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The Gauls
Gauls
were Celtic people inhabiting Gaul
Gaul
in the Iron Age and the Roman period (roughly from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD). Their Gaulish language
Gaulish language
forms the main branch of the Continental Celtic languages. The Gauls
Gauls
emerged around the 5th century BC as the bearers of the La Tène culture north of the Alps
Alps
(spread across the lands between the Seine, Middle Rhine
Middle Rhine
and upper Elbe). By the 4th century BC, they spread over much of what is now France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Southern Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
and Slovakia
Slovakia
by virtue of controlling the trade routes along the river systems of the Rhône, Seine, Rhine, and Danube, and they quickly expanded into Northern Italy, the Balkans, Transylvania and Galatia.[1] Gaul
Gaul
was never united under a single ruler or government, but the Gallic tribes were capable of uniting their forces in large-scale military operations. They reached the peak of their power in the early 3rd century BC. The rising Roman Republic
Roman Republic
after the end of the First Punic War
First Punic War
increasingly put pressure on the Gallic sphere of influence; the Battle of Telamon
Battle of Telamon
of 225 BC heralded a gradual decline of Gallic power over the 2nd century, until the eventual conquest of Gaul
Gaul
in the Gallic Wars
Gallic Wars
of the 50s BC. After this, Gaul became a province of the Roman Empire, and the Gauls
Gauls
were ethnically and culturally largely assimilated into Latin
Latin
(Roman settlers) majority, losing their tribal identities by the end of the 1st century AD.

Contents

1 Name 2 History

2.1 Origins and early history 2.2 Balkan wars 2.3 Galatian war 2.4 Roman wars 2.5 Roman Gaul

3 Physical appearance 4 Culture

4.1 Social structure 4.2 Language 4.3 Religion

5 List of Gaulish tribes 6 Modern reception 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links

Name[edit] The Gauls
Gauls
of Gallia Celtica
Gallia Celtica
according to the testimony of Caesar called themselves Celtae in their own language (as distinct from Belgae
Belgae
and Aquitani), and Galli in Latin.[2] As is not unusual with ancient ethnonyms, these names came to be applied more widely than their original sense, Celtae being the origin of the term Celts
Celts
itself (in its modern meaning referring to all populations speaking a language of the "Celtic" branch of Indo-European) while Galli is the origin of the adjective Gallic, now referring to all of Gaul. The name Gaul
Gaul
itself is not derived from Latin
Latin
Galli, but from the Germanic word * Walhaz
Walhaz
(see Gaul).[3] History[edit] Further information: Gaul Origins and early history[edit] Main articles: Hallstatt culture
Hallstatt culture
and La Tène
La Tène
culture

Bronze
Bronze
cuirass, weighing 2.9 kg, Grenoble, end of 7th century – early 6th century BCE

Gaulish culture developed out of the Celtic cultures over the first millennia BC. The Urnfield culture
Urnfield culture
(c. 1300 BC – c. 750 BC) represents the Celts
Celts
as a distinct cultural branch of the Indo-European-speaking people. The spread of iron working led to the Hallstatt culture
Hallstatt culture
in the 8th century BC; the Proto-Celtic may have been spoken around this time. The Hallstatt culture
Hallstatt culture
evolved into the La Tène culture
La Tène culture
in around the 5th century BC. The Greek and Etruscan civilizations and colonies began to influence the Gauls
Gauls
especially in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
area. Gauls
Gauls
under Brennus invaded Rome circa 390 BC. Following the climate deterioration in the late Nordic Bronze
Bronze
Age, Celtic Gaul
Gaul
was invaded in the 5th century BC by tribes later called Gauls
Gauls
originating in the Rhine
Rhine
valley.[1] Gallic invaders settled the Po Valley
Po Valley
in the 4th century BC, defeated Roman forces in a battle under Brennus in 390 BC and raided Italy
Italy
as far as Sicily.[1] In the 3rd century BC, the Gauls
Gauls
attempted an eastward expansion in 281-279 BC, towards the Balkan peninsula which, during that time, was a Greek province, with the ultimate goal to reach and loot the rich Greek city-states of the Greek mainland, but the majority of the Gaul army was exterminated by the Greeks and the few Gauls
Gauls
that survived were forced to flee. A large number of Gauls
Gauls
served in the armies of Carthage during the Punic Wars, and one of the leading rebel leaders of the Mercenary War, Autaritus, was of Gallic origin. Balkan wars[edit] Main article: Gallic invasion of the Balkans During the Balkan expedition, led by Cerethrius, Brennus and Bolgios, the Gauls
Gauls
attempted twice to invade and settle in the Greek mainland and failed both attempts. At the end of the second expedition the vast majority of Gaulic army had been exterminated by the coalition armies of the various Greek city-states and was forced to retreat to Illyria
Illyria
and Thrace
Thrace
while another part of the Gauls
Gauls
made its way to Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and managed to settle in a rather unprosperous and isolated part of Anatolia, as they were also defeated and repelled by the Greek city-states of Anatolia. The Gaulic area of settlement in Asia Minor
Asia Minor
was called Galatia, where they created widespread havoc until checked through the use of war elephants and skirmishers by the Greek Seleucid
Seleucid
king Antiochus I
Antiochus I
in 275 BC, after which they served as mercenaries across the whole Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean, including Ptolemaic Egypt, where they under Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
(285-246 BC) attempted to seize control of the kingdom.[4] In the first Gaul
Gaul
invasion of Greece (279 BC), after a momentary victory against the Macedonians, in which the Macedonian king Ptolemy Keraunos was killed, the Gauls
Gauls
focused on looting the rich Macedonian rural areas, but they were too militarily inexperienced to sack fortified cities. The Macedonian general Sosthenes assembled an army, defeated Bolgius and repelled the invading Gauls. In the second Gaul
Gaul
invasion of Greece (278 BC), the Gauls, under the leadership of Brennus, suffered heavy losses while facing the Greek coalition army at Thermopylae
Thermopylae
but under the treasonous indication of the intimidated Heracleans they followed the mountain path around Thermopylae
Thermopylae
to encircle the Greek army the same way that the Persian army had done at the Battle of Thermopylae
Thermopylae
in 480 BC, but this time forcing the whole of the Greek army to retreat to avoid encirclement. After passing Thermopylae
Thermopylae
the Gauls
Gauls
headed for the rich treasury at Delphi
Delphi
where they were defeated by the re-assembled Greek army, which led to a series of retreats of the Gauls
Gauls
with devastating losses all the way up to Macedonia and thereafter out of the Greek mainland. The major part of the Gaul
Gaul
army was exterminated in the process and the Gauls
Gauls
that did survive were forced to flee from Greece. The Gaul leader Brennus was heavily injured at Delphi
Delphi
and committed suicide there. This Gaul
Gaul
leader is not to be confused with another Gaul
Gaul
leader bearing the same name who sacked Rome a century earlier (390 BC). Galatian war[edit] Main article: Galatian War In 278 BC Gaulish settlers in the Balkans were invited by Nicomedes I of Bithynia to help him in a dynastic struggle against his brother. They numbered about 10,000 fighting men and about the same number of women and children, divided into three tribes, Trocmi, Tolistobogii and Tectosages. They were eventually defeated by the Seleucid
Seleucid
king Antiochus I
Antiochus I
(275 BC), in a battle where the Seleucid
Seleucid
war elephants shocked the Galatians. While the momentum of the invasion was broken, the Galatians were by no means exterminated and continued to demand tribute from the Hellenistic states of Anatolia
Anatolia
to avoid war. 4,000 Galatians were hired as mercenaries by the Ptolemaic Egyptian king Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
in the 270 BC. According to Pausanias, soon after arrival the Celts
Celts
plotted “to seize Egypt,” and so Ptolemy marooned them on a deserted island in the Nile River.[4]

