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Germania Inferior ("Lower Germania") was a
Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each province was ruled ...
from AD 85 until the province was renamed Germania Secunda in the fourth century, on the west bank of the
Rhine The Rhine ; french: Rhin ; nl, Rijn ; wa, Rén ; li, Rien; rm, label=Sursilvan, Rein, rm, label=Sutsilvan and Surmiran, Ragn, rm, label=Rumantsch Grischun, Vallader and Puter, Rain; it, Reno ; gsw, Rhi(n), including in Alsatian dialect, Al ...
bordering the North Sea. The capital of the province was Colonia Agrippinensis (modern-day
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of the German western States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city of Germany with 1.1 m ...
).


Geography

According to Ptolemy (2.9), Germania Inferior included the Rhine from its mouth up to the mouth of the ''Obringa'', a river identified with either the Aar or the Moselle. The territory included modern-day
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a small land ...
, the southern
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
, part of
Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the ...
, and part of
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia (german: Nordrhein-Westfalen, ; li, Noordrien-Wesfale ; nds, Noordrhien-Westfalen; ksh, Noodrhing-Wäßßfaale), commonly shortened to NRW (), is a States of Germany, state (''Land'') in Western Germany. With more tha ...
in
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
, west of the Rhine. The principal settlements of the province were Castra Vetera and Colonia Ulpia Traiana (both near Xanten), Coriovallum ( Heerlen), Albaniana ( Alphen aan den Rijn), Lugdunum Batavorum ( Katwijk), Forum Hadriani ( Voorburg), Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum ( Nijmegen), Traiectum (Utrecht), Atuatuca Tungrorum ( Tongeren), Bona (
Bonn The federal city of Bonn ( lat, Bonna) is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr r ...
), and Colonia Agrippinensis (
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of the German western States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city of Germany with 1.1 m ...
), the capital of Germania Inferior.


History

The army of Germania Inferior, typically shown on inscriptions as EX.GER.INF. (''Exercitus Germaniae Inferioris''), included several legions at various times: of these, Legions I ''Minervia'' and XXX ''Ulpia Victrix'' were the most permanent. The Roman Navy's '' Classis Germanica'' (Germanic fleet), charged with patrolling the
Rhine The Rhine ; french: Rhin ; nl, Rijn ; wa, Rén ; li, Rien; rm, label=Sursilvan, Rein, rm, label=Sutsilvan and Surmiran, Ragn, rm, label=Rumantsch Grischun, Vallader and Puter, Rain; it, Reno ; gsw, Rhi(n), including in Alsatian dialect, Al ...
and the North Sea coast, was based at Castra Vetera and later at Colonia Agrippinensis. The first confrontations between a
Roman army The Roman army (Latin language, Latin: ) was the armed forces deployed by the Romans throughout the duration of Ancient Rome, from the Roman Kingdom (c. 500 BC) to the Roman Republic (500–31 BC) and the Roman Empire (31 BC–395 AD), and its ...
and the peoples of Germania Inferior occurred during
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; ; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC), was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating his political rival Pompey in Caes ...
's
Gallic Wars The Gallic Wars were waged between 58 and 50 BC by the Roman general Julius Caesar against the peoples of Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe first described by the Romans. It was inhabited by Celts, Celtic and A ...
. Caesar invaded the region in 57 BC and in the next three years annihilated several tribes, including the Eburones and the
Menapii The Menapii were a Belgae, Belgic tribe dwelling near the North Sea, around present-day Cassel, Nord, Cassel, during the La Tène culture, Iron Age and the Roman period. Name Attestations They are mentioned as ''Menapii'' by Julius Caesar, C ...
, whom Caesar called "Germanic" but who probably were Celtic or at least mixed Celtic-Germanic. Germanic influence (mainly through the Tungri) increased during Roman times, leading to the assimilation of all Celtic peoples in the area. Germania Inferior had Roman settlements since around 50 BC and was at first part of Gallia Belgica. Although it had been occupied since the reign of
Augustus Caesar Augustus (born Gaius Octavius; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), also known as Octavian, was the first Roman emperor; he reigned from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He is known for being the founder of the Roman Pri ...
, it wasn't formally established as a
Roman province The Roman provinces (Latin: ''provincia'', pl. ''provinciae'') were the administrative regions of Ancient Rome outside Roman Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Roman Republic and later the Roman Empire. Each province was ruled ...
until around AD 85, with its capital at
Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium was the Roman colony in the Rhineland from which the city of Cologne, now in Germany, developed. It was usually called ''Colonia'' (colony) and was the capital of the Roman province of Germania Inferior and t ...
(modern-day
Cologne Cologne ( ; german: Köln ; ksh, Kölle ) is the largest city of the German western States of Germany, state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the List of cities in Germany by population, fourth-most populous city of Germany with 1.1 m ...
). It later became an imperial province. It lay north of Germania Superior; these two together made up Lesser Germania. The adjective ''Inferior'' refers to its downstream position. As attested in the early 5th century '' Notitia Dignitatum'', the province was renamed Germania Secunda (Germania II) in the 4th century. It was administered by a '' consularis'' and formed part of the Diocese of Gaul. Up to the end of Roman control, it was an intensely garrisoned province that was inhabited by Romans and
Ripuarian Franks Ripuarian or Rhineland Franks (Latin: ''Ripuarii'' or ''Ribuarii'') were one of the two main groupings of early Frankish people, and specifically it was the name eventually applied to the tribes who settled in the old Roman territory of the Ubii, ...
in the 5th century. Its capital remained at Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, which also became the seat of a Christian bishopric, in charge of an ecclesiastical province that survived the
fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Ancient Rome, Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire, a process in which the Empire failed to enforce its rul ...
. After the final abandonment of the province it became the core of the Frankish Kingdom.


See also

* List of Roman governors of Germania Inferior * Revolt of the Batavi, a major uprising against Roman rule * Germanicus, the role of Germania Inferior in Roman politics * Roman Britain's continental trade * Germania


References


Bibliography


External links


Livius.org: Germania inferior
* https://web.archive.org/web/20021027093553/http://www.library.ucla.edu/yrl/reference/maps/blaeu/germania-inferior-nt.htm#qvarta_branbantiae Blaeu Atlas Germania Inferior

An open letter sent to the bishop of the province of Germania Secunda, among others.

{{Authority control Germany in the Roman era Former polities in the Netherlands States and territories established in the 80s States and territories disestablished in the 5th century 80s establishments in the Roman Empire 475 disestablishments 470s disestablishments in the Roman Empire