Gaul (Latin: Gallia; Greek: Γαλατία, Galatía) was a historical region of Western Europe during the Iron Age that was inhabited by Celtic tribes, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg, Belgium, most of Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2 (191,000 sq mi). According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica, Belgica, and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia, and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule: Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar finally subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC.
Roman control of Gaul lasted for five centuries, until the last Roman rump state, the Domain of Soissons, fell to the Franks in AD 486. While the Celtic Gauls had lost their original identities and language during Late Antiquity, becoming amalgamated into a Gallo-Roman culture, Gallia remained the conventional name of the territory throughout the Early Middle Ages, until it acquired a new identity as the Capetian Kingdom of France in the high medieval period. Gallia remains a name of France in modern Greek (Γαλλία) and modern Latin (besides the alternatives Francia and Francogallia).
The Greek and Latin names Galatia (first attested by Timaeus of Tauromenium in the 4th century BC) and Gallia are ultimately derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal(a)-to-. The Galli of Gallia Celtica were reported to refer to themselves as Celtae by Caesar. Hellenistic folk etymology connected the name of the Galatians (Γαλάται, Galátai) to the supposedly "milk-white" skin (γάλα, gála "milk") of the Gauls. Modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, "capacity, power", thus meaning "powerful people".
The English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, despite superficial similarity. The name Gaul is derived from the Old Frankish *Walholant (via a Latinized form *Walula) literally "Land of the Foreigners/Romans", in which *Walho- is reflex of Proto-Germanic *walhaz, "foreigner, Romanized person", an exonym applied by Germanic speakers to Celts and Latin-speaking people indiscriminately, making it cognate with the names Wales and Wallachia. The Germanic w- is regularly rendered as gu- / g- in French (cf. guerre "war", garder "ward"), and the historic diphthong au is the regular outcome of al before a following consonant (cf. cheval ~ chevaux). French Gaule or Gaulle cannot be derived from Latin Gallia, since g would become j before a (cf. gamba > jambe), and the diphthong au would be unexplained; the regular outcome of Latin Gallia is Jaille in French, which is found in several western placenames, such as La Jaille-Yvon and Saint-Mars-la-Jaille. Proto-Germanic *walha is derived ultimately from the name of the Volcae.
Also unrelated, in spite of superficial similarity, is the name Gael. The Irish word gall did originally mean "a Gaul", i.e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was later widened to "foreigner", to describe the Vikings, and later still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, for instance in the 12th-century book Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib.
As adjectives, English has the two variants: Gaulish and Gallic. The two adjectives are used synonymously, as "pertaining to Gaul or the Gauls", although the Celtic language or languages spoken in Gaul is predominantly known as Gaulish.
There is little written information concerning the peoples that inhabited the regions of Gaul, save what can be gleaned from coins. Therefore, the early history of the Gauls is predominantly a work in archaeology and the relationships between their material culture, genetic relationships (the study of which has been aided, in recent years, through the field of archaeogenetics) and linguistic divisions rarely coincide.
Before the rapid spread of the La Tène culture in the 5th to 4th centuries BC, the territory of eastern and southern France already participated in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture (c. 12th to 8th centuries BC.) out of which the early iron-working Hallstatt culture (7th to 6th centuries BC) would develop. By 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France (except for the Alps and the extreme north-west).
Out of this Hallstatt background, during the 7th and 6th century presumably representing an early form of Continental Celtic culture, the La Tène culture arises, presumably under Mediterranean influence from the Greek, Phoenician, and Etruscan civilizations, spread out in a number of early centers along the Seine, the Middle Rhine and the upper Elbe. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads rapidly across the entire territory of Gaul. The La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age (from 450 BC to the Roman conquest in the 1st century BC) in France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, southwest Germany, Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia and Hungary. Farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia.
The major source of materials on the Celts of Gaul was Poseidonios of Apamea, whose writings were quoted by Timagenes, Julius Caesar, the Sicilian Greek Diodorus Siculus, and the Greek geographer Strabo.
In the 4th and early 3rd century BC, Gallic clan confederations expanded far beyond the territory of what would become Roman Gaul (which defines usage of the term "Gaul" today), into Pannonia, Illyria, northern Italy, Transylvania and even Asia Minor. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans described Gallia Transalpina as distinct from Gallia Cisalpina. In his Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar distinguishes among three ethnic groups in Gaul: the Belgae in the north (roughly between Rhine and Seine), the Celtae in the center and in Armorica, and the Aquitani in the southwest, the southeast being already colonized by the Romans. While some scholars believe the Belgae south of the Somme were a mixture of Celtic and Germanic elements, their ethnic affiliations have not been definitively resolved. One of the reasons is political interference upon the French historical interpretation during the 19th century.
In addition to the Gauls, there were other peoples living in Gaul, such as the Greeks and Phoenicians who had established outposts such as Massilia (present-day Marseille) along the Mediterranean coast. Also, along the southeastern Mediterranean coast, the Ligures had merged with the Celts to form a Celto-Ligurian culture.
In the 2nd century BC, Mediterranean Gaul had an extensive urban fabric and was prosperous, while the best known cities in northern Gaul include the Biturigian capital of Avaricum (Bourges), Cenabum (Orléans), Autricum (Chartres) and the excavated site of Bibracte near Autun in Saône-et-Loire, along with a number of hillforts (or oppida) used in times of war. The prosperity of Mediterranean Gaul encouraged Rome to respond to pleas for assistance from the inhabitants of Massilia, who were under attack by a coalition of Ligures and Gauls. The Romans intervened in Gaul in 154 BC and again in 125 BC. Whereas on the first occasion they came and went, on the second they stayed. In 122 BC Domitius Ahenobarbus managed to defeat the Allobroges (who were allied to the Salluvii), while in the ensuing year Quintus Fabius Maximus "destroyed" an army of the Averni led by their king Bituitus, who had come to the aid of the Allobroges. Massilia was allowed to keep its lands, but Rome added to its territories the lands of the conquered tribes. The direct result of these conquests was that by now, Rome controlled an area extending from the Pyrenees to the lower Rhône river, and in the east up to the Rhône Valley to Lake Geneva. By 121 BC, they had conquered the Mediterranean region called Provincia (later named Gallia Narbonensis). This conquest upset the ascendancy of the Gaulish Arverni peoples.
The Roman proconsul and general Julius Caesar pushed his army into Gaul in 58 BC, on the pretext of assisting Rome's Gaullish allies against the migrating Helvetii. With the help of various Gallic clans (e.g. the Aedui) he managed to conquer nearly all of Gaul. While their military was just as strong 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. Julius Caesar was checked by Vercingetorix at a siege of Gergovia, a fortified town in the center of Gaul. Caesar's alliances with many Gallic clans broke. Even the Aedui, their most faithful supporters, threw in their lot with the Arverni, but the ever-loyal Remi (best known for its cavalry) and Lingones sent troops to support Caesar. The Germani of the Ubii also sent cavalry, which Caesar equipped with Remi horses. Caesar captured Vercingetorix in the Battle of Alesia, which ended the majority of Gallic resistance to Rome.
As many as a million people (probably 1 in 5 of the Gauls) died, another million were enslaved, 300 clans were subjugated and 800 cities were destroyed during the Gallic Wars. The entire population of the city of Avaricum (Bourges) (40,000 in all) were slaughtered. Before Julius Caesar's campaign against the Helvetii (present-day Switzerland), the Helvetians had numbered 263,000, but afterwards only 100,000 remained, most of whom Caesar took as slaves.
After Gaul was absorbed as Gallia, a set of Roman provinces, its inhabitants gradually adopted aspects of Roman culture and assimilated, resulting in the distinct Gallo-Roman culture. Citizenship was granted to all in 212 by the Constitutio Antoniniana. From the third to 5th centuries, Gaul was exposed to raids by the Franks. The Gallic Empire, consisting of the provinces of Gaul, Britannia, and Hispania, including the peaceful Baetica in the south, broke away from Rome from 260 to 273. In addition to the large number of natives, Gallia also became home to some Roman citizens from elsewhere and also in-migrating Germanic and Scythian tribes such as the Alans.
The religious practices of inhabitants became a combination of Roman and Celtic practice, with Celtic deities such as Cobannus and Epona subjected to interpretatio romana. The imperial cult and Eastern mystery religions also gained a following. Eventually, after it became the official religion of the Empire and paganism became suppressed, Christianity gradually won out in the twilight days of the Empire; a small but notable Jewish presence also became established.
The Gaulish language is thought to have survived into the 6th century in France, despite considerable Romanization of the local material culture. The last record of spoken Gaulish deemed to be plausibly credible concerned the destruction by Christians of a pagan shrine in Auvergne "called Vasso Galatae in the Gallic tongue". Coexisting with Latin, Gaulish helped shape the Vulgar Latin dialects that developed into French.
