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Germania Inferior

Germania Inferior

Overview
Germania Inferior was a Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 located on the left bank of the Rhine, in today's Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, southern Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, parts of Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, and North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

 left of the Rhine.

The principal settlements of the province were Castra Vetera and Colonia Ulpia Traiana (both near Xanten
Xanten
Xanten is a historic town in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany, located in the district of Wesel.Xanten is known for the Archaeological Park or archaeological open air museum , its medieval picturesque city centre with Xanten Cathedral and many museums, its large man-made lake for...

), Coriovallum (Heerlen
Heerlen
Heerlen is a city and a municipality in the southeastern Netherlands. The municipality is the second largest in the province of Limburg. It forms part of Parkstad Limburg, , an agglomeration of about 220,000 inhabitants.After its early Roman beginnings and a rather modest medieval period, Heerlen...

), Albaniana (Alphen aan den Rijn
Alphen aan den Rijn
Alphen aan den Rijn is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland, between Leiden and Utrecht. The town is situated on the banks of the river Oude Rijn , where the river Gouwe branches off. The municipality had a population of 72,674 in 2010, and covers an...

), Lugdunum Batavorum (Katwijk
Katwijk
Katwijk is a coastal municipality and town in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. It has a population of 61,292.-Location:...

), Forum Hadriani
Forum Hadriani
Forum Hadriani, at the modern town of Voorburg, was the northern-most Roman city on the European continent and the second oldest city of The Netherlands. It was located in the Roman province Germania Inferior and is mentioned on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a Roman road map.The site Forum Hadriani...

 (Voorburg
Voorburg
Voorburg is a Dutch town and former municipality in the western part of the province of South Holland, the Netherlands. As also Leidschendam and Stompwijk, it is part of the municipality Leidschendam-Voorburg. It has approximately 39,000 inhabitants....

), Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum (Nijmegen), Traiectum (Utrecht
Utrecht (city)
Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 312,634 on 1 Jan 2011.Utrecht's ancient city centre features...

), Atuatuca Tungrorum (Tongeren), Bona (Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

), and Colonia Agrippinensis
History of Cologne
The History of Cologne, Germany's oldest major city, can be broken into several periods.- Roman period :In 39 BC, the tribe of the Ubii entered into an agreement with the Roman forces and settled on the left bank of the Rhine. Their headquarters was Oppidum Ubiorum — the settlement of the Ubii, and...

(Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

), the capital of Germania Inferior.

The army of Germania Inferior, known from inscriptions simply as EX.GER.INF.
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Encyclopedia
Germania Inferior was a Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 located on the left bank of the Rhine, in today's Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, southern Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, parts of Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, and North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

 left of the Rhine.

The principal settlements of the province were Castra Vetera and Colonia Ulpia Traiana (both near Xanten
Xanten
Xanten is a historic town in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany, located in the district of Wesel.Xanten is known for the Archaeological Park or archaeological open air museum , its medieval picturesque city centre with Xanten Cathedral and many museums, its large man-made lake for...

), Coriovallum (Heerlen
Heerlen
Heerlen is a city and a municipality in the southeastern Netherlands. The municipality is the second largest in the province of Limburg. It forms part of Parkstad Limburg, , an agglomeration of about 220,000 inhabitants.After its early Roman beginnings and a rather modest medieval period, Heerlen...

), Albaniana (Alphen aan den Rijn
Alphen aan den Rijn
Alphen aan den Rijn is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland, between Leiden and Utrecht. The town is situated on the banks of the river Oude Rijn , where the river Gouwe branches off. The municipality had a population of 72,674 in 2010, and covers an...

), Lugdunum Batavorum (Katwijk
Katwijk
Katwijk is a coastal municipality and town in the province of South Holland in the western Netherlands. It has a population of 61,292.-Location:...

), Forum Hadriani
Forum Hadriani
Forum Hadriani, at the modern town of Voorburg, was the northern-most Roman city on the European continent and the second oldest city of The Netherlands. It was located in the Roman province Germania Inferior and is mentioned on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a Roman road map.The site Forum Hadriani...

 (Voorburg
Voorburg
Voorburg is a Dutch town and former municipality in the western part of the province of South Holland, the Netherlands. As also Leidschendam and Stompwijk, it is part of the municipality Leidschendam-Voorburg. It has approximately 39,000 inhabitants....

), Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum (Nijmegen), Traiectum (Utrecht
Utrecht (city)
Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 312,634 on 1 Jan 2011.Utrecht's ancient city centre features...

), Atuatuca Tungrorum (Tongeren), Bona (Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

), and Colonia Agrippinensis
History of Cologne
The History of Cologne, Germany's oldest major city, can be broken into several periods.- Roman period :In 39 BC, the tribe of the Ubii entered into an agreement with the Roman forces and settled on the left bank of the Rhine. Their headquarters was Oppidum Ubiorum — the settlement of the Ubii, and...

(Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

), the capital of Germania Inferior.

The army of Germania Inferior, known from inscriptions simply as EX.GER.INF. (Exercitus Germania Inferior), had several legions
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

 at its service: of these, the Legions I Minervia
Legio I Minervia
Legio I Minervia was a Roman legion levied by emperor Domitian in 82, for the campaign against the Germanic tribe of the Chatti. Its cognomen is related to the goddess Minerva, the legion's protector. There are still records of the I Minervia in the Rhine border in the middle of the 4th century...

 and XXX Ulpia Victrix
Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix
Legio trigesima Ulpia Victrix was a Roman legion levied by the Emperor Trajan in 100 for the Dacian Wars. The legion was active until disbandment of the Rhine frontier in the beginning of the 5th century. Their emblems were the gods Neptune and Jupiter and the Capricorn...

 were the most permanent. The Roman Navy's Classis Germanica, charged with patrolling the Rhine and the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 coast, was based in Castra Vetera and later in Agrippinensis.

The first confrontations between a Roman army and the peoples of Germania Inferior occurred during Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

's Gallic Wars
Gallic Wars
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. They lasted from 58 BC to 51 BC. The Gallic Wars culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the...

. Caesar invaded the region in 57 BC
57 BC
Year 57 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Lentulus and Metellus...

 and in the next three years annihilated several tribes, including the Eburones
Eburones
The Eburones , were a Belgic people who lived in the northeast of Gaul, near the river Meuse and the modern provinces of Belgian and Dutch Limburg, in the period immediately before it was conquered by Rome. They played a major role in Julius Caesar's account of his "Gallic Wars", as the most...

 and the Menapii
Menapii
The Menapii were a Belgic tribe of northern Gaul in pre-Roman and Roman times. Their territory according to Strabo, Caesar and Ptolemy stretched from the mouth of the Rhine in the north, and southwards along the west of the Schelde. Their civitas under the Roman empire was Cassel , near Thérouanne...

, whom Caesar called "Germanic" but who probably were Celtic or at least mixed Celtic-Germanic. Germanic influence (mainly through the Tungri
Tungri
The Tungri were a tribe, or group of tribes, who lived in the Belgic part Gaul, during the times of the Roman empire. They were described by Tacitus as being the same people who were first called "Germani" , meaning that all other tribes who were later referred to this way, including those in...

) increased during Roman times, leading to the assimilation of all Celtic peoples in the area.

Germania Inferior had Roman settlements since approximately 50 BC
50 BC
Year 50 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Paullus and Marcellus...

 and was at first part of Gallia Belgica
Gallia Belgica
Gallia Belgica was a Roman province located in what is now the southern part of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, northeastern France, and western Germany. The indigenous population of Gallia Belgica, the Belgae, consisted of a mixture of Celtic and Germanic tribes...

; it was established as a Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 around the year 80
80
Year 80 was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Domitianus...

 or 83
83
Year 83 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Rufus...

, later becoming an Imperial province
Imperial province
An imperial province was a Roman province where the Emperor had the sole right to appoint the governor . These provinces were often the strategically located border provinces....

. It lay north of Germania Superior
Germania Superior
Germania Superior , so called for the reason that it lay upstream of Germania Inferior, was a province of the Roman Empire. It comprised an area of western Switzerland, the French Jura and Alsace regions, and southwestern Germany...

, together with which it made up Lesser Germania. The epithet Inferior refers to its downstream position.

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
    Germanicus
    Germanicus Julius Caesar , commonly known as Germanicus, was a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and a prominent general of the early Roman Empire. He was born in Rome, Italia, and was named either Nero Claudius Drusus after his father or Tiberius Claudius Nero after his uncle...

    , the role of Germania Inferior in Roman politics
  • Roman Britain's continental trade

External links

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