Celtic sword
Celtic sword
and scabbard circa 60 BC

Galatians also participated at the victorious in 217 BC Battle of Raphia under Ptolemy IV Philopator, and continued to serve as mercenaries for the Ptolemaic Dynasty until its demise in 30 BC. They sided with the renegade Seleucid
Seleucid
prince Antiochus Hierax, who reigned in Asia Minor. Hierax tried to defeat king Attalus I
Attalus I
of Pergamum (241–197 BC), but instead, the Hellenized cities united under Attalus's banner, and his armies inflicted a severe defeat upon the Galatians at the Battle of the Caecus River
Battle of the Caecus River
in 241 BC. After the defeat, the Galatians continued to be a serious threat to the states of Asia Minor. In fact, they continued to be a threat even after their defeat by Gnaeus Manlius Vulso in the Galatian War
Galatian War
(189 BC). Galatia declined and fell at times under Pontic ascendancy. They were finally freed by the Mithridatic Wars, during which they supported Rome. In the settlement of 64 BC, Galatia
Galatia
became a client-state of the Roman empire, the old constitution disappeared, and three chiefs (wrongly styled "tetrarchs") were appointed, one for each tribe. But this arrangement soon gave way before the ambition of one of these tetrarchs, Deiotarus, the contemporary of Cicero
Cicero
and Julius Caesar, who made himself master of the other two tetrarchies and was finally recognized by the Romans as 'king' of Galatia. The Galatian language continued to be spoken in central Anatolia
Anatolia
until the 6th century.[5] Roman wars[edit] Main article: Gallic Wars During the Second Punic War
Second Punic War
the famous Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca utilized Gallic mercenaries in his invasion of Italy. They played a part in some of his most spectacular victories including the battle of Cannae. The Gauls
Gauls
were prosperous enough by the 2nd century that the powerful Greek colony of Massilia had to appeal to the Roman Republic for defense against them. The Romans intervened in southern Gaul
Gaul
in 125 BC, and conquered the area eventually known as Gallia Narbonensis by 121. In 58 BC Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
launched the Gallic Wars
Gallic Wars
and conquered the whole of Gaul
Gaul
by 51 BC. At this time Caesar noted that the Gauls (Celtae) were one of the three primary peoples in the area at the time, along with the Aquitanians
Aquitanians
and the Belgae. Caesar's motivation for the invasion seems to have been his need for gold to pay off his debts and for a successful military expedition to boost his political career. The people of Gaul
Gaul
could provide him with both. So much gold was looted from Gaul
Gaul
that after the war the price of gold fell by as much as 20%. While they were militarily just as brave as the Romans, the internal division between the Gallic tribes guaranteed an easy victory for Caesar, and Vercingetorix's attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late.[6][7] After the annexation of Gaul
Gaul
a mixed Gallo-Roman culture
Gallo-Roman culture
began to emerge. Roman Gaul[edit] Main article: Roman Gaul

The Gallic Empire
Gallic Empire
(in green), under Tetricus I by 271 AD, included the territories of Germania, Gaul
Gaul
and Britannia.

After more than a century of warfare, the Cisalpine Gauls
Gauls
were subdued by the Romans in the early 2nd century BC. The Transalpine Gauls continued to thrive for another century, and joined the Germanic Cimbri
Cimbri
and Teutones
Teutones
in the Cimbrian War, where they defeated and killed a Roman consul
Roman consul
at Burdigala in 107 BC, and later became prominent among the rebelling gladiators in the Third Servile War.[8] The Gauls
Gauls
were finally conquered by Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
in the 50s BC despite a rebellion by the Arvernian chieftain Vercingetorix. During the Roman period the Gauls
Gauls
became assimilated into Gallo-Roman culture and by expanding Germanic tribes. During the crisis of the third century, there was briefly a breakaway Gallic Empire
Gallic Empire
founded by the Batavian general Postumus. Physical appearance[edit] The fourth-century Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus
Ammianus Marcellinus
wrote that the Gauls
Gauls
were tall, light-skinned, light-haired, and light-eyed:

Almost all Gauls
Gauls
are tall and fair-skinned, with reddish hair. Their savage eyes make them fearful objects; they are eager to quarrel and excessively truculent. When, in the course of a dispute, any of them calls in his wife, a creature with gleaming eyes much stronger than her husband, they are more than a match for a whole group of foreigners; especially when the woman, with swollen neck and gnashing teeth, swings her great white arms and begins to deliver a rain of punches mixed with kicks, like missiles launched by the twisted strings of a catapult.[9]

The first century BCE Greek historian Diodorus Siculus described them as tall, generally heavily built, very light-skinned, and light-haired, with long hair and mustaches:

The Gauls
Gauls
are tall of body, with rippling muscles, and white of skin, and their hair is blond, and not only naturally so, but they make it their practice to increase the distinguishing color by which nature has given it. For they are always washing their hair in limewater, and they pull it back from their forehead to the top of the head and back to the nape of the neck... Some of them shave their beards, but others let it grow a little; and the nobles shave their cheeks, but they let the mustache grow until it covers the mouth. [10]

Jordanes, in his Origins and Deeds of the Goths, indirectly describes the Gauls
Gauls
as light-haired and large-bodied via comparing them to Caledonians, as a contrast to the Spaniards, who he compared to the Silures. He speculates based on this comparison that the Britons originated from different peoples, including the aforementioned Gauls and Spaniards.

