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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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Cimbri – Cymry


Identification of the Cimmerians with the Cimbri, i.e. with the same name under which one of the tribes is known in history, which fought in alliance with the Teutons at the end of the 2nd century BC. against the Roman Republic, can be traced back to ancient times. Both of these peoples often appear in the works of ancient historians under the same name. An analysis of the testimonies of Homer, Hecataeus of Abdera, Ephorus of Cyme, Plutarch, Posidonius, Crates of Mallus, Strabo in his work is given by Marek Olbrycht (OLBRYCHT MAREK J. 2000: 87-90). Also in our time, the question of the moving of the Cimmerians to Western Europe has been repeatedly considered in historical, archaeological, and philological research. In particular, it was raised by T. Sulimirsky, J. Bouzek, Pstrusińska (IBID: 71-72) (see Cimmerians in Eastern European History).

While most experts believe that the Cimbri were Germans, still some doubt this, considering them either Celto-Scythians (see Eremenko V.E., Shchukin M.B. Cimbri, Teutons, Celto-Scythians and Some Questions of Time Limit of Middle and Late La Tène Culture //Problems of Chronology of the epoch of La Tène Culture and Roman Time. SPb. – 1992. – P.80-115. in Russian – ) or Celts (see David K. Faux. The Cimbri Nation of Jutland, Denmark and the Danelaw, England: A Chronological Approach Based on Diverse Data Sources)

We connect the Cimmerians with Kurds and analysis of place names of Western Ukraine shows that the ancestors of the Kurds had their settlements on the territory of Podolia (modern Ternopil, Khmelnytsky, and Vinnytsia Regions), where the clusters of names explained by means of the Kurdish language were discovered. Analysis of the spread of archaeological cultures suggests that Podolia was populated by a single homogeneous and numerous tribe:


Just the fact, that carriers of Noa, Gava-Ğoliğrady, Koziy, etc. cultures didn’t move to fertile lands of the Middle Dniester area eastern of the Zbruch River and northern of the basin Prut, proves great obstacle which didn’t let them do this. We can only suppose that enough robust, conservative in its traditions tribe resided on these lands. Using natural conditions – difficult for accessing canyons of the Podolian rivers – didn’t admit strangers to own lands (KRUSHELNYC’KA L.I., 1998: 193).


Podolia is adjacent to the ranges of the Germans, therefore, some communication between the Germanic and Kurdish tribes were supposed to be. They may include political relation what explains the Greek name of the Cimmerians as the Cimbri. The language contacts between the Kurds and Germanic peoples can be confirmed by lexical matches between the Kurdish and Germanic languages. F. Holthausen results some of them in the Old-English Etymological Dictionary (HOLTHAUSEN F. 1974.), for example: Old English wic, LowGer wike, Eng. witch-elm „a mountain maple ” – Kurd. viz, but they are only random finds. Looking purposeful one can find a lot of interesting matches. For example, OE scielf “top of a rock, an edge”, Eng. shelf, OIcl. skjolf "eminence" well correspond to Kurd. şilf "an edge". Ukr. ščovb "rock" is referred to the German words (VASMER M., 1973: 510.) but Germ. Schilf "reed" is disregarded for unknown reason. This word should be too attributed here for leaves of reed are similar to the edge of a blade. F. Holthausen does not find an explanation to the Old English name of the chamomile ferðing-wyrt. The Kurdish words pûrt "hair" and wurd "to clean" can suit for its explanation perfect. The flowers of the chamomile are used for washing head long since. The common Germanic word west good corresponds to Kurd. weşt "south". Insignificant differences in phonetics and semantics say that the Kurdish word is not borrowed from the Germanic languages at the late times. Some more English-Kurdish matches are such: OE bile "a beak" – Kurd. bel "sticking out", Eng. chuck "to throw" – the Kurd. çek "throw", OE gamen, Eng. game – Kurd. geme "a game", OE maffa «a film of egg» – Kurd. mef "a tent", OE reo, reowe «a coverlet, a coat» – Kurd. rav "cloud", Eng. time – Kurd. timê "always" etc.


Germanic tribes mostly left Ukraine for Central Europe at the beginning of the first millennium BC. Obviously, most of the Kurds left after them:


Probably yet to the middle of the 5th cent BC agricultural population of Podolia was forced to leave their country for reasons that remain unknown. There is also no information where they were moved (ARTAMONOV M.I., 1974: 112).


Herodotus told a story of the battle between the two teams of the Cimmerians which arose because of the disagreement of opinions before the threat of the Scythian invasion. At the council meeting, the common people in their mass considered leaving their homeland and give the land to the Scythians without a fight. The kings insisted on the battle, not wanting to save themselves with the people. From the words of Herodotus, it is not clear which decision was made at the council, but further events developed as follows:


Having resolved upon this, they parted into two bodies, and making their numbers equal they fought with one another: and when these had all been killed by one another's hands, then the people of the Cimmerians buried them by the bank of the river Tyras (where their burial-place is still to be seen), and having buried them, then they made their way out from the land, and the Scythians when they came upon it found the land deserted of its inhabitants. (HERODOTUS, IV: 11).


The assumption about the migration of the Cimmerian-Kurds westwards is supported by words of Iranian origin in the Polish and Czech languages (see "To the Question of Iranian-Slavic Language Connections") and by place names. The main bulk of Kurdish place names is concentrated in Podolia, but they can be found sporadically in more western areas. However, while analyzing the place names of the south-eastern corner of Poland a small collection of names easily decrypted by means of Kurdish was found on a small area in the Lublin Voivodeship, Lubaczów County among which Narol, Paary, Pordysówka, Rebizanty are.

As deciphering showed, the first four words are in one way or another connected with the customs and religion. If the name of the village Chamernia is associated with the sun, it also can be attributed to this group, because the Kurds worship not only fire but the sun too. All five villages are stretched as a chain from the south-east to north-west through a distance of five-ten miles one from the other between two large tracts of forest. A little away from them is located the town of Bilgoraj, which name can originate from Kurd belg "a leaf" and ray "root". Taken together, these factors cannot be accidental. Obviously, pagan temples were concentrated in this area, where the local population came together to perform religious rites. This is assumed on the warrant of the names of numerous villages having in their name the word Majdan The names of numerous villages around this area have in their name the word Majdan originated from Ir. *maiθana- "place of residence, dwelling", both separately and in complex names (Majdan, Majdanek, Majdan-Górny, Majdan-Welki, Majdan-Sopocki, Majdan-Niepryski) (about the Iranian origin of the word "maydan" see Iranic Place Names).

One can also decrypt by means of the Kurdish language the name Beskyd of a system of ridges in the northern outer strip of the Carpathians. They are located on the border between Poland and Czechoslovakia, and Ukraine, between the Morava River in the west and the headwaters of the San River in the east. The mountain slopes are covered with beech and fir forests, alpine meadows are located higher than the treeless peaks. The Beskyd have convenient passes at an altitude of 500-1000 meters which were used in the past.

The Ukrainian language has many similar words with different but semantically-like senses. The very mountain range called Beskydy, Bieshchad, Bieshchady but there are also words meaning "a slope", "a rock", "a mountain", "a ridge" – besked, besket, beskeda, beshket, beskeddya etc. Under the influence of Ukrainian, these mountains are called Beskid, Beszczad in Polish, but formerly they were known as Bieszczad, and the Polish beskid means "a mountain range”, “mountains covered with forests". Similar words in different versions having similar senses are present also in the Slovak and Czech languages. These words have no accepted etymological interpretation. Most often they are associated with Alb (Thrak.) bejške "a mountain pasture", "a series of high mountains," but the formant –(k)ed remains unclear. Attempts to find the origins of this word in the Germanic languages were unsuccessful (see MELNYCHUK O.S. 1982. V. I: 176-177; VASMER M. 1964. V.I: 73).

