150 BC

The Allobroges were a Gallic tribe of ancient Gaul, located between the Rhône River and Lake Geneva in what later became Savoy, Dauphiné, and Vivarais. Their cities were in the areas of modern-day Annecy, Chambéry and Grenoble, the modern departement of Isère, and modern Switzerland. Their capital was today's Vienne.

The location of the Allobroges is deduced from mention of them in ancient writings. Caesar says that the Segusiavi were the "first tribe outside the province" (Gallia Transalpina) on "the far side of the Rhône" and that he marched from the Allobroges to the Segusiavi; that is, the former occupied the east bank of the Rhône. On the north, the Rhône divided the Helvetii from the Allobroges; i.e., the latter were on the south bank of the river and Lake Léman from which it flows. Geneva was Allobrogian. Caesar says the Allobroges were "recently subdued".

The first recorded reference to the Allobroges is from the Greek historian Polybius in 150-130 BC. He tells how they unsuccessfully resisted Hannibal when he crossed the Alps in 218 BC. In 123 BC, the Allobroges gave shelter to King Tutomotulus (or Teutomalius), of the tribe of the Salluvii which Rome had conquered, and refused to hand Tutomotulus over. Rome declared war and moved against the Allobroges. On August 8, 121 BC the legions of Quintus Fabius Maximus defeated them and forced them to submit; Maximus earned the cognomen Allobrogicus for this feat.

Next, loyal once more, Allobrogian warriors joined Julius Caesar during his conquest of Gaul. These included two brothers, Roucillus and Egus, the sons of Adbucillus who had been chieftain of the Allobroges for many years. In 'The Civil War' Caesar explains that these were men of "outstanding courage" and had been availed of their excellent and stalwart service in all his campaigns in Gaul. Consequently, they had been greatly honoured by Caesar who had assigned to them the highest magistracies among their own people. Regrettably Caesar records that these privileges allowed the Allobroges to become "carried away by stupid, barbarian vanity" and "to look down on their own people, to cheat the cavalry of their pay, and to appropriate all the plunder for themselves".

A generation later, Emperor Augustus placed the Allobroges in the region of Gallia Narbonensis and later Gallia Viennensis. Under the Roman Empire, Vienne grew and in 100 AD Tacitus described it as "historic and imposing".

Swiss History Timeline - Allobroges
Allobroges coin