Boii were a Celtic
tribe that was located to the north of the Alps and east of the Rhine,
in what became eastern
western Czech Republic.
Although the extent of their territory is unknown, it clearly formed part
of a very powerful and very extensive Celtic kingdom, one which apparently
dominated many of the other Celts and may even have held some kind of high
kingship over them. The tribe must have been vast by later first century BC
terms, emerging into history from the north-eastern heartland of Celtic
and probably played a role in spreading the subsequent La Tène culture
farther north-eastwards. The latter culture was still extant during the
tribe's recorded existence.
The tribe's name translates as 'cow', making them the original 'cowboii'!
The root word 'bo' means 'cow. For the origin of that sound, a best guess is
sound 'kw' was retained somehow among
Germanic speakers (in
violation of Grimm's law), but changed to a 'p' among second wave sound
changes among Celtic-italic speakers. Then the 'p' would have hardened into
a 'b' sound, although this is an educated guess. So 'cow' (Anglo-Saxon 'cu')
is 'bo'. It suggests a tribe that was not on the front line of Celtic
expansion, one that was generally settled and more concerned with livestock
than conquests. Most Indo-European groups were great pastoralists, and the
more Indo-Europeans who may even have influenced Celtic culture and speech,
are linked to the Biblical Gomer, another name which translates as 'cow'.
Less reliable guesses that have been bandied about include suggesting that
'boii' meant something along the lines of 'the terrible' and that
it could refer to the stature of its people and the weaponry they used.
Iron Age remains have shown that they fought using huge double-handed swords
that would require a fairly hefty stature to wield, and this is sometimes
used as confirmation of 'the terrible' as a translation of their name.
However, cows came before iron swords (or any swords at all), and remained
an important part of Celtic life and culture even into medieval
history. Tales of cattle rustling have been preserved to the present day,
showing how important these beasts were (and of course still are). An early
Celtic tribe that was named 'cow' would have signified their basic
relationship with the animals, and perhaps their dominance in terms of that
relationship and the size of their herds.
The Boii were one of the biggest players in
relations with the Celts in the centuries prior to Julius Caesar's campaigns
in Gaul. They appear to have undergone an expansionist period in the fourth
or third centuries BC which saw pockets of them establish new homelands in
several regions across Europe. It can be hard to pinpoint which pockets were
established at this time and which were established following the tribe's
takeover by Germans at the very end of the first century BC, but there is
one group that can be connected to the earlier period with certainly, simply
because the Romans were nearby to record their presence. This group of Boii
managed to get as far south as Bologna, near Ravenna, in the fourth century
BC. They intermixed with the dominant
Etruscans, but were later defeated and subjugated by Rome.
By the first century BC, they had been forcibly integrated into the Roman
republic, although they retained elements of their language which have
survived to the present day. More detail on Boii migrations is covered in
the Dispersal section of this
(Information co-authored by Edward Dawson, and additional information from The
La Tene Celtic Belgae Tribes in England: Y-Chromosome Haplogroup R-U152 -
Hypothesis C, David K Faux, from The History of Rome, Volume 1,
Titus Livius, translated by Rev. Canon Roberts, and from External Links:
Works of Julius Caesar: Gallic Wars,
Digital Library, and
Polybius, Histories. Other major sources listed in the 'Barbarian Europe' section of the
Bellovesus and his mass horde of people from the
Insubres, and several
other tribes, reaches the barrier of the Alps with an enormous force of horse
and foot. This barrier is one that has apparently not previously been breached
by Celts, and they
make the crossing with some trepidation, heading through the passes of the
and the valley of the Douro. Once across the mountain barrier, they defeat
in battle not far from the Ticinus. Bellovesus and his mainly Insubres people
settle around the Ticinus and build a settlement called Mediolanum (modern
This map shows not only the greatest extent of Etruscan
influence in Italy, during the seventh to fifth centuries BC,
but also Gaulish intrusion to the north, which compressed
Etruscan borders there
6th century BC
to the Hallstatt culture of
along with the Boii,
Osi, and at least
some elements of the later
are to be found around the central German lands or in
that would later form the homeland of the Boii, and which may even be shared
with their ancestors at this time. They and other Celts begin an expansion
around this time that sees them migrate south-westwards, towards southern
the Pyrenees, and into Iberia. As they are primarily cattle herders, they
take their herds with them, greatly supplementing their diet with milk,
fatty cheese, and beef.
