The Boii (Latin plural, singular Boius; Ancient Greek : Βόιοι) were a Gallic tribe of the later Iron Age, attested at various times in Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy), Pannonia (Hungary), parts of Bavaria, in and around Bohemia (after whom the region is named in most languages; comprising the bulk of Czechia), parts of Poland, and Gallia Narbonensis. In addition the archaeological evidence indicates that in the 2nd century BC Celts expanded from Bohemia through the Kłodzko Valley into Silesia, now part of Poland and Czechia.
They first appear in history in connection with the Gallic invasion of north Italy, 390 BC, when they made the Etruscan city of Felsina their new capital, Bononia (Bologna). After a series of wars they were decisively beaten by the Romans in a Battle of Mutina (193 BC) and their territory became part of the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul. According to Strabo, writing two centuries after the events, rather than being destroyed by the Romans like their Celtic neighbours,
[T]he Boii were merely driven out of the regions they occupied; and after migrating to the regions round about the Ister, lived with the Taurisci, and carried on war against the Daci until they perished, tribe and all — and thus they left their country, which was a part of Illyria, to their neighbours as a pasture-ground for sheep.
Around 60 BC, a group of Boii joined the Helvetiis' ill-fated attempt to conquer land in western Gaul and were defeated by Julius Caesar, along with their allies, in the Battle of Bibracte. Caesar settled the remnants of that group in Gorgobina, from where they sent two thousand to Vercingetorix's aid at the Battle of Alesia six years later. The eastern Boii on the Danube were incorporated into the Roman Empire in 8 AD.
From all the different names of the same Celtic people in literature and inscriptions it is possible to abstract a Continental Celtic segment, boio-.There are two major derivations of this segment, both presupposing that it belongs to the family of Indo-European languages: from 'cow' and from 'warrior.' The Boii would thus be either "the herding people" or "the warrior people".
The "cow" derivation depends most immediately on the Old Irish legal term for "outsider": ambue, from Proto-Celtic *ambouios (<*an-bouios), "not a cattle owner". In a reference to the first known historical Boii, Polybius relates that their wealth consisted of cattle and gold, that they depended on agriculture and war, and that a man's status depended on the number of associates and assistants he had. The latter were presumably the *ambouii, as opposed to the man of status, who was *bouios, a cattle owner, and the *bouii were originally a class, "the cattle owners".
The "warrior" derivation was adopted by the linguist Julius Pokorny, who presented it as being from Indo-European *bhei(ə)-, *bhī-, "hit"; however, not finding any Celtic names close to it (except for the Boii), he adduces examples somewhat more widely from originals further back in time: phohiio-s-, a Venetic personal name; Boioi, an Illyrian tribe; Boiōtoi, a Greek tribal name ("the Boeotians"); and a few others.Boii would be from the o-grade of *bhei-, which is *bhoi-. Such a connection is possible if the original form of Boii belonged to a tribe of Proto-Indo-European speakers long before the time of the historic Boii. If that is the case, then the Celtic tribe of central Europe must have been a final daughter population of a linguistically-diversified ancestor tribe.
The same wider connections can be hypothesized for the "cow" derivation: the Boeotians have been known for well over a century as a people of kine, which might have been parallel to the meaning of Italy as a "land of calves". Indo-European reconstructions can be made using *gʷou- "cow" as a basis, such as *gʷowjeh³s; the root may itself be an imitation of the sound a cow makes. [ better source needed ]
Contemporary derived words include Boiorix ("king of the Boii", one of the chieftains of the Cimbri) and Boiodurum ("gate/fort of the Boii", modern Passau) in Germany. Their memory also survives in the modern regional names of Bohemia (Boiohaemum), a mixed-language form from boio- and Proto-Germanic *haimaz, "home": "home of the Boii", and Bayern, Bavaria, which is derived from the Germanic Baiovarii tribe (Germanic *baja-warjaz: the first component is most plausibly explained as a Germanic version of Boii; the second part is a common formational morpheme of Germanic tribal names, meaning 'dwellers', as in Old English -ware); this combination "Boii-dwellers" may have meant "those who dwell where the Boii formerly dwelt".
According to the ancient authors, the Boii arrived in northern Italy by crossing the Alps. While of the other tribes who had come to Italy along with the Boii, the Senones, Lingones and Cenomani are also attested in Gaul at the time of the Roman conquest. It remains therefore unclear where exactly the Central European origins of the Boii lay, if somewhere in Gaul, Southern Germany or in Bohemia.
Polybius relates that the Celts were close neighbors of the Etruscan civilization and "cast covetous eyes on their beautiful country".Invading the Po Valley with a large army, they drove out the Etruscans and resettled it, the Boii taking the right bank in the center of the valley. Strabo confirms that the Boii emigrated from their lands across the Alps and were one of the largest tribes of the Celts. The Boii occupied the old Etruscan settlement of Felsina, which they named Bononia (modern Bologna). Polybius describes the Celtic way of life in Cisalpine Gaul as follows:
They lived in unwalled villages, without any superfluous furniture; for as they slept on beds of leaves and fed on meat and were exclusively occupied with war and agriculture, their lives were very simple, and they had no knowledge whatever of any art or science. Their possessions consisted of cattle and gold, because these were the only things they could carry about with them everywhere according to circumstances and shift where they chose. They treated comradeship as of the greatest importance, those among them being the most feared and most powerful who were thought to have the largest number of attendants and associates.
The archaeological evidence from Bologna and its vicinity contradicts the testimony of Polybius and Livy on some points, who say the Boii expelled the Etruscans and perhaps some were forced to leave. It much rather indicates that the Boii neither destroyed nor depopulated Felsinum, but simply moved in and became part of the population by intermarriage.The cemeteries of the period in Bologna contain La Tène weapons and other artifacts, as well as Etruscan items such as bronze mirrors. At Monte Bibele not far away one grave contained La Tène weapons and a pot with an Etruscan female name scratched on it.
In the second half of the 3rd century BC, the Boii allied with the other Cisalpine Gauls and the Etruscans against Rome. They also fought alongside Hannibal, killing the Roman general Lucius Postumius Albinus in 216 BC, whose skull was then turned into a sacrificial bowl.A short time earlier, they had been defeated at the Battle of Telamon in 225 BC, and were again at Placentia in 194 BC (modern Piacenza) and Mutina in 193 BC (modern Modena). Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica completed the Roman conquest of the Boii in 191 BC, celebrating a triumph for it. After their losses, according to Strabo, a large portion of the Boii left Italy.
Contrary to the interpretation of the classical writers, the Pannonian Boii attested in later sources are not simply the remnants of those who had fled from Italy, but rather another division of the tribe, which had settled there much earlier. The burial rites of the Italian Boii show many similarities with contemporary Bohemia, such as inhumation, which was uncommon with the other Cisalpine Gauls, or the absence of the typically western Celtic torcs.This makes it much more likely that the Cisalpine Boii had actually originated from Bohemia rather than the other way round. Having migrated to Italy from north of the Alps, some of the defeated Celts simply moved back to their kinsfolk.
The Pannonian Boii are mentioned again in the late 2nd century BC when they repelled the Cimbri and Teutones (Strabo VII, 2, 2). Later on, they attacked the city of Noreia (in modern Austria) shortly before a group of Boii (32,000 according to Julius Caesar – the number is probably an exaggeration) joined the Helvetii in their attempt to settle in western Gaul. After the Helvetian defeat at Bibracte, the influential Aedui tribe allowed the Boii survivors to settle on their territory, where they occupied the oppidum of Gorgobina. Although attacked by Vercingetorix during one phase of the war, they supported him with two thousand troops at the battle of Alesia (Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico, VII, 75).
Again, other parts of the Boii had remained closer to their traditional home, and settled in the Slovak and Hungarian lowlands by the Danube and the Mura, with a centre at Bratislava. Around 60 BC they clashed with the rising power of the Dacians under their king Burebista and were defeated. When the Romans finally conquered Pannonia in 8 AD, the Boii seem not to have opposed them. Their former territory was now called deserta Boiorum (deserta meaning 'empty or sparsely populated lands').However, the Boii had not been exterminated: There was a civitas Boiorum et Azaliorum (the Azalii being a neighbouring tribe) which was under the jurisdiction of a prefect of the Danube shore (praefectus ripae Danuvii). This civitas, a common Roman administrative term designating both a city and the tribal district around it, was later adjoined to the city of Carnuntum.
Plautus refers to the Boii in Captivi :
At nunc Siculus non est, Boius est, Boiam terit
(Translation:) But now he is not a Sicilian – he is a Boius, he has got a Boia woman.
There is a play on words: Boia means "woman of the Boii", also "convicted criminal's restraint collar".
In volume 21 of his History of Rome , Livy (59 BC – 17 AD) claims that it was a Boio man that offered to show Hannibal the way across the Alps.
When, after the action had thus occurred, his own men returned to each general, Scipio could adopt no fixed plan of proceeding, except that he should form his measures from the plans and undertakings of the enemy: and Hannibal, uncertain whether he should pursue the march he had commenced into Italy, or fight with the Roman army which had first presented itself, the arrival of ambassadors from the Boii, and of a petty prince called Magalus, diverted from an immediate engagement; who, declaring that they would be the guides of his journey and the companions of his dangers, gave it as their opinion, that Italy ought to be attacked with the entire force of the war, his strength having been nowhere previously impaired.
In the first century BC, the Boii living in an oppidum of Bratislava minted Biatecs, high-quality coins with inscriptions (probably the names of kings) in Latin letters. This is the only "written source" provided by the Boii themselves.[ citation needed ]
The Aedui, Haedui, or Hedui were a Gallic tribe, dwelling in the modern Burgundy region during the La Tène and Roman periods. According to Julius Caesar in his writings on the Gallic Wars in Commentarii de Bello Gallico, the Aedui were one of the stronger gallic tribes, them being the target of jealous tribes like the Helvetii, Sequani, Remi, and Arverni. Furthermore, the Aedui seemed to work in a semi-republican state, with the powerful Vergobret at least slightly being at the will of the people, similar to the senators of Rome
The Celts are a collection of Indo-European peoples of Europe identified by their use of the Celtic languages and other cultural similarities. The history of pre-Celtic Europe and the exact relationship between ethnic, linguistic and cultural factors in the Celtic world remains uncertain and controversial. The exact geographic spread of the ancient Celts is disputed; in particular, the ways in which the Iron Age inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland should be regarded as Celts have become a subject of controversy. According to one theory, the common root of the Celtic languages, the Proto-Celtic language, arose in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC.
The Cimbri were an ancient tribe. They are generally believed to have been a Germanic tribe originating in Jutland, but Celtic influences have also been suggested.
Gaul was a region of Western Europe first described by the Romans. It was inhabited by Celtic tribes, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg, Belgium, most of Switzerland, and parts of Northern Italy, Netherlands, and Germany, particularly the west bank of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2 (191,000 sq mi). According to Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica, Belgica, and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia, and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule: Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar finally subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC.
The Veneti were an Indo-European people who inhabited northeastern Italy, in an area corresponding to the modern-day region of Veneto.
Cisalpine Gaul was the part of Italy inhabited by Celts (Gauls) during the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. After its conquest by the Roman Republic in the 220s BC it was considered geographically part of Roman Italy but remained administratively separated. It was a Roman province from c. 81 BC until 42 BC, when it was de jure merged into Roman Italy as indicated in Caesar's unpublished acts. Cisalpine means "on the hither side of the Alps", as opposed to Transalpine Gaul.
The Belgae were a large 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".
The Lingones were a Gallic tribe of the La Tène and Roman periods. They dwelled in the region surrounding the present-day city of Langres, between the provinces of Gallia Lugdunensis and Gallia Belgica.
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.
The Battle of Telamon was fought between the Roman Republic and an alliance of Celtic tribes in 225 BC. The Romans, led by the consuls Gaius Atilius Regulus and Lucius Aemilius Papus, defeated the Celts led by the Gaesatae kings Concolitanus and Aneroëstes. This removed the Celtic threat from Rome and allowed the Romans to extend their influence over northern Italy.
The second Battle of Lake Vadimo was fought in 283 BC between Rome and the combined forces of the Etruscans and the Gallic tribes of the Boii and the Senones. The Roman army was led by consul Publius Cornelius Dolabella. The result of the battle was a Roman victory.
The Insubres or Insubri were a Lepontic population settled in Insubria, in what is now the Italian region of Lombardy. They were the founders of Mediolanum (Milan). Though completely Gaulish at the time of Roman conquest, they were the result of the fusion of pre-existing Ligurian and Celtic population with Gaulish tribes.
The Cenomani, was an ancient tribe of the Cisalpine Gauls, who occupied the tract north of the Padus, between the Insubres on the west and the Veneti on the east. Their territory appears to have extended from the river Addua to the Athesis. Whether these Cenomani are the same people as the Cenomani in Gallia Celtica encountered by Julius Caesar is a subject of debate.
Celticisation, or Celticization, was historically the process of conquering and assimilating by the ancient Celts. Today, as the Celtic inhabited-areas significantly differ, the term still refers to making something Celtic, usually focusing around the Celtic nations and their languages.
The Alpine regiments of the Roman army were those auxiliary units of the army that were originally raised in the Alpine provinces of the Roman Empire: Tres Alpes, Raetia and Noricum. All these regions were inhabited by predominantly Celtic-speaking tribes. They were annexed, or at least occupied, by the emperor Augustus' forces during the period 25–14 BC. The term "Alpine" is used geographically in this context and does not necessarily imply that the regiments in question were specialised in mountain warfare. However, in the Julio-Claudian period, when the regiments were still largely composed of Alpine recruits, it is likely that they were especially adept at mountain operations.
The Raeti were a confederation of Alpine tribes, whose language and culture may have been related to those of Etruscans. From not later than ca. 500 BC, they inhabited the central parts of present-day Switzerland, Tyrol in Austria, the Alpine regions of northeastern Italy and Germany south of the Danube.
Roman Republican governors of Gaul were assigned to the province of Cisalpine Gaul or to Transalpine Gaul, the Mediterranean region of present-day France also called the Narbonensis, though the latter term is sometimes reserved for a more strictly defined area administered from Narbonne. Latin Gallia can also refer in this period to greater Gaul independent of Roman control, covering the remainder of France, Belgium, and parts of the Netherlands and Switzerland, often distinguished as Gallia Comata and including regions also known as Celtica, Aquitania, Belgica, and Armorica (Brittany). To the Romans, Gallia was a vast and vague geographical entity distinguished by predominately Celtic inhabitants, with "Celticity" a matter of culture as much as speaking gallice.
The Roman-Gallic Wars were a series of conflicts between the forces of ancient Rome and various groups identified as Gauls. Among these were the Senones, Insubres, Boii and Gaesatae.