However, the word of the Iranian languages: beš/biš «forest» and gada/ğada/qät “a tree" suit for explaining the words best of all. True, only word beš “forest” was found in Kurdish but the words gada/ğada/qät are present in the closely related to Kurdish the Ossetian, Yagnobi, Pashto, and Persian languages, so it could exist in Kurdish, but disappeared. On the other hand, among the Cimmerians could be a small Afghan tribe, as some place-names on the Right Bank Ukraine are explained by means of Pashto. Both offered for decoding words beš/biš and gada/ğada are similar in meaning, but at first glance are not suitable for the name of the mountain. However, it is not so. Semantic shifting "mountain" – "forest" – "tree" can be found in Slavic and Baltic (GAMKRELIDZE T.V., IVANOV V.V. 1984., 666) that is the same word in closely related languages can mean either a forest, or a mountain, or this and another (eg Serb gora 1. "forest", 2. "mountain", Bulg. gora "forest"). Thus, Old-Kurdish *bešqät could have sense "a mountain covered with trees", which corresponds by the meaning to some modern Slavic words. If the words cognate to gada/ğada/qät never existed in the Kurdish language, then one can take into account Kurd qad 1. “boundary, limit, border", 2. "place, field". In this case bešqad meant "forest boundary" suiting the situation even better, because Kurdish place names are absent on the other side of the Carpathians, that is, the Kurds did not dare to cross this forest frontier. Note that the Carpathians are covered with forests and some part of them is called the Wooded Carpathians. As for the Albanian word bejške, it could be a derivative of borrowed Kurdish beš at those times when the Thracians were neighbors of Proto-Kurds somewhere near Vinnytsia or Zhmerynka. Such compelling evidence on the presence of Kurds in the eastern part of Poland gave the motivation for the search of Kurdish place names on a large space, and they gave rich results. Kurdish place names in the western part of Poland and further in other Central European countries is discussed sufficiently in section Iranian Place Names). Here we point out that more than seven dozen names of assumed Kurdish origin were discovered only in Poland. Place names are distributed, although unevenly, across the whole country. Further traces of the Kurds follow from the area around Poznan to northern Germany. Stay here Cimbri evidenced by such place names as Germakere, Germendorf (Kurd. Germ "warm"), Gerdskhagen, Gerdau (Kurd. Gerd "large"), Waren (Kurd. war "site, camp"), and others.

Between years 350 and 320 BC Pytheas, a Greek explorer but born in the town of Massalia (modern Marseille), traveled along the coast of North-West Europe to the point where the Celtic region ends and "the land of the Scythians" begins (MAGIDOVICH I.P., MAGIDOVICH I.P., 1970: 33). He left a detailed report of this journey. It has not come to our days, but Pytheas was quoted by many ancient historians, and this material lets to conclude that he had visited the north-west coast of Germany to the mouth of the Elbe River. Pliny, who should be familiar with Pytheas' report, wrote the following:


Pytheas reported that the Guions, a Germanic tribe, live in the shallow area of the sea called Metuonis, that 6,000 stadiums stretch out. From there you should have a one-day sailing trip to the island of Abalus. In spring, the waves wash amber on this, which is expectoration of the compressed sea. The inhabitants use it as fuel instead of wood and sell it to their neighbors, the Teutons (HENNING RICHARD. 1944: 156)


Where exactly the country of Metuonis and the island of Abalus were located is unknown. In addition, their names and the names of local residents cannot be deciphered convincingly in any European language. Only the Kurdish language offers this possibility:

Guionen – Kurd. xweyî "owner, master" and an "side". That said, the locals introduced themselves to the travelers as owners of the country, what is pretty logical.

Metuonis – Kurd. meta "wares, goods", yan "side". Since amber was considered as a commodity by the people of the country, this explanation is justified.

Abalus – Kurd. evel "the first". Apparently there were several islands where amber was got.

The history of the Teutons and the Cimbri is closely intertwined, and there is reason to consider the Cimbri the northern neighbors of the Teutons. This assumption is confirmed by the location in the north of Jutland, the country of Himmerland / Himberland, which name is understood as the country of the Cimbri.


At left: Himberland country.
The map from Wikipedia


As it turned out, just in this small territory there are quite a lot of place names, which also may be decrypted using the Kurdish language. Also in other parts of Denmark, some place names may be of Kurdish origin. The following are the most compelling examples:


Agger, a town in north-west Denmark – Kurd. ax "earth", ger "valley".

Asferg, a town to south-east of Hobro – Kurd. asê "fortified", ferq "top" or hasp "horse", erq "trench".

Asp, a town near Holstebro – Kurd. hasp "horse".

Hemmet, a town in Region Nordjylland – Kurd. h'îm "base, bed", mat "smooth, flat".

Hobro, a town in west Denmark – Kurd. xob "beautiful", ro 1. "a river", 2. "sun".

Holstebro, the main town in Holstebro Municipality – Kurd. xol "treshing", ştab "quick", ro "a river".

Omunger, historical locality – Kurd. aman "vessel", ger "valley".

Ribe, a town in south-west Denmark – Kurd. reb "god".

Sevel, a town – Kurd. sêwel "a puppy".

Tander, a locality in east Denmark – Kurd. tan "base", der "place".

Tim, a town in west Denmark – Kurd. tîm "side".

Tønder, a town – Kurd. tan "base", der "place".


Thus, the Kurds moved from Germany to the north of Jutland Peninsula and now we can justifiably identify them with Cimbri. The further fate of the Cimbri, more or less known from history, is also confirmed by place names, and deciphering the names of some of the Germanic tribes, and personal names.

Judging by the historical evidence, the Cimbri way of life and their behavior more closely resembled the nomadic steppe dwellers than inhabitants of swampy and forest Jutland, where there could not be sufficient pasture for their numerous flocks. Soil degradation and population growth forced them to move in search of new land suitable for settlement and farming in the traditional way. Perhaps they did not expect that the search will stretch for decades.

These wanderings of the Cimbri left distinct traces in place names. Obviously, not all kept difficulties of camp life in the long caravans, and some migrants preferred to have a permanent home. They might be old, tired, wounded, or sick soldiers. They could stay com with their families in a convenient place to stay forever, while the bulk of the Cimbri could move on. These are the remaining group of people who gave rise to new settlements and gave them their names. Such settlements formed a chain in which the settlements are located at a distance of thirty or forty kilometers or more, obviously, in places of long stays. For some time the inhabitants of these settlements maintained contact with each other, but inevitably assimilated by more numerous neighbors. However, the names of the settlements have existed before our time, and they give us an idea of the ways of movement wanderers. However, they do not give an idea of the time of their foundation. It could be clarified by archaeologists.

At the last quarter of the second century BC some hitherto unknown to numerous barbarian tribes appeared in Central Europe and literally spread panic among the inhabitants of the Roman Empire it's brutal militancy:


In 113 BC sinister rumors seized Rome. They were brought by traveling merchants from forests between the Oder and Elbe. Legionaries who kept guard at the northern border of the empire spread them… Up there in the north, beyond the Alpine passes, were some people on the move, so huge in number, as you've never seen. One million people crammed into a covered wagon, which clamped by oxen, with child and dogs, women and cattle, they vagabondized, devouring the land bare like locusts. 300,000 men strong was the crowd of their warriors, fearsome figures, true giant, six-foot-tall, most of them deep blond, blue-eyed like all… Elderly women dressed in rough linen moved forward barefoot, prophesied from the spurting blood of the gods sacrificed prisoners, of whom they made thousands. For no one had a chance to oppose them, so terrible they were in combat as they were fearlessly in the fight and without fear of death… From the North Sea down they came, where the sea mixes with the sky. After vain attempts in barbaric simplicity to fight their country threatening to flood with the sword, they left the home. They belonged to the Celts or Skyten but described themselves as Cimbri (FISCHER-FABIAN S. 1993, 15).


The movement of the Cimbri from Jutland ші marked by place names that extend as a chain from northern Germany and along the ridges of the Sudeten down to Bavaria. The most compelling examples of these can be as follows:


Gerdau a municipality in the district of Uelzen, in Lower Saxony – Kurd. gerd "great", av "water".

Hanover, the capital of the state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) – Kurd. hunurwer "deft".

Dederstedt, a villag in the Mansfeld-Südharz district, Saxony-Anhalt – Kurd. dediri "vagabond, vagrant".

Simildenstraße, the street in Leipzig – Kurd. simil "ear, spike", de'n "threshed grain".

Gera, a city in Thuringia – Kurd. gera "roe" (animal).

Raschau, Raschau and Markersbach forme the municipality Raschau-Markersbach in the district of Erzgebirgskreis in Saxony – Kurd. reş "black", av "water".

Tirschendorf< a village in the Vogtlandkreis district in Saxony – Kurd. tirş "sour".

Cham, the capital of the district of Cham in the Upper Palatinate, Bavaria – Kurd. xam "raw", "uncultivated, unplowed".


Also in Bavaria several place names have Cimbrian origin: Merching (Kurd. merx "fir-tree") Germering, Germaringen, Garmish-Partenkirchen (Kurd. germ/garm "warm"). Just the name of the country of Bavaria can be explained with the help of Kurd. bawar "hope" that the good complies with longing of the Cimbri to find a free place to settle. The name of the Danube (Ger. Donau) may have Cimmerian origin too. The first part of the word can be attributed to OIr *dan- "to move swift, run, flow" (OInd dhan "to run, flow", Pers/ danīdan "to hurry, run, flow"). Kurd av "water" is well suited to the second part. Judging by the found place names, the Cimbri moved to Austria up to Vienna, but then turned back:


Passau, a town in Lower Bavaria – Kurd. pas "behind", sava "beast".

