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Dumnorix († 54 BC ) was a Celtic tribal prince of the 1st century BC. He came from the central Gaulish tribe of the Haedu , which he led at times. The main source for the life of Dumnorix is Caesar's account de bello Gallico .


Nothing is known of Dumnorix's youth. Its name is derived from the Gallic words dumno ("world") and rix ("king"), so it means something like "king of the world". He only comes across in connection with Caesar's activities in Gaul. As Dumnorix's brother, the tribal leader Diviciacus , 61 BC. When he went to Rome to ask for help against the Sequani and Ariovistus for his tribe , Dumnorix took control of the Haeduer. In 58 BC However, Caesar deposed him to reinstate his brother, who was more loyal to the Romans, as tribal leader. Nevertheless, Dumnorix remained one of the wealthiest and most influential Haeduer. For example, he was able to maintain a large number of riders at his own expense, who always accompanied him. He was also very generous to the Haedu people, which made him very popular.

Dumnorix also had influence with neighboring tribes such as the Sequani and the Helvetians , which he had acquired through a clever marriage policy: He married the daughter of the powerful Helvetian Orgetorix . He was able to exert his influence in 58 BC. When the Helvetii were allowed to cross the area of ​​the Sequaner through his encouragement. Caesar reports that Dumnorix and Orgetorix were planning an overthrow. He wanted to depose his own brother again, become king of the Haedu and conquer all of Gaul with his father-in-law; this statement could only have sprung from Caesar's propaganda. After Caesar heard of new allegations that Dumnorix was conspiring with the Helvetians, he finally had him arrested. At the request of the Diviciacus, however, he was pardoned and had to accompany Caesar in the Gallic War .

For nearly four years, Dumnorix remained quiet, but planned an overthrow. Caesar had heard of these plans and therefore wanted him in 54 BC. BC on his trip to Britain to prevent a rebellion in his absence. In fact, according to Caesar, Dumnorix had declared at a meeting of the Aeduians that Caesar had made him king of the tribe. The Haedu people were outraged by this alleged foreign interference. Dumnorix asked Caesar not to have to go to Britain because he was afraid of the water and had "religious concerns" ( religionibus impediri ). Caesar refused. Thereupon Dumnorix tried to convince the principes Galliae , the leading men of Gaul, to defy Caesar's orders and to stay on the mainland.

Caesar found out about these machinations and tried to take action against it: while he was waiting in the harbor for a favorable wind for the departure to Britain, he tried to keep Dumnorix under control. When the conditions for the departure were favorable and Caesar had given orders to prepare everything for the crossing, Dumnorix tried to flee with a group of horsemen. But Caesar also learned of this plan and sent a large part of his cavalry afterwards with orders to arrest Dumnorix either dead or alive. But Dumnorix resisted. According to Caesar's account, he kept shouting that he was free and a citizen of a free people. So he was eventually killed by the Roman cavalry.


  • Caesar, de bello Gallico 1.3; 1.9; 1.16-20; 5.5-7.

A Celtic silver coin with the name form Dubnoreix , which refers to Dumnorix, has survived . On the lapel is a Celtic warrior with a cut off head in his hand.



  1. Caesar, de bello Gallico 5,6,2: "Accedebat huc quod in concilio Aeduorum Dumnorix dixerat sibi a Caesare regnum civitatis deferri".
  2. Caesar, de bello Gallico 5.7.
  3. ^ Barry Cunliffe : The Celts and Their History , 7th edition, Gustav Lübbe Verlag, Bergisch Gladbach 2000, p. 82 f.