The Vulgar Latin in the region of Gallia took on a distinctly local character, some of which is attested in graffiti, which evolved into the Gallo-Romance dialects which include French and its closest relatives. The influence of substrate languages may be seen in graffiti showing sound changes that matched changes that had earlier occurred in the indigenous languages, especially Gaulish. The Vulgar Latin in the North of Gaul evolved into the langues d'oil and Franco-Provencal, while the dialects in the South evolved into the modern Occitan and Catalan tongues. Other languages held to be "Gallo-Romance" include the Gallo-Italic languages and the Rhaeto-Romance languages.
Following the Frankish victory at the Battle of Soissons in 486 AD, Gaul (except for Septimania) came under the rule of the Merovingians, the first kings of France. Gallo-Roman culture, the Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire, persisted particularly in the areas of Gallia Narbonensis that developed into Occitania, Gallia Cisalpina and to a lesser degree, Aquitania. The formerly Romanized north of Gaul, once it had been occupied by the Franks, would develop into Merovingian culture instead. Roman life, centered on the public events and cultural responsibilities of urban life in the res publica and the sometimes luxurious life of the self-sufficient rural villa system, took longer to collapse in the Gallo-Roman regions, where the Visigoths largely inherited the status quo in the early 5th century. Gallo-Roman language persisted in the northeast into the Silva Carbonaria that formed an effective cultural barrier, with the Franks to the north and east, and in the northwest to the lower valley of the Loire, where Gallo-Roman culture interfaced with Frankish culture in a city like Tours and in the person of that Gallo-Roman bishop confronted with Merovingian royals, Gregory of Tours.
The Druids were not the only political force in Gaul, however, and the early political system was complex, if ultimately fatal to the society as a whole. The fundamental unit of Gallic politics was the clan, which itself consisted of one or more of what Caesar called pagi. Each clan had a council of elders, and initially a king. Later, the executive was an annually-elected magistrate. Among the Aedui, a clan of Gaul, the executive held the title of Vergobret, a position much like a king, but his powers were held in check by rules laid down by the council.
The regional ethnic groups, or pagi as the Romans called them (singular: pagus; the French word pays, "region" [a more accurate translation is 'country'], comes from this term), were organized into larger multi-clan groups 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 individual clans were moderately stable political entities, Gaul as a whole tended to be politically divided, there being virtually no unity among the various clans. Only during particularly trying times, such as the invasion of Caesar, could the Gauls unite under a single leader like Vercingetorix. Even then, however, the faction lines were clear.
The Romans divided Gaul broadly into Provincia (the conquered area around the Mediterranean), and the northern Gallia Comata ("free Gaul" or "long haired Gaul"). Caesar divided the people of Gallia Comata into three broad groups: the Aquitani; Galli (who in their own language were called Celtae); and Belgae. In the modern sense, Gaulish peoples are defined linguistically, as speakers of dialects of the Gaulish language. While the Aquitani were probably Vascons, the Belgae would thus probably be a mixture of Celtic and Germanic elements.
All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the 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 Belgae are the bravest, because they are furthest from the civilization 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 Germans, who dwell beyond the Rhine, with whom they are continually waging war; for which reason the Helvetii also surpass the rest of the Gauls in valor, as they contend with the Germans 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 occupy, takes its beginning at the river Rhone; it is bounded by the river Garonne, the ocean, and the territories of the Belgae; it borders, Garonne separates the Gauls from the Aquitani; the Marne and the Seine separate them from the Belgae. Of all these, the Belgae too, on the side of the Sequani and the Helvetii, upon the river Rhine, and stretches toward the north. The 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 river Garonne to the Pyrenaean mountains and to that part of the ocean which is near Spain: it looks between the setting of the sun, and the north star.
The 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 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 worshipped, as well as clan and household gods. Many of the major gods were related to Greek gods; the primary god worshipped at the time of the arrival of Caesar was Teutates, the Gallic equivalent of Mercury. The "ancestor god" of the Gauls was identified by Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico with the Roman god Dis Pater.
Perhaps the most intriguing facet of Gallic religion is the practice of the Druids. The druids presided over human or animal sacrifices that were made in wooded groves or crude temples. They also appear to have held the responsibility for preserving the annual agricultural calendar and instigating seasonal festivals which corresponded to key points of the lunar-solar calendar. The religious practices of druids were syncretic and borrowed from earlier pagan traditions, with probably indo-European roots. Julius Caesar mentions in his Gallic Wars that those Celts who wanted to make a close study of druidism went to Britain to do so. In a little over a century later, Gnaeus Julius Agricola mentions Roman armies attacking a large druid sanctuary in Anglesey in Wales. There is no certainty concerning the origin of the druids, 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 monitored the religion of ordinary 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 meant a separation from secular society as well. Thus the Druids were an important part of Gallic society. The nearly complete and mysterious disappearance of the Celtic language from most of the territorial lands of ancient Gaul, with the exception of Brittany France, can be attributed to the fact that Celtic druids refused to allow the Celtic oral literature or traditional wisdom to be committed to the written letter.
