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TRACES OF THE SLOVENIAN LANGUAGE IN FRANCE

by Tomaz Grohar

Jalnova 4, 4240 Radovljica, Slovenia

In the Allgemeine Weltgeschichte (General World History), published in Berlin, 1891, there is a map of Charlemagne's kingdom in the year 771.  On this map, the French towns in Gaul and Aquitania are shown by their old names: PETRAGORA, LEMOVICI, and RUTENICA.  Petragora has been later corrupted into Perigueux, Lemovici into Limoges, and Rutenica is nowadays called Rodez.  On the same map is the city of Brest in Brittany marked as BRESTA, and in the south of France, in the Pyrenees, the city of BIGORRA, which now appears as the region of Bigorre.  It is known that the residents of Limoges considered themselves a separate people even as late as 1849 - the Lemovices.  This is found in the German dictionary Allgemeines Woerterbuch (Universal Dictionary) by August Meuler, where, on page 322, they are mentioned as "ein Volk (meaning, a distinct people) in Gallia-Aquitanica."

That the French cities have besides their present names also the original names, is further proven by the map published in the illustrated book Rimljani (The Romans), where PETRAGORA is marked as Pet-gory.  In the book L'Europe des Celtes (The Europe of the Celt, by writer Christiane Eleuere, they are written as: Petrocorier, Lemovicer, and Rutener.  The coastal city of Vannes was at one time called Venedi, reminding us of (the Veneti), and the Italian city of Venice.

The first three letters in the name LEMOVICI presumably come from the word LAMA with an earlier meaning of "king".  Thus, the name of the little church of St. Lamberg, at Lancovo near Radovljica, Slovenia, derives from the "king of the mountain", and the place-name Lancovo from the original Lamcovo, "the place of the kinglet".  LAMA means "king", and LAMC, "little king".  Therefore, the name LEMOVICI would have meant the same as what we would today call, Kingston.  The name of the city BIGORRA suggests that at one time the people of southern France understood the meaning of the root "gor", mountain, which is no longer understood [in French].  The name Brest in Brittany, is the same as the Brest in Belarus; both names have presumably the same origin.


Page Created:  October 21, 2001
Page Updated:  October 21, 2001
ęCopyright 2001 Gary L. Gorsha