Steyr, a city in Upper Austria – Kurd. steyr "star".

Vindobona (Latin name of Vienna) – Kurd. windabûn "loss, waste, disappearance".

Murau, a town in federal state of Styria – Kurd. mûr "block, log" (maybe better mar "snake"), av "water".


Moving in search of free land in Noricum, the Cimbri had the intention to invade Italy through the Alps in the most convenient place to go. Despite the fact that in the battle of Noreia in 113 BC they broke the blocked their way Roman army, the invasion of Italy for unknown reasons did not follow. Instead, they went to the Helvetia, Switzerland today, where they seem to have met with the Teutons and agreed on joint actions. It is not known when and where they were united with the Ambrons, a tribe of disputed origin. They all crossed on the rafts over the Rhine River and in Burgundy entered the Rhone valley, inhabited by Celtic tribes. Helping some of them in strife and simultaneously engaged in looting, a vast army passed entire southern France but vacant land for settlement and peaceful life here was absent. In general, the barbarians were moving in a southerly direction, and a few years later came to the ancient Roman city of Arauzion in Narbonne Gaul, apparently with the intention of making a new invasion of Italy. This way is marked by the following toponyms:


Bussang, a commune in the Vosges department in Lorraine – Kurd. ice "ice", seng "stone". Cf Sarlat.

Aspach-le-Haut, a former commune in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine – Kurd. hesp "horse", ax "earth, soil".

Dijon, the capital of the Côte-d'Or département – Kurd. dijûn "evil".

Meyrin, a municipality of the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland – Kurd. mey "cane, rush" rijîn "pou".

Vichy, Vichy, a city in the Allier department of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – Kurd. wehşî "wildness".

Sarlat, Sarlat, Saint-Augustin – Kurd. sar "cold, cool", wehşî "rock".

Sarlat-la-Canéda, a commune in the Dordogne department in Aquitaine – – Kurd. sar "cold, cool", wehşî "rock".

Najac, a commune in the Aveyron department – Kurd. neçak "bad", "unkind".

Meyrueis, a commune in the Lozère département in southern France – Kurd. mey "cane, rush", rua "animal, beast".

Alès, a commune in the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region – Kurd aleş "brushwood".


Roman intelligence worked well and advance towards the barbarians were sent two Roman armies, but they have been defeated in October 105 BC on the banks of the Rhone near Arauzion. The combined forces of the advancing were commanded by a Cimber named Boiorix. This name is pretty good explained using the Kurdish language about how "a fast ambler" (Kurd. bayi "swift as the wind", orxe "trot, amble"). Once again, the barbarians did not use the victory, the Teutons moved to northern France, and the Cimbri alleged to Spain did, but soon came back. No traces of the Cimbri in place names of the South of France have been found, obviously, it was already well populated by the Gauls.



The marches of the Cimbri, Teutons, and Ambrons between 120 and 101 BC.
The map was compiled on the basis given in the book "Deutsche Geschichte" (Herrmann Joachim. 1982, 115)


Shown on the map movement paths of the Cimbri Teutons, and Ambrons overlap with the location toponyms found in Central Europe which can be decrypted using the Kurdish language. However, evidence that the Cimbri reached Teutoburgium, marked on the map, is absent, it's just a guess based on the name of the Roman fortress.


Having met after the predatory raids in Belgium, the Cimbri and Teutons, again gathered to march on Rome. This time, it was decided not to take the entire convoy to seize Italy due to a quick march by surprise. However, the Romans used the respite to prepare for the invasion. The first was carried out the reform of the army, the initiator and organizer of which was Gaius Marius. The reform and two crushing victories over the barbarians of Marius were described by the famous Roman historian (PLUTARCH. 1987, 518-531). Half of the Teutons and Cimbri were killed in battle, the other half was captured. For the families left behind in Belgium, almost no one came back. However, it was left to guard them a small army of six thousand men, so the history of the Cimbri did not end there.

The accumulation of Kurdish place names in Belgium and the neighboring Saar in Germany suggests that the remnants of the Cimbri kept their language for quite some time. The name of the Saarland can be explained with the help of the Kurds. se "dog", ar "fire". Other of the most convincing Cimbrian place names in these places are:

Berzhausen, a municipality in the district of Altenkirchen, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany – Kurd. berz "high, tall", hewş "yard, area".

Gerderhahn, rural suburb of the town of Erkelenz in the Rhineland, Germany – курд. gerd "great", han "approval".

Gunderath, a municipality in the Vulkaneifel district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany– Kurd. gund "village", êretî "carelessness, negligence".

Merchingen> a part of Merzig in Saarland, a part of the town of Ravenstein in Baden-Württemberg, and other place names of the same root – Kurd. merx "fir-tree".

Merchtem, a municipality in the province of Flemish Brabant, Belgium – Kurd merx "fir-tree", tem "smoke".

Merzig, the capital of the district Merzig-Wadern, in Saarland – Kurd. merziq. "swamp, bog".

Mol, a municipality in the Province of Antwerp, Belgium – Kurd. mal "home, family".

Neckar, a river, rt of the Rhine – Kurd. niqar "silver".

Rhine, a river – Kurd. rêjin "to pour", rêjne "shower".

Spa, a town in Liège Province, Belgium – Kurd. spî "white", spahî "cleanness, beauty".

Wavre, a city in the Province of Walloon Brabant, Belgium – Kyrd. warge "site, camp".


The country of Germany could also get its name from the Cimbri. They thought it was warmer than Jutland and called it germanî, ie "warm (land)" where Kurd. -anî is the adjective suffix to the noun germ "heat". The etymology of the ethnonym germānī is still mysterious, and among many options exists an assumption about the origin of the word from the PIE root *ger- "warm" with a widening m, but the second part of the word remains without explanation (KUZ'MENKO Yu.K. 2011: 15). Who would it occur to me that the explanation must be sought in the Kurdish language? However, they had suggestions that the word originated as the name of the country, and later was transferred on its inhabitants too:


Perhaps Feist was right, when believed that the concept of Germani was originally understood by ancient authors not ethnic but geographic and referred to the tribes living on the right bank of the Lower and Middle Rhine (ibid, 143).


In addition to place names, the Kimrs could leave other traces of their long stay in Belgium. Since the 5th century, this country has been inhabited by the Salic Franks. One of their legendary kings was Merovech (Latin: Meroveus), the founder of the royal Merovingian dynasty in France. His name is considered to be very mysterious but can be explained with the help of the Kurds. merovî "humanity, kinship" out of merov "human".

Belgium got its name from the Belgian tribe. The root belg is not found in the Germanic languages, but it is easy to find in Kurdish, where it means "leaf (of a plant)". In the Etymological Dictionary of the Kurdish language, this word is not considered (TSABOLOV R.L. 2001. Volume I), but it should not be borrowed, because it is used in common phrases, and such words mean flat objects. Why this or a similar word could have chosen some Cimmerian tribe for self-designation remains an enigma.



A map showing the Belgian and nearest tribes during the Gallic Wars
The map was taken from Wikipedia"


We find the first information about the Belgas in Caesar's "Notes on the Gallic War". Caesar asked informants what states were under arms, what was their size and their war‑strength:


He discovered that most of the Belgae were of German origin, and had been brought over the Rhine a long while ago, and had settled in their present abode by reason of the fruitfulness of the soil, having driven p95 out the Gauls who inhabited the district. The Belgae, they said, were the only nation who, when all Gaul was harassed in the last generation, had prevented the Teutoni and Cimbri from entering within their borders; and for this cause, they relied on the remembrance of those events to assume great authority and great airs in military matters (CAESAR GAIUS IULIUS. II: 4).


You can find in Caesar's "Commentarii de Bello Gallico" other references to the Cimbri, but they all refer to the past tense, which may indicate their absence among the Belgi. However, the names of some Belgic tribes can be interpreted using the Kurdish language. In the aforementioned message of Caesar's informants, it is said that among the Belgae Bellovaci have the first place in bravery, influence, and number, and this name can be interpreted as follows: Kurd. bel "sticking out, standing", lawik "young man". The name of the other Belgi tribe using the Kurdish language can be interpreted as follows:

Atrebates – Kurd. ar "fire", tabet "patience, endurance".

Eburones – Kurd. ebûr "honor", onî "post, beam".

In the absence of Caesar's mention of the Cimbri among the tribes of Belgium, attention is drawn to the presence of such a name in Britain. Today the Welsh call themselves Cymry and their country Cymru. It is believed that these names are based on the Breton kombrogi "compatriots" (DAVIES JOHN. 1994. A History of Wales. Penguin). The transformation is highly doubtful, and the accidental similarity of the names of the peoples "Kimry" and "Cimbry" seems unlikely. There must be some kind of connection between both ethnonyms. The fact that the Cymry and Cimmerians spoke different languages ​​does not really matter, since the transfer of the name from one people to another takes place in history.

