppava (Martin z Opavy, Martinus Oppaviensis or Martinus Polonus – lived circa 1220/1230 – 1278) was the source of Bekas inclusion of the Slavs as taking part in the Voelkerwanderung but frets that Martin did not mention the Wiltzi;
  • She notes that Beka could have picked up the reference to the Slavic Wiltzi from Vita Caroli Magni by Einhard (where they are mentioned not just as Slavs but using their own name – Welatabi – a name found already in Ptolemy) but frets that the volume was largely unavailable in the Netherlands of the 14th century.  This too seems a weak argument.
  • Finally, she suggests the possibility that the name of Slavic Wilti/Wilti/Wilzi arrived in Utrecht courtesy of the Utrecht Archbishop Adalbold who had worked in the chancellery of the German Emperor Henry II (whose biography the Bishop penned himself) and would have been familiar with the situation in the East.

Hrabová does not make a final determination (and does not seem to notice that Beka could also have had access to the various Frankish annals which she herself took note contain references to the Wilti/Wilti/Wilzi) but observes that the myth of the Slavic founding of (some of) the Netherlands persisted and resurfaced in many other works.

Such works include, for example, the 1478 Chronicle of Gouda (1-11, 203-205) written by Gerard Leewe where the Slavs arrive in the Netherlands in 1166 B.C. (!) from England (!) to build the Slawenburch (but in Vlaardingen).  Except here they are called – explicitly – giants (see the reference to the Russian word velot – as an explanation of the Veleti name – above).  In this version the Wiltzi are inhabitants of Utrecht, whereas the Slavs are the Dutch.    Thus, they are two peoples although they work together to conquer the fortress Antonina. Even Pippin is brought into this and he is the one that names what was called Slavenia previously – East Francia.  Whether this reference is a reference to the former Suevia is another mystery – see for example here.  Other references to the Wiltenburg or Slawenburch apparently appear in the Chronicle of Tiel (De Tielse kroniek, 19-22), in the Latin Chronicle of Utrecht (Cronica de Trajecto, 303-311) and in other sources. hrabova

Curiously, in the same area the “Suevi” also make their appearance.  So we read in Venantius Fortunatus Poems Book 9, chapter 1, verse 73:

Quem Geta, Wasco tremunt, Danus, Euthio (al. Estio), Saxo, Britannus, Cum patre (Chlotario I) quos acie te (Chilpericum Suession.) domitasse patet; Terror et extremis Frisonibus atque Suevis.

Relevant Parts of Beka’s Chronicle

Following the H. Bruch edition we list the parts relevant to us both in the Latin version of the chronicle and in the old Dutch one.  The English version that is given first is a mix of the two other versions.  The chapter titles are from the Dutch version.

English Version 

Chapter 2

Of Anthony who built the first fortress where now Utrecht stands and who called it Antonina

…And the same land was possessed by Anthony and his heirs for many years until the Slavs [called] the Wiltzi won/destroyed the town called Antonina just as one shall describe here below.

INTRO

Chapter 3 

How the Slavs who are called Wiltzi won the land

Finally, after many years so as to inflict punishment for the sins of men against God, many renowned barbarians emerge from the land of Maeotic Lake [Sea of Azov] and from Scandinavia, and with the permission of God scourge Europe and [too] conquer many kingdoms in a bloody slaughter.  [Thus,] for example, the Gepids, the Alani, the Sarmatians, the Vandals, the Goths, the Avars that one [also calls] Huns, [at the end] Slavs that one [also calls] Wiltzi [Wildlings?].   The Gepids conquered Italy.  Alans conquered [won] [Austria/Austrasia], Sarmatians [won] Pannonia, Vandals [won] Africa, Goths [won] Catalonia, Avars that one also [calls] Huns [won] Gall, Slavs that one also [calls] Wiltzi [won] all of Holland.

page1

This rustic/wild people – that one calls Wiltzi – after they destroyed the city of Antonina, they built a fortress that, from the name of that cruel/terrible people, was called Wiltenburg.  Then after many years, the Wiltzi together with the Frisians conspired to cross the Rhine and with a mighty hand to storm through all of Gall.  At the end of the Roman times, there was a Christian emperor who was called Valentinian, the 44th caesar since Julius Caesar, learned quickly reports [thereof] and of the outrages of these foolish people and gathered/collected a mighty army and hasted to punish and [cause] to grieve this rebellious/disobedient people.  And this [Christian] emperor defeated this common rebellion and forced this rebellious/disobedient people [diet] and won many ships and crossed the Rhein and destroyed the castle Wiltzenburg and conquered/subjugated for the first the Friesians [in the year of our lord 409]*.  And he then returned with great praise and ruled as emperor for a few glorious years more.

