And, to think, all we know about this era is from his and other Roman writers. I am so pleased you enjoyed reading this and thanks so much for your input! The town of Treves preserves their name and was probably their capital. Paradoxically, elsewhere Caesar mentions Germanic people living (Latin 'incolare': to live permanently, as agricultural or farming people) on that same west side of the Rhine, to have joined the Belgae. 2007. [2] These three peoples are all different from one another in their languages, institutions, and laws. Caesar says the Nervii were almost annihilated in the battle, and is effusive in his tribute to their bravery, calling them "heroes" (for more details see Battle of the Sabis). Ambiorix and his tribes killed a whole Roman legion and five cohorts. The Belgae (/ ˈbɛldʒiː / or / ˈbɛlɡaɪ /) were a large confederation of tribes living in northern Gaul, between the English Channel and the west bank of the Rhine, from at least the third century BC. Thanks so much for your input. -Caerosi Atrebates - Lived around Nemetocenna-Arras. Caesar lists them as: In 57 BC, Caesar had conquered Gaul and Belgica, but after a few years of subjugation, the Belgae brought a major revolt against Julius Caesar and his Roman army from 54-53 BC when the Eburones and Nevii tribes of northeastern Gaul rebelled against having Roman soldiers quartered in their homes. Another Greek geographer Pausanias (2nd century AD) tells us that the Gauls " originally called Celts live in the remotest region of Europe on the coast of an enormous tidal sea. This may be Caesar's meaning when he says "The Belgae have the same method of attacking a fortress as the rest of the Gauls".[10]. So the Germani among the Belgae are called, based on Caesar's account, the Germani cisrhenani, to distinguish them from other Germani living east of the Rhine in what he understood to be their homeland. The Nervii, along with the Atrebates and Viromandui, decided to fight (the Atuatuci had also agreed to join them, but had not yet arrived). He is pictured above from a statue of him in what is today, Tongeren, Belgium. They concealed themselves in the forests and attacked the approaching Roman column at the river Sabis (previously thought to be the Sambre, but recently the Selle is thought to be more probable). Not Belgae, later in Germania Superior (still later Germania I): The Gauls of Gallia Celtica, according to the testimony of Caesar, called themselves Celtae in their own language (as distinct from Belgae and Aquitani), and Galli in Latin. So, the origins of the Belgae have remained a mystery even up to today. They were discussed in depth by Julius Caesar in his account of his wars in Gaul. And it is from Caesar that we learn of the Belgae tribes. That is a question that has been confounding scholars, historians, archaeologists, and researchers from ancient times up to modern day. He has theorized.that before the second century BC, the language of Gallia Belgica was an Indo-European language that was neither Germanic or Celtic. Another Greek geographer Pausanias (2nd century AD) tells us that the Gauls " originally called Celts live in the remotest region of Europe on the coast of an enormous tidal sea. Many linguists who argue that the Belgae and Germanic tribes in the Rhine area were celtic wrote that their persons and tribenames had a celtic and not germanic origin. Pokorny, Julius. [23] (Caesar also mentions his allies the Remi being closest to the Celts amongst the Belgae. Thanks for your input. [35] According to his theory, the name of the legendary Fir Bolg (whom O'Rahilly identifies with the Érainn) is the Irish equivalent of Belgae. Just more interest I have in my heritage and ancient times. They were discussed in depth by Julius Caesar in his account of his wars in Gaul. However, many modern scholars believe that the Belgae were a Celtic-speaking group. The runes were typical of some Germanic peoples, such as the Anglo, Saxon, Viking, etc., which were neither linguistically nor culturally Celtic. In 57 BC Caesar once again intervened in an intra-Gallic conflict, marching against the Belgae, who inhabited the area roughly bounded by modern-day Belgium. I think I'm a bit of everything. I sent a link over to Tweet land, hoping you get a wider readership. The Belgae attacked over the river, but were repulsed after a fierce battle. Mike: Thank you so much for your support and tweeting all these articles. Thanks so much for your interesting and reading this Faith. Anti-Roman factions of the Belgae flee to Britain. I appreciated your visit. Julius Caesar wrote that the Belgae differed from the Gauls and other tribes such as the Aquitani in language, customs and laws even though they lived in the northern part of what Caesar called Gaul. Most appreciated. It is important to note, though, that Caesar, by this time, had probably realized the only way to maintain the territories in eastern and southern Gaul, was to conquer t… And were the Belgae tribes Celts? So Caesar used the word "Germani" in two ways. Word came to Caesar that a confederation of northern Gallic tribes was building to confront Roman presence in Gaul. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the story moved from the ancient past into the present and the historical realism gave the impression that the tale might be based on a true story. The Mannekin Pis is so Belgic that I had to include it. Caesar said that the Belgae were separated from the Celtic Gauls to their south by "language, custom and laws" (lingua, institutis, legibus) but he did not go into detail, except to mention that he learnt from his contacts that the Belgae had some ancestry from east of the Rhine, which he referred to as Germania. The Belgae were a group of tribes living in northern Gaul, between the English channel and the west bank of the Rhine, from at least the 3rd century BC. I think I've pointed that out before, but this very well researched article offers more evidence of that. The Belgae may have found odds and ends of various Belgic tribes that had migrated from Gaul to escape the Roman conquest and occupation. -Nervii This is consistent with the fact that Beowulf was set in Denmark and Sweden and that the cultural affiliations of the early Anglian kingdoms, such as found in the Sutton Hoo boat burial, derive from Scandinavia. The impressive Iron Age hillfort of Maiden Castle was not the first monument on the hilltop. [24] Strabo also says that "Augustus Caesar, when dividing the country into four parts, united the Keltae to the Narbonnaise; the Aquitani he preserved the same as Julius Caesar, but added thereto fourteen other nations of those who dwelt between the Garonne and the river Loire, and dividing the rest into two parts, the one extending to the upper districts of the Rhine (Gallia Lugdunensis) he made dependent upon Lugdunum, the other [he assigned] to the Belgae (Gallia Belgica). §1. I have had company here from Italy the last week or so and I have not been on HP. After the aforesaid tribes, the rest are tribes of those Belgae who live on the ocean-coast. English researcher and genetic scientist, Stephen Oppenheimer confirms that the history of pre-Roman coins in southeast Britain reveals the influence from Belgic Gaul. P.112, Swan, Toril, Endre Mørck, Olaf Jansen Westvik. Thanks so much for your comments. And, English is the second or third language spoken and studied by native Belgians. 125-126. Also, the Romans organized and built civitas that were Belgic in southern Britain and the Atrebates and Regnenes tribes were thought to also be Belgic tribes. Koch, John T. 2006. The east of the Rhine was not necessarily inhabited by Germanic speakers at this time. as culturally cohesive as the label suggests? [26]), It seems that, whatever their Germanic ancestry, at least some of the Belgic tribes spoke a variety of the Celtic Gaulish language as their main language by Caesar's time, and all of them used such languages in at least some contexts. DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on July 01, 2014: mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 01, 2014: Hello Suzette, this is yet another fact filled episode in the history of Europe series. The Romans did however start to build their own ‘new town’ at Winchester, known as Venta Belgarum, or market place of the Belgae. The role of migration in the history of the Eurasian steppe. To install click the Add extension button. It has been so long ago since I was there. Descendants of the Cimbri, living near Germani Cisrhenani: In the west, were the Belgae [23]. They quickly surrendered, as did the Ambiani. I have had company here from Italy for the past week or so and I have not been on HP much. -Caleti Encyclopedic dictionary of archaeology. Therefore, we learn from all this that the Belgae had a certain presence in southwestern Britain long before and during the Roman occupation of Britain. [21], However, most of the Belgic tribal and personal names recorded are identifiably Gaulish, including those of the Germani cisrhenani, and this is indeed also true of the tribes immediately over the Rhine at this time, such as the Tencteri and Usipetes. German is the least prevalent official language of Belgium and is spoken in an area ceded by the former German Empire as part of the treaty of Versailles which concluded WWI. However, the later historian Tacitus was informed that the name Germania was known to have changed in meaning: In other words, Tacitus understood that the collective name Germani had first been used in Gaul, for a specific people there with connections beyond the Rhine, the Tungri being the name of the people living where the Eburones had