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Eth. PI´CTONES (Πίκτονες), and, at a later period, PICTAVI were a Gallic nation, south of the Loire and on the coast of the Atlantic. Ptolemy (2.7.6) places them in Celtogalatia Aquitania, and mentions two of their towns, Limonum or Lemonum (Poitiers) and Ratiatum. “They occupy,” he says, “the most northern parts of Aquitania, those on the river (Liger), and on the sea.” Strabo (iv. pp. 190, 191) makes the Loire the boundary between the Namnetes and the Pictones. South of the Pictavi he places the Santones, who extend to the Garonne.

The Pictones are mentioned by Caesar. He got ships from them for his war against the Veneti (B. G. 3.11). The Pictones joined Vercingetorix in B.C. 52, when he .was raising all Gallia against Caesar. In B.C. 51 C. Caninius, a legatus of Caesar, marched into the country of the Pictones to relieve Lemonum, which was besieged by Dumnacus (B. G. 8.26). [LEMONUM.]

Lucan (1.436) says that the Pictones were “immunes,” or paid no taxes to the Romans :--“Pictones immunes subigunt sua rura.”

His authority is not worth much; and besides that, this verse and the four verses which follow are probably spurious. (Notes in Oudendorp's edition of Lucan.)

The territory of the Pictones was bounded on the east by the Turones and Bituriges Cubi. It corresponded to the diocese of Poitiers.


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Lucan, Civil War, 1.436
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.7
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