Gauls in Anjou: The Andes or Andécaves

Statue of Dumnacus
After a model by David d'Angers

When the Romans came in the first century bce, they found Celts, or Gauls as they called them, a metal-using peoples who mad migrated to the area several centuries before. Loosely organized into tribes, the people inhabiting the area of Anjou were known as the Andes or Andécaves. Their leader was Dumnacus, who joined the famous Vercingétorix in his resistance to Julius Caesar in 52 bce. Dumnacus continued the struggle the next year at Poitiers, when he was forced to retreat across the Loire, presumably at the Ponts-de-Cé where a statue has been erected in his honor. Revolts against the occupying troops are also recorded in 21 and 32 ce, but the Romans were there to stay.

Houses from ca. 80 bce, in Angers

Archeological excavations have discovered remains of their pre-Roman habitations, these dating to ca 80 bce, a period just before contact. The settlements are usually found on a fortified hilltop or oppidum.



Websites of Interest

Cyclist Serge provides information about les Ponts du Cé, including monuments to Dumnacus. In French.
Val de Loire Gallo-Romain
Links to informational pages about Gallo-Roman sites in the Loire valley. In French.
Official Asterix webpage
and The International Asterix Webpage
The battles of the Gauls against the Romans are seen by the French today through the lens of the comicbook hero Asterix, conceived by René Goscinny (1926-1977) and Albert Uderzo (1927- ). Mostly fun, but a little bit of history creeps in.

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Last update: June 5, 2003
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