Brennus (or Brennos) (died 279 BC at Delphi, Ancient Greece) was one of the Gaul leaders of the army of the Gallic invasion of the Balkans. While invading the Greek mainland he managed to momentarily reach as far south as Delphi in an attempt to loot the rich treasury of the sanctuary of Apollo. His army suffered a devastating defeat at Delphi, he was heavily injured during the battle and committed suicide there. His militarily inexperienced army was forced to a continuous retreat by the tactical attacks of the Greek city-states and was cut down to a remaining band that fled from Greece.
Delphi, formerly also called Pytho (Πυθώ), is famous as the ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of Pythia, the oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The ancient Greeks considered the centre of the world to be in Delphi, marked by the stone monument known as the omphalos (navel).
Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.
The Gauls were a group of Celtic peoples of West-Central Europe in the Iron Age and the Roman period. The area they inhabited was known as Gaul. Their Gaulish language forms the main branch of the Continental Celtic languages.
In 280 BC a great army, comprising about 85,000 warriors,coming from Pannonia and split in three divisions, marched south in a great expedition to the Greek mainland against Macedonia and then further south to central Greece as far south as Delphi during a failed and short-lived campaign against the Greek city-states. The division led by Brennus and Acichorius moved against the Paionians.
Pannonia was a province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. Pannonia was located over the territory of the present-day western Hungary, eastern Austria, northern Croatia, north-western Serbia, northern Slovenia, western Slovakia and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Continental Greece, colloquially known as Roúmeli (Ρούμελη), is a traditional geographic region of Greece. In English the area is usually called Central Greece, but the equivalent Greek term is more rarely used.
Acichorius was one of the leaders of the Gauls, who invaded Thrace and Macedonia in 280 BC. He and Brennus commanded the division that marched into Paionia. In the following year, 279, he accompanied Brennus in his invasion of Greece. Some writers suppose that Brennus and Acichorius are the same persons, the former being only a title and the latter the real name.
Some writers suppose that Brennus and Acichorius are the same person, the former being only a title and the latter the real name.
The other two divisions were led by Cerethrius and Bolgios, moving against the Thracians and Triballi, and against the Macedonians and Illyrians, respectively.
Cerethrius was a Gallic king in Thrace. He was defeated in 277 BC, by Antigonus II Gonatas at the Battle of Lysimachia.
Bolgios was a Gaulish leader during the Gallic invasion of the Balkans who led an invasion of Macedon and Illyria in 279 BC, killing the Macedonian king Ptolemy Keraunos.
The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family. The study of Thracians and Thracian culture is known as Thracology.
Brennus is said to have belonged to an otherwise unknown tribe called the Prausi.These Gauls had settled in Pannonia because of population increases in Gaul, and sought further conquests.
This article duplicates the scope of other articles. (October 2015)
The army was initially led by Cambaules, who led them as far as Thrace, where they stopped. When they decided to advance again in 279 BC, they split their forces into three divisions. One division was led by Cerethrius against the Thracians and Triballi; another by Bolgios against the Macedonians and Illyrians; and the third against Paionia by Brennus and Acichorius. Bolgios' expedition inflicted heavy losses on the Macedonians and killed their king, Ptolemy Keraunos, but was repulsed by the Macedonian nobleman Sosthenes. Brennus' contingent then attacked Sosthenes and defeated him, and proceeded to ravage the country. After these expeditions returned, Brennus urged a united, and potentially lucrative, attack on Greece, led by himself and Acichorius. The army numbered 152,000 infantry and 24,400 cavalry. Pausanias describes how they used a tactic called trimarcisia , where each cavalryman was supported by two mounted servants, who could supply him with a spare horse if he was dismounted, or take his place in the battle if he was killed or wounded, so the actual number of horsemen was in fact 61,200.
Thrace is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split between Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south and the Black Sea to the east. It comprises southeastern Bulgaria, northeastern Greece and the European part of Turkey.
In classical antiquity, Illyria was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by numerous tribes of people collectively known as the Illyrians. Besides them, this region was also settled, in various times, by some tribes of Celts, Goths and Thracians. Illyrians spoke Illyrian languages, a group of Indo-European languages, which in ancient times perhaps had speakers in some parts in southern Italy. The Roman term Illyris was sometimes used to define an area north of the Aous valley, most notably Illyris proper.
