Lengthy Thoughts

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Incidentally, dług means “debt” in Polish and corresponds to the Russian долг.

There is a supposed connection between that word and the word długi (Polish) and до́лгий (Russian).

As Saskia Pronk-Tiethoff says “[t]he semantic connection between the Proto Slavic ‘long’ and ‘debt’ is explained by describing ‘debt’ as something that a creditor is being kept waiting for [presumably for a long time].”

Or maybe you have to “work off” your debt for a long time…

Or maybe the Russian (and indeed East and South Slavic) form is derived from the word for “hole” from  dół > dołek (diminutive)dolg that is долг.  

In other words you are in debt when you are “in the hole” and the word “long” does not come into it at all.

Whatever you may think of those explanations, what is noticeable about both of those words – debt and long – is that the East and South Slavic (and Upper Sorbian) languages have the vowel before the “l”:

  • so that you have долг (dolg) and до́лгий (dolgij)

whereas in Polish, Czech, Slovak and Lower Sorbian, the vowel follows the “l” or “ł”:

  • so that you have dług and długi

In other words, you have:

  • о́лг (olg) in the East and ług in the West.

Brueckner thought that the West Slavic version is derivable from the East Slavic and that this was attested in an early 12th century document.

But how the nobility of Poland spoke and how its people spoke are, as we know from among others this, two different things.Maybe he was right.  Maybe not.

Note that the Lithuanian version iłgas does not have the “d” in the beginning.

Note too that this is the same word as the Greek dolichocephalic (long-headed) and, indeed, this is the same word as the English word “long”.

In fact, the Polish historian Jan Długosz is sometimes Latinized as Johannes Dlugossius but at other times as Johannes Longinus – a fact mentioned by Brueckner above.

Which raises another question.

There is a tribe of the Langiones.  It is mentioned by

  • Julius Honorius
  • Aethicus (not Ister)

So what you say?  After all, Aethicus may have adapted what Julius Honorius put together (plus Orosius) so really only Honorius mentions these Langiones, right?

But not so. Earlier, as we discussed previously, we also have Longiones.  These are mentioned by:

  • Zosimus

who says:

“Probus also brought other wars to a successful conclusion without much trouble.  He fought a fierce battle first with the German tribe of the Longiones whom he defeated, taking prisoner their leader Semno and his son, but after receiving suppliants, in return for the confiscation of all their prisoners and booty, he freed those he had captured, including Semno and his son, on fixed terms.”

The Polish scholar Aleksander Bursche writes:

“The identification of the Longiones in Zosimos with the Lugii seems almost certain.”

Even such meek doubts as expressed by Bursche, are happily ignored by the manly Thomas Gerhardt and Udo Hartmann who declare with disarming certainty that:

“When it comes to the “Longiones” (or Logiones) we’re talking about the cultic community of the Lugii.”

They then go on to describe more Vandals = Lugii wishful nonsense straight out of that prince of bull fables – Wolfram (and others) without any citations, of course. (Certitude never needs be slown down by pesky proofs and footnotes).

(And earlier, in Gall, we have the Lingones and the Leuci (not to mention the Lexovii)).

So could the Lugii be the “tall/lank/long ones”?  That would explain why the same people could be called by some Longiones and by others Lugii.  Of course, you have to explain that falling off “d” but Lithuanian also dropped it.  

More mysteries or is the solution really simple?

And, regarding the Tollensee battle, someone just forwarded from a published dissertation by Christian Sell a statement that – based on “f3 values”:

The most similar modern populations [to the Tollensee combatants] are the Polish, Austrians and the Scottish.”

I have no idea what f3 values are but “Scottish”, really!?

Well, of course:

Hey now!

🙂

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October 26, 2017

You Owe Us a Better Explanation

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That even decent books are not immune to dumb reasoning (or lack of reasoning really) is proven by Saskia Pronk-Tiethoff’s “The Germanic loanwords in Proto-Slavic.”  The book, as I said before, is not half bad but it proves that knowledge of arcane linguistic reconstruction techniques is no cure for an occasional lack of perspective and immunity to basic logic.

