Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Veneti,people of ancient Italy. They occupied the shore of the Adriatic from Trieste to the mouth of the Po River and spoke an Illyrian language. Friendly toward Rome, they came under Roman rule in the 2d cent. B.C.
Veneti(vĕn`ətī), Celtic people of ancient Gaul, who inhabited an area of NW France, now in Morbihan dept. Forming the most important of the Gallic maritime states, they rebelled in 57 B.C. against Roman rule. They were decisively defeated by Julius Caesar and Decimus Junius Brutus in a naval battle, in which, according to Caesar's account, they lost 220 vessels.
(1) a group of tribes that inhabited the northern shores of the Adriatic Sea northeast of the Po River in ancient times. According to archaeological findings, the Veneti arrived there in the 12th to 11th centuries B.C.; they first occupied the Alpine valley regions and later spread out to the southeast. Their chief occupations were farming and livestock raising, particularly the breeding of horses. (Numerous bits as well as pictures of horses, have been found in burial sites.) The principal trade goods were slaves, livestock, hides, and amber, which was brought across the passes of the Alps from the shores of the Baltic. The chief cities were Ateste (present-day Este) and Patavium (present-day Padua). The Veneti were allies of the Romans in their struggle against the Celtic tribes (fourth century B.C.), and during the Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.) they supported Rome against the Carthaginian general Hannibal. Roman colonization of the region inhabited by the Veneti began early in the second century B.C. In 183 B.C. the Veneti’s territory became part of the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul. (The Veneti were granted Latin citizenship in 89 B.C. and Roman citizenship in 49 B.C.) Approximately 200 dedicatory and gravestone inscriptions, which were executed in an alphabet of Greek origin (fifth to the first centuries B.C.) and found mainly in Ateste (Este), allow conjectures concerning the language of the Veneti. The Veneti language is regarded by modern linguists as an independent branch of the Indo-European languages that has a number of features in common with the Germanic and Italic languages. There is also a point of view attributing the origin of the Veneti to tribes of Illyrian descent.
(2) Veneti was also the name of a Celtic tribe that lived on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and was subjugated by Julius Caesar during the Gallic Wars (58-51 B.C.).
(3) The term Veneti (more commonly, Wenden) was used by ancient authors to designate the western branch of the Slavic tribes.
REFERENCESNemirovskii, A. I. Istoriia rannego Rima i Itaiii. Voronezh, 1962.
Modestov, V. “Venety.” Zhurnal Ministerstva narodnogo prosveshcheniia, new series, 1906, nos. 1, 2, and 3.
Georgiev, V. “Illyrier, Veneter and Urslawen.” Balkansko ezikoznanie. Sofia, 1968. [Vol. 13, no. 1.]
A. I. NEMIROVSKII