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VOLCAE a people of South Gallia, divided into Volcae Arecomici and Volcae Tectosages (Οὐόλκαι Ἀρικόμιοι, Οὐόλκαι Τεκτοσάγες, Ptol. 2.10. § § 9, 10; Οὐώλκαι Ἀρικόμισκοι, Strabo).

Ptolemy says that the Tectosages occupied the most western parts of the Narbonensis, and that these are their cities: Illiberis, Ruscino, Tolosa Colonia, Cessero, Carcaso, Baeterrae, and Narbo Colonia. Next to them and extending to the Rhône he places the Arecomici, or Aricomii, as the name is in Ptolemy's text; and he assigns to the Arecomii only Vindomagus [VINDOMAGUS] and Nemausus Colonia (Nismes). These two nations occupied all the Provincia from the Rhône to its western limits; and if Livy is not mistaken (21.26), at the time of Hannibal's invasion of Italy, the Volcae had also possessions east of the Rhône.

The Cebenna (Cévennes) formed a natural boundary between the Volcae Arecomici and the Gabali and Ruteni. As to the limits between the Tectosages and the Arecomici there is great difficulty; for while Ptolemy assigns Narbo to the Tectosages, Strabo (iv. p.203) says that Narbo is the port of the Arecomici; and it is clear that he supposed the Arecomici to have possessed the greater part of the Provincia. which is west of the Rhône, and that he limited the country of the Tectosages to the part which is in the basin of the Garonne. He makes the Tectosages extend also northwards to the Cêvennes, in the western prolongation of this range. The chief city of the Arecomici was Nemausus [NEMAUSUS]; and the chief city of the Tectosages was Tolosa; and if Narbo belonged to the Arecomici, we must limit the Tolosates, as already observed, to the basin of the Garonne. [NARBO; TOLOSA.]

There is some resemblance between the names Volcae and Belgae, and there is some little evidence that the Volcae were once named Belcae or Belgae. But it would be a hasty conclusion from this resemblance to assume a relationship or identity between these Volcae and the Belgae of the north of Gallia. There was a tradition that some of the Volcae Tectosages had once settled in Germany about the Hercynia Silva; and Caesar (B.G. 6.24) affirms, but only from hearsay, that these Volcae in his time still maintained themselves in those parts of Germany, and that they had an honourable character and great military reputation. He adds that they lived like the other Germans. The Tectosages also were a part of the Gallic invaders who entered Macedonia and Greece, and finally fixed themselves in Asia Minor in Galatia [GALATIA]. With the Roman conquest of Tolosa ended the fame of the Volcae Tectosages in Europe.


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