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 culturally adapted to the Roman world, bringing about the formation of the hybrid Gallo-Roman culture.
The Gauls of Gallia Celtica according to the testimony of Caesar called themselves Celtae in their own language (as distinct from Belgae and Aquitani), and Galli in Latin. 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 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.
Gaulish culture developed out of the Celtic cultures over the first millennia BC. The Urnfield culture (c. 1300 BC – c. 750 BC) represents the Celts as a distinct cultural branch of the Indo-European-speaking people. The spread of iron working led to the Hallstatt culture in the 8th century BC; the Proto-Celtic may have been spoken around this time. The Hallstatt culture evolved into the La Tène culture in around the 5th century BC. The Greek and Etruscan civilizations and colonies began to influence the Gauls especially in the Mediterranean area. Gauls under Brennus invaded Rome circa 390 BC.
By the 5th century BC, the tribes later called Gauls had migrated from Central France to the Mediterranean coast. Gallic invaders settled the Po Valley in the 4th century BC, defeated Roman forces in a battle under Brennus in 390 BC and raided Italy as far as Sicily.
In the 3rd century BC, the Gauls attempted an eastward expansion in 281-279 BC, towards the Balkan peninsula, which at 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 that survived were forced to flee.
At the end of the second expedition the Gallic raiders had been repelled by the coalition armies of the various Greek city-states and were forced to retreat to Illyria and Thrace, but the Greeks were forced to grant safe-passage to the Gauls who then made their way to Asia Minor and settled in Central Anatolia. The Gallic area of settlement in Asia Minor was called Galatia; there they created widespread havoc. But they were checked through the use of war elephants and skirmishers by the Greek Seleucid king 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 (285-246 BC), attempted to seize control of the kingdom.
In the first Gallic invasion of Greece (279 BC), they achieved victory over the Macedonians and killed the Macedonian king Ptolemy Keraunos. They then focused on looting the rich Macedonian countryside, but avoided the heavily fortified cities. The Macedonian general Sosthenes assembled an army, defeated Bolgius and repelled the invading Gauls.
In the second Gaulish invasion of Greece (278 BC), the Gauls, led by Brennos, suffered heavy losses while facing the Greek coalition army at Thermopylae, but helped by the Heracleans they followed the mountain path around Thermopylae to encircle the Greek army in the same way that the Persian army had done at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, but this time deafeating the whole of the Greek army. After passing Thermopylae the Gauls headed for the rich treasury at Delphi, where they were defeated by the re-assembled Greek army. This led to a series of retreats of the Gauls, with devastating losses, all the way up to Macedonia and then out of the Greek mainland. The major part of the Gaul army was defeated in the process, and those Gauls survived were forced to flee from Greece. The Gallic leader Brennos was seriously injured at Delphi and committed suicide there. (He is not to be confused with another Gaulish leader bearing the same name who had sacked Rome a century earlier (390 BC).
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 king Antiochus I (275 BC), in a battle in which the Seleucid war elephants shocked the Galatians. Although 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 to avoid war. 4,000 Galatians were hired as mercenaries by the Ptolemaic Egyptian king Ptolemy II Philadelphus in 270 BC. According to Pausanias, soon after arrival the Celts plotted “to seize Egypt”, and so Ptolemy marooned them on a deserted island in the Nile River.
Galatians also participated at the victory at Raphia in 217 BC 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 prince Antiochus Hierax, who reigned in Asia Minor. Hierax tried to defeat king 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 in 241 BC. After this 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 (189 BC). Galatia declined and at times fell under Pontic ascendancy. They were finally freed by the Mithridatic Wars, in which they supported Rome. In the settlement of 64 BC, 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, a contemporary of 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 until the 6th century.
In the Second Punic War the famous Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca used 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 were so prosperous 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 in 125 BC, and conquered the area eventually known as Gallia Narbonensis by 121.
In 58 BC Julius Caesar launched the Gallic Wars and had conquered the whole of Gaul by 51 BC. He noted that the Gauls (Celtae) were one of the three primary peoples in the area, along with the 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 could provide him with both. So much gold was looted from 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. After the annexation of Gaul a mixed Gallo-Roman culture began to emerge.