c.400 - 391 BC
Following the route set by Bellovesus and the
other bodies of Celts
have gradually invaded northern
probably due to over population in Gaul and the promise of fertile territory
just waiting to be captured. The first of these is the
around 400 BC, under the leadership of Elitovius. They found settlements
at Brixia (modern Brescia) and Verona (the latter perhaps being captured
from the Euganei). The Libui
follow next, along with the
Saluvii, both of
which settle near the ancient tribe of the Laevi. Then the Boii and
Lingones cross the Pennine
Alps and, as all the country between the Po and the Alps is occupied, they
cross the Po on rafts and expel not only the
but the Umbri
as well. However, they remain north of the Apennines. Then in 391 BC the
the last to come, occupy the country from the River Utis (or Utens) to
the Aesis (near Ancona, which marks the border between the
and the Umbri in Italy). The Alpine
Medulli tribe may also
find its home there as part of this migration.
4th century BC
The Boii migrate into the region which forms modern western
in the Pannonian Plain. Over the next four centuries they become so closely
tied to the region that its name, the Boiohæmum, is apparently retained (or
coined) by the tribe's
Germanic successors and passes into Latin. The name survives into the
Middle Ages as
which remains in common use until the twentieth century and it still a
regional name today.
282 - 281 BC
Etruscan city of Pupluna suffers badly during
wars against the Boii, this being the group that migrated into
in the fourth century BC. Having seen the expulsion by Rome of the
the previous year, the Boii raise a general levy which includes Etruscans
and set out to meet the Romans on the battlefield. Near Lake Vadimonis the
battle sees the Etruscans suffer the loss of more than half their men, while
hardly any of the Boii escape alive.
The following year the Boii and Etruscans try again. This time everyone is
armed, including youths who have only just reached manhood. Again they are
decimated and completely defeated, and this time they surrender, sending
ambassadors to Rome to conclude a treaty. Polybius writes that constant
defeats at the hands of the Gauls had inured the Romans to the worst that
could befall them, so that they are able to fight the Boii on this occasion
like trained and experienced gladiators.
The Boii are also linked to the Tolistoboges in the form of Tolistoboii,
which therefore is an enterprising division of the main host. It is the
Tolistoboges that forms the main driving force of the
Celtic invasion of
at this time, which ultimately results in the formation of the
and the Galatian
? - 236 BC
King of the Boii in northern
Killed by his people.
? - 236 BC
Co-ruler of the Boii in northern
Killed by his people.
The Gauls in northern
have maintained an unbroken peace with
for forty-five years, the last battles having being fought against the Boii.
A new generation is now in command of the tribes and is eager to test itself
against the common enemy. These tribal chiefs inflate trivial excuses in
their cause, and invite the Alpine Gauls to join the impending fray.
This is the first that the majority of the tribesmen know of the intended
renewal of hostilities, and the Boii immediately form a conspiracy against
their own leaders, as well as against the newcomers. A Gaulish king who acts
without the support and consent of his own people places considerable risk
on his own safety. Atis and Galatus are put to death, and the tribe cuts
itself to pieces in a pitched battle. Rome, alarmed at the threatened
invasion, is able to recall its dispatched army.
Five years after the threat of war between Gauls and
had ended in Gaulish internecine battle, during the consulship of Marcus
Aemilius Lepidus, Rome divides the territory of Picenum, from which the
had been ejected in 283 BC. For many of the Gauls, and especially the Boii
whose lands border this territory, this is an act of war. The tribes are
now convinced that Rome wants to destroy and expel them completely.
