The book ADIEU TO BRITTANY (133 pages) is not a work of fiction yet the reality of it is more extraordinary than fiction.

A definite continuation of VENETI work of Bor, Savli and Tomazic. This time by a Canadian Anthony Ambrozic.


With navigable waterways running in every direction, ancient Gaul was accessible to ocean-going vessels. For the most part, ships were of moderate draught. Even the largest could navigate the Rhone from Marseille to Lyons. Smaller boats could continue to within thirty miles of the upper Rhine. Then, a short haul over level land, one could sail the Rhine to the North Sea.

A similar overland leap from the Rhone via the Saone led to the Loire and the Atlantic. On a different tack one could reach the Seine, again via the Saone, and sail to the English Channel. Another route from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic was from the Aude to the Gironne and Bordeaux.

If, as seems probable, the Lusatian culture, which fronted a wide expanse of seashore along the Baltic and whose western border was the Elbe, had been assailed by the Scythians, the Oder, the Vistula, as well as the Elbe offered an escape route to the North Sea. From there, if one hugged the coastline, a passage through the English Channel to Armorica would not have been an impossible undertaking.

Scholars are not in full agreement as to the exact date of the Veneti's advent in Armorica. Some advance arguments for as early as the eighth century, B.C.; others for as late as mid-fifth century, B.C. In any event, we find them fully entrenched by the mid-first century B.C. According to Julius Caesar's " Gallic Wars," they have a large fleet, control the harbors on the Armorican coast, collect tolls, and traffic even with Britain.

The toponyms they leave behind speak of their keen love and knowledge of the earth, the sky, the trees, the waters. Above all, they know no master, nor will submit to one. When Rome threatens this serenity, they take up the gauntlet.

Caesar commissions Crassus to build a navy on the Loire and sends Decimus Brutus to scour the Mediterranean in order to assemble a contingent fleet to supplement Crassus'. The two Roman armadas meet at the mouth of the Loire to face the Veneti.

As to the progress and final outcome of the battle, we are not to trust the account of the vainglorious Caesar but rather that of Dio Cassius, who reports that Roman victory was due to the Venetic fleet being becalmed rather than the Roman battle plan and courage that Caesar ascribes it to. Rather than be taken prisoner, many commit suicide; some throw themselves into the sea, either to scale the enemy vessels or to perish in the water; still others burn to death on their ships set ablaze by Roman incendiary darts.

Caesar boasts that he committed the chieftains to the sword and sold all others into slavery. Did the defeat spell the end of the Veneti? Not at all. It may have ended their hegemony in Armorica. It may have forced some to move into the forested interior. It may have forced still others to take to the sea and flee to the British Isles or other parts of unoccupied Gaul. But the people and their language lived on in Armorica and elsewhere for centuries to come.

This can be seen in the division, alphabetization, transcription, and translation of the passages in PARTS ONE and TWO, and the translation of the toponyms in PART THREE of this book.

The catalyst in this endeavor is the Slovene language. As I state in my book, In The Shadow of the Horsemen, the glacial speed of linguistic change reminds one

Therefore, in PARTS ONE and TWO, any reference to dialectal or literary usage, current or archaic, unless otherwise stated, shall be to the Slovene language. In PART THREE, the order of linguistic references in a series follows a pattern of lingual proximity to the Venetic toponymns. This is not done capriciously nor out of pique but because some order is called for and because in many instances comparisons for such lingual proximity would be impossible to assess. To mitigate any untoward aspersions, the reason for the Serbo-Croatian being cited ahead of the Czech is because in many instances it is the Croatian that saves the day. Its Dalmatian and Istrian littorals base words for seafaring terms, coastal features, and sea creatures no other Slavic language has. Its Zagorje and Slavonia on occasions come to the rescue when the Slovene falters. Upper and Lower Lusatian, in instances, also carry forms that seem out of joint, but here the matter is of utmost import in that they point to the "Lusatian culture" of cinerary urns and modes of burial. Accordingly, wherever possible, Lusatian words are included, even though they seem on occasions superfluous.

Is it a coincidence that the hostile Scythian incursions - especially in the western part - of the Lusatian culture around the year five hundred B.C. take place just as the Veneti are starting to move into Armorica?

Anthony Ambrozic

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