Noricum (/ˈnɒrɪkəm/) is the Latin name for a Celtic kingdom, or federation of tribes, that included most of modern Austria and part of Slovenia. In the first century AD, it became a province of the Roman Empire. Its borders were the Danube to the north, Raetia and Vindelicia to the west, Pannonia to the east and southeast, and Italia (Venetia et Histria) to the south. The kingdom was founded around 400 BC, and had its capital at the royal residence at Virunum on the Magdalensberg.

Around 800 BC, the region was inhabited mostly by the people of the local Celtic Hallstatt culture. Around 450 BC, they merged with the people of the other core Celtic areas in the south-western regions of Germany and eastern France.

The country is mountainous and rich in iron and salt. It supplied material for the manufacturing of arms in Pannonia, Moesia, and northern Italy. The famous Noric steel was largely used in the making of Roman weapons (e.g. Horace, Odes, i.16.9-10: Noricus ensis, "a Noric sword"). Gold and salt were found in considerable quantities. The plant called saliunca (the wild or Celtic nard, a relative of the lavender) grew in abundance and was used as a perfume according to Pliny the Elder.

The Celtic inhabitants developed a culture rich in culture, art, cattle breeding, salt mining and agriculture. When part of the area became a Roman province, the Romans introduced water management (Aqueduct) and the already vivid trade relations between the people north and south of the alps boosted - Noric steel was famous for its quality and hardness.

Archaeological research, particularly in the cemeteries of Hallstatt, has shown that a vigorous Celtic civilization was in the area centuries before recorded history, but the Celtic Hallstatt civilization was a cultural manifestation prior to the other Celtic invasions, The Hallstatt graves contained weapons and ornaments from the Bronze age, through the period of transition, up to the "Hallstatt culture", i.e., the fully developed older period of the Iron age.

The Noric language, a continental Celtic language, is attested in only fragmentary inscriptions, one from Ptuj and two from Grafenstein, neither of which provide enough information for any conclusions about the nature of the language.

This page was last edited on 13 June 2018, at 21:59 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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