Last updated
The Tigurini were a pagus of the Helvetii. Gaul, 1st century BC.gif
The Tigurini were a pagus of the Helvetii.
<<Die Helvetier zwingen die Romer unter dem Joch hindurch>> ("The Helvetians force the Romans to pass under the yoke"). Romantic painting by Charles Gleyre (19th century) celebrating the Tigurini victory over the Romans at Agen (107 BCE) under Divico's command. Charles Gleyre Les Romans p.jpg
«Die Helvetier zwingen die Römer unter dem Joch hindurch» ("The Helvetians force the Romans to pass under the yoke"). Romantic painting by Charles Gleyre (19th century) celebrating the Tigurini victory over the Romans at Agen (107 BCE) under Divico's command.

The Tigurini were a clan or tribe forming one out of four pagi (provinces) of the Helvetii. [1] [2] The Tigurini were the most important group of the Helvetii, mentioned by both Julius Caesar and Poseidonius, settling in the area of what is now the Swiss canton of Vaud, corresponding to the bearers of the late La Tène culture in western Switzerland. Their name has a meaning of "lords, rulers" (cognate with Irish tigern "lord"). The other Helvetian tribes included the Verbigeni and the Tougeni (sometimes identified with the Teutones), besides one tribe that has remained unnamed.

The name of the Tigurini is first recorded in the context of their alliance with the Cimbri in the Cimbrian War of 113–101 BCE. They crossed the Rhine to invade Gaul in 109 BCE, [3] moved south to the Roman region of Provence in 107 BCE and defeated a Roman army under Lucius Cassius Longinus near Agen. [4] [5] The Tigurini followed the Cimbri in their campaign across the Alps, but they did not enter Italy, instead remaining at the Brenner Pass. After the end of the war, they returned to their earlier homes, settling in the western Swiss plateau and the Jura mountains north of Lake Leman. [6] The names of the Tigurini and the Helvetii had retained a connotation of a "barbarian" threat from the north for the Romans, employed by Julius Caesar as a motivation for his expedition to Gaul by suggesting that these tribes were "on the move again". In 58 BCE the Helvetii encountered the armies of Caesar, and were defeated and massacred in the battles of the Arar and the Bibracte, allegedly leaving 228,000 dead. [7] These battles were the initial events in the Gallic Wars, fought between 58 and 49 BCE. After the Roman conquest, the Helvetii participated in the uprising of Vercingetorix in 52 BC, losing their status as foederati. As a means of asserting control over the military access routes to Gaul, the Romans established the Colonia Iulia Equestris at the site of the Helvetian settlement of Noviodunum (Nyon). There was still a fortified oppidum in Bois de Châtel in the later 1st century BC, but it was destroyed in the early 1st century AD, its population presumably moving to the newly established Helvetian capital of Aventicum. The Helvetii seem to have retained their division into four pagi, and a certain autonomy, until the 60s AD. They supported Galba in the civil war following the death of Nero in AD 68. Their forces were routed at Bözberg Pass (Mount Vocetius) in AD 69. After this, the population was quickly romanized, losing its former tribal identity.

In the 16th century, humanist scholars associated the name of the Tigurini with the name of the city of Zürich (Latin Turicum). Based on this, the city is sometimes referred to as Tigurum in Modern Latin contexts, such as the legend on coins minted in the city. An example is a Zürich ducat dated 1646, inscribed with DUCATUS NOVUS REIPUBL. TIGURI. [8]

See also


  1. Harry Mountain (1998). The Celtic Encyclopedia. p. 231. ISBN   9781581128901 . Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  2. Harry Mountain (1998). The Celtic Encyclopedia. p. 180. ISBN   9781581128901 . Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  3. Mountain p.231
  4. Mountain p.231
  5. Dáithí Ó hÓgáin (2003). The Celts: A History. p. 143. ISBN   9780851159232 . Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  6. Mountain p.231
  7. Mountain p.231
  8. "Coins of Zurich throughout History" (PDF). Sunflower.ch. Retrieved 2017-04-26.

Related Research Articles

The Aedui or Haedui were a Gallic tribe dwelling in the modern Burgundy region during the Iron Age and the Roman period.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Boii</span> Celtic tribe

The Boii were a Celtic tribe of the later Iron Age, attested at various times in Cisalpine Gaul, Pannonia, present-day Bavaria, in and around present-day Bohemia, parts of present-day Slovakia and Poland, and Gallia Narbonensis.

The Cimbri were an ancient tribe in Europe. Ancient authors described them variously as a Celtic people, Germanic people, or even Cimmerian. Several ancient sources indicate that they lived in Jutland, which in some classical texts was called the Cimbrian peninsula. There is no direct evidence for the language they spoke, though some scholars argue that it was a Germanic language, while others argue that it was Celtic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Helvetii</span> Celtic tribal group in Switzerland

The Helvetii, anglicized as Helvetians, were a Celtic tribe or tribal confederation occupying most of the Swiss plateau at the time of their contact with the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC. According to Julius Caesar, the Helvetians were divided into four subgroups or pagi. Of these, Caesar names only the Verbigeni and the Tigurini, while Posidonius mentions the Tigurini and the Tougeni (Τωυγενοί). They feature prominently in the Commentaries on the Gallic War, with their failed migration attempt to southwestern Gaul serving as a catalyst for Caesar's conquest of Gaul.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gaul</span> Historical region of Western Europe inhabited by Celtic tribes