The Silures have swarthy features and are usually born with curly black hair, but the inhabitants of Caledonia have reddish hair and large loose-jointed bodies. They [the Britons] are like the Gauls
Gauls
and the Spaniards, according as they are opposite either nation. Hence some have supposed that from these lands the island received its inhabitants.

In the novel Satyricon, written by Roman courtier Gaius Petronius, a Roman character sarcastically suggests that he and his partner "chalk our faces so that Gaul
Gaul
may claim us as her own" in the midst of a rant outlining the problems with his partner's plan of using blackface to impersonate Aethiopians. This suggests that Gauls
Gauls
were thought of on average to be much paler than Romans.[11] Culture[edit] All over Gaul, archeology has uncovered numerous pre-Roman gold mines (at least 200 in the Pyrenees), suggesting that they were very rich, also evidenced by large finds of gold coins and artefacts. Also there existed highly developed population centers, called oppida by Caesar, such as Bibracte, Gergovia, Avaricum, Alesia, Bibrax, Manching
Manching
and others. Modern archeology strongly suggests that the countries of Gaul were quite civilized and very wealthy. Most had contact with Roman merchants and some, particularly those that were governed by Republics such as the Aedui, Helvetii
Helvetii
and others, had enjoyed stable political alliances with Rome. They imported Mediterranean
Mediterranean
wine on an industrial scale, evidenced by large finds of wine vessels in digs all over Gaul, the largest and most famous of which being the one discovered in Vix Grave, which stands 1.63 m (5'4") in height.

Agris Helmet. Discovered in Agris, Charente, France. 350 BC

A 24 carat Celtic "torc", discovered in the grave of the "Lady of Vix", Burgundy, France. 480 BC

A belt made of 2.8 kilograms (6.2 lb) of pure gold, discovered in Guînes, France. 1200-1000 BC

Celtic gold bracelet found in Cantal, France

Celtic helmet decorated with gold "triskeles", found in Amfreville-sous-les-Monts, France. 400 BC

Celtic war trumpet named "carnyx" found in the Gallic sanctuary of Tintignac, Corrèze, France.

Celtic bronze helmet in the shape of swan found in Tintignac, Corrèze, France.

The Vix krater, discovered in the grave of the "Lady of Vix", in northern Burgundy, France. 500 BC

Gaul, Curiosolites
Curiosolites
coin showing stylized head and horse (circa 100-50BC)

Gaul, Armorica
Armorica
coin showing stylized head and horse (Jersey moon head style, circa 100-50BC)

Social structure[edit] Gaulish society was dominated by the druid priestly class. The druids were not the only political force, however, and the early political system was complex. The fundamental unit of Gallic politics was the tribe, which itself consisted of one or more of what Caesar called "pagi".[citation needed] Each tribe had a council of elders, and initially a king. Later, the executive was an annually-elected magistrate.[citation needed] Among the Aedui
Aedui
tribe the executive held the title of "Vergobret", a position much like a king, but its powers were held in check by rules laid down by the council.[citation needed] The tribal groups, or pagi as the Romans called them (singular: pagus; the French word pays, "region", comes from this term) were organised into larger super-tribal groups that the Romans called civitates. These administrative groupings would be taken over by the Romans in their system of local control, and these civitates would also be the basis of France's eventual division into ecclesiastical bishoprics and dioceses, which would remain in place — with slight changes — until the French Revolution. Although the tribes were moderately stable political entities, Gaul
Gaul
as a whole tended to be politically divided, there being virtually no unity among the various tribes. Only during particularly trying times, such as the invasion of Caesar, could the Gauls
Gauls
unite under a single leader like Vercingetorix. Even then, however, the faction lines were clear. The Romans divided Gaul
Gaul
broadly into Provincia (the conquered area around the Mediterranean), and the northern Gallia Comata
Gallia Comata
("free Gaul" or "wooded Gaul"). Caesar divided the people of Gaulia Comata into three broad groups: the Aquitani; Galli (who in their own language were called Celtae); and Belgae. In the modern sense, Gaulish tribes are defined linguistically, as speakers of dialects of the Gaulish language. While the Aquitani
Aquitani
were probably Vascons, the Belgae
Belgae
would thus probably be counted among the Gaulish tribes, perhaps with Germanic elements. Julius Caesar, in his book, Commentarii de Bello Gallico, comments:

All Gaul
Gaul
is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae
Belgae
inhabit, the Aquitani
Aquitani
another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours Gauls, the third. All these differ from each other in language, customs and laws. The Garonne
Garonne
River separates the Gauls
Gauls
from the Aquitani; the River Marne and the River Seine
Seine
separate them from the Belgae. Of all these, the Belgae
Belgae
are the bravest, because they are furthest from the civilisation and refinement of (our) Province, and merchants least frequently resort to them, and import those things which tend to effeminate the mind; and they are the nearest to the Germani, who dwell beyond the Rhine, with whom they are continually waging war; for which reason the Helvetii
Helvetii
also surpass the rest of the Gauls
Gauls
in valour, as they contend with the Germani in almost daily battles, when they either repel them from their own territories, or themselves wage war on their frontiers. One part of these, which it has been said that the Gauls
Gauls
occupy, takes its beginning at the River Rhône; it is bounded by the River Garonne, the Atlantic
Atlantic
Ocean, and the territories of the Belgae; it borders, too, on the side of the Sequani
Sequani
and the Helvetii, upon the River Rhine, and stretches toward the north. The Belgae
Belgae
rises from the extreme frontier of Gaul, extend to the lower part of the River Rhine; and look toward the north and the rising sun. Aquitania extends from the Garonne
Garonne
to the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
and to that part of the Atlantic
Atlantic
(Bay of Biscay) which is near Spain: it looks between the setting of the sun, and the north star. “ ”

Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico, Book I, chapter 1

Language[edit] Main article: Gaulish language Gaulish or Gallic is the name given to the Celtic language that was spoken in Gaul
Gaul
before the Latin
Latin
of the late Roman Empire
Roman Empire
became dominant in Roman Gaul. According to Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
in his Commentaries on the Gallic War, it was one of three languages in Gaul, the others being Aquitanian and Belgic.[12] In Gallia Transalpina, a Roman province by the time of Caesar, Latin
Latin
was the language spoken since at least the previous century. Gaulish is paraphyletically grouped with Celtiberian, Lepontic, and Galatian as Continental Celtic. The Lepontic language
Lepontic language
and the Galatian language
Galatian language
are sometimes considered to be dialects of Gaulish. Gaulish is a P-Celtic language and (like Lepontic in Cisalpine Gaul) was already[citation needed] spoken in Gaul
Gaul
long before the arrival of the Gallic tribes in the 6th century BC.

Taranis
Taranis
(with Celtic wheel
Celtic wheel
and thunderbolt), Le Chatelet, Gourzon, Haute-Marne, France.

Religion[edit] Main article: Celtic polytheism The Gauls
Gauls
practiced a form of animism, ascribing human characteristics to lakes, streams, mountains, and other natural features and granting them a quasi-divine status. Also, worship of animals was not uncommon; the animal most sacred to the Gauls
Gauls
was the boar, which can be found on many Gallic military standards, much like the Roman eagle. Their system of gods and goddesses was loose, there being certain deities which virtually every Gallic person[citation needed] worshiped, as well as tribal and household gods. Many of the major gods were related to Greek gods; the primary god worshiped at the time of the arrival of Caesar was Teutates, the Gallic equivalent of Mercury. The "father god" in Gallic worship was "Dis Pater". However, there is no record of a theology[citation needed], just a set of related and evolving traditions of worship. Perhaps the most intriguing facet of Gallic religion is the practice of the Druids. There is no certainty concerning their origin, but it is clear that they vehemently guarded the secrets of their order and held sway over the people of Gaul. Indeed, they claimed the right to determine questions of war and peace, and thereby held an "international" status. In addition, the Druids
Druids
monitored the religion of ordinary Gauls
Gauls
and were in charge of educating the aristocracy. They also practiced a form of excommunication from the assembly of worshippers, which in ancient Gaul
Gaul
meant a separation from secular society as well. Thus the Druids
Druids
were an important part of Gallic society. List of Gaulish tribes[edit] See also: List of Celtic tribes After completing the conquest of Gaul, Rome converted most of these tribes into civitates, making for the administrative map of the Roman provinces of Gaul. This was then perpetuated by the early church, whose geographical subdivisions were based on those of late Roman Gaul, and lasted into the areas of French dioceses prior to the French Revolution.

