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VINDELI´CIA (Οὐινδελκία or Βινδελκια), the most western of the four Danubian provinces of the Roman empire. In the time of Augustus, it formed a distinct province by itself, but towards the end of the first century after Christ it was united with Rhaetia. At a still later period the two countries were again separated, and Rhaetia Proper appears under the name Rhaetia Prima, and Vindelicia under that of Rhaetia Secunda. We have here to speak only of the latter or Vindelicia, as it appears in the time of Augustus, when it was bounded on the north by Germania Magna, that is, by the Danube and the Vallum Hadriani or Limes, on, the west by the territory of the Helvetii, on the south by Rhaetia, and on the east by Noricum, from which it was separated by the river Oenus (Inn). The line of demarcation between Vindelicia and Rhaetia is not mentioned anywhere, but was in all probability formed by the ridge of the Rhaetian Alps. Vindelicia accordingly embraced the northeastern parts of Switzerland, the south-eastern part of Baden, the southern part of Würtemberg and Bavaria, and the northern part of Tirol. (Ptol. 2.12.1, 13.1, 8.7.1; Sext. Ruf. 8; Agathem. 2.4.) The country is for the most part flat, and only its southern parts are traversed by offshoots of the Rhaetian Alps. As to the products of Vindelicia in ancient times, we have scarcely any information, though we are told by Dio Cassius (54.22) that its inhabitants carried on agriculture, and by other authors that the country was very fertile. (Solin. 21; Isid. Orig. 1.4.) The chief rivers of Vindelicia are: the Danube, the upper part of which flowed through the country, and farther down formed its boundary. All the others are Alpine rivers and tributaries of the Danube, such as the ILARGUS, GUNTIA, LICUS, VIRDO, ISARUS, and the OENUS which separated Vindelicia from Noricum. The Lacus Brigantinus in the southwest also belonged to Vindelicia.

The inhabitants of Vindelicia, the Vindelici, were a kindred race of the Rhaeti, and in the time of Augustus certainly Celts, not Germans, as some have supposed. Their name contains the Celtic root Vind, which also occurs in several other Celtic names, such as Vindobona, Vindomagus, Vindonissa, and others. (Zeuss, Die Deutschen, p. 228, foll.; Diefenbach, Celtica, 2.1. p. 134, foll.) Others, without assuming that the Vindelicians were Germans, believe that their name is connected with the German Wenden, and that it was used as a general designation for nations or tribes that were not Germans, whence the modern Wend and also the name of the Vandali or Vindili. (Comp. Hor. Carm. 4.4.18; Strab. iv. pp. 193, 207, vii. pp. 293, 313; Tac. Ann. 2.17, Hist. 3.5; Suet. Aug. 21; Veil. Pat. 2.39; Plin. Nat. 3.24.) After their subjugation by Tiberius, many of them were transplanted into other countries. (Strab. vii. p.207; D. C. 54.22.) The principal tribes into which, according to Strabo, Pliny, and Ptolemy, the Vindelici were divided, were: the BRIGANTII, RUNICATAE, LEUNI, CONSUANTAE, BENLAUNI, BREUNI, and LICATII Their more important towns were: Augusta Vindelicorum, their capital, Reginum, Arbor Felix, Brigantium, Vemania, Campodunum, Abodiacum, Abusina, Quintiana Castra, Batava Castra, Vallatum, Isinisca, Pons Oeni, and a few others, which are treated of in separate articles. (Comp. Rayser, Der Oberdonaukreis Bayerns unter den Römern, Augsburg, 1830; J. Becker, Drusus und die Vindelicier, in Schneidewin‘s Philologus, v. p. 119, foll.)


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Tacitus, Annales, 2.17
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 21
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.24
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.12
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.13
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