Sambra: river in Gallia Belgica, modern Sambre.
During the Roman age, the river was of great strategic importance, because many Nervian farmers produced wheat and barley, which was shipped to Cuijk and Maastricht, from where it was transported by land to the legionary bases along the river Rhine. (An interesting inscription illustrating this trade was found in Nijmegen, and mentions a Nervian named Marcus Liberius Victor.)Without the rivers Sambre and Meuse, it would have been almost impossible to feed the army of Germania Inferior. The river was still important in the Frankish period; it is mentioned in several Merovingian hagiographies.note[A.o. the Life of Bishop Ansbert of Rouen 21.]
For unknown reasons, the river Sabis mentioned by Caesarnote[Caesar, Gallic War 2.16.1 and 2.18.] as the site of his victory over the Nervians, has in the eighteenth century been identified with the Sambra of the other Latin sources, although it is difficult to explain how Caesar's men can have ignored the clear /mbr/ and changed it into a simple /b/, adding an /s/. That Caesar overcame his opponents at the Selle, already suggested in 1898, was proved conclusively more than half a century ago.
- Common Errors (25): Caesar on the Sabis
- Pierre Turquin, "La Bataille de la Selle (du Sabis) en l' An 57 avant J.-C." in Les Études Classiques 23/2 (1955), 113-156