Attested:  Caesar Bello Gallico 5, 21: Bibroci

Where:  A tribe in the south-east who surrendered to Caesar in 54 BC

Name Origin:  Possibly ‘beaver people’ from from PIE *bhebhru- ‘brown animal’, but a better parallel may be Greek βιβρωσκω ‘to devour’ , which Beekes' etymological dictionary of Greek traces to PIE gwerə- ‘to swallow’.

Notes:  Beavers were a common theme in ancient names: think of Strabo's Βεβρυκες in Anatolia or Roman gladiators called Bebryx.  Caesar would have remembered his battle at Bibracte in Gaul.  Most of the British tribes' names mentioned by Caesar have better parallels in Greek than in Celtic, and Homer used a word βεβρωκα several times, but it is hard to guess what that might mean about this tribe.  Were they expansionist, or reputed to be cannibals, or gluttons?

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Last edited 25 June 2022     to main Menu