The Pictones were a tribe inhabiting a region along the Bay of Biscay in what is now western France, along the south bank of the Loire. During the reign of Augustus, the Pictones were included in the larger province of Gallia Aquitania, along with most of western Gaul, they gave their name to the Roman appellation of Poitiers - Limonum Pictonum / Pictavi, as well as to the modern region of Poitou. The Pictones minted coins from the end of the 2nd century BC; the tribe was first noted in written sources. Caesar depended on their shipbuilding skills for his fleet on the Loire, their chief town Lemonum, the Celtic name of modern-day Poitiers, is located on the south bank of the Liger. Ptolemy mentions a second town, Ratiatum; the political organization of the region was modeled on the royal Celtic system. Duratios was king of the Pictones during the Roman conquest, but his power waned thanks to the poor skill of his generals. However, the Pictones aided Julius Caesar in naval battles with the naval victory over the Veneti on the Armorican peninsula.
The Pictones had felt threatened by the migration of the Helvetians toward the territory of the Santones and supported the intervention of Caesar in 58 BC. Though fiercely independent, they collaborated with Caesar, who noted them as one of the more civilized tribes. 8000 men were sent to aid Vercingetorix, the chieftain who led the Gaulish rebellion in 52 BC. This act divided the Pictones and the region was the location of a uprising around Lemonum; this was quelled by legate Gaius Caninius Rebilus and by Caesar himself. The Pictones benefited from Roman peace, notably through many urban constructions such as aqueducts and temples. A thick wall built in the 2nd century AD encircles the city of Lemonum and is one of the distinguishing architectural forms of Gaulish antiquity. However, the Pictones were not Romanized in depth. Lemonum adopted Christianity in the first two centuries AD; the region was known for its timber resources and traded with the Roman province of Transalpine Gaul. Additionally, the Pictones traded with the British Isles from the harbor of Ratiatum, which served as an important port linking Gaul and Roman Britain.
Gaul Poitevin Roman Republic Cancik, Hubert. "Aquitania", Brill's New Pauly Encyclopedia of the Ancient World, II, Leiden: Brill Academic Publisher, ISBN 90-04-12259-1. Caesar, G. Julius, "Gallic War I", in Lewis, Naphtali. A.. The Cambridge Ancient History Set, IX, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-85073-8Hornblower, Simon. Oxford Classical Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-866172-XOsgood, Josiah, "Caesar in Gaul and Rome: War in Words", American Historical Review, 112: 559–560, doi:10.1086/ahr.112.2.559a
The Celts are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Europe identified by their use of Celtic languages and cultural similarities. The history of pre-Celtic Europe and the exact relationship between ethnic and cultural factors in the Celtic world remains uncertain and controversial; the exact geographic spread of the ancient Celts is disputed. According to one theory, the common root of the Celtic languages, the Proto-Celtic language, arose in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC. According to a theory proposed in the 19th century, the first people to adopt cultural characteristics regarded as Celtic were the people of the Iron Age Hallstatt culture in central Europe, named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria, thus this area is sometimes called the "Celtic homeland". By or during the La Tène period, this Celtic culture was supposed to have expanded by trans-cultural diffusion or migration to the British Isles and the Low Countries, Bohemia and much of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula and northern Italy and, following the Celtic settlement of Eastern Europe beginning in 279 BC, as far east as central Anatolia in modern-day Turkey.
The earliest undisputed direct examples of a Celtic language are the Lepontic inscriptions beginning in the 6th century BC. Continental Celtic languages are attested exclusively through inscriptions and place-names. Insular Celtic languages are attested beginning around the 4th century in Ogham inscriptions, although they were being spoken much earlier. Celtic literary tradition begins with Old Irish texts around the 8th century CE. Coherent texts of Early Irish literature, such as the Táin Bó Cúailnge, survive in 12th-century recensions. By the mid-1st millennium, with the expansion of the Roman Empire and migrating Germanic tribes, Celtic culture and Insular Celtic languages had become restricted to Ireland, the western and northern parts of Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Brittany. Between the 5th and 8th centuries, the Celtic-speaking communities in these Atlantic regions emerged as a reasonably cohesive cultural entity, they had a common linguistic and artistic heritage that distinguished them from the culture of the surrounding polities.
By the 6th century, the Continental Celtic languages were no longer in wide use. Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels and the Celtic Britons of the medieval and modern periods. A modern Celtic identity was constructed as part of the Romanticist Celtic Revival in Great Britain and other European territories, such as Portugal and Spanish Galicia. Today, Scottish Gaelic and Breton are still spoken in parts of their historical territories, Cornish and Manx are undergoing a revival; the first recorded use of the name of Celts – as Κελτοί – to refer to an ethnic group was by Hecataeus of Miletus, the Greek geographer, in 517 BC, when writing about a people living near Massilia. In the fifth century BC, Herodotus referred to Keltoi living around the head of the Danube and in the far west of Europe; the etymology of the term Keltoi is unclear. Possible roots include Indo-European *kʲel'to hide', IE *kʲel'to heat' or *kel'to impel'. Several authors have supposed it to be Celtic in origin, while others view it as a name coined by Greeks.
Linguist Patrizia De Bernardo Stempel falls in the latter group, suggests the meaning "the tall ones". In the 1st century BC, Julius Caesar reported that the people known to the Romans as Gauls called themselves Celts, which suggests that if the name Keltoi was bestowed by the Greeks, it had been adopted to some extent as a collective name by the tribes of Gaul; the geographer Strabo, writing about Gaul towards the end of the first century BC, refers to the "race, now called both Gallic and Galatic," though he uses the term Celtica as a synonym for Gaul, separated from Iberia by the Pyrenees. Yet he reports Celtic peoples in Iberia, uses the ethnic names Celtiberi and Celtici for peoples there, as distinct from Lusitani and Iberi. Pliny the Elder cited the use of Celtici in Lusitania as a tribal surname, which epigraphic findings have confirmed. Latin Gallus might stem from a Celtic ethnic or tribal name perhaps one borrowed into Latin during the Celtic expansions into Italy during the early fifth century BC.
Its root may be the Proto-Celtic *galno, meaning "power, strength", hence Old Irish gal "boldness, ferocity" and Welsh gallu "to be able, power". The tribal names of Gallaeci and the Greek Γαλάται most have the same origin; the suffix -atai might be an Ancient Greek inflection. Classical writers did not apply the terms Κελτοί or Celtae to the inhabitants of Britain or Ireland, which has led to some scholars preferring not to use the term for the Iron Age inhabitants of those islands. Celt is a modern English word, first attested in 1707, in the writing of Edward Lhuyd, whose work, along with that of other late 17th-century scholars, brought academic attention to the languages and history of the early Celtic inhabitants of Great Britain; the English form Gaul (first recorded in the 17th cent
The Baiocasses were a Celtic tribe in ancient Gaul. They were a tribal division of the civitas of the Lexovii, in the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis; the Baiocasses were located east of west of the Belgic Veliocasses. The Latin name for their territory was the Pagus Baiocensis, corresponding to the area in Normandy now known as le Bessin; this is the location of the modern city of Bayeux. Their principal city was known during the late Roman Imperial era as Civitas Baiocassium, from which Bayeux derives. Earlier it had been called Augustodurum, named as were several new Gallo-Roman towns for the emperor Augustus and compounded with the Gaulish word duron, "gate" and hence "enclosed place, forum. By Merovingian times, the city was called Baiocas. In the time of William the Conqueror the name was being written as Bayeaux. Julius Caesar does not mention the Baiocasses in his commentaries on the Gallic Wars of the 50s BC, but they are listed in the Notitia dignitatum and are the same people Pliny calls Bodiocasses.
The Celtic word badios or bodios, "yellow, blond," forms several personal names found in Gaulish inscriptions. The meaning of the element -casses is less certain. Most of the coins show a Celtic-style male head with elaborated hair on the obverse, on the reverse a horse with a chariot rider above or behind, below either a lyre or small boar. A number of these are in existence; the 4th-century Bordelaise poet Ausonius teases a friend as a Baiocassis who claimed to be of druidic heritage and descended from priests of Belenus. Smith, William, ed. 1854. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, illustrated by numerous engravings on wood. London: Walton and Maberly Hazlit, William. 1851. The Classical Gazetteer. Online version at AncientLibrary.com Gaul List of peoples of Gaul List of Celtic tribes
The Eburones, were a Gallic-Germanic tribe who lived in the northeast of Gaul, in what is now the southern Netherlands, eastern Belgium, the German Rhineland, in the period before this region was conquered by Rome. Though living in Gaul, they were described as being both Belgae, Germani; the Eburones played a major role in Julius Caesar's account of his "Gallic Wars", as the most important tribe within the Germani cisrhenani group of tribes, i. e. Germani living west of the Rhine amongst the Belgae. Caesar claimed that the name of the Eburones was wiped out after their failed revolt against his forces during the Gallic Wars. Whether any significant part of the population lived on in the area as Tungri, the tribal name found here is uncertain but considered likely. Caesar is the primary source for the location of the Eburones; the exact borders are difficult to be certain about, but the region that they and their fellow Germani inhabited corresponds to some extent with the Roman district of Germania Inferior, enclosed by the northern bend of the river Rhine, including a stretch of the Meuse river stretching from the Ardennes until the river deltas of the Rhine and Meuse.
