Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography/Ae'dui

AE'DUI, HE'DUI (Αἰδοῦοι, Strab. p. 186), a Celtic people, who were separated from the Sequani by the Arar (Saone), which formed a large part of their eastern boundary. On the W. they were separated from the Bituriges by the upper course of the Ligeris (Loire), as Caesar states (B. G. vii. 5). To the NE. were the Lingones, and to the S. the Segusiani. The Aedui Ambarri (B. G. i. 11), kinsmen of the Aedui, were on the borders of the Allobroges. The chief town of the Aedui in Caesar's time was Bibracte, and if we assume it to be on the site of the later town of Augustodunum (Autun), we obtain probably a fixed central position in the territory of the Aedui, in the old division of Bourgogne. The Aedui were one of the most powerful of the Celtic nations, but before Caesar's proconsulship of Gallia, they had been brought under the dominion of the Sequani, who had invited Germans from beyond the Rhine to assist them. The Aedui had been declared friends of the Roman people before this calamity befel them; and Divitiacus, an Aeduan, went to Rome to ask for the assistance of the senate, but he returned without accomplishing the object of his mission. Caesar, on his arrival in Gaul (B.C. 58), restored these Aedui to their former independence and power. There was among them a body of nobility and a senate, and they had a great number of clientes, as Caesar calls them, who appear to have been in the nature of vassals. The clientes of the Aedui are enumerated by Caesar (B. G. vii. 75). The Aedui joined in the great rebellion against the Romans, which is the subject of the seventh book of the Gallic war (B. G. vii. 42, &c.); but Caesar reduced them to subjection. In the reign of Tiberius A.D. 21, Julius Sacrovir, a Gaul, attempted an insurrection among the Aedui and seized Augustodunum, but the rising was soon put down by C. Silius. (Tac. Ann. iii. 43—46.) The head of the commonwealth of the Aedui in Caesar's time was called Vergobretus. He was elected by the priests, and held his office for one year. He had the power of life and death over his people, as Caesar says, by which expression he means probably that he was supreme judge. (B. C. i. 16, vii. 33.)

The clientes, or small communities dependent on the Aedui, were the Segusiani, already mentioned; the Ambivareti, who were apparently on the northern boundary of the Aedui trans Mosam, (B. G. iv. 9); and the Aulerci Brannovices [Aulerci]. The Ambarri, already mentioned as kinsmen of the Aedui, are not enumerated among the clientes (B. G. vii. 55). One of the pagi or divisions of the Aedui was called Insubres (Liv. v. 34). Caesar allowed a body of Boii, who had joined the Helvetii in their attempt to settle themselves in Gaul, to remain in the territory of the Aedui (B. G. i. 28). Their territory was between the Loire and the Allier, a branch of the Loire. They had a town, Gergovia (B. G. vii. 9), the site of which is uncertain; if the reading Gergovia is accepted in this passage of Caesar, the place must not be confounded with the Gergovia of the Arverni.[ G. L. ]