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[[File:Italie -800.JPG|thumb|200px|right|Groups within the Italian peninsula.

The Ligures (singular Ligus or Ligur; English: Ligurians, Greek: ) were an ancient people who gave their name to Liguria, which once stretched from Northern Italymarker into southern Gaul. According to Plutarch they called themselves Ambrones which means ¨people of the water¨. The Ligures inhabited what now corresponds to Liguria, northern Tuscany, and parts of Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Switzerlandmarker, Austriamarker, Bavariamarker, and southern Francemarker.

Classical references and toponomastics suggest that the Ligurian sphere once extended further into central Italy (Taurisci): 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 Aethiopianmarker and Scythians). Avienus, in a translation of a voyage account probably from Marseillemarker (4th century BC) speaks of the Ligurian hegemony extending up to the North Seamarker, before they were pushed back by the Celts. Ligurian toponyms have been found in Sicily, the Rhône valley, Corsicamarker 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 or Italics. Kinship between the Ligures and Lepontii has also been proposed. Another theory traces their origin to Baetica (modern Andalusiamarker) and southern Lusitania (modern Algarve and Alentejo).

The Ligures were assimilated by the Romans, and before that by the Gauls, producing a Celto-Ligurian culture.


Numerous tribes of Ligures are mentioned by ancient historians, among them:


See also

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