Aremorica (also Armorica , of Celtic are mori , "in front of the sea") was in ancient times a geographic name for the north-western coast of present-day France between the rivers Sequana ( Seine ) and Liger ( Loire ), so today's landscapes Normandy and Brittany . From the Iron Age until the conquest by the Roman Empire, the region was the settlement area of Gallic tribes such as the Aulerker , Coriosoliten , Eburoviken , Lexovier , Namneten , Osismier , Redonen , Veneter and Veneller and then became part of the Roman during the Gallo-Roman period Province of Gaul and later administered as part of the Province of Gallia Lugdunensis .
First mention by Caesar
Aremorica is first mentioned in writing by the Roman general and author Gaius Iulius Caesar . In the fifth book of his report on his wars in Gaul , the Commentarii de bello Gallico , he mentions this name for a group of Gallic tribes. The book describes the events of the year 54 BC. BC Although Caesar was already in 57 BC. BC and 56 BC In the war with the Venetians on land and water, he collided with the sea peoples of this area, he only mentions the common name Aremorica here . In the seventh book, in which Caesar launched the war against Vercingetorix in 52 BC, He describes the Armorican inhabitants of the coastal areas in more detail. He mentions the peoples of these areas:
"... universis civitatibus, quae Oceanum attingunt quaeque eorum consuetudine Armoricae appellantur, quo sunt in numero Curiosolites, Redones, Ambibarii, Caletes, Osismi, Veneti, Lemovices, Venelli."
Caesar also counts the Aulerci and the Lexovii among these.
Further written original sources
Pliny the Elder claims that Aremorica is just an older name for Aquitaine ( "Aquitanica, Aremorica antea dicta" , Pliny: Naturalis Historia , IV, 17, 105). He adheres to the original linguistic meaning of the word Aremorica , which geographically describes the coastal region of Gaul with the peoples settled there, but not a specific, demarcated country. However, most Roman historians only referred to the section north of Aquitaine, between the Loire and the Seine, as Ar (e) morica. How far the land stretches from the coast inland is not exactly determined. Different peoples, which Pliny lists as residents of the province of Gallia Lugdunensis , are occasionally counted by historians among the inhabitants of Armorica. The province of Gallia Lugdunensis extended slightly beyond the Seine in the north and also included parts south of the Loire. In addition to the Veneti, Curiosolites, Redones and Osismi, known from Caesar, who inhabited the peninsula of present-day Brittany, Pliny also mentions the Namnetes from the area of present-day Nantes .
In the late 4th century the fortified towns and forts on the coast belonged to the Limes of the so-called Saxon coast , whose garrisons, according to the Notitia dignitatum, were under the command of a Dux tractus Armoricani et Nervicani .
After the Roman army withdrew at the beginning of the 5th century, under Emperor Honorius , the Celtic peoples who lived there, according to the Greek chronicler Zosimus, drove out the Roman administrative officials around 400, declared themselves independent and from then on lived according to their own laws - like the barbarians. The aremoric chiefs and cities then formed a covenant to protect against attacks by Teutons and Anglo-Saxons . Germanus of Auxerre traveled to the imperial court in Ravenna in 437 to show indulgence for the inhabitants of Aremorica. The influential Roman army master Aëtius had sent Alan troops on a punitive expedition against the Bagauden there , who had risen under the leadership of a certain Tibatto . The above alliance of arms lasted until the conquest of the country by the Merovingian King Clovis I around 500. Soon afterwards, many British Celts , displaced by the Anglo-Saxons, immigrated , and as a result, the country was named Brittany.
Armorica and the Gauls are through in recent times Asterix - Comics (of Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny ) to a wider audience become known. At the beginning of each volume a map is shown of the area in which the small Gallic hometown of Asterix and Obelix is located. This coastal land is called Aremorica. From the first volume, Asterix the Gauls , Aremorica is mentioned again and again in the content of the volumes.
- Gaius Iulius Caesar: Commentarii de bello Gallico , Book V, 53
- Zosimus , 6.5.3
- Meyers Konversations-Lexikon , keyword: Aremorica . Fourth edition, Volume 1, p. 1781, Leipzig, Bibliographisches Institut, 1888
- Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny: Asterix the Gauls. Ehapa Verlag, Stuttgart 1968, p. 13
- Maximilian Ihm : Aremorica . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume II, 1, Stuttgart 1895, Col. 638.
- Johann Baptist Keune : Aremorica . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Supplement III, Stuttgart 1918, Col. 154. (Addendum)