The Atrebates were a Belgic tribe of Gaul and Britain before the Roman conquests. However it is possible that the Atrebates were a family of rulers, as there is no evidence for a major migration from Belgium to Britain. Cognate with Old Irish aittrebaid meaning'inhabitant', Atrebates comes from proto-Celtic *ad-treb-a-t-es,'inhabitants'; the Celtic root is treb-'building','home', linked to the root of English thorpe,'village'. Edith Wightman suggested that their name may be intended to mean the people of the earth to contrast with that of the neighbouring coastal Morini, "people of the sea"; the Gaulish Atrebates lived around modern Artois in northern France. Their capital, Nemetocenna, is now the city of Pas-de-Calais; the place-name Arras is the result of a phonetic evolution from Atrebates and replaced the original name in the Late Empire, according to a well-known tradition in Gaul. The name Artois is the result of a different phonetic evolution from Atrebates. In 57 BC, they were part of a Belgic military alliance in response to Julius Caesar's conquests elsewhere in Gaul, contributing 15,000 men.
Caesar took this build-up as a threat and marched against it, but the Belgae had the advantage of position and the result was a stand-off. When no battle was forthcoming, the Belgic alliance broke up, determining to gather to defend whichever tribe Caesar attacked. Caesar subsequently achieved their submission; the Atrebates joined with the Nervii and Viromandui and attacked Caesar at the battle of the Sabis, but were there defeated. After thus conquering the Atrebates, Caesar appointed one of their countrymen, Commius, as their king. Commius was involved in Caesar's two expeditions to Britain in 55 and 54 BC and negotiated the surrender of Cassivellaunus. In return for his loyalty, he was given authority over the Morini. However, he turned against the Romans and joined in the revolt led by Vercingetorix in 52 BC. After Vercingetorix's defeat at the Siege of Alesia, Commius had further confrontations with the Romans, negotiated a truce with Mark Antony, ended up fleeing to Britain with a group of followers.
However, he appears to have retained some influence in Gaul: coins of post-conquest date have been found stamped with his name, paired with either Garmanos or Carsicios, who may have been his sons or regents. Ptolemy's 2nd century Geography refers to the "Atribati" living on the coast of Belgic Gaul, near the river Sequana, names Metacum as one of their towns. Commius soon established himself as king of a kingdom he may have founded, their territory comprised modern Hampshire, West Sussex and Berkshire, centred on the capital Calleva Atrebatum. They were bordered to the north by the Catuvellauni; the settlement of the Atrebates in Britain was not a mass population movement. Archaeologist Barry Cunliffe argues that they "seem to have comprised a series of indigenous tribes with some intrusive Belgic element, given initial coherence by Commius", it is possible that the name "Atrebates", as with many "tribal" names in this period, referred only to the ruling house or dynasty and not to an ethnic group.
However, during Caesar's first expedition to Britain in 55 BC, after the Roman cavalry had been unable to cross the Channel, Commius was able to provide a small group of horsemen from his people, suggesting that he may have had kin in Britain at that time. After this time, the Atrebates were recognized as a client kingdom of Rome. Coins stamped with Commius's name were issued from Calleva from ca. 30 BC to 20 BC. Some coins are stamped "COM COMMIOS": interpreting this as "Commius son of Commius", considering the length of his apparent floruit, some have concluded that there were two kings and son, of the same name. Three kings of the British Atrebates name themselves on their coins as sons of Commius: Tincomarus and Verica. Tincomarus seems to have ruled jointly with his father from about 25 BC until Commius's death in about 20 BC. After that, Tincomarus ruled the northern part of the kingdom from Calleva, while Eppillus ruled the southern half from Noviomagus. Numismatic and other archeological evidence suggests that Tincomarus took a more pro-Roman stance than his father, John Creighton argues from the imagery on his coins that he was brought up as an obses in Rome under Augustus.
