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date: 15 April 2021


  • John Frederick Drinkwater


Arverni, an advanced iron age people, occupying modern Auvergne, who contested the primacy of Gaul with the *Aedui (Caes. BGall. 1. 31. 3). In 207 bce they treated with *Hasdrubal (2) (Livy 27. 39. 6), and in the next century, under Luernius and his son Bituitus, they commanded an extensive empire (Strabo 4. 2. 3). Bituitus was, however, defeated by Cn. *Domitius Ahenobarbus (2) and Q. *Fabius Maximus (Allobrogicus) (121), and the Arvernian empire was reduced to suzerainty over some neighbouring tribes. In 52*Vercingetorix, son of a former Arvernian king, led the Gallic revolt against *Caesar, and defeated an attempt upon the hill-fort capital, *Gergovia. After the fall of Vercingetorix, the Arverni lost their powers of suzerainty, but obtained the position of civitas libera (see free cities), and became prosperous and Romanized. Under Augustus their capital was moved to Augustonemetum (Clermont-Ferrand). Their territory accommodated a major centre of pottery production at Lezoux, and their principal temple, on the Puy-de-Dôme, was famous for a statue costing forty million sesterces (Plin. HN 34.

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