lived in later imperial times, and was later adopted as a collective name for the non-Celtic peoples beyond the Rhine, the other, better-known way that Caesar used the term. He claims a variety of evidence suggests memories of this were preserved in later Irish tradition, and also makes an elaborate linguistic case. a Celtic tribe that inhabited northern Gaul (between the Seine and Rhine rivers). Suzette Walker (author) from Taos, NM on August 23, 2014: Hi John; I am so pleased you enjoyed this. Their attack was quick and unexpected. Interestingly , the Belgae themselves were confused by their own ethnic identity. All across ancient continental Europe during the era of approximately 300 BC a confederation of Celtic tribes inhabited what was called Gaul. Probably the Belgae used to live at the east side of the Rhine. I never realized how brutal and ruthless they were to other tribes of people around them. It is believed by the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, some of the tribes of southeastern Britain were ruled by the Belgic nobility and culturally influenced by them. The two Roman legions guarding the baggage train at the rear finally arrived and helped to turn the tide of the battle. -Viromandui I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like. I have had company here from Italy for the past week or so and have not been on HP or FB . I have had an interest in this ancient era of history and my heritage so the reason for so many of these articles. a Celtic tribe that inhabited northern Gaul (between the Seine and Rhine rivers). Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 02, 2014: This is such a detailed write up of the history of the Belgae Tribes. It was interesting for me to write! There are five rounded earthworks in Norfolk, dated to the Iron Age. [18][19] It has also been argued based on placename studies that the older language of the area, though apparently Indo-European, was not Celtic (see Nordwestblock) 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. Some of the Romans did not have time to take the covers off their shields or to even put on their helmets. South, not in alliance against Rome: . It is believed that Belgium derives its name from the Belgae tribes which lived in the northern part of what was then Gaul around the third century BC. The tribes of mixed ancestry were the Menapil, Nervii, Morini living in the northwestern Belgic region and neighbors to the Germani. The later conquest was by the Cymric-speaking Belgae who were equipped with iron weapons. [3][4][5][6][7], Julius Caesar describes Gaul at the time of his conquests (58–51 BC) as divided into three parts, inhabited by the Aquitani in the southwest, the Gauls of the biggest central part, who in their own language were called Celtae, and the Belgae in the north. 1990. The earlier invasion of the Goidels arrived in England with a culture of bronze about 800 B.C., and in Ireland two centuries later, and was part of the same movement which brought the Gauls into France. What is believed today is that the Belgae were a confederacy of ethnically mixed tribes living between the Celts and the Germans in what is now northern France and Benelux from at least the third century BC. They clearly had affiliations of various types with both other Gauls to their south and Germanic people east of the Rhine River. Because historians and linguists have not been able to pin down the exact language of the Belgae tribes living in Gaul or southeast Britain, only theories of what their language might have been have been put forward. To the north of these were the tribes of the Belgae, divided from the Gauls by the rivers Marne and the Seine. I've learned so much from you. Just more of my interest in the ancient times. The most important Belgic tribes were the Bellovaci, Suessiones, Remi, Ambiani, Atre-bates, Morini, and Menapii. Seeing the Romans' siege engines, the Suessiones surrendered, whereupon Caesar turned his attention to the Bellovaci, who had retreated into the fortress of Bratuspantium (between modern Amiens and Beauvais). P.294, Kipfer, Barbara Ann. Informative, well structured, gorgeous pictures and just beautiful! After conquering the Gauls, Aquitanians and Belgae, Caesar combined the three parts of Gaul into a single province of the Romans Empire and called it Gallia Comata meaning "long haired Gaul.". [20][21] For example, Maurits Gysseling suggested that prior to Celtic and Germanic influences the Belgae may have comprised a distinct Indo-European branch, termed Belgian. Some of the Belgae lived on the western coast of Brittany. The Belgae were one of the three population-groups of Gaul named by Julius Caesar, not an individual tribe, so the civitas seems to be an artificial division imposed by the Romans. 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