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The Limigantes were a subject population, or under-class, of the Iazyges, a Sarmatian people who occupied the Hungarian Plain (East of the river Danube) during the Roman imperial era (1st to 4th centuries AD). They are attested in the History of the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus, published ca. AD 390.


The Limigantes are described as Sarmatae servi ("Sarmatian slaves/serfs"), as opposed to the Sarmatae liberi ("free Sarmatians") by Ammianus.[1] It is unclear whether the Limigantes were simply an under-class of ethnic Sarmatians or a non-Sarmatian subject people.

Conflict with Rome[edit]

In AD 357, the Roman emperor Constantius II (ruled 337-61) faced a large force of Limigantes, who had successfully rebelled against their Iazyges overlords and then launched an invasion of Roman territory on the South bank of the Danube.[2] The barbarians entered the empire near the confluence of the rivers Danube and Tisza, invading the province of Moesia Superior (roughly mod. Serbia).[3] In a hard-fought battle, the Romans routed the Limigantes, slaughtering a large number.[4] After this, the remaining Limigantes surrendered and were assigned lands to settle in beyond the imperial border, but which were apparently under Roman control (possibly seized from the "free Sarmatians" separately defeated earlier in the same year).[5]

In 358, the Limigantes broke the terms of their treaty with Constantius and raided outside the territory assigned to them the previous year.[6]


  1. ^ Ammianus XVII.13.1
  2. ^ Ammianus XVII.13.1
  3. ^ Ammianus XVII.13.4
  4. ^ Ammianus XVII.13.5-18
  5. ^ Ammianus XVII.13.21;
  6. ^ Ammianus XIX.11.1