Sculpture of an armoured torc-wearing Gaul
Gaul
warrior, Vachères, France.

Celtic cross, in Chambon-sur-Lac, Auvergne, France.

Vercingétorix
Vercingétorix
Memorial in Alesia, near the village of Alise-Sainte-Reine, France.

Tribe Capital

Aedui Bibracte

Allobroges Vienne

Ambarri near junction of Rhône
Rhône
& Saône
Saône
rivers

Ambiani Amiens

Andecavi Angers

Aquitani Bordeaux

Arverni Gergovia
Gergovia
(La Roche-Blanche)

Atrebates Arras

Baiocasses Bayeux

Belgae Gallia Belgica

Boii Boii
Boii
(Boui near Entrain)

Boii
Boii
Boates Boates (La Teste-de-Buch)

Boii Bologna

Bellovaci Beauvais

Bituriges Bourges

Brannovices near Mâcon?

Cadurci Cahors
Cahors
( Uxellodunum
Uxellodunum
- Puy d'Issolud, Saint-Denis-lès-Martel/Vayrac)

Carni Aquileia

Carnutes Chartres ; Orléans

Catalauni Châlons-en-Champagne

Caturiges Chorges

Cenomani Le Mans

Cenomani Brescia

Ceutrones Moûtiers

Curiosolitae Corseul

Diablintes Jublains

Eburones Tongeren

Eburovices Évreux

Helvetii La Tène

Insubres Milan

Laevi Pavia

Lemovices Limoges

Lexovii Lisieux

Lingones Langres

Mediomatrici Metz

Medulli Médoc

Medulli Vienne

Menapii Cassel

Morini Boulogne-sur-Mer

Namnetes Nantes

Nervii Bavay

Orobii Bergamo

Osismii Vorgium

Parisii Paris

Petrocorii Périgueux

Pictones Poitiers

Raurici Kaiseraugst
Kaiseraugst
(Augusta Raurica)

Redones Rennes

Remi Reims

Ruteni Rodez

Salassi Aosta

Santones Saintes

Segusini Susa

Senones Sens

Sequani Besançon

Suessiones Soissons

Taurini Turin

Tigurini Yverdon

Tolosates Toulouse

Treveri Trier

Tricastini[13] Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux
Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux
(Augusta tricast(r)inorum)

Tungri Tongeren

Turones Tours

Unelli Coutances

Vangiones Worms

Veliocasses Rouen

Vellavi Ruessium

Veneti Vannes

Vertamocorii Novara

Viducasses Vieux

Vindelici Augusta Vindelicorum

Vocontii Vaison-la-Romaine

Volcae Arecomici Languedoc

Modern reception[edit] The Gauls
Gauls
played a certain role in the national historiography and national identity of modern France. Attention given to the Gauls
Gauls
as the founding population of the French nation was traditionally second to that enjoyed by the Franks, out of whose kingdom the historical kingdom of France
France
arose under the Capetian dynasty; for example, Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
is on record as stating, "For me, the history of France
France
begins with Clovis, elected as king of France
France
by the tribe of the Franks, who gave their name to France. Before Clovis, we have Gallo-Roman and Gaulish prehistory. The decisive element, for me, is that Clovis was the first king to have been baptized a Christian. My country is a Christian country and I reckon the history of France beginning with the accession of a Christian king who bore the name of the Franks." [14] However, the dismissal of "Gaulish prehistory" as irrelevant for French national identity has been far from universal. Pre-Roman Gaul has been evoked as a template for French independence especially during the Third French Republic. An iconic phrase summarizing this view is that of "our ancestors the Gauls" (nos ancêtres les Gaulois), associated with the history textbook for schools by Ernest Lavisse (1842-1922), who taught that "the Romans established themselves in small numbers; the Franks
Franks
were not numerous either, Clovis having but a few thousand men with him. The basis of our population has thus remained Gaulish. The Gauls
Gauls
are our ancestors."[15] Astérix, the popular series of French comic books following the exploits of a village of "indomitable Gauls", satirizes this view by combining scenes set in classical antiquity with modern ethnic clichés of the French and other nations. Similarly, in Swiss national historiography
Swiss national historiography
of the 19th century, the Gaulish Helvetii
Helvetii
were chosen as representing the ancestral Swiss population (compare Helvetia
Helvetia
as national allegory), as the Helvetii had settled in both the French and the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, and their Gaulish language
Gaulish language
set them apart from Latin- and German-speaking populations in equal measure. See also[edit]

