Polemon’s Veneti

Published Post author

Here are some fragments from Polemon of Athens (or of Ilium or Ilion in Epirus) that discuss or touch upon the Veneti from the Fragmenta historicorum graecorum, Volume 3:

POLEMONIS ILIENSIS FRAGMENTA
Polemon of Athens (2nd century BC)

Fragment 22

Schol. Eurip. Hippolyt. v. 230
Scholion ante oculos habuit Eustath. Ad II. II, 851, p. 361, 10. In Λακωνικοῖς fragmentum collocare maluit Preller

πώλους Ἐνέτας] Ταῦτα ἀνακεχρόνισται· οὐδέπω γὰρ Ἕλληνες Ἐνέταιςἐχρῶντο ἵπποις· οἱ γὰρ Ἐνέται Παφλαγονίαν προτερον οἰκοῦντες ὕστερονἐπὶ τὸν Ἀδρίαν διέβησαν, Λέων δὲ πρῶτος Λακεδαιμόνιος πθ’ (πε’Eustath.) ὀλυμπιάδι ἐνίκησεν Ἐνέταις ἵπποις, ὡς Πολέμων ἱστορεῖ, καὶἐπέγραψε τῇ εἰκόνι· «Λέων Λακεδαιμόνοις ἵπποισι νικῶν Ἐνέταις,Ἀντικλείδα πατήρ (πατρόν? Prell.).»

Pullos Venetos] In his contra temporum rationes peccavit Euripides. Nam Hippolyti temporibus nondum usi Graeci Venetis equis sunt. Veneti olim Paphlagoniam incolentes postea in Adriam transmigrarunt; primus vero Venetis equis vicit Olympiade octogesima nona Leo Lacedaemonius, ut Polemo narrat; signo autem Leontis inscriptum legitur: «Leo Lacedoemonius equis victor Venetis, Anticlidae pater.»

“In these reckonings against time, Euripides sins/offends/errs.  In fact, in the time of Hippolitus, the Greeks did not yet use Venetian horses.  Veneti who formerly inhabited Paphlagonia, later migrate to Adria.  In fact, as Polemon tells, [it was] Leo the Spartan who was the first to win [Tethrippon or the chariot race of] the 89th Olympiad using Venetian horses.  Leo’s name was inscribed on a sign to read: ‘Leo the Spartan, victor at Venetian horses, father [or sponsor?] of Anticlidae.'”

Euripides (c. 480 – c. 406 BC).  In his play “Hippolytus” about 428 BC Euripides refers to the Veneti.   Hippolytus refers to Hippolytus son of Theseus on whose story, Euripides based his play. Hippolytus was a forest horse rider (unleasher of horses?) identified also with the later Roman forest god Virbius.  The 89th Olympiad was circa 424 BC.

Fragment 23

Schol. Vet. Pind. Nem. X. 12

Καὶ ἔστι περὶ τὸν Ἀδρίαν Διομήδεια νῆσος ἱερὰ, ἐν ᾗ τιμᾶται ὡς θεός (sc. Διομήδης) … Καὶ Πολέμων ἱστορεῖ· «Ἐν μὲν γὰρ Ἀργυρίπποις ἅγιόν ἐστιναὐτοῦ ἱερόν, »καὶ ἐν Μεταποντίῳ δὲ διὰ πολλῆς αὐτὸν αἴτὸν αἴρεσθαιτιμῆς ὡς θεὸν, καὶ ἐν Θουρίοις εἰκόνας αὐτοῦ καθιδρύσθαι ὡς θεοῦ.

Ad Adriam est Diomedea insula sacra, in qua Diomedes ut deus colitur. . . Polemo dicit: «Argyrippis sacrum ejus templum est, »et Metaponti quoque magnopere eum utpote deum honorari, Thuriisque ei tamquam deo statuas positas esse.

“At Adria/Adriatic Sea is the holy island of Diomedea which Diomedes inhabited as a God.  Polemon says: Argyrippis is his sacred temple. Metapontum also greatly honors him as a God.  In Thurii his statues have also been placed.”

“Adjecimus hunc locum quia Venetorum equorum commemoratio cum Diomedeae religionis conjuncta esse solet.”  We include this place where the Venetian horses were remembered with Diomedan religion.

Copyright ©2017 jassa.org All Rights Reserved

September 4, 2017

Sings of Lada Part VI – Better Explanations

Published Post author

What is the etymology of the word “lady” – According to the ver useful Online Etymology Dictionary:

“circa 1200, lafdilavede, from Old English hlæfdige (Northumbrian hlafdia, Mercian hlafdie), “mistress of a household, wife of a lord,” apparently literally “one who kneads bread,” from hlaf “bread” (see loaf (n.)) + -dige “maid,” which is related to dæge “maker of dough” (which is the first element in dairy; see dey (n.1)). Also compare lord (n.)). Century Dictionary finds this etymology “improbable,” and OEDictionary rates it “not very plausible with regard to sense,” but no one seems to have a better explanation.

Here is a better explanation:

  • the bread kneader has nothing to do with “lady”
  • lafdilavede have something to do with “lady” but nothing to do with hlæfdige, bread and dough
  • lafdi comes from lavede
  • lavede is flipped from velade
  • velade is the same as Wald = ruler (Slavic Vlad)
  • velade probably is also reflected in the name of Veleda
  • Veleda > Lada = Polish Goddess
  • Compare Walada in Thuringia
  • Grimm points out too the Gothic name Valadomarca

Now, here is the really interesting stuff.  As we already mentioned:

  • lada in Slavic languages also meant “my love” or “my dearest” or “wife”  (lado meant the same but for males)
  • lada means “wife” or “spouse” in Lycian!
  • lady in English means?

Copyright ©2017 jassa.org All Rights Reserved

September 3, 2017

On Checking Your Dutch Privilege

Published Post author


Was reading about the whole brouhaha about the words of Franz Timmermans shows how emotion can sabotage a rational response.

What he said was the following:

“The Poland today is more sovereign, free, has borders that are more secure than for centuries in the past.  It has been perhaps a thousand years [that] the Polish people have been as free to decide about their destiny.  Poland was pushed around on the European map.  If Germany was powerful Poland would be 300 kilometers to the East.  If Russia was powerful Poland would be 300 kilometers to the West but Polish people did not get to decide where the country was.  Now it does.”

Putting aside his sloppy English (he is Dutch), it is quite clear what he said (there was apparently a translation error – the translator was doing this on the fly obviously).  He was not directly threatening Poland.

But… as they say, on the other hand:

  • right afterwards, he says that the EU creates sovereignty for Poland.  I think I understand what he meant but still the idea that someone else gives you sovereignty is bizarre to say the least and Orwellian at worst
  • talk of “border” changes does contain a veiled threat (one made recently by Anne Applebaum (who still manages to keep her recently acquired Polish citizenship)) and if Timmermans did not mean to utter it, then he is clearly rather tone deaf
  • to state that the borders of Poland are secure is absurd to say the least – after Schengen they are as secure as the borders of the EU as a whole and how secure those are, I think need not be explained
  • the statements he made are, of course, untrue and, likely, represent a rather shallow understanding of Eastern European history which should be disturbing to anyone concerned about personnel standards at the EU Commission.  Obviously Poland was free in 2004 when it joined the EU.  If it was not then the whole accession process is bullshit and we ought to start over again.

What is most silly about all of this is the Commission’s rhetoric which basically comes down to this: if you do not agree to what we want then you are not a European, you do not share our values, etc.  In the next step, if you cannot be shamed then we will start the talk of penalties and implied threats of border changes or leaving you out in the lurch.  This would, if displayed by a toddler (or a Trump), be called a tantrum.  

When the EU came together it came together with the idea of economic cooperation within a broadly defined democratic consensus.  Yes, there was movement of goods and people but only from within the EU and subject to various limits.  And the size of a banana was only relevant to porn producers.

But why should the EU decide whether the death penalty should be legal or not? One can be for or against the death penalty but it is preposterous to state that being for it is being anti-European.  Unless, of course, you believe that the history of Europe began with the EU and before that it was all dark ages.  The so-called “European values” are a fiction and no more European than the various prescribed values of Europe’s past – both good and bad.

In the years since the EU Commission, as all bureaucracies, with the aid of organizations that have nothing to do with the EU, has expanded its prerogatives.  It now can apparently rule on a whole plethora of internal laws and scrutinize the most minute details of internal politics.  If you look at its statements, it clearly even feels that it can define who is and who is not European and, more relevantly, who is and who is not an Englishman, Czech or German.

