Calucones

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The Calucones were a Germanic tribe mentioned by a few of the classical sources, but not all. Pliny the Elder (Book 3 Chapter 24 of Naturalis Historia, published in 77 CE) quotes a monument to the reign of Augustus, the tropeaum Alpium, located in the Rhaetia of his day, stating that Augustus subdued the Alpine peoples from the upper sea to the lower sea, including the Calucones.

Ptolemy in Geography (Book 2 Chapter 10) on the other hand locates the Kaloukones on either side of the Elbe "below" (north of?) the Silingae or Silesians. Since the Elbe does not drain the Alps, if the two Calucones are the same, the tropeaum cannot have meant that Augustus subdued only Rhaetia. However, the tropeaum also lists the Rugusci, who, at that early date, must still have been located on or near Rügen. Pliny's upper and lower seas must have been the Baltic and the Mediterranean respectively.

Such extravagant claims are characteristic of the Augustan age. In this case they are not likely to be true, unless Augustus achieved some sort of alliance. Marbod, later commander of all German forces in the struggle against Rome, lived for some years at peace in Augustan Rome. Very likely, the Calucones occupied the land ascribed to them over a thousand years later by Ortelius, in the vicinity of Dresden and Leipzig. The Roman authors were too quick to transmute peace into pax Romana, Roman-enforced peace.

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