Gaul was a region of Western Europe first clearly described by the Romans, encompassing present-day France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and parts of Switzerland, Germany, and Northern Italy. It covered an area of 494,000 km2 (191,000 sq mi). According to Julius Caesar, who took control of the region on behalf of the Roman Republic, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica, Belgica, and Aquitania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gallic Wars</span> 58–50 BC, Rome vs. Gallic tribes

The Gallic Wars were waged between 58 and 50 BC by the Roman general Julius Caesar against the peoples of Gaul. Gallic, Germanic, and British tribes fought to defend their homelands against an aggressive Roman campaign. The Wars 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. Though the Gallic military was as strong as the Romans, the Gallic tribes' internal divisions eased victory for Caesar. Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix's attempt to unite the Gauls under a single banner came too late. Caesar portrayed the invasion as being a preemptive and defensive action, but historians agree that he fought the Wars primarily to boost his political career and to pay off his debts. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans. Native tribes in the region, both Gallic and Germanic, had attacked Rome several times. Conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine.

The Volcae were a Gallic 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 Greek 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Orgetorix</span>

Orgetorix was a wealthy aristocrat among the Helvetii, a Celtic-speaking people residing in what is now Switzerland during the consulship of Julius Caesar of the Roman Republic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of the Arar</span> A Battle that took place during the Gallic War

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dumnorix</span> Chieftain of the Aedui, a Celtic tribe in Gaul

Dumnorix was a chieftain of the Aedui, a Celtic tribe in Gaul in the 1st century B.C. He was the younger brother of Divitiacus, the Aedui druid and statesman.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sequani</span> Gallic tribe

The Sequani were a Gallic tribe dwelling in the upper river basin of the Arar river (Saône), the valley of the Doubs and the Jura Mountains during the Iron Age and the Roman period.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roman Gaul</span> Gaul as a province of the Roman Empire

Roman Gaul refers to Gaul under provincial rule in the Roman Empire from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ambrones</span> Ancient ethnic group

The Ambrones were an ancient tribe mentioned by Roman authors. They are believed by some to have been a Germanic tribe from Jutland; the Romans were not clear about their exact origin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pictones</span> Ancient Gallic tribe of western Gaul

The Pictones were a Gallic tribe dwelling south of the Loire river, in the modern departments of Vendée, Deux-Sèvres and Vienne, during the Iron Age and Roman period.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cimbrian War</span> Conflict between Rome and Germanic & Celtic tribes (113–101 BCE)

The Cimbrian or Cimbric War was fought between the Roman Republic and the Germanic and Celtic tribes of the Cimbri and the Teutons, Ambrones and Tigurini, who migrated from the Jutland peninsula into Roman controlled territory, and clashed with Rome and her allies. The Cimbrian War was the first time since the Second Punic War that Italia and Rome itself had been seriously threatened.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Switzerland in the Roman era</span> History of Switzerland from 2nd century BC to 5th century AD

The territory of modern Switzerland was a part of the Roman Republic and Empire for a period of about six centuries, beginning with the step-by-step conquest of the area by Roman armies from the 2nd century BC and ending with the Fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gauls</span> Ancient Celtic peoples of Europe

The Gauls were a group of Celtic peoples of mainland Europe in the Iron Age and the Roman period. Their homeland was known as Gaul (Gallia). They spoke Gaulish, a continental Celtic language.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Divico</span> Leader of Helvetii tribe

Divico was a Celtic king and the leader of the Helvetian tribe of the Tigurini. During the Cimbrian War, in which the Cimbri and Teutons invaded the Roman Republic, he led the Tigurini across the Rhine to invade Gaul in 109 BC. He defeated a Roman army near present-day Agen on the Garonne river at the Battle of Burdigala in 107 BC, killing its leaders Lucius Cassius Longinus, the Roman consul, and Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus. Eventually he led his people back to the tribes of the Helvetii, near present-day Switzerland where they settled in the Jura Mountains near Lac Leman. 49 years later, before the Battle of Bibracte, he led a delegation back to Gaul to negotiate for a safe passage for his tribe through the Roman region of Provence. The request was denied by Caesar who wanted revenge for a relative who had been killed in the battle near Agen in 107 BC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tulingi</span>

The Tulingi were a small tribe closely allied to the Celtic Helvetii in the time of Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul. Their location is unknown; their language and descent are uncertain. From their close cooperation with the Helvetii it can be deduced that they were probably neighbours of the latter. At the Battle of Bibracte in 58 BCE, they were, with the Boii and a few other smaller tribes, allies of the Helvetii against the Roman legions of Caesar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Burdigala</span> 107 BCE battle of the Cimbrian War

The Battle of Burdigala was a battle of the Cimbrian War that occurred in the year 107 BC. The battle was fought between a combined Germanic-Celtic army including the Helvetian Tigurini under the command of Divico, and the forces of the Roman Republic under the command of Lucius Cassius Longinus, Lucius Caesoninus, and Gaius Popillius Laenas. Longinus and Caesoninus were killed in the action and the battle resulted in a victory for the combined tribes.