1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bituriges

BITURIGES, a Celtic people, according to Livy (v. 34) the most powerful in Gaul in the time of Tarquinius Priscus. At some period unknown they split up into two branches—Bituriges Cubi and Bituriges Vivisci. The name is supposed to mean either “rulers of the world” or “perpetual kings.”

The Bituriges Cubi, called simply Bituriges by Caesar, in whose time they acknowledged the supremacy of the Aedui, inhabited the modern diocese of Bourges, including the departments of Cher and Indre, and partly that of Allier. Their chief towns were Avaricum (Bourges), Argentomagus (Argenton-sur-Creuse), Neriomagus (Néris-les-Bains), Noviodunum (perhaps Villate). At the time of the rebellion of Vercingetoix (52 B.C.), Avaricum, after a desperate resistance, was taken by assault, and the inhabitants put to the sword. In the following year, the Bituriges submitted to Caesar, and under Augustus they were incorporated (in 28 B.C.) in Aquitania. Pliny (Nat. Hist. iv. 109) speaks of them as liberi, which points to their enjoying a certain amount of independence under Roman government. The district contained a number of iron works, and Caesar says they were skilled in driving galleries and mining operations.

The Biturgies Vivisci occupied the strip of land between the sea and the left bank of the Garonne, comprising the greater part of the modern department of Gironde. Their capital was Burdigala (Bordeaux), even then a place of considerable importance and a wine-growing centre. Like the Cubi, they also are called liberi by Pliny.

See A. Desjardins, Géographie historique de la Gaule romaine, ii. (1876–1893); A. Longnon, Géographie de la Gaule on VIe siècle (1878); A. Hohler, Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz; T. R. Holmes, Caesar’s Conquest of Gaul (1899).