The Vangiones appear first in history as an ancient Germanic tribe of unknown provenance. They threw in their lot with Ariovistus in his bid of 58 BC to invade Gaul through the Doubs river valley and lost to Julius Caesar in a battle probably near Belfort. After some Celts evacuated the region in fear of the Suebi, the Vangiones, who had made a Roman peace, were allowed to settle among the Mediomatrici in northern Alsace. (Metz however is now in Lorraine). They gradually assumed control of the Celtic city of Burbetomagus, later Worms.

The emperor, Augustus, cultivated them as allies, intending to invade Germany through the region between the Rhine and the Danube. He had Drusus place two forts among the Vangiones, castrum Moguntiacum (13 BC, later Mainz) and one of unknown name (14 BC) at Worms.[1] From there troops of the Vangiones were inducted into the Roman army. When he changed his mind after the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, the Vangiones were used for garrison duty on the far-flung northern frontier of the province of Britannia, Hadrian's Wall.

The Vangiones of Germania Superior held their position as a bulwark of civilized might as long as Germania Superior existed. Under the Roman Republic they were not among the Belgae, an alliance of Celticised Germanic tribes in northeastern France. In the early empire this name was extended by the Romans to all the Celticised Germans in northern France (the forerunners of the Franks), among whom were now the Vangiones.

In the late empire what was left of Germania Superior was divided into "First Germany" and "Second Germany", the first comprising the Vangiones, Worms and Mainz. The identity disappeared nearly altogether when the region was overrun by the Alemanni and became Alisatia.[2] The Vangiones then merged into the Alemanni. Only names local to Worms remembered the presence of the Vangiones, such as the Bishop of the Vangiones. The fate of the Vangionic troops in Britain is uncertain. Some may have remained as a Scottish tribe (see under Moguns), but that hypothesis is more speculative than not.

Notitia Dignitatum - Dux Mogontiacensis
The eleven prefectures of the Duke of Mainz in the Notitia Dignitatum. Castle Vangionis is the 2nd up from the bottom in the left column.

The historical trail

Julius Caesar

The Vangiones are mentioned in Caesar's De Bello Gallico as a unit among the copiae ("forces") of Ariovistus.[3] According to Caesar's Celtic informants, Ariovistus had appeared as a leader of Germani who had settled in the land of the Aedui (upper Loire) following the assistance of a vanguard of 15,000 at the Battle of Admagetobriga in 61 BC. The Germans had been initially invited by the Celts to participate in the resolution of their issues. They continued to cross the Rhine until, in 58 BC, 120,000 of them (Caesar's numbers) were in Gaul.

Caesar does not say that the Vangiones were among the 120,000, but the text does imply it. He also does not state that they specifically were Germanic, but the 120,000 are stated to be so, and Caesar consistently refers to the copiae of Ariovistus as Germani. Caesar gives no indication of the homeland of any of the Germani other than the other side of the Rhine. Moreover, he omits mention of what happened to the Vangiones and other tribes that had crossed the Rhine (if they did) after the defeat of Ariovistus.

Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia includes a geography that relies on Varro, a citizen of the late Republic and contemporary of Caesar, and Agrippa, who lived in the next generation after Caesar. Through him they give us considerable information on Gaul and the Germanic tribes living in it.

Caesar describes pre-Roman Gaul and some of the modifications he made to it. The Belgae (from which Belgium) of his time lived on the left bank of the lower Rhine and were considered Celts of Germanic origin. In Pliny[4] Roman Belgae extends along the Rhine from the Scheldt to the upper Seine; that is, upstream to Switzerland, and includes many more tribes than are listed in Caesar, some of them still Germanic. For the region of Alsace he gives a double list, one Celtic and one Germanic.

Two known end points are the Treveri who we know lived in the vicinity of Trier (which was named after them) and the Helvetii who we know lived in Switzerland. The Celtic list between those points is Lingones, Remi, Mediomatrici, Sequani and Raurici. The Germanic list, whom Pliny describes as

accolentes Germaniae gentium in eadem provincia
"colonists from the peoples of Germany in the same province"

is Nemetes, Triboci and Vangiones.

