>Prussian

>Do you know that the name Prussia goes much further back than the northern German kingdom with which we mostly associate the name? Prussia was a group of tribes in the Baltics, and the Prussian language (now dead) was related to Lithuanian. After sweeps and conversion attempts by sundry dukes and bishops from further south, then the Northern Crusades (the Teutonic Knights, who worked for the Holy Roman Empire), the Germans finally moved in for good and took over, and the Old Prussian language died out by around the 17th or 18th century.

As someone I knew once put it, referring to Germans from the area as “Prussians” (which they themselves sometimes do) is like speaking of “Manhattanites” ; yes, certainly correct, but with a forgotten back-story of the people who used to go by that name, long ago.

I mention this because I was reading up on the Amber Road on Wikipedia, and saw that someone was angry about using the term Prussia to refer to the Baltic end of the route. Because to that writer, Prussia only meant German military might and all that. And yet, the writer could have easily looked up the name and learned something.

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