For instance:

Veneti (Gaul) - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veneti_(Gaul))

Vistula Veneti - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vistula_Veneti)

Adriatic Veneti - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adriatic_Veneti)

Vends (Livonia) - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vends_(Livonia))

Vandals - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals)

Vyatichi - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vyatichi) (< Proto-Slavic Ventichi), the Finnish name for Russia is still Venäjä – Wikipedia (https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ven%C3%A4j%C3%A4), and similar names in Karelian and Veps languages.

Vindelici - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vindelici)

Eneti - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eneti)

The word most likely comes from a PIE root meaning “braided ones” or another root meaning “love”.

  • Compare Lake Van? Berlin has a Wannsee, by the way, close to Babelsberg (with what looks like a crater sea), and Moabit, which I always found kinda lol, although Wanne "basin, tub" gives that one a reasonably synchronic etymology
    – vectory
    Aug 17, 2020 at 20:16
  • Another curiosity to add to your collection Vineta, a legendary city at the mouth of river Oder that sank into the Baltic see. Note the different versions of the name, it could be as well that it was originally Jumne instead of Vineta. Sep 23, 2020 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


No, I don't think so.

It is plausible to assume that the Adriatic Veneti and the Vistula Veneti are connected or even the same people trading along the Amber Road connecting the Baltic sea with the Mediterranean Sea. The Gaulish Veneti can well be an offshot of that population migrating together with Celtic people westward during the Celtic expansion.

Vends, Vandals, and Vyatichi are attested several centuries later in approximately the same area where the Veneti once lived, but it is not clear how their names connect to them and at least for the Vandals, sound laws don't really fit. But we often see that old ethnonyms are transferred to a new population with a different language English speaking Britains and Romance speaking French are just two prominent examples for that.

The Eneti aren't attached to that cluster, but is there any evidence that their name once contained a /w/ sound (digamma)? And do we know anything about their language? Their linking to the Adriatic Veneti by Latin authors looks like an invention of tradition in order to give the Adriatic Veneti some mythological depth, the link is denied by the Greek historian Strabo.

  • Vyatichi once inhabited vast areas in Russia: basins of Don, Oka and Moscow region. Hardly they are connected directly to the Veneti in central Europe.
    – Anixx
    May 7, 2020 at 20:17
  • There are also several rivers with similar names: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venta_(river) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vyatka_River, former name of Visla is Vandalus. At least former two seemingly come from the PIE root meaning "to wind, twist". So a river could get the name from its form, and the people could get the name from the river.
    – Anixx
    May 7, 2020 at 20:25
  • 2
    Naming the Visla river Vandalus is another case of invented history, related to the Princess Wanda mythos. Classical authors named that river Vistula. May 7, 2020 at 20:38
  • And I agree, it is plausible to derive the name of a river from a root meaning "to wind, to twist". May 7, 2020 at 20:43
  • Another river, in Romania: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vene%C8%9Bia
    – Anixx
    May 7, 2020 at 20:45

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