231 - 225 BC
Over the next six years or so, the two most extensive tribes, the Boii
and Insubres, send
out the call for assistance to the tribes living around the Alps and
on the Rhone. Rather than each of the tribes sending their own warriors,
it appears that individual warriors are hired from the entire Alpine
region as mercenaries. Polybius calls them
it as a word which means 'serving for hire'. They come with their own
kings, Concolitanus and Aneroetes, who have probably been elected
from their number in the
While most of the Gauls of the third century BC fought fully
clothed, their Gaesatae mercenaries tended to fight with nothing
more than their weapons, and not even the trousers shown here
The Gaesatae are offered a large sum of gold on the spot and the wealth of
is also pointed out - wealth that can be theirs if they stick to their
task. The mercenaries are easily persuaded, and are proud to remind the
other Gauls of the campaign that had been undertaken by their own ancestors
in which they had seized Rome. This strongly suggests that a proportion of
the Gaesatae (probably including their kings) are descended from members of
tribe, as it was this tribe that had led the occupation of Rome in 389 BC.
Rome has been informed of what is coming, and hurries to assemble the legions.
Even its ongoing conflict with the
take second place, and a treaty is hurriedly agreed with Hasdrubaal,
commander in Iberia, which virtually confirms Carthaginian rule there. Such
is Rome's haste that they approach the Gaulish frontier before the Gauls have
It is 225 BC when the Gaesatae forces cross the Alps and enter the valley of
the Padus with a formidable army, furnished with a variety of armour. The
Boii, Insubres, and Taurini
accompany them but the
and Veneti are persuaded to side with Rome, forcing the Gauls to detach a
force to guard their flank. Despite this, their main army consists of about
a hundred and seventy thousand foot and horse, which petrifies the Romans
and reminds them of 389 BC. As well as the four new legions, they are
more Cenomani and Veneti. Defending Rome and its territories are
plus two more legions on
Sicily and in
The first battle, when it comes, is near Faesulae, outside the subjugated
Etruscan city of Clevsin. The Romans are decimated and routed by superior
Gaulish tactics. A fresh army under Lucius Aemilius arrives, and Aneroetes
counsels retreat with their booty and army intact, ready to launch a fresh
attack when ready. Consul Gaius Atilius lands at Pisae with the Sardinian
legion and the Gauls find themselves caught between two Roman armies. The
battle is fierce, and the Gauls gain the head of Gaius Atilius. However, the
battle turns against them and large numbers of Gauls are cut down or taken
prisoner, including Concolitanus. Aneroetes is able to flee with his band of
followers, and they commit suicide together.
Buoyed by its victory,
attempts to clear the entire valley of the Padus. Two legions are sent under
the command of the consuls of that year, and the Boii are terrified into
submission. However, incessant rain and an outbreak of disease prevents
the legions from achieving anything greater.
Two fresh consuls lead two more legions into the Padus, marching through the
territory of the
who live not far from Placentia (some readings of the original text translate
this as the Ananes and their home in the Marseilles region, which would be
impossible given the nature of this campaign). They secure the friendship
of this tribe and cross into the country of the
near the confluence of the Adua and Padus. Some skirmishing aside, peace
is agreed with this tribe, and the
head for the River Clusius. There they enter
lands, with these allies providing some reinforcements. Then the Romans
return to the Insubres and begin laying waste to their land. The tribe is
faced with no choice but to fight, and their defeat is all but inevitable.
With peaceful overtures by the
Insubres being firmly rejected
by Rome, the tribe calls on
the Gaesatae once more. Together
they fight the Romans and withdraw intact to Mediolanum. The stronghold is stormed
by the Romans and, following some hard fighting, the Insubres are left with no
option but to surrender, their unnamed chief making a complete submission to Rome.
This act effectively ends the Gallic War in northern
Italy, as Rome now
dominates all of the tribes there. However, the main body of Boii in Germany
still exists in complete freedom from any Roman control, and probably Roman
contact at this point in time.
Writing in the mid-second century BC, Polybius provides
both the Allobroges and
the Segovellauni with
their first mention in history. The Allobroges are already established on
the western side of the Alps and control many of the important passes through
the mountains. They (and 'other tribes' which may include the
attempt to resist the passage of Hannibal and his
army which is on its way to attack
Rome during the Second
Punic War. Perhaps not unexpectedly, it seems to be fellow
Celts, the Boii of
northern Italy, who
first show the mountain passes to Hannibal after the Segovellauni have
escorted them through the Allobroges' lands, according to Livy in Ab Urbe
Condita. Tribal politics often means using your enemy's enemy to strike
a blow against them.