In addition, attention is drawn to the similarity Kurd. dirûd and Celt. druid (both "priest"). Attempts to decipher the Celtic word have been going on since the time of Pliny, but there is no generally accepted explanation for it (BOTHEROYD SYLVIA and PAUL F. 1999: 118-119). It is logical to assume that in accordance with the meaning of the word, the name of God may be present in its first part. The closest is the common name of the god among the Bulgars and Germans Tur/Tor. The Kurds populating Podolia were neighbors of both. For the second part of the word, nothing is better than Chuv. yit "dog" was not found. In Chuvash mythology, wolves are called tură yitti "God's dogs" and are represented by the servants of the prophet Pikhampar (SKVORTSOV M.I., 1995: 129). Perhaps people long have called so worshipers when the dog was understood to mean a faithful servant or a reliable sentry. This assumption is confirmed in the interpretation of the Order of the Dominicans as "dogs of the Lord" (Lat. Domini canes). That is, there is nothing unusual in the name of the priests as “God's dogs”. The Bulgarian form of this name could be *turyt, whose derivative was the Kurd. dirûd and the Celts borrowed this word, transforming it into Breton drouiz, Welsh derwydd, Old Irish druí, Scottish Gaelic draoidh. From this, it follows that the Cimbri were at a higher level of development than the Celts. In this regard, the Cimbri treated the Celts downwardly and could give them the pejorative name "cross-eyed" (compare Kurdish kelte "cross-eyed"). The Celts are first mentioned at the end of the sixth century BC:


The earliest documented use of the name Keltoi is by Greek writer Hecataeus of Miletus in the sixth century BC, when he uses that name to designate peoples living in what is now southern France, in the region around the Greek colony of Massalia. In the fifths century BC, Herodotus informs us that Keltoi live in the western region of Europe and the Danube river originates in the land of the Keltoi. From the fourth century BC on, Greek references to the Celts become more frequent, and they use the name to refer generally to peoples throughout western and central Europe (Freeman 1996). Historians and archaeologists have employed these texts to conclude that people names Celts inhabited western and central Europe while those Greek writers were writing, from the six century BC on (MILISAUSKAS SARUNAS. 2002: 363).


From this we can conclude that the Cimmerians-Cimbri in the 6th century BC were already in Western Europe and came into direct contact with local peoples and called them Celts. Thus, the assumption of M.I. Artamonov that the population of Podillya, which we associate with the ancestors of the modern Kurds, should have left their country even before the middle of the 5th century BC, remains in force.


It can be assumed that the Cimmerians-Cimbri at some time crossed the Channel and settled in Britain. This was not a problem. Relations between the inhabitants of Britain and the European continent have long been close. During Caesar's war in Gaul, the British Celts provided substantial assistance to their brethren on the continent what Caesar repeatedly mentioned in his Notes on the Gallic War. Having mastered the new country, the Cimbri moved towards modern Wales. On the possible route of their following, searches were carried out for place names that could be deciphered using the Kurdish language. The search results are presented below:

Lille, a in French Flanders, France – Kued. lîl "swamp".

Calais, a city in the department of Pas-de-Calais, France – Kurd. kela, kalā "fortress".


Dover, a town in Kent, South East England – Kurd. dar, OIr. dwara "gate". The town is located at the mouth of the Dour river. Chalk cliffs along the banks of the river look like a gateway to its valley (see the photo on the left).


Chalk cliffs at the entrance to Dover Bay
(view from the Daur River)
Photo from Wikipedia.


Faversham, a town in the Swale district of Kent, England – Kurd. feware "water, pound".

Thames, a river – Kurd. temiz "clean". This word is present in other Iranian languages and in Turkic languages, but its origin is neither Turkic nor Arabic.

London (Lat. Londinium) – Kurd. law "son" + ên – izafet index, dîn "faith"; Harley Street – Kurd. har "raging, stormy, formidable", leyî "stream"; Tower, – Kurd. tawêr "rock, stone".

The further paths of the Cimbri to Wales are indicated by two chains of place names. In particular, the northern one is formed by the following:

Brackley, a market town in West Northamptonshire, England – Kurd. berek "wide", leyî "stream".

Daventry, a town in the West Northamptonshire – Kurd. dawên "edge, scar", terî "dampness, humidity".

Kilsby, a village in the Daventry district of Northamptonshire, England. – Kurd. kils "lime, chalk", "deciduous tree, poplar".