Ptolemy Keraunos was the King of Macedon from 281 BC to 279 BC. His epithet Keraunos is Greek for "Thunder" or "Thunderbolt".
The Greeks, mustered at Thermopylae under the Athenian general Calippus, learned that the Gauls had reached Phthiotis and Magnesia, sent their cavalry and light infantry to meet them at the river Spercheios and oppose their crossing. They broke down the bridges and camped on the bank, but that night Brennus sent 10,000 men to cross further downriver, where the river formed a marshy lake. The Gauls were strong swimmers, some of them using their shields as floats, and the river was shallow enough for the tallest to wade across. The Greeks retreated to the main army, while Brennus forced the locals to rebuild the bridges to allow the rest of his forces to cross.
The Gauls attacked the Greeks at Thermopylae, but were initially forced to retreat by their better armed opponents.Brennus sent 40,000 infantry and 800 cavalry under Combutis and Orestorius back over the Spercheius to invade Aetolia, hoping to persuade the Aetolian contingent in the Greek army to leave Thermopylae and return to defend their homeland. The plan worked, but the returning Aetolians inflicted such losses on the Gauls that less than half of them returned to Thermopylae. Meanwhile, the locals were intimidated into showing Brennus a mountain pass that would allow him to attack the Greek rear. He led 40,000 men, hidden until the last minute by fog, over the pass, and dispersed the Phoceans who were guarding the pass. However, the Phoceans informed the Greek army at Thermopylae in time to safely retreat before encirclement. The Athenian fleet evacuated the army, and Brennus marched for Delphi, not waiting for Acichorius and the rest of the army to catch up.
Both the historians who relate the attack on Delphi, Pausanias and Justin, say the Gauls were defeated and driven off. They were overtaken by a violent thunderstorm which made it impossible to manoeuvre or even hear their orders. The night that followed was frosty, and in the morning the Greeks attacked them from both sides. Brennus was wounded and the Gauls fell back, killing their own wounded who were unable to retreat. That night a panic fell on the camp, as the Gauls divided into factions and fought amongst themselves. They were joined by Acichorius and the rest of the army, but the Greeks forced them into a full-scale retreat. Brennus took his own life, by drinking unwatered wine according to Pausanias (the Greeks believed that doing so was poisonous)[ citation needed ] or by stabbing himself according to Justinus. Pressed by the Aetolians, they fell back to the Spercheius, where they were cut to pieces by the waiting Thessalians and Malians.
The Gauls who escaped this defeat settled on the Hellespont in the country around Byzantium, where they founded the kingdom of Tylis, and around Ancyra where they founded the kingdom of Galatia.The Amphictyonic League instituted new games, the Delphic Soteria ("deliverance" or "salvation") to commemorate their victory.
Strabo reports a story told in his time of treasure – fifteen thousand talents of gold and silver – supposed to have been taken from Delphi and brought back to Tolosa (modern Toulouse, France) by the Tectosages, who were said to have been part of the invading army. Strabo does not believe this story, arguing that the defeated Gauls were in no position to carry off such spoils, and that in any case Delphi had already been despoiled of its treasure by the Phocians during the Third Sacred War the previous century.
This article concerns the period 279 BC – 270 BC.
Year 279 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Publius Sulpicius Saverrio and Publius Decius Mus. The denomination 279 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 many years.
Brennus or Brennos is the name of two Gaulish chieftains, famous in ancient history:
In the Archaic Greece, an amphictyony, a "league of neighbors", or Amphictyonic League was an ancient religious association of Greek tribes formed in the dim past, before the rise of the Greek poleis. The six Dorian cities of coastal southwest Anatolia, or the twelve Ionian cities to the north, the dodecapolis forming an Ionian League emerging in the aftermath of a faintly remembered "Meliac war" in the mid-7th century BCE, were already of considerable antiquity when the first written records emerge.
