, and Ἀλλόβρογες
, as the Greeks write the name), a Gallic people, whose territory lay on the east side of the Rhone, and chiefly between the Rhone and the Isara (Isère
). On the west they were bounded by the Segusiani (Caes. Gal. 1.10
). In Caesar's time (B. G.
1.6) the Rhodanus, near its outlet from the lake Lemannus, or the lake of Geneva, was the boundary between the Allobroges and the Helvetii; and the furthest town of the Allobroges on the Helvetic border was Geneva, at which place there was a road over the Rhone into the Helvetic territory by a bridge. The Sequani were the northern neighbours of the Allobroges, who seem to have had some territory on the north side of the Rhone above the junction of the Rhone with the Arar (Saone
). To the south of the Allobroges were the Vocontii.
The limits of their territory may be generally defined in one direction, by a line drawn from Vienna (Vienne)
on the Rhone, which was their chief city, to Geneva on the Leman lake. Their land was a wine country.
The Allobroges are first mentioned in history as having joined Hannibal B.C. 218 in his invasion of Italy (Liv. 21.31
). The Aedui, who were the first allies of Rome north of the Alps, having complained of the incursions of the Allobroges into their territory, the Allobroges were attacked and defeated near the junction of the Rhone and the Saone by Q. Fabius Maximus (B.C. 121), who from his victory derived the cognomen Allobrogicus. Under Roman dominion they became a more agricultural: people, as Strabo describes them (p. 185): most of them lived in small towns or villages, and their chief place was Vienna. The Allobroges were looked on with suspicion by their conquerors, for though conquered they retained their old animosity; and their dislike of Roman dominion will explain the attempt made by the conspirators with Catiline, to gain over the Allobroges through some ambassadors of the nation who were then in Rome (B.C. 63).
The ambassadors, however, through fear or some other motive, betrayed the conspirators (Sal. Cat. 41
). When Caesar was governor of Gallia, the Allobroges north of the Rhone fled to him for protection against the Helvetii, who were then marching through their country, B.C. 58 (B. G.
1.11). The Allobroges had a senate, or some body that in a manner corresponded to the Roman senate (Cic. Cat. 3.5
In the division of Gallia under Augustus, the Allobroges were included in Narbonensis, the Provincia of Caesar (Caes. Gal. 1.10
); and in the late division of Gallia, they formed the Viennensis.