Chatti

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{area, part, region}
{mi², represent, 1st}
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The Chatti (also Chatthi or Catti) were an ancient Germanic tribe whose homeland was near the upper Weser.[1] They settled in central and northern Hesse and southern Lower Saxony, along the upper reaches of the Weser River and in the valleys and mountains of the Eder, Fulda and Weser River regions, a district approximately corresponding to Hesse-Kassel, though probably somewhat more extensive. According to Tacitus [2], among them were the Batavians, until an internal quarrel drove them out, to take up new lands at the mouth of the Rhine.

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While Julius Caesar was well informed about the regions and tribes on the eastern banks of the Rhine, he never mentions the Chatti. The first ancient writer to do so is Strabo, some time after 16 AD, who includes the Chatti in a listing of "poorer Germanic tribes" that had previously fought the Romans.[3] For the first century AD, we are quite well informed about the Chatti, mostly thanks to Tacitus, who provides important information about the Chatti's part in the Germanic wars and certain elements of their culture. After the early 3rd century AD, however, the Chatti virtually disappear from the sources and are only called upon as a topical element or when writing about events of the 1st century. Cassius Dio is most likely not only the first author to mention the Alamanni but also the last one to record an actual historical appearance of the Chatti. Writing about the Germanic war of Caracalla in 213 AD, he has the emperor fight "Κέννους, Kελτικòν ἔθνος" ("the Kenni, a Celtic people").[4] However, this is taken from an excerpt of Dio in the writings of Joannes Xiphilinus, whereas the Fragmenta Valesiana actually refer to the same people as "Chattoi".[5] The usage of "Kελτικός" for Germanic peoples was an archaic tradition among Greek writers.
After Cassius Dio, the name "Chattus" appears among others in a panegyric by Sidonius Apollinaris in the late 5th century, now as a poetic synonym for "Germanus".[6] The last[clarification needed] writer to mention the Chatti, if only in a quotation of Sulpicius Alexander describing events of the late 4th century, was Gregory of Tours.[7]

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