Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 532 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GAUL. the modern form of the Roman Gallia, the name of the two chief districts known to the Romans as inhabited by Celtic-speaking peoples, (a) Gallia Cisalpina (or Citerior, " Hither "), i.e. north Italy between Alps and Apennines and (b) the far more important Gallia Transalpina (or Ulterior, " Further "), usually called Gallia (Gaul) simply, the land bounded by the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees, the Atlantic, the Rhine, i.e. modern France and Belgium with parts of Holland, Germany and Switzerland. The Greek form of Gallia was raxaria, but Galatia in Latin denoted another Celtic region in central Asia Minor, sometimes styled Gallograecia. (a) Gallia Cisalpina was mainly conquered by Rome by 222 B.c.; later it adopted Roman civilization; about 42 B.C. it was united with Italy and its subsequent history is merged in that of the peninsula. Its chief distinctions are that during the later Republic and earlier Empire it yielded excellent soldiers, and thus much aided the success of Caesar against Pompey and of Octavian against Antony, and that it gave Rome the poet Virgil (by origin a Celt) ,the historian Livy, the lyrist Catullus, Cornelius Nepos, the elder and the younger Pliny and other distinguished writers?. ( b) Gaul proper first enters ancient history when the Greek colony of Massilia was founded (?600 B.C.). Roman armies began to enter it about 218 B.C. In 121 B.C. the coast from 1 When Cisalpine Gaul became completely Romanized, it was often known as " Gallia Togata," while the Province was distinguished as " Gallia Bracata " (bracae, incorrectly braccae, " trousers "), from the long trousers worn by the inhabitants, and the rest of Gaul as " Gallia Comata," from the inhabitants wearing their hair long.
End of Article: GAUL

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