Aquitani

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The tribes confederated as the Aquitani and other pre-Indo-European tribes are in black Aquitani tribes map-fr.svg
The tribes confederated as the Aquitani and other pre-Indo-European tribes are in black

The Aquitanian people (Latin: Aquitani) lived in the area of present-day southern Nouvelle-Aquitaine and southwestern Midi-Pyrénées, France - in the region between the Pyrenees, the Atlantic ocean, and the Garonne, in present-day southwestern France [1] in the 1st century BCE. The Romans, dubbed this region Gallia Aquitania . Classical authors such as Julius Caesar and Strabo clearly distinguish the Aquitani from the other peoples of Gaul, and note their similarity to others in the Iberian Peninsula.

Contents

During the process of Romanization, the Aquitani gradually adopted the Latin Language (Vulgar Latin) and Roman civilization. Their old language, the Aquitanian language, was a precursor of the Basque language [2] and the substrate for the Gascon language (one of the Romance languages) spoken in Gascony.

History

At the time of the Roman conquest, Julius Caesar, who defeated them in his campaign in Gaul, describes them as making up a distinct part of Gaul:

All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours Gauls, the third. All these differ from each other in language, customs and laws. The river Garonne separates the Gauls from the Aquitani [3]

Despite apparent cultural and linguistic connections to Iberia (Vascones) and to Iberians, the area of Aquitania, as a part of Gaul ended at the Pyrenees according to Caesar:

Aquitania extends from the river Garonne to the Pyrenaean mountains and to that part of the ocean which is near Spain: it looks between the setting of the sun, and the north star. [4]

Relation to Basque people and language

The presence, on late Romano-Aquitanian funerary slabs, of what seem to be the names of deities or people similar to certain names in modern Basque have led many philologists and linguists to conclude that Aquitanian was closely related to an older form of Basque. Julius Caesar draws a clear line between the Aquitani, living in present-day south-western France and speaking Aquitanian, and their neighboring Celts living to the north. [5] The fact that the region was known as Vasconia in the Early Middle Ages, a name that evolved into the better known form of Gascony, along with other toponymic evidence, seems to corroborate that assumption.

Tribes

Tribes in Aquitania (as was defined in the 1st century BCE) Map Gallia Tribes Towns.png
Tribes in Aquitania (as was defined in the 1st century BCE)
Late distribution of tribes in Novempopulania at the end of the 6th century CE, former Aquitania proper (as was defined in the 1st century BCE) Novempopulania1.png
Late distribution of tribes in Novempopulania at the end of the 6th century CE, former Aquitania proper (as was defined in the 1st century BCE)

Although the country where the original Aquitanians lived came to be named Novempopulania (nine peoples) in the late years of the Roman Empire and Early Middle Ages (up to the 6th century), the number of tribes varied (about 20 for Strabo, but comparing with the information of other classical authors such as Pliny, Ptolemy and Julius Caesar, the total number were 32 or 33):[ citation needed ]

Aquitani tribes

In the southern slopes of western Pyrenees Mountains, not in Aquitania but in northern Hispania Tarraconensis:

See also

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Aquitaine Region of France

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Gascony Former French territory

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Gascon language Occitan language spoken in France and Spain

Gascon is a variety of Romance spoken in southwest France. While often described as a dialect of Occitan, Gascon is considered by several authors to be a separate language altogether.

Gallia Aquitania Roman province

Gallia Aquitania, also known as Aquitaine or Aquitaine Gaul, was a province of the Roman Empire. It lies in present-day southwest France, where it gives its name to the modern region of Aquitaine. It was bordered by the provinces of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Narbonensis, and Hispania Tarraconensis.

Vascones pre-Roman tribe, namesake ancestors of the Basques

The Vascones were a pre-Roman tribe who, on the arrival of the Romans in the 1st century, inhabited a territory that spanned between the upper course of the Ebro river and the southern basin of the western Pyrenees, a region that coincides with present-day Navarre, western Aragon and northeastern La Rioja, in the Iberian Peninsula. The Vascones are often considered ancestors of the present-day Basques to whom they left their name.

The Volcae were a tribal confederation constituted before the raid of combined Gauls that invaded Macedonia c. 270 BC and fought the assembled Greeks at the Battle of Thermopylae in 279 BC. Tribes known by the name Volcae were found simultaneously in southern Gaul, Moravia, the Ebro valley of the Iberian Peninsula, and Galatia in Anatolia. The Volcae appear to have been part of the late La Tène material culture, and a Celtic identity has been attributed to the Volcae, based on mentions in Greek and Latin sources as well as onomastic evidence. Driven by highly mobile groups operating outside the tribal system and comprising diverse elements, the Volcae were one of the new ethnic entities formed during the Celtic military expansion at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. Collecting in the famous excursion into the Balkans, ostensibly, from the Hellene point of view, to raid Delphi, a branch of the Volcae split from the main group on the way into the Balkans and joined two other tribes, the Tolistobogii and the Trocmi, to settle in central Anatolia and establish a new identity as the Galatians.

Bigorre

Bigorre is a region in southwest France, historically an independent county and later a French province, located in the upper watershed of the Adour, on the northern slopes of the Pyrenees, part of the larger region known as Gascony. Today Bigorre comprises the centre and west of the département of Hautes-Pyrénées, with two small exclaves in the neighbouring Pyrénées Atlantiques. Its inhabitants are called Bigourdans.

Couserans

Couserans is a small former province of France located in the Pyrenees mountains. Today Couserans makes up the western half of the Ariège département, around the towns of Saint-Girons and Saint-Lizier. A small part of Couserans is also in the extreme south of Haute-Garonne, just across the border from Ariège.

Aquitanian language

The Aquitanian language was the language of the ancient Aquitani, spoken on both sides of the western Pyrenees in ancient Aquitaine and in the areas south of the Pyrenees in the valleys of the Basque Country before the Roman conquest. It probably survived in Aquitania north of the Pyrenees until the Early Middle Ages.

Duchy of Gascony

The Duchy of Gascony or Duchy of Vasconia was a duchy located in present-day southwestern France and northeastern Spain, an area encompassing the modern region of Gascony. The Duchy of Gascony, then known as Wasconia, was originally a Frankish march formed to hold sway over the Basques (Vascones). However, the Duchy went through different periods, from its early years with its distinctively Basque element to the merger in personal union with the Duchy of Aquitaine to the later period as a dependency of the Plantagenet kings of England.

Novempopulania Administrative region of Roman Empire

Novempopulania was one of the provinces created by Diocletian out of Gallia Aquitania, which was also called Aquitania Tertia.

Tarbelli Aquitani tribe

The Tarbelli were an Aquitani pre-Roman tribe settled in what today is southwestern France, between the river Adour and the Pyrenees. The capital of the Tarbelli people was Aquae Tarbellicae, present-day Dax. They lived in Labourd, in the Northern Basque Country, in the present-day French department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Orthez was also an important Tarbelli city.

Cocosates

The Cocosates were an Aquitani pre-Roman tribe settled in what today is southwestern France, at north of the river Adour. They were surrounded by the Tarbelli at south and the Boiates at north. They inhabited what today is the western part of the French department of Landes.

The Iacetani or Jacetani were a pre-Roman people who populated the area north of Aragon (Spain). They settled the Ebro valley, specifically in the area along the Pyrenees. Its capital was Iaca. According to Strabo, their land stretched from the Pyrenees to Lleida and Huesca. It is believed that they could be related to the Aquitanes. They were known to stamp coins. They also appear in the texts of Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy.

Gallia Celtica Cultural region of Gaul inhabited by Celts

Gallia Celtica, meaning "Celtic Gaul" in Latin, was a cultural region of Gaul inhabited by Celts, located in what is now France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the west bank of the Rhine in Germany.

Ausci Aquitani tribe

The Ausci were an Aquitani pre-Roman tribe settled in what today is southwestern France, in the city of Elimberrum or Eliberris, present-day Auch in the French department of Gers. The Ausci spoke a form or dialect of the Aquitanian language, a precursor of the Basque language.

Bigerriones

The Bigerriones were an Aquitani pre-Roman tribe settled in what today is southwestern France, around the city of Castrum Bigorra, present-day Saint-Lézer and Civitas Turba, present-day Tarbes. The Bigorre region is named after this tribe. They are mentioned by Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico, where he mentions how the peoples from Aquitaine were subdued by Publius Licinius Crassus. It is believed the Bigerriones spoke a form or dialect of the Aquitanian language, a precursor of the Basque language.

The Suessetani were a pre-Roman people of the Iberian Peninsula that dwelt mainly in the plains area of the Alba (Arba) river basin, in today's Cinco Villas, Aragon, Zaragoza Province and Bardenas Reales area, west of the Gallicus river, east of the low course of the Aragon river and north of the Iberus (Ebro) river, in the valley plains of this same river. Their location, in relation to other tribes, was south of the Iacetani, west of the Vescetani or Oscenses north of the Lusones and Pellendones, also north of the Sedetani, and southeast of the Vascones.

References

  1. Waldman, Carl; Mason, Catherine (2006). Encyclopedia of European Peoples. Infobase Publishing. p. 38. ISBN   9781438129181. The Aquitani [...] lived in Gaul in the region between the Garonne River and the Pyrenees in present-day southwestern France [...].
  2. Trask, L. The History of Basque Routledge: 1997 ISBN   0-415-13116-2
  3. These are indeed the opening lines of Caesar’s account of his war in Gaul: Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen [...] dividit. Julius Caesar, De bello Gallico 1.1, edition of T. Rice Holmes
  4. Aquitania a Garumna flumine ad Pyrenaeos montes et eam partem Oceani quae est ad Hispaniam pertinet; spectat inter occasum solis et septentriones.
  5. Trask, R.L. (1997). The History of Basque. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 398–412. ISBN   0-415-13116-2.
  6. 1 2 Judge, A. (2007-02-07). Linguistic Policies and the Survival of Regional Languages in France and Britain. Springer. p. 70. ISBN   9780230286177.