The Celtic tribes of the Western Alps were relatively small and
fairly fragmented, but they made up for that with a level of
belligerence and fighting ability that often stunned their major
opponents, including the Romans
is one of two possible dates for the migration of a
group of Boii through the Norican
region to found an oppidum on the banks of the Danube (modern Bratislava in
Slovakia). They also
found a mint there, but an alternative date for this migration is 113 BC.
More probably, migration takes place in at least two waves, with the later
one being the better remembered.
Archaeological evidence also shows a second century expansion of
Celts from the
Boii territories, heading north-east into Silesia (now part of
Poland) passing through
the Kłodzko Valley. This would be the main body of Boii expanding their
territory further outwards.
? - 101 BC
King of the
(& Boii?). Also known in legend as King Boiger.
113 - 105 BC
Teutobod and Boiorix lead a large-scale migration of
their homeland in what later becomes central and northern
Along the way they pick up Celto-Germanic
Helvetii peoples (in
territory that later becomes
Their passage sparks a partial tribal movement by elements of the Boii who
invade the Norican region
south of the Danube by 113 BC, after defeating the
Scordisci along the way.
They assault the settlement of Noreia and the Taurisci, who are allies of
call upon the republic for assistance. The Romans respond and report that
they have infliced a crushing defeat on the Boii, although this may be
little more than propaganda, as the Boii seem to be little affected by the
This particular group eventually settles in western Pannonia, to the south
of the modern city of Bratislava in
There they found an oppidum and a mint, although the timing of this
event is uncertain. It can also be placed around 200 BC, which would
completely disconnect it from the Cimbri and Teutones migration, but
clues left in the name of the Cimbri tribe and its ruler suggest that
this is the more likely date. Boiorix should be taken to mean 'king of the
Boii', a tantalising clue to the interrelationship of
Celtic politics and
An illustration depicting the Teutones wandering in Gaul, part
of a large-scale migration from modern Denmark into northern
105 - 101 BC
have ventured so far south into Gaul by this time that they break into
Italy, coming up against
the Roman republic. The
resultant Cimbrian War sees initial Teuton and Cimbri success against
tribes which are allied to Rome, and a huge Roman army is destroyed at the
Battle of Arausio in 105 BC. Consul Gaius Marius rebuilds the Roman forces,
while the Cimbri raid Iberia. In 102 BC the weakened Teutones are defeated
and enslaved. The Cimbri are similarly destroyed at the Battle of Vercellae
in 101 BC.
of the Boiohæmum (Gauls)
general terms, the Romans
coined the name 'Gaul' to describe the
of what is now central, northern and eastern
France. The Gauls
were divided from the
Belgae to the
north by the Marne and the Seine, and from the Aquitani to the south by
the River Garonne. They also extended eastwards, into the region that was
becoming known as Germania. The Celts had ruled much of this in their
heyday, but by the middle of the first century BC they were fragmented,
and were either in the process of being expelled by the increasingly powerful
Germanic tribes who were
migrating southwards from
Scandinavia and the
Baltic coast, or they were being defeated and integrated into Germanic
or other tribes.
The Boii were an exception. They still had a firm grip on the Boiohæmum,
which was centred on
the western two-thirds of modern
but which extended across the Pannonian Basin (otherwise known as the
Carpathian Basin). This offered protection in the form of the Alps to the
west, and the Carpathians and Transylvanian Plateau to the north and east.
By the mid-first century BC, the Boii were neighboured to the west by the
Hermunduri, to the north by the
Semnones, to the east by
the Celtic Helveconae
Naharvali, and to the south by the
The name of the region, Boiohæmum, is made up of the tribe's name, Boii,
plus the word 'heim', which means 'home'. Traditionally, 'Boiohæmum' was
coined by Rome, and this name later evolved into Bohemia. However, the
'-haemum' section is Latinised Germanic. The proto-Germanic word for 'home'
is given as 'haim' in Fordsmeyer's. Despite the spelling difference, this
appears to be the same 'ay-ee' diphthong. This implies that 'Boiohæmum'
in its original form was imported into Latin after, not before, the
Marcomanni took over the region. The Boiemum of Tacitus would seem to be
a shortening of this.
