Battle of the Sabis

The Battle of the Sabis, also (arguably erroneously) known as the Battle of the Sambre or the Battle against the Nervians (or Nervii), was fought in 57 BC near modern Saulzoir in Northern France, between the legions of the Roman Republic and an association of Belgic tribes, principally the Nervii. Julius Caesar, commanding the Roman forces, was surprised and nearly defeated. According to Caesar's report, a combination of determined defence, skilled generalship, and the timely arrival of reinforcements allowed the Romans to turn a strategic defeat into a tactical victory.

Battle of the Sabis river
Part of the Gallic Wars
Date57 BC
Location
Result Roman victory
Belligerents
Roman Republic Nervii
Viromandui
Atrebates
Aduatuci
Commanders and leaders
Gaius Julius Caesar Boduognatus
Units involved

Strength
About 42,000 men (8 legions with cavalry and auxiliaries) Caesar:
75,000[1]
Modern estimates
30,000[1]
Casualties and losses
Unknown Caesar:
59,500[2]

Prelude

During the winter of 58-57 BC rumours came to Caesar's ears that the Belgic tribes were forming a union because they feared possible Roman interference in their affairs.[3] The union included the Bellovaci, Suessiones, Nervii, Atrebates, Ambiani, Morini, Menapii, Caleti, Veliocasses, Viromandui, Aduatuci, Condrusi, Eburones, Caeroesi, and Paemani tribes, and was under the leadership of Galba, a king of the Suessiones.[4] These reports provided Caesar with a good pretext for conquering more than Gaul "itself", and for this, he raised two legions in Cisalpine Gaul (XIII and XIV)[5] and convinced the Remi tribe to side with him.[6]

In response, the other Belgic and Celtic tribes had attacked Bibrax (the oppidum of the Remi, situated near the Aisne River). Caesar countered by defending the oppidum and winning an action at the Aisne. In the face of this and because of shortage of provisions, the union collapsed and tribal armies retreated to their own lands, with the agreed future intention of coming to the support of any tribe invaded by the Romans. Caesar continued his advance and tribes surrendered one by one. However, four tribes, the Nervii, the Atrebates, the Aduatuci and the Viromandui refused to submit.[7]

The Ambiani told Caesar that the Nervii were the most hostile of the Belgae to Roman rule. A fierce and brave tribe, they did not allow the import of luxury items as they believed these had a corrupting effect and probably feared Roman influence. They had no intention of entering peace negotiations with the Romans. Caesar would move on them next.[8]

Forces

As with all ancient battles, estimates of the forces available to both sides will always be a matter of some speculation. A Roman legion at this period had a theoretical establishment of some 4,800 fighting men with additional auxiliary forces. Eight Roman legions took part in the battle. It is not known if they were at full strength, but a reasonable estimate might be in the region of 42,000 men.

Caesar claims he had earlier received intelligence from the Remi that the various tribes of the Belgae had promised to contribute a total of 300,000 fighting men. According to Caesar the Remi estimates of the men promised by the four tribes now left to oppose Caesar were: 50,000 Nervii, 15,000 Atrebates, 10,000 Veromandui and 19,000 Aduatuci.[9] If these figures were reliable it would mean that Caesar was immediately faced with a maximum of 75,000 men, as the Aduatuci were still en route. Promises are not always kept so it is probable the actual number was smaller than this, though still high enough to outnumber the legionaries. Drawing on demographic data, Hans Delbrück estimated a maximum of 30,000 combatants for the three tribes fighting at the Sabis, and probably far less.[1]

Order of battle

Battle of the Sabis (Selle)
Battlefield if the "Sabis" matches the River Selle.
Bataille laSambre -57
Battlefield if the "Sabis" matches the Sambre.

Roman Republic – Julius Caesar's eight legions: VII, VIII, IX Triumphalis, X Equestris, XI, XII Victrix, XIII, XIV – Auxiliaries, archers and cavalry.

