The Regnenses, Regni or Regini were a British Celtic kingdom and later a civitas
In the history of Rome, the Latin term civitas , according to Cicero in the time of the late Roman Republic, was the social body of the cives, or citizens, united by law . It is the law that binds them together, giving them responsibilities on the one hand and rights of citizenship on the other...

of Roman Britain
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

. Their capital was Noviomagus Reginorum
Noviomagus Reginorum
Noviomagus Reginorum was the Roman town which is today called Chichester, situated in the modern English county of West Sussex. Alternative versions of the name include Noviomagus Regnorum, Regnentium and Regentium..-Development:...

, known today as Chichester
Chichester is a cathedral city in West Sussex, within the historic County of Sussex, South-East England. It has a long history as a settlement; its Roman past and its subsequent importance in Anglo-Saxon times are only its beginnings...

 in modern West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...


Before the Roman conquest
Roman conquest of Britain
The Roman conquest of Britain was a gradual process, beginning effectively in AD 43 under Emperor Claudius, whose general Aulus Plautius served as first governor of Britannia. Great Britain had already frequently been the target of invasions, planned and actual, by forces of the Roman Republic and...

 their land and capital appear to have been part of the territory of the Atrebates
The Atrebates were a Belgic tribe of Gaul and Britain before the Roman conquests.- Name of the tribe :Cognate with Old Irish aittrebaid meaning 'inhabitant', Atrebates comes from proto-Celtic *ad-treb-a-t-es, 'inhabitants'. The Celtic root is treb- 'building', 'home' The Atrebates (singular...

, possibly as part of a confederation of tribes
Iron Age tribes in Britain
The names of the Iron Age tribes in Britain were recorded by Roman and Greek historians and geographers, especially Ptolemy, although information from the distribution of Celtic coins has also shed light on the extents of the territories of the various groups that occupied the island.It is...

. It has been suggested that, after the first phase of the conquest, the Romans maintained the Atrebates as a nominally independent client kingdom
Roman client kingdoms in Britain
The Roman client kingdoms in Britain were native tribes who chose to align themselves with the Roman Empire because they saw it as the best option for self-preservation or for protection from other hostile tribes...

, acting as a buffer between the Roman province in the east and the unconquered tribes to the west. The ruler of the kingdom was Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus
Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus
Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus was a 1st century king of the Regnenses or Regni tribe in early Roman Britain.Chichester and the nearby Roman villa at Fishbourne, believed by some to have been Cogidubnus' palace, were probably part of the territory of the Atrebates tribe before the Roman conquest of...

: Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 says "quaedam civitates Cogidumno regi donatae (certain civitates were given to King Cogidubnus)" and remarks on his loyalty. A 1st century inscription found in Chichester supplies his Latin names
Roman naming conventions
By the Republican era and throughout the Imperial era, a name in ancient Rome for a male citizen consisted of three parts : praenomen , nomen and cognomen...

, indicating he was given Roman citizenship
Roman citizenship
Citizenship in ancient Rome was a privileged political and legal status afforded to certain free-born individuals with respect to laws, property, and governance....

 by Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

 or Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

. Cogidubnus may have been a relative of Verica
Verica was a British client king of the Roman Empire in the years preceding the Claudian invasion of 43 AD.From his coinage, he appears to have been king of the Atrebates tribe and a son of Commius. He succeeded his elder brother Eppillus as king in about 15 AD, reigning at Calleva Atrebatum,...

, the Atrebatian king whose overthrow was the excuse for the conquest. After Cogidubnus's death, the kingdom would have been incorporated into the directly ruled Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 and divided into several civitates, including the Atrebates, Belgae
The Belgae were a group of tribes living in northern Gaul, on the west bank of the Rhine, in the 3rd century BC, and later also in Britain, and possibly even Ireland...

, and Regnenses (interpreted as Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 "people of the kingdom").

This theory, of course, depends on reconstructing the name of the civitas as Regnenses, which is far from certain, as many linguists favour a native Regni or Regini. "Even the reading of the genitive plural tribe name in [the Ravenna Cosmography
Ravenna Cosmography
The Ravenna Cosmography was compiled by an anonymous cleric in Ravenna around AD 700. It consists of a list of place-names covering the world from India to Ireland. Textual evidence indicates that the author frequently used maps as his source....

] as Regnentium is a tendentious emadation ... To go further and turn all this into Regnenses, 'The People of the Kingdom', is more than rash ... The tribal name in Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

 is Regnoi, Rignoi, or Reginoi ... It is proposed ... that this was British Regini" (Jackson 1970). "This is surely right" (Rivet & Smith 1979).

Likewise, the theory that Cogidubnus was created legatus
A legatus was a general in the Roman army, equivalent to a modern general officer. Being of senatorial rank, his immediate superior was the dux, and he outranked all military tribunes...

, a rank only ever given to senators
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

, is based on reconstructing the damaged Chichester inscription to read as Cogidubni regis legati Augusti in Britannia ("king and imperial legate in Britain"). It more probably reads Cogidubni regis magni Britanniae ("great king of Britain") (Bogaers 1979).

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