Usipetes

Era : 506BK – 31BK (55 BCE – 420 CE)

Cultural Group : Gaulish, Germanic or Gallo-Germanic.

Etymology : Gaulish *Uχsi-pít-es “those who shine from above” (per Zimmer)

Attestations : Commentāriī dē Bellō Gallicō (Gaius Julius Cæsar); De origine et situ Germanorum and De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolæ(Publius Cornelius Tacitus); Geographia (Claudius Ptolemy).

Historic Territory : Originally east of the Elbe or Upper Wesser, gradually pushed west to the east bank of the Rhine across from Cologne. Later still they are described as living near Nijmegen. It is believed that a portion of them moved even further south over the centuries.

Historical Highlights : In 506BK (55 BCE) the Usipetes are said to have been pushed out of their older homelands by the Suevi. In 463 BK (12 BCE) Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus conquered the Upper Wesser and subjugated the Usipetes who resided there. It is believed that in 437 BK (14 CE), Usipetes aid Arminius against Germanicus. In 391 BK (60 CE) the Chauci are believed to have taken over Ampsivarii lands and these Ampsivarii seek refuge with the Usipetes among other tribes. In 382 BK (69 CE) Usipetes are in turn displaced by the Chauci. In 381 BK (70 CE) the Usipetes are subjugated by Rome after their defeated revolt. In 367 BK (84 CE) Usipetes in Roman service are deployed Britania. In 353 BK (98 CE) the Usipetes are said to live in the territory south of the Chauci. By 31 BK (420 CE) the Usipetes are likely completely absorbed by the Ripuarii.

Persons of Note : Usipian Cohort: “The same summer a Usipian cohort, which had been levied in Germany and transported into Britain, ventured on a great and memorable exploit. Having killed a centurion and some soldiers, who, to impart military discipline, had been incorporated with their ranks and were employed at once to instruct and command them, they embarked on board three swift galleys with pilots pressed into their service. Under the direction of one of them—for two of the three they suspected and consequently put to death—they sailed past the coast in the strangest way before any rumour about them was in circulation. After a while, dispersing in search of water and provisions, they encountered many of the Britons, who sought to defend their property. Often victorious though now and then beaten, they were at last reduced to such an extremity of want as to be compelled to eat, at first, the feeblest of their number, and then victims selected by lot. Having sailed round Britain and lost their vessels from not knowing how to manage them, they were looked upon as pirates and were intercepted, first by the Suevi and then by the Frisii. Some who were sold as slaves in the way of trade, and were brought through the process of barter as far as our side of the Rhine, gained notoriety by the disclosure of this extraordinary adventure.” (De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolæ, ch. 28)

Associated Hêlen :   Magusanus, Deæ Vagdavercusti, Valeda, Matronæ Vaccalinehæ.