The Celts practiced headhunting as the head was believed to house a person's soul. Ancient Romans and Greeks recorded the Celts' habits of nailing heads of personal enemies to walls or dangling them from the necks of horses.
Because of chronic internal rivalries, Gallic resistance was easily broken, though Vercingetorix’s Great Rebellion of 52 bc had notable successes.
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 BC to shake off the Roman yoke came too late.
Le déclin du Gaulois et sa disparition ne s'expliquent pas seulement par des pratiques culturelles spécifiques: Lorsque les Romains conduits par César envahirent la Gaule, au 1er siecle avant J.-C., celle-ci romanisa de manière progressive et profonde. Pendant près de 500 ans, la fameuse période gallo-romaine, le gaulois et le latin parlé coexistèrent; au VIe siècle encore; le temoignage de Grégoire de Tours atteste la survivance de la langue gauloise.
The 1958 Tour de France was the 45th edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 26 June to 19 July. The total race distance was 24 stages over 4,319 km (2,684 mi).
The yellow jersey for the leader in the general classification changed owner a record 11 times, and only at the penultimate stage in the time trial the decision was made, when Gaul created a margin of more than three minutes.
In the final sprint, sprinter André Darrigade, who had already won five stages, collided with a stage official, who eleven days later died because of his injuries.Armorica
Armorica or Aremorica is the name given in ancient times to the part of Gaul between the Seine and the Loire that includes the Brittany Peninsula, extending inland to an indeterminate point and down the Atlantic Coast. The toponym is based on the Gaulish phrase are-mori "on/at [the] sea", made into the Gaulish place name Aremorica (*are-mor-ika) "Place by the Sea". The suffix -ika was first used to create adjectival forms and then names (see regions such as Pays d'Ouche from Utica and Perche from Pertica). The original designation was vague, including a large part of what became Normandy in the 10th century and, in some interpretations, the whole of the coast down to the Garonne. Later, the term became restricted to Brittany.
In Breton, which belongs to the Brythonic branch of the Insular Celtic languages, along with Welsh and Cornish, "on [the] sea" is war vor (Welsh ar fôr, "f" being voiced and pronounced like English "v"), but the older form arvor is used to refer to the coastal regions of Brittany, in contrast to argoad (ar "on/at", coad "forest" [Welsh ar goed or coed "trees"]) for the inland regions. The cognate modern usages suggest that the Romans first contacted coastal people in the inland region and assumed that the regional name Aremorica referred to the whole area, both coastal and inland.Asterix
Asterix or The Adventures of Asterix (French: Astérix or Astérix le Gaulois [asteʁiks lə ɡolwa]) is a series of French comics. The series first appeared in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959. It was written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo until the death of Goscinny in 1977. Uderzo then took over the writing until 2009, when he sold the rights to publishing company Hachette. In 2013, a new team consisting of Jean-Yves Ferri (script) and Didier Conrad (artwork) took over. As of 2017, 37 volumes have been released.
The series follows the adventures of a village of Gauls as they resist Roman occupation in 50 BC. They do so by means of a magic potion, brewed by their druid Panoramix (named Getafix in the English translations), which temporarily gives the recipient superhuman strength. The protagonists, the title character Asterix and his friend Obelix, have various adventures. The "ix" ending of both names (as well as all the other pseudo-Gaulish "ix" names in the series) alludes to the "rix" suffix (meaning "king") present in the names of many real Gaulish chieftains such as Vercingetorix, Orgetorix and Dumnorix. In many of the stories, they travel to foreign countries, though others are set in and around their village. For much of the history of the series (Volumes 4 through 29), settings in Gaul and abroad alternated, with even-numbered volumes set abroad and odd-numbered volumes set in Gaul, mostly in the village.
The Asterix series is one of the most popular Franco-Belgian comics in the world, with the series being translated into 111 languages and dialects.The success of the series has led to the adaptation of its books into 13 films: nine animated, and four live action (one of which, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, was a major box office success in France). There have also been a number of games based on the characters, and a theme park near Paris, Parc Astérix. The very first French satellite, Astérix, launched in 1965, was also named after the comics character. As of 2017, 370 million copies of Asterix books have been sold worldwide, with co-creators René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo being France's best-selling authors abroad.Belgae
The Belgae () were a large Gallic-Germanic confederation of tribes living in northern Gaul, between the English Channel, the west bank of the Rhine, and northern bank of the river Seine, from at least the third century BC. They were discussed in depth by Julius Caesar in his account of his wars in Gaul. Some peoples in Britain were also called Belgae and O'Rahilly equated them with the Fir Bolg in Ireland. The Belgae gave their name to the Roman province of Gallia Belgica and, much later, to the modern country of Belgium; today "Belgae" is also Latin for "Belgians".Celts
The Celts (, see pronunciation of Celt for different usages) are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Europe identified by their use of Celtic languages and cultural similarities.The history of pre-Celtic Europe and the exact relationship between ethnic, linguistic and cultural factors in the Celtic world remains uncertain and controversial. The exact geographic spread of the ancient Celts is disputed; in particular, the ways in which the Iron Age inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland should be regarded as Celts have become a subject of controversy. According to one theory, the common root of the Celtic languages, the Proto-Celtic language, arose in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC. According to a theory proposed in the 19th century, the first people to adopt cultural characteristics regarded as Celtic were the people of the Iron Age Hallstatt culture in central Europe (c. 800–450 BC), named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria. Thus this area is sometimes called the "Celtic homeland". By or during the later La Tène period (c. 450 BC to the Roman conquest), this Celtic culture was supposed to have expanded by trans-cultural diffusion or migration to the British Isles (Insular Celts), France and the Low Countries (Gauls), Bohemia, Poland and much of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula (Celtiberians, Celtici, Lusitanians and Gallaeci) and northern Italy (Golasecca culture and Cisalpine Gauls) and, following the Celtic settlement of Eastern Europe beginning in 279 BC, as far east as central Anatolia (Galatians) in modern-day Turkey.The earliest undisputed direct examples of a Celtic language are the Lepontic inscriptions beginning in the 6th century BC. Continental Celtic languages are attested almost exclusively through inscriptions and place-names. Insular Celtic languages are attested beginning around the 4th century in Ogham inscriptions, although it was clearly being spoken much earlier. Celtic literary tradition begins with Old Irish texts around the 8th century CE. Coherent texts of Early Irish literature, such as the Táin Bó Cúailnge ("Cattle Raid of Cooley"), survive in 12th-century recensions.
By the mid-1st millennium, with the expansion of the Roman Empire and migrating Germanic tribes, Celtic culture and Insular Celtic languages had become restricted to Ireland, the western and northern parts of Great Britain (Wales, Scotland, and Cornwall), the Isle of Man, and Brittany. Between the 5th and 8th centuries, the Celtic-speaking communities in these Atlantic regions emerged as a reasonably cohesive cultural entity. They had a common linguistic, religious and artistic heritage that distinguished them from the culture of the surrounding polities. By the 6th century, however, the Continental Celtic languages were no longer in wide use.
Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels (Irish, Scottish and Manx) and the Celtic Britons (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) of the medieval and modern periods. A modern Celtic identity was constructed as part of the Romanticist Celtic Revival in Great Britain, Ireland, and other European territories, such as Portugal and Spanish Galicia. Today, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton are still spoken in parts of their historical territories, and Cornish and Manx are undergoing a revival.Charly Gaul
Charly Gaul (8 December 1932 – 6 December 2005 in Luxembourg City) was a Luxembourgian professional cyclist. He was a national cyclo-cross champion, an accomplished time triallist and superb climber. His ability earned him the nickname of The Angel of the Mountains in the 1958 Tour de France, which he won with four stage victories. He also won the Giro d'Italia in 1956 and 1959. Gaul rode best in cold, wet weather. In later life he became a recluse and lost much of his memory.Cisalpine Gaul
Cisalpine Gaul (Latin: Gallia Cisalpina, also called Gallia Citerior or Gallia Togata) was the part of Italy inhabited by Celts (Gauls) during the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. Conquered by the Roman Republic in the 220s BC, it was a Roman province from c. 81 BC until 42 BC, when it was merged into Roman Italy. Until that time, it was considered part of Gaul, precisely that part of Gaul on the "hither side of the Alps" (from the perspective of the Romans), as opposed to Transalpine Gaul ("on the far side of the Alps").Gallia Cisalpina was further subdivided into Gallia Cispadana and Gallia Transpadana, i.e. its portions south and north of the Po River, respectively.
The Roman province of the 1st century BC was bounded on the north and west by the Alps, in the south as far as Placentia by the river Po, and then by the Apennines and the river Rubicon, and in the east by the Adriatic Sea. In 49 BC all inhabitants of Cisalpine Gaul received Roman citizenship, and eventually the province was divided among four of the eleven regions of Italy: Regio VIII Gallia Cispadana, Regio IX Liguria, Regio X Venetia et Histria and Regio XI Gallia Transpadana.Commentarii de Bello Gallico
Commentāriī dē Bellō Gallicō (English: Commentaries on the Gallic War), also Bellum Gallicum (English: Gallic War), is Julius Caesar's firsthand account of the Gallic Wars, written as a third-person narrative. In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting the Germanic peoples and Celtic peoples in Gaul that opposed Roman conquest.
The "Gaul" that Caesar refers to is ambiguous, as the term had various connotations in Roman writing and discourse during Caesar's time. Generally, Gaul included all of the regions that Romans had not conquered or administered or which were primarily inhabited by Celts; except for the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis (modern-day Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon), which had already been conquered in Caesar's time, therefore encompassing the rest of modern France, Belgium, Western Germany, and parts of Switzerland. As the Roman Republic made inroads deeper into Celtic territory and conquered more land, the definition of "Gaul" shifted. Concurrently, "Gaul" was also used in common parlance as a synonym for "uncouth" or "unsophisticated" as Romans saw Celtic peoples as uncivilized compared with Rome.
The work has been a mainstay in Latin instruction because of its simple, direct prose. It begins with the frequently quoted phrase "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres", meaning "Gaul is a whole divided into three parts". The full work is split into eight sections, Book 1 to Book 8, varying in size from approximately 5,000 to 15,000 words. Book 8 was written by Aulus Hirtius, after Caesar's death.Fall of the Western Roman Empire
The Fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called Fall of the Roman Empire or Fall of Rome) was the process of decline in the Western Roman Empire in which the Empire failed to enforce its rule, and its vast territory was divided into several successor polities. The Roman Empire lost the strengths that had allowed it to exercise effective control over its Western provinces; modern historians mention factors including the effectiveness and numbers of the army, the health and numbers of the Roman population, the strength of the economy, the competence of the Emperors, the internal struggles for power, the religious changes of the period, and the efficiency of the civil administration. Increasing pressure from barbarians outside Roman culture also contributed greatly to the collapse. The reasons for the collapse are major subjects of the historiography of the ancient world and they inform much modern discourse on state failure.Relevant dates include 117 CE, when the Empire was at its greatest territorial extent, and the accession of Diocletian in 284. Irreversible major territorial loss, however, began in 376 with a large-scale irruption of Goths and others. In 395, after winning two destructive civil wars, Theodosius I died, leaving a collapsing field army and the Empire, still plagued by Goths, divided between the warring ministers of his two incapable sons. Further barbarian groups crossed the Rhine and other frontiers, and like the Goths were not exterminated, expelled or subjugated. The armed forces of the Western Empire became few and ineffective, and despite brief recoveries under able leaders, central rule was never effectively consolidated. By 476 when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus, the Western Roman Emperor wielded negligible military, political, or financial power and had no effective control over the scattered Western domains that could still be described as Roman. Barbarian kingdoms had established their own power in much of the area of the Western Empire. While its legitimacy lasted for centuries longer and its cultural influence remains today, the Western Empire never had the strength to rise again. The Eastern Empire survived, and though lessened in strength remained for centuries an effective power of the Eastern Mediterranean.
While the loss of political unity and military control is universally acknowledged, the Fall is not the only unifying concept for these events; the period described as Late Antiquity emphasizes the cultural continuities throughout and beyond the political collapse.Gallia Aquitania
Gallia Aquitania (; Latin pronunciation: [ˈɡalːia akᶣiːˈtaːnia]), also known as Aquitaine or Aquitaine Gaul, was a province of the Roman Empire. It lies in present-day southwest France, where it gives its name to the modern region of Aquitaine. It was bordered by the provinces of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Narbonensis, and Hispania Tarraconensis.Gallia Belgica
Gallia Belgica ("Belgic Gaul") was a province of the Roman empire located in the north-eastern part of Roman Gaul, in what is today primarily France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, along with parts of the Netherlands and Germany.
In 50 BC after the conquest by Julius Caesar during his Gallic Wars, it became one of the three newly conquered provinces of Gaul (known as the Tres Galliae (the 3 Gauls), the other two being Gallia Aquitania and Gallia Lugdunensis). An official Roman province was later created by emperor Augustus in 22 BC. The province was named for the Belgae, as the largest tribal confederation in the area, but also included the territories of the Treveri, Mediomatrici, Leuci, Sequani, Helvetii and others. The southern border of Belgica, formed by the Marne and Seine rivers, was reported by Caesar as the original cultural boundary between the Belgae and the Celtic Gauls, whom he distinguished from one another.The province was re-organised several times, first increased and later decreased in size. Diocletian brought the northeastern Civitas Tungrorum into Germania Inferior, joining the Rhineland colonies, and the remaining part of Gallia Belgica was divided into Belgica Prima in the eastern area of the Treveri, Mediomatrici and Leuci, around Luxembourg and the Ardennes, and Belgica Secunda between the English channel and the upper River Meuse.
The capital of Belgica Prima, Trier, became an important late western Roman capital.Gallia Lugdunensis
Gallia Lugdunensis (French: Gaule Lyonnaise) was a province of the Roman Empire in what is now the modern country of France, part of the Celtic territory of Gaul formerly known as Celtica. It is named after its capital Lugdunum (today's Lyon), possibly Roman Europe's major city west of Italy, and a major imperial mint. Outside Lugdunum was the Condate Altar, where representatives of the Three Gauls met to celebrate the cult of Rome and Augustus.
In De Bello Gallico describing his conquest of Gaul (58–50 BC), Julius Caesar distinguished between provincia nostra in the south of Gaul, which already was a Roman province in his time, and the three other parts of Gaul: the territories of the Aquitani, of the Belgae, and of the Galli also known as the Celtae. The territory of the Galli extended from the rivers Seine and Marne in the north-east, which formed the boundary with Gallia Belgica, to the river Garonne in the south-west, which formed the border with Gallia Aquitania. Under Augustus, Gallia Lugdunensis was created by reducing in size the territory of the Galli: The portion between the river Loire and the Garonne was given to Gallia Aquitania, and central-eastern portions were given to the new province of Germania Superior. The map shows the extent after these reductions. The date of the creation of Gallia Lugdunensis is under discussion, whether between 27 and 25 BC or between 16 and 13 BC, during Augustus' visits to Gaul.
It was an imperial province, deemed important enough to be governed by an imperial legate. After Diocletian's Tetrarchy (AD 296), it was the major province of a diocese confusingly called Galliae ('the Gaul provinces'), to which further only the Helvetic, Belgian (both also Celtic) and German provinces belonged; with the dioceses of Viennensis (the southern provinces of Gaul), Britanniae (also Celtic) and Hispaniae (the whole Celtiberian peninsula) this formed the praetorian prefecture also called Galliae, subordinate to the western emperor.
The province effectively ceased to exist in AD 486 when the Roman general Syagrius was defeated by the invading Franks.Gallia Narbonensis
Gallia Narbonensis (Latin for "Gaul of Narbonne", from its chief settlement) was a Roman province located in what is now Languedoc and Provence, in southern France. It was also known as Provincia Nostra ("Our Province"), from its having been the first Roman province north of the Alps, and as Gallia Transalpina ("Transalpine Gaul"), distinguishing it from Cisalpine Gaul in northern Italy. It became a Roman province in the late 2nd century BC. Its boundaries were roughly defined by the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Cévennes and Alps to the north and west. The western region of Gallia Narbonensis was known as Septimania.Gallic Wars
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. Rome's war against the Gallic tribes lasted from 58 BC to 50 BC and culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul (mainly present-day France and Belgium). While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the internal division between the Gallic tribes helped ease victory for Caesar, and Vercingetorix's attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late. The wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the sole ruler of the Roman Republic.
Although Caesar portrayed this invasion as being a preemptive and defensive action, most historians agree that the wars were fought primarily to boost Caesar's political career and to pay off his massive debts. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, as they had been attacked several times by native tribes both indigenous to Gaul and farther to the north. Conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine. The Gallic Wars are described by Julius Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, which remains the most important historical source regarding the conflict.Gallo-Roman culture
The term "Gallo-Roman" describes the Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman morals and way of life in a uniquely Gaulish context. The well-studied meld of cultures in Gaul gives historians a model against which to compare and contrast parallel developments of Romanization in other, less-studied Roman provinces.
Interpretatio romana offered Roman names for Gaulish deities such as the smith-god Gobannus, but of Celtic deities only the horse-patroness Epona penetrated Romanized cultures beyond the confines of Gaul.The barbarian invasions beginning in the early fifth century forced upon Gallo-Roman culture fundamental changes in politics, in the economic underpinning, in military organization. The Gothic settlement of 418 offered a double loyalty, as Western Roman authority disintegrated at Rome. The plight of the highly Romanized governing class is examined by R.W. Mathisen, the struggles of bishop Hilary of Arles by M. Heinzelmann.Into the seventh century, Gallo-Roman culture would persist particularly in the areas of Gallia Narbonensis that developed into Occitania, Cisalpine Gaul, Orléanais, and to a lesser degree, Gallia Aquitania. The formerly Romanized north of Gaul, once it had been occupied by the Franks, would develop into Merovingian culture instead. Roman life, centered on the public events and cultural responsibilities of urban life in the res publica and the sometimes luxurious life of the self-sufficient rural villa system, took longer to collapse in the Gallo-Roman regions, where the Visigoths largely inherited the status quo in 418. Gallo-Roman language persisted in the northeast into the Silva Carbonaria that formed an effective cultural barrier with the Franks to the north and east, and in the northwest to the lower valley of the Loire, where Gallo-Roman culture interfaced with Frankish culture in a city like Tours and in the person of that Gallo-Roman bishop confronted with Merovingian royals, Gregory of Tours. Based on mutual intelligibility, David Dalby counts seven languages descended from Gallo-Romance: Gallo-Wallon, French, Franco-Provençal (Arpitan), Romansh, Ladin, Friulian, and Lombard. However, other definitions are far broader, variously encompassing the Rhaeto-Romance languages, Occitano-Romance languages, and Gallo-Italic languages.Gauls
The Gauls (Latin: Galli, Ancient Greek: Γαλάται, Galátai) were a group of Celtic peoples of West-Central Europe in the Iron Age and the Roman period (roughly from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD). The area they inhabited was known as Gaul. Their Gaulish language forms the main branch of the Continental Celtic languages.
The Gauls emerged around the 5th century BC as the bearers of the La Tène culture north of the Alps (spread across the lands between the Seine, 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 and 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. 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 after the end of the First Punic War increasingly put pressure on the Gallic sphere of influence; the Battle of Telamon of 225 BC heralded a gradual decline of Gallic power over the 2nd century, until the eventual conquest of Gaul in the Gallic Wars of the 50s BC.
After this, Gaul became a province of the Roman Empire, and the Gauls were ethnically and culturally largely assimilated into Latin (Roman settlers) majority, losing their tribal identities by the end of the 1st century AD.Merovingian dynasty
The Merovingians were a Salian Frankish dynasty that ruled the Franks for three centuries in a region known as Francia in Latin, beginning in the middle of the 5th century. Their territory largely corresponded to ancient Gaul as well as the Roman provinces of Raetia, Germania Superior and the southern part of Germania. The semi legendary Merovech was supposed to have founded the Merovingian dynasty, but it was his famous grandson Clovis I (ruled c. 481–511) who united all of Gaul under Merovingian rule.
After the death of Clovis, there were frequent clashes between different branches of the family, but when threatened by its neighbours the Merovingians presented a strong united front.
During the final century of Merovingian rule, the kings were increasingly pushed into a ceremonial role. The Merovingian rule ended in March 752 when Pope Zachary formally deposed Childeric III. Zachary's successor, Pope Stephen II, confirmed and anointed Pepin the Short in 754, beginning the Carolingian monarchy.
The Merovingian ruling family were sometimes referred to as the "long-haired kings" (Latin reges criniti) by contemporaries, as their long hair distinguished them among the Franks, who commonly cut their hair short. The term "Merovingian" comes from medieval Latin Merovingi or Merohingi ("sons of Merovech"), an alteration of an unattested Old Dutch form, akin to their dynasty's Old English name Merewīowing, with the final -ing being a typical patronymic suffix.Praetorian prefecture of Gaul
The Praetorian Prefecture of Gaul (Latin: praefectura praetorio Galliarum) was one of four large prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided.Roman Gaul
Roman Gaul refers to Gaul under provincial rule in the Roman Empire from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD.
The Roman Republic began its takeover of Celtic Gaul in 121 BC, when it conquered and annexed the southern reaches of the area. Julius Caesar significantly advanced the task by defeating the Celtic tribes in the Gallic Wars of 58-51 BC.
In 22 BC, imperial administration of Gaul was reorganized, establishing the provinces of Gallia Aquitania, Gallia Belgica and Gallia Lugdunensis. Parts of eastern Gaul were incorporated into the provinces Raetia (15 BC) and Germania Superior (AD 83).
During Late Antiquity, Gaulish and Roman culture amalgamated into a hybrid Gallo-Roman culture.
The Gaulish language was marginalized and eventually extinct, being replaced by regional forms of Late Latin which in the medieval period developed into the group of Gallo-Romance languages (including French and Occitan).
Roman control over the provinces deteriorated in the 4th and 5th centuries, and was eventually lost to the kingdoms of the Franks, Visigoths and Burgundians.
The last vestiges of any Roman control over parts of Gaul were effaced with the defeat of Syagrius at the Battle of Soissons (AD 486).