* in the Dutch version; note that this may be the year of the Rhine crossing of the Vandals, Alans and Suevi.

page2

Latin Version

Caput 2

… Eandem urique patriam longeva posteritas Antonii ducis potestative possedit, quoadusque vulgus Slavorum seu Wiltorum urbem Antoninam, ut inferius enarrabitur, expugnavit.

Caput 3

Denique post quedam annorum curricula peccatis hominum exigentibus multe barbare naciones armipotenter egresse sunt a paludibus Meotidis et Scandinavia, que permissione divina totam Europam acerrime flagellaverunt, insuper et in cruenta strage regna plurima subiugarunt, utpote Gippides, Alani, Sarmati, Wandali, Goti, Avarri qui et Huni, Slavi qui et Wilti. Nam et Gippides expugnaverunt Ytaliam, Alani Austriam, Sarmati Pannoniam, Wandali Affricam, Goti Catholongiam, Avarri qui et Huni Galliam, Slavi qui et Wilti totam Hollandiam. Hic agrestis Wiltorum populus post eversionem urbis Antonine castrum munitissimum fabricavit, quod ex eiusdem dire gentis cognacione Wiltenburch nomen accepit.  Demum vero post oblonga tempora Wilti cum Frisonibus coniuraverunt Reni gurgitem transire ac in manu forti totam Galliam expugnare.  Valentinianus autem, ut Romana canit historia, xlus a Iulio Cesar augustus, tumultum tam insulse plebis festina relacione percipiens, coadunavit econtra valentem exercitum acceleravitque rebellantem sibi disturbare populum. Et ecce christianus imperator rebelle vulgus victoriose subegit, classem magnam apprehendit, Reni fluenta transcendit, castrum Wiltorum evertit, Frisiam sibi primo subiecit et exinde cum triumphali laude rediens aliquantis annis gloriosius imperavit.

Old Dutch Version

II. Van Antonius, die dat ierste casteel timmerde, daer nu Utrecht staet, ende noemdet Antonina.

… Ende datselve lant besat Antonius voerscreven ende sine nacomelinge mit crachten lange tijt, ja so lange dattie Slaven ende die Wilten die stat die Antonina hiet, wonnen ende vernielden, als men hierna bescreven vinden sal.

III.  Hoe die Slaven, die men Wilten hiet, dit lant wonnen.

Daerna in onlangen jaren overmids der menschen sunden de God an hem wreken woude, so quamen ghewapent mit groter heercracht menigherhan de volc uut Barbariën ende uut Broeclanden van den lande dat Scandinavia hiet, die vermids der verhengenisse Gods alle Europen – dat is een deel van der werelt daer Romen ende dit lant in leit – jamerlike quelleden ende vernielden. Ende mit groten bloedighen striden ende manslachte so wonnen si vele conincriken, die aldus ghenoemt waren alse Gippides, Alani, Sarmati, Wandali, Avarri die men oec Hunen hiet, ende Slaven dien men Wilten hiet. Want die Gippides bedwonghen Ytaliën, Alani wonnen Oesterrijc, Sarmati wonnen Pannoniën, Wandali wonnen Affrike, Scoten wonnen Cathaloengen, Hunen wonnen Gallen, Slaven die men Wilten hiet wonnen alle Hollant. Dit wilde volc dat men Wilten hiet, nadat si die stat die Antonina hiet, ghedestruiert hadden, doe tymmerden si een sunderlinge vast casteel, dat van dien wreden volke sinen name ontfinc ende hiet Wiltenborch.  Daerna lange tijt makeden die Wilten een eendrachticheit mitten Vriesen, dat si wouden den Rijn dat rivier opvaren ende mit heercracht vervechten alle tlant van Gallen. Ende also die Roemsche hystorie seit, so was in dier tijt een kersten keyser die Valentinianus hiet, die xliiii. keyser van Iulius Cesar, ende vernam snellike die mare ende die verwoetheit van dien onvroeden volke, ende vergaderde daertieghen een machtich heer ende haeste hem, dat onhoorsamige volc te wederstane ende te bedroeven.  Daer geschiede dattie keyser venvan ende bedwanc dat onhoorsamighee diet ende behield al hoer scepe, ende voer den Rijn neder, vernielde dat casteel te Wiltenborch ende bedwanc alre ierst die Vriesen, in ons Heren jaer cccc ix.  Ende keerde vandaen weder mit zeghe ende mit groten love ende was moghende keyser daernae somich jaer.

