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removing the irrelevant mention of Prussians from the paragraph on the Ukraine: 'The Gothic historian Jordanis (550 AD) wrote about the Aesti-Prussi and a Bajuvarian historian in 850 AD wrote about the Brus.'. Note, it should be Ostrogothic, Jordanes, and Bavarian.

How come German name of the river is important here? Also, Johan Magnus in his recent edits insist on mentioning the German name and explains it with Wikipedia:Naming conventions. May I ask which of the conventions does he mean?
Also, I understand that generations of Germans, Norwegians, Swedes and so on knew the river under its Germanic name, but it was never used in English and if we mention the Germanic name, we should also list all other alternative names, ranging from French to Russian and from Finnish to Swaheli. What's the fuzz all about here? Halibutt 08:51, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)

Also, in case we wanted to add the alternative names: here's a list of names to be included:

  • German: Weichsel, Wissel, Wixel, Wyxel
  • Dutch, Norwegian: Weichsel
  • Polish: Wisła
  • French: Vistule
  • Spanish, Latin: Vistula
  • Italian: Vistola
  • Portugese: Vístula
  • Russian, Bulgarian: Висла (Visla)

Cieszę się, ze nie ma tu tego wariata, który robi bajzel i powoduje nieczytelność strony w imię wyższej racji ("bo hot-dogi są za drogie").

  • Czech, Slovak, Slovenian: Visla
  • Esperanto: Vistulo

I will add more this evening. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 09:18, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)

I'm sorry but you are mistaken; You don't have to go to other Germanic languages to see the name of the river spelled Weichsel; you find it in qualified scientifical works by native Englishmen and also on maps. It's the French who called the river for Vistule. The matter is Wikipedia's usability. For readers who have not yet learned the new name on the river, there is reason to affirm that Vistula and Weichsel really are different names for the same river.
I'm afraid Emax' conviction is easy to (mis-) interpret as a tendency to decide first and then only see that part of reality that supports one's chosen view, which is maybe comprehensible, but nevertheless unlucky both for them affected and for the Wikipedia as such.
I guess some Wikipedians might remember that I already before have reacted against the perception that a name that is common in several (neighbouring) languages has to be marked as "German". This isn't really the central point here, or oughtn't be at least. Neither do I hold long lists of names in other languages than English for a good idea. But I think it would be good for all parts if the English usage could be recognized in the introduction. The river is, after all, one of the more important on the European continent. --Johan Magnus 13:02, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I'd have to see a proof. I did a quick Google search and there are indeed lots of English language links referring to Weichsel, but I have yet to see a link referring to the river and not some surname or nick-name. I'm currently on page 5 and I've seen some four links, two of them referring to Vistula Glacial Stage on Brittanica], one to an English version of web page of some German engineering company and one linking a site with translations of German WWII propaganda pictures. Perhaps you could post some proof that the river is referred to with its German name in English. (Compare [1] with [2]).
Also, you are mistaken that the English name was coined after the French usage. As a matter of fact both the French and the English names come from Latin and it was the Latin name that was in use for ages. The English/Latin name was used on all English maps I've ever seen (including those of 17th century) except for several maps showing German WWI and WWII operations, which use simply the German staff maps. I have yet to see an English map that would use the German name. Could you post some reference? [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 14:19, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)
If we stay at the Google test stage (printed books would of course be good, but for someone who has left university ages ago, and don't live in a town with a university library, serious books in foreign languages aren't too easy to get one's hands on any more), searching for weichsel-river OR river-weichsel[3], we get of course plenty of translations from German. But also, as number four in my search, a hit for the journal Nature, a footnote actually, that of course might be due to a lesser educated translator, but doesn't that journal have some standards to live up to? As number six on my searchlist is the mapsite and as number seven a book review at Jerusalem Post. At the World Socialist Web Site I'm stunned. I've always considered it a leftist position to be very eager to change geographical names in high pace, but here reports from Poland speaks of River Weichsel. Then there are, of course tons (well, all in all two magnitudes less than for river-vistula) of references to sacrifices during the World Wars, and I don't really see why people who are curious about a river of importance for their ancestors should not be given appropriate guidance. --Johan Magnus 16:34, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Of course the people should know that the river is called with several names in different languages, but I still do not understand why the German name is more important that French or Russian. Perhaps we could add a new ==Names== chapter with all the names?
As to the links - I'd still have to find a proof. The "Nature" link is a list of specimens in some institute in Berlin. No wonder they used the German name. I think that the Israeli link might use Weichsel consistently because that might be the Yiddish name of the river. Also, the story tells the tale of a daughter of German concentration camp commandant. No wonder what she remembered was the German name of the river. And so on, and so forth. I see that the name appears on some web pages, but to me it seems that it is used here and there accidentally, either due to bad translation or no translation at all. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 18:30, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)