Here is an example regarding the word dług (meaning “debt”):

“From a semantic viewpoint, it is much more attractive to regard the word as a loanword from Gothic because the meanings of the Slavic and Germanic words are identical and there are a large number of Germanic loanwords in Proto-Slavic relating to money, trade, etc… Because of the exact formal and semantic correspondence between the Germanic and Slavic forms, PSl. version is likely to be a Germanic loanword… Origin: Gothic; this is the only Germanic language in which the word is attested.”

To break this down:

  • “From a semantic viewpoint, it is much more attractive to regard the word as a loanword from Gothic because the meanings of the Slavic and Germanic words are identical”

It is not the “Slavic” and “Germanic” words that are identical.  It is the Slavic and Gothic words that are identical.  In other words, the word appears in all Slavic languages but appears (as admitted by Prosk-Tiethoff a sentence later) only in Gothic and not in any other Germanic language.

  • “…there are a large number of Germanic loanwords in Proto-Slavic relating to money, trade, etc.”

This is only partly true.  For example, the word targ (marketplace) is actually a borrowing into some Germanic language from Slavic.

But even if that were true (and it is not), so what? Does the  fact that some Germanic words related to commerce are borrowed into Slavic mean that every word with a Germanic correspondence must be too?

If that were the case, would we be automatically assuming that were a Slav to invent a word and (through an exchange in the marketplace) the same word was then used by one German, the word would become Germanic?

It seems the answer is “yes” according to Prosk-Tiethoff.  She goes on to say:

  • “Because of the exact formal and semantic correspondence between the Germanic and Slavic forms, PSl. version is likely to be a Germanic loanword…”

Thus, by default, all that is Slavic is automatically Germanic.  But, of course, it does not go the other way.

The conclusion is charmingly disarming:

  • “Origin: Gothic; this is the only Germanic language in which the word is attested.”

Now, if a word were present in one Slavic language and in all Germanic languages, no one would question the theory that it is a borrowing into Slavic.  It seems, however, that it is enough for a word to appear in one Germanic language to have its origin accepted as Germanic – even if the word appears in all Slavic languages.

Even Alexander Bruckner, the philo-Germanic editor of the Polish etymological dictionary thought this suggestion to be nonsense (Gothic etymology was also rejected by Vasmer):

But, all of this is a sideshow lead in to something even more interesting.

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October 21, 2017

Mit einer banier rôtgevar, daß was mit wîße durch gesniten

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The idea that Zisara or Cisa or Ciza was a Slavic Goddess (see the Ex Gallica Historia post) seemed to make sense except for the location of the Ciza cult which seems to have been around Augsburg – in Swabia – where there should have been no Slavs.  The connection with Dzidzilela also made sense except that it was just a guess.  But then I cross-searched for the two and discovered that I had hardly been the first to have such an idea.  Over 3 centuries ago, August Adolph von Haugwitz (1647 – 1706) wrote an interesting book dealing with the History of his home province of Lusatia – the Prodromus Lusaticus.  (He was born near Bautzen/Budyšin).  Although, by today’s standards, this history book is hardly professional one, von Haugwitz’s effort is quite well-researched and appears well-intentioned – at least in the sense of not obviously pulling things up out of thin air.  In that same book you can find much about Slavic and Germanic pagan history.  Though much of the material may refer to Gods and Goddesses that themselves indeed may have been “made up” in the course of looking for some sort of pre-Christian identity of the German countryside, von Haugwitz provides numerous citations to earlier works and compilations, some of which may be taken seriously.

