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The Bituriges (Bituriges-Cubi) was a tribe with its capital at Bourges (Avaricum).

A map of Gaul in the 1st century BC, showing the relative positions of the Celtic tribes.

Early in the first century BCE, they had been one of the main tribes, especially in terms of Druids and their political influence. But they soon declined in power as the Druids were an important target for Julius Caesar in his conquest of Gaul. What is more, the fact that Avaricum was the only Celtic City that Vercingetorix, for once not following his scorched earth strategy, was not to burn in front of Caesar's legions is another proof of the political importance of the Bituriges. Eventually the town was to be buried by the Roman legions.

Argentomagus (near today's Argenton-sur-Creuse) was another oppidum of theirs. This is one of several tribes which seem to have split, the Bituriges-Cubi lived near Bourges/Berry, the Bituriges-Vivisci near Burdigala (Bordeaux).

The name seems to mean kings of the world.[1]

A passage from Livy, (V, XXXIV), "summa imperii penes Biturges", meaning "all the power in the hands of the Bituriges", has become the motto of the city of Bourges.

See also

References


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BITURIGES, a Celtic people, according to Livy (v. 34) the most powerful in Gaul in the time of Tarquinius Priscus. At some period unknown they split up into two branches - Bituriges Cubi and Bituriges Vivisci. The name is supposed to mean either "rulers of the world" or "perpetual kings." The Bituriges Cubi, called simply Bituriges by Caesar, in whose time they acknowledged the supremacy of the Aedui, inhabited the modern diocese of Bourges, including the departments of Cher and Indre, and partly that of Allier. Their chief towns were Avaricum (Bourges), Argentomagus (Argenton-surCreuse), Neriomagus (Neris-les-Bains), Noviodunum (perhaps Villate). At the time of the rebellion of Vercingetorix (52 B.C.), Avaricum, after a desperate resistance, was taken by assault, and the inhabitants put to the sword. In the following year, the Bituriges submitted to Caesar, and under Augustus they were incorporated (in 28 B.C.) in Aquitania. Pliny (Nat. Hist. iv. 109) speaks of them as liberi, which points to their enjoying a certain amount of independence under Roman government. The district contained a number of iron works, and Caesar says they were skilled in driving galleries and mining operations.

The Bituriges Vivisci occupied the strip of land between the sea and the left bank of the Garonne, comprising the greater part of the modern department of Gironde. Their capital was Burdigala (Bordeaux), even then a place of considerable importance and a wine-growing centre. Like the Cubi, they also are called liberi by Pliny.

See A. Desjardins, Geographic historique de la Gaule romaine, ii. (1876-1893); A. Longnon, Geographie de la Gaule au VI' siecle (1878); A. Holder, Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz; T. R. Holmes, Caesar's Conquest of Gaul (1899).


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