After more than a century of warfare, the Cisalpine 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 and Teutones in the Cimbrian War, where they defeated and killed a Roman consul at Burdigala in 107 BC, and later became prominent among the rebelling gladiators in the Third Servile War. The Gauls were finally conquered by Julius Caesar in the 50s BC despite a rebellion by the Arvernian chieftain Vercingetorix. During the Roman period the 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 founded by the Batavian general Postumus.
The fourth-century Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus wrote that the Gauls were tall, light-skinned, light-haired, and light-eyed:
Almost all 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.
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 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. 
Jordanes, in his Origins and Deeds of the Goths, indirectly describes the 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 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 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 were thought of on average to be much paler than Romans.
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 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 and others, had enjoyed stable political alliances with Rome. They imported 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.
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". Each tribe had a council of elders, and initially a king. Later, the executive was an annually-elected magistrate. Among the 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.
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 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 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 "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 were probably Vascons, the Belgae would thus probably be counted among the Gaulish tribes, perhaps with Germanic elements.
Gaulish or Gallic is the name given to the Celtic language that was spoken in Gaul before the Latin of the late Roman Empire became dominant in Roman Gaul. According to Julius Caesar in his Commentaries on the Gallic War, it was one of three languages in Gaul, the others being Aquitanian and Belgic. In Gallia Transalpina, a Roman province by the time of Caesar, 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 and the Galatian language are sometimes considered to be dialects of Gaulish.
The exact time of the final extinction of Gaulish is unknown, but it is estimated to have been around or shortly after the middle of the 1st millennium. Gaulish may have survived in some regions as the mid to late 6th century in France. Despite considerable Romanization of the local material culture, the Gaulish language is held to have survived and had coexisted with spoken Latin during the centuries of Roman rule of Gaul. Coexisting with Latin, Gaulish played a role in shaping the Vulgar Latin dialects that developed into French, with effects including loanwords and calques, sound changes shaped by Gaulish influence, and well as in conjugation and word order. Recent work in computational simulation suggests that Gaulish played a role in gender shifts of words in Early French, where by the gender would shift to match the gender of the corresponding Gaulish word with the same meaning.
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 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, 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 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.
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.
|Ambarri||near junction of Rhône & Saône rivers|
|Arverni||Gergovia (La Roche-Blanche)|
|Boii||Boii (Boui near Entrain)|
|Boii Boates||Boates (La Teste-de-Buch)|
|Cadurci||Cahors (Uxellodunum - Puy d'Issolud, Saint-Denis-lès-Martel/Vayrac)|
|Carnutes||Chartres ; Orléans|
|Raurici||Kaiseraugst (Augusta Raurica)|
|Tricastini||Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux (Augusta tricast(r)inorum)|
The Gauls played a certain role in the national historiography and national identity of modern France. Attention given to the 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 arose under the Capetian dynasty; for example, Charles de Gaulle is on record as stating, "For me, the history of France begins with Clovis, elected as king of 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." 
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 were not numerous either, Clovis having but a few thousand men with him. The basis of our population has thus remained Gaulish. The Gauls are our ancestors."
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 of the 19th century, the Gaulish Helvetii were chosen as representing the ancestral Swiss population (compare Helvetia as national allegory), as the Helvetii had settled in both the French and the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, and their Gaulish language set them apart from Latin- and German-speaking populations in equal measure.
Late classical sources—if they are to be trusted—suggest that it survived at least into the 6th century AD.
Because of chronic internal rivalries, Gallic resistance was easily broken, though Vercingetorix’s Great Rebellion of 52 bce 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 bce 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.
Peuple de la Gaule Narbonnaise entre les Allobroges au N. et les Segalauni au S., avait pour capit. Augusta Tricastinorum (Aoust-en-Diois)
The Aedui, Haedui, or Hedui (Ancient Greek: Αἰδούοι) were a Gallic people of Gallia Lugdunensis, who inhabited the country between the Arar (Saône) and Liger (Loire), in today's France. Their territory thus included the greater part of the modern departments of Saône-et-Loire, Côte-d'Or and Nièvre.Arverni
The Arverni were a Celtic tribe. The tribe was located in what is today the French Auvergne region, which derives its name from the Arverni. One of the most powerful tribes in ancient Gaul, the Arverni opposed the Romans on several occasions. One of their most important strongholds was Gergovia, near the present-day commune of Clermont-Ferrand.Battle of Alesia
The Battle of Alesia or Siege of Alesia was a military engagement in the Gallic Wars that took place in September, 52 BC, around the Gallic oppidum (fortified settlement) of Alesia, a major centre of the Mandubii tribe. It was fought by the army of Julius Caesar against a confederation of Gallic tribes united under the leadership of Vercingetorix of the Arverni. It was the last major engagement between Gauls and Romans, and is considered one of Caesar's greatest military achievements and a classic example of siege warfare and investment. The battle of Alesia marked the end of Gallic independence in France and Belgium.
