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An old German nation, which inhabited a part of the present Holland, especially the island called Batavorum Insula (modern Betuwe), formed by that branch of the Rhine which empties into the sea near Lugdunum Batavorum (Leyden), together with the Vahalis (Waal) and Mosa (Maas). Their territories, however, extended much beyond the Waal. Tacitus commends their bravery. According to him they were originally the same as the Catti (q.v.), a German tribe, which had emigrated from their country on account of domestic troubles. This must have happened before the time of Caesar. When Germanicus was about to invade Germany from the sea he made their island the rendezvous of his fleet. Being subjugated by the Romans, they served them with such courage and fidelity as to obtain the title of friends and brethren. They were exempted from tributes and taxes, and permitted to choose their leaders among themselves. Their cavalry was particularly excellent. During the reign of Vespasian they revolted, under the command of Civilis, from the Romans, and extorted from them favourable terms of peace. Trajan and Hadrian subjugated them again. At the end of the third century the Salian Franks obtained possession of the Insula Batavorum. The capital of the nation was Lugdunum Batavorum, now Leyden ( Hist. iv. 12; xix. 32).

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