Two possible translations are given for "Abrincates":

  • either "the people/warriors of the aber/estuary" from abrin (estuary) and catu (battle),
  • or "those of the Sées" from abrinka (name of river Sées) and a-tes (terminative/locative)

Their name was latinate into Abrincatui by Pliny the Elder.

They also appear under the name of Abrincatuii. They gave its name to Avranches, that they are supposed to have built and have taken as capital. Genêts was their harbour and their secondary city.

It seems that the Abrincates came from Germania to settle in Armorica on a part of Unelli's territory and become their clientes. In 49 BC, the romans forced the Unelli to break their clientes relationship with the Abrincates.

During the 9th century BC, the Abrincates have Ingena as main oppidum, which will then take the name of the tribe: Avranches, at the time of Gaul reorganization into roman cities and become a prosperous city. They lived in the bay of Mont Saint-Michel and so were localized between today's Britanny and Normandy.

The presence of the oppidum of Petit-Celland can be noted, 10 km to the east of the city of Avranches.

At the gallo-roman period, Avranches was the administrative centre of the Abrincatui civitas which stretched about on the today's south part of Manche french department. Avranches was one of the seven city administrative centres of Gallia Lugdunensis second. At the 5th century AD, Avranches becomes the seat of a bishopric which stretches on all the former Abrincates territory. Inside this diocese, two distinct administrative entities may have coexist: the pagi of Mortain and Avranches. But this is hypothetic.


Statère de billon des Abrincates


billon stater of the Abrincates.