Lugotorix

AttestedLugotorix was a distinguished leader (not a king) who attacked Caesar's camp in 54 BC (de bello Gallico 5.22).

Where:  Somewhere in Kent, presumably a sub-ruler of Cassivellaunus.

Name originLugoto- has been explained as Celtic for ‘mouse’ (Matasovic, 2009:248-9), based on Irish luch, Welsh llygod, etc, which all ultimately come from PIE *leuk- ‘to shine’ applied to light-coloured animals, possibly for reasons of taboo (Delamarre 2003:209).  A name ‘mouse king’ is unconvincing, and there are plenty of other names that begin with Lug-, discussed here.  Modern English look had early Germanic cognates that contained G not K, suggesting that Lugotorix meant essentially ‘look-at king’.  Final rix was Caesar's routine spelling for the name endings of tribal leaders he encountered, influenced by Latin rex, and to claim it as a marker for Celtic speech is unjustified.

Notes:  For a slightly different twist on Iron-Age leadership there is Greek/Latin κλυτος ‘renowned, glorious’ from PIE *kleu- ‘to hear’, discussed for example by Watkins (2011:44) as prominent in Indo-European names from Sophocles to Ludwig.  The consonant cluster spelled HL- in Old English, LL- in Welsh, CHL- in German, etc was not comfortable for Latin speakers, who often simplified it into plain L or CL, as in modern English.  Possible parallels show up all over early Europe, including Galatian Λουτουριος/Lutarius in 227 BC, Lucterius in southern Gaul in 52 BC, Clutorigi on a post-Roman stone of the AD 400s in Wales (and perhaps later Welsh Clotri), Frankish Chlothar(ius) ‘lauded by the army’ in AD 500, Anglo-Saxon Leuthere in AD 670, and modern Lothar, Luther, Lothario, etc.

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Last Edited: 11 June 2017