Re: Bagaudae/Baucadae

From: Christopher Gwinn
Message: 16266
Date: 2002-10-15

> Awhile ago, there was a piece in military history magazine about
this and as
> best as I can recall the interpretation of the name was from the
> upper class point-of-view. Which is that it is related to the Old
> <bocht> which meant poor. The name would have been given by the
loyal Gaulish
> upper-class and picked up by the Romans.

The PIE root behind Irish bocht (*bheg-/bheng- "zerschlagen,
zerbrechen") seems to have only produced o-grade Celtic roots, and
no a-grade.

> The idea is that this was not a Celtic or Gaulish revolt but a
> revolt and that the Bagaudae are first described in the only text
we have as
> "peasants and robbers who terrorized the [Gaulish] countryside."
> named Herschel suggests a Gaulish form of the Latin "vagatae" -
> vagabonds.

That doesn't follow Gaulish treatment of Latin loans - yes, |v| and
|b| were occasionally confused in the Vulgar Latin of Gaul, but
there's no way you're going to get -audae from Latin -atae.

> McBain's has something that might offer a more military
suggestion, with an
> interesting origin: "a cluster, troop, Welsh <bagad>, Breton
<bogod>; from
> Latin <bacca> (Thurneysen, Ernault)." Bacca would be I believe
from the
> Bacchae? Wild fun-lovers? Now that's a rebellion.

Once again, we must deal with the Gaulish suffix -audae (which is
not related to the suff in Welsh bagad) - I just don't see in
Bagaudae/Bacaudae a Latin loanword with a Gaulish suffix attached.

> Finally, I think that <bacc> is a shepherd's crook in Old Irish.
Perhaps a shepherd's revolt?

Highly unlikely.

- Chris Gwinn