Traditionally it was believed that the battle was fought on the banks of the river Sambre, near modern Aulnoye-Aymeries, but in 1955 Turquin showed that it was fought on the west bank of the river Selle, near modern Saulzoir.[10]

Before the battle

Caesar's legions had been marching in Nervian territory for three days, following an ancient road.[11] He learnt from prisoners that the Belgae were massing on the far side of the River Sabis, which was about 10 miles (16 km) ahead. The Nervii had persuaded the Atrebates and the Veromandui to support them. The Aduatuci were marching to join them, but they did not arrive in time to take part in the battle. Their non-combatants had moved to a safe area screened by marshes, where an army could not approach.[12] The Belgae had made their preparations and were now waiting for the Romans.

Caesar sent forward experienced scouts to choose the next campsite.

He learnt from prisoners taken later that sympathisers in the ragtag of surrendered Belgae and other Gauls travelling with the army had gone to the Nervii and reported his disposition of his column. They reported that the individual legionary baggage trains were interspersed between the legions and that it would be easy to cut off the leading legion from the rest and destroy it before any support could reach it. It was believed this would intimidate the Romans into withdrawing. The Nervii, having traditionally always relied on infantry rather than cavalry had, over the years, developed a technique of building dense, impenetrable hedges of briars and thorns set between young trees as a defence against the raids of surrounding tribes. These would obstruct Caesar’s advance and help the attack. It was agreed that the signal for an attack was to be the appearance of the baggage train behind the first legion.[13] In doing this, the Nervii were intending to use what is recognisable today as the modern army doctrine of force concentration. As will be seen, their plan would be frustrated by Caesar.

Battle

The campsite was to be laid out on a hill which gently sloped down to the river. On the other side of the river there was another hill directly opposite, similarly sloping. The top of that hill was densely wooded but the lower part was open and sloped down to the river over a distance of 200 paces (roughly 300 metres (330 yd)). The enemy was concealed inside the woods, but a few cavalry pickets could be seen in the open area by the river. The river was very wide but only about three feet (one metre) deep.[14]

At some point on his march to the Sabis, Caesar reorganised the column and reverted to his usual tactic of leading his forces with six legions in light marching order. Behind them was the baggage column of the entire army, followed by the newly recruited legions, XIII and XIV. Caesar does not say whether this change was fortuitous or was made in response to the intelligence received. While Caesar's force began to set up camp on the slope running down to the river, his cavalry, together with slingers and archers, was ordered to cross the river to reconnoitre. This developed into a skirmish with the few troops of Belgic cavalry that had been observed on the far side. Caesar describes the enemy cavalry as sallying repeatedly from the woods at the top of the hill and says his cavalry did not dare follow them in when they retreated. He does not elaborate further so it will never be known if the Nervii were trying to entice the skirmishers onto their hidden position or holding them in play on the slopes in preparation for the planned rush.

Meanwhile, the legions had started arriving at the camp site and began to build its fortifications. The Belgae, waiting for the baggage train to appear, gradually found themselves faced with not one legion, but six. Their plan of piecemeal destruction had to be abandoned, but they must have believed their numbers more than adequate to deal with their enemy.

Ambush

As the Roman baggage train came into view, the Belgic force suddenly rushed out of the trees and surprised their opponents, overwhelming the Roman cavalry. They crossed the shallow river at full speed and charged up the hill against the legions setting up camp, giving them no time to get into battle formation. It seemed to Caesar that the Nervii came on with incredible speed, all at once pouring out of the trees, charging across the river and overrunning his legionaries.[15]

Taken by surprise, Caesar had to rapidly give orders to sound the alarm both by raising the battle-standard and by trumpet, get his men away from construction work, recall the wood-cutting parties and try to get his legions into some semblance of order. There was very little time and much had to be left undone. Two things, though, saved the legions from being immediately routed—firstly, the knowledge and experience of the soldiers (which meant that they could decide for themselves what to do without waiting for orders) and secondly, Caesar had previously ordered all legion commanders to stay with their legions during the setting up of the camp.[16]

Caesar went wherever he was needed, giving only essential orders and eventually found himself on the left wing with legion X. Seeing that the enemy were within range of the Romans he gave the order to hurl a volley of spears. Going to another part of the field, he found his men already fighting. The men had run from their building tasks to fall into ranks but many did not even have time to put on their helmets or take the covers off their shields.[17] The legionaries had no opportunity to group with their own cohorts and instead congregated around the first friendly standard they saw.[18] Caesar states that the hedges were a considerable obstruction to his men during the battle although he does not specify their locations on the field.[19] and the woody hilltop is the one place we can infer their presence.

