, or LI´GII (Λούγιοι, Λούιοι, Λύγιοι
), is the general name for a number of small tribes in the north-east of Germany, all of which belonged to the Suevi. (Strab. vii. p.290
; Ptol. 2.11.18
; D. C. 67.5
; Tac. Germ.
The ancients speak of them as a German nation, but there can be little doubt that, properly speaking, they were Slavonians, who had been subdued by the Suevi, and had gradually become united and amalgamated with them. Their name contains the root lug,
which in the old German signifies a wood or marsh, and still has the same meaning in the Slavonic; it seems, therefore, to be descriptive of the nation dwelling in the plains of the Vistula and the Oder. The Lygii are first mentioned in history as belonging to the empire of Maroboduus, when they were united with the Marcomanni and Hermunduri. When the Quadi rose against king Vannius, in A.D. 50, the Lygii, and Hermunduri were still united, and opposed the influence of the Romans in Germany. (Tac. Ann. l.c.
In the reign of Domitian, about A.D. 84, they made war on the Quadi, their neighbours, who in vain sought the protection of the Romans. (Dio Cass. l.c.
) After this time the Lygii disappear from history, and it is possible that they may have become lost among the Goths.
The different Lygian tribes, which are mentioned by Tacitus (Arii, Helvecones, Manimi, Elysii or Helisii, and Naharvali), seem to have been united among one another by a common worship, the principal seat of which was among the Naharvali.
The name of their two common gods was Alci, who were worshipped without images; and Tacitus observes that their mode of worship was free from all foreign admixture. Ptolemy mentions, as tribes of the Lygii, the Omanni, Duni, and Buri, who are either not noticed by Tacitus at all, or are classed with other tribes. (Comp. Wilhelm, Germanien,
p. 242, &c.; Zeuss, die Deutschen,
p. 124; Latham, on Tacit. Germania,