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great ethnic complex of ancient Europe, a basic stock in the composition of the modern peoples of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, N Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, N and central France, Lowland Scotland, and England.
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Germanic tribes that originally populated the northern Jutland Peninsula. At the end of the second century B.C., the Cimbri, the Teutoni, and the Ambroni moved south. After gaining a victory over the Romans at Noreia in 113 B.C., the Cimbri moved north into Gaul, where they inflicted a series of defeats on the Romans in 109, 107, and 105 B.C. In 102 B.C. they advanced on Rome and occupied all of Northern Italy. However, in 101 B.C. the troops of the Roman military leader Gaius Marius annihilated the Cimbri at Vercellae (Vercelli).

References in periodicals archive ?
Perhaps the Romans reneged on promises to the Celtiberians or the Celtiberians having seen off the Cimbri, who had previously delivered severe blows to Roman prestige, were tempted into seeking greater freedom.
But the Cimbri had not disappeared at all: they were merely on the southern edge of a mountain range and so Marius's reliance on intelligence gathered from his brother, based precisely where the enemy was concentrated, would have been indispensable in his preparations.
The delta is notoriously treacherous, and the Cimbri knew southern Gaul well enough.
As a result of his victories over the Cimbri and Teutones and the removal of threat of invasion of Italy, the Roman people acclaimed Marius their 'third founder' (Plut.
Caepio, campaigning in south-west Gaul, and perhaps expecting the Cimbri on the west back of the Rhone, had to cross the river to engage them.
When coupled with a sustained loss of senatorial membership over the next fifteen years in wars against, among others, the Cimbri and Teutones, and in various political condemnations, the patres conscripti were left sufficiently weakened in auctoritas to open the way for Saturninus and Glaucia to confidently launch, and to very nearly succeed in, their bid for power in 100.
In a recent article I have argued that Iberia, the source of much of Rome's silver in this period, suffered a catastrophe because of the invasion of the Cimbri in 105/4 and a widespread uprising against Roman rule led by the Celtiberians, and that peaceful conditions were only gradually restored, perhaps not before the end of the Social War.