The soldiers of legions X Equestris and IX Triumphalis, on the left flank, having thrown their spears at their Atrebates opponents, charged. They threw the enemy back and drove them into the river, killing many. The Romans crossed the river and found themselves on disadvantageous or uneven ground, but although the Atrebates regrouped and launched a counter-attack, the Romans put them to flight a second time. Further along, in the centre, two legions, XI and VIII, having checked the Viromandui with whom they were engaged, pushed them from the higher ground into the river.

However, as these four legions pushed their opponents back, the front and left of the camp was left undefended and a gap opened up in the Roman line. A compact column of Nervii under Boduognatus (the overall commander of the Belgae) rushed through the opening. Part of the column turned to encircle the two legions holding the right flank; the rest continued upwards to attack the higher part of the camp.[20]

Crisis

Meanwhile, the routed Roman cavalry and skirmishers were just straggling into camp when they found themselves face to face with the Nervii – they ran again. Camp followers further up the hill by the camp’s back gate had observed the success of the Romans at the river and came down in the hope of plunder, but noticed the Nervii in the camp and also ran. People accompanying the baggage train just arriving were horrified at the sight before them and panicked as well. Even the usually-dependable Treveri cavalry arriving to support the Romans looked at the seemingly hopeless situation and promptly turned for home to report the disaster.[21]

After encouraging legion X, Caesar went to the right wing. Things looked bad. He could see that the men of XII Victrix were crammed so closely together in one mass by their standards that they could not fight effectively. All (six) centurions of the fourth cohort were dead, its standard bearer killed and the standard missing. Of the remaining cohorts, almost all the centurions were either wounded or killed; Baculus,[22] the legion’s primipilus, a fine soldier, had received so many minor and serious wounds that he could barely stand. The Nervii were attacking vigorously from lower ground and pressing at the front and both flanks. Caesar could see some men were shirking and trying to get to the rear; others were slowly ceasing effective resistance. There were no reserves. This was the crisis-point. He took a shield from a soldier at the rear and went to the first line. Calling his centurions by name, he ordered them to have the soldiers advance (signa inferre) and the maniples open up and extend. As he tells it, his arrival brought hope and boosted the soldiers’ morale. Every man was now keen to do well in front of his general. As a result, the enemy assault was checked slightly.[23]

Recovery

Caesar saw that legion VII nearby was also hard-pressed. He ordered the tribunes to redeploy the two legions to gradually join and fight back to back. This further increased his men’s confidence. By now, the legions escorting the baggage, having received a report of the action, had come on at double pace and the enemy could see them coming over the hill above the camp. Legion X, under the legate Labienus, had overcome the Atrebates, crossed the river and defeated the Belgic reserves. Now they seized the Belgic camp on the wooded hill. From the higher ground, Labienus could see that Caesar’s right wing was in serious trouble. He ordered his men back across the river to attack the Nervii from the rear.[24]

Soon legions XIII and XIV joined the fight. Caesar does not detail their actions, but they probably cleared the camp (as it was their nearest target) and went to the right to relieve the pressure on legions XII and VII. This, coupled with the return of legion X, transformed the situation. Seeing the position begin to stabilise, cavalry and skirmishers took heart and, keen to wipe out their earlier shame, started to fight in earnest. The camp followers joined in now that they could see their enemy’s dismay. The entire Roman force was now fully committed.

At this point of the battle it is clear that Caesar's opposition had little hope of survival. They were being pushed closer and closer into a dense pack that was being surrounded by Caesar's men who were using projectile weapons to pick off their remaining forces. Using peltats (a light infantry man) equipped with slings and javelins and with the help of archers, they unleashed a barrage of missiles at the closely packed Nervii. The last of them fought with ferocity and courage for they were continuing to retaliate with their spears and catching the Romans javelins and throwing them back at them. The Nervii hadn't used any other projectile type weapon except for spears. The Nervii warriors fought to the last, standing on the bodies of their slain comrades, and throwing the Romans’ own spears back at them. Eventually the few remaining Nervii broke and fled the field.