(Information co-authored by Edward Dawson, and additional information from The
La Tene Celtic Belgae Tribes in England: Y-Chromosome Haplogroup R-U152 -
Hypothesis C, David K Faux, and from External Link:
Works of Julius Caesar: Gallic Wars. Other major sources listed in the 'Barbarian
Europe' section of the Sources
61 - 58 BC
Despite the death of Orgetorix of the
Helvetii, his people decide
to go ahead with their planned exodus. Aquitania seems to be their target, where
they hope to tie up with the Boii who have settled there, close to the Atlantic
coast. Groups from several local tribes join the Helvetii, including Boii units
from the tribe's main body to the north, making them one of the largest and most
powerful forces in all of Gaul. As they depart, they burn their villages and any
food stocks that cannot be carried, not intending to return.
In the east, according to Strabo, one pocket of Boii is destroyed by the
Burebista in 60 or 59 BC. There seem to be two pockets of Boii along the line
of the Danube at this time, one in Dacia itself and the other in Pannonia Superior.
The inclination is to suspect that it is the Dacian Boii who are exterminated by
Burebista, but they may already have fallen as this attack also targets the
Taurisci as well, and they
most certainly do neighbour the Pannonian Boii. The district they have lost is
later termed 'The Desert of the Boii', and it may well be this destruction that
prompts many Boii to join the Helvetii.
After some skirmishing, the Helvetii and the
face each other at the Battle of Bibracte in 58 BC, just outside the
of the same name. The Helvetii are mercilessly crushed by the six Roman legions.
Perhaps two thirds of their number, men, women and children, are killed on the
day, while another 20,000 are killed in the subsequent pursuit.
The Roman troops of Julius Caesar prepare to face the Helvetii
and their allies (which probably include some Boii elements) at
the Battle of Bibracte in 58 BC, outside the oppidum of the
The shattered remnants of the Helvetii are forced back to their homeland,
while the Boii contingent is allowed to settle in the territory of the Aeduii.
Having been greatly reduced, the Helvetii will be unable to fight off
Germanic incursions that
could also threaten Gaul. Julius Caesar allows the relatively hospitable Boii
to settle a buffer zone to the north of the Helvetii and east of the Aeduii,
but even this shift leaves gaps for Germanic incursions, and one such incursion
is already underway to the north. Caesar receives a federation of chiefs from
tribes that include the Sequani,
all of whom are suffering thanks to the
invasion under Ariovistus. It is this campaign and its mixed outcome,
despite victory in battle, that triggers Julius Caesar's campaigns in
Gaul from this point onwards, which result in the eventual annexation
of the entire land into the Roman state.
60 - 58 BC
Ariovistus is a leader of the
other allied Germanic
peoples in the second quarter of the first century BC, and at least up
to 58 BC. Displaying the interconnected nature of Germanics and
Celts at this
time, he is a fluent speaker of Gaulish, and one of his two wives is the
daughter of Vocion of the
Norican kingdom. The
also appear to exhibit cross-cultural links of this nature, albeit half a
century later, although the events of 58 BC show that they already exist
as a separate entity. This can probably be taken as confirmation that
they already border the Boii in central western Germany.
8 - 6 BC
Perhaps forced to move by the
campaigns of 12-9 BC, migrations of
from the region of northern
and the River Main lead them eastwards into the homeland of the
Boii (in later
where the Celtic tribe is subjugated by the newcomers. The Cotini, to the
immediate east of the Boii, seem also to be subjugated around this time,
by the Quadi.
Marbod forms a confederation of tribes which includes
Marcomanni, Quadi, and Semnones...
and the Boii themselves. Possibly this incorporates remnants of the alliances of
Ariovistus of the
58 BC. Following their successful takeover by the Marcomanni, the Boii
simply change their name and language under the new administration.
Traditionally, the Celtic
Boii were smashed by the
of the last years of the first century BC. The surviving fragments are
supposed to have scattered into surrounding Gaulish lands to the south
and west, breaking up into several groups. However, in reality groups of
Boii had been wandering far and wide for centuries. As far back as the
fourth century BC a group of early
Boii wandered into central
Italy and settled
there. By the middle of the first century BC there were several Boii
groups across Europe, accounting for much of the supposed exodus material,
while the smashing of the core Boii tribe and the exodus of their people
may never have happened.
It seems very likely that the Marcomanni takeover (as opposed to destruction)
realised by a
Germanic military elite
moving in to become the new nobility, ruling over an unchanged population.
The same thing seems to have happened when the Slavic Czechs migrated into
the region several centuries later. There exist Czechs today who have an
appearance that is not typically Slavic and not particularly Nordic, which
is what would be expected if the population was entirely Slavic or Germanic
respectively. The most important pointer for this supposition is that the
Marcomanni leader, Maroboduus or Marbod, has a Gaulish name. There were
several instances of Celtic tribes being led by Germanic rulers, or vice
versa, and in this case it would seem that a powerful fighting force of
Germans calling themselves the 'Bordermen' ('Marcomen'), led by a Gaul,
took over the Boii. The 'Borderman' name itself is a potential give-away,
as it was probably the Boii border to which they were referring. Following
their successful takeover, the Boii simply changed their name and language
under the new administration.
As for the migratory Boii across Europe, one group ended up in Aquitania by
the mid-first century BC, on the coast to the south of the River Garonne.
Sometimes referred to as the Boeates (a division of the
and perhaps as the
Vocates (in Caesar's
Gallic Wars), they found themselves neighboured by the Biturices
Vivisci to the north, the Vasates
and Sotiates to the east,
and tribes of the Aquitani to the south.
A small group found themselves in central Gaul, at Gorgobia, which was possibly
Gergovia near Alesia. If Gergovia was indeed Gorgobia, then they were
neighboured to the north by the
the east by the Mandubii,
to the south by the
and to the west by the
They were allowed to settle there by Julius Caesar in 58 BC, following the
defeat of the Celtic host that was being led by the
Helvetii. As they were
relatively cooperative and amenable, Caesar added them to a buffer zone that
was intended to prevent incursions by Germanic tribes living along the Rhine.
They settled just in time to be dragged into the final Gaulish defeat at
Alesia in 52 BC.
Another group entered the soon-to-be
province of Pannonia Superior, settling there at an undetermined date which
was probably around 113 BC, as part of the Cimbric War. They founded an
oppidum at Bratislava, but by the mid-first century BC they seemed to have
been pushed southwards from it by an incursion of the Illyrian Azari tribe.
Their other neighbours at this time were the
to the east, Illyrian tribes to to the south, and by the
Taurisci to the west.
A group also settled in Dacia, which was on the very eastern edge of Gaulish
lands in Europe by this time. Their neighbours on all sides were
tribes, with only the Celtic
Anarti to the north-west
through which to maintain any links with the host of Gaulish tribes beyond
them. According to Strabo, one pocket of Boii was destroyed by the Dacian
ruler, Burebista (Boerebista), in 60 or 59 BC, and the district they occupied
was later termed 'The Desert of the Boii'. The inclination is to suspect
that it is the Dacian Boii who were exterminated by Burebista, but they may
already have fallen as this attack also targeted the Taurisci as well, and
they most certainly did neighbour the Pannonian Boii. It may well be this
destruction that prompted many Boii to join the Helvetii in their invasion
of western Gaul in 60-58 BC.
(Information co-authored by Edward Dawson, and additional information from
Research into the Physical History of Mankind, James Cowles Prichard,
The Germany and the Agricola of Tacitus: The Oxford Translation, Revised
With Notes, Cornelius Tacitus.)
4th century BC
One of the earliest Boii migrations that has been recorded
takes place in the fourth century BC. This group of Boii manages to migrate
getting as far south as Bologna, near Ravenna. They intermix with the dominant
Etruscans, but are later defeated and subjugated by
By the first century BC, they have been forcibly integrated into the Roman
republic, although they retain elements of their language which have survived
to the present day.
Strabo connects these defeated Boii with those neighbouring the
Taurisci on the Danube.
He states that the Boii of Italy are driven out, migrating to the River Ister
where they live alongside the Taurisci and fight with them against the Daci.
However, this would seem to be a separate, earlier migration group, albeit
with possible returnees joining it from Italy.
A Taurisci silver tetradrachm produced by the
regionally-dominant Taurisci around 100 BC showing
the stylised head of Apollo and a Celtic horseman
throwing a spear
Helvetii invasion of
western Gaul meets with defeat at
hands. But Caesar's victory leaves him with other problems. First he forces
the Helvetii back to their homeland in order to prevent more Germanic
incursions into Gaul, across a border zone that is now relatively undefended.