The Aetolian League was a confederation of tribal communities and cities in ancient Greece centered in Aetolia in central Greece. It was established, probably during the early Hellenistic era, in opposition to Macedon and the Achaean League. Two annual meetings were held at the Thermika and Panaetolika. It occupied Delphi from 290 BC and gained territory steadily until, by the end of the 3rd century BC, it controlled the whole of central Greece outside Attica and Boeotia. At its peak, the league's territory included Locris, Malis, Dolopes, part of Thessaly, Phocis, and Acarnania. In the latter part of its power, certain Greek city-states joined the Aetolian League such as the Arcadian cities of Mantineia, Tegea, Phigalia and Kydonia on Crete.
Philetaerus was the founder of the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon in Anatolia.
Philopoemen was a skilled Greek general and statesman, who was Achaean strategos on eight occasions.
Amfissa is a town in Phocis, Greece, part of the municipality of Delphi, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 315.174 km2. It lies on the northern edge of the olive forest of the Crissaean plain, between two mountains, Giona to the west and Parnassus to the east, 200 km (120 mi) northwest of Athens and 20 km (12 mi) of Delphi, as well as 85 km (53 mi) northeast of Naupactus and 72 km (45 mi) south of Lamia.
Leosthenes was an Athenian who was commander of the combined Greek army in the Lamian War. Leosthenes was the son of his namesake father Leosthenes who had suffered exile in 362/1 BC and who had fled to the court of Philip II. It is unknown by what means he had obtained the high reputation he had when he first makes his appearance in history. It has been inferred from a passage in Strabo, that he had first served under Alexander the Great in Asia; but it now seems certain that this is a mistake, and rather the reference should have been to Leonnatus.
The Battle of Thermopylae was a battle fought in 480 BC during the Persian Wars.
Attalus I, surnamed Soter ruled Pergamon, an Ionian Greek polis, first as dynast, later as king, from 241 BC to 197 BC. He was the first cousin once removed and the adoptive son of Eumenes I, whom he succeeded, and was the first of the Attalid dynasty to assume the title of king in 238 BC. He was the son of Attalus and his wife Antiochis.
The Battle of Thermopylae was fought in 279 BC between invading Gallic armies and a combined army of Greek Aetolians, Boeotians, Athenians, Phocians at Thermopylae. The Gauls under Brennus were victorious, and advanced further into the Greek peninsula where they attempted to sack Delphi but were completely defeated.
From their new bases in northern Illyria and Pannonia, the Gallic invasions climaxed in the early 3rd century BC, with the invasion of Greece. The 279 BC invasion of Greece proper was preceded by a series of other military campaigns waged in the southern Balkans and against the kingdom of Macedonia, favoured by the state of confusion ensuing from the disputed succession after Alexander the Great's death. A part of the invasion crossed over to Anatolia and eventually settled in the area that came to be named after them, Galatia.
Epirus was an ancient Greek state, located in the geographical region of Epirus in the western Balkans. The homeland of the ancient Epirotes was bordered by the Aetolian League to the south, Thessaly and Macedonia to the east, and Illyrian tribes to the north. For a brief period, the Epirote king Pyrrhus managed to make Epirus the most powerful state in the Greek world, and his armies marched against Rome during an unsuccessful campaign in Italy.
Phocis was an ancient region in the central part of Ancient Greece, which included Delphi. A modern administrative unit, also called Phocis, is named after the ancient region, although the modern region is substantially larger than the ancient one.
The Gold of Tolosa is the appellation used to refer to a semi-legendary treasure hoard seized by the ancient Roman proconsul Quintus Servilius Caepio from the Volcae town of Tolosa, modern-day Toulouse.
The Battle of Lysimachia was fought in 277 BC between the Gallic tribes settled in Thrace and a Greek army of Antigonus at Lysimachia, Thracian Chersonese. After their defeat at Thermopylae the Gauls retreated out of Greece and moved through Thrace and finally into Asia.
The Galatians were a Gallic people of the Hellenistic period that dwelt mainly in the north central regions of Asia Minor or Anatolia, in what was known as Galatia, in today's Turkey. In their origin they were a part of the great migration which invaded Macedon, led by Brennus. The originals who settled in Galatia came through Thrace under the leadership of Leotarios and Leonnorios c. 278 BC. They consisted mainly of three tribes, the Tectosages, the Trocmii, and the Tolistobogii, but there were also other minor tribes. They spoke a Celtic language, the Galatian language, which is sparsely attested.