From Academic Kids

The Chatti (also Catti) were an ancient Germanic tribe settled in central and northern Hesse and southern Lower Saxony, along the upper reaches of the Weser river and in the valleys and mountains of the Eder, Fulda and Werra river regions, a district approximately corresponding to Hesse-Cassel, though probably somewhat more extensive.

The Chatti successfully resisted incorporation into the Roman Empire, joining the Cheruscan war leader Arminius' coalition of tribes that annihilated Varus' legions in 9 A.D. in the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. Germanicus later, in 15 A.D., raided their lands in revenge, but Rome eventually responded to the Chatti's belligerent defense of their independence by building the limes border fortifications along the southern boundary of their lands in central Hesse during the early years of the 1st century. The remnants of a very large fortified retreat have been found on a hill near the village of Metze (Latin: Mattium) in the core lands of the Chatti south of Kassel.

According to Tacitus in his book Germania (chapter 30), they were disciplined warriors famed for their infantry, who (unusual for Germanic tribes) used trenching tools and carried provisions when at war. Their neighbours to the north were the Usipi and Tencteri.

The Chatti eventually became a branch of the much larger neighboring Franks and were incorporated in the kingdom of Clovis I, probably with the Ripuarians, at the beginning of the 6th century. They are mentioned in the Old English epic Beowulf as Hetwaras.

In 723, the Anglo-Saxon missionary Winfrid -- subsequently called St. Boniface, Apostle of the Germans -- proselytizing among the Chatti, felled their sacred tree, Thor's Oak, near Fritzlar, thereby initiating the conversion of the Chatti and the other northern German tribes to Christianity.

"Chatti" eventually became "Hesse" through a series of sound shifts.


The Chasuarii were a Germanic tribe mentioned by Tacitus in the Germania. According to him, they dwelt 'beyond the Chamavi and Angrivarii', who dwelt on the lower Rhine river. Many, therefore, believe the tribe to have inhabited the modern region of Hannover. Some take the name 'Chasuarii' to mean 'Dwellers on the Hase [river]', a tributary to the Ems. The 2nd century geographer Claudius Ptolemy mentions that the 'Kasouarioi' lived to the east of the Abnoba mountains, in the vicinity of Hesse. Many historians are of the opinion that the Chasuarii were the same as the people called the 'Chattuarii' mentioned by several nl:Chatten (volk)


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