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Eth. HELVE´TII (Eth.Ἑλουήττιοι, Eth. Ἑλβήττιοι), a Celtic people who in Caesar's time occupied the country between the Jura on the west, the Rhone and Leman lake on the south, and the Rhine on the east and north. Caesar (Caes. Gal. 1.2) gives the dimensions of their country, as they were reported to him, and probably the dimensions are not far wrong if we take the measurements in the right directions. [GALLIA, p. 951.] Cluverius and others would correct these numbers, which shows a want of judgment. Caesar says nothing, for he knew nothing, of the southern limit of the Helvetii east of the Leman lake. There is no evidence in his work that the Helvetii in his time occupied any of the mountainous part of Switzerland. They seem to have occupied hilly tracts and plains, but not mountains or high mountain valleys. Strabo (p. 292) makes the Rhaeti border on a small part of the lake of Constanz, and the Helvetii and the Vindelici on the larger part of it. The words are ambiguous, and may apply both to the south or Swiss side of the lake, and to the north or German side; and so some people interpret him. Strabo observes that the Helvetii and Vindelici inhabit mountain plains (ὀροπέδια), by which he means elevated levels and hilly tracts, but not mountains. The part which Strabo (p. 208) calls the Helvetian plains is the country north of the Leman lake. The Rhaeti and the Norici, he says, dwell right up to the mountain passes, and over them into Italy. There was a tradition that the Helvetii were once in Germany. Tacitus (German. 100.28) thinks that this is probable; and he fixes the German residence of the Helvetii between the Hercynia Silva, the Rhine, and the Moenus (Main): he supposed the Boii to have occupied the parts beyond, further north and east. But it seems that the Germans had driven the Helvetii back, for in Caesar's time the Rhine was the frontier, and the two nations were continually fighting on it. If we assume that Caesar's Helvetii extended to the south side of the lake of Constanz, from the eastern extremity of the Leman lake, we may suppose their country not to have comprised any part south of the lakes of Thun and Luzern. This will leave room enough for them.

The Jura, which Ptolemy (2.9.5) calls Jurassus (Ἰουρασσός), and Strabo names Ἰουράσιος and Ἰόρας, separated the Helvetii from the Sequani. The Jura of Caesar extends from the north bank of the Rhone in a NE. direction, leaving on the east the basins of the Leman lake and the lakes of Neufchâtel and Bienne. That part of the Jura which is bounded on the east by the basins of the lakes of Neufchâdtel and Bienne, has for its western boundary the valley of the Dubis (Doubs). From the neighbourhood of Solothurn (Soleure) a branch of the Jura runs into the angle between the junction of the Rhine and the Aar. The Jura is a mass of limestone, consisting of parallel ranges, which form longitudinal basins, The Dôle, north of Geneva, is about 5500 feet;. and the Reculet, which lies further south, is still higher. Caesar (Caes. Gal. 1.6) knew of only one pass from the country of the Helvetii into the country of the Sequani, which pass is SW. of Geneva, where the Jura abuts on the Rhone, leaving only a narrow road between the mountains and the river. At present there are several passes over the Jura: one called the Dôle, leads from Nyon on the lake of Geneva to Besançon on the Doubs; the Orbelklause leads from Yverdun to Ponstarlier in France; the pass called La Clzette; the pass of the Pierre Pertuis; and the pass of the Immnenthal. Ptolemy's description of the position of the Helvetii is not exact. After fixing the position of the Lingones, he says “and after the mountain which lies next to them, which is called Jurassus, are the Helvetii along the river Rhine.” The Lingones bordered on the Vosges.

