previous next


Eth. CENOMANI (Eth. Κενομάνοι, Strab. Ptol.; Γονομάνοι, Polyb.), a tribe of the Cisalpine Gauls, who occupied the tract N. of the Padus, between the Insubres on the W. and the Veneti on the E. Their territory appears to have extended from the river Addua to the Athesis. Both Polybius and Livy expressly mention them among the tribes of Gauls which had crossed the Alps within historical memory, and had expelled the Etruscans from the territory in which they established themselves and subsequently continued to occupy. (Pol. 2.17; Liv. 5.35.) It is remarkable that they appear in history almost uniformly as friendly to the Romans, and refusing to take part with their kindred tribes against them. Thus, during the great Gaulish war in B.C. 225, when the Boii and Insubres took up arms against Rome, the Cenomani, as well as their neighbours the Veneti, concluded an alliance with the republic, and the two nations together furnished a force of 20,000 men, with which they threatened the frontier of the Insubres. (Pol. 2.23, 24, 32; Strab. v. p.216.) Even when Hannibal invaded Cisalpine Gaul they continued faithful to the Romans, and furnished a body of auxiliaries, who fought with them at the battle of the Trebia. (Liv. 21.55.) After the close of the Second Punic War, however, they took part in the revolt of the Gauls under Hamilcar (B.C. 200), and again a few years later joined their arms with those of the Insubres: but even then the defection seems to have been but partial, and after their defeat by the consul C. Cornelius (B.C. 197), they hastened to submit, and thenceforth continued faithful allies of the Romans. (Liv. 31.10, 32.30, 39.3.) From this time they disappear from history, and became gradually merged in the condition of Roman subjects, until in B.C. 49 they acquired, with the rest of the Transpadane Gauls, the full rights of Roman citizens. (D. C. 41.36.)

The limits of the territory occupied by them are not very clearly defined. Strabo omits all notice of them in the geographical description of Gallia Cisalpina, and assigns their cities to the Insubres. Livy speaks of Brixia and Verona as the chief cities in their territory. Pliny assigns to them Cremona and Brixia: while Ptolemy gives them a much wider extent, comprising not only Bergomum and Mantua, but Tridentum also, which was certainly a Rhaetian city. (Strab. v. p.213; Liv. 5.35; Plin. Nat. 3.19. s. 23; Ptol. 3.1.31.) It is singular that Polybius, in one passage (2.32), appears to describe the river Clusius (Chiese), as separating them from the Insubres: but this is probably a mistake. The limits above assigned them, namely, the Addua on the W., the Athesis on the E., and the Padus. on the S., may be regarded as approximately [p. 1.585]correct. The Alpine tribes of the Camuni and the Triumpilini, which bordered on them on the N., are expressly described by Pliny as of Euganean race, and were not therefore nationally connected with the Cenomani, though in his time at least united with them for administrative purposes.

The topographical description of the country of the Cenomani, as it existed under the Roman Empire, is more conveniently given under the general head of GALLIA CISALPINA


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: