The Bituriges (Bituriges Cubi) were a tribe of Celtic Gaul with its capital at Bourges (Avaricum), whose territory corresponds to the former province of Berry.

Their name supposedly meant "kings of the world"[1] or "kings/masters of hitting/forging/smithing" (compare Boii "the hitting/forging/smithing ones", a deflection of the root bit also present in the industrial city Bytom connected to Boii and Cotini, Bithynia loosely connected to the Galatians and Pithom loosely connected to the ethnically related Hyksos).

Early in the 1st century BCE, they had been one of the main Gallic tribes, especially in terms of druids and their political influence. But they soon declined in power as the druids were an important target for Julius Caesar in his conquest of Gaul. What is more, the fact that Avaricum (Bourges) was the only Celtic city that Vercingetorix did not burn, contrary to his scorched earth strategy, upon the approach of Caesar's legions is another proof of the political importance of the Bituriges. Eventually, the town was to be buried by the Roman legions.

Besides Avaricum or Mediolanum (Châteaumeillant) on the road from Paris and Orléans to Arvernum (Clermont-Ferrand), Argentomagus (Saint-Marcel near today's Argenton-sur-Creuse), Déols (vicus Dolensi or Dolus in the 6th c.) or Levroux on the road from Toulouse to Paris were other oppidums of the Bituriges.

This is one of several tribes which seem to have split, with the Bituriges Cubi lived near Bourges/Berry and the Bituriges Vivisci near Burdigala (Bordeaux).

They joined Bellovesus' migrations towards Italy, together with the Aedui, Ambarri, Arverni, Aulerci, Carnutes and Senones.[2]


A passage from Livy, (Ab Urbe condita V, XXXIV), "summa imperii penes Biturges", meaning "all the power in the hands of the Bituriges", has become the motto of the city of Bourges.

See also


  1. Stanley Alexander Handford, Jane F. Gardner (1983), The Conquest of Gaul By Julius Caesar, Penguin Classics, ISBN 0140444335
  2. Livius, Ab Urbe condita 5.34-35.3.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.