The country of the Helvetii was divided into four districts or Pays (pagi), and they had twelve towns and 400 villages. (Caes. Gal. 1.12, 27.) Caesar has mentioned the names of two pagi, the Tigurinus [p. 1.1041]and the Verbigenus. The critics are not quite agreed whether we should write Urbigenus or Verbigenus in Caesar's text; but there is the better MS. authority for Verbigenus. (Schneid. ed. Caesar, Bell. Gall.) Those who write Urbigenus have identified “Urb” with the town of Orbe, on the river Orbe, SW. of Yverdun, a place on the site of Urba. [URBA] But an altar was found at Salodurum (Solothurn), by Schoepflin, with the inscription GENIO VERBIG.; and this discovery is supposed to determine Solothurn to be in the pagus Verbigenus. The letters VE on this inscription are said to be joined together; but some authorities still say that the true reading is VRBIG. The, inscription, however, belongs to the 3rd century of our aera, and it is no authority for the orthography of Caesar's time. Whether the name is Urbigenus or Verbigenus, we may assume that the inscription belongs to the place where it was found, and therefore we may conclude that Salodurum was a town of the Verbigenus pagus. We may also suppose that the pagus extended northward ward to the Rhine; and as far as Baden on the Limmat, a branch of the Aar, if it be true that there is an inscription with the words Aquae Verbigenae; for these Aquae are probably the same as the Aquae Helveticae, which are proved by inscriptions to be the baths of Baden on the Limmat. One of these Baden inscriptions, in honour of M. Aurelius, contains the words RESP. AQ. Baden is supposed posed to be the place which Tacitus (Tac. Hist. 1.58) alludes to without mentioning the name.

An inscription has been found near Avenches [AVENTICUM], with the words GENIO PAGI. TIGOR.; and, so far as this evidence goes, we must place the Tigurini south of the Verbigeni. Their Pays, then, was bounded by the Jura on the west as far south as Fort l'Ecluse, and on the south by the Rhone from Fort l'Eclse to the Lake, and then by the Lake. The northern boundary would be about the lake of Morat. We cannot determine the eastern boundary of the Tigurini. There is no authority for connecting the name of Zurich with the Tigurinus pagus, for an inscription which has been found there shows that the name was different: the inscription is STA, that is Statio, TVRICEN; and in the middle age documents Zurich is named Turicum and Turegum. D'Anville (Notice, &c.) states his authority for affirming that an inscription “Genio pagi Tigur,” with some others, was found near Zürich. If this were so, it would weaken the testimony of the Avenches inscription, for we cannot suppose that this pagus comprehended both Avenches and Zürich. But Walckenaer solves the difficulty by affirming that such an inscription has not been found near Zürich. The opinion of B. Rhenanus, not quite rejected by D'Anville, that the name of the canton Uri may represent the name Tigurini, need only be mentioned to be rejected.

The names of the two other Helvetian Pagi are unknown; but it is a fair conjecture that one of them may have been the pagus of the Tugeni. Strabo (p. 293) mentions the Tugeni with the Tigurini, when he is giving Posidonius' opinion of the Cimbri. Posidonius says that “the Boii once inhabited the Hercynian forest; and that the Cimbri, who invaded their country, being repelled by the Boii, came down upon the Danube and the Scordisci Galatae, and then to the Teuristae and [read” or “] Taurisci, who were also Galatae: and after that they came to the Helvetii, who were rich in gold and a peaceable people; but when the Helvetii saw that the wealth got by plunder was greater than their own, they were induced, and chiefly the Tigurini and Tougeni, to join the Cimbri; but they were all defeated by the Romans, both the Cimbri and those who joined them.” It seems then that there was an Helvetian people named Tugeni, and Walckenaer (Géog., &c. vol. i. p. 311) has no difficulty in finding a place for them. He says: “The name of the modern village of Tugen, at the eastern extremity of the lake of Zürich, and that of the valley formed by the river Thur, which is Toggenburg or Tuggenburg, do not permit us to doubt that the Tugeni inhabited the neighbourhood of these places; and in the time of Caesar it is probable that this people occupied the country between the lake of Constanz, the Limmat, the lake of Wallenstadt, and the two parts of the course of the Rhine to the west and to the east of the lake.” Within the limits of the Tugeni, if this conjecture is true, we find Zürich, Vitodurum (Oberwinterthur near Winterthur), Arbor Felix (Arbon) on the lake of Constanz, and Vindonissa (Windisch).