The battle site was probably atop Mont Auxois, above modern Alise-Sainte-Reine in France, but this location, some have argued, does not fit Caesar's description of the battle. A number of alternatives have been proposed over time, among which only Chaux-des-Crotenay (in Jura in modern France) remains a challenger today.At one point in the battle the Romans were outnumbered by the Gauls by four to one. The event is described by several contemporary authors, including Caesar himself in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico. After the Roman victory, Gaul (very roughly modern France) was subdued and became a Roman province. The Roman Senate granted a thanksgiving of 20 days for his victory in the Gallic War.Battle of the Allia
The Battle of the Allia was fought between the Senones (one of the Gallic tribes which had invaded northern Italy) and the Roman Republic. It was fought at the confluence of the rivers Tiber and Allia, eleven Roman miles (16 km) north of Rome. The Romans were routed and subsequently the Senones sacked Rome. The common date given for the battle is 390 BC. This is based on the account of the battle by the Roman historian Livy and the Varronian chronology, a Roman dating system. The ancient Greek historian Polybius, who used a Greek dating system, derived the date 387/6 BC. Plutarch wrote that the battle took place just after the summer solstice when the moon was near the full, a little more than three hundred and sixty years from the foundation of Rome. That would be shortly after 393 BC. Tacitus said that the battle took place the 15 before the Kalends of August, which is 18 July.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".Braccae
Braccae is the Latin term for "trousers", and in this context is today used to refer to a style of trousers made from wool. According to the Romans, this style of clothing originated from the Gauls.Braccae were typically made with a drawstring, and tended to reach from just above the knee at the shortest, to the ankles at the longest, with length generally increasing in tribes living further north.
When the Romans first encountered braccae, they thought them to be effeminate (Roman men typically wore tunics, which were one-piece outfits terminating at or above the knee).Caletes
The Caletes or Caleti (Latin: Calētēs or Calētī) were a Gaulish or a Belgic tribe of present-day Normandy. They occupied a section of the coast, between the Sequana and the Phrudis rivers.Harfleur (Caracotinum) was their principal port.
This map of Northern Gaul shows the exact position of the Caletes on the southern shore of the English Channel: Catalauni
The Catalauni were a tribe of Belgic Gaul. Etymologically, their name is not connected to the British Catuvellauni so there is no basis to make an equation between the two. Both contain the element catu-, "battle", but apart from that they are only superficially similar: catalauni is composed of catu- + alauno-, "shining in battle", while catuvellauni is composed of catu- + vellauni, "foremost in battle".Dīs Pater
Dīs Pater (pronounced [diːs ˈpa.tɛr]) was a Roman god of the underworld. Dis was originally associated with fertile agricultural land and mineral wealth, and since those minerals came from underground, he was later equated with the chthonic deities Pluto (Hades) and Orcus.
Dīs Pater was commonly shortened to simply Dīs and this name has since become an alternative name for the underworld or a part of the underworld, such as the City of Dis of Dante's The Divine Comedy, which comprises Lower Hell.
It is often thought that Dīs Pater was also a Celtic god. This confusion arises from the second-hand citation of one of Julius Caesar's comments in his Commentaries on the Gallic Wars (VI:18), where he says that the Gauls all claimed descent from Dīs Pater. However, Caesar's remark is a clear example of interpretatio Romana: what Caesar meant was that the Gauls all claimed descent from a Gaulish god that reminded him of the Roman Dīs Pater, a scholia on the Pharsalia equates Dis Pater with Taranis, the chief sky deity in the Gaulish religion. Different possible candidates exist for this role in Celtic religion, such as Gaulish Sucellus, Irish Donn and Welsh Beli Mawr, among others.Galatia
Ancient Galatia (; Ancient Greek: Γαλατία, Galatía, "Gaul") was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia, roughly corresponding to the provinces of Ankara, Çorum, and Yozgat, in modern Turkey. Galatia was named for the Gauls from Thrace (cf. Tylis), who settled here and became its ruling caste in the 3rd century BC, following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC. It has been called the "Gallia" of the East, Roman writers calling its inhabitants Galli (Gauls or Celts).Gaul
Gaul (Latin: Gallia) 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).Nervii
The Nervii were one of the most powerful Belgic tribes of northern Gaul at the time of its conquest by Rome. Their territory corresponds to the central part of modern Belgium, including Brussels, and stretched southwards into French Hainault. During their 1st century BC Roman military campaign, Julius Caesar's contacts among the Remi stated that the Nervii were the most warlike of the Belgae. In times of war, they were known to trek long distances to take part in battles. Being one of the distant northern Belgic tribes, with the Menapii to the west, and the Eburones to their east, they were considered by Caesar to be relatively uncorrupted by civilization.Orthodox Church of the Gauls
The Orthodox Church of the Gauls (OCG; French: Église Orthodoxe des Gaules, EOG) is a self-governing Orthodox church comprising two dioceses. It was formed in 2006 with a mission to return the Orthodox Christian faith to people of western lands, particularly through the use of restored forms of ancient Gallican worship. The OCG is part of the Communion of Western Orthodox Churches, and its primate is Bishop Gregory (Mendez), the Bishop of Arles and the abbot of the Monastery of St Michael and St Martin near Luzé in the Touraine region of France.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.Primate (bishop)
Primate (English: ) is a title or rank bestowed on some archbishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority (title of authority) or (usually) ceremonial precedence (title of honour).Senones
The Senones (Ancient Greek: Σήνωνες) were an ancient Celtic Gallic culture.Suessiones
The Suessiones were a Belgic tribe of western Gallia Belgica in the 1st century BC, inhabiting the region between the Oise and the Marne, around the present-day city of Soissons. They were conquered in 57 BC by Julius Caesar.
Pliny the Elder apparently gives their name as 'Suaeuconi'.Caesar recounts in his Gallic Wars that in 57 BC the Suessiones were ruled by Galba, and that in living memory of that time their king Diviciacus had exercised sovereignty over most of the Belgians and even parts of Britain.Coinage minted by Belgic Gauls first appeared in Britain in the mid-2nd century BC with the coinage now categorized as the "Gallo-Belgic A" type. Coins associated with King Diviciacus of the Suessiones, issued near or between 90 and 60 BC, have been categorized as "Gallo-Belgic C." Finds of this issue of coin extend from Sussex to the Wash, with a concentration of finds near Kent. A later issue of coin, "Gallo-Belgic F" (c. 60-50 BC), has concentrated finds near Paris, throughout the lands of the Suessiones, and the southern, coastal areas of Britain. These finds lead scholars to suggest that the Suessiones had significant trade and migration into Britain during the 2nd and 1st centuries prior to Roman conquest.Caesar describes the Belgae as going to Britain looking for booty: "The inland part of Britain is inhabited by tribes declared in their own tradition to be indigenous to the island, the maritime part by tribes that migrated at an earlier time from Belgium to seek booty by invasion. ..."Caesar mentions that their capital was Noviodunum ("new hill-fort"), the present-day city of Soissons. Soissons was the capital city of the Merovingian Kingdom of Soissons from 511 to 613. Soissons was the birthplace of the Frankish Prince Charlemagne in the year 747, son of King Pippin the Short and Bertrada of Laon. It is today the capital of the département of the Aisne, in the northern part of Champagne.
The region is still commonly referred to as the Soissonnais and people of the region are called Soissonaires.Teurisci
Teurisci was a Dacian tribe at the time of Ptolemy (140 AD). They are considered originally Celts, a branch of the Celtic Taurisci (Noricum), who moved to Upper Tisza. However, the archaeology shows that Celts have been absorbed by Dacians, at some extent both creating a Celto-Dacian cultural horizon in the upper Tisza.Veneti (Gaul)
The Veneti were a seafaring Celtic people who lived in the Brittany peninsula (France), which in Roman times formed part of an area called Armorica. They gave their name to the modern city of Vannes.
|Aquitanians (in Spain)|
|Other European origin|
The Canary Islands were not occupied by the Romans, the peoples of these islands until the arrival of the Castilians were the Guanches.