Next he allows the somewhat friendly or at least pacified Boii who had
travelled with the Helvetii to settle into a buffer zone with the
and the Helvetii.
Farther east, the Boii settlement at what is now Bratislava appears to
have been 'pacified' by the Romans, who of course want the occupants to
pay taxes. This is part of Pannonia, which is not fully subjugated by
Rome until AD 8.
While Caesar is tied down in
the Gauls begin their revolt, resolving to die in freedom rather than be
suppressed by the invaders. The
take the lead under Cotuatus and Conetodunus when they kill the Roman
traders who have settled in Genabum. News of the event reaches the
morning, and Vercingetorix summons his people to arms.
Vercingetorix, after sustaining a series of losses at Vellaunodunum,
Genabum, and Noviodunum, summons his men to a council in which it is
decided that the Romans should be prevented from being able to gather
supplies. A scorched earth policy is adopted, and more than twenty towns of the
are burned in one day, although their oppidum at Avaricum is spared.
The Boii in Gaul have little with which to support the Romans, and the
Aeduii are showing
little enthusiasm for it, but Caesar secures all the supplies he needs when
he besieges and storms Avaricum, despite a formidable Gaulish defence.
From there, the two sides gravitate towards an eventual confrontation at
Gergovia, a town of the recently resettled Boii. Now the chief of the
generally pro-Roman Aeduii, Convictolitavis, is free to end his
equivocation and leads a force not in support of Caesar at Gergovia
but against him. The
Nitiobroges also send
troops to aid Vercingetorix there. Caesar loses the siege after having
to split his forces to face the unexpected threat, a rare defeat for
him in Gaul.
The site of Alesia, a major fort belonging to the Mandubii tribe
of Celts, was the scene of the final desperate stand-off between
Rome and the Gauls in 52 BC
Vercingetorix, his cavalry subsequently routed in battle,
withdraws in good order to Alesia, a major fort belonging to the
Mandubii. The remaining
cavalry are dispatched back to their tribes to bring reinforcements. Caesar
begins a siege of Alesia, aiming on starving out the inhabitants. Four
relief forces amounting to a considerable number of men and horses are
assembled in the territory of the Aeduii by the council of the Gaulish
nobility. Among those demanded from the tribes of Gaul, the Boii,
Raurici send substantial
numbers of men. Together they attempt to relieve Vercingetorix at the
siege of Alesia, but the combined relief force is soundly repulsed by
Julius Caesar. Seeing that all is lost, Vercingetorix surrenders to Caesar.
The garrison is taken prisoner, as are the survivors from the relief army.
They are either sold into slavery or given as booty to Caesar's legionaries,
apart from the Aeduii and Arverni warriors who are released and pardoned
in order to secure the allegiance of these important and powerful tribes.
fl 50/41 BC
Critasiros / Critasirus
King? Defeated by the Dacians.
50 or 41 BC
On or around one of these dates the
with the (probably Pannonian) Boii under their commander, Critasiros, but are
defeated by the Dacian King Burebistas. Some modern sources show this command
system in the form of Critasiros ruling over both people, whereas he is simply
commanding a joint force.
finally conquers Pannonia. The result is that the Boii settlements there,
along the Danube, are incorporated into the Roman empire. They are fully
settled by this time, living alongside the neighbouring Azali. The Romans
administer both peoples within the civitas Boiorum et Azaliorum -
effectively the [client] kingdom of the Boii and Azali. The region becomes
Pannonia Superior, governed by the praefectus ripae Danuvii, prefect
of the Danubian shore.
Elements of the Boii tribe may survive in the Pannonian Plain, probably in a
subjugated state in the territory that will later become
The Germanic tribe of the
which controls the area in the fifth century is now destroyed by the
general and emperor, Odoacer. In the void created by this destruction, a new
confederation quickly forms. It is unusual in that it does not migrate from
elsewhere but is made up from local elements, which include possible Boii descendants
settlers, along with elements of the Germanic
(following the fall of their own kingdom),
This confederation migrates southwards to form the