The name of the fourth pagus is unknown but as there was a people named Ambrones, who were with the Teutones when Marius defeated them at Aquae Sextiae, Walckenaer supposes that they may have formed the fourth canton. Strabo (p. 183),, in speaking of this campaign of Marius, mentions only the Aimbrones and Tugeni. Eutropius, who of course was copying some authority, says (5.1) that “the Roman consuls Manilius and Caepio were defeated by the Cimbri and Teutones, and Tigurini and Ambrones, which were German and Gallic nations, near the Rhone.” As the Cimbri and Teutones are here supposed to be Germans, and as the Tigurini were certainly Galli, it is plain that the writer, or the authority which he followed, took the Ambrones also to be Galli. The Epitome of Livy (Ep. 68) mentions the Teutones and Ambrones as the names of the barbarians whom Marius defeated east of the Rhone; and also Plutarch (Plut. Mar. 100.19), who adds that Ambrones is also a name of the Ligures. If the Ambrones were a Gallic people, there is no place for them except in Switzerland: and if the position of the three other Pagi is rightly determined, the Ambrones occupied the part south. of the Verbigeni and Tugeni; and they would extend from the eastern extremity of the lake of Geneva, in the upper valleys of the Aar and the Reuss, as far east as the course of the Rhone above the lake of Constanz. But all this is only a conjecture, founded on no very strong probabilities; and it is not likely that the inhabitants of the high valleys of Switzerland joined the Helvetic emigration.

The story of the migration of the four Helvetic Pagi is told by Caesar (Caes. Gal. 1.2). Orgetorix (B.C. 61), a rich Helvetian, persuaded the nobles to leave their country with all their people and movables; for he argued that, as they were the bravest of the Galli, it would be easy to make themselves masters of all the country. They did not, however, intend to attack either their neighbours the Sequani, or the Aedui, or the Allobroges on the south side of the Rhone; but to make terms with, the Allobroges, in order to secure a free passage through their country, Orgetorix prevailed oil the Helvetii to get ready as many waggons and beasts of draught as they could, and to sow largely, in order to have a stock of provisions for their journey. Two years were considered enough for preparations, and the third was to be the year of emigration. Orgetorix, in the meantime, [p. 1.1042]visited the Sequani, and persuaded Casticus, whose father Catamantaloedes had held for many years the kingly power there, to seize the place which his father once had. He also persuaded Dumnorix, the brother of Divitiacus, to do the same among the Aedui, and he gave Dumnorix his daughter to wife. He told them that they might easily do what he advised, for he was going to have the supreme power among the Helvetii, that the Helvetii were the most powerful Gallic people, and that he would help to secure their royal power with the Helvetian army. This was agreed: the three conspirators were to make themselves kings, and then they had good hopes of mastering all Gallia. This conspiracy being known to the Helvetii by some informer, Orgetorix was summoned to trial. The punishment for treason among the Helvetii was burning. The man came on the day fixed for the trial, but he had a train of 10,000 slaves and dependents about him, and there was no trial. Orgetorix was in open rebellion, and while, the magistrates were getting together a force from the country to maintain the law and put him down, he died, or, as the Helvetii supposed, he put an end to himself. Though usurpation was a common thing in the Gallic states, the people were never long pleased with it, and a usurper had generally a short reign.

The Helvetii still determined to leave their country. They burnt their 12 towns, their 400 villages, and all the private buildings. They burnt also all the corn which they did not want; and they were directed by their leaders to take meal and flour enough to last three months. They persuaded the Rauraci to join them, a tribe who were situated on the Rhine about Bâle, but probably within the territory of the Sequani; and also Tulingi and Latobrigi, who were on the east side of the Rhine, and either a German people or a remnant of those Helvetii who once occupied the country. They also got some Boii to join them, whom Caesar describes as Boii “who had settled beyond the Rhine and had passed into the Noric territory, and had attacked Noreia.” This is very obscure. The simplest explanation is, that some of the Boii who had been long settled in Germany, and who happened now to be on the eastern borders of the Helvetic country, were persuaded to join them.