Coventry, a city, administrative centre in England – Kurd. kovan "bent", terî "humidity, moisture".

Birmingham, a city in the West Midlands, England – Kurd. bermîn is verb stem of bermayîn "to stay, remain", hemî "whole".

Dudley, a large town in the county of West Midlands – Kurd. dud "smoke", leyî "stream".

On the southern route, the Cimbri left the following place names:

Swindon, a town in Wiltshire, – курд. swind "oath".

Berkeley, a town in Gloucestershire – Kurd. berek "wide", leyî "stream".

Cwmbran, a town in the county borough of Torfaen, Wales.

Aberdare, a towm in Wales – Kurd. ab "water", ard "earth".

Carmanthen, the county town of Carmarthenshire, Wales – Kurd. kermanî "noble, honorable", den "beast", ten "body".

All found place names of alleged Cimbrian origin are plotted on Google My Maps (see below).



Places of Cimbrian settlements Europe and the ways of their migration evidenced by place names.

There are on the map Kurdish place names marked by red asterisks. The laces of battles of the Cimbri with the Romans at Noreia and Arausio are shown too.


As you can see, the list is quite long and it can be expanded. It is very doubtful that all these place names, sometimes corresponding to the peculiarities of the area and forming a clearly expressed chain, can have correspondences in Kurdish words quite by accident. Of course, some of them may have a different origin. For example, toponyms that end with ley may correspond to OE. leah "field, meadow, forest". However, if you remove them from the list, the chain will remain. As you know, you can't hide an awl in a sack, just like the truth – its testimonies will creep out here and there, but they are not always paid attention to. However, if you search for them purposefully, you can find them. Say, Sigmund Feist argued that at the time of Caesar there was a certain ethnic community that divided the Celts and the Germans (MEES B.K. 2011, 20), but he did not have sufficient arguments to defend this idea. Now they are

Let us summarize. The Proto-Kurdish ethnos was formed in the area between the Desna, the Seim, and the upper reaches of the Oka rivers approximately in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. Simultaneously with other Iranian tribes, the Kurds left their ancestral homeland, descending along the Desna to the Dnieper River. Having crossed the Dnieper, they headed towards Podillya and settled there for a long time, apparently among the Bulgars inhabiting this area for since long. Perhaps the Bulgars were in the minority or were poorly organized, but gradually they were assimilated by the newcomers. This is evidenced by the predominance of Kurdish place names in Podillia. At the end of the first half of the 1st millennium BC, new resettlement began, the cause of which was the threat of a Scythian invasion, as Herodotus wrote about. According to legend, the Cimmerians were divided into two parts, which went in different directions. One part of the Kurds moved to the Black Sea steppes, and it was they, as the Cimmerians, which were driven out to Transcaucasia by the Scythians. The second part rushed to the west, but in Galicia, the Kurds were again divided. The study of toponymy gives reason to talk about a group of Cimmerian Kurds who crossed the Carpathians and then moved to Asia Minor through Hungary and the Balkans. The Kurds who remained in Galicia did not stay there for a long time and continued their migration in the western direction through the territory of modern Poland. In the 4th cent. BC. Kurds have already been to Jutland, which follows from the self-name of the local residents, which is interpreted with the help of the Kurdish language as "masters of the country".

In Jutland, the Cimbri lived compactly, but many of them settled in a wide area among the Celts. This is evidenced by the spread of their name "Keltoi" given to them by the Cimbri. Another name for the Celts "Gauls", used by the Romans, is of Cimbrian origin too – cf. Kurd. gal/gel "people" and law "child, child". Long-term close cohabitation explains the borrowing of the Cymrian name of the priest by the Celts, but there are undoubtedly other borrowings. However, no material has yet been found to answer the question about the time of the migration of the Cimbri to Britain.

The restoration of the prehistory of the Kurds is very promising and of great importance for science. Currently, the Kurds, numbering tens of millions of people, do not have their own state, but there are facts that speak of their special vital activity, which stood, for example, at the origins of Lithuania's statehood. Their prehistory hides the answers to the question of the necessary conditions for the emergence and development of new states. It is material for the study of historians and sociologists, the results of which can be used by developing countries. The archaic nature of the Kursk language, attested to in toponymy, should become material for historical linguistics. Purposeful searches for Kurdish-Welsh linguistic correspondences also can give a lot. As you can see, the field for research is very wide and it can be hoped that the prehistory of the Kurds will interest scientists more.