Bryges or Briges (Greek: Βρύγοι or Βρίγες) is the historical name given to a
Thracian[Roth, Jonathan. "The Logistics of the Roman Army at War (264 B.C.-A.D. 235)". BRILL, 1999, ISBN 9004112715, p. 93. "The Briges were a Thracian people, whom Herodotus considered Phrygians, and in classical Greek, "Phrygian" served as a virtual synonym for slave."] [Murray, Alexander. "History of the European Languages" (Volume II). Adamant Media Corporation, 2001, ISBN 1402166680, p. 49. "I shall content myself with referring the reader to the note, for a few particulars concerning the Briges, a Thracian tribe which emigrated into Asia, and became known in after times by the name Phrygians."] [Tsestkhladze, Gocha R. "Ancient Greeks West and East: Edited by Gocha R. Tsetskhladze". BRILL, 1999, ISBN 9004111905, p. 474. "In Strabo, the difficulties with geographical definition are clear. Archaeological, and later, epigraphical evidence suggest that migration of Thracian tribes to north-western and central Anatolia (French 1994)."] people that dwelled in Ancient Macedonianorth of Beroiain the neighborhood of Mount Bermius. [Strabo. "Geography", [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Strabo/7Fragments*.html 7.25 (Fragments)] . "Mt. Bermium, also, is somewhere in this region; in earlier times it was occupied by Briges, a tribe of Thracians; some of these crossed over into Asia and their name was changed to Phryges."] [Smith, William. "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography", 1854 (Original from Harvard University), p. 452. "BRYGI (Βρύγοι), called BRIGES (Βρίγες) by the Macedonians, a Thracian people dwelling in Macedonia, north of Beroea in the neighborhood of Mt. Bermius."] Based on extremely limited archaeological evidence, some scholars ( Nicholas Hammond, Eugene N. Borzaet. al.) argue that the Bryges were members of the Lusatian culturethat migrated into the southern Balkansduring the Late Bronze Age. [Borza, Eugene N. "In the Shadow of Olympus: the Emergence of Macedon". Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990, ISBN 0691008809, p. 65. "What can be established, despite an extremely slight archaeological record (especially along the slopes of Mt. Vermion), is that two streams of Lausitz peoples moved south in the later Bronze Age, one to settle in Hellespontine Phrygia, the other to occupy parts of western and central Macedonia."] [The Gordion Excavations 1950-1973: Final Reports Volume 4, Rodney Stuart Young, Ellen L. Kohler, Gilbert Kenneth, p. 53.]
Herodotusstates that according to the Macedonians, the Bryges changed their name to "Phruges/Phryges" (Phrygians) after crossing the Hellespontinto Anatolia, [Herodotus. "Histories", [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text.jsp?doc=Hdt.+7.73 7.73] . "The Phrygian equipment was very similar to the Paphlagonian, with only a small difference. As the Macedonians say, these Phrygians were called Briges as long as they dwelt in Europe, where they were neighbors of the Macedonians; but when they changed their home to Asia, they changed their name also and were called Phrygians. The Armenians, who are settlers from Phrygia, were armed like the Phrygians. Both these together had as their commander Artochmes, who had married a daughter of Darius."] a movement which is thought to have happened between 1200 BC and 800 BC [Borza, Eugene N. "In the Shadow of Olympus: the Emergence of Macedon". Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990, ISBN 0691008809, p.65] perhaps due to the Bronze Age collapse, particularly the fall of the Hittite Empireand the power vacuum that was created. In the Balkans, the Bryges occupied central Albaniaand northern Epirus,cite book | first= Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen | last= Edwards | title= The Cambridge Ancient History, Part 2, The Middle East and the Aegean Region c.1380-1000 BC | publisher= Cambridge University Press | location= Cambridge, United Kingdom | year= 1973 | url =http://books.google.com/books?id=n1TmVvMwmo4C&pg=RA1-PA709&dq=Brygi++Albania&sig=O6XA9tuWVjwbcO4WQfuSVnYAAY4#PRA1-PA709,M1] as well as Macedonia, mainly west of the Axiosriver, but also Mygdonia, which was conquered by the kingdom of Macedonin the early 5th century BC; [Thucydides. "The Peloponnesian War", [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0200;query=chapter%3D%23245;layout=;loc=2.98.1 2.99] .] they seem to have lived peacefully next to the inhabitants of Macedonia, [Borza, Eugene N. "In the Shadow of Olympus: the Emergence of Macedon". Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990, ISBN 0691008809, p. 65. "There is no record of conflict between the Bryges and the local population; they are described as "synoikoi" ("fellow inhabitant" or neighbors) of the Macedonians."] however, Eugammon in his " Telegony", drawing upon earlier epic traditions, mentions that Odysseus commanded the Epirotian Thesprotiansagainst the Bryges.cite book | first= Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen | last= Edwards | title= The Cambridge Ancient History, Part 2, The Middle East and the Aegean Region c.1380-1000 BC | publisher= Cambridge University Press | location= Cambridge, United Kingdom | year= 1973 | url =http://books.google.com/books?id=n1TmVvMwmo4C&pg=RA1-PA709&dq=Brygi++Albania&sig=O6XA9tuWVjwbcO4WQfuSVnYAAY4#PRA1-PA709,M1] Small groups of Bryges, after the migration to Anatolia and the expansion of the kingdom of Macedon, were still left in northern Pelagonia and around Epidamnus.
Herodotus also mentions that in
492 BC, some Thracian Brygoi or Brygians (Greek: Βρύγοι Θρήικες) fell upon the Persian camp by night, wounding Mardoniushimself, though he went on with the campaign until he subdued them. [Herodotus. "Histories", [http://www.parstimes.com/history/herodotus/persian_wars/erato.html 6.45] ] These Brygoi were later mentioned in Plutarch's " Parallel Lives", in the Battle of Philippi, as camp servants of Brutus. [Plutarch. "The Parallel Lives" ( [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Brutus*.html#note38 Brutus] ).] However, modern scholars state that a historical link between them and the original Bryges cannot be established. [Wilkes, J. J. "The Illyrians". Blackwell Publishing, 1992, ISBN 0631198075, p. 111. "The presence of Bryges at Epidamnus in the account of Appian seems to be confirmed by other sources, including the "Coastal Voyage" attributed to Scymnus of Chios and Stabo's "Geography". No later record of their presence in the area survives nor can any link be established with the Bryges of Thrace..."]
There is no certain derivation for the name and tribal origin of the Bryges. In 1844, Hermann Müller suggested the name might be related to the same Indo-European root as that of to German "Berg" (mountain) and Slavic "breg" (hill, slope, mountain), [Müller, Hermann. "Das nordische Griechenthum und die urgeschichtliche Bedeutung des Nordwestlichen Europas", p. 228.] i.e. IE unicode|*"bʰerǵʰ". It would then be cognate with Western European tribal names such as the Celtic
Brigantesand the Germanic Burgundians, [Kluge, "Etymologisches Wörterbuch", Berlin: de Gruyter 1995, v. "Berg".] and semantically motivated by some aspect of the word meanings 'high, elevated, noble, illustrious'. [cite web|first=Julius|last=Pokorny|title=Indogermanisches Etymologisches Woerterbuch|publisher=University of Leiden|url=http://www.indoeuropean.nl/cgi-bin/startq.cgi?flags=endnnnl&root=leiden&basename=%5Cdata%5Cie%5Cpokorny|pages=p. 140-141]
Some personal or geographic names mentioned in ancient authors may be etymologically related to "Bryges":
*Brygean islands in the supposed
Adriaticdelta of Istros, mentioned in Argonauticaepic poem. [Apollonios Rhodios (translated by Peter Green). "The Argonautika". University of California Press, 1997, ISBN 0520076877, p. 223. [Glossary] "Brygean Isles: A group of islands occupying the (supposed) Adriatic delta of the Istros R. (Danube) and sacred to Artemis."]
*Brygias or Brygium, city in "Lychnitis palus". [Hazlitt, William. "The Classical Gazetteer: A Dictionary of Ancient Geography, Sacred and Profane". Whittaker, 1851, p. 81. "Brygias (Brygium, Brucida), capital of the Brygi, Illyria, E. of Lychnitis palus on the Via Egnatia, bet. Lychnidus (13) and Scirtiana (4). "Presba"."]
*Brygos (son of Aphrodisios)
eponymin Epidamnos/Dyrrhachion. [ [http://epigraphy.packhum.org/inscriptions/oi?ikey=182255&bookid=228®ion=4&subregion=10 Epigraphical Database] - "Epitaph of Brugos, son of Aphrodisios. White limestone cippus. Βρῦγος Ἀ [φ] ροδισίου χαῖρε."] [Smith, William. "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography", 1854 (Original from Harvard University), p. 452. "Some of the Brygi were settled in Illyricum, where they dwelt apparently north of Epidamnos. Strabo assigns to them a town Cydriae."]
Brygos(Attic potter, 5th century BC).
*Brygindara [Craik, Elizabeth M. "The Dorian Aegean". Routledge, 1980, ISBN 0710003781, pp. 47-48. "The Greeks were aware that some such names had a foreign ring: it was said that the dried figs of the Brigindara region were 'barbarian' in name, though 'Attic' in the enjoyment they gave."] (city), Brygindis (local goddess), Brygindarios [Torr, Cecil. "Rhodes in Ancient Times". Kessinger Publishing, 2004, ISBN 1417921889, p. 5. "The places whose ethnics were Amios, Amnistios, Astypalaeeus, Brycuntios, Brygindarios, Casareus, Diacrios, Dryites, Erinaeus, Istanios, Neopolites, Pontoreus, Rynchidas and Sybithios were probably not in the territory of Lindos; but there is nothing to shew the position of any of these, except that Rynchidas may be the ethnic of Roncyos."] (citizen) in
The Phrygian language was most likely close to Thracian (perhaps even forming a "Thraco-Phrygian" group [Woodard, Roger D. "The Ancient Languages of Europe". Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 0521684951, p. 9. "According to Greek tradition, the Phrygians of Anatolia had migrated from the Balkans ("see" Herodotus, "Histories" 7.73, who writes that the Phrygians were formerly called the Briges and had been neighbors of the Macedonians; on the Macedonians see below), a view with which modern scholarship is generally in agreement. The Phrygian language does show certain similarities to Thracian, and some linguists have argued for linking the two in a single linguistic unit (Thraco-Phrygian). The appropriateness of this subgrouping is, however, uncertain..."] ), Armenian and Greek. [ [http://linguistlist.org/forms/langs/LLDescription.cfm?code=xpg "The Linguist" (Eastern Michigan University) - The Phrygian Language] : "An ancient language of Western Anatolia. 8th century BC to 2nd century AD. Old Phrygian from 8th - 3rd centuries BC, in distinct alphabet, related to Greek; later texts in Greek alphabet."]
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