Caesar’s opinion of the Nervii was that they had shown great fighting spirit in carrying an attack forward so vigorously on to difficult ground and in continuing to fight stubbornly when the tide of battle turned irretrievably against them.[25] Caesar talks of a grimly inspiring image of the last of the Nervii who were atop a mound of corpses of their own warriors and shouting in defiance towards the Romans, fighting till their last breath.[26] He goes on to say that they had outstanding courage, for they launched a surprise attack, crossed a river up its banks, then rushed on to attack all with a fighting spirit.[27] He glorifies his victory by stating how well his army did without having to be ordered to launch a counter-attack. It was most probable that his soldiers were experienced veterans who were able to hold off their onslaught. Still he mitigated his losses by not including how many casualties he suffered or that they were in serious danger of losing. In his account of this battle in his book "the Conquest of Gaul" he gives his view of what actually happened in the battle but it remains one of the only primary sources during that time. And since it was written by Caesar much is unknown of the Nervii's side of the battle, such as how Bodougnats[28] ( the leader of the Nervii) ordered his men into battle.

Casualties

The older men of the Nervii, described by Caesar as “senators”, came out of their hiding place in the marshland and surrendered. They said that their council had been reduced from 600 men to three and that of 60,000 fighting men there were barely 500 left. It is not entirely clear if this is a figure for the dead or if it includes wounded, nor is it clear if these are solely Nervii casualties or if the figure includes their allies. Caesar states that he spared the Nervii and ordered the surrounding tribes not to take advantage of their weakness.[29]

Caesar gives no indication of his own casualties.

Aftermath

The Aduatuci turned for home as soon as they heard about the defeat. They were subsequently defeated by Caesar and some 53,000 of them sold into slavery.[30][31]

The Veneti, the Unelli, the Osismii, the Curiosolitae, the Sesuvii, the Aulerci and the Rhedones were all brought under Roman control following the battle.[32]

In 54 BC Ambiorix persuaded the Nervii to join the Eburones after the latter had destroyed a legion and five cohorts under Sabinus and Cotta during the Ambiorix's revolt.[33]

During Vercingetorix’s revolt (52 BC) the Nervii were only asked to supply 5,000 men to the forces raised by a confederation of over forty tribes.[34]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Delbrück, p. 492
  2. ^ Delbrück, p. 491
  3. ^ Bello Gallico 2.1
  4. ^ Bello Gallico 2.4
  5. ^ Bello Gallico 2.2
  6. ^ Bello Gallico 2.3 - 2.5
  7. ^ Bello Gallico 2.6 - Bello Gallico 2.14
  8. ^ Bello Gallico 2.15
  9. ^ Bello Gallico 2.4
  10. ^ Pierre Turquin ("La Bataille de la Selle (du Sabis) en l' An 57 avant J.-C." in Les Études Classiques 23/2 (1955), 113-156)
  11. ^ Essentially the road that was later paved by the Romans and connected Samarobriva (Amiens) with Cologne, and is now often referred to as "Via Belgica". The position of Bronze Age and Iron Age tombs proves that it already existed in pre-Roman times.
  12. ^ Bello Gallico 2.16
  13. ^ Bello Gallico 2.17
  14. ^ Bello Gallico 2.18
  15. ^ Bello Gallico 2.19
  16. ^ Bello Gallico 2.20
  17. ^ Shields were made of layers of wood and leather, then painted with casein-based paints. The shield was covered when not in use as a protection against rain.
  18. ^ Bello Gallico 2.21
  19. ^ Bello Gallico 2.22
  20. ^ Bello Gallico 2.23
  21. ^ Bello Gallico 2.24
  22. ^ P. Sextius Baculus survived and is mentioned again by Caesar as an invalid. See Gallic Wars Books 3.5 and 6.38
  23. ^ Bello Gallico 2.25
  24. ^ Bello Gallico 2.26
  25. ^ Caesar, Julius. Commentaries on the Gallic War.
  26. ^ "The Battle of the Sabis, 57 BCE - Historum - History Forums". historum.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  27. ^ "Sabis (57 BCE) - Livius". www.livius.org. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  28. ^ Gaius Iulius Cearsar Gallic War. CUP Archive.
  29. ^ Bello Gallico 2.28
  30. ^ Bello Gallico 2.29
  31. ^ Bello Gallico 2.33
  32. ^ Bello Gallico 2.34
  33. ^ Bello Gallico 5.38
  34. ^ Bello Gallico 7.75

Sources

  • Caesar, C. Julius. The Gallic War. Trans. Carolyn Hammond. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Literature

  • Delbrück, Hans. History of the Art of War Vol I. ISBN 978-0-8032-6584-4
  • Pierre Turquin, "La Bataille de la Selle (du Sabis) en l' An 57 avant J.-C." in Les Études Classiques 23/2 (1955), 113-156

External links

Coordinates: 50°14′0″N 3°26′30″E / 50.23333°N 3.44167°E

1st century BC

The 1st century BC, also known as the last century BC, started on the first day of 100 BC and ended on the last day of 1 BC. The AD/BC notation does not use a year zero; however, astronomical year numbering does use a zero, as well as a minus sign, so "2 BC" is equal to "year –1". This is the 100th century in the Holocene calendar; it spans the years 9,901 to 10,000. 1st century AD (Anno Domini) follows.

In the course of the century all the remaining independent lands surrounding the Mediterranean were steadily brought under Roman control, being ruled either directly under governors or through puppet kings appointed by Rome. The Roman state itself was plunged into civil war several times, finally resulting in the marginalization of its 500-year-old republic, and the embodiment of total state power in a single man—the emperor.

The internal turbulence that plagued Rome at this time can be seen as the death throes of the Roman Republic, as it finally gave way to the autocratic ambitions of powerful men like Sulla, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Octavian. Octavian's ascension to total power as the emperor Augustus is considered to mark the point in history where the Roman Republic ends and the Roman Empire begins. Some scholars refer to this event as the Roman Revolution. It is believed that the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity took place at the close of this century.

In the eastern mainland, the Han Dynasty began to decline and the court of China was in chaos in the latter half of this century. Trapped in a difficult situation, the Xiongnu had to begin emigration to the west or attach themselves to the Han.

57 BC

Year 57 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. Contemporaneously, in the Roman Republic, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Lentulus and Metellus (or, less frequently, year 697 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 57 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Ambiorix's revolt

Ambiorix's revolt was an episode during the Gallic Wars between 54 and 53 BC in which the Eburones tribe, under its leader, Ambiorix, rebelled against the Roman Republic.

Discontent among the subjugated Gauls prompted a major uprising amongst the Belgae against Julius Caesar in the winter of 54–53 BC, when the Eburones of north-eastern Gaul rose in rebellion under their leader Ambiorix. Fifteen Roman cohorts were wiped out at Atuatuca Tungrorum (modern Tongeren in Belgium) and a garrison commanded by Quintus Tullius Cicero narrowly survived after being relieved by Caesar in the nick of time. The rest of 53 BC was occupied with a punitive campaign against the Eburones and their allies, who were said to have been all but exterminated by the Romans.

Atrebates

The Atrebates (singular Atrebas) were a Belgic tribe of Gaul and Britain before the Roman conquests. However it is possible that the Atrebates were a family of rulers (dynasty), as there is no evidence for a major migration from Belgium to Britain.

Atuatuci

The Atuatuci or Aduatuci were, according to Caesar, a Germanic tribe who had been allowed to settle amongst the Germanic tribes living in east Belgium. They descended from the Cimbri and Teutones, who were tribes thought to have originated in the area of Denmark. Much later, the Atuatuci sent troops to assist their Belgic neighbours, especially the Nervii, in the Battle of the Sabis, but were too late. They were later defeated by the Romans after withdrawing to a fortified city. After their defeat by Caesar they disappear from the written record, but their survivors possibly contributed to the later tribal grouping known as the Tungri in Roman imperial times.

