or simply GALLIA
(ἡ Κελτικὴ, Γαλατία
: Adj. Gallicus, Κελτικός, Γαλατικός
). Gallia was the name given by the Romans to the country between the Pyrenaei Montes and the Rhenus. When it became Roman, and was divided into several parts, they were called Galliae. (Plin. Nat. 3.3
; Tac. Ann. 1.31.
) It is sometimes called Ulterior Gallia, to distinguish it from Citerior Gallia or Gallia in North Italy; though the name Ulterior is applied by Caesar in one or two passages to the Provincia only.
It was also called Gallia Comata (Cic. Phil. 8.9
), with the exception of the Narbonensis, because the people let their hair grow long.
The southern part of this country along the shore of the Mediterranean, which Caesar calls Provincia, was originally called Braccata, because the natives wore “braccae” or breeches; afterwards it was termed Narbonensis. (Mela, 2.5; Plin. Nat. 3.5
The Greek name Celtice (ἡ Κελτική
) was earlier in use than the Roman name, for the Greeks were settled on the south coast of France long before the Romans knew anything of the country.
But the name Celtice was used in a vague sense by the early Greek writers. [CELTICE.] The name Galatia came into use from the time of the historian Timaeus; and even the compound Κελτογαλατία
(Steph. B. sub voce Λούγδουνον; Ptol. 2.7
) was afterwards used.
In the Roman period the Greek writers sometimes also used the Roman form Γαλλία.
The Greek names by which Transalpina Gallia was distinguished from Cisalpina, were merely descriptive of its position, as: ἡ ὑπὲρ τῶν Ἄλπεων Κελτική, ἡ ὑπεράλπειος, ἡ ἔξω, ἡ ἔκτος.
The Romans used the name Galli as a general term for all the people whom they considered to be of Gallic race.
But the oldest Greek form of the name was Κελτοί
), and Κέλται,
) uses the Roman word Γρανσαλπινοί,
to distinguish the Transalpine from the Italian Galli, which word Strabo renders by the Greek ὑπεράλπειοι
A complete geography of Gallia might be a chronological exposition of all that the Greeks and Romans said or supposed about this country; but, as much of this is erroneous, and as their knowledge of it was gradually extended and corrected, the proper purpose of such an article as this is to say what can be said within reasonable limits, and what is useful for reading the best Greek and Roman writers. When Herodotus (2.33
) says that the “Istrus (Danube
), [p. 1.948]
which has its source in the country of the Celti and at the city Pyrene, in its course divides Europe into two equal parts,” and “that the Celti are out of the Pillars of Hercules, and that they border on the Cynesii, who are the remotest inhabitants of Europe to the west,” it is clear that he was entirely ignorant of the geography of Northern and Western Europe. Nor does he mend the matter when he says, in another place (4.49), that the “Istrus flows through the whole of Europe, rising in the country of the Celti, the remotest people towards the setting of the sun, after the Cynetes, that dwell in Europe.” It is the universal practice of all who write and speak of distant places of which they know nothing, to suppose them indefinitely removed from the writer or speaker, but near to one another. Ignorance makes all the unknown meet in a point of indeterminate position. Even when we come to the time when Gallia was pretty well known to the Greeks and Romans, there is a great deal that is erroneous in their geographical notions which it would take many words to correct.
A great part of our labour in comparative geography consists in determining what are the countries, mountains, rivers, and places which they designated by certain names: but if we attempt to correct all the erroneous notions which they attached to such names, we shall undertake a labour of infinite extent; nor shall we be able to correct it completely, for geographical knowledge always admits of improvement.
With their imperfect means and imperfect maps, the Greeks and Romans were not bad geographers. They were often better than many modern historical writers, who have much superior means at their command.
The chief ancient authorities for Gallia are few. They are: Caesar's Gallic War; Strabo (lib. iv.), who used Caesar, but got much from Posidonius, who had travelled in Gallia; Mela (2.7, and 3.2); Pliny (3.4
, and 4.17--19), and Ptolemy who made a map of Gallia, not very correct. His particular merit, as D'Anville observes, consists in having assigned a chief town, and sometimes two, to each people; for without his assistance we should be less accurately acquainted with the names of the capitals, since in the period after Ptolemy the original names of the chief cities were replaced by those of the several peoples of which they were the capitals. Thus, Caesarodunum, the chief town of the Turones, became Turones (Tours
); Avaricum, the chief town of the Bituriges, became Bituriges (Bourges
); and Andematunum, the chief town of the Lingones, became Lingones (Langres
From the historians we obtain incidental information--from Polybius, Tacitus, Appian, Dio Cassius, and some little on the later period from Ammianus Marcellinus; something also from Ausonius, Sidonius Apollinaris, and the description of the Mediterranean coast called that of Festus Avienus. Something is got from the Notitia Imperii for the later period.
But the most valuable information is obtained from the Roman Itineraries. The Itinerary named that of Antoninus, and the Table generally named the Theodosian, extend to all parts of Gallia.
There is also a route very particularly described in the Itinerary from Burdigala (Bordeaux
) to Jerusalem, which runs through the southern parts of Gallia to the Alps. The Roman remains in Gallia are very numerous, particularly in the Provincia or the basin of the Lower Rhone, and they often give information which we find in no writers. The French have a very large number of valuable works on the history and Roman antiquities of their country; and they continue to add to them.
The first description of Gallia that we have, is by the man who conquered it, the Roman proconsul Caesar. His description is brief, after his fashion.
It is founded chiefly on his own observation; but for the parts of Gallia, Germania, and Britannia of which he knew nothing, we may infer that he inquired of the “mercatores” or bold traders who carried their wares among barbarous tribes, though his good sense would make him use their information cautiously.
He also used the Greek writers, and particularly the geographer Eratosthenes, as we see from his own words (B. G.
An instance will show that the knowledge of these geographers was not very exact. Hipparchus (Strab. pp. 106, 115), who lived in the second century before the Christian aera, placed Massilia (Marseille
) and Byzantium in the same parallel; and he did this on the authority of Pytheas of Massilia, who says that the proportion of the gnomon to its shadow is the same in both places. We see, from this and other passages, that the Greeks of Massilia were the authorities for the earlier knowledge of Gallia. Strabo disputes the accuracy of this statement, and proves, in his way, that Byzantium is much further north than Massilia. But Strabo also was mistaken, for Byzantium is about 41° N. lat. and Massilia is north of 43°. Hipparchus also supposed Celtice to extend so far north that the sun never set at the summer solstice; a great mistake (Strab. p. 75), which is corrected by Strabo. Caesar (Caes. Gal. 4.10
) fixes the northern limit of Gallia at the outlets of the Rhenus.
It is useful to examine the boundary of this extensive country, as the inquiry will show the nature of the mistakes which the ancient geographers made. They used to determine their latitudes with tolerable accuracy by ascertaining the length of the longest day at various places, which they measured (Strab. p. 133; Ptol.) by the hours of the equinox, when the night and day are equal. Their methods for the longitude were of course very rude, and here they fail.
The part of Gallia that they were best acquainted with was the coast of the Mediterranean. We do not know the earliest boundary between the SE. part of Gallia and Liguria; nor can we suppose that there was one.
The boundary in the time of Augustus between Gallia and Italia was the river Varus (Var
The boundary at the eastern extremity of the Pyrenees was the Promontorium Pyrenaeum, or Cap Creux,
which projects into the sea south of Portus Veneris (Port Vendre
The most southern Gallic town along the eastern pass of the Pyrenees, in the country of the Sardones, was Cervaria. [CERVARIA
] From the mouth of the Var
to the delta of the Rhone the coast of Gallia presents an irregular convex outline to the Mediterranean.
The interior is a hilly country, which extends to Massilia. Between Massilia and Narbo, which Strabo (p. 106) knew to be in nearly the same latitude, the coast forms a bay called Gallicus Sinus or Massalioticus. Strabo considered this bay to be divided into two bays by the hill Setion (a necessary correction of the false reading Σίγιον
), which term comprehends also the island Blascon. [BLASCON
] The coast from the mouth of the Rhone to the country at the foot of the Pyrenees is flat.
The whole length of this coast from the Var
to Cap Creux
is about 500 English miles; and it was well known to the ancient geographers. [p. 1.949]
The Pyrene (Πυρήνη
) or Pyrenaei Montes were the boundary between Gallia and Iberia, or Hispania, as the Romans called it. Strabo supposed that they ran in a direction parallel to the Rhine (p. 128), which he makes the eastern boundary of Gallia.
He must therefore have supposed that the Pyrenees ran from south to north, instead of nearly from east to west; and in another passage he distinctly affirms (p. 137) that they do run north.
In a third passage (p. 199) he supposes that the directions of the Rhine and the Pyrenees may deviate from the parallel direction as they severally approach the sea, so as to reduce the 5000 stadia--the greatest distance that he supposes between the Pyrenees and the Rhine--to the smaller distance of 4300 or 4400 stadia between the mouth of the Rhine and the northern extremity of the Pyrenees. Strabo, in fact, makes the range of the Pyrenees the east side of Spain (p. 137), and the coast on the Mediterranean the south side of Spain.
He knew, however, that the narrowest part of Gallia was between Narbonne
and the bay on the Atlantic, which he also calls the Gallicus Sinus,--the bay that is formed between the coasts of France and Spain at the bottom of the bay of Biscay. Posidonius (Strab. p. 188) made the length of this isthmus, as he calls it, less than 3000 stadia. Strabo more correctly says that the isthmus is less than 3000, but more than 2000, stadia wide.
The length of the Pyrenees in a direct line from Port Vendre
to the mouth of the Bidasoa,
the lower part of which little river is the boundary between France and Spain, is about 255 miles.
The limit between Gallia and Hispania on the west coast, according to Ptolemy (2.6.10
) was Oeasso, a promontory of the Pyrenees. We may certainly fix it between Lapurdum, in the Tarbelli (supposed to be Bayonne
), and Oeasso or Olarso (Oyarço,
near Fuente Rabia
) in Spain. The Bidasoa
is near to Fuente Rabia.
The passes through the eastern and western Pyrenees were used long before the Romans were in this. country. Hannibal crossed from Spain into France through the pass at the east end; and Cn. Pompeius went this way to oppose Sertorius in Spain. The Romans afterwards had a road between Narbonne
in Spain, by the pass where the Tropaea Pompeii were erected. On the west side a road ran from Aquae Tarbellicae (Dax
), on the Adour,
to Pompelo (Pamplona
), in Spain.
The boundary may have been at the station of Summus Pyrenaeus, the summit level of the road, between Dax
Another road led from Aquae Tarbellicae, by Aspaluca [ASPALUCA], and over another Summus Pyrenaeus, to Caesaraugusta (Saragosa
) in Spain. In Caesar's time the passes were used for commercial purposes, for he bought horses in Spain during his Gallic War; but they had doubtless been used many centuries before.
The coast of Gallia on the Atlantic runs nearly due north, with a flat sandy shore, to the great aestuary of the Garumