A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

king of the Atrebates, was advanced to that dignity by Caesar. When Caesar's projected invasion of Britain became known to the inhabitants, ambassadors from various states came to him. Commius, in whose fidelity Caesar had great confidence, and whose influence in Britain was great, was sent back with them, accompanied by a small body of cavalry. He was seized and cast into chains by the Britons, but was released when, after a defeat, they found it expedient to sue for peace. (Caes. Gal. 4.21, 27, 35.) In B. C. 53, we find him serving under Caesar against the Menapii (6.6); but towards the close of 52, when an extensive league was formed by the Gauls for the purpose of relieving Alesia, his patriotism proved stronger than his gratitude. He joined the confederates, and was one of those to whom the chief command was assigned. (7.76, 79, &c.) In the course of the ensuing winter, an ineffectual attempt was made by T. Labienus to assassinate him. (8.23.) We find him again in 51 one of the two leaders of the confederacy formed by the Bellovaci and the neighbouring tribes. (For an account of the operations which ensued, see B. G. 8.7-23.) When the Atrebates were reduced to subjection, Commius continued to carry on a predatory warfare against the Romans, but, having lost a great part of his men in an engagement, he made his submission to Antonius. (8.47, 48.)