In the early medieval church this evolved into the original church province of Cologne, which included the Diocese of Liège that had evolved from the Civitas Tungrorum. This large area included large parts of what are now the southern Netherlands, eastern Belgium, the German Rhineland. At one point Caesar reported that the greatest part of the Eburones settled between the Mosa and the Rhine, and "on this basis German scholars place them in the northern Eifel". On the other hand, Caesar places Atuatuca, the fort of the Eburones, about the middle of the territory of the Eburones. More Caesar's description of a narrow defile to its west, suitable for ambush, is a type of landscape less common as one goes north in this region, towards the low-lying Campine. In the same passage, Caesar describes the Segni and Condrusi as being south of the Eburones, between them and the Treviri, who lived near the Moselle; this is difficult to reconcile with a territory near the Eifel because the Condrusi are the origin of the name of the Condroz region in the Ardennes, south of the Meuse, west of the Eifel.
"No cultural groupings can be isolated to suit the Eburones in the north Eifel" according to Edith Mary Wightman. In contrast, she writes that Belgian archaeologists identify them with the cultural group in northern Limburg and Kempen which showed such strong continuity in Urnfield times; this would account for the propinquity of Eburones and Menapii mentioned by Caesar. Furthermore, to the north and northwest, the Eburones bordered on the Menapii, who lived near the mouth of the Rhine river, though "protected by one continued extent of morasses and woods", had ties of hospitality with them, and at one point Caesar indicates that when the Eburones went into hiding, they not only dispersed into the Ardennes and morasses, but "those who were nearest the ocean concealed themselves in the islands which the tides form". This is seen to indicate that at least part of the Eburones lived west of the Maas, closer to the river deltas. Nico Roymans has argued, based on concentrations of coin finds, that there were Eburones as far north as the eastern part of the Dutch river-area, an area inhabited by Batavians, a Roman-era Germanic group who may have included remnants of the older Eburonic population.
When the Tencteri and Usipetes, who were Germanic tribes, crossed the Rhine from Germania in 55 BCE, Caesar reported that they first fell on the Menapii crossed the Maas towards a tribe called the Ambivariti and advanced into the territories of the Eburones and Condrusi, who were both "under the protection of" the Treveri to the south. Apart from being under the protection of the Treveri, the Eburones had close dealings with the Nervii, a large Belgic tribe to the west of them, who much had their Roman provincial capital in Bavay. Neighbouring both the Nervii and the Eburones between them, were the Aduatuci. Caesar reported that Ambiorix had been forced to pay tribute to them before the Romans came, that his own son and nephew had been kept by them as hostages in slavery and chains, it was with these two tribes, that the Eburones could form a military alliance against Caesar's forces. The location of the Aduatuci is not clear, but their name appears to be related to the names of both the capital of the Eburones "Aduatuca" and the capital of the Tungri "Aduatuca Tungrorum" which may have been the same place.
Caesar reports that during his conflict with them, the Eburones had some sort of alliance, organized via their allies the Treveri, with the Germanic tribes over the Rhine. Linguist Maurits Gysseling proposed that placenames such as Avendoren, Averdoingt and Avernas may be derived from the Eburones. Caesar's forces clashed with an alliance of Belgic tribes in 57 BCE in the Battle of the Sabis. Before that battle, information from th
The Arverni were a Celtic tribe. The tribe was located in what is today the French Auvergne region, which derives its name from the Arverni. One of the most powerful tribes in ancient Gaul, the Arverni opposed the Romans on several occasions. One of their most important strongholds was Gergovia, near the present-day commune of Clermont-Ferrand; the Arverni are known to have had the most powerful tribal hegemony in Gaul during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC under their kings and his son Bituitus. Their power was based on strong metallurgic technologies and weapons and rich agriculture and catering, mining and military dominance over their neighbours with tributes paid to them, but when Arvern king Bituitus was defeated by the Romans of Quintus and Gnaeus Ahenobarbus in 121 BC, their ascendancy passed to the Aedui and Sequani. Unlike the Allobroges, who were brought under direct Roman rule as a result of the Celtic wars of the 120s, the Arverni negotiated a treaty that preserved their independence, though their territory was diminished.
No further Arvernian kings are mentioned in the historical record between 121 BC and 52 BC, they may have adopted a constitutional oligarchy at this time. However, there were at least two attempts to re-establish rulership by Celtillos and Vercingetorix; the defeat of the Arverni led directly to the establishment of Gallia Narbonensis as a Roman province, referred to as the Provincia so that a part of the ancient region is today known as Provence. The King Luernios was mentioned in writing by the Greek ethnographer Posidonius. Luernios was known to have scattered gold and silver coins to his followers while riding in his chariot. Under Luernios, the Arverni were at the head of a formidable Gallic military hegemony which stretched from the Rhine to the Atlantic coast, they joined Bellovesus' migrations towards Italy, together with the Aedui, Aulerci and Senones. The Arverni played an important role in the Gallic Wars of Julius Caesar from 58 BC to 51 BC. At first the Arvenian nobles tried to avoid confronting Caesar during his early incursions.
They executed the leader Celtillus, evidently for trying to gain sovereignty over all the Gauls. In 52 BC, Celtillus' son Vercingetorix rallied his supporters to fight the Romans, but was expelled from Gergovia by the nobles, including his uncle Gobanitio, he raised a great army in the country, returned to the city where he ejected his opponents and was declared king. This accomplished, Vercingetorix forged an alliance with at least 15 Gallic tribes, requesting the presence of sons of chiefs to prove their alliance, he led the majority of the Gauls and won the Gergovia battle against Julius Caesar and his cavalry did marvels in pursuing the Roman troops. After Julius Caesar saved half of his legions and received food from other Gauls, he went further north to fight weaker opposition. Vercingetorix was defeated by Caesar at the Battle of Alesia, after several months where the legions built 14 ranges of military equipment around the city to lay siege upon the Gallic soldiers. After several weeks of support from the western Gallic people with large numbers of troops coming to support Vercingetorix from outside the city, the Gauls were close to merging the inner and outer forces on 2 occasions.
When the outer forces decided to depart, Vercingetorix took the decision to surrender himself to the Romans in order to save the people of Alesia. In the aftermath of the Gallic Wars the Arverni soldiers were pardoned and its senate was restored to power; the Arverni and the majority of other Gaulish states were pulled into the Roman political hemisphere but retained full rights and home rule. According to Gregory of Tours and his book Historia Francorum the Arverni senators were still active in the sixth century and were involved in the politics of the nascent Frankish state. Auvergne AuvergnatQuintus Fabius Maximus Allobrogicus: conquered King Bituitus Alba Fucens: town where Bituitus was held after capture
The Suessiones were a Belgic tribe of western Gallia Belgica in the 1st century BC, inhabiting the region between the Oise and the Marne, around the present-day city of Soissons. They were conquered in 57 BC by Julius Caesar. Pliny the Elder gives their name as'Suaeuconi'. Caesar recounts in his Gallic Wars that in 57 BC the Suessiones were ruled by Galba, that in living memory of that time their king Diviciacus had exercised sovereignty over most of the Belgians and parts of Britain. Coinage minted by Belgic Gauls first appeared in Britain in the mid-2nd century BC with the coinage now categorized as the "Gallo-Belgic A" type. Coins associated with King Diviciacus of the Suessiones, issued near or between 90 and 60 BC, have been categorized as "Gallo-Belgic C." Finds of this issue of coin extend from Sussex with a concentration of finds near Kent. A issue of coin, "Gallo-Belgic F", has concentrated finds near Paris, throughout the lands of the Suessiones, the southern, coastal areas of Britain.
These finds lead scholars to suggest that the Suessiones had significant trade and migration into Britain during the 2nd and 1st centuries prior to Roman conquest. Caesar describes the Belgae as going to Britain looking for booty: "The inland part of Britain is inhabited by tribes declared in their own tradition to be indigenous to the island, the maritime part by tribes that migrated at an earlier time from Belgium to seek booty by invasion...."Caesar mentions that their capital was Noviodunum, the present-day city of Soissons. Soissons was the capital city of the Merovingian Kingdom of Soissons from 511 to 613. Soissons was the birthplace of the Frankish Prince Charlemagne in the year 747, son of King Pippin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, it is today the capital of the département of the Aisne, in the northern part of Champagne. The region is still referred to as the Soissonnais and people of the region are called Soissonaires. List of peoples of Gaul List of Celtic tribes
The Greeks in pre-Roman Gaul have a significant history of settlement, cultural influence, armed conflict in the Celtic territory of Gaul, starting from the 6th century BC during the Greek Archaic period. Following the founding of the major trading post of Massalia in 600 BC by the Phocaeans at present day Marseille, Massalians had a complex history of interaction with peoples of the region; the oldest city within modern France, was founded around 600 BC by Greeks from the Asia Minor city of Phocaea as a trading post or emporion under the name Μασσαλία. A foundation myth reported by Aristotle in the 4th century BC as well as by Latin authors, recounts how the Phocaean Protis married Gyptis, the daughter of a local Segobriges king called Nannus, thus giving him the right to receive a piece of land where he was able to found a city; the contours of the Greek city have been excavated in several neighborhoods. The Phocaean Greeks introduced the cult of Artemis, as in their other colonies, it is thought that contacts started earlier however, as Ionian Greeks traded in the Western Mediterranean and Spain, but only little remains from that earlier period.
