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The Cananefates - also referred to as Canninefates, Caninefates, or Canenefatae; meaning leek masters[1] - were a Germanic tribe[citation needed] that lived in the Rhine delta, on the western part of the Batavian Island (province of Germania Inferior, currently Betuwe in the western part of the Netherlands), in the Roman era, before and during the Roman conquest. They lived on the sandy grounds which is excellent soil to grow onions and, since the 16th century, to grow tulips. At the beginning of the Batavian rebellion under Gaius Julius Civilis in the anarchic year AD 69, the Batavians sent envoys to the Canninefates to urge a common policy. "This is a tribe," says Tacitus (Histories Book iv [1]) "which inhabits part of the island, and closely resembles the Batavians in their origin, their language, and their courageous character, but is inferior in numbers." In the failed uprising that followed, the Canninefates were led by their chieftain Brinno, the son of a chief who had faced down Caligula. The capital of the civitas of the Cananefates was Forum Hadriani, modern Voorburg.

In modern times, the region Kennemerland is believed to derive from the name of the Cananefates.


  1. ^ Lauran Toorians, De Cananefaten in taalkundig perspectief. In: W. de Jonge, J. Bazelmans and D.H. de Jager (eds.), Forum Hadriani. Van Romeinse stad tot monument. Utrecht, 2006

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