Britannia, by William Camden

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ATTREBATII.

belgae caesar Small T THE Attrebatii, as in France, so likewise in Britain, border upon the Belgæ. Now that name is wholly disus’d, and the countrey they inhabited is commonly call’d Barkshire. But it ought to be taken for granted (since Cæsar informs us that the Foreigners which came out of Gallia Belgica inhabited the sea-coasts of Britain, and still retain’d the names of their own Countries) that our Attrebatii remov’d hither from among the Attrebates in Gaule; who, according to Ptolemy, possess’d the maritim parts of Gaule, upon the Sein, to wit, that very countrey, which may be said, in a manner, to lie opposite to our Attrebatii. Therefore Cæsar said, not without great probability, that Comius Attrebatensis was a person of considerable authority in these parts, that is, amongst his own countrey-men; and that after his being conquer’d by Cæsar, he fled hither; when, as we have it in Frontinus, his ships being run a-ground, he commanded his fails to be hoisted up, and by that means hinder’d Cæsar’s pursuit; who, seeing his full sails afar off, and supposing he made away with a fresh gale, desisted from following him further. Whence they had this name of Attrebatii, is a matter still in dispute; as for those that derive it from Attrech, which they would have to signify a land of bread in the old Gaulish Tongue, I am afraid they are mistaken. Let it be sufficient for me, that I have shewn, from whence they came into Britain: As for the Etymology of their name, I leave it to the search of others.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 13:06