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Beyond, both the eastern parts of the mountains, and those likewise inclining to the south, are possessed by the Rhæti and Vindelici, who adjoin the Helvetii and Boii, and press upon their plains. The Rhæti extend as far as Italy above Verona and Como. The Rhætian wine, which is esteemed not inferior to the finest wines of Italy, is produced [from vines which grow] at the foot of the mountains. These people extend also as far as the districts through which the Rhine flows. The Lepontii and Camuni are of their nation. The Vindelici and Norici possess, for the most part, the opposite side of the mountains together with the Breuni and Genauni, who form part of the Illyrians.1 All these people were continually making incursions both into the neighbouring parts of Italy, and into [the countries] of the Helvetii, the Sequani,2 the Boii, and the Germans.3 But the Licattii, the Clautinatii, and the Vennones4 proved the boldest amongst the Vindelici; and the Rucantii and Cotuantii amongst the Rhæti. Both the Estiones and Brigantii belong to the Vindelici; their cities are Brigantium, Campodunum, and Damasia, which may be looked upon as the Acropolis of the Licattii. It is narrated, as an instance of the extreme brutality of these robbers towards the people of Italy, that when they have taken any village or city, they not only put to death all the men capable of bearing arms, but likewise all the male children, and do not even stop here, but murder every pregnant woman who, their diviners say, will bring forth a male infant.5

1 The limits of these barbarous nations were continually varying according to their success in war, in general, however, the Rhæti possessed the country of the Grisons, the Tyrol, and the district about Trent. The Lepontii possessed the Val Leventina. The Camuni the Val Camonica. The Vindelici occupied a portion of Bavaria and Suabia; on their west were the Helvetii or Swiss, and on the north the Boii, from whom they were separated by the Danube; these last people have left their name to Bohemia. The Norici possessed Styria, Carinthia, a part of Austria and Bavaria to the south of the Danube. The Breuni have given their name to the Val Braunia north of the Lago Maggiore; and the Genauni appear to have inhabited the Val Agno, between Lake Maggiore and the Lake of Como, although Strabo seems to place these people on the northern side of the Alps, towards the confines of Illyria.

2 The people of Franche Comté.

3 The Germans of Wirtemberg and Suabia.

4 The Licattii appear to have inhabited the country about the Lech, and the Clautinatii that about the Inn; the Vennones the Val Telline.

5 This disgusting brutality however is no more barbarous than the intention put by Homer into the mouth of Agamemnon, ‘the king of men,’ which Scholiasts have in vain endeavoured to soften or excuse—

τῶν μήτις ὑπεκφύγοι αἰπὺν ὂλεθοͅον,
χεῖοͅάς θ̓ ἡμετερασ᾽ μηδ᾽ ὅντινα γαστέοͅι μήτηρ
κοῦρον ἐόντα φέροι, μηδ᾽ ὅς φύγοι ἀλλ ἅμα πάντες
᾿ιλίου ἐξαπολοίατ᾽, ἀκηδεστοι καὶ ἂφαντοι.

Iliad vi. 57–60.

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