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Gaius Julius Civilis was the leader of the Batavian rebellion against the Romans in 69 AD. His nomen shows that he (or one of his male ancestors) was made a Roman citizen (and thus, the tribe a Roman vassal) by either Augustus or Caligula.
He was twice imprisoned on a charge of rebellion, and narrowly escaped execution. During the disturbances that followed the death of Nero, he took up arms under pretense of siding with Vespasian and induced the inhabitants of his native country to rebel. The Batavians, who had rendered valuable service under the early emperors, had been well treated in order to attach them to the cause of Rome. They were exempt from tribute, but were obliged to supply a large number of men for the army, and the burden of conscription and the oppression of provincial governors were important incentives to revolt. The Batavians were immediately joined by several neighboring Germanic tribes.
The Roman garrisons near the Rhine were driven out, and twenty-four ships captured. Two legions under Mummius Lupercus were defeated at Castra Vetera (near the modern Xanten) and surrounded. Eight cohorts of Batavian veterans joined their countrymen, and the troops sent by Vespasian to the relief of Vetera threw in their lot with them.
"Let Syria, Asia Minor, and the East, habituated as it is to despotism, submit to slavery... Freedom is a gift bestowed by nature even on the dumb animals. Courage is the peculiar excellence of man, and the Gods help the braver side." - Gaius Julius Civilis
The result of these accessions to the forces of Civilis was a rising in Gaul. Hordeonius Flaccus was murdered by his troops (70 AD), and the whole of the Roman forces were induced by two commanders of the Gallic auxiliaries —Julius Classicus and Julius Tutor— to revolt from Rome and join Civilis. The whole of Gaul thus practically declared itself independent, and the foundation of a new kingdom of Gaul was contemplated. The prophetess Veleda predicted the complete success of Civilis and the fall of the Roman Empire. But disputes broke out among the different tribes and rendered co-operation impossible; Vespasian, having successfully ended the civil war, called upon Civilis to lay down his arms, and on his refusal resolved to take strong measures for the suppression of the revolt.
The arrival of Quintus Petillius Cerialis with a strong force awed the Gauls and mutinous troops into submission; Civilis was defeated at Augusta Treverorum (Trier, Trèves) and Castra Vetera, and forced to withdraw to the island of the Batavians. He finally came to an agreement with Cerialis whereby his countrymen obtained certain advantages, and resumed amicable relations with Rome. From this time, Civilis disappears from history.
The Batavi were an ancient Germanic tribe that lived around the modern Dutch Rhine delta in the area that the Romans called Batavia, from the second half of the first century BC to the third century AD. The name is also applied to several military units employed by the Romans that were originally raised among the Batavi. The tribal name, probably a derivation from batawjō, refers to the region's fertility, today known as the fruitbasket of the Netherlands.
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The Revolt of the Batavi took place in the Roman province of Germania Inferior between AD 69 and 70. It was an uprising against the Roman Empire started by the Batavi, a small but militarily powerful Germanic tribe that inhabited Batavia, on the delta of the river Rhine. They were soon joined by the Celtic tribes from Gallia Belgica and some Germanic tribes.
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Veleda was seeress of the Bructeri, a Germanic people who achieved some prominence during the Batavian rebellion of AD 69–70, headed by the Romanized Batavian chieftain Gaius Julius Civilis, when she correctly predicted the initial successes of the rebels against Roman legions.
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Julius Briganticus was a Batavian who commanded auxiliary cavalry in the Roman Army. He was the son of the sister of Gaius Julius Civilis, the leader of the Batavian rebellion, who apparently hated his nephew. The nomen Julius indicates he was a Roman citizen. The cognomen Briganticus perhaps suggests he, or his father, gained distinction fighting against the Brigantes of northern Britain.
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Julius Classicus was a Gaulish nobleman and military commander of the 1st century AD, belonging to the tribe of the Treviri. He served as a commander of the Roman auxiliaries. Along with Julius Tutor, another Treviran Roman auxiliary commander, and Julius Sabinus, who claimed descent from Gaius Julius Caesar, he joined the rebellion of Gaius Julius Civilis during the disorder of the Year of the Four Emperors.
The Batavi was an auxilia palatina (infantry) unit of the Late Roman army, active between the 4th and the 5th century. It was composed by 500 soldiers and was the heir of those ethnic groups that were initially used as auxiliary units of the Roman army and later integrated in the Roman Empire after the Constitutio Antoniniana. Their name was derived from the people of the Batavi.
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The Cugerni were a Germanic tribal grouping with a particular territory within the Roman province of Germania Inferior, which later became Germania Secunda. More precisely they lived near modern Xanten, and the old Castra Vetera, on the Rhine. This part of Germania Secunda was called the Civitas or Colonia Traiana, and it was also inhabited by the Betasii.
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