These are extraordinary power claims.  Under EU rule, countries might end up with less power versus the central government than US states versus the US federal government.  If that is not a loss of sovereignty then I do not know what is.  To be sovereign is to be able to make these kinds of decisions on your own – right or wrong – not to have, like a child, someone else decide for you.

To be fair, there are many in Eastern Europe that, for one reason or another, honestly do want their countries to lose sovereignty.  They want the cultural-economic package that Brussels is offering.  They feel closer to the Western European elites than to their own people.  This is a value choice and not an unreasonable one – for them.  But, they should not have the power to make that decision for everyone else.  That is, of course, not democracy.

Which is also why this whole fight about the rule of law is BS.  It has nothing to do with that.  It is an attempt to stamp out national separatism in Eastern Europe.  To show who the alpha dog is on the question of refugees. (To see how true that is, it’s only necessary to observe that no one has punished Germany for having a very similar judge selection system as Poland is trying to put in place).

As regards Timmermans, he’s said plenty of things in the past that should have alerted any rational person to that man’s views of Eastern Europe as an object of both history and future such as this patronizing gem:

“Any society, anywhere in the world, will be diverse in the future — that’s the future of the world… “So [Central European countries] will have to get used to that. They need political leaders who have the courage to explain that to their population instead of playing into the fears as I’ve seen Mr Orbán doing in the last couple of months.”

Given this statement, who are these “Polish people” that Timmermans speaks of above?  Can he define them?  Does it mean  anyone who lives in Poland?  What if we replaced the entire population of Poland with people from somewhere else.  Would these somewhere elsers still be the Polish people to Timmermans?  Does he really believe what he says?  Because if he does then we have a much bigger problem.

Timmermans speaks (like many others) of nationalism as the cause of all wars.  But this is bullshit – plain and simple and he knows it or should know it.  What of the all the religious wars?  What of all the petty dynastic  squabbles?  What of the wars between nominally Communist states?  What “nation” murdered a million people in Cambodia?

The trope of WWI is also false.  World War I was not a war between nation-states.  Austria-Hungary was as diverse as it got back then.   So was the “Russian” empire and even Imperial Germany had legions of Poles within its borders.  The war was not a product of “nationalisms” – it was a product of elites fighting other elites (often from the same family).  It was a family squabble that dragged Europe’s nations into it.  The nations were tools but not actors.  The resentment of that fact is partly what elevated various disturbing figures into power after WWI.  The other was Communist agitation.  There would have been no Nazis, had there been no Communists.  That’s why the Communists, correctly, called them (and anyone else who opposed the Communists) “reactionaries”.  Some people conveniently forget this.  If you fuck with people, you tend to get a reaction.

Nor is it clear that “wars” are the thing that causes the most suffering – at least in a war you get to fight.  But what about all the victims of the Holodomor?  Or of Soviet military tactics? Or Mao’s victims?  Their numbers are in the tens of millions.  And what about those nationalities that fell victim to the whims of a dictator who ruled over a multinational, “diverse” empire?  Just think of the Crimean Tatars, the Volga Germans, the Jewish doctor’s plot accusations or, more prominently, the NKVD’s “Polish operation” or the Holodomor perpetrated on the Ukrainians.

If you think that “nationalism” causes the most suffering just check out these books for a start (there are many others):

But, the Eurocrats say, the answer is democracy!  Except that that is not really what they want and the idea that democracy can withstand the bringing together into a cauldron of so many diverse peoples is, to put it gently, untested.

But, the Eurocrats say, the answer is America! Yes, except in America, dollar is king and that is what drives everyone to put aside their petty squabbles and brings them together.  Crass commercialism is a wonderful equalizer and destroyer of prejudices.  Except that the European ruling classes do not want crass commercialism, they want a boring social economy whose paychecks excite just about no one.

So if Timmermans and his ilk get their way, they won’t get democracy, they won’t get economic growth but they will get a lot of disenchanted, young people from various cultures living next to one another.

Finally, if you want to know why learning history is useful, note that the various aid programs that Merkel has invented or the various extortionist payments to be made to Turkey are nothing more than what the Roman and Byzantine Empires ended up paying to the Goths, the Huns or the Avars – they are tribute to be left alone – pure and simple.

The strong do not make payments.  Which is also why Poland’s claims against Germany may actually stand a chance.  If Namibians can make them for 50 years of occupation then surely the  a millennium and a half of Frankish occupation of all the lands east of the Saale should produce a settlement too.  And the price tag for the Frankish occupation will be much higher.

Charlemagne – the original Eurocrat

Let’s see, Poles could sue the Franks for:

  • tacit support for the Communist regimes (50 years worth)
  • WWII (of, course)
  • the economic war between WWI and WWII
  • creation of Communism (Marx, Engels &, of course, the fact that they put Lenin on that train)
  • WWI and German conduct of war operations on Polish soil
  • 123 years of partitions’ occupation (Germanization, land theft and so on)
  • Prussian conduct of war operations on Polish soil before that
  • Prussian betrayal during the Swedish Deluge
  • land theft and various exterminational operations of the Teutonic Knights
  • the Rape of Gdansk in 1308
  • occupation of Brandenburg and Pomerania
  • occupation of the Elbe-Saale lands
  • and, if we are correct, the theft of Suavic lands to the Rhine and beyond all the way through the Morini and Osti to the Veneti of Bretagne.

With interest this might exceed their ability to pay short of surrendering northern France, Germany and chunks of the Netherlands (Belgium’d be gone, of course, too).

And don’t forget the Saxon claims!

Incidentally, according to the sponsors of the Charlemagne Prize the prize “reaches into the future, and at the same time it embodies an obligation – an obligation of the highest ethical value. It is directed at a voluntary union of the European peoples without constraint, so that in their newfound strength they may defend the highest earthly goods – freedom, humanity and peace – and safeguard the future of their children and children’s children.”

It should be called the Terrible Irony Prize.

Hey, don’t forget the Slavs!

As Timmermans claims he is Dutch he should be the first to start paying – after all much of the Slavic east Germany was colonized by settlers from the Netherlands – who knows if Timmermans’ ancestors were not Slav slave holders.

PS If you want to know where this is going, all you have to do is read the Economist – which is a frequent platform for people like Anne Applebaum – see here – this plan for Britain reads like material from a neo-Nazi recruiting pamphlet.  The folly of forcibly creating a Homo Europaeus is no lesser than the folly of forcing the creation of a Homo Sovieticus or a Homo Yugoslaviensis but, hey, repeated failure is only proof of impending success.  Just need more government edicts and all will be all right next time.

We get the arrogant Brussels pronouncements that are both offensive and counterproductive.  People grow together if they want to.  Yugoslavia failed but both the Croats and the Serbs then wanted to join the EU.  What does that tell you?

And for all of its problems, the state of ethnic relations in the US is much much better than in Europe and at least part of the reason is that intermarriage and associations of various peoples are developing naturally – not at the point of a Eurocrat’s umbrella.

In Europe, the danger is that we will eventually end up either in a Soviet-like (albeit capitalist) society where – as in many such countries – ethnic peace is maintained at the barrel of the gun – or in a reactionary, violent state.  Or in a state of internal conflict.  The European Community was, as originally conceived, a pretty decent idea.  Who benefits if it falls apart?

It should also be clear that while other powers may want to limit Eastern European sovereignty, the EU wants to actually end the Eastern European nations as we’ve known them for a millennium and a half.

There is no reason to bring hot coals for Timmermans to walk on.  He brings them himself.  In his world people are passive – things just have to be explained to them.

No one likes to be talked down to.  And nothing is inevitable. We should not pretend we have no choice in any of this.  Though we should also understand the consequences of any choice made on this topic.

And the various “eurosceptics” should finally stop pretending that they can reshape the EU. They are too weak for that and they will only get weaker (see economist article link above).  Moreover, were they actually given power, what would they do?  They should say so so we’re all clear.

Why does this matter for our history?  Well, if you want to know why Slavic history is being falsified (now as opposed to before – the why before was different), the answer is right here.  Apparently, we’re all immigrants because the Slavs too came to Eastern Europe 1,500 years ago…  If that is the standard of the discussion then we cannot even agree on the meaning of the most simple of words.

And, what if the Slavs did not actually come from anywhere but were always here?  What does that do to their narrative?  Don’t tell me that history was politicized by the Communists or before WWII.  In Europe it is always politicized.

Copyright ©2017 jassa.org All Rights Reserved

September 2, 2017

Minor Slav Mention in the Suda

Published Post author

The Suda or Souda (Σοῦδα SoûdaSuidae Lexicon) is a 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia of antiquity (but not only).  It has about 30,000 entries.  No one really knows what Suda refers to – it is just how it is known This is from the 1705 edition.

There is one entry dealing with Slavs:

The entry reads simply: Slavs, a people beyond the Ister (or Danube).

Copyright ©2017 jassa.org All Rights Reserved

September 1, 2017

Paleo-Suavs

Published Post author

Interestingly, the world’s oldest known boomerang was found over thirty years ago in Poland.  This is a bit off topic but since the site deals with prehistory, might just as well go deep once in a while.The boomerang was found in the Obłazowa Cave (Jaskinia Obłazowa) in  Nowa Biała near Nowy Targ by a team led by Paweł Valde-Nowak.  It was described in Nature magazine.

The boomerang is apparently 23k-30k years old and was made from a mammoth tusk.  More recent work in the cave produced finds related to the Micoquien culture – these are dated at 50k-60k.  However, even older finds firmly establish settlement at 80k-100k thereby proving that Slavic Polish settlement of central Europe preceded even that of the Neanderthals (likely Germanic ancestors, of course, ;-)). 

Given the hostile climate, not to mention the various predators and other dangers it is little wonder that so many humans must have loved the relative shelter of such caves.  My guess is people lived their entire lives in some of these (if they were lucky).  They ate, slept and had sex there.  They might have had wars over who gets to keep a cave (inheritance fights? neighboring tribes?).  Cool stuff.

Copyright ©2017 jassa.org All Rights Reserved

August 29, 2017

Cauldrons, Top Knots and Sarcophagi

Published Post author

The Suevian knot is supposedly known from several works of art.  Take these, for example:

Mušov cauldron

Czarnówko cauldron

Portonaccio sarcophagus

But here is the interesting thing.  These “Suevian knots” do not seem to be the kinds of knots that are described by Tacitus.  There is nothing dramatic about these hairstyles.  In fact, they seem to be fairly ordinary ways for managing overlong hair – just tie it at the side.  Some of the Germanic figures in the battle scene on the above sarcophagus have them but most do not.

But did not Tacitus talk about “Suevian knots”?  Yes, but in the wishful thinking of those eager to find proof in his words, researchers seem to have concluded that all these male hair knots must be the Tacitan Suevian knots.  What did Tacitus write again?

“Insigne gentis obliquare crinem nodoque substringere: sic Suevi a ceteris Germanis, sic Suevorum ingenui a servis separantur. In aliis gentibus seu cognatione aliqua Suevorum seu, quod saepe accidit, imitatione, rarum et intra iuventae spatium; apud Suevos usque ad canitiem horrentem capillum retro sequuntur. Ac saepe in ipso vertice religatur; principes et ornatiorem habent. Ea cura formae, sed innoxia; neque enim ut ament amenturve, in altitudinem quandam et terrorem adituri bella compti, ut hostium oculis, armantur.”

What does this mean?

“We must now speak of the Suebi, who do not, like the Chatti or the Tencteri, constitute a single nation. They occupy more than half Germany, and are divided into a number of separate tribes under different names, though all are called by the generic title of ‘Suebi’. It is a special characteristic of this nation to comb the hair sideways and tie it in a knot. This distinguishes the Suebi from the rest of the Germans, and, among the Suebi, distinguishes the freeman from the slave. Individual men of other tribes adopt the same fashion, either because they are related in some way to the Suebi, or merely because the imitative instinct is so strong in human beings; but even these few abandon it when they are no longer young. The Suebi keep it up till they are gray- headed; the hair is twisted back so that it stands erect, and is often knotted on the very crown of the head. The chiefs use an even more elaborate style. But this concern about their personal appearance is altogether innocent. These are no lovelocks to entice women to accept their advances. Their elaborate coiffure is intended to give them greater height, so as to look more terrifying to their foes when they are about to go into battle.”

So… is it sideways or upwards?  The words are crinem nodoque substringere. Let’s compare another translation:

“This people are remarkable for a peculiar custom, that of twisting their hair and binding it up in a knot. It is thus the Suevians are distinguished from the other Germans, thus the free Suevians from their slaves. In other nations, whether from alliance of blood with the Suevians, or, as is usual, from imitation, this practice is also found, yet rarely, and never exceeds the years of youth. The Suevians, even when their hair is white through age, continue to raise it backwards in a manner stern and staring; and often tie it upon the top of their head only. That of their Princes, is more accurately disposed, and so far they study to appear agreeable and comely; but without any culpable intention. For by it, they mean not to make love or to incite it: they thus dress when proceeding to war, and deck their heads so as to add to their height and terror in the eyes of the enemy.”