ultrajectum

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September 25, 2015

On Beavers

Published Post author

We have previously discussed the “Gallic” or Western Veneti here.  Earlier, we remarked on the fact that certain of the town names in the area sounded vaguely “Slavic”.  Looking at the map of Europe we also noted that – what is thought to be – the Slavic place name ending -in or -yn seems to be concentrated in that area as well.

bubry2

So, we decided to look at some of those names in more detail.  We picked a name that was not only Slavic “sounding” but one whose meaning seemed potentially clear – Bubry.  Now, the word for “beavers” is the following in the following languages:

  • bobr – bobři (Czech);
  • bobor – bobry (Slovak);
  • бобер (bober) – бобри (bobri) (Ukrainian);
  • бобр (bobr) – бобры (bobry) (Russian);
  • бабёр (babior) – бабры (babry) – Belarussian;
  • bóbr (pron. ‘bubr’) – bobry (Polish);
  • bober – bobri (Slovenian);
  • бобър (bobŭr) – бобри (bobri) (Bulgarian);

The only versions that are significantly different are the following:

  • dabar – dabrovi (Croatian);
  • дабар (dabar) – даброви (dabrovi) (Serbian);
beaverski

Mr. Beaverski, we presume?

What about other Indo-European languages?

The Baltic versions are:

  • bebras – bebrai (Lithuanian);
  • bebrs – bebri (Latvian);

The Germanic ones are also similar but they are different from the Slavic and Baltic versions (and are, naturally, more similar to one another):

  • Biber – Biber (German);
  • bever – bevers (Dutch);
  • bæver – bævere (Danish);
  • bäver (Swedish);
  • bever (Norwegian);
  • bifur (Icelandic);

Then there are the Latin versions which all somehow relate to the legend of Castor and Pollux:

  • castor – castors (French and Catalan);
  • castoro – castori (Italian);
  • castor – castores (Spanish and Gallician);
  • castor – castori (Romanian);
  • κάστορας (kastoras) – κάστορες (kastores) (Greek);

Albanian and Basque are similar versions of Castor.

The other European (but not Indo-European) names are different:

  • majava – majavat (Finnish);
  • kobras – koprad (Estonian); (this one seems to be a borrowing from Latvian or Lithuanian)
  • hód – hódok (Hungarian);

Bubry

Michèle Bourret’s  Le patrimoine des communes du Morbihan, Volume 1 gives the following etymology of the town name Bubry:

Bubry, dit Beubri en 1282 et Buibry en 1454, dérive du breton bod-bri signifiant « bois sur une éminence » ou du gaulois beber signifiant « castor ». Une troisième hypothèse fait dériver Bubry du gallois buddoc et bri signifiant « victoire » et « célèbre ».

“Bubry, called Beubri in 1282 and Buibry in 1454, derived from the Breton bod-bri meaning “wood on a hill” or the Gallic/Welsh beber meaning “beaver”.  A third hypothesis derives Bubry  from the Gallic/Welsh buddoc and bri meaning “victory” and “famous”.

So the Breton and the second Gallic/Welsh forms do not work for us but the Gallic/Welsh could work.*

* The actual Welsh/Welsh version is afanc.

bubry

Except that Bubry looks and sounds more like the Slavic versions of the same than like  beber (that form is similar to the Germanic versions of “beaver”).

There are at least three reasons for this:

  • the “u” is found in the Polish singular ó;
  • the “r” immediately follows the “b” just like in all the Slavic plurals of the word (this is also true for the Baltic versions);
  • the final letter (sound?) “y” is matched in the Polish, Slovak, Russian and Belarussian versions indicating the plural form;

So what does this mean?  Maybe nothing.  We should ask what is the Indo-european etymology of this word?  We were lazy so we just looked at the Online Etymology Dictionary which can be found at http://www.etymonline.com.  It is a reasonable compendium of several sources.  So what does it say about beavers?

“Old English beoforbefer (earlier bebr), from Proto-Germanic *bebruz (cognates: Old Saxon bibar, Old Norse bjorr, Middle Dutch and Dutch bever, Low German bever, Old High German bibar, German Biber), from PIE *bhebhrus, reduplication of root *bher- (3) “brown, bright” (cognates: Lithuanian bebrus, Czech bobr, Welsh befer; see bear (n.) for the likely reason for this).”

(There are other gynecological explanations of this word but we assume that they carry no relevance for the present question).

So maybe some of this can be explained by common Indoeuropean source for the Slavic and the, dare we say, Western Venetic versions of “beaver”?

Maybe.  But…

it is – at the very least – interesting that the Slavic (followed by Baltic) should provide the closest match for – what may have been derived from – the “Western Venetic”.

bobry3

Of course, more than likely these musings amount to nothing.  Perhaps Bubry, in fact, does mean something unrelated to beavers?  Perhaps that wooded hill or something like that?

Although there is that other word.  What was it? Podaile?

Beaver, cutting down a large oak tree, New Jersey

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September 21, 2015

On the Prague Document

Published Post author

The so-called “Prague Document” is not actually a document.  It is a description of an alleged document supposedly issued in 1086 by Emperor Henry IV confirming the boundaries of the Bishopric of Prague.  The confirmation, however, refers to the state of things as of the year 973. Whether such an original document existed and whether Henry IV “reconfirmed” it, we do not know.  It is possible that Cosmas, a Czech patriot, made the story up.  On the assumption that he did not, however, and that such a document actually did exist or that, at least, Cosmas’ Chronicle is correct in the general description of the boundaries of the Prague Bishopric, we have a situation whereby Cracow is part of the Prague Bishopric – at least as of 973.  If this is true, it is also possible that Cracow was not conquered by Mieszko I or Boleslaw Chrobry until later (of course, it is also possible that the bishopric boundaries did not match the political boundaries).  The document also lists various tribes (including Croats) that, allegedly, lived in the area of Bohemia and, apparently, southern Poland at the end of the 10th century.

In any event here it is.  This version is from the Lisa Wolverton translation (pictures are from the Budišínský rukopis (Budisin/Bautzen manuscript) of the Cosmas Czech Chronicle, from the manuscriptorium).  We have circled the actual “document” in red and the text of the same is also in red.  The boundaries’ description of the bishopric of Prague are in bold red.  We also include the Latin version of the description.

prague1

“With the august Emperor Henry III ordering it and carrying it out, a great synod was celebrated in the burg of Mainz.  With four archbishops and twelve bishops (whose names we will tell later) in residence there, together with abbots of monasteries and the rest of the faithful, they confirmed in writing many decrees concerning the status of the holy church.  At this assembly, with all the leading men of the empire – dukes, margraves, satraps, and bishops – agreeing and praising it, the caesar set Vratislav, duke of the Czechs, over both Bohemia and Poland.  Placing the royal crown on his head with his own hand, Henry ordered the archbishop of Trier, named Egilbert, to anoint him king in his seat, the metropolis of Prague, and place the diadem on his  head.

At this same council, Bishop Gebhard of Prague produced written documents of his ancient complaint concerning the aforesaid Moravian bishop, John.  Although John had already departed this world that same year, taking care nevertheless for the future, the aforesaid Bishop Gebhard, acting through friends, beat on the emperor’s ear so that another bishop might not find himself in the same position.  He unrolled before everyone the privilege from Bishop Adalbert, his predecessor, confirmed by both Pope Benedict and Emperor Otto I.  Moved by the entreaties of Duke Vratislav, the brother of Bishop Gebhard, and on the advice of Archbishop Wezilo of Mainz and other good men, the emperor, who supported justice, added a new privilege of almost the same tenor as the old one.  He confirmed it with his imperial sign, as will be shown in the following.  We do not consider it superfluous if we insert the form of this privilege here in our work.  It contained this text or something like it:

braga2

In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity.  Henry III [really IV], with divine mercy supporting him, august emperor of the Romans.  We know it to befit the royal title and imperial dignity for us, helping to benefit of God’s churches everywhere, to ward off their damage and injury wherever necessary.  Therefore, we wish it to be known to all those faithful to God and our realm, both resent and future, how our faithful Bishop Gebhard of Prague has often to his confreres and fellow bishops as well as the rest of our princes, and most recently to us complained that the bishopric of Prague, which was established from the beginning singular and whole throughout the duchy of Bohemia and Moravia, having been confirmed as such by both Pope Benedict and Emperor Otto I, was later with the consent of his predecessors and by the poet of tyranny alone divided and diminished by the enthronement of a new bishop within his boundaries.  At Mainz, before legates of the apostolic see, and with us and many of the leading men of our realm present, he raised the same complaint.  By Archbishops Wezilo of Mainz, Sigewin of Cologne, Egilbert of Trier, and Liemar of Bremen, Bishop Dietrich of Verdun, Conrad of Utrecht, Ulrich of Eichstatt, Otto of Regensburg, and with the assent of the laymen Duke Vratislav of the Czechs and his brother Conrad, Duke Frederick, Duke Lutold, Count Palatine Rapoto, and all those gathered there, it was judged that the original diocese within the full extent of its borders pertains to the see of Prague.  

Its boundaries to the west are these: Tuhost, which extends to the middle of the River Chub, Sedlec and Lucane and Decane, Litomerice, and Lemuzi to the middle of the forest which delimits Bohemia.  From there to the north, these are the boundaries:  Psovane, Charvati and the other Charvati, Slezane, Trebovane, Bobrane, and Dedosane to the middle of the forest where the boundaries meet the Milcane.  To the east, it has three rivers as boundaries: namely the Bug and the Styr with the burg of Cracow and the province whose name is Wag with all the regions pertaining to the aforesaid burg, i.e., Cracow.  Expanded, it proceeds to the boundaries of the Hungarians, up to the mountains whose name is Tatra.  Then, in that area that looks to the south, having added the region of Moravia up to the  River Wag and to the middle of the forest whose name is More, that same diocese extends to the mountains of Bavaria is bounded.

(Termini autem eius occidentem versus hii sunt: Tugast, qui tendit ad medium fluminis Chub, Zelza, Zedlica, Liusena, Dasena, Liutomerici, Lemuzi vsque ad mediam sylvam, qua Bohemia limitatur. Deinde ad aquilonalem hii sunt termini: Psouane, Chrouati et altera Chrouati, Zlasane, Trebouane, Boborane, Dedosese usque ad mediam sylvam, qua Milcianorum occurrunt termini. Inde ad orientem hos fluvios habet terminos: Bug scilicet et Ztir cum Krakouia civitate, provinciaque, cui Wag nomen est, cum omnibus regionibus ad praedictam urbem pertinentibus, que Krakou est. Inde Ungarorum limitibus additis, usque ad montes, quibus nomen est Tritri, dilatata procedit. Deinde in ea parte, quae Meridiem respicit, addita regione Moravia usque ad fluvium, cui nomen est Wag, et ad mediam sylvam, cui nomen est Mudre, et eiusdem montis, eadem Parochia tendit qua Bavaria limitatur.)

 And so, with us mediating and he common vote of the princes favoring it, it was ordered that Duke Vratislav of Bohemia and his brother, Conrad, should return to the aforesaid bishop of Prague, their brother, the diocese requested in its entirety and reendow it by judicial order.  Accordingly, rationally persuaded by the request of the same bishop, we confirm for him and his successors the reintegration of the diocese of Prague by proclamation of our imperial authority and fix it inviolably, decreeing that no person of any condition and no society of men should later presume to alienate from the church of Prague any rights within the aforesaid boundaries.  In order that the authority of this reintegration and confirmation remain firm and unchanged for all time, we ordered this charter drawn up and sealed with the impression of our seal, confirming it by our own hand, as it appears below.  Given on 29 April 1086, in the eighth indiction, in the twenty-second year of Lord Hnery’s reign as king, and his third as emperor.

braga3

I saw the caesar write this sign himself with his own hands on the privilege of the Prague episcopate.