In the case of Cisa or Ciza he cites, among other things, the Augsburg Chronicle and the Goddesses’ defense of the city.  It does not really matter whether the inhabitants at the time of any invasions really believed that the Goddess helped them.  What matters is that the inhabitants of Augsburg – again, a place where there should have been no Slavs – believed they had earlier worshipped a Goddess whose name seems connected to attested Slavic cults in the East (such as in Poland).  But it gets better. Haugwitz actually claims that the Sorbs (the Cisa chapter appears in the section De Diis Soraborum) also worshipped Cisa or Ciza providing perhaps a bit of a landbridge connection to Poland. 

And, of course, Augsburg was known as Augusta Vindelicorum.  Vindelici were mentioned by Strabo and by Pliny (Pliny’s work has been interpreted to refer to the Vandals – but Pliny’s manuscripts vary and we have Vandilici and Vindili listed as well).

In any event, here is the 1522 edition of Sigismund Meisterlin’s Augsburg Chronicle (Cronographia Augustensium) in the German print (Ein schöne Cronick & Hystoria…) discussing Ciza, the Vindelici and, of course, the River Lech (and Wertach, that is Vertava – compare with Varsava):

Sigismund Meisterlin wrote his chronicle in German in 1457 (the Latin version was written down the next year).  It was a big deal for the city (he also wrote a chronicle for Nuernberg) and they even created a painting to commemorate one oof the first copies of the same being made:

The plant you see in the coat of arms of the city of Augsburg is a fir cone (Zirbelnuss).  Its first attested appearance in the city’s coat of arms is in 1237.  The fir cone may have been also on the Roman shields of the Roman occupiers back in the day when the VIndelici were driven from Lacus Venetus (by later emperor Tiberius & Co).

Now, one may point out that in Polish cis refers to the yew, a coniferous tree (the Eibe).  The eibe is rather poisonous but has, interestingly, also been the subject of Poland’s first environmental statute (of Warka in 1423) which prohibited the cutting of that tree.

Could that fir cone be yew cone?  Well, the problem is that a yew rather does not have cones in the common sense of the word – its “cones” “bloom” into these red “arils”.

This is what Brueckner has to say about the etymology of the same here:

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October 21, 2017

Absolute Apsorus Absolutely

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Jan Dlugosz claimed that the eponymous father of the Lechites, Lech himself originally came from a town of Psary somewhere in Croatia.

Duo itaque fillii Iani nepotis Japheth, Lech et Czech, quibus Dalmatia, Serbia, Slavonia, Carvatia et Bosna contigerant, et praesentium et futurarum collisionum, discrimen et pericula vitaturi, pari et concordi voce et deliberatione, originario solo relicto, novas sedes quaerendas populandasque decreverunt, et caeteris quidem fratribus in Pannoniis remanentibus ipsi omnibus coloniis, familiis et substantiis, quae ditionis eorum erant, ex Slavonia, Serbia, Carvatia, Bosna, et ex castro Psari in altissima rupe (quam fluvius Gui Slavoniam et Carvaciam disterminans alluit/abluit) sito, cuius etiam hactenus nonnulli aspiciunt priscam magnificentiam, testante ruina et eius vetustam nuncupationem villaginum Psari, sub loco arcis situm in eadem die retinet, in quo Principum praefatorum Lech et Czech familiarior, peculiariorque habitandi et illic subditis iura reddendi esse usus consueverat.

This location has long eluded the best historians.  Dlugosz mentions the river Gui or Huy near the border between Croatia and Slavonia with Slavonia today being, roughly, the region of Croatia between the Sava and Drava (above the Una).  Another location was the island of Pharos – close to Hvar – far south in the Dalmatian portion of Croatia. Maciej of Miechow threw in the River Crupa as being nearby. You can read all about this in Aleksander Małecki’s “Croatian ‘Psary’ Versus Dalmatian ‘Pharos’ in the Legendary Beginnings of Poland.” Interestingly, even the Danube Schwabians were living in Slavonia.

But let’s stick to Psary.

All you need to do is whip out some old records and you will find a relatively decent candidate.  You don’t even have to go that far back.  Just open Franjo Rački’s Documenta historiae Chroaticae periodum antiiquam illustrantia.  In it you will find numerous references to Apsaros or the like.

In Latin the town goes by Apsorus.  In Greek Byzantine as Opsara.  In Croatian it is Osor.

Now, Osor is not on the border of Slavonia but neither is Pharos, of course.

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October 20, 2017

Sisenna, Honorius and the Suavi

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Sisenna

The very first mention ever of the Suevi comes from Lucius Cornelius Sisenna.  Sisenna  (circa 120 BC – 67 BC) says:

Sparis ac lanceis eminus peterent hostes
Galli materibus, Suevi lanceis configunt

There are three interesting things here.

First, this mention predates even Caesar’s Gallic Wars.

Second, it is curious that “spears” are mentioned here (Sparis).  Although this is Latin and not Greek, recall that Procopius remembers that the Sclavenes used to be called Sporoi.  Was he wrong about the origin of that word and was it a Latin word referring to spearmen?  As we know, the Slavs were known for their javelins (Procopius and Maurice).  Right after that, we see that:

 “The Galls toss [stuff [?] materibus], and the Suevi lances.”

This is actually an interpretation of an otherwise nonsensical sentence that runs like this:

Galli materibus [?] Sani [?] lanceis configunt

which has been rendered as:

Galli materibus Su[e]vi lanceis configunt

Third, about these Suevi.  We know that by the time of Procopius and Jordanes, the Suevi were referred to as Suavi.  That is the “e” was seemingly replaced by the “a”.  But it seems that some manuscripts of Sisenna also could be read as Suavi particularly since the “a” is apparently an “a” and not an “e”.  I mentioned this already here and here but it’s worth reiterating.

Of course, all this Suevi talk causes a problem for some writers who believe that the Germanic/Suevic [?] tribes were not known for their missile weapon skills:

As noted above, however, the Slavs were known for their javelins.  Moreover, it is not exactly true that the Suevi (or at least Suavi) were not known for throwing or launching something.  There is a description in the Jordanes Getica of the Battle of Nedao where he says:

“For then, I think, must have occurred a most remarkable spectacle, where one might see the Goths fighting with pikes, the Gepidae raging with the sword, the Rugi breaking off the spears in their own wounds, the Suavi fighting [“on foot”] [or “fighting with slings”], the Huns with bows, the Alani drawing up a battle-line of heavy-armed and the Heruli of light-armed warriors.“

The word is pede but that seems silly since the other warriors types wield some sort of a weapon (bows, spears, pikes, swords) at least up to the Alani.  Froehner therefore read lapide – meaning that they used stones – presumably with a sling.

Slings, if these were slings, are not javelins or spears.  Nevertheless, the point is worth making.

Honorius

At the back end of the history of the Suevi we also have, in addition to Procopius and Jordanes, Julius Honorius (Julius Orator).  Honorius was mentioned by Cassiodorus on whom, supposedly, Jordanes relied. Some of Honorius’ manuscripts also have the form Suavi.

So, it is interesting how it is not so simple and the Suebi may not be Suebi but Suevi and maybe not even that but Suavi while on the Eastern fringes of Europe we have in the 6th century appear the Sclavi (Sclaveni at first but then quickly Sclavi).  Note too that the Sclavi spelling is a Greek spelling that was only later imported into the decapitated post-Roman world.  What would the Sclavi have been called in Rome if the Western Empire had lived to see their arrival?

Suavi > Suevi > Suebi > Suevi > Suavi
? Sclavi ?

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October 16, 2017

Das Gibt’s Doch Gar Nicht

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This is from  Dr. Jochen Rath (of the Stadtarchiv und Landesgeschichtliche Bibliothek Bielefeld) Bielefeld’s city portal:

“Der Name „Bielefeld” wurde jüngst von Birgit Meineke als eine alte Raumbezeichnung für das Gebiet am nördlichen Ausgang des Bielefelder Passes gedeutet.”

“Sie griff damit ältere Erklärungen auf, unterstützte diese mit anderen Namensgebungen und verglich sie sprachwissenschaftlich mit weiteren Deutungen. Demnach wird das Grundwort „feld” durch das Bestimmungswort „Biele” ergänzt, dessen Wurzel in „bīl” (schlagen, spalten) zu finden ist. Gemeinsam bezeichnen sie eine Fläche am „Spalt im Höhenzug des Teutoburger Waldes”. Frühere Deutungen, die auf einen Personennamen „Bili” weisen oder unterschiedlichste Interpretationen des „Biele/Bile/Byle” vorlegten (schön/angenehm – Beil – ansteigender Stein – Jagdplatz – Bühl/Hügel – Grenzpfahl – etc. etc.), sind damit bis zum Vorliegen schlüssiger Neuinterpretationen zurückzuweisen.” 

(the reference is to: Meineke, Birgit, Die Ortsnamen der Stadt Bielefeld (Westfälisches Ortsnamenbuch, Bd. 5), Bielefeld 2013) who lists these as the oldest names (albeit notes that there may be some even older versions which, however, are uncertain):

So Meineke mentions the old ideas and the new idea for the prefix Bel- or Biel.

Old Ideas – Pretty

This old idea involved something like “pretty” or “pleasant”.

Compare this with, for example, Thietmar 6(56):

“The army was to assemble on Margrave Gero’s lands at Belgern, which means [in Slavic] ‘beautiful mountain.”

Here the reference is to Bel-gern is the Germanized versions of Biała Góra (White or Pretty (Bela) Mountain).  Belgora is mentioned earlier already in 973 in one of Otto I’s documents parcelling out Slavic lands.

Bylanuelde, the first mention above seems very similar to the Polish Bielany as this one near Cracow.

New Idea – Beaten

This is almost too easy:

You can reconstruct hypothetical words but why do that when you have ones that are still in use?

Of course, two caveats are in order.  First, you still have to explain the third person singular past tense bił.

Second, the word “field” feld is Germanic – on the other hand, it is related to the Slavic pole.  Other relations include Volkpułkpołk. This last one, some people, say is from Turkic.

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October 9, 2017

Lel, Polel, Lada and the Alcis of the Mother of the Gods

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I have previously discussed the similarities between the “mother of the Gods” mentioned by Tacitus and the Polish Lada as well as the fact that she was made by Polish writers to be the mother of Lel and Polel the alleged Polish dioscuri.  In turn, Tacitus said that the Nahanarvali worshiped Alcis who were their dioscuri.  The Nahanarvali likely lived on the river Narwa – which is today’s Narew. It is possible that the naha refers to -nad meaning “on the”.  It is more likely that it refers to a Germanic term as in nah or “near” such as is found in In der Nähe and so forth (neahneh meaning “nigh”).  That would not establish the language of the Nahnarvali themselves as the writers’ (Tacitus and others)  intermediaries may have been Germanic. In any event, Narwa is in Mazovia andi so too in Mazovia was Lada worshipped as per Dlugosz (perhaps in the village Lady).  I’ve written about all of this previously.

What I had forgotten to mention was that already Jacob Grimm had the same idea.  I attach that here. This passage also discusses the Krainian God Torik which Grimm dismisses as not having anything to do with Thor because it just meant the “second” (vtorik > Torik). Of course, one could also interpret Thor as the “second”.  On that see here.

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October 8, 2017

Polish Pantheon

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Who were the Polish Gods?  Jan Dlugosz is actually quite clear about this question but it’s worth to summarize again. To call these Names a “pantheon” is in some respects an exaggeration.  They were made a pantheon by Dlugosz but each Name has its own development and history and it is quite possible that some of these Names had a different tradition and came from, at least at some point, different tribes or even peoples (Sarmatian, Venetic/Lusatian, Suevic).

  • Yessa/Yassa/Yesza/Yasza (in Polish spelled with a “J” in lieu of a “Y”) – the head of the Polish pantheon its equivalent being Jupiter; this God is probably the same as the “Germanic” Jecha and Tacitus’ Isidi/Isis; He is also likely the “Greek” Iasion (the Czechs spoke of Chasson sive Jassen) and perhaps the “Greek” Jason; in Aethicus Easter, it seems Yassa as Iasion appears with the Eastern Slavic Paron; Yesha/Yessa or Yesza/Yassa; As the “yasny” or “light” God, He is also probably the “God of Lightning” mentioned by Procopius, the One who comes “first” (Jeden/Odin) and who is followed by thunder (Thor or Wtory, meaning the “second” or Perun/Paron or Baltic Perkunas); He seems to be also the God of Light and of fertility/harvest rites; at war He may be identical with Yarovit/Gerowit; He may also be linked to Ossirus or Odyseus; note that the Slavic “sh” or “sz” is nothing more than a diminutive form (compare it with, for example, Sasha); the original Name must have been Iasion;  later, after introduction of Christianity, a traveller, wanderer – much like Odin but unlike the scheming and bitter Odin, He remained the simple Jaś Wędrowniczek – a young boy who travels the countryside – very much in line with the original Iasion/Jason; 
  • Lada/Ladon – the guardian of Jessa; this deity is Mars or a Goddess; perhaps the best answer to this confusion is that Lada is both Mars and a female Deity; She is an Amazon – the protector of Yassa (Alado gardzyna yesse – which means something like “Oh, Lada, protect Yassa”) interestingly, she was worshipped, as Dlugosz says (without himself making the Amazon connection) in Mazovia; notice too that her name appears already in Luccan as the consort/spouse; She seems to be similar to Leda who was seduced by Zeus (or, in this case,  Iasion which would also make Lada similar to Demeter though Dlugosz makes Marzanna be Ceres (which was the equivalent of Demeter));
  • Niya – the God or Goddess of after life or underworld; the equivalent of Pluto; the God had a temple in Gniezno according to Dlugosz;
  • Dzidzilelia/Didilela/Zizilela – the Goddess of marriage and fertility; also associated with Venus; this Goddess is probably the same as the “Germanic” Ciza, Zizara;
  • Dzievanna/Devanna – the Goddess of the forests and hunts; this Goddess is probably the same as the “Germanic” Taefana; expressly tied to Diana as a forest Deity; interestingly, the name also appears in India (Vindi) and in Ireland (Dublin-Lublin) and parts of Britain (Cheshire with its 20th Legion);
  • Marzana – harvest Goddess associated with Ceres;
  • Pogoda – the Goddess of weather, the “giver of good weather”;
  • Sywie/Ziwie/Zyvie/Ziva – God of Life (Zycie or of the zijn);

Outside of Dlugosz many of the above Names are repeated.  Other Names include:

  • Boda/Bodze;
  • Lel/Heli/Leli – the Polish Castor but perhaps connected with the Germanic Hel;
  • Polel – the Polish Pollux;
  • Pogwizd/Pochwist/Pochwistel/Niepogoda;
  • Pan;
  • Grom;
  • Piorun (probably Ukraine only since, at the time of writing, that was part of Poland);
  • Gwiazda;

Finally, one book mentions a whole league of Deities and demons:

male:

Farel, Diabelus, Orkiusz, Opses, Loheli, Latawiec, Szatan, Chejdasz, Koffel, Rozwod, Smolka, Harab the Hunter, Ileli, Kozyra, Gaja, Ruszaj, Pozar, Strojnat, Biez, Dymek, Rozboj, Bierka, Wicher, Sczebiot, Odmieniec, Wilkolek [werewolf], Wesad, Dyngus or Kiczka, Fugas

female:

Dziewanna, Marzanna, Wenda, Jedza, Ossorya, Chorzyca, Merkana

For other posts on Polish Gods see here (part I), here (part II), here (part III) and here (part IV).

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October 8, 2017

Monkeying Around with Others’ History

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If you want to read something truly laughable, you should read “The History Files”, an amusing set of descriptions of various tribes in Europe.

Based on a review of this pseudo-history site, an inescapable conclusion is that a pair of retarded monkeys with a history fetish could have put together a more accurate and honest description of Europe’s past.

The reader should be already alerted by the fact that for a history of Poland, the only thing that is cited is a work by one M. Ross of Durham (!) from 1835:  A History of Poland from its Foundation

The thing is put out by a one man shop out of Taunton in the UK.

Here are some pearls from the site:

“Poland occupies a large area of Central  Europe bordering the southern Baltic Sea. Its history is a long one, covering several Bronze Age and Iron Age cultures, the latter of which saw the settlement of Belgic groups [!] who became collectively known as the Venedi, settling along the east bank of the Vistula.”

Did you know that the Venedi were “Belgic”? (The source for this is unclear but I assume that it must be Strabo who thought the Veneti of Vannes to be a Belgic tribe and, perhaps, the Adriatic Veneti but 1) that should make you think about who the Belgae really were and 2) Strabo said nothing at all about the Vistula Veneti).  There are tons of “Venetic” names throughout Europe – all you have to do is look at Ptolemy.

Or this:

“the last two centuries BC Germanic settlement from Scandinavia formed minor (tribal) states on the southern Baltic coast and west bank of the Vistula. Of these, the Buri and Lugii occupied areas of southern Poland,”

Did you know that the Buri and Lugi were Germanic?  No? No problem, now you do.

But the most amusing thing is this:

“The Late Bronze Age Lusatian culture … covered all of modern Poland with extensions into modern Czechia [!] and Slovakia, north-western Ukraine, and areas of central eastern Germany and eastern Pomerania… the Lusatian evolved directly into the subsequent Pomeranian culture. The ethnic composition of the Lusatian people is questionable, but they would have pre-dated the arrival of Germanics into the region.”

Here is a hint:

  • The Lusatians were the Veneti

So what happened?

  • Pre-Lusatian > Lusatian = Venetic = Suevic > Slavs

That said, it is probably true that some people really did crawl out of the Pripet Marshes.  You can tell who they are by the fact that they think they are Slavs and since their ancestors did crawl out of the marsh, so, too, must have the Slavs.

Lesson learned:

when they arrived on Slavic doorstep, still dripping with Pripet’s marsh goo, the Suavs should have just given them the Saint Adalbert treatment.

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October 7, 2017

Metz’s Troubles

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Speaking of Metz, thanks to Maciej for reminding me of this. I did want to mention the Slavic incursion of 1009 but the whole topic slipped my mind.  Thietmar says this:

“Ecclesia namque una, quae extra Metensem stabat civitatem, et congregatio ibidem (Deo) serviens a Sclavis Deum non timentibus vastatur.””

Pertz claimed in the MGH that, “not so”, that these were Northmen.  He then points to Alpert as proof and indeed Alpert does mention attacks of the Northmen.  Problem is that he does not provide any dates.

The only dating comes from Sigebert of Gembloux’s Universal Chronicle.  But he does not say that the Northmen invaded Metz.  Rather he only mentions Northmen in Frisia in 1009 – though Frisia is aways from Metz.

And remember the attacks happened about 1009.  Here are the dates when the three characters involved lived:

  • Sigebert circa 1030 – 1112
  • Alpert ? – 1024
  • Thietmar – 975 – 1018

So it seems that the oldest contemporary here was Thietmar whereas Sigebert wasn’t even alive in 1009.   Alpert must have been but he did not tell us when the Northmen ravaged Metz.  He does say that Henry subdued the Winidi.  It is also possible that both Slavs and Northmen raided Metz and Frisia that year.

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October 7, 2017