previous next


Eth. ANSIBA´RII or AMPSIVA´RII, that is, “sailors on the Ems” (Emsfahrer), a German tribe dwelling about the lower part of the river Amisia (Ems). During the war of the Romans against the Cherusci, the Ansibarii, like many of the tribes on the coast of the German ocean, supported the Romans, but afterwards joined the general insurrection called forth by Arminius, and were severely chastised for it by Germanicus. In A.D. 59, the Ansibarii, according to Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 13.55, 56), were expelled from their seats by the Chauci, and being now homeless they asked the Romans to allow them to settle in the country between the Rhine and Yssel, which was used by the Romans only as a pasture land for their horses. But the request was haughtily rejected by the Roman commander Avitus, and the Ansibarii now applied for aid to the Bructeri and Tenchteri; but being abandoned by the latter, they applied to the Usipii and Tubantes. Being rejected by these also, they at last appealed to the Chatti and Cherusci, and after long wanderings, and enduring all manner of hardships, their young men were cut to pieces, and those unable to bear arms were distributed as booty. It has been supposed that a remnant of the Ansibarii must have maintained themselves somewhere and propagated their race, as Ammianus Marcellinus (20.10) mentions them in the reign of Julian as forming a tribe of the Franks; but the reading in Amm. Marcellinus is very uncertain, the MSS. varying between Attuarii, Ampsivarii, and Ansuarii. It is equally uncertain as to whether the tribe mentioned by Strabo (p. 291, 292) as Ἄμψανοι and Καμψιανοί are the same as the Ansibarii or not. (Comp. Ledebur, Land u. Volk der Bructerer, p. 90, foll.)


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Tacitus, Annales, 13.55
    • Tacitus, Annales, 13.56
    • Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum, 20.10
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: