100 BC

The Raurici were a Gallic tribe which inhabited the land around Basel, Switzerland. They are mentioned as Rauracis and Rauracorum by Caesar (mid-1st c. BC), Raurici (var. -aci) by Pliny (1st c. AD), and as Rauracense in the Notitia Dignitatum (5th c. AD). The ethnonym Rauraci derives from the ancient Celtic name of the river Ruhr, Raura.

As their name seems to indicate their original homeland may have been near the river Ruhr, further north of their attested territory. After their failed migration towards southwestern Gaul was repelled by the Romans in 58 BC, the Rauraci settled in the Upper Rhine area, with a territory stretching from the foothills of the Jura Massif, around the modern city of Basel, to the regions of Upper Alsace and South Baden

The Raurici were related to the Helvetii, and Julius Caesar charged the tribes with fighting back against the aggressive Raeti. The oppidum of Basel-Münsterhügel, occupied since at least the mid-1st century BC, was their pre-Roman chief town. The archaeological site of Basel-Gasfabrik (ca. 150–80 BC) is also attributed to the Rauraci.

In 44 BC, the Roman consul L. Munatius Plancus founded within their territory the settlement of Augusta Raurica (or Colonia Raurica; modern Augst and Kaiseraugst) The city was located at the crossroad of two trading routes: between the Great St Bernard Pass and the Rhine, and between Gaul and the Danube. A great part of Augusta Raurica was destroyed by an earthquake in 240–250. Under Diocletian (284–295), it was incorporated into the province of Maxima Sequanorum. The Castrum Rauracense, erected in 290–300, became the core of the city in Late Antiquity.


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Swiss History Timeline - Rauraci
The Roman theatre in Augusta Raurica