That is right. Nothing is done sideways.  Here is the deal… Tacitus clearly describes hair being raised up not sideways like some dead rat hanging from one’s head.  If you want to know what Tacitus describes, take a look at this famous work of metallurgy:To get to the point: he is describing a top knot:

even this is not exactly right (though better):

Thus, none of these (except that guy in a t-shirt) are sporting Tacitan Suevic knots.

And if you long for bright blond Suevi then you will be disappointed.  Take this guy:

Reddish-blond?

Sorry.  According to Peter Vilhelm Glob’s “The Bog People” the hair of the Osterby Man has been coloured a reddish brown by the acids in the bog; microscopic analysis showed that it had been dark blond and that the man had had some white hairs.

Copyright ©2017 jassa.org All Rights Reserved

August 27, 2017

Where Are They Now?

Published Post author

Here is an interesting description of a medicine stamp found in England:

Note that our Ariovist the Oculist is named Vindacus.

Copyright ©2017 jassa.org All Rights Reserved

August 24, 2017

Return of the Halfbreeds

Published Post author


Apparently the most recent attempt to make sense of the phrase Suevi non sunt nati sunt seminati comes from Ernst Erich Metzner (a German medievalist) in the collection Kulturgeschichtliche Daten zur Deutschmaehrischen Literatur (Amici Amico III – Metzner was born in  Czechoslowakia’s Sudetenland so this text is apparently part of some sort of bridge building).  Metzner’s interpretation is a bit half-assed but it is still better than most.

His view is essentially that whoever wrote the “mysterious” words referred to the entire list of tribes listed by the “Bavarian Geographer.”  Barring random scribbles that seems obvious though even this is admitting a lot.  Essentially, he is saying that for the writer of that scribble “Suevi” meant all the preceding tribes – the vast majority of whom are indisputably Slavs.

But after this auspicious beginning Metzner begins to rationalize.  He does not say that all of these are Slavs as he seems to find in some names “Restgermanen.”  He then says that the phrase Suevi are not born they are sown must refer not to “sown” as in seedlings but rather to mixed-blood Suevi.  Specifically, he says this must refer to a historical memory retained by the writer of those words that these East German lands were previously occupied by the Suevi and now they are occupied by some Restgermanen and by the Slavs and so the former are the “true” Suevi but they are now mixed up with the majority of the incoming Slavs and, therefore, they are, in effect, “halbgeborene” Suevi.  Whether Metzner means that these Slavs are Mischlinge or bastards or something along those lines is not entirely clear but that is where his logic seems to be heading.

It is not clear whether he thinks that “Slavs” is, in fact, a German name (a bastardization of Suevi, I suppose).  Such a view would be odd since the Sclavenes and Sclavi that invaded the Byzantine Empire would, presumably, in any telling of the “Slavs out of the East” story not have come into contact with the Suevi, if at all, until after the times of Procopius and Jordanes.  In any event, Metzner seems content to avoid the question.

Metzner believes that whoever the writer was must have been a Schwabe who was familiar with Tacitus and, as we know, “according to Tacitus “all the North and East Germans were in fact Suevi with the exception of the Bastarnae.” For this proposition Metzner points to Tacitus but the above citation is actually from Rudolf Much.  Much’s leanings were decidedly pan-Germanic but more importantly for the current point, the above statement is unsubstantiated by Tacitus.

As is well known, in chapter 46 Tacitus waffles as to where to put the Bastarnae (and the Veneti and the Fenni) – on the Germanic path or on the Sarmatian wagon.  But he notes that the Bastarnae or Peucini have the same language, customs and dwellings as the Germans and does not say anything – one way or the other – whether they were Suevi.

More importantly, Metzner may have actually bothered to examine chapter 38 of Germania which (along with the subsequent chapters) he cites.  Had he done so, he would have discovered some relevant information for the point he was trying to make. Specifically, a review of chapter 38 would have revealed that the point about Suevi being “halbgeboren” is implicit in the words of Tacitus – without needing to rely on a conjectured and unproven Slavic immigration into Germania.  Let us then quote Tacitus:    

“I must now speak of the Suevi, who are not one nation as are the Chatti and Tencteri, for they occupy the greater part of Germany, and have hitherto been divided into separate tribes with names of their own, though they are called by the general designation of ‘Suevi.'”

Thus, the Suevi are not “one” nation but rather many – they are Suevi and come from separate tribes.  Already here is open the possibility that there is no unifying principle as to who is part of the Suevi other than those who somehow become part of the club.  One thinks of the modern gangs or other types of groups where the name that inspires fear becomes used by other imitators – who are perhaps initially not related to the feared group.  Indeed, the same process, as we know, may have occurred with the Avars who may not have been the “true” Avars.  Later the Hungarians have called themselves Huns.  And so on.  Once again, however, all these processes may be gleaned from the words of Tacitus without the need to posit a very hypothetical Slavic migration.

I note again that there is zero proof as to what language the Suevi of Caesar and Tacitus spoke.   Plenty of articles on Suevic names on this site does provide circumstantial evidence that they may have spoken some something other than Germanic.  (Hell, we do not even know what language the Portuguese Suevi spoke!).

Whether or not the Glossator of the text was learned in Tacitus’ Germania is also hardly something that can be established based on that single note.

Finally, Peucini may well have a Slavic etymology – thus you have Pełka or Pełczyński.  The name was so Slavic sounding that the Communists even renamed the formerly German Bernstein with the name of Pełczyce.

Copyright ©2017 jassa.org All Rights Reserved

August 23, 2017

Further from Bosau

Published Post author

To complete the Chronicle of the Slavs – previously showcased Book I here and now we’ve added Book II here.

Copyright ©2017 jassa.org All Rights Reserved

August 22, 2017

Nasuavs

Published Post author

I’ve had the post about Suevic names up about two years ago.  These are the only Suevic names from prior to the fifth century,  About Ariovistus I wrote here.  About Veleda here.

What about some of the other names?  Are there similar Slavic versions?

  • Nasua – Suevic
    • Nasław (pronounced Nasuav) – Polish:
    • Naslav – Czech

What does this mean?  Well, obviously the 6th century invading Sclavi (Slavs or Suavs) who covered, inch by inch, the territory of the Teutonic Suevi (then Suavi) were able to find a few remaining Suevi that taught the Slavs what a proper name was (the Slavic Slavs probably ate their Teutonic teachers after that – the Teutons were, of course, delicious).

Or maybe this is different,  Maybe, the medieval Slavs read Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic War and said, let’s name our kids after the anti-Roman protagonists?  That’s another highly=probably possibility.

But why not give some space to the experts.  Here is an entry on Nasua fromthe Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde volume 20.  The entry comes from Reinhard Wolters:

“In contrast to Cimberius, there is nothing to connect connect/associate the name Nasua with; whether this otherwise unattested proper name (?) is a Celtic or Germanic construct is debatable…”

But, you say, quite correctly, what about the German town of Nassau.  Well, Nassau is not exactly Nassua but even if it were the same, note that the first recorder appearance of that name is in 915 (in a gift made by Conrad I)  as Nassova.  Then we have Nassouva (1034), Nassove (1159), Nassaw (circa 1600) and Nassauw then Nassau.  What does Nassova mean?  The ridiculous claim that -ava has to mean water presumably would state that so does -ova.  So then we have, what, “wet” (nass) water?

what does the donation actually say:

curtem nostram Nassova nominatam, cum omnibus rebus magnis et parvis, in utroque latere fluminis Logene, in duobus illis comitatibus Sconenberg et Marvels iuste legitimeque ad eandem curtem pertinentibus, cum curtilibus aedificiis, macipiis utriusque sexus, terris cultis et incultis… in proprietatem donavimus…

curtis or cortis is supposed to mean villa (cors or chors).  Oddly, Nassova meaning “ours” looks like “nostram” even though that does not seem to be a translation.

Who lived there before the Franks?  We don’t know but perhaps the Usipi

Note that Cimber sounds like Szymbor, Czymbor or Sambor.  Bor means a forest but also meant a warrior.  Of course, it might have something to do with the Cimbri instead.

Even more interesting is the fact that in North America there were Nashaway (or Nashua) Indians of the Algonquian set of tribes.  See here about the Algonqiuan tribes.

On the borrowings between Germanic and Slavic see here and here.

Copyright ©2017 jassa.org All Rights Reserved

August 19, 2017