Celts
Celts
portal

List of Celtic tribes

Notes[edit]

^ a b c " Gaul
Gaul
(ancient region, Europe)". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Retrieved 29 November 2012.  ^ Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico, Book I, chapter 1 ^ [1] ^ a b Hinds, Kathryn (2009). Ancient Celts. Marshall Cavendish. p. 38. ISBN 1-4165-3205-6.  ^ Koch, John T. (2006). "Galatian language". In John T. Koch. Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia. Volume III: G—L. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 788. ISBN 1-85109-440-7. Late classical sources—if they are to be trusted—suggest that it survived at least into the 6th century AD.  ^ "France: The Roman conquest". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 6, 2015. Because of chronic internal rivalries, Gallic resistance was easily broken, though Vercingetorix’s Great Rebellion of 52 bce had notable successes.  ^ "Julius Caesar: The first triumvirate and the conquest of Gaul". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved February 15, 2015. Indeed, the Gallic cavalry was probably superior to the Roman, horseman for horseman. Rome’s military superiority lay in its mastery of strategy, tactics, discipline, and military engineering. In Gaul, Rome also had the advantage of being able to deal separately with dozens of relatively small, independent, and uncooperative states. Caesar conquered these piecemeal, and the concerted attempt made by a number of them in 52 bce to shake off the Roman yoke came too late.  ^ Strauss, Barry (2009). The Spartacus War. Simon and Schuster. pp. 21–22. ISBN 1-4165-3205-6.  ^ Marcellinus, Ammianus (1862). The roman history of Ammianus Marcellinus: during the reigns of the emperors Constantius, Julian, Jovianus, Valentinian, and Valens, Volume 1. H. G. Bohn. p. 80. Retrieved December 15, 2017.  ^ James Bromwich. "The Roman Remains of Northern and Eastern France: A Guidebook." Page 341. Citing "Bibliotheca Historica," 5.28, 1-3. ^ Gaius Petronius, "Satyricon", 1st century AD, page 208. ^ "Gallic Wars" I.1. ^ Bouillet, Marie-Nicolas; Chassang, Alexis (1878), Dictionnaire universel d'histoire et de géographie [Universal Dictionary of History and Geography] (printed monograph) (in French) (26th ed.), Paris: Hachette, p. 1905, retrieved July 16, 2013, Peuple de la Gaule Narbonnaise entre les Allobroges
Allobroges
au N. et les Segalauni au S., avait pour capit. Augusta Tricastinorum (Aoust-en-Diois)  ^ Pour moi, l'histoire de France
France
commence avec Clovis, choisi comme roi de France
France
par la tribu des Francs, qui donnèrent leur nom à la France. Avant Clovis, nous avons la Préhistoire gallo-romaine et gauloise. L'élément décisif pour moi, c'est que Clovis fut le premier roi à être baptisé chrétien. Mon pays est un pays chrétien et je commence à compter l'histoire de France
France
à partir de l'accession d'un roi chrétien qui porte le nom des Francs. Cited in the biography by David Schœnbrun, 1965. ^ Les Romains qui vinrent s'établir en Gaule étaient en petit nombre. Les Francs n'étaient pas nombreux non plus, Clovis n'en avait que quelques milliers avec lui. Le fond de notre population est donc resté gaulois. Les Gaulois sont nos ancêtres. (cours moyen, p. 26).

References[edit]

Boardman, John The Diffusion of Classical Art in Antiquity, Princeton 1993 ISBN 0-691-03680-2

External links[edit]

Look up Gaul
Gaul
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Look up Gallic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Look up Celtae in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Acy-Romance, the Gauls
Gauls
of Ardennes Lattes, Languedoc
Languedoc
and the Southern Gauls The Gauls
Gauls
in Provence: the Oppidum of Entremont

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gauls.

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