Contacts developed undisputedly from 600 BC, between the Celts and Celto-Ligurans and the Greeks in the city of Marseille and their other colonies such as Agde, Antibes, Monaco and Rhoda. The Greeks from Phocaea founded settlements in the island of Corsica, such as at Alalia. From Massalia, the Phocaean Greeks founded cities in northeastern Spain such as Emporiae and Rhoda. Before the Greeks came to pre-eminence in the Gulf of Lion, trade was handled by Etruscans and Carthaginians; the Greeks of Massalia had recurrent conflicts with Gauls and Ligurians of the region, engaged in naval battles against Carthaginians in the late 6th century and in 490 BC, soon entered into a treaty with Rome. According to Charles Ebel, writing in the 1960s, "Massalia was not an isolated Greek city, but had developed an Empire of its own along the coast of southern Gaul by the fourth century", but the idea of a Massalian "empire" is no longer credible in the light of recent archaeological evidence, which shows that Massalia never had a large chora.
However further archaeological evidence since shows Massalia had over twelve cities in its network in France, Spain and Corsica. Cities Massalia founded that still exist today are Nice, Monaco, Le Brusc and Aleria. There is evidence of direct rule of at least two of their cities with a flexible system of autonomy as suggested by Emporion and Rhodus' own coin minting. Massalia's empire was not the same as the monolithic of the ancient world or of the nineteenth century being a scattered group of cities connected by the sea and rivers; the Delian League was a scattered group of cities spread far across the sea and became known as the Athenian Empire. Greek Marseille became a centre of culture which drew some Roman parents to send their children there to be educated. According to earlier views, a purported hellenization of Southern France prior to the Roman Conquest of Transalpine Gaul is thought to have been due to the influence of Massalia. However, more recent scholarship has shown; the power and cultural influence of Massalia have been called into question by demonstrating the limited territorial control of the city and showing the distinctive cultures of indigenous societies.
Local Gauls were not Grecophiles who wanted to imitate Greek culture, but peoples who selectively consumed a limited range of Greek objects that they incorporated into their own cultural practices according to their own systems of value. These eastern Greeks, established on the shores of southern France, were in close relations with the Celtic inhabitants of the region, during the late 6th and 5th centuries BC Greek artifacts penetrated northwards alongs the Rhône and Saône valleys as well as the Isère. Massalian grey monochrome pottery has been discovered in the Hautes Alpes and as far north as Lons-le-Saunier, as well as three-winged bronze arrowheads as far as northern France, amphorae from Marseille and Attic pottery at Mont Lassois; the site of Vix in northern Burgundy is a well-known example of a Hallstatt settlement where such Mediterranean objects were consumed, albeit in small quantities. Some, like the famous Vix krater, were spectacular in nature. From Marseille, maritime trade developed with Languedoc and Etruria, with the Greek city of Emporiae on the coast of Spain.
Massalia traded as least as far as Gades and Tartessus on the western coast of the Iberian peninsula, as described in the Massaliote Periplus, although this trade was blocked by the Carthaginians at the Pillars of Hercules after 500 BC. The mother city of Phocaea would be destroyed by the Persians in 545, further reinforcing the exodus of the Phocaeans to their settlements of the Western Mediterranean. Trading links were extensive, in iron, spices and slaves, it has been claimed that a trade in tin, indispensable for the manufacture of bronze, seems to have been established at that time between Cornwall in modern England, through the Channel, along the Seine valley and the Rhône-Saône valleys to Marseille. However, the evidence for this is weak, at best. Overland trade with Celtic countries beyond the Mediterranean region declined around 500 BC, in conjunction with the troubles following the end of the Halstatt civilization