BELGAE , a
See also:people first mentioned by Caesar, who states that they formed the third
See also:part of Gaul, and were separated from the Celtac by the Sequana (
See also:Seine) and Matrona (
See also:Marne) . On the east and
See also:north their boundary was the
See also:lower Rhine, on the west the ocean . Whether Caesar means to include the Leuci, Treviri and Mediomatrici among the Belgian tribes is uncertain . According to the statement of the deputation from the Remi to Caesar (
See also:Bell .
See also:Gall. ii . 4),, the Belgae were a people of German origin, who had crossed the Rhine in early times and driven out the Galli . But Caesar's own statement (B.G. i . 1) that the Belgae differed from the Celtae in language, institutions and
See also:laws, is too sweeping (see
See also:Strabo iv. p . 176), at least as regards language, for many words and names are
See also:common to both . In any case, only the eastern districts would have been affected by invaders from over the Rhine, the chief seat of the Belgae proper being in the west, the
See also:country occupied by the Bellovaci, Ambiani and Atrebates, to which it is probable (although the
See also:reading is uncertain) that Caesar gives the distinctive name Belgium (corresponding to the old provinces of
See also:Picardy and
See also:Artois) . The question is fully discussed by T . R .
See also:Holmes (Caesar's
See also:Conquest of Gaul, 1899), who comes to the conclusion that " when the Reman delegates told Caesar that the Belgae were descended from the Germans, they probably only meant that the ancestors of the Belgic conquerors had formerly dwelt in Germany, and this is equally true of the ancestors of the Gauls who gave their name to the Celtae; but, on the other
See also:hand', it is quite possible that in the
See also:veins of some of the Belgae flowed the
See also:blood of genuine German forefathers." W . Ridgeway (Early Age of
See also:Greece, 1901) considers that the Belgic tribes were
See also:Cimbri, " who had moved directly across the Rhine into north-eastern Gaul." No definite number of Belgian tribes is given by Caesar; according to Strabo (iv. p . 196) they were fifteen in all . The Belgae had also made their way over to Britain in Caesar's
See also:time (B.G. ii . 4, v . 12), and settled in some of the
See also:southern counties (Wilts, Hants and
See also:Somerset) . Among their towns were
See also:Portus (Portsmouth) and Venla Belgarum (Winchester) . In 57 B.C., after the defeat of Ariovistus, the Belgae formed a coalition against Caesar, and in 52 took part in the general rising under Vercingetorix . After their final subjugation, Caesar combined the territory of the Belgae, Celtae and Aquitani into a single province (Gallia Comata) .
See also:Augustus, however, finding it too unwieldy, again divided it into three provinces, one of which was Belgica, bounded on the west by the Seine and the Arar (
See also:Saone); on the north by the North
See also:Sea; on the east by the Rhine from its mouth to the Lacus Brigantinus (Lake
See also:Constance) . Its southernmost
See also:district embraced the west of
See also:Switzerland . The capital and residence of the
See also:governor of the province was Durocortorum Remorum (Reims) .
See also:Diocletian, Belgica Prima (capital,
See also:Augusta Trevirorum,
See also:Trier) and Secunda (capital, Reims) formed part of the "
See also:diocese " of Gaul . See A . G . B . Schayes, La Belgique et
See also:les Pays-Bas avant et pendant la domination romaine (2nd ed., Brussels, 1877); H . G . Moke, La Belgique ancienne (
See also:Ghent, 1855) ; A . Desjardins, Geographic historique de la Gaule, ii . (1878); T . R . Holmes, Caesar's Conquest of Gaul (1899); M . Ihm in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyclopadie, iii. pt .
1 (1897) ; J .
See also:Jung, " Geographie von Italien and dem Orbis
See also:romanus " (2nd ed., 1897), in I . Mailer's Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft .
BELFRY (Mid. Eng. berfrey, through Med. Lat. berefr...
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