Before the Roman attack in 57 BC the oppidum of the Atuatuci (possible modern day Namur in Belgium or near the city of Thuin) were home to 57,000 including refugees fleeing the Romans.

The oppidum of the Atuatuci were seized by the Romans and after the fall of the city with 4,000 dead the entire surviving population of 53,000 were sold as slaves.

Belgae

The Belgae () were a large Gallic-Germanic confederation of tribes living in northern Gaul, between the English Channel, the west bank of the Rhine, and northern bank of the river Seine, from at least the third century BC. They were discussed in depth by Julius Caesar in his account of his wars in Gaul. Some peoples in Britain were also called Belgae and O'Rahilly equated them with the Fir Bolg in Ireland. The Belgae gave their name to the Roman province of Gallia Belgica and, much later, to the modern country of Belgium; today "Belgae" is also Latin for "Belgians".

Condrusi

The Condrusi were a Germanic tribe of ancient Belgium, which takes its name from the political and ethnic group known to the Romans as the Belgae. The Condrusi were probably located in the region now known as Condroz, named after them, between Liège and Namur. The terrain is wooded hills on the northeastern edge of the Ardennes.

The Belgae were distinguished from the Celts and apparently claimed to be of Germanic descent. From Belgic names we know that the Belgae were heavily influenced by the Gaulish language, but from other information we know that they were also heavily influenced by Germanic peoples on the east of the Rhine river. In particular, the Condrusi were in the tribal group known as the Germani cisrhenani, who are amongst the Belgae most strongly associated with Germanic ancestry.

We learn all we know about the Condrusi from Julius Caesar in Commentarii de Bello Gallico. In 2.4, Caesar states that the Belgian Germani had crossed the Rhine long ago to take control of the fertile land on the other side. They kept a distinct identity, and a reputation for military strength, because they were the only Gauls who successfully resisted the Cimbri and Teutones during their migrations in the second century BCE.Whether the Germani cisrhenani in Belgium actually spoke a Germanic language, is uncertain, but in any case it was claimed by Tacitus that these Germani were the original Germani, and that the term Germani as it came to be widely used was not the original meaning. He also said that the descendants of the original Germani in his time were the Tungri.In chapter 2.4 of Caesar's commentaries the Condrusi are specifically listed amongst the Germani, along with the Eburones, the Caeroesi, and the Paemani. At that time, in 57 BCE, they were joining an alliance of Belgic tribes against Caesar. The alliance met with defeat at the Battle of the Sabis, but some, including many of the Germani, most notably the Eburones, renewed fighting in 54 BCE.

In 4.6 Caesar reports that the Condrusi were under the protection of the Treveri along with the Eburones. How this circumstance came about is not known, but their territories were thereby not invaded by the Usipetes and Tencteri who had lost their own lands to Suebi and then crossed the Rhine into the lands of the Menapii.In 6.32 the Condrusi are again mentioned as Germani "on this side of the Rhine" (citra Rhenum), this time along with the Segni (or Segui), as a German tribe claiming not to be involved in the rebellion. Both tribes were reported to live between the Eburones and the Treviri.After their defeat or capitulation, the Germani cisrhenani became part of the civitas Tungrorum in Roman province of Gallia Belgica. But this civitas was eventually split out to become part of Germania Inferior. An inscription in Scotland shows that soldiers from the pagus Condrustis served within the second cohort of the Tungrian civitas, and worshipped a goddess named Viradecthis.

The name of the pagus Condrustis survived not only into Roman times but into the Carolingian era also, being mentioned as a county in the early Middle Ages. In this way, the name, like many medieval county names, has managed to survive down to the present day, at least as a geographical term.

Defeat in detail

Defeat in detail, or divide and conquer, is a military tactic of bringing a large portion of one's own force to bear on small enemy units in sequence, rather than engaging the bulk of the enemy force all at once. This exposes one's own units to many small risks but allows for the eventual destruction of an entire enemy force.

