Raetia (so always in inscriptions; classical manuscripts usually use the form Rhaetia) was a province of the
Roman Empire, bounded on the west by the country of the Helvetii, on the east by Noricum, on the north by Vindelicia, and on the south by Cisalpine Gaul. It thus comprised the districts occupied in modern times by eastern and central Switzerland(containing the Upper Rhineand Lake Constance), southern Bavariaand the Upper Swabia, Vorarlberg, the greater part of Tirol, and part of Lombardy. The northern border of Raetia was part of the Limes Germanicus, stretching for 166 km along the Danube. Raetia was linked to Italy across the Alpine Resia Passby the Via Claudia Augusta.
Little is known of the origin or history of the Raetians, who appear in the records as one of the most powerful and warlike of the Alpine tribes.
Livystates distinctly ["Ab Urbe Condita" [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0026&layout=&loc=5.33 v. 33] ] that they were of Etruscan origin (a belief that is favored by Niebuhr and Mommsen). A tradition reported by Justin [xx. 5] and Pliny the Elder["Naturalis Historia", [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0137&layout=&loc=3.24 iii. 24] , 133] affirmed that they were a portion of that people who had settled in the plains of the Po and were driven into the mountains by the invading Gauls, when they assumed the name of "Raetians" from an eponymous leader Raetus; a more probable derivation, however, is from Celtic "rait" ("mountain land"). Even if their Etruscan origin be accepted, at the time when the land became known to the Romans, Celtic tribes were already in possession of it and had amalgamated so completely with the original inhabitants that, generally speaking, the Raetians of later times may be regarded as a Celtic people, although non-Celtic tribes ( Lepontii, Euganei) were settled among them.
The modern people of western Austria (a Rhaetian region) have been found to have a relatively high incidence of Y-chromosome Haplogroup G, which has a relatively high incidence in the people of all regions of historical Etruscan occupation.
The Raetians are first mentioned (but only incidentally) by
Polybius[Histories [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0234&layout=&loc=34.10 xxxiv. 10] , iS] , and little is heard of them till after the end of the Republic. There is little doubt, however, that they retained their independence until their subjugation in 15by Tiberiusand Drusus. [compare Horace, "Odes", [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0025&layout=&loc=4.4 iv. 4] and [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0025&layout=&loc=4.14 14] ]
At first Raetia formed a distinct province, but towards the end of the 1st century AD Vindelicia was added to it; hence Tacitus ("Germania", 41) could speak of "Augusta Vindelicorum" (
Augsburg) as "a colonyof the province of Raetia". The whole province (including Vindelicia) was at first under a military prefect, then under a procurator; it had no standing army quartered in it but relied on its own native troops and militiafor protection until the 2nd century AD.
During the reign of
Marcus Aurelius, Raetia was governed by the commander of the Legio III "Italica", which was based in Castra Regina ( Regensburg) by 179 AD .Under Diocletian, Raetia formed part of the dioceseof the "vicarius Italiae", and was subdivided into "Raetia prima", with a "praeses" at Curia Raetorum ( Chur) and "Raetia secunda", with a "praeses" at Augusta Vindelicorum (Augsburg), the former corresponding to the old Raetia, the latter to Vindelicia. The boundary between them is not clearly defined, but may be stated generally as a line drawn eastwards from the "lacus Brigantinus" ( Lake Constance) to the "Oenus" ( River Inn).
During the last years of the
Western Roman Empire, the land was in a desolate condition, but its occupation by the Ostrogothsin the time of Theodoric the Great, who placed it under a "dux", to some extent revived its prosperity.
The land was very mountainous, and the inhabitants, when not engaged in predatory expeditions, chiefly supported themselves by cattle-breeding and cutting timber, little attention being paid to agriculture. Some of the valleys, however, were rich and fertile, and produced wine, which was considered equal to any in Italia.
Augustus Caesarpreferred Raetian wine to any other. Considerable trade in pitch, honey, wax, and cheeseoccurred.
The chief towns of Raetia (excluding Vindelicia) were "Tridentum" (
Trento) and "Curia" (Coire or Chur). It was traversed by two great lines of Roman roads — one leading from Verona and Tridentum across the Brenner Pass(in which the name of the Brenniihas survived) to Innsbruckand thence to "Augusta Vindelicorum" ( Augsburg), the other from "Brigantium" ( Bregenz) on Lake Constance by Chur and Chiavennato Comoand Milan.
County of Raetia (Rätien)
Charlemagneraised the district that was still governed under Frankish rule by a "praeses" in the eighth century to a county of Raetia, with a reminiscence of its Roman divisions in the name "Reciarum comes", "count of the Raetias", as late as 807; it was absorbed into the duchy of Swabiaat the beginning of the tenth century. [Elizabeth Meyer-Marthaler, "Rätien im frühen Mittelalter" (Zurich: Leeman) 1948 ]
In the mid-eighth century a surviving "Lex Romana Curiensis", a "Roman Law of Chur", was an abbreviated epitome of the
Breviary of Alaric. Under the Roman trappings of "iudex provincialis" or "defensor civitatis", the historian of early medieval Raetia, Elizabeth Meyer-Marthaler, recognized the public officials common throughout the Frankish empire. Not much later, the power of the " comes" was invested in the bishop of Chur; this experiment was brought to an end when Hunfrid, Margrave of Istria, was made count of Raetia in 807. With this as a power base, his Hunfridingheirs were able to gather enough power that Burchard II (919-926) was able to make himself duke of Swabia, and Raetia herceforward lost its separate identity. [Meyer-Marthaler 1948.]
Rätikonmountain range derives its name from Raetia.
* "Alae" (
* "Arbor Felix" (Arbon)
* "Apodiacum" (
* "Aquilea" (
Heidenheim an der Brenz)
* "Augusta Vindelicorum" (
* "Ausugum" (
* "Bauzanum" or "Pons Drusi" (
* "Belunum" (
* "Bilitio" (
* "Brigantium" (
* "Cambodunum" (
Kempten im Allgäu)
* "Castra Batava" (
* "Castra Regina" (
* "Clavenna" (
* "Clunia" (probably
* "Curia" (
* "Endidae" (Egna/Neumarkt)
* "Feltria" (
* "Foetes" (
* "Guntia" (
* "Gamundia Romana" (
* "Oscela" (
* "Parthanum" (
* "Sebatum" (San Lorenzo di Sebato/St. Lorenzen)
* "Sorviodurum" (
* "Sublavio" (Ponte Gardena/Waidbruck)
* "Tridentum" (
* "Veldidena" (
Wiltendistrict of Innsbruck)
* "Vipitenum" (Vipiteno/Sterzing)
* PC von Planta, "Das alte Rätien" (Berlin, 1872)
* T Mommsen in "Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum", iii. p. 706
Joachim Marquardt, "Römische Staatsverwaltung", 1. (2nd ed., 1881) p. 288
Ludwig Steub, "Ueber die Urbewohner Rätiens und ihren Zusammenhang mit den Etruskern" (Munich, 1843)
Julius Jung, "Römer und Romanen in den Donauländern" (Innsbruck, 1877)
* Smith's "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography" (1873)
* T Mommsen, "The Roman Provinces" (English translation, 1886), i. pp. 16, 161, 196
* Mary B Peaks, "The General Civil and Military Administration of Noricum and Raetia" (Chicago, 1907).
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Raetia — [rē′shə, rē′shē ə] alt. sp. of RHAETIA * * * or Rhaetia Ancient Roman province south of the Danube River. It comprised parts of present day Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Its native inhabitants were probably of mixed Illyrian and Celtic… … Universalium
Raetia — [ rɛːtsia], römische Provinz, Rätien … Universal-Lexikon
RAETIA — vide RHAETIA … Hofmann J. Lexicon universale
Raetia — [rē′shə, rē′shē ə] alt. sp. of RHAETIA … English World dictionary
Raetia — Lage der Provinz Raetia (gelb) auf einer Histo … Deutsch Wikipedia
Raetia — Roman alpine province that included parts of modern Switzerland, Bavaria, and the Tyrol. It provided a buffer for Italy (q.v.) until the northern part was abandoned to the Alemanni after 389. In 401 the German chieftain Radagaisus invaded… … Historical dictionary of Byzantium
Raetia — geographical name see Rhaetia • Raetian adjective or noun … New Collegiate Dictionary
Raetia — n; = Rätien … Австрия. Лингвострановедческий словарь
Raetia secunda — Lage der Vorgängerprovinz Raetia Raetia secunda (Vindelica) oder Vindelikien (Vindelicien) war eine im Zuge der diokletianischen Reichsreformen im frühen 4. Jahrhundert durch Teilung der vormaligen Provinz Raetia entstandene römische Provinz … Deutsch Wikipedia
Raetia prima — Churrätien im Frühmittelalter Churrätien ist ab dem Frühmittelalter bis in die frühe Neuzeit eine Bezeichnung für denjenigen Teil der spätrömischen früheren römischen Provinz Raetia prima, der in der Zeit der Völkerwanderung seinen sprachlichen… … Deutsch Wikipedia