A, A. Caesar's earthwork or wall.


The Rhone.


L. Leman.


The Arve.




Mt. Jura.


Mt. aux Vaches.


Fort l'Ecluse.

The Helvetii, says Caesar, could only get out of their country by two ways; an expression which implies that the direction of their route was determined, for they could certainly have got out by the north as well as by the south. One of these two ways led along the Rhone, on the right bank, to the place where the Jura abuts on the river, leaving only room for a single waggon. This is the place where Fort l'Ecluse stands. The other road was over the Rhone at Geneva, and through the country of the Allobroges and the Provincia. The route of the Helvetii was therefore to the south-west. At the point where the Rhone flows out of the lake of Geneva is an island, on which stood the town of Geneva, which belonged to the Allobroges. The modern town is on the island and on both sides of the Rhone. There was a bridge from Geneva to the territory of the Helvetii, and we assume that there was another bridge from the island to the south side. All the Helvetii were to meet at Geneva on the 28th of March of the unreformed calendar, expecting to prevail on the Allobroges to allow them a passage, and intending to force a pas' sage if it was not granted. Caesar, who was now proconsul of Gallia Cisalpina and of the Provincia, was at Rome; and, hearing of this preparation, he hurried from the city and arrived at Geneva. He does not tell us where he crossed the Alps. He mustered as many men as he could in the Provincia; for he had only one legion with him, and he ordered the bridge at Geneva to be destroyed,--the bridge which connected the island with the north bank of the Rhone, if he only destroyed one bridge. Tile Helvetii sent to say that they intended to pass through the Provincia without doing any harm, and begged that he would give them permission. Caesar, recollecting what had happened to L. Cassius and his army, whom the Helvetii had sent under the yoke [GALLIA, p. 955], resolved not to allow them to pass through the Provincia. He told them that he would consider about it, and they must come again on the 13th of April. (B.C. 58.)

In the mean time Caesar employed his legions and the troops that he had raised in the Provincia, the number of which is not mentioned, in building a wall (murus), probably an earthen rampart, on the south side of the Rhone, from the place where it flows out of the Leman lake to the Jura. The wall was 19 Roman miles long and 16 feet high, with a ditch; which may mean that it was 16 feet high from the bottom of the ditch. The wall was manned, and at intervals there were towers (castella). When the day came for Caesar's answer, he refused to allow the Helvetii to pass through the Provincia, and told them, that if they made the attempt,he should preventthem. The Helvetii tried to break through the wall. Some crossed the river by bridges of boats and planks fastened together, and others forded the Rhone where it was shallowest: sometimes they attacked the wall by day, and sometimes by night; but the Roman troops drove them back, and they failed to break through the Roman lines. Some persons who have explained Caesar's operations before Geneva, or rather have found fault with his story, begin by supposing that his wall was made on the north side of the Rhone. If men can make such a blunder as this, there is no need to waste any words on them. The wall began on the south side of the river, close to the lake, and was made along the river to the point where the Arve enters the Rhone, just below Geneva; and it was continued along the Rhone to the point where the Rhone passes through the Jura. On the north [p. 1.1043]side of the river, at the base of the mountain named Credo, is now Fort l'Ecluse, or Fort la Cluse, as it is sometimes written. On the south side is the range of high land, which is a continuation of the Jura; and here the wall ended. As the Rhone cannot be forded below this point, and is indeed hardly fordable above, if Caesar kept the Helvetii from crossing between Geneva and Fort l'Ecluse, his enemies must go some other way. The length of Caesar's wall, measured from a point a little above Geneva along the Rhone to a point opposite to Fort l'Ecluse, agrees with Caesar's length; and we may suppose that the text is right as to the numbers, which has only been doubted by those editors who have supposed that his wall was made from the lake on the north side of the Rhone to the Jura, which would be a manifest absurdity, and is contrary to Caesar's narrative. Appian (Gall. Excerpt. xiii.) found the same length of wall, either in Caesar's text or elsewhere; for he makes it 150 stadia, which, at 8 stadia to a Roman mile, is 183 3/4 M.P. Another objection to Caesar's narrative is, that the Rhone below the junction of the Arve is not fordable now; it is rapid, and sunk in a deep bed between rocks, which circumstances would render the passage of the river either by bridges of boats, rafts, or wading impossible. But it has been maintained, even in modern times, that such a passage over the Rhone would not be impossible. Caesar says that in his time it was done; and it is certain that some change must have taken place in the bed of such a river, through which a rapid stream has been running for 2000 years.