Eburones

The Eburones (Greek: Ἐβούρωνες, Strabo), were a Gallic-Germanic tribe who lived in the northeast of Gaul, in what is now the southern Netherlands, eastern Belgium, and the German Rhineland, in the period immediately before this region was conquered by Rome. Though living in Gaul, they were also described as being both Belgae, and Germani (for a discussion of these terms, see below).

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 later, is uncertain but considered likely.

Germani cisrhenani

The Germani cisrhenani (Latin cis-rhenanus "on the hither side of the Rhine", also "Left bank Germani".), were a group of tribes who lived west of the Lower Rhine at the time of the Gallic Wars (mid-1st century BC).

The name is first mentioned by Julius Caesar, who was writing specifically about tribes near the Meuse river, who had settled among the Belgae before Roman intrusion into the area. Tribes who were certainly considered to be among the original Germani cisrhenani include the Eburones, the Condrusi, the Caeraesi, the Segni and the Paemani, who collectively form a group which apparently later came to be referred to as Tungri, in order to avoid confusion with other "Germani" once, by the time of Tacitus, the term had been extended to include, or more strongly associated with, the vast area of Germania magna beyond the limits of the Roman Empire.

Germanic Wars

"Germanic Wars" is a name given to a series of wars between the Romans and various Germanic tribes between 113 BC and 596 AD. The nature of these wars varied through time between Roman conquest, Germanic uprisings and later Germanic invasions in the Roman Empire that started in the late 2nd century BC. The series of conflicts, which began in the 5th century under the Western Roman Emperor Honorius, led (along with internal strife) to the ultimate downfall of the Western Roman Empire.

Cimbrian War, 113–101 BC

Battle of Noreia 112 BC

Battle of Agen 107 BC

Battle of Arausio 105 BC

Battle of Aquae Sextiae 102 BC

Battle of Vercellae 101 BC

Battle of Vosges 58 BC

Battle of the Sabis 57 BC

Clades Lolliana 16 BC

Early Imperial campaigns in Germania, 12 BC – AD 16

Battle of Arbalo 11 BC

Battle of the Lupia River 11 BC

Battle of the Teutoburg Forest 9 AD

Campaign against the Marsi 14

Campaign against the Chatti 15

Campaign against the Bructeri 15

Battle at Pontes Longi 15

Battle of Idistaviso 16

Battle of the Angrivarian Wall 16

Campaign against the Chatti 16

Battle of Baduhenna Wood 28

Revolt of the Batavi 69-70

Domitian's Campaign against the Chatti 82

Marcomannic Wars 166–180

Battle of Carnuntum 170

Crisis of the Third Century 235–284

Battle at the Harzhorn c. 235

Battle of Nicopolis ad Istrum 250

Battle of Beroe 250

Battle of Philippopolis 250

Battle of Abrittus 251

Siege of Thessalonica 254

Battle of Thermopylae 254

Battle of Mediolanum 259

Battle of Augusta Vindelicorum 260

Siege of Mainz 268

Battle of Lake Benacus 268

Battle of Naissus 269

Battle of Placentia 271

Battle of Fano 271

Battle of Pavia 271

Battle of Lingones 298

Battle of Vindonissa 298

German and Sarmatian campaigns of Constantine 306–336

Siege of Senonae 356

Siege of Autun 356

Battle of Durocortorum 356

Battle of Brumath 356

Battle of Argentoratum 357

Battle of Solicinium 367

Great Conspiracy 367–368

Gothic War (376–382)

Battle of Marcianople 376

Battle of the Willows 377

Battle of Dibaltum 377

Battle of Adrianople 378

Siege of Adrianople (378)

Battle of Constantinople (378)

Battle of Thessalonica 380

Battle of Argentovaria 378

Massacre of Thessalonica 390

Battle of the Frigidus 394

Gothic War (402-403)

