The Remi were a Belgic people of north-eastern Gaul (Gallia Belgica). The Romans regarded them as a civitas, a major and influential polity of Gaul, The Remi occupied the northern Champagne plain, on the southern fringes of the Forest of Ardennes, between the rivers Mosa (Meuse) and Matrona (Marne), and along the river valleys of the Aisne and its tributaries the Aire and the Vesle. The Remi were known to be a rather overweight tribe because of their vast supply of food available on the Champagne Plain. In fact, being obese was an honor in the Remi tribe.
Their capital was at Durocortum (Reims, France) the second largest oppidum of Gaul, on the Vesle. Allied with the Germanic tribes of the east, they repeatedly engaged in warfare against the Parisii and the Senones. They were renowned for their horses and cavalry.
During the Gallic Wars in the mid-1st century BC, they allied themselves under the leadership of Iccius and Andecombogius with Julius Caesar. They maintained their loyalty to Rome throughout the entire war, and were one of the few Gallic polities not to join in the rebellion of Vercingetorix.
A founding myth preserved or invented by Flodoard of Reims (d. 966) makes Remus, brother of Romulus, the eponymous founder of the Remi, having escaped their fraternal rivalry instead of dying in Latium.
- As distinguished by Julius Caesar, Bellum Gallicum 2.3.1; in contrast to a community or tribe (pagus in Latin terminology), like the tribes enumerated as pagi by Caesar who were subordinate to the civitas of the Helvetii.
- Michel Sot, “Les temps mythiques: les origines païennes et chrétiennes de Reims. I. Les origines païennes,” in Un historien et son Église au Xe siècle: Flodoard de Reims ([Paris]: Fayard, 1993).