There now only remained the other way for the Helvetii, which they could not take if the Sequani opposed them (B. G. 1.9)--the narrow pass between the Jura and the Rhone. Dumnorix managed this for the Helvetii, and the two peoples gave hostages to one another; the Helvetii promising to do no mischief, and the Sequani undertaking not to molest them. Now the objectors say there were many other roads that the Helvetii could have taken, and particularly the road from Orbe in the Pays de Vaud to Pontarlier on the Doubs: and General Warnery, a great authority in this matter, for he places Caesar's wall on the wrong side of the river, really believes they did go this way; to which the answer is, that Caesar says they did not. The road to Pontarlier, says Warnery, is the most open, easy, and practicable of all the roads through the Jura. The general should have proved that it was so in Caesar's time, and the best road for waggons early in spring; but, even if he had done that, he would not have confuted the author of the Commentarii. Caesar was told that the Helvetii intended to pass through the territory of the Sequani and the Aedui, and that their purpose was to reach the country of the Santones on the north side of the Lower Garonne. The route by Pontarlier was quite out of their way. They wanted to cross the Rhone, and pass through the territory of the Allobroges; and if they could not do this, their best road, their only road, was past Fort l'Ecluse. Besides, if tile Sequani were willing to let the Helvetii pass through their country, they would let them pass along the southern border rather than through the middle of their lands; and, as the Allobroges had some lands north of the Rhone below Fort l'Ecluse, which lands the Helvetii plundered, there is a very good reason for the Sequani allowing the Helvetii to take this road, and no other, if there was at that time, and at that season of the year, another waggon-road, which cannot be proved. Caesar left Labienus to take care of his wall, while he went to North Italy for fresh troops. He raised two legions, took three more from their winter quarters about Aquileia, and again crossing the Alps came into the territory of the Vocontii, and thence crossed the Isara (isère) into the country of the Allobroges. From the territory of the Allobroges he crossed the Rhone, into the territory of the Segusiani. The Segusiani, whose chief place was afterwards Lugdunum (Lyon), had also a part of the country in the angle between the Saône and the Rhone. Caesar crossed the Rhone above the junction of the Rhone and Saône.

Labienus had let the Helvetii move through the pass at Fort l'Ecluse. It was enough for him to defend his wall. When Caesar was coming up with the Helvetii, some of them were in the country of the Aedui, having crossed the Arar (Saône). They got across with boats and rafts, some of which they would find on the river, for it was much used at that time for navigation; but we may suppose that they would also have to make rafts to carry across so many people and so much baggage. Caesar waited till three parts of the Helvetii had got over the river, when he attacked the remaining fourth part, the Tigurini. These were the people who had defeated L. Cassius and killed L. Piso, the grandfather of Caesar's father. in-law. A great part of the Tigurini were cut to pieces, and the rest took to flight and hid themselves in the woods. Plutarch and Appian say that Labienus defeated the Tigurini, which may be true. It is not said where the Helvetii were crossing the Saône; and there is no authority for placing the passage at Mâcon, as some people will place it, though Mâcon cannot be much out of the way. The march of the Helvetii from Fort l'Ecluse to Mâcon could not be direct; and by the nearest road it would be about 90 or 100 miles. This. was the distance that they had travelled with their women, children, carts, and baggage while Caesar went to Italy, returned, and overtook them on the Saône. The Helvetii, with such roads as they had, or no roads at all, and the immense number of people and waggons, would not travel at that season more than a few miles a day. The Helvetii had also some cavalry. The roads, such as they were, would be all mud, and full of ruts. Caesar made a bridge over the Arar, and followed those who had crossed the river. He got over in one day, and the Helvetii had taken twenty days to do it, a length of time not at all unreasonable, if we consider that there were about 300,000 of them and many waggons. If we add these twenty days to the time of the march from Fort l'Ecluse to the passage of the Saône, there will be plenty of time for Caesar's hasty march into Italy and back. Divico, who had commanded the Tigurini (B.C. 107) in the war against Cassius, came with other Helvetii to Caesar after he had crossed the Saône, to propose terms of peace; but he and the proconsul could not agree. Though Divico had commanded an army in B.C. 107, that would not prove that he was too old to be a counsellor fifty years after; as some suppose who find fault with Caesar's narrative. Caesar followed the Helvetii vetii for about fifteen days, keeping five or six miles in their rear; easy work for his men, for the Helvetii could not move quickly. The route was up the valley of the Saône on the west side, but not close to the river. (B. G. 1.10.) Caesar's supplies were brought up the Arar in boats, and it caused [p. 1.1044]him inconvenience to be at a distance from them: but he would not leave the rear of the Helvetii. When Caesar was within 18 M. P. of Bibracte (Autun), he left the rear of the Helvetii, and moved towards the town to get supplies, for the Aedui had not kept their promise to send him corn. The Helvetii were of course about the same distance from the place, and probably nearly due south of Autun; for this position would be on their march towards the Loire through Bourbon L'Anci. They were thus on the road to the Santones.

The Helvetii, perceiving Caesar's movement, faced about and were upon his rear. This brought on a general battle. The Helvetii fought desperately: though the battle lasted from about mid-day to night-fall, no one saw an Helvetian turn his back on the Romans. The fight was continued till late in the night, at the place where the Helvetii had their baggage, for they had put their carts (carri) as a fence all round. The Romans at last got possession of the baggage and the camp, as Caesar calls it; and we know what took place, though he does not tell us. Women and children were massacred without mercy. A daughter and son of Orgetorix were taken prisoners. About 130,000 men (hominum, a term which may include women), who survived the battle, moved from the field, and without halting in the night reached the country of the Lingones. Caesar was employed for three days in burying his dead and looking after his wounded men, and could not follow immediately. But he sent a threatening message to the Lingones, if they should venture to assist his enemies; and after the third day he marched in pursuit of them. On his road he was met by a deputation of the Helvetii, who prayed for mercy. The proconsul ordered them to tell their people to stay where they were, and wait for him. On his arrival he demanded their arms, hostages, and the slaves who had run away to join them. During the night 6000 men of the Pagus Verbigenus ran away towards the Rhine and the borders of the Germans. Caesar sent an order to the people through whose territory they were moving to bring them back; and they brought them back--6000 men with arms in their hands, but dispirited, and probably perishing of hunger. Caesar treated these men as enemies: they were all massacred. Dio Cassius (38.33) speaks of the 6000 being destroyed, but his narrative does not quite agree with Caesar's. The rest of the Helvetii were sent home, to the places they came from, and told to rebuild their towns and villages. They had lost all their corn, and the Allobroges were required to supply them. Caesar would not allow the Helvetic territory to be unoccupied, for fear of the Germans from the other side of the Rhine coming over and seizing it, and so becoming neighbours of the Provincia and the Allobroges. But the Germans now occupy the largest part of Switzerland, and it is very probable that they did come over and occupy many of the parts which had been depopulated. It does not appear that Caesar ever went into the country to see what was going on. [BOII]

Tablets were found in the Helvetic camp, written in Greek characters, and were brought to Caesar; in which tablets were registered the whole number of the Helvetii able to bear arms who had left their homes, and there was a separate register of children, old men, and women. The numbers were as follows: Tulingi,36,000; Latobrigi, 14,000 Rauraci, 23,000; Boii, 32,000; Helvetii, 263,000:: in all 368,000. The fighters were 92,000, about one fourth of the whole number. A census was taken of all who returned, and the number was found to be 110,000. If all the numbers are right in Caesar, we find some inconsistency here; for 130,000 escaped into the country of the Lingones, of whom 6000 were massacred: the remainder would be 124,000. Out of this number, however, many might die before they reached their home, and some might run away. We can hardly suppose that all the children and women perished in the camp near Bibracte, though it is possible they might get hard treatment from the Aedui, whose lands the Helvetii had pillaged. However, the result was that less than a third of the whole number returned home, and the number of women that perished must have been so large as to leave very few for the men who survived this calamity.

Most of the Gallic states sent to congratulate Caesar on his victory, which they affected to consider as much for their own interest as that of the Romans; for the Helvetii, they said, or so Caesar makes them say, though prosperous at home, had left their country to conquer all Gallia, to choose for their residence such part as they should like best, and to make all the states tributary. Great revolutions had taken place in Gallia before; but a whole nation, who possessed towns and villages, quitting their home to look out for a new one must have been moved by some strong motives. The proximity to the Germans, who were troublesome neighbours, and the want or the wish for more room, are reasons for the migration which we can deduce from Caesar. The Helvetii were a warlike people, and their men wanted a wider field than a country which was shut in by natural boundaries. The restlessness of the wealthy Helvetii, and exaggerated notions among the people of a better country in the south and west of Gallia, were probably the strongest motive for the emigration. A few centuries earlier they might have taken the road to Italy, and have got there: but that country had been closed against adventurers by the Romans; and if the Helvetii did emigrate, there is no country that we can name to which they were more likely to go than that which they set out for.

Caesar does not mention the name of a single town in the Helvetian country. A few names of towns appear later, and the names seem to be Gallic: Noeodunum or Colonia Equestris [COLONIA EQUESTRIS]; Salodurum; Eburodunum; Aventicum; and Minnodunum. Augusta Rauracorum (Augst) was founded in the time of Augustus; the name is only Roman, and it is not within the limits of Caesar's Helvetii. Basilia (Basle) is also a late foundation. Vitodurum, in the east part of Switzerland, may be a Gallic name also; but Switzerland does not retain a great many names of Gallic original. It seems that the boundary between the country of the Helvetii on the east, and Rhaetia under the later empire, was not the Rhine above the lake of Constanz, but the boundary was west of the lake. [FINES No. 15.] The name Helvetia belongs to a late period, though Caesar uses the expression “Helvetia Civitas.”

The Romans made several roads in the Helvetian territory. That which was made over the Jura [GALLIA, p. 966] is probably the road from Orba (Orbe) to Ariolica [ARIOLICA]. There was a road from Orba, through Lacus Lausonius (Lausanne) and Equestris, to Geneva. There was a road from Vibiscum (Vevay), through Bromagus [BROMAGUS] [p. 1.1045]and Minnodunum, to Aventicum (Avenches); and thence through Salodurum to Augusta Rauracorum. There was also a road from Augusta Rauracorum eastward through Vindonissa (Windisch) to Ad Fines (Pfyn), Arbor Felix, and Brigantia (Bregenz) on the lake of Constanz.

A work by J. F. Roesch, Commentar. über die Commentaries, &c, Halle, 1783, contains some good remarks on General Warnery's Remarques sur César. Roesch was an officer and lecturer on military science. There is a map in his book of the country between Geneva and Fort l'Ecluse. [G.L]

hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 1.12
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 1.6
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 1.2
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 1.27
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 1.58
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.9
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