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European Kingdoms

Barbarians

 

Anauni (Raeti) (Alpines)

Prior to domination by Rome, the Alpine region contained various populations which had a complex, obscure, and ethnically-multilayered history. Two major ethnic groups were recorded (aside from intrusions by the Etruscans and Veneti), these being the Euganei on the north Italian plain and the Alpine foothills, and the Raeti in the Trentino and Alto Adige valleys.

There were a great many more minor groups, all of which seem to have formed part of the initial phase of the Golasecca culture. Generally they belonged to one or the other of these though, or to the coastal Ligurians who had gradually penetrated the Alps from the south.

MapRaeti Tribes were not part of the West Indo-European migration into southern Central Europe between about 3500-2500 BC. Instead they seem to have borne a degree of relationship with the Etruscans of north-western Italy. This is discussed in more detail on the main Raeti page (and see map for general tribal distributions in the first centuries BC and AD).

The Anauni (not to be confused with the Genaunes) could be found in and around Val di Non and Val di Sol, in today's Trento province (to the north of Lake Garda). This is between Mezzacorona and the Adige, about thirty kilometres to the north of Trento and along the banks of the River Noce (a tributary of the Adige).

Their principal civitas was Anaunium, today's Nanno. The tribe is mentioned by Ptolemy and Paulinus of Milan (Vita Ambrosisus). Its presence outside of normal Raeti territory is confirmed through archaeology, and dates from about 500 BC. That date clearly ties them to the Celtic incursions into northern Italy, but their location would suggest that they did not follow the other Raeti in heading north into the Alps, instead remaining surrounded by Etruscans, Ligurians, and Veneti.

Despite being out of their expected position, they have been confirmed as being Raeti due to a number of epigraphs and inscriptions which have been found on multiple archaeological discoveries, not only from what is considered to be their territory but also within the vicinity. This all helps to support their claim, and to be part of what is known as the Fritzens-Sanzeno culture which existed between about 500 BC and the first century BC. The Romans probably moved in on them during their third campaign in the Alpine Wars of 25-15 BC.

The Alps

(Information by Trish Wilson, with additional information by Peter Kessler, Edward Dawson, & Maurizio Puntin, from The History of Rome, Volume 1, Titus Livius (translated by Rev Canon Roberts), from The Histories, Herodotus (Penguin, 1996), from Les peuples préromains du Sud-Est de la Gaule: Étude de géographie historique, Guy Barruol (De Boccard, 1999), from Die Kelten in Österreich nach den ältesten Berichten der Antike, Gerhard Dobesch (in German), from Urbanizzazione delle campagne nell'Italia antica, Lorenzo Quilici & Stefania Quilici Gigli (in Italian), from La frontiera padana, Mauro Poletti (in Italian), and from External Links: Indo-European Chronology - Countries and Peoples, and Indo-European Etymological Dictionary, J Pokorny, and Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, William Smith (1854, Perseus Digital Library), and The Natural History, Pliny the Elder (John Bostock, Ed), and L'Arbre Celtique (The Celtic Tree, in French), and Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz or Dictionnaire Historique de la Suisse or Dizionario Storico dell Svizzera (in German, French, and Italian respectively), and Le Alpi (Università di Trento).)

c.600 BC

Bellovesus and his massed horde of people from the Bituriges, Insubres, and several other tribes begin a migration across the Alps and into northern Italy. This barrier is one which has apparently not previously been breached by Celts, but they are also deterred by a sense of religious obligation, triggered by news reaching them that another group looking for territory, a force of Massalians, is under attack by the Salyes (Ligurians).

Map of Alpine and Ligurian tribes, c.200-15 BC
The origins of the Euganei, Ligurians, Raeti, Veneti, and Vindelici are confused and unclear, but in the last half of the first millennium BC they were gradually being Celticised or were combining multiple influences to create hybrid tribes (click or tap on map to view full sized)

Following a defeat of the Salyes, the Celts make the crossing, heading through the passes of the Taurini and the valley of the Douro. Then they defeat Etruscans in battle not far from the Ticinus. Bellovesus and his people settle around the Ticinus and build a settlement called Mediolanum (modern Milan).

This could herald the start of the period in which - if they are not already there - various Celtic tribes settle the western Alps rather than following Bellovesus into Italy, such as the Veragri, while the native Ligurians are compressed southwards towards the Mediterranean, westwards to create a Celto-Ligurian hybrid group, and possibly northwards (specifically the Lepontii). The Raeti and the many Raeti Tribes may not see any immediate change, but Celtic influences over them will steadily increase.

25 - 15 BC

Augustus determines that the Alpine tribes need to be pacified in order to end their warlike behaviour, alternately attacking or extracting money from Romans who pass through the region, even when they have armies in tow. He wages a steady, determined campaign against them during the Alpine Wars, and in a period of ten years he 'pacifies the Alps all the way from the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian seas' (written by Augustus himself).

La Turbie and the Trophy of Augustus
The Tropaeum Alpium ('Trophy of the Alps') stands majestically in the commune of La Turbie on the French Riviera, overlooking the principality of Monaco, and marking the final victory over the Alpine tribes by Augustus

14 BC

Emperor Augustus creates the province of Alpes Maritimae (the maritime, or seaward, Alps). It has its capital at Cemenelum (modern Nice, although this is switched in AD 297 to Civitas Ebrodunensium, modern Embrun). The history of the Alpine region's population of Celts, Celto-Ligurians, Euganei, and Raeti is now tied to that of the empire.

AD 46

The best information regarding the Anauni, Sinduni, and Tulliassi comes from a bronze tablet which is known as the Tabula Clesiana. Discovered in 1869 in the village of Cles (South Tyrol in today's Austria), all three tribes are mentioned, along with the fact that they are being granted full civic rights by Emperor Claudius, rights which include Roman citizenship. Today the tablet is kept in the museum of the Castello del Buonconsiglio in Trento.

The fact that the Roman empire now unquestionably controls the entire Alpine region - giving it free access to Gaul and Germania - probably hastens the final decline and disappearance of any non-Indo-European traits, customs, and languages here.

 
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