Siege of Asti 402

Battle of Pollentia 402

Battle of Verona 403

Battle of Faesulae 406

Battle of Moguntiacum 406

Crossing of the Rhine 406

Sack of Rome 410

Siege of Hippo Regius 430–431

Battle of Narbonne 436

Battle of the Catalaunian Plains 451

Sack of Aquileia 452

Sack of Rome 455

Battle of Aylesford 455

Battle of Órbigo 456

Battle of Arelate 458

Battle of Cartagena 461

Battle of Orleans 463

Battle of Bassianae 468

Battle of Cap Bon 468

Battle of Bolia 469

Battle of Déols c. 469

Battle of Ravenna 476

Battle of Soissons 486

Battle of Isonzo 489

Battle of Verona 489

Battle of the Adda River 490

Vandalic War 533-534

Battle of Ad Decimum 533

Battle of Tricamarum 533

Gothic War (535–554)

Siege of Naples 536

Siege of Rome 537-538

Battle of Treviso 541

Siege of Verona 541

Battle of Faventia 542

Battle of Mucellium 542

Siege of Naples 543

Sack of Rome 546

Siege of Rome 549-550

Battle of Sena Gallica 551

Battle of Taginae 552

Battle of Mons Lactarius 553

Battle of the Volturnus 554

Byzantine–Lombard wars 568–750

Legio XI Claudia

Legio undecima Claudia ("Claudius' Eleventh Legion") was a legion of the Imperial Roman army. XI Claudia dates back to the two legions (the other was the XIIth) recruited by Julius Caesar to invade Gallia in 58 BC, and it existed at least until the early 5th century, guarding lower Danube in Durostorum (modern Silistra, Bulgaria). The emblem of the legion is not known; it could have been, as all of the Caesar's legions, the bull or possibly the she-wolf lactating the twins.

Legio X Gemina

Legio decima Gemina ("The Twins' Tenth Legion"), was a legion of the Imperial Roman army. It was one of the four legions used by Julius Caesar in 58 BC, for his invasion of Gaul. There are still records of the X Gemina in Vienna in the beginning of the 5th century. The legion symbol was a bull. Early on in its history, the legion was called X Equestris (mounted), because Caesar once used the legionaries as cavalry.

Nervii

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, and 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, and the Eburones to their east, they were considered by Caesar to be relatively uncorrupted by civilization.

Quintus Titurius Sabinus

Quintus Titurius Sabinus was one of Caesar's legates during the Gallic Wars. He is first mentioned in Caesar's campaign against the Remi, in 57 BC. In 56 BC, he was sent by Caesar with three legions against the Venelli, Curiosolitae, and Lexovii (in Normandy), who were led by Viridovix. He gained a great victory over Viridovix's forces, and all the insurgent states submitted to his authority.

In 54 BC he and Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta were stationed for the winter in the territory of the Eburones with a legion and five cohorts. They had not been more than fifteen days in the country before they were attacked by Ambiorix and Cativolcus. Sabinus, showing less resolve than Cotta and trusting himself under Ambiorix's guise of truce and safe passage, evacuated the camp under threat of German attack. As a result, he was massacred along with Cotta and all their troops.

Sabis

Sabis may refer to:

Battle of the Sabis

The river Sambre (Sabis in Latin)

Sabis Vallis, valley on Mars named after the river Sabis

The SABIS school system used by the International School of Choueifat

Saint-Python

Saint-Python (officially spelt Sainct-Pieton and St-Piton during different periods preceding 1800) is a commune in the Nord department in northern France named after Piatus of Tournai. Its inhabitants are called Saint-Piatiens or Piatonnais.

Selle

The Selle (also spelt Celle in the Oise) is a river of Picardy, France. Rising at Catheux, just north of Crèvecœur-le-Grand, Oise, it flows past Conty, Saleux, Salouël and Pont-de-Metz before joining the Somme River at Amiens.

In many places along its course, the river widens to form or fill lakes, much appreciated by anglers and gravel extractors. Several water-powered mills can still be seen including a paper-mill at Prouzel. Brown trout thrive in the clear waters of the river.

Viromandui

The Viromandui or Veromandui (French: Viromanduens, Viromand(ue)s, Vermandois) were a tribe of the Belgae, occupying a small region in northern Gaul. We know about them primarily from Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico, a book chronicling Caesar's early conquests against the Gauls.

Ancient Celts
Celtic studies
Modern Celts
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Ancient Roman wars
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