Augustus's Res Gestae mentions two British kings presenting themselves to him as supplicants ca. 7 AD. The passage is damaged, but one is Tincomarus, it appears Tincomarus was ousted by his brother, from this point Epillus's coins are marked "Rex", indicating that he was recognised as king by Rome. In about 15, Eppillus was succeeded by Verica, but Verica's kingdom was being pressed by the expansion of the Catuvellauni under Cunobelinus. Calleva fell to Cunobelinus's brother Epaticcus by about 25. Verica regained some territory following Epaticcus's death in about 35, but Cunobelinus's son Caratacus took over the campaign and by the early 40s the Atrebates
The Toxandri were a people living at the time of the Roman empire. Their territory was called Toxandria, Toxiandria or Taxandria, a name which survived into the Middle Ages, it was equivalent to the modern Campine geographical region of northeastern Flanders and southern Netherlands. In modern terms this covered all or most of North Brabant, the east of Antwerp Province, the north of Belgian Limburg, their name is preserved in modern placenames such as Tessenderlo, in the modern Belgian province of Limburg where it borders upon the provinces of Antwerp and Flemish Brabant. Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia reported that they were divided into "various peoples with many names", he placed them at the extreme edge of Gallia Belgica, the River Scaldis which some translations interpret as being "beyond" that river, with the Menapii on the more Roman side. This means that the Texuandri were either within, or close to, the part of the river delta frontier area of Belgic Gaul, that became part of Roman "Lower Germany".
The coastal Menapii and Morini were west of the Scheldt, so the Texuandri were on the eastern bank north of modern Antwerp, in or near the area known as Toxandria in the Middle Ages. From military records around the empire it appears that the Texuandri may have formed at least one administrative district or "pagus" which contributed troops to Roman armies, but it appears to be associated with more than one higher level district. One is the Civitas Tungrorum, the civitas of the Tungri, but there seems to be an association with the civitas of the Nervii, to the west; the modern town of Tongerloo, named after the Tungri, is close to Tessenderlo, but further from the city of the Tungri, modern Tongeren. The relationship between the Tungri and Toxandri is unclear. Prior to Pliny, the Toxandrians were not mentioned by Julius Caesar or Strabo in their reports of the region, it has been speculated in modern times that their name may have been a calque of the name of the Eburones who lived in the same area and were mentioned by both authors, but whom Caesar claimed to have destroyed in revenge for their rebellion against him.
The name of the Eburones is based on the Celtic word for a yew tree, which in Latin is called "taxus". Alternatively, the Toxandri and Tungri, whose name only appears for the first time in Roman times, may have been made up of Germanic immigrants from the east of the Rhine, settling Roman territory, as happened closer to the Rhine - for example the Ubii to the east near Cologne, the Cugerni to the northeast near Xanten, the Batavians and Canenefates directly to the north of the Toxandri, in the Rhine-Meuse delta. Tacitus does not mention the Toxandri, but mentions that the Tungri, unlike the Ubii and Canenefates, had changed tribal name, having been known as the Germani, a grouping which had included the Eburones. Before the takeover of Rome in this region, in Julius Caesar's commentary tribal boundaries in the area where the Toxandri are found are left unclear, it is described as thorny low forest and marshy lowlands, northwards of main populations of the cisrhenane Germani and Nervii. Caesar mentions both these politically important tribes retreating into estuarine areas, but more connects those regions to the Menapii, who in Caesar's time, as opposed to Strabo's, stretched through the delta all the way to the Rhine.
At one point Caesar says that the cisrhenane Germani bordering the Menapii were the Eburones, who he describes as the biggest and most important tribe of the Germani. In one isolated passage, Caesar did describe a tribe in the area of the Toxandri, the Ambivariti, he describes their position incidentally only, mentioning that a raiding group from Germany had crossed the Rhine at a point where Menapii lived on both sides of the river, crossed the Meuse in order to raid the Ambivariti. But this tribe is never mentioned by any other known classical source, Caesar does not describe the associations of these people with any others. In the middle of the 4th century, the area of Toxandria became de-populated, was exposed to constant raiding from tribes across the Rhine, outside the empire. Having been amongst the worst raiders, the Salian Franks were settled as foederati in Toxandria. Julian the Apostate had at first fought against Saxons and Franks, including the Salians, but allowed this one group "descended from the Franks" to settle in Toxandria in 358.
According to Zosimus, in the years previous to this agreement, the Salians had settled in the island of the Batavians, a border island of the Roman empire, forced there by Saxons from northern Germany. But they had come under attack from Saxons." " commanded his army to attack them briskly. The Salians became Roman allies and provided troops for the imperial army, in the period that Roman influence in the area was weakening. Toxandria therefore became the name of a Frankish county in early medieval Lower Lotharingia. Texandria is mentioned as a large county in the 870 Treaty of Meersen, remained th
The Nervii were one of the most powerful Belgic tribes of northern Gaul at the time of its conquest by Rome. Their territory corresponds to the central part of modern Belgium, including Brussels, stretched southwards into French Hainault. During their 1st century BC Roman military campaign, Julius Caesar's contacts among the Remi stated that the Nervii were the most warlike of the Belgae. In times of war, they were known to trek long distances to take part in battles. Being one of the distant northern Belgic tribes, with the Menapii to the west, the Eburones to their east, they were considered by Caesar to be uncorrupted by civilization; the territory of the Nervii had its western and northwestern border on the Scheldt river and stretched in the south through Hainaut to the forests of Arrouaise and Thiérache. To the east, the boundaries are unclear but it is possible that they stretched as far as the Dyle river valley in the north, near Louvain, the Meuse in the south in modern Wallonia, near Namur.
An oppidum found near Asse may have belonged to them but it was isolated and near to the territory of the Menapii. A large population occupied the southern territories, near the river Sambre with the biggest being at Avesnelles, near Avesnes-sur-Helpe. Caesar mentions smaller tribes who were expected to contribute troops to Nervian forces; the Nervii spoke a Celtic language. Others included the Menapii and Morini, to the west of the Nervii on the English channel, the Germani cisrhenani to the east of the Nervii, stretching to the Rhine. Caesar claimed that the Belgae had received immigration from Germanic people from east of the Rhine; the Romanized Greek Strabo wrote. Tacitus, in his book Germania, says that in his time the Nervii and Treveri both claimed Germanic ancestry, similar to that of their mutual neighbours the Tungri, in order to distinguish them from the weaknesses of the Gauls; the Romans were not precise in their ethnography of northern barbarians: by "Germanic" Caesar may have meant "originating east of the Rhine" with no distinction of language intended.
During Caesar's lifetime, Germanic languages east of the Rhine may have been no closer than the river Elbe. It has instead been argued based on place name studies that the older language of the area, though Indo-European, was not Celtic and that Celtic, though influential amongst the elite, might never have been the main language of the part of the Belgic area north of the Ardennes. On the other hand, these same studies of placenames such as those of Maurits Gysseling, have shown evidence of Germanic languages entering the Belgic area north of the Ardennes, before the Roman conquest, while strong evidence for old Celtic place names is found in the Ardennes and to the south of them. Luc van Durme summarizes competing evidence of Celtic and Germanic influence at the time of Caesar by saying that "one has to accept the rather remarkable conclusion that Caesar must have witnessed a situation opposing Celtic and Germanic in Belgium, in a territory more to the south than the early medieval Romance-Germanic language border", but van Durme accepts that "second century BC Germanisation did not block the celtisation coming from the south...but that both phenomena were simultaneous and interfering instead".
The Notitia Dignitatum report. Julius Caesar considered the Nervii to be the most warlike of the Belgic tribes, that the Belgic tribes were the bravest in Gaul, he says that their culture was a Spartan one: they would not partake of alcoholic beverages or any other such luxury, feeling that the mind must remain clear to be brave. He says they disliked foreign trade and had no merchant class / would not permit merchants within their territory. Archaeologists have sought to define the territories of the northern Belgic tribes by looking at the coins they used; the Nervii are associated with a stater type. Remarkably, given the archaeological evidence of a Celtic La Tène culture having been present in the pre-Roman past, Caesar reports that the Nervii had no cavalry. In fact they established hedges throughout their lands; the Frasnes hoard, accidentally unearthed by foresters in 1864 near Frasnes-lez-Buissenal in Hainaut, along with coins associated with the Morini and the Nervii contained characteristically Gallic gold torques, one of, in Alastair Bradley Martin's Guennol collection.
