, a people of Aquitania. Schneider (Caesar, B. G.
3.20) who writes “in Sontiatium fines” has a long note on the various forms of this word. Nicolaus Damascenus (quoted by Athenaeus, vi. p. 249) writes the name Sotiani, but as Caesar was his authority for what he says, he may have altered the form of the word. In Dio Cassius (39.100.46) the reading is Ἀπιάτας
(ed. Reimarus); but there are other variations in the MSS. In Pliny (4.19
) we find among the nations of Aquitania “Ausci, Elusates, Sottiates, Osquidates Campestres.” Orosius (6.8
, ed. Haverkamp) has Sontiates, but one MS. has Sotiates and others have Sociates.
In B.C. 56 Caesar sent P. Crassus into Aquitania. Crassus came from the north, and after summoning the men of fighting age who were on the muster rolls of Toulouse, Carcassone,
and Narbonne, [p. 2.1024]
he entered the territory of the Sotiates, the first of the Aquitanian peoples whom he attacked. The Sotiates were the neighbours of the Elusates a name represented by the town of Eause.
A line drawn from Auch
(Ausci) on the Gers
in the department of La Gironde,
passes near Sos,
a town which is on the Getise,
and in the Gabaret.
In the middle ages it was called Sotium. Ancient remains have been found at Sos.
Here we have an instance of the preservation of ancient names in this part of France, and there are many other instances.
D'Anville in determining the position of the Sotiates argues correctly that Crassus having passed through the Santones, a people who had submitted to Caesar (Caes. Gal. 3.12
) and would offer no resistance, entered Aquitania by the north, and the Sotiates who were only seven or eight leagues south of the Garonne
would be the first tribe on whom he fell.
He says that he has evidence of a Roman road very direct from Sos
and he is convinced that this is part of the road described in the Jerusalem Itin. between Vasatae and Elusa. On this road the name Scittium occurs in the Itin., and as the distance between Scittium and Elusa corresponds very nearly to the distance between Sos
he conjectures that this word Scittium is written wrong, and that it should be Sotium.
The Sotiates, who were strong in cavalry, attacked the Romans on their march, and a battle took place in which they were defeated. Crassus then assaulted their town, which made a stout resistance.
He brought up his vineae and towers to the walls, but the Sotiates drove mines under them, for as they had copper mines in their country they were very skilful in burrowing in the ground.
At last they sent to Crassus to propose terms of surrender (B. G.
3.21). While the people were giving up their arms on one side of the town, Adcantuannus, who was a king or chief, attempted to sally out on another side with his 600 “soldurii.” The Romans met him there, and after a hard fight Adcantuannus was driven back into the town; but he still obtained the same easy terms as the rest.
These Soldurii were a body of men who attached themselves to a chief with whom they enjoyed all the good things without working, so long as the chief lived; but if any violence took off their leader it was their duty to share the same fate or to die by their own hand.
This was an Iberian and also a Gallic fashion.
The thing is easily understood.
A usurper or any. desperate fellow seized on power with the help of others like himself; lived well, and fed his friends; and when his tyranny came to an end, he and all his crew must kill themselves, if they wished to escape the punishment which they deserved. (Plut. Sert. 100.14
; Caesar, Caes. Gal. 7.40
; and the passage in Athenaeus.)
The MSS. of Caesar vary in the name of Adcantuannus. Schneider writes it Adiatunus, and in Athenaeus it is Ἀδιάτομον.
Schneider mentions a medal of Pellerin, with REX ΔΑΛΕΤΝΩΝΝΣ
and a lion's head on one side, and on the other SOTIOGA. Walckenaer (Géogr. &c.
1.284) may be speaking of the same medal, when he describes one which is said to have been found at Toulouse,
with a head of Adictanus on one side and the word Sotiagae on the other.
He thinks it “very suspected;” and it may be.