by JFoliveras

Usippi – Germany

The Usippi were one of many cohorts raised from people along the Rhine. They mutinied in Scotland in 83 AD under Agricola and stole three ships trying to get home. The full tale is told by Agricola’s son-in-law in his book Agricola by Cornelius Tacitus – Free Ebook

“During the same summer, a cohort of Usipii, which had been levied in Germany, and sent over into Britain, performed an extremely daring and memorable action. After murdering a centurion and some soldiers who had been incorporated with them for the purpose of instructing them in military discipline, they seized upon three light vessels, and compelled the masters to go on board with them. One of these, however, escaping to shore, they killed the other two upon suspicion; and before the affair was publicly known, they sailed away, as it were by miracle. They were presently driven at the mercy of the waves; and had frequent conflicts with various success, with the Britons, defending their property from plunder. At length they were reduced to such extremity of distress as to be obliged to feed upon each other; the weakest being first sacrificed, and then such as were taken by lot. In this manner having sailed around the island, they lost their ships through want of skill; and, being regarded as pirates, were intercepted, first by the Suevi, then by the Frisii. Some of them, after being sold for slaves, by the change of masters were brought to the Roman side of the river, and became notorious from the relation of their extraordinary ventures.”

Map showing Usippi home area and where they landed with the stolen ships
Andrei nacu CC BY-SA 3.0

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