The Nervii were part of the Belgic alliance that resisted Julius Caesar in 57 BC. After the alliance broke up and some tribes surrendered, the Nervii, under the command of Boduognatus and aided by the Atrebates and Viromandui, came close to defeating Caesar. In 57 BC at the battle of the Sabis, they concealed themselves in the forests and attacked the approaching Roman column at the river, their attack was so quick and unexpected that some of the Romans didn't have time to take the covers off their shields or put on their helmets. The element of surprise left the Romans exposed; however Caesar grabbed a shield, made his way to the front line, organised his forces. The two legions, guarding the baggage train at the rear arrived and helped to turn the tide of the battle. Caesar says the Nervii were annihilated in the battle and is effusive in his tribute to their bravery, calling them "heroes"; when Ambiorix and the Ebur
The Ambarri were a Gallic people, whom Julius Caesar calls close allies and kinsmen of the Aedui. If the reading Aedui Ambarri in the passage referred to is correct, the Ambarri were Aedui, they are not mentioned among the clientes of the Aedui. They occupied a tract in the valley of the Rhône in the angle between the Saône and the Rhône, they are mentioned by Livy with the Aedui among those Galli who were said to have crossed the Alps into Italy in the time of Tarquinius Priscus. Several communes in today's Ain department of France derive their name from them, including: Ambérieu-en-Bugey, Ambérieux-en-Dombes and Ambronay, they joined Bellovesus'migrations towards Italy, together with the Aeduii, Arverni and Senones. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray
The Osismii were a Gaulish tribe on the western Armorican peninsula. They were first described as the Ostimioi by the Greek geographer and traveller Pytheas in the fourth century BC. Pytheas situated the Osismii at the end of the peninsula of Kabaïon, not identifiable today; this could be related to large peninsula of Cap-Sizun, on the southern-western coast of Finistère, just before reaching the difficult maritime pass of Pointe du Raz where the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and of the English channel are joining. Other hypotheses situate it in the small peninsula of Kermorvan in today's commune of Ploumoguer and bordering the ria of Le Conquet, but the whole peninsula of Crozon with its large bays and safe harbors is not excluded if it does not extend to the westernmost point; the name Ostimioi means "the farthest" or "those at the end of the world". Their territory corresponded broadly to the modern French département of Finistère, whose name reflects the same meaning in Latin Finis Terræ, i.e. end of the earth.
Their chief city was Vorgium, modern Carhaix. They survived into Roman times and are found in the texts of Julius Caesar, Pliny the Elder, Strabo, they submitted to Caesar during the Gallic Wars, in 57 BC. The next year, they were put down, they became their identity survived into Late Antiquity. Smith, Julia M. H. Province and Empire: Brittany and the Carolingians. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Veneti List of Celtic tribes
The Riedones, Redones or Rhedones are an ancient tribe of Gaul. Their capital was Condate. In the Celtogalatia Lugdunensis of Ptolemy, he placed them west along the Liger, but other authors contend. Pliny enumerates the Riedones among the peoples of Gallia Lugdunensis: Diablindi, Turones. After the bloody fight on the Sambre Julius Caesar sent Publius Licinius Crassus with a single legion into the country of the Veneti and other Celtic tribes between the Seine River and the Loire, all of whom submitted. Caesar here enumerates the Riedones among the maritime states whose territory extends to the Atlantic Ocean. In 52 BCE the Riedones with their neighbors sent a contingent to attack Caesar during the siege of Alesia. In this passage the Riedones are enumerated among the states bordering on the ocean, which in the Celtic language were called the Armoric States. D'Anville supposes that their territory extended beyond the limits of the diocese of Rennes into the dioceses of St. Malo and Dol-de-Bretagne.
Their chief town, Rennes, is the capital of the départment of Ille-et-Vilaine. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed.. "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray