I know that you are playing Devil's advocate here, Ray, but I thought I
might clarify a few points for those that may not know as much about the
> Of course not. But we can carefully examine the evidence, which also
> means considering arguments like those of Maier, who argued that Lugu-
> placenames are not to be connected with the god Lugus. And if they are,
> the whole nice story from above crumbles into nothingness, as with the
> god missing, everything else has no connection anymore.
I think that Maier is surely wrong if he thinks that Lugudunums were not
associated with Lugus. We have evidence from the Scottish Lugudunum (Old
Welsh Leudin, now Lothian) that this site was associated with Lugus (Old
Welsh Leu/Lou) - for example, in the Gododdin we have the following
reconstructed line (according to John Koch, Gododdin of Aneirin) referring
to an area in Gododdin territory that included Lothian:
[B2.24] 588. Leech lou-tut | tut lou-breg
"the rock of Leu's tribe, the folk of Leu's mountain stronghold".
Proposed alternate etymologies for Lugu- in Lugudunum (such as roots meaning
"swamp", "mons desideratus", "black", and "raven") have been dismissed as
untenable by several scholars, as Olmsted lays out in "The Gods of the Celts
and the Indo Europeans" (pgs. 308-316). Olmsted leaves it to two possible
roots, btw: a Celtic *lug- "burn" (proposed by Lambert) and *leugh- "swear"
(supported by Hamp, Wagner, Ahlqvist and Meid).
Furthermore, we have Lugus associated with other placenames - for example,
we have Nantlleu in Wales, which is intimately associated with Leu - this
placename has its exact counterpart in the Eastern European town Lucunanta
(for original *Lugunanta) - I think it would be remarkable if only the
Welsh placename was associated with Lugus.
> To make that clear: The whole story above is based on the assumptions
> that Lugus is to be equated with a) Irish Lug, b) Roman Mercury and c)
> with the Lugu-element in the Gaulish placenames. Take Lugus out of the
> story, and the three things that seemingly fit so well are no longer
> connected at all.
Lugus certainly is the equivalent of Irish Lug - I have never heard anyone
argue anything different. Even if we nothing of a god Lugus, I imagine that
the connection between Irish Lug and Lugu- in Lugudunum, as well as a
connection between Samildanach and the Celtic Mercury, inventor of all
skills, would still stand.
- Chris Gwinn