Likewise in the same year, with Emperor Henry mandating it and Archbishop Wezilo of Mainz intervening through the papal legates who were present at the same council, Lord Pope Clement corroborated by his privilege the bishopric of Prague with the aforesaid boundaries.  (Bishop Gebhard was also urgently asking and suggesting it htroygh his chaplain named Albinus, whom he had sent with the papal legates from Mainz to Rome on this same matter.)In the same yea, on 9 June, Duke Otto of Moravia, the brother of Duke Vratislav of Bohemia, died.

braga4

Meanwhile, Archbishop Egilbert of Trier, obeying the emperor’s orders, came to the metropolis of Prague on 15 June.  Among the holy solemnities of the Mass, he anointed Vratislav, dressed in royal bands, as king and placed a diadem on both his head and that of his wife Svatava, wrapped in a royal robe – with the clergy and all the satraps crying out three times: ‘Life, health, and victory to Vratislav, Czech king as well as Polish king, great and peaceable, crowned by God.  On the third day after this, enriched with an immense weight of gold and silver and endowed with other gifts and presents (in accordance with royal grandeur), the archbishop went home happy and with great honor.”

prague5

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September 19, 2015

Ptolemy’s Greater Venedae

Published Post author

Before we go back to our puzzle, we wanted to take a quick look at Ptolemy’s description of Sarmatia.  Ptolemy says:

“The Greater Venedae races inhabit Sarmatia along the entire Venedicus bay; and above Dacia are the Peucini and the Basternae; and along the entire coast of Maeotis are the Iazyges and the Rhoxolani; more toward the interior from these are the Amaxobi and the Scythian Alani.  Lesser races inhabit Sarmatia near the Vistula river.  Below the Venedae are the Gythones, then the Finni, the the Sulones;”

One way to approach the above paragraph would be to say that all of the above tribes are Venedae.  The main objection must be that the tribes listed above are not “along the entire Venedicus bay” if by that we mean the Bay of Gdansk or even the Baltic Sea.  In fact, many are nowhere near either of those locations.  And yet this reading seems natural.

Ptolemy then comes back to the Venedicus bay saying:

“Back from the Ocean near the Venedicus bay, the Veltae dwell, above whom are the Ossi; then more toward the North the Carbones and toward the east are Careotae and the Sali; below whom…”

Another way to look at this is to say that these are the Venedae (the list continues after the Sali to include many other tribes).

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September 16, 2015

Quiz

Published Post author

Which Indoeuropean (or other) language are these names from?:

  • Miranta
  • Ganzava
  • Cussa
  • Redanta
  • Chaianta
  • Belina
  • Vissima
  • Jes
  • Domasca
  • Mancossa
  • Chomesa
  • Prozina
  • Sobanta
  • Digoma
  • Radenta
  • Boranta
  • Mantina
  • Carnes

You may assume that the names are written in Latin but do not google these, just guess.  The point here is that the guess should be made without any preconceived notions that may arise as a result of knowing the source document.

(Of course, if you just know this then you can sit on the side and let others play).

Was it obvious?

September 15, 2015

On “Frankish Cosmography”

Published Post author

A poem discovered by H. Pertz in the 19th century became known (thanks to the title that the discoverer gave to his edition of it – see below) as the “Frankish Cosmography”.  Much like Widsith it is a list of tribes and places (though, in this case, not individual names) in Europe and abroad.  It exists in several manuscripts, each of which is slightly different.  Since most are available online, we give the list after Pertz:

  • French – (discovered by Pertz in 1827) – an 11th century manuscript – number 5091 in French National Library;
  • French – (discovered by Pertz in 1827) – a 10th century manuscript- Versus de provinciis parcium mundi;
  • Würzburg – (discovered by Pertz in 1833) – a 9th century manuscript- de globo mundi et coniecturae orbis versus – only last 21 verses;
  • Universitaets Bibliothek zu Leyden – (discovered by Pertz in 1833?) – a 9th century manuscript – versus de asia et de universi mundi rota – Codex Vossianus 69 in Quarto;

Finally, the oldest manuscript known is the following:

  • Saint Gallen number 2 – middle of 8th century;

pertz

The reference to the Slavs and to the Wends is in the context of the Danube (it immediately follows a reference to the Suevi but the two are clearly treated as separate):

 

Danubius currit per longum              inter gentes maximas,

Fluvios largos ministrat              et Sclavis pabulat,

Chunis pergit medianis,              Winidisque satiat.

 

Danube runs its length              among [to the needs of] great nations,

[this] generous river ministers              and [it] nourishes the Slavs,

[it] runs,cuts through the Huns              satiates the Wends.

 

The language in the Saint Gallen version is a little bit different but conveys the meaning:

saintgallen1

And here is the poem in full in Latin.  The electronic version is from Monumenta Germaniae Historica (Poetae Latini nevi Carolini, 4, 2.3 (IV)).  The pdfs are from Pertz’ edition.  The differences are due to different manuscripts, the various emendations and to the free spirit of the scriveners (e.g., one manuscript says “camels” another “griffins”!).

Cosmography

asia

Asia ab Oriente           vocata antiquitus

A regina, cuius nomen            funxit in imperio;

Hec in tertiaque parte            orbis est disposita.

Ab oriente orto solis,           mare a meridie,

Ab occiduoque mare           Tyrreno coniungitur,

Septentrione fluviale           Tanieque cingitur.

Habet primum paradisi            ortorum dilicias,

Omni genere pomorum            consitus qui graminat,

Habet etiamque vite           lignum inter medias.

Non est estus neque frigus,           sincera temperies ,

Fons manat inde perennis           fluitque in rivolis.

Post peccatum interclusus           est primevi hominis.

Circumseptus est undique           rumpheaque ignita ,

Ita pene usque celos           iungitque incendia;

Angelorum est vallatus           Cherubin presidia.

India habet in ipsa,           opulenta patria,

Gentes plurimas que gestat           atque magna oppida;

Insula quoque Taprobane           elefantes nutricat.

264z

Auro, argento est fecunda,           atque pluras gemmulas,

Crisolitos et berillos,           adamantis, carbunculos,

Leonitas, margaritas,           unionis pullulat;

Septacum mirandam avem           et in canto nubile,

Unicornus atque griffas           et dracones cimeras;

Ibi sunt aurei montes,           quos custodunt bestias.

Partia et Aracusa,           simul et Asiria,

Media iuncta est prope           communisque Persida,

Babillonia, intra que           sunt confuse linguas.

Arabia thure ornata           et in saltis cinnama;

Nascitur ibique mirra           et sardonix gemmula;

Fenix nuncupatur aves,           que renascit mortua.

Palestina et Judea,           simul et Samaria,

Pentapolis et Galilea,           Egyptus et Scytia,

Bactriana et Archana,           candescit Albania.

Armenia sicque consurgit,           iuncta est Hiberia

Cappadociaque,           minor oriturque Asia,

Galatia nuncupatur,           nectit prope Frigia.

265z

Lidia sedis antiqua           cum torrentes aureas,

Et Ysauria salubris,            prominet Cilicie,

Et Licia inter ipsas           montem gestat Cimeras,

Cuius ignis flammas mittit           et nocturnis estibus,

In Sicilia ut Ethna,           Vesulis Campania,

Ita flagrat flamina iugis           vivensque per tempora.

Ad Euruppa properemus,           Agenoris filia,

Quam Jovis raptam adsumpsit           duxitque in Grecia,

Et aurum corrupit primum,           nomen dedit patrie.

Scitia vocata prima           Euruppe provincia,

Meotidis paludes iuncta           sistitque Alania;

Vertitur exinde locus,           nuncupatur Dacia.

Unde Gotia emanat           adversus Dalmatia,

Pannonia, a Penninis           nomen que conglomerat,

Cispitem uberem ferens           iumentis ad pabula.

Germania nuncupatur           iuncta Reno flumine,

Ubi sunt gentes amare           et grandevi corpore,

Obdurati corde,           seve celi partis incole.

266z

Animo feroci sistunt           semperque indomiti,

Rapto vivunt et venato           per venena toxice;

Plurime in ipsis locis           variantur lingue.

[Tolerantes , Samsivari , Quadi , Tungri , Chamasi ,

Marcomanni et Tubantes , Blangiani, Bructeri:

Frendentes …. verba contabescent labiis.]*

* this does not appear in the Pertz edition, only in MGH.

Suevorum parsque inter quos           aquilonis vindicant,

Quorum pagos centum narrant           simul et familias .

Mons Suevus est vocatus,           a quo nomen inchoat.

Danubius currit per longum           inter gentes maximas,

Fluvius largus,ministrat           et eSclavis pabula ,

Chunis pergit medianis           Winidisque sociat .

Interfuso ociano           ibi manent Saxones ,

Agiles et cor durati           et in armis validi ,

Scridifinni et Frisones           valentque piratici .

Franci demum a Francone           nomen prius sumpserunt,

Animati et feroces           regna plura ceperunt,

Modo tenent christiani           cum divino munere.

Gallia Belgica est dicta           infra Rino et Sigona,

Ubi sunt villas regales           et venusti principes.

Ad bellandum fortes viri,           pugnando terribiles.

267

Lugdunensis est vocata           Gallie provincia,

Quam insidunt Burgundiones           cum ingente gloria;

Rodanus fluit per ipsam           tendens in eSpania.

Neustria vocatur inde           ultra ripa Sigone ,

Iuncta litus ociani           pertingens ad Ligere ,

Patria fecunda nimis,           coniuncta ad Brittones .

Aquitania consurgit,           maxima provincia,

Ligeris limbo exorta           usque in Dornonia,

Et Garonna circumfusa           currit per planicia .

Gabirus sicque Adurus           exilent de montibus ,

Wascones incolent terram           per divexa vallium ,

Septimania interque           pertingens ad Alpibus .

Spania ab Hibero prius           dicta est Hiberia,

Spalo postea vocata,           unde nunc eSpania;

Tercioque nomen vertit,           narratur eSperia.

Inter Africa est sita           et Gallia patria,

Conclusa undique mare           et montium cacumina,

Salubris et fecunda           frugis simulque et vineas.

Copia gemmarum magna,           metallis ditissima ;

Flumina currunt per ea           Hiberus et Mineas ,

Tagus aurum gignit multum           simul atque Pactolus .

268z

Africa nascitur inde,           tertia particula ,

Marmorem mirum diffundit,           exornantur platee ,

Trecentorum sexaginta           tribus pollet oppidis .

[Mauritania est vocata a colore populi

Semiusti , denigrati per solarem circulum;

Habens flumen magnum Malvam , que currit per Africa.]

[Silvas magnas secus flumen plenas circum bestiis

Gignit , feras et dracones , strucciones , simias ,

Olim simul elefantes cum ingente corpora.]

[Ethiopia est dicta …..

……. iuncta a meridie .

Ethiopum cutis dira , atramento similis.]

[…….

Unicornos et camelos , basiliscos nutricat ,

Pardos simul et dracones , fronte gestant gemmulas.]*

* this does not appear in the Pertz edition, only in MGH.

Italia olim a Grecis           obsessa adquiritur,

Deinde autem a Saturno           nomen tali censetur;

Longa est in circuitu,           lata minus panditur.

Habet lacumque Venacum,           Avernum et Lucrinum

Fluviumque Eridanum           et Tiberim maximum;

Sic tepentes manat fontes           Baias , gemmas tribuit.

Tuscia atque Etruria           iuncta finem Tiberis,

Ubi Romola est sita           et est civis nobilis;

In imperio est caput           cunctisque provintiis.

Tracia atque Hiberus,           Hilladas. Dalmatia,

Peloponensis et Thessali,           iuncta Macedonia,

Achaia atque Archadia,           nectitque Pannonia.

[Pertz also has another verse here re: Africa]

Sicilia a rege Secano           vocata antiquitus,

Premontoria Pirorum,           Pacinum et Libenum,

Ab Italia disiuncta           fretumque exiguum.

269z

Terra fructum multum (gignit),           aurum habundantius,

Per cavernas penetratur           ventorum espiritus,

Sulphureum habet odorem           ignemque perpetuum.

Clauditur ambitus trium           stadiorum milium,

Narrat scriptura            ut puta Salustius

……

…….

…….

In Sicilia 〈 ut 〉 Ethna novem           ardent iugiter.

Britannia in ociano,           mareque concluditur

Quadragies octies quinque           septuaginta milibus;

Uberes emanat fontes,           terraque fructifera.

Taratus insula,           Tyle et Archadis plurimas;

Hibernia maxima floret           multa sapientia,

Vermiumque sic purgata,           apium aculia.

Huc usque in ociano           repperuntur insule;

Multe sunt in sino maris,           quas ignorant homines;

Si quis vellit perlustrare,           multum habet pergere.

270z

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September 14, 2015