The ancient Ligures were a mysterious group of tribes that claimed the area from the Ebro river in Spain all the way to the Arno river in Italy at its height of success and power. Not much is known about these mysterious peoples and all that can be told are accounts from fearful Romans of these established, dangerous warriors. The Romans themselves regarded them as the fiercest and most Barbaric opponents they had ever faced until that time. Known to reside in the Alps and Ligurian mountains as the first snipers to touch Europe at the time, they were masters of stealth while still retaining a rich heritage matched by no other.
The Ligurians themselves have been found in texts as late as 1000 B.C and were regarded in the same manner. A group to be respected and feared. Their origins are a bit shaky, though and historians believe they were a mix of Celts and Iberians that split off on their own. There are over 42 different Ligurian tribes and each retained the general, rich and free culture of the Ligures. It has been said that these tribes associated with the early Celts and Iberians, establishing secret connections and languages that are rarely found today. Many believe that the Ligures had an underground society with their neighbors further away and though it is up for debate, the information is present.
The Ligurians or Ligures ruled and were a European Super Power until they were assimilated by the Romans in the second century B.C. Still, to present day, it is believed that the last of the Ligures hid in the now Ligurian mountains and continued their culture, even into today. The culture (though terribly rare) can be found in the region of Liguria in Italy. Some of this ancient civilizations notable tribes include the Apuani, Bagienni, Briniates, Cerdiciates, Commoni, Deciates, Euburiates, Friniates, Garuli, Hercates,Ilvates, Ingauni, Intemellii, Lapicini, Laevi, Marici, Oxybii, Statielli, Sueltri (or Suelteri), Taurini (or Taurisci), Tiguli andVagienni.
“The Ligures (singular Ligus or Ligur; English: Ligurians, Greek: Λίγυες) were an ancient people who gave their name to Liguria, which once stretched from Northern Italy into southern Gaul. The Ligures inhabited what now corresponds to Liguria, northern Tuscany, Piedmont, part of Emilia-Romagna, part of Lombardy, and parts of southeastern France.
Classical references and toponomastics suggest that the Ligurian sphere once extended further into central Italy: according to Hesiod’s Catalogues (early 6th century BC) they were one of the three main “barbarian” peoples ruling over the Western border of the known world (the others being Aethiopians and Scythians). Avienus, in a translation of a voyage account probably from Marseille (4th century BC) speaks of the Ligurian hegemony extending up to the North Sea, before they were pushed back by the Celts. Ligurian toponyms have been found in Sicily, the Rhône valley, Corsica and Sardinia.
It is not known for certain whether they were a pre-Indo-European people akin to Iberians; a separate Indo-European branch with Italic and Celtic affinities; or even a branch of the Celts. Kinship between the Ligures and Lepontii has also been proposed. Another theory traces their origin to Betica (modern Andalusia).
The Ligures were assimilated by the Romans, and before that by the Gauls, producing a Celto-Ligurian culture.”
A proud, strong and lingering people, these beautiful barbarians with auburn hair are now only history.