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He noted that the Belgae, were "the bravest of the three peoples, being farthest removed from the highly developed civilization of the Roman Province, least often visited by merchants with enervating luxuries for sale, and nearest to the Germans across the Rhine, with whom they are continually at war".
The Belgae gave their name to the Roman province of Gallia Belgica and, much later, to the modern country of Belgium.
The Romans were not precise in their ethnography of northern barbarians: by "Germanic", Caesar may simply have meant "originating east of the Rhine" (the homeland of the Germani cisrhenani) with no distinction of language intended.
The east of the Rhine was not necessarily inhabited by Germanic speakers at this time.
Other tribes that may have been included among the Belgae in some contexts were the Leuci, Treveri, and Mediomatrici. Wary of the numbers and bravery of the Belgae, he initially avoided a pitched battle, resorting mainly to cavalry skirmishes to probe their strengths and weaknesses.
Once he was satisfied his troops were a match for them, he made camp on a low hill protected by a marsh at the front and the river Aisne behind, near Bibrax (between modern Laon and Reims) in the territory of the Remi.