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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



participants in the anti-Roman national liberation movement in Gaul and northern Spain in the third through fifth centuries A. D.

The Bagaudae were primarily destitute peasants, petty artisans, coloni, and fugitive slaves. The Bagaudae movement was one of the signs of crisis in the Roman slave-owning society and government. The Bagaudae uprising began in 283–285 (or 269–270). The main area of the revolt was located between the Seine and Loire rivers (where extensive deep forests provided excellent shelter). Formed into detachments, the Bagaudae attacked the villas of the great landowners and poorly defended cities. The Bagaudae leaders, Amandus and Aelian, were proclaimed imperators; they formed an army that included an infantry of farmers and a cavalry of herdsmen.

The Bagaudae movement, suppressed by the Romans, reappeared in 408 (the Bagaudae attacked Roman troops in the Alps). In 435–447 the rebels seized northwestern Gaul, but they were defeated twice by the Roman generals Aetius and Litorius. In the middle of the fifth century a Bagaudae uprising broke out in northern Spain; it was suppressed by the Romans, then by Visigothic generals.


Dmitriev, A. D. “Dvizhenie bagaudov.” Vestnik drevnei istorii,1940, nos. 3–4.
Korsunskii, A. P. “Dvizhenie bagaudov.” Vestnik drevnei istorii,1957, no. 4.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.