Excuse me, but isn't the point that readers of English texts might find the name Weichsel, and would need instant confirmation that this really is the right article? If that is due to bad translations or old books or due to something else, isn't that rather irrelevant?

Another, surely valid, support for including the name Weichsel exactly one time, and that in the first sentence, is that nobody speaks of the Vistula glaciation — it's known as the Weichsel glaciation, or The Last Ice Age, in Europe and as the Wisconsin glaciation in the US, I believe. /Tuomas 22:31, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps apart from Britannica that uses both names and Encarta that offers a redirect from "Vistula glaciation" to Glacier and Vistula, but does not mention "Weichsel glaciation". However, Google search shows much more links to Weichsel glaciation than to Vistula glaciation (some 4:1). So, all in all, I believe that there should be a link to Vistula on the Weichsel glaciation page. However, I still see no need to add the German name to this article. Or at least no need to add it if other alternative names are omitted.
Other thing is that no readers would be mistaken since currently no articles lead to the article on Vistula through the Weichsel redirect. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 00:21, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

Hi folks. Just a few changes. Vistula does not appear in Tacitus (amazingly) nor do the Prussian tribes. So I looked it all up in various Latin dictionaries and classics handbooks and made a few minimal changes in the history section. I hope you don't mind.Botteville 17:47, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

In answer to Botteville's remark: Tacitus recorded the Prussians as Aesti (Easterners). Gothic writers still name Aesti and by around 800 AD Bajuvarian (Bavarian) geographers recorded the name the Prussians called themself as Brus (Bavarian dialect). Some of the Prussian tribes, the Galindian and Sudovians are recorded more than 2000 years ago.

Some info posted here (due to ongoing removals by Molobo)

Vistula is Indo-European or pre-Indo-European. (-ila, -ula etc are ancient Germanic diminutive endings, such as in Atta - father, Att - ila, dear or little father.

The Vistula River ran into the Mare Suebicum, which we know as the Baltic Sea. From all the sources one can deduce that near the delta lived the tribes of the Suebi and Burgundians, and on both banks the Goths (see also Gothiscandza, Willenberg/Wielbark culture) and Oxhoeft culture, (after towns in Prussia).

(Suebi is the collective name for many tribes recorded 98 AD by Tacitus in Germania). MG 2/2/2006

Navigation Channel Depth[edit]

I don't suppose anyone knows the depth of the river at Warsaw? Rogue 9 20:35, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

The depth of the river in Warsaw changes with the seasons of a year. During a flood it used to almost reach the level of bridges, but usually it's rather shallow, though wide. There is an exclusive river ship which goes to Gdańsk and back, but very often it cannot make to Warsaw, and ends its course in Modlin or Płońsk. Is it of any help?--SylwiaS | talk 17:27, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Vistula is perhaps the only large river in Europe that is almost completely not regulated nor fortified. Because of that what Sylwia wrote is true - at times the river is navigable only for smaller barges, while larger riverine vessels cannot make it as far inland as to Warsaw. However, as far as I know outside of the hottest season the river trail is kept in relatively good condition and smaller vessels can make it as far as Kraków. //Halibutt 08:19, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
BTW, the good thing is that it's hard to drown in Vistula - even if you tried. Jumping off from the bridge would make you break your neck rather than drown :) //Halibutt

German name of Vistula[edit]

Weichsel must be inserted, if we want this article to have historical relevance. The river was known as such since the Middle Ages in the western European Germanic world, and therefore must be called thus too. Remember the many fortresses of the Teutonic Order. Smith2006 10:25, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

I do not understand the "must". Remember you do not own the article (see WP:OWN). Read at least the discussion on the Talk page. The problem was mulled on since 2004 and the consensus was the German name is not relevant. This is the English version of Wikipedia, after all and no part of Vistula is in a German speaking country (this isn't an article on history but geography). Please, accept the consensus and do not start this thing anew. By the way, you should have started a new section of the Talk page - this thing has nothing to do with Navigation Channel Depth. Friendly Neighbour 10:40, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
I have added a notification on the internationally used German name Weichsel under the history theme. The Weichsel was a very Germanized river before 1945, and thus must be remembered as such, even if Polish imperialists and nationalists don't like that.Smith2006 16:23, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Ugh? English name is Vistula. In French it also has its own name, so should we add intenrationally used French name (which is, BTW IIRC Vistula). How in the earth the RIVER can be GERMANIZED? Szopen 07:58, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Insertion of the German name of the river seems absurd at the very least. The river flows entirely through Poland. If anything, the Russian version of the name would make more sense since it is Russia that shares the Vistula Lagoon with Poland.

Absurd? Weichsel was a border of East Prussia for centuries! Read some history! Schwartz und Weiss 22:32, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Old English Wīsle[edit]

How about OE Wīsle, attested in The Voyage of Wulfstan to Estland? Wīsle 'the Vistula River', Wīslemūða (m) 'the mouth of the Vistula River'. Cf. Dutch Wijssel, Wijsel. Ryba g (talk) 10:42, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Germanic diminutive on -ula[edit]

I can't find the alleged spelling of the river's name in Pliny the Elder. It has "flumen Vistlam" ("Vistam" MSS.) at 4.81, "ad Vistlam ... fluvium" (MSS. again have "Vistam") at 4.97, and "Visculus sive Vistla" at 4.100. I can't find any reference to the Vistula river (in fact, any word starting with "vis-") in the book III of the Natural History. The edition of Pomponius Mela I have has the form "Vistula", with "t".

As for the "-ula", I think that calling the ending "Germanic" may be irrelevant here. Since we know the name from Latin sources, the form may well have been Latinized by converting the original ending "-tla" (as most of the Pliny MSS. readings seem to point to "Vistla" rather than "Vistula"), to the more "friendly" (to Roman ear) form on "-ula", which is the standard diminutive ending in Latin.

Spellings of the name like "Istula" probably only mean that an author had trouble rendering the initial semivowel in Greek script (Ptolemy writes it as a vowel "ou"). The same problem may be behind the Ammianus Marcellinus "Bisula". This form additionally points to an assimilation of the "st" to "ss", which was later simplified to "s". This explains the occasional drop of the "t" in MSS. readings.

It may be noteworthy in this context, that Ausonius had a female slave of Transrhenan origin, whose name was "Bissula". May be pure coincidence, but ... :) 06:10, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Map Position[edit]

I came to the page specifically looking for the map of the basin. Could I suggest it is positioned at the top of the page, possibly above the excellent photo. JRPG (talk) 11:09, 31 August 2009 (UTC)


Rudolf Hoess wrote that: " The ashes of the burnt bodies were ground into dust, which was poured into the Vistula in remote places and swept away with the current. " [4], regarding the operation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. I can't decide if that's morbid trivia or an important fact about the river. trespassers william (talk) 21:48, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

  • It seems to me to be important and relevant. What happened to the remains of the dead is emotively important to many. I have been there. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 21:55, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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Can we rename this article to Wisła? -- Marek.69 talk 06:14, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

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Asymmetry of river Vistula[edit]

