Related Research (European history)
Since writing the original Lombard Origins, the following two details have emerged that corroborate the assertion that the Lombards first appeared in European history on the northwestern coast of Gaul/France. Both of those details are found on the following map, depicting Julius Caesar's 56 BC battle on the northwestern coast of Gaul in the Atlantic.
These details relate to the Chronicon Gothanum, an early account about the Lombards. In this account, it recorded that the Lombards' earliest foothold in Europe was near the rivers Vindilicus and Ligurius. Let's examine that more closely.
First, the map offers the interesting detail about the main island just southwest of the battle, an island that is notably called Vindilis. The Chronicon Gothanum recorded that the Winnili (early Lombards) first dwelt near a river called Vindilicus "on the extreme boundary of Gaul." It would appear that this river Vindilicus was one of the rivers in northwestern Gaul near Vindilis Island. This is the region south of what we now call Brittany, where Caesar reported that the fierce Venelli (Winnili?) tribe was based.
The second thing of importance on this map is the name of the river from which the Roman fleet embarked for this battle: the Liger. (This was an early name for what we now call the Loire River.) This matches the Ligurius river mentioned in the Chronicon Gothanum as the Lombard's earliest foothold in Europe. Thus the Atlantic seaboard northwestern Gaul/France is the likely landfall of the earliest Lombards, and the Venelli/Winnili (Lombards) may well have taken part in that early 56 BC sea battle.
(Click on the map to zoom in.)
This also brings up the issue...who were the Veneti? Whoever they may really have been, it would appear from the name given to them by the Romans that Caesar feared they may have been a remnant of the much-hated seafaring Phoenicians/Carthiginians. (Phoenicia=Veneti). However, comparing Caesar's account and parallel passages in the Lombard accounts, the Veneti and the Venelli may have been one and the same people.
Copyright John D. Nelson, 2008