The Boiii (latinate into a plural Boii and a singular Boius; greek Βόϊοι) were located between the Elaver (Allier) and the Liger (Loire), a territory that inlcudes a part of the Bourbonnais. Originally, the Boii tribe had followed the Helvetii migration and because the 32,000 Boii warriors have been defeated by Caesar in 58 BC, they have been left with the Aedui (Burgundy) who settled them in this region. The city of Gorgobina is located on this territory, and according to Julius Caesar it is resisting Vercingetorix during the Gallic Wars.

Carte des Boïens

Etymology :

There is no consensus about the etymology of Boii. It could be explained by a celtic term meaning either "warriors" (from the Indo-European *bhoi-) or "cattle keeper" (from Indo-European *gʷowjeh³s). Some derived words exist like Boiorix (king of the Boii, one of the Cimbri leaders) and Boiodurum (gate/fort of the Boii, today's Passau in Germany).

History :

At the beginning of the 4th century BC, a part of the Boii people emigrate in Italy where they settle near Bologna in Emilia-Romagna.

These Boii build a group of cities with Felsina as a capital. They had the Lingones as northern neighbours, and in the south, the Apennine Mountains were playing the role of boundary with Etruria. They were beaten by the Romans in 193 BC. Several necropolis were excavated at Monte Bibele, at Monterenzio Vecchio and at Casalecchio di Reno.

The Boates from Aquitania living in the Pays de Buch in Gascony should have been another branch (arrived after the germanic migration in 110 BC ?).

The Boii name still survives in names like Bohemia (germanic form found in a Roman source: Boio-haemum = homeland of the Boii), and 'Bayern', Bavaria, which derives from the germanic tribe Baiovarii (Germ. *baio-warioz: the first element being in all probability the germanic translation of the word Boïii, the second element is a classic morpheme of the names of germanic tribes, meaning 'inhabitant'; this combination "Boii-inhabitants" could have meant "those who live where the Boii originally lived".