What do Lake Geneva and Lake Constance have to do with the Slavs? At first, these (mostly) Swiss lakes appear to have very little to do with the Slavic peoples. Indeed, the question may itself seem ridiculous. And yet, there are a number of strange connections that, we think, may help solve some of the puzzle about the ancient composition of Europe.
Let’s first start with the names. Oddly they seem to relate to the story of Wanda and the “Lemannic” tyrant.
The Lemannic antagonist of Wanda is supposed to refer to an Alemannic – meaning German – opponent. Kadlubek had studied in France and would have known the French term for Germans, i.e., Allemands. The name, according to Agathias (or Quadratus), was supposed to mean “all men”.
And yet, Kadlubek uses the term Lemannic – not Alemannic.
The name Wanda has both a water connotation (wendka – fishing rod, wendzic – to smoke [a fish], i.e., get the water out) and an obvious connection to the Veneti (and, maybe, Vandals).
The fact that Lake Geneva was earlier called Lake Lemanus and Lake Constance (or Bodensee) was earlier called Lake Veneticus is another curious fact.
The fact that Jordanes speaks of Slavs as living as far as Lake Musianus and that Lake Veneticus is as late as the 17th century attested as being named Lake Musianus adds further aura of mystery.
Then you have the fact that the Alemanni supposedly never referred to themselves as such. Instead, they went by Suevi (as per Walahfrid Strabo). On the strange connections between Slavs and Suevi/Suavi, we’ve written ad nauseum.
And we know that Tiberius routed out the Vindelici out of the area. We also know that the Vindelici may simply refer to those Vindi that lived by the River Lech and that the Vindelici may have bee a tribe of Liburnians. (We know too that the Suevi used Liburnian ships in their worship of “Isidi”).
Further, the River Lech that runs near the ancient seats of the Vindelici just so happens to share its name with the eponymous founder of the Lechites, i.e., Poles, Pomeranians, etc.
And, of course, the Slavs are also known as Wends.
Going down this path, Lake Geneva (Lemanus) is named after the city of Geneva – the earlier Genava of Caesar. Genava shares its etymological roots with Genoa (Genova) in Italy (Genova aka Stalia aka Zena in Ligurian). Although Genoa was not in the (historically attested) lands of the Veneti, it was close…
We will leave for you the connection (if any) between the Ligurians and Liburnians.
Whether Lemanus may have a Slavic etymology (lemiesz – see Plaumorati) we also leave as a homework assignment.
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