, Eth. Τριβηροί
, Eth. Ptol
There is authority for both forms of the name.
The position of the Treviri is determined by several passages of Caesar. The Treviri bordered on the Rhine (B. G.
3.11, 4.10), and south of them along the Rhine were the Tribocci or Tribocci. The Arduenna Silva extended through the middle of the territory of the Treviri from the Rhine to the commencement of the territory of the Remi (B. G.
5.3). The Treviri were separated from the Germans by the Rhine (B. G.
7.63, 8.25); the Ubii were their neighbours on the opposite side of the Rhine (B. G.
6.29,35). In Caesar's time the Treviri differed little from the Germans in their way of living and their savage temper. Tacitus remarks (de Mor. Germ. c.
28) that the Treviri and Nervii affected a Germanic origin, and it is probable that the Treviri were mixed with Germans, but Caesar supposed them to be a Gallic people. Mela (3.2) calls them the most renowned of the Belgae. When Hieronymus speaks of the resemblance between the language of the Galatae of Asia and of the Treviri, he means to say that the Treviri are Galli [GALATIA
Vol. I. p. 931]. Strabo (iv. p.194
) speaks of the Nervii as being German.
He says: “The Nervii are neighbours of the Treviri, and they (the Nervii) are also a German people;” which remark about the Nervii being also German does not refer to the Treviri, but to the Triboci, whom he had just spoken of as a German nation which had settled on the Gallic side of the Rhine.
It seems impossible to determine whether Caesar includes the Treviri among the Belgae or the Celtae. Some geographers include them in the Gallia of Caesar in the limited sense, that is, in the country of the Celtae, which lay between the Garonne
and the Seine,
and between the Ocean and the Rhine. If this determination is correct, the Mediomatrici also of course belong to Caesar's Gallia in the limited sense. [MEDIOMATRICI
The Treviri are often mentioned by Caesar, for they had a strong body of cavalry and infantry, and often gave him trouble. From one passage (B. G.
6.32) it appears that the Segni and Condrusi, German settlers in Gallia, were between the Treviri and the Eburones; and the Condrusi and Eburones were dependents of the Treviri (B. G.
4.6). Caesar constructed his bridges over the Rhine in the territory of the Treviri (B. G.
6.9); and Strabo speaks of a bridge over the Rhine in the territory of the Treviri.
It appears then that the Treviri occupied a large tract of country between the Mosa (Maas
) and the Rhine, which country was intersected by the lower course of the Mosella (Mosel
), for Augusta Trevirorum (Trier
), on the Mosella, was the chief town of the Treviri in the Roman imperial period and probably a town of the Treviri in Caesar's time.
It is not possible to fix the exact limits of the Treviri on the Rhine, either to the north or the south. When the Germans were settled on the west side of the Rhine by Agrippa and after his time, the Treviri lost part of their territory; and some modern writers maintain that they lost all their country on the Rhine, a conclusion derived from a passage of Pliny (4.100.17
), but a conclusion by no means certain. Another passage of Pliny, cited by Suetonius (Calig.
100.8), says that Caligula was born “in Treveris, vico Ambiatino, supra Confluentes,” and this passage places the Treviri on the Rhine. Ptolemy in his geography gives the Treviri no place on the Rhine: he assigns the land on the west bank of the river to the Germania Inferior and Germania Superior.
The bishopric of Trier
used to extend from the Maas
to the Rhine,
and along the Rhine from the Ahr
as far south as Bingen.
The limits of the old country of the Treviri and of the diocese may have been the same, for we find many examples of this coincidence in the geography of Gallia.
The rugged valley of the Ahr
would be a natural boundary of the Treviri on the north.
Tacitus gives the Treviri the name of Socii (Ann.
1.63); and in his time, and probably before, they had what the Romans called a Curia or senate.
The name of the Treviri often appears in the history of the war with Civilis (Tacit. Hist.
iv.). The Treviri under the Empire were in that part of Gallia which was named Belgica, and their city Augusta Trevirorum was the chief place, and under the later emperors frequently an imperial residence. [AUGUSTA TREVIRORUM