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The Volcae
Volcae
(Latin pronunciation: [ˈwolkae̯]) were a tribal confederation constituted before the raid of combined Gauls
Gauls
that invaded Macedonia c. 270 BC and fought the assembled Greeks at the Battle of Thermopylae in 279 BC. Tribes known by the name Volcae
Volcae
were found simultaneously in southern Gaul, Moravia, the Ebro
Ebro
valley of the Iberian Peninsula, and Galatia
Galatia
in Anatolia. The Volcae
Volcae
appear to have been part of the late La Tène material culture, and a Celtic identity has been attributed to the Volcae, based on mentions in Greek and Latin sources as well as onomastic evidence. Driven by highly mobile groups operating outside the tribal system and comprising diverse elements, the Volcae
Volcae
were one of the new ethnic entities formed during the Celtic military expansion at the beginning of the 3rd century BC.[1] Collecting in the famous excursion into the Balkans, ostensibly, from the Hellene point of view, to raid Delphi, a branch of the Volcae
Volcae
split from the main group on the way into the Balkans and joined two other tribes, the Tolistobogii
Tolistobogii
and the Trocmi, to settle in central Anatolia
Anatolia
and establish a new identity as the Galatians. The Tectosagii were a sept of the Volcae
Volcae
who moved through Macedonia into Anatolia
Anatolia
c. 277 BC. Strabo
Strabo
says the Tectosagii came originally from the region near modern Toulouse, in France.

Contents

1 Volcae
Volcae
of the Danube 2 Volcae
Volcae
of Gaul

2.1 Volcae
Volcae
Arecomici 2.2 Volcae
Volcae
Tectosages

3 Etymology 4 Continuation of the name 5 Notes 6 References

Volcae
Volcae
of the Danube[edit]

Caesar's ethnogenesis and migrations of the Volcae.

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
was convinced that the Volcae
Volcae
had originally been settled east of the Rhine, for he mentioned the Volcae
Volcae
Tectosages
Tectosages
as a Gaulish tribe which still remained in western Germany in his day ( Gallic Wars
Gallic Wars
6.24):

And there was formerly a time when the Gauls
Gauls
excelled the Germans in prowess, and waged war on them offensively, and, on account of the great number of their people and the insufficiency of their land, sent colonies over the Rhine. Accordingly, the Volcae
Volcae
Tectosages, seized on those parts of Germany which are the most fruitful [and lie] around the Hercynian forest, (which, I perceive, was known by report to Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
and some other Greeks, and which they call Orcynia), and settled there. Which nation to this time retains its position in those settlements, and has a very high character for justice and military merit; now also they continue in the same scarcity, indigence, hardihood, as the Germans, and use the same food and dress; but their proximity to the Province and knowledge of commodities from countries beyond the sea supplies to the Gauls
Gauls
many things tending to luxury as well as civilization. Accustomed by degrees to be overmatched and worsted in many engagements, they do not now even compare themselves to the Germans in prowess.[citation needed]

Caesar related a tradition associating the Celtic tribe of the Volcae to the vast Hercynian Forest, though they were more probably to be located in the eastern range of the České Středohoří; yet, Volcae of his time were settled in Moravia, east of the Boii. Their apparent movement may indicate that the Volcae
Volcae
were newcomers to the region. Caesar's remark about the wealth of this region may have referred not only to agriculture but also to the mineral deposits there, while the renown attributed to the Volcae
Volcae
"in peace and in war" resulted from their metallurgical skills and the quality of their weapons, both attracting the attention of their northern neighbors.[2] Together with the Boii
Boii
in the upper basin of the Elbe
Elbe
river to the west and the Cotini
Cotini
in Slovakia
Slovakia
to the east, this area of Celtic settlement in oppida led to the exploitation of natural resources on a grand scale and the concentration of skilled craftsmen under the patronage of strong and wealthy chieftains. This culture flourished from the mid second to the mid-1st century BCE, until it buckled under the combined pressure of the Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
from the North and the Dacians
Dacians
from the East. Allowance must be made for Julius Caesar's usual equation of primitive poverty with admirable hardihood and military prowess and his connection of luxurious imports and the proximity of "civilization", meaning his own, with softness and decadence. In fact, long-established trading connections furnished Gaulish elites with Baltic amber and Greek and Etruscan wares. Caesar took it as a given that the Celts
Celts
in the Hercynian Forest
Hercynian Forest
were emigrant settlers from Gaul
Gaul
who had "seized" the land, but modern archeology identifies the region as part of the La Tène homeland. As Henry Howarth noted a century ago, "The Tectosages
Tectosages
reported by Caesar as still being around the Hercynian forest were in fact living in the old homes of their race, whence a portion of them set out on their great expedition against Greece, and eventually settled in Galatia, in Asia Minor, where one of the tribes was called Tectosages."[3] Volcae
Volcae
of Gaul[edit]