There is nothing strange regarding asymmetry of river Vistula. This asymmetry is seen not only on the river basin, but also on the height of river banks, being the right bank much higher, as the river Dnieper shows (see Encyclopaedia Britannica, free edition). This is a characteristic of being in the Northern Hemisphere where river waters during floods tend to predominate their way toward the left bank (flooding the left part of the river basin). On the contrary, on the southern hemisphere, flooding hits right banks much harder. All rivers North of equator tend to deviate towards the left bank, being the only exceptions to this rule due to topography. The reason for this is the rotation movement of the Earth, as it is seen in the Foucault Pendulum: displacement of the Foucault pendulum is toward the left in the northern hemisphere not because the pendulum deviate toward the left (by definition, pendulum keeps the same direction from the beginning), but because the round circle on the floor gives two turns every day: one around the center of the circle and another around the Earth's axis, along the parallel of latitude where the pendulum is held. And the height of the pendulum causes a small deviation around the center of the floor circle. It is easy to see that the pendulum's pointer will give a very small circle around the center: in theory, this pointer never pass exactly above this center. In other words, let's imagine we are looking the pendulum's movement starting from south to north. The point holding the pendulum on the ceiling of the building is moving from left to right at a speed slightly faster than the floor, therefore, going the pendulum towards the north will pass the center slightly to the left (west). But if we see the same oscillation back from north to south, the movement of the point where pendulum holds will be from right to left and, therefore, will deviate a little also to the left, without passing above the center on its way back to the south. The same happens with river waters and ocean currents. In a river, waters move along the river inside the river bed. But when water overflows, the excess waters above banks tend to deviate toward left banks, except when topography marks a difference. --Fev 22:04, 17 November 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fev (talkcontribs)


In the subsection "Historical Relevance" the article states Large parts of the Vistula Basin were occupied by the Iron Age Lusatian and Przeworsk cultures in the first millennium BC. Genetic analysis indicates that there has been an unbroken genetic continuity[clarification needed] of the inhabitants over the last 3,500 years.[18]

The source cited is Jędrzej Giertych. "Tysiąc lat historii narodu polskiego" (in Polish). A link is given, but the link Retrieved 3 April 2009. is to a search page, not the article itself.

A more recent paper is Juras et al, 2014. Ancient DNA Reveals Matrilineal Continuity in Present-Day Poland over the Last Two Millennia PLoS One. 2014; 9(10): e110839. Published online 2014 Oct 22. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110839

A link to this article is

Since this is the English language wiki the Juras et al 2014 article is probably a better source to cite.

In anycase, the article concludes that their results indicate genetic continuity of mitochondrial lineages between ancient and modern populations in the territory of contemporary Poland. By "ancient" they are referring to iron-age populations.

The Juras article uses the same phrase "genetic continuity" as was given in the Wikipedia article.

I'm not sure this needs clarification as the interline comment suggests, but what that's saying is that the mitochondrial DNA of the iron age population is the same (or very similar to) that of much of the modern population of Poland. In other words, at least in terms of the female line of inheritance, the people of Poland today are descended from the Iron age population of the Vistula.

The Iron age skeletal remains from which Juras et al 2014 provided mtDNA results, is located at least in part in the Vital River Valley. Hence their results are useful to make the point that the Iron age population of Vistula River valley does indeed show genetic continuity with the modern population of Poland.

Of course its not EXACTLY the same, as some changes have occurred after 3500 or so years. However, the article also gives a comparison between the populations of modern Poland and adjacent countries, and notes that the modern population of Poland more closely resembles the Iron age population, than do the modern populations of the other adjacent countries.

They are saying that the people of Poland today are by and large, the same as the people occupying the Vistula during the Iron age...or at least that's what their data show.

TwelveGreat (talk) 13:04, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

Leniwka and Martwa Wisla[edit]

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica (1993 edition, vol 12 page 399), Leniwka is simply the old name of the M.W., not a separated stream. If EB is true, the entries of these two streams must be merged.

pietro151.29.25.24 (talk) 11:14, 24 November 2019 (UTC)