Redonan stater (ca. 80-50 BC).

The Redones or Riedones (Gaulish: Rēdones, later Riedones, 'chariot- or horse-drivers') were a Gallic tribe dwelling in the eastern part of the Armorican peninsula (modern Brittany), around their chief town Condate (modern Rennes), during the Iron age and the Roman period.

They subjugated to the Roman forces of Crassus in 57 BC, but provided men to the Gallic coalition led by Vercingetorix at the Battle of Alesia in 52.[1]


They are mentioned as R[h]edones by Caesar (mid-1st c. BC),[2] Rhedones (var. r[h]iedones, s[hi]edones) by Pliny (1st c. AD),[3] Rhiḗdones (‛Ριήδονες; var. ‛Ρηήδονες), Rhḗdones (Ῥήδονες) and Rhēḯdones (Ῥηΐδονες) by Ptolemy (2nd c. AD),[4] and as Redonas in the Notitia Dignitatum (5th c. AD).[5][6] Their chief town is also attested on inscriptions as civ]itas Ried[onum and [civ]itas Ried[onum].[7][6]

The Gaulish ethnonym Rēdones means 'chariot-drivers' or 'horse-riders'. It stems from the Celtic root rēd- ('to ride, esp. a horse or horse-led chariot'; cf. Gallo-Lat. rēda 'chariot', OIr. ríad 'riding, driving, journey'; also Gallo-Lat. paraue-redus 'work-horse' and ue-rēdus 'post horse', MW. gorwydd 'horse') attached to the suffix -ones.[8][9][10]

The original Rēdones led to a form Riedones after diphthongisation.[11] Following the discovery of inscriptions featuring this variant in the 1960s, some historians, including Anne-Marie Rouanet-Liesenfelt and Louis Pape,[12][13] have argued that the form Riedones should be preferred over Redones in scholarship, which is not necessary according to linguist Pierre-Yves Lambert.[14]

The city of Rennes, attested ca. 400 AD as civitas Redonum ('civitas of the Redones'; Redonas in 400–441; Rennes in 1294) is named after the Gallic tribe.[15]


Map of the Gallic people of modern Brittany :

They dwelled in the eastern part of the Armorican peninsula (modern Brittany). Although they controlled a narrow coastline in the southern part of the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay,[1] they did not have a direct opening to maritime trade.[16] Caesar mentions them among the civitates maritimae or Aremoricae.[17] Their territory was located east of the Coriosolites, north of the Namnetes, west of the Aulerci Diablintes, and southwest of the Venelli and Abrincatui.[18]

Their chief town was known as Condate Redonum (modern Rennes).[17]


After the bloody fight on the Sambre (57 BC) Julius Caesar sent Publius Licinius Crassus with a single legion into the country of the Veneti, Redones, and other Celtic tribes between the Seine River and the Loire, all of whom submitted. (B. G. ii. 34.) Caesar here enumerates the Redones among the maritime states whose territory extends to the Atlantic Ocean. In 52 BC the Redones with their neighbors sent a contingent to attack Caesar during the siege of Alesia. In this passage also (B. G. vii. 75), the Redones are enumerated among the states bordering on the ocean, which in the Celtic language were called the Armoric States. D'Anville supposes that their territory extended beyond the limits of the diocese of Rennes into the dioceses of St. Malo and Dol-de-Bretagne.


  1. ^ a b Kruta 2000, p. 790.
  2. ^ Caesar. Commentarii de Bello Gallico. 2:34; 7:75.
  3. ^ Pliny. Naturalis Historia, 4:107.
  4. ^ Ptolemy. Geōgraphikḕ Hyphḗgēsis, 2:8:2, 2:8:9.
  5. ^ Notitia Dignitatum, or 42:36.
  6. ^ a b Falileyev 2010, s.v. Riedones, Condate Redonum and Civitas Riedonum.
  7. ^ Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, 13:3151, 13:3152.
  8. ^ Lambert 1994, p. 34.
  9. ^ Delamarre 2003, p. 256.
  10. ^ Matasović 2009, p. 307.
  11. ^ Delamarre, Xavier (2014). "Notes d'étymologie gauloise". Wékwos. 1. ISSN 2426-5349.
  12. ^ Rouanet-Liesenfelt, Chastagnol & Sanquer 1980, p. 5.
  13. ^ Pape 1995, p. 21; "...graphie qu’il convient d’utiliser de préférence à Redones étant donné les découvertes épigraphiques de Rennes en 1968."
  14. ^ Lambert 1997, p. 399: La découverte de la forme Riedones, sur une inscription de Rennes, a semblé livrer "la vraie forme" de ce nom de peuple, et plusieurs historiens ont abandonné l'usage de Redones pour Riedones ... En fait, il ne parait pas nécessaire de renoncer a la forme traditionnelle Redones, que supposait avoir un -ē- (de *reid- 'aller en char'); mais l'évolution ē > ie est tout à fait isolée, et l'on hésite à la prendre en compte (plus tard, c'est le e bref accentué qui devient -ie- en français ancien)."
  15. ^ Nègre 1990, p. 156.
  16. ^ Lorho & Monteil 2013, p. 351–352.
  17. ^ a b Lafond & Olshausen 2006.
  18. ^ Talbert 2000, Map 7: Aremorica.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Redones". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.