As the Remi were more to the west, near the Ardennes, and the Lingones also to the west, near Langres (named after them), the Vangiones are believed to have been in the country of the Mediomatrici, but how did they arrive there? The three tribes were among the forces of Ariovistus. Apparently, Caesar did not destroy all the Germanic warriors who failed to escape across the Rhine. He probably only pursued the remnants of the Suebi. He does state that some tribes curried favor by attacking the Suebi on their own initiative. Very likely, they received favor and were allowed to remain on the left bank of the Rhine among the Mediomatrici. They were still identifiably Germanic.


The Geography of Strabo, dated to the early empire, mentions the defeat of Varus at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest but makes no mention of the Vangiones. Of the two sections that cover the Alsace region, the one on Germania makes no mention of any Germanic tribes there except the Suebi. Alsace-Lorraine is covered mainly in the section on Gaul[5] and describes the region as it must have been before Ariovistus led his expedition across the Rhine.

Between the Helvetii and the Treveri around Trier, Strabo lists the Sequani, Mediomatrici (around Metz), the Leuci and the Lingones. In the country of the Mediomatrici are the Tribocchi, who are Germani and had crossed the Rhine from their homeland. Why the Vangiones and Nemetes are not present remains unknown. Perhaps Strabo was relying on an earlier account, which depicts Alsace before Ariovistus, and yet he knew of the defeat of Varus. The Vangiones are not in Germania either.


Marcus Annaeus Lucanus was a poet of the early empire who chose to immortalize the civil wars in verse, beginning Pharsalia with a famous first line calling them the "uncivil wars" (bella ... plus quam civilia, "wars beyond civil"). In Book I he enumerates poetically all the barbarians who will no longer be troubled by Roman troops because they have been recalled to fight the uncivil wars, among whom are those

qui te laxis imitantur, Sarmata, bracis (430)
"who imitate you, Sarmatian, with loose britches, the Vangiones"

Lucan did not regard the Vangiones as nostri, "one of us". He saw a Sarmatian resemblance in the loose trousers, but whether those were the same as the Gallic bracae is hard to say. In general pants originated to protect horsemen. The connection is tantalizing because the *wagniones have a name similar to an earlier Sarmatian tribe, the "wagon-dwellers" known to Herodotus. Whether there was one must wait for evidence.


The Vangiones appear solidly in the works of Tacitus, a writer of the 1st century AD of some authenticity and credibility, having been a Roman of fairly high office himself. In Germania[6] he states that the Gauls were once more powerful than the Germani. At that time the Helvetii were on the right bank of the Rhine south of the Main, with the Boii further down the Danube.

On the left bank of Tacitus' time, the Treviri (Trier) and Nervii claimed Germanic descent, the Ubii (Cologne) were proud of it, and the Vangiones, Triboci and Nemetes were of undoubted Germanic origin. Tacitus does not say that any of them were currently Germanic or spoke Germanic, only that they were careful to distinguish themselves from the cowardly Gauls. Apparently the Celtic tribes were no longer in the Agri Decumates (right bank of Rhine) because Tacitus characterizes its population as rabble and penniless adventurers.

His Annales contains brief mention of the Vangiones in connection with capturing bands of plunderers from the Chatti across the Rhine to the north (Hesse) in AD 50.[7] The Chatti must have been overconfident to send such small numbers into Alsace, which was tenanted by both Celtic and Germanic tribes loyal to Rome and was protected by bases at Mainz and Worms. The Roman commander Publius Pomponius Secundus used cavalry from the Vangiones and the Nemetes as well as regular Roman cavalry to attack the sleeping Chatti in their open camps by night. They are said to have set free some of Varus's men who had been slaves for 40 years.

His Histories describes a year of crisis for the young empire in 69,[8] when for the first time the system established by the Julio-Claudian dynasty as a solution to civil war was severely tested by the question of succession. Nero was assassinated to rid Rome of his bad management. The Romans could not agree on a successor, inadvertently involving the provinces in their internal politics, with a nearly ruinous result.

After the death of Vitellius despair prevailed along the limes regarding the continued ability of the empire to rule and enforce peace. The lag in communication allowed the peoples along the Rhine to believe that the empire had in fact disintegrated. A revolt gradually spread along the Rhine, intitated by the Batavi and other tribes of the Belgae among the Germans, and the Treviri and Lingones among the Celts (see under Batavian rebellion). They convinced the Roman legions at Moguntiacum and other bases to defect to an ad hoc Gallic government put up at Trier. The last to defect were the Vangiones, the Caeracates and the Triboci.

Meanwhile, government at Rome stabilized under Vespasian, who sent some 8 legions from various parts of the empire under Quintus Petillius Cerialis, a fortunate choice, to deal with the confusion on the Rhine frontier. On the approach of Cerealis the legions who had defected now deserted the government at Trier and sought refuge among the Mediomatrici, who, we learn, were still in place and had remained loyal to Rome. The three Belgic tribes among them, including the Vangiones, followed their tradition and changed loyalty back to the Romans.

Cerealis poured oil on troubled waters. He forgave the tribes involved, of either nationality. Moguntiacum was reoccupied and restored. The legions who had defected hid in their tents and could not look their loyal comrades in the face. Cerealis instructed the others not to be scornful. Meanwhile, Gaul had repudiated Trier as a government. Cerealis offered it terms, which eventually it was forced to take, as were the Batavi. The frontier was restored, with the exception that now the Batavi had to accept a garrison of Roman troops. Cerealis rose to high rank, as he justly deserved to do, serving as a counterbalance to the headstrong Domitian, who had replaced Vespasian.


Ptolemy, writing in the 2nd century AD, gives only brief mention of the Vangiones in his lists of towns and peoples.[9] Lower Germany comprises from the Batavi at the mouth of the Rhine to Mocontiacum, or Mainz. Just after it is the Obruncus or Obrincus river, which is unknown, except that it ought to be the Main, and then the towns of Upper Germany. For the Vangiones Borbetomagus (Worms) and Argentoratum (Strasbourg) are mentioned. The Mediomatrices are not in either Germania but are listed to the south of Trier. Their town is Dividurum (Metz).

Ammianus Marcellinus

Mercurius Rosmerta HistMusPfalz 3513
A depiction of the gods Mercury and Rosmerta from the 3rd century.

Ammianus Marcellinus, 4th century soldier and historian (Res Gestae), after pointing out that the Rhine had previously been governed by two iurisdictiones,[10] describes the provincial division of his times. However, the regional names "upper" and "lower Germany" are still in general use. In the jurisdiction of Prima Germania ("First or Upper Germany") are Mogontiacus (Mainz), Vangiones (Worms), Nemetae (Speyer), Argentoratus (Strasbourg) and "alia municipia."[11] Metz and Trier however are in Prima Belgica.

For the year 356 Ammianus records the problems of the emperor Julian with Germanic tribes on the Rhine frontier.[12] In 355 the Franks had destroyed Cologne (Agrippina), making it a desert of ruins, and the Alamanni had occupied the countryside of Alsace, isolating but not occupying the cities there. A list is given (in the accusative case), presumably including the "alia municipia" of "Prima Germania": Argentoratum (Strasbourg), Brotomagum (Brumath), Tabernas (Saverne), Salisonem (Selz), Nemetas (Speyer), Vangionas (Worms) and Mogontiacum (Mainz).[13] In 356 Julian moved to the relief of the cities, driving out the Alamanni, and reoccupied Cologne, forcing the Franks to the peace table. He went into winter quarters at Sens and was besieged there by the Alamanni but they became discouraged and departed before the campaign season began.

Notitia Dignitatum

The 5th century Notitia Dignitatum records eleven prefectures[14] in the domain (sub dispositione...) of the "Duke of Mainz" (Dux Mogontiacensis). Ruling over one of them from the castellum Vangionis (locative case of either Vangionis or Vangio) is the Praefectus militum Secundae Flaviae, Vangiones; that is, the prefect of a district called Secunda Flavia among the Vangiones. This domain includes 11 prefectures in the Rhineland and northern Alsace.

See also


  1. ^ The city under the Romans was named Vangiones (see under Ammianus Marcellinus in this article), which follows one Roman convention of naming a city after the tribe residing there. Grässe refers to Augusta Vangionum as an alternative name of the city, which would be short for colonia Augusta Vangionum. Grässe was reporting on the Latin names of cities in early printed books. The name is not anciently attested, or whether Worms too was a military colony. Dozens of colonies are attested, however, so it is possible that the name is genuinely ancient but was not mentioned by surviving ancient literature.
  2. ^ The meaning of "the other bank" has of course changed over the centuries. Originally the Alamanni placed settlers in the entire north/south stretch of the left bank. Today the southern portion has been broken out as Lorraine (a Frankish development) and Mainz is considered part of the Rhineland and not Alsace.
  3. ^ 1.51
  4. ^ 4.7
  5. ^ 4.3.4
  6. ^ Chapter 28
  7. ^ Book 12.27
  8. ^ Book 4. See under the Year of the Four Emperors.
  9. ^ The Germania Superior and Germania Inferior regions are to be found in Chapter 8, under Belgica Gallia.
  10. ^ Book 15.11.6
  11. ^ 15.11.8. The identification is long-standing and was worked out by the scholarship of various editors of the Loeb edition, such as T. E. Page, W. H. D. Rouse and some other notables.
  12. ^ Book 16.2-4.
  13. ^ 16.2.12.
  14. ^ The capitals of the prefectures are called out in the locative case in the illumination portrayed in the article as: Saletione, Tabernis, Vico Iulio, Nemetis, Alta Ripa, Vangionis, Moguntiaco, Bingio, Bodobrica, Confluentibus, Antonaco, all of which are transparently cities, some of which exist today. The entries, however, are obscure, such as the entry for the Vangiones: "Praefectus militum secundae Flaviae, Vangiones." The second Flavian is probably not one of the two legions of that name, as they were stationed elsewhere. It could have been a cohors, an ala, or simply a district, the name of the prefecture. Praefectus militum, "military prefect" could have been an army officer or a governor, or both. The debate continues.


Ancient sources
  • Ammianus Marcellinus, Loeb Classical Library
  • Julius Caesar (1869). Commentaries on the Civil War . Translated by William Alexander McDevitte and W. S. Bohn. New York: Harper & Brothers – via Wikisource. (print: Penguin Books, 1976, (tr. Jane Mitchell), ISBN 0-140-44187-5)
Modern sources

External links


The Alemanni (also Alamanni; Suebi "Swabians") were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the Upper Rhine River. First mentioned by Cassius Dio in the context of the campaign of Caracalla of 213, the Alemanni captured the Agri Decumates in 260, and later expanded into present-day Alsace, and northern Switzerland, leading to the establishment of the Old High German language in those regions, by the eighth century named Alamannia.In 496, the Alemanni were conquered by Frankish leader Clovis and incorporated into his dominions. Mentioned as still pagan allies of the Christian Franks, the Alemanni were gradually Christianized during the seventh century. The Lex Alamannorum is a record of their customary law during this period. Until the eighth century, Frankish suzerainty over Alemannia was mostly nominal. After an uprising by Theudebald, Duke of Alamannia, though, Carloman executed the Alamannic nobility and installed Frankish dukes.

During the later and weaker years of the Carolingian Empire, the Alemannic counts became almost independent, and a struggle for supremacy took place between them and the Bishopric of Constance. The chief family in Alamannia was that of the counts of Raetia Curiensis, who were sometimes called margraves, and one of whom, Burchard II, established the Duchy of Swabia, which was recognized by Henry the Fowler in 919 and became a stem duchy of the Holy Roman Empire.

The area settled by the Alemanni corresponds roughly to the area where Alemannic German dialects remain spoken, including German Swabia and Baden, French Alsace, German-speaking Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austrian Vorarlberg.

The French language name of Germany, Allemagne, is derived from their name, from Old French aleman(t), from French loaned into a number of other languages. Likewise, the Spanish name for Germany is Alemania, and Welsh is Yr Almaen.


The Aresaces were a Celtic people closely related to, and probably originally part of, the Treveri. They inhabited the left bank of the Rhine in the Mainz-Bingen area, which was once the easternmost part of Treveran territory.


Ariovistus was a leader of the Suebi and other allied Germanic peoples in the second quarter of the 1st century BC. He and his followers took part in a war in Gaul, assisting the Arverni and Sequani in defeating their rivals, the Aedui. They then settled in large numbers into conquered Gallic territory, in the Alsace region. They were defeated, however, in the Battle of Vosges and driven back over the Rhine in 58 BC by Julius Caesar.


The Chamavi were a Germanic tribe of Roman imperial times whose name survived into the Early Middle Ages. They first appear under that name in the 1st century AD Germania of Tacitus as a Germanic tribe that lived to the north of the Lower Rhine. Their name probably survives in the region today called Hamaland, which is in the Gelderland province of the Netherlands, between the IJssel and Ems rivers.


The Chauci (German: Chauken, and identical or similar in other regional modern languages) were an ancient Germanic tribe living in the low-lying region between the Rivers Ems and Elbe, on both sides of the Weser and ranging as far inland as the upper Weser. Along the coast they lived on artificial mounds called terpen, built high enough to remain dry during the highest tide. A dense population of Chauci lived further inland, and they are presumed to have lived in a manner similar to the lives of the other Germanic peoples of the region.

Their ultimate origins are not well understood. In the Germanic pre-Migration Period (i.e., before c. 300 AD) the Chauci and the related Frisians, Saxons, and Angles inhabited the Continental European coast from the Zuyder Zee to south Jutland. All of these peoples shared a common material culture, and so cannot be defined archaeologically. The Chauci originally centered on the Weser and Elbe, but in c. AD 58 they expanded westward to the River Ems by expelling the neighboring Ampsivarii, whereby they gained a border with the Frisians to the west. The Romans referred to the Chauci living between the Weser and Elbe as the 'Greater Chauci' and those living between the Ems and Weser as the 'Lesser Chauci'.The Chauci entered the historical record in descriptions of them by classical Roman sources late in the 1st century BC in the context of Roman military campaigns and sea raiding. For the next 200 years the Chauci provided Roman auxiliaries through treaty obligations, but they also appear in their own right in concert with other Germanic tribes, opposing the Romans. Accounts of wars therefore mention the Chauci on both sides of the conflict, though the actions of troops under treaty obligation were separate from the policies of the tribe.

The Chauci lost their separate identity in the 3rd century when they merged with the Saxons, after which time they were considered to be Saxons. The circumstances of the merger are an unsettled issue of scholarly research.

Gallic Wars

The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. Rome's war against the Gallic tribes lasted from 58 BC to 50 BC and culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul (mainly present-day France and Belgium). While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the internal division between the Gallic tribes helped ease victory for Caesar, and Vercingetorix's attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late. The wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the sole ruler of the Roman Republic.

Although Caesar portrayed this invasion as being a preemptive and defensive action, most historians agree that the wars were fought primarily to boost Caesar's political career and to pay off his massive debts. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, as they had been attacked several times by native tribes both indigenous to Gaul and farther to the north. Conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine. The Gallic Wars are described by Julius Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, which remains the most important historical source regarding the conflict.


The Gauls (Latin: Galli, Ancient Greek: Γαλάται, Galátai) were a group of Celtic peoples of West-Central Europe in the Iron Age and the Roman period (roughly from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD). The area they inhabited was known as Gaul. Their Gaulish language forms the main branch of the Continental Celtic languages.

The Gauls emerged around the 5th century BC as the bearers of the La Tène culture north of the Alps (spread across the lands between the Seine, Middle Rhine and upper Elbe). By the 4th century BC, they spread over much of what is now France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Southern Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia by virtue of controlling the trade routes along the river systems of the Rhône, Seine, Rhine, and Danube, and they quickly expanded into Northern Italy, the Balkans, Transylvania and Galatia. Gaul was never united under a single ruler or government, but the Gallic tribes were

capable of uniting their forces in large-scale military operations. They reached the peak of their power in the early 3rd century BC.

The rising Roman Republic after the end of the First Punic War increasingly put pressure on the Gallic sphere of influence; the Battle of Telamon of 225 BC heralded a gradual decline of Gallic power over the 2nd century, until the eventual conquest of Gaul in the Gallic Wars of the 50s BC.

After this, Gaul became a province of the Roman Empire, and the Gauls culturally adapted to the Roman world, bringing about the formation of the hybrid Gallo-Roman culture.

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 the vast area of Germania magna beyond the limits of the Roman Empire.


Habitancum was an ancient Roman fort (castra) located at Risingham, Northumberland, England. The fort was one of the defensive structures built along Dere Street, a Roman road running from York to Corbridge and onwards to Melrose.

The fort's name is from Habitanci on an altar set up by Marcus Gavius Secundinus a consular beneficiary on duty there. It is not mentioned in other sources such as the Notitia Dignitatum. Evidensca in the Ravenna Cosmography is highly unlikely to be a corrupted version of this name.


The Hermunduri, Hermanduri, Hermunduli, Hermonduri, or Hermonduli were an ancient Germanic tribe, who occupied an area near the Elbe river, around what is now Thuringia, Bohemia, Saxony (in East Germany), and Franconia in northern Bavaria, from the first to the third century. At times, they apparently moved to the Danube frontier with Rome. The Thuringii may have been the descendants of the Hermunduri. Claudius Ptolemy mentions neither tribe in his geography but instead the Teuriochaemae, who may also be connected to both.

List of ancient Germanic peoples and tribes

This list of Germanic tribes is a list of tribes, tribal groups, and other connections and alliances of ethnic groups and tribes that were considered Germanic in ancient times. These reports begin in the 2nd century BC and extend into late antiquity. Beginning with the states of the Early Middle Ages, the period in which tribes or tribal kingship had a historical impact ends, with the exception of northern Europe, where the Vendel Period from 550 AD to 800 AD and the subsequent Viking Age until 1050 AD are still seen in the Germanic context.

The associations and localisations of the numerous peoples and groups in ancient sources are subject to uncertainty and speculation, and classifications of ethnicity with a common culture or a temporary alliance of heterogeneous groups are disputed. For some, it is not even certain that these groups are Germanic in the broader linguistic sense, or in other words, that they consisted of speakers of a Germanic language.

In this respect, the names listed here are not terms for ethnic groups in any modern sense, but the names of groups that were perceived in ancient and late antiquity as Germanic, that is, as peoples, groups, alliances and associations of the Barbaricum east of the Rhine and to the north of the Danube, also known as Germania, especially those that arrived during the Migration Period.


In Gallo-Roman religion, Loucetios (Latinized as Leucetius) was a Gallic god known from the Rhine-Moselle region, where he was invariably identified with the Roman Mars. Scholars have interpreted his name to mean ‘lightning’. Mars Loucetius was worshipped alongside the goddess Nemetona.


Mainz (; German: [maɪ̯nt͡s] (listen); Latin: Mogontiacum, French: Mayence) is the capital and largest city of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The city is located on the Rhine river at its confluence with the Main river, opposite Wiesbaden on the border with Hesse. Mainz is an independent city with a population of 206,628 (2015) and forms part of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region.Mainz was founded by the Romans in the 1st Century BC during the Classical antiquity era, serving as a military fortress on the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire and as the provincial capital of Germania Superior. Mainz became an important city in the 8th Century AD as part of the Holy Roman Empire, becoming the capital of the Electorate of Mainz and seat of the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz, the Primate of Germany. Mainz is famous as the home of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the movable-type printing press, who in the early 1450s manufactured his first books in the city, including the Gutenberg Bible. Historically, before the 20th century, the city was known in English as Mentz and in French as Mayence. Mainz was heavily damaged during World War II, with more than 30 air raids destroying about 80 percent of the city's center, including most of the historic buildings. Today, Mainz is a transport hub and a center of wine production.


The Mediomatrici (Greek: Μεδιομάτρικες) were an ancient Celtic people of Gaul, who belong to the division of Belgae. Julius Caesar shows their position in a general way when he says that the Rhine flows along the territories of the Sequani, Mediomatrici, Triboci or Tribocci, and Treviri. Ptolemy places the Mediomatrici south of the Treviri.


Mogons or Moguns was a Celtic god worshiped in Roman Britain and Gaul. The main evidence is from altars dedicated to the god by Roman soldiers.


The Nemetes (occasionally Nemeti) were a tribe settled along the Upper Rhine by Ariovistus in the 1st century BC.

Their capital, Noviomagus Nemeton (or Civitas Nemetum), was close to the site of medieval Speyer.Their area of settlement was the contact zone between Celtic (Gaulish) and Germanic peoples. According to Tacitus, the Nemetes were "unquestionably Germanic". The name of the tribe, however, is Celtic as the name of its main town Noviomagus meaning noviios 'new' and magos 'plain', 'market' (cf. Old Irish mag 'plain'), as are those of a number of gods worshipped in their territory, including Nemetona, who is thought to have been their eponymous deity.

Both of these names are taken to be derivations from the Celtic stem nemeto- "sacred grove".In De Bello Gallico, Caesar writes that the Hercynian Forest "begins at the frontiers of the Helvetii, Nemetes, and Rauraci, and extends in a right line along the river Danube to the territories of the Daci and the Anartes". Their territory on the left bank of the Rhine had belonged to the Mediomatrici during the time of Caesar and Strabo, but the Nemetes must have crossed the river and settled there sometime afterwards. Under the Roman administrative organization of Gaul, the Nemetes constituted a civitas of the province of Upper Germany with a relatively small territory extending from the Rhine into the Palatinate Forest and an administrative centre at Speyer. Ptolemy mentions Neomagus (i.e. Noviomagus) and Rufiniana as the towns of the Nemetes; if the latter is to be identified with Rouffach, Ptolemy is mistaken in attributing it to the Nemetes, for Rouffach is far to the south in Rauracan territory. It may also be supposed that Saletio (Seltz) belonged to the Nemetes, as in modern times it belonged to the diocese of Speyer; Saletio would have been near the northern limits of the Triboci, whose civitas later became the diocese of Strasbourg. The Nemetes fought alongside the Romans and Vangiones against the Chatti when the latter invaded in 50 AD.The name of the Nemetes has been suggested, on contestable grounds, as a possible source of the term for Germany and German people in Romanian: nemți/neamț, Hungarian: német(ek) and the Slavic languages (Russian: немцы nyemtsy, Polish: Niemcy, Czech: Němci).


