The origin of the surname Rossi is explained as describing a red haired or ruddy complexioned individual. I believe this to be incorrect, as did the renowned linguist Dr. Vilhelm Thomsen, who states in an excerpt from his book cited below:
“In one place he enumerates the nations that lived above the Greek empire, and among them he also mentions ‘the Russ (Rusii) whom we with another name called Northmen’’.....Here he uses the same expressions about the Russ, saying: ‘There is a people living in the North, who from some personal quality the Greeks call Russii.’”
Dr. Thomsen states in a footnote that “This remark is founded on a wrong etymology, the name of the Russ being confounded with the Greek adjective [for] ‘red, red-haired.’”
Taken from: The Relations Between Ancient Russia and Scandinavia and The Origin of the Russian State, Dr. Vilhelm Thomsen, Burt Franklin Publisher, New York, New York. Page 47 ISBN-10: 0833735330 ISBN-13: 978-0833735331.
To wit: Rossi: An Italian surname but also from the Greek (Rossos): ethnic name from Rōssos ‘Russian’
Greek (Rossos): ethnic name from Rossos ‘Russian’. Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4.
The Rossi surname came into existence as a result of an originally Scandinavian tribe known historically as the Rus, alternatively Ros, and described by Latin historical sources as Rossi, Russi, Rusii and the Varangian Rossi. This tribe was also called, variously by the Byzantine Greeks and contemporary Arabs, the Rus, Ros, Ross, Rusi, or Rhos. They were comprised initially of the Eastern Vikings.
“…under the dominion of Rurik and his Warjaega Rossi, a Scandinavian tribe to whom this denomination was given by the Finns.”
RESEARCHES INTO THE PHYSICAL HISTORY OF MANKIND.
BY JAMES COWLES PRICHARD, M.D., F.R.S., M.R.I.A.
CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FRANCE,
MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
HONORARY FELLOW OF THE KING'S AND QUEEN'S COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS IN IRELAND.
MEMBER OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF MEDICINE OF PARIS.
THIRD EDITION. VOL. III. CONTAINING RESEARCHES INTO THE HISTORY OF THE EUROPEAN NATIONS. LONDON: SHERWOOD, GILBERT, AND PIPER. PATEBNOSTER ROW.
1841 Page 409
“…who, as they were conquered, took the name of Russians, from Rossi, that of the tribe to which their Scandinavian conquerors belonged)”
MEDIEVAL POPES, EMPERORS, KINGS, AND CRUSADERS;
OR, GERMANY, ITALY AND PALESTINE, FROM A.D. 1125 TO A.D. 1268.
BY MRS. WILLIAM BUSK,
VOL. I. LONDON: HOOKHAM & SONS, OLD BOND STREET.
1854 Page 9
“The Slavi of Novogorod were completely subjugated by the Varangian Rossi, and for the first time the name of Russ, or Russian,—probably derived from the appellation of the conquerors,—appears in history.
THE CZAR HIS COURT AND PEOPLE: A TOUR IN NORWAY AND SWEDEN.
JOHN S. MAXWELL. NEW YORK: BAKER AND SCRIBNER,
36 PARK ROW AND 145 NASSAU STREET.
1848. Pages 185 and 186
“…as -with the Teutonic Rossi and the Bulgarians, they denationalize their conquerors and merge them
into the Slavonic family.”
“The Russians, or Muscovites, belong to this branch of the Slavonic family, though their name is derived from a Scandinavian tribe—Rossi—who gave them their governing family for some centuries.”
THE RACES THE OLD WORLD. A MANUAL OF ETHNOLOGY. BY CHARLES L. BRACE,
AUTHOR OF "HOME-LIFE IN GERMANY," "NORSE-FOLK," ETC.
LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET. 1S63. I. J Page 78-79
From George Kedrenos we read:
“Interim quidquid est intra Euxinum pontum maritimarum regionum, Rossica incursionibus vexabat atque vastabat classis. Rossi gens est Scythica, ad septentrionalem incolens Taurum, fera atque immanis.”
HakonStang’s Latin translation via The Naming of Russia:
“Meanwhile all the maritime regions within the Pontos Euxeinos were plagued and ravaged by the incursions of the Ros ships. The Ros are a Scythian people, dwelling in the northern Taurus, savage and monstrous in size.
Patriarch Photius provides a unique description of the adoption of Christianity by Rus’-Ukraine in his circular letter written for the eastern bishops in 867:
“The Rossi are known for their cruelty, as conquerors of neighboring peoples, who in their arrogance dared to fight the Roman Empire, they have already abandoned superstitions, are professing Christ and are our friends, even though quite recently they were implacable enemies. They have already accepted a bishop and a priest from us and are eager to celebrate Christian divine services.”
From Butler’s Lives of the Saints:
“In the meantime Ignatius was brought back from Mitylene to the isle of Terebinthus, about the time that his monasteries with the neighboring isles were all plundered, and twenty three of his domestics massacred by a fleet of a Scythian nation, called Rossi, or Russians.The pope's two legates being arrived at Constantinople, Photius and the emperor found means to gain them after they had long resisted.”
The Rus (Varangian) Origin of the surname Rossi
ENTER The Clan Rossi Family Forum
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