Lugii


Lugii

:"For Polish place-names, see Ługi."

The Lugii, Lugi, Lygii, Ligii, Lugiones, Lygians, Ligians, Lugians, or Lougoi were a tribe of Indo-European origin. They lived in ca. 400 BC–300 AD in Central Europe, north of the Sudetes mountains in the basin of upper Odra and Vistula rivers, covering most of modern south and middle Poland (regions of Silesia, Greater Poland, Mazovia and Little Poland). Most of archaeologists identify the Lugians with the Przeworsk culture. The source of their power was control of the most important middle part of the Amber Road from Sambia at the Baltic Sea to the provinces of Roman Empire: Pannonia, Noricum and Raetia. An unrelated tribe of the same name, usually spelled as "Lugi", inhabited the southern part of Sutherland in Scotland.

Tribal division

According to Tacitus ("Germania" 43:3) the Lugii were divided into many tribes ('civitates'), of which he mentions the five most powerful: Harii, Helveconae, Manimi, Helisii and Naharvali. Claudius Ptolemeus mentions the Lugi Omani, the Lugi Diduni and the Lugi Buri located on or near the upper Vistula in Germania Magna in what is now south Poland (Book 2, Chapter 10, 4th map of Europe). The forms of the names imply that the Lugii of that time were divided into the Omani, the Diduni and the Buri. In Tacitus the Buri are a separate tribe, so it's possible that they entered the Lugian federation a bit later.

History

The Lugian federation was probably formed long before it was first recorded, in the works of Strabo ("Geographica").

According to Strabo the Lugians were 'a great people' and—together with other peoples like Semnones and the otherwise unknown Zumi, Butones, Mugilones and Sibini—were part of a federation subjected to the rule of Marbod, ruler of the Marcomanni with their centre in modern Bohemia 9 BC–19 AD. The next mention of Lugii are the times of the Roman emperor Claudius (41–54). According to the Tacitus's Annales, in 50 'a great multitude' of Lugians allied with Romans took part in the fall of the Wannius state of Quadi, located in present Moravia–Slovakia.

The next information about the Lugians comes from Cassius Dio's work "Roman History", in which he mentions events of 91–92 during the reign of emperor Domitian. The Lugii allied themselves with the Romans and asked them for help against their western neighbours, the Germanic Suebi tribe. Domitian sent 100 horsemen to support the Lugians. It is not known if these horsemen really arrived at their destination; if they did, it would be the first recorded presence of Roman soldiers on what is now Polish soil.

Polish records confirm alliance with Romans. [Chronica seu originale regum et principum Poloniae; by Wincenty Kadlubek; 1190]

The Buri, who according to Ptolemy were part of the Lugians, took an important role during the Marcomannic Wars (166–180): the Romans were forced to organize a separate military campaign against them called 'Expeditio Burica' in 182-183 during the reign of emperor Commodus

The later history of the Lugians is uncertain, but some historians assume that the Lugians can be indentified with the 'Longiones' tribe mentioned in Zosimus's "New History" ("Historia Nova"), as being defeated by the Emperor Probus in year 279 in the province of Raetia near the Lygis river (usually identified with Lech river in modern Austria and Bavaria). Another mention might be a great people of 'Lupiones-Sarmatae' shown on a Latin map Tabula Peutingeriana generally dated to 2nd-4th century AD.

Ethnic background disputed

The ethnic afilition was subject of auto/allochtonic debate between German and mostly Polish historians. The word "Lugi" may be a spelling for Slavonic "лю΄дїе", meaning "people". In modern Serbian, the word "луг" means "small forest". Thus the word "Lugii" could indicate "forest people". Serbs have many versions of this word in use today, and all relate to forest, wood and swamp land.

Ancient writers associated them with Germans [De origine et situ Germanorum; by Gaius Cornelius Tacitus; 98] . Others claim that they were a compound tribe, or confederation of tribes of different ethnicity. Most scholars though agree that they could perhaps consist of a mixture of the two groups.

There is a possibility that the Lusatian Sorbs, whose land in their own language and in Polish bears the name "Łużyce", adjective "łużycki", are among their descendants. The term "Łużyce/łużycki" is probably akin to Lugii.Other derivative names from the same region recorded in historical sources: (the Latin/Italian 'g' sounding like 'dz' in other systems)
* Bavarian Geographer lendizi
* Widukind licicaviki
* Κωνσταντίνος Ζ΄ Πορφυρογέννητος litzike, linzike, lenzeninov or lenzaniniov
* Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Masudi "landzaneh"'
* Nestor: "Вълхѡ´мъ бо наше´дшемъ на словѣ´ни на дуна´искїя, и҄ сѣ´дшемъ въ ни´хъ и҄ насилѩ´щемъ и҆´мъ, словѣ´ни же о҆´ви прише´дше сѣдо´шѫ на Ви´слѣ, и҄ прозва´шѫсѩ ля´хове, а҆ ѡ҆тъ тѣ´хъ ля´ховъ прозва´шѫсѩ поля´не, ля´хове друзї´и лути´чи, и҆´ни мазовша´не, и҆´ни поморя´не."
* Hungarian common word Lengyel
* The racial slur for Lithuanians; Lugan possibly comes from this word.

References


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