The Treveri or Treviri were a Belgic tribe who inhabited the lower valley of the Moselle from around 150 BCE, if not earlier, until their displacement by the Franks. Their domain lay within the southern fringes of the Silva Arduenna (Ardennes Forest), a part of the vast Silva Carbonaria, in what are now Luxembourg, southeastern Belgium and western Germany; its centre was the city of Trier (Augusta Treverorum), to which the Treveri give their name. Celtic in language, according to Tacitus they claimed Germanic descent. Modern historians consider the Treveri to have been a mixed Gallic-Germanic tribe.Although early adopters of Roman material culture, the Treveri had a chequered relationship with Roman power. Their leader Indutiomarus led them in revolt against Julius Caesar during the Gallic Wars; much later, they played a key role in the Gaulish revolt during the Year of the Four Emperors. On the other hand, the Treveri supplied the Roman army with some of its most famous cavalry, and the city of Augusta Treverorum was home for a time to the family of Germanicus, including the future emperor Gaius (Caligula). During the Crisis of the Third Century, the territory of the Treveri was overrun by Germanic Alamanni and Franks and later formed part of the Gallic Empire.

Under Constantine and his 4th-century successors, Augusta Treverorum became a large, favoured, rich and influential city that served as one of the capitals of the Roman Empire (together with Nicomedia (present-day İzmit, Turkey), Eburacum (present-day York, England), Mediolanum (present-day Milan, Italy) and Sirmium). During this period, Christianity began to succeed the imperial cult and the worship of Roman and Celtic deities as the favoured religion of the city. Such Christian luminaries as Ambrose, Jerome, Martin of Tours and Athanasius of Alexandria spent time in Augusta Treverorum.Among the surviving legacies of the ancient Treveri are Moselle wine from Luxembourg and Germany (introduced during Roman times) and the many Roman monuments of Trier and its surroundings, including neighbouring Luxembourg.Three Roman roads, very important for their role in transregional trade and military deployment capability, went through the territory of the Treveri:

the first came from the south, connected Divodurum (Metz, France) and Ricciacus (Dalheim, Luxembourg) with Augusta Treverorum (Trier, Germany) and went further to the Rhine river in the northeast, the border of the Roman Empire

the second came from the southwest and connected Durocortorum (Reims, France) with Andethana (Niederanven, Luxembourg) and Augusta Treverorum

the third went through the Ardennes in present-day Belgium and Luxembourg and connected Durocortorum to the major city and garrison of Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne/Köln, Germany) on the Rhine river.


In classical antiquity, the Triboci or Tribocci were a Germanic people of eastern Gaul, inhabiting much of what is now Alsace.

Worms, Germany

Worms (German: [vɔʁms]) is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, situated on the Upper Rhine about 60 kilometres (40 miles) south-southwest of Frankfurt-am-Main. It had approximately 82,000 inhabitants as of 2015.A pre-Roman foundation, Worms was the capital of the Kingdom of the Burgundians in the early 5th century and hence the scene of the medieval legends referring to this period, notably the first part of the Nibelungenlied.

Worms has been a Roman Catholic bishopric since at least 614, and was an important palatinate of Charlemagne. Worms Cathedral is one of the Imperial Cathedrals and among the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Germany. Worms prospered in the High Middle Ages as an Imperial Free City. Among more than a hundred Imperial Diets held at Worms, the Diet of 1521 (commonly known as the Diet of Worms) ended with the Edict of Worms in which Martin Luther was declared a heretic. Today, the city is an industrial centre and is famed as the origin of Liebfraumilch wine. Other industries include chemicals, metal goods and fodder.

History of the Germanic peoples
Pagan society
(until about
Early Middle Ages)

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