Map showing the relative position of the Volcae
Volcae
and Tectosages.

Volcae
Volcae
Arecomici[edit] The Volcae Arecomici
Volcae Arecomici
(Οὐόλκαι Ἀρικόμιοι of Ptolemy's Geography ii), according to Strabo,[4] dwelt on the western side of the lower Rhône, with their metropolis[5] at Narbo (Narbonne): "Narbo is spoken of as the naval-station of these people alone, though it would be fairer to add 'and of the rest of Celtica', so greatly has it surpassed the others in the number of people who use it as a trade-centre." They were not alone in occupying their territory,[6] with its capital at Nemausus
Nemausus
(Nîmes). The Volcae Arecomici
Volcae Arecomici
of their own accord surrendered to the Roman Republic in 121 BC. They occupied the district between the Garonne (Garumna), the Cévennes
Cévennes
(Cebenna mons),[7] and the Rhône,[8] This area covered most of the western part of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. They held their assemblies in the sacred wood of Nemausus, the site of modern Nîmes. In Gaul
Gaul
they were divided into two tribes in widely separated regions, the Arecomici on the east, living among the Ligures, and the Tectosages
Tectosages
(whose territory included that of the Tolosates) on the west, living among the Aquitani; the territories were separated by the Hérault (Arauris) or a line between the Hérault and the Orb (Orbis). Volcae
Volcae
Tectosages[edit]

Tectosages
Tectosages
coins, Southern France, 5th-1st century BC.

Coin of the Volcae
Volcae
Tectosages, silver 3.58g. Monnaie de Paris.

West of the Arecomici the Volcae
Volcae
Tectosages
Tectosages
(whose territory included that of the Tolosates) lived among the Aquitani; the territories were separated by the Hérault (Arauris) or a line between the Hérault River and the Orb (Orbis). Strabo
Strabo
says the Volcae
Volcae
Tectosages
Tectosages
came originally from the region near modern Toulouse
Toulouse
and were a sept or clan of the Volcae.[9] The territory of the Volcae
Volcae
Tectosages
Tectosages
(Οὐόλκαι Τεκτόσαγες of Ptolemy's Geography ii) in Gaul
Gaul
lay outside the Roman Republic, to the southwest of the Volcae
Volcae
Arecomici. From the 3rd century BC, the capital city of the Volcae
Volcae
Tectosages
Tectosages
was Tolosa (Toulouse). When the Cimbri
Cimbri
and Teutones
Teutones
invaded Gaul, the Tectosages allied themselves with them, and their town Tolosa was sacked in retribution by Quintus Servilius Caepio in 106 BC.[10] Tolosa was incorporated into the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
as part of the province of Gallia Aquitania with the conquest of Gaul
Gaul
by Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
in 52 BC. The Roman conquest of Tolosa ended the cultural identity of the Volcae Tectosages. According to Ptolemy's Geography, their inland towns were Illiberis,[11] Ruscino, Tolosa colonia, Cessero, Carcaso, Baetirae, and Narbo colonia. The Volcae
Volcae
Tectosages
Tectosages
were among the successful raiders of the Delphi expedition and were said to have transported their booty to Tolosa. A significant part of these raiders however did not return and crossed the Bosporus
Bosporus
instead. As a result, Tectosages
Tectosages
was also the name of one of the three great communities of Gauls
Gauls
who invaded and settled in Anatolia
Anatolia
in the country called after them "Galatia". Venceslas Kruta suggests that their movement into this region was probably motivated by a Carthaginian recruiting post situated close by, a main attraction of the region for Celtic mercenaries eager for more campaigning.[12] Indeed, after crossing the Pyrenees in 218 BC, Hannibal
Hannibal
in travelling through southern Gaul
Gaul
was greeted by warlike tribes: the Volcae, the Arverni, the Allobroges, and the Gaesatae of the Rhône
Rhône
Valley, who rose to prominence around the middle of the 3rd century BC. From around that time, this part of Gaul
Gaul
underwent a process of stabilization buttressed by the formation of new and powerful tribal confederations as well as the development of new-style settlements resembling the urban centers of the Mediterranean world, of which Tolosa and Nemausus
Nemausus
(Nîmes) were no exception.[13] In 107, the Volcae, allies of the Tigurini, a branch of the Helvetii who belonged to a coalition that formed around the Cimbri
Cimbri
and the Teutons, defeated a Roman army at Tolosa.[14] In 106-5, Q. Servilius Caepio was sent with an army to put down the revolt, and as a result, Tolosa was sacked, and thereafter the town and its territory were absorbed into Gallia Narbonensis, thereby establishing firm control over the western Gallic trade corridor along the Carcassonne
Carcassonne
Gap and the Garonne.[15] Etymology[edit] Most modern Celticists regard the tribal name Uolcae as being related to Welsh gwalch 'hawk', perhaps related (at the Proto-Indo-European level) to Latin falco 'hawk' (compare the Gaulish personal name Catuuolcus to Welsh cadwalch 'hero', literally 'battle-hawk'), though some prefer to translate Gaulish *uolco- as 'wolf' and, by semantic extension, 'errant warrior'.[16] There seems to be indication that their name is related to their breed of war greyhounds since before the 600 BC when the Tectosages
Tectosages
and Tolistobogii
Tolistobogii
Celts
Celts
sacked Delphi. Survivors left accounts of the fierce Celts
Celts
and the huge dogs who fought with them and at their side. They were described by Julius Caesar in his war reports, The Gallic Wars. The name Tectosages, literally 'possession-seekers', meant 'claim-stakers', perhaps closer in sense to 'claim-jumper' or 'land grabber', and a direct cognate is found in Old Irish techtaigidir 'he/she seeks to (re)establish a land claim'.[17] Continuation of the name[edit] Main article: Walhaz The Volcae
Volcae
were highly influential in Moravia, and together with the Boii
Boii
and the Cotini
Cotini
and other Danubian tribes, they controlled a highly active network of trade routes connected to the Mediterranean and the German lands. The prowess of these tribes and their proximity led to their name being borrowed into Germanic as *Walhaz, a generic term for "Celt" and eventually "Roman" as the two cultures merged in time. This word has been applied widely to any former Roman provincials, including the Welsh, Italians, and French. Compare: English Welsh, Flemish Dutch waalsch "Walloons", German welsch "French", Switzerland German Churwelsch "Churer Romance" (an old name for Romansh, which used to be spoken in Chur), Old Norse Valir "Roman; French". The word was also borrowed by the Slavs, who used it to refer to the Vlachs. Polish applied it not only to Vlachs
Vlachs
(Wołosi) but also Italians
Italians
(Włosi); the same pair of ethnonyms also exist in Czech: Valaši (= Vlachs
Vlachs
or Wallachians) & Vlaši (= an archaic denomination for Italians). Moreover, Hungarian name of Italy (Olaszország) and the archaical ethnonym Oláhok (meaning Wallach, i.e., Romanian) are derived from the same root. More examples in German as used in Switzerland include Welschschweiz "French-speaking Switzerland", Welschdörfli "Romansh Village" a historic section of Chur, and Welschgraben "French trenches" formerly a Burgundian defensive barrier. (See German Welsche.) The name Walhaz
Walhaz
is contained in Wallachia, Wallonia, and also, in the original meaning of "Gallic" or "Roman" appears in the word walnut and Old English Galwal "Gaul; France". Notes[edit]

^ Kruta, Venceslas. Celts: History and Civilization. London: Hachette Illustrated, 2004: 204. ^ Green, D. H. Language and History in the Early Germanic World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998: 163. ^ Howorth 1908:431. ^ Strabo, IV.1.12 ^ "Capital" applied to Gallic tribes offers misleading expectations. ^ "Situated alongside the Arecomici as far as the Pyrenees, are other tribes, which are without repute and small" (Strabo, IV.1.12). ^ The Cévennes
Cévennes
"formed a natural boundary between the Volcae Arecomici and the Gabali
Gabali
and Ruteni" to the east (Smith 1854). ^ "At the time of Hannibal's invasion of Italy, the Volcae
Volcae
had also possessions east of the Rhône" (Smith 1854); see Livy
Livy
xxi. 26 and Strabo
Strabo
203). ^ "that people of the Volcae
Volcae
who are called Tectosages" (Strabo, IV.1.12 (on-line text). ^ Howorth 1908:432. ^ In Roman times Illiberis— in Basque, "iri-berri" or "ili-berri", still signifies "new town"— signified more than one place: see Illiberis. ^ Kruta, Venceslas. Celts: History and Civilization. (London: Hachette Illustrated), 2004: 82-3. ^ Kruta 2004:99. ^ Kruta 2004:108. ^ Cunliffe, Barry. The Ancient Celts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997: 236 ^ See John Koch, 'The Celtic Lands', in Medieval Arthurian Literature: A Guide to Recent Research, edited by Norris J Lacy, (Taylor & Francis) 1996:267. For a full discussion of the etymology of Gaulish *uolco-, see Xavier Delamarre, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise (Editions Errance), 2001:274-6, and for examples of Gaulish *uolco- in various ancient personal Celtic names see Xavier Delamarre Noms des personnes celtiques (Editions Errance) 2007, p. 237. ^ from Sims-Williams, Patrick. Ancient Celtic Place-Names in Europe and Asia Minor. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006: 298 quoting Joseph, Lionel S. 'The Origin of the Celtic Denominatives in *-sag-'. Studies in Memory of Warren Cowgill. Berlin: 1987: 156-8

References[edit]

John King, Celt Kingdoms  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Volcae". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 178.  Ptolemy, Geography at Lacus Curtius site William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854)

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Iron Age tribes in Gaul

Belgica

Ambiani Aresaces Atrebates Atuatuci Bellovaci Caeroesi Catalauni Condrusi Eburones Leuci Mediomatrici Menapii Morini Nervii Paemani Remi Segni Silvanectes Suessiones Toxandri Treveri Vellocasses Viromandui

Celtica

Abrincatui Aedui Ambarri Andes (Andecavi) Arverni Baiocasses Bituriges
Bituriges
Cubi Cadurci Caletes Carnutes Caturiges Cenomani Curiosolitae Diablintes Eburovices Esuvii Gabali Helvetii Lemovici Lexovii Lingones Meldi Namnetes Nitiobriges Osismii Parisii Petrocorii Pictones Redones Ruteni Santones Senones Segusiavi Sequani Tricasses Turones Unelli Vellavi Veneti Viducasses

Aquitania

Ausci Boii Convenae Elusates Lactorates Sotiates Tarbelli Vasates Vivisci

Narbonensis

Allobroges Arecomici Avatici Cavares Caturiges Ceutrones Deciates Helvii Nantuates Salluvii Volcae
Volcae
(Arecomici and Tectosages) Tricastini Vocontii

Part of: Celtic tribes in Europe

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