Caletes was a tribe living in today's Pays de Caux, to which they gave their name, and Pays de Bray. The most significant oppida are Les Fossés de Bénouville at Étretat (64 hectare), L’Hôpital at Quièvrecourt (63 hectare), the Cité de Limes at Bracquemont (52 hectare) and the Camp de Canada at Fécamp (20 hectare). Their capital was Caracotinum (Harfleur) then Juliobona (Lillebonne).

Carte des Calètes


Caletes had special interest with their armorican and belgian neighbours. Their belgian origin (according to Julius Caesar) or armorican one is still uncertain.

The Caletes arrived in Gaul during the 4th century BC together with other belgian tribes forming the last known celtic migration. Their neighbours were the Veliocasses, the Ambiani the Bellovaci from which they were clientes. When the latter set up a belgian coalition, in 57 BC, trying to block Julius Caesar's conquest of Gallia Belgica, the Caletes gave them 10,000 men. In 52 BC, they sent 20,000 men to Vercingetorix joining the rescue army intended to save Alesia besieged by the Romans. Next year, they join the belgian tribes revolt leaded by Correos, leader of the coalition of Bellovaci and Veliocasses peoples.

During the 5th century, when Roman authority began to decline, Caletes joined the Namnetes, Veneti, Curiosolitae, Redones, Abrincates, Unelli, Lexovii, Esubii, Viducasses, Andecavi, Aulerci (Diablintes, Cenomani and Eburovices), Veliocasses and Parisii, into a vast Armorican alliance intended to get rid of the occupying forces.


The story of Julius Caesar military campaign (De Bello Gallico : « The Gallic Wars », book II, 4, 9 ; book VII, 75, 3-4, book VIII, 7, 4) gives details on Caletes. The antique authors who have quoted the Caletes are Strabo in his Geography (book IV, 1) ; Pliny the Elder in his Natural History (book IV, 107) and Ptolemy in his Geography (book II, 8).

Some examples of Caletes coins :

Hémistatère en or

Half-stater in gold, 2nd - 1st century BC. Apollo's head on the right, a slice [with 8 sections] on his cheek, blazing hair. Bounding horse on the left, the charioteer on the croup holds a spear with a burning end; one slice with ten sections and a  double circle.

Quart de statère en or

Quarter-stater in gold, 80-50 BC. Bounding horse on the left; in the background, the rest of the charioteer with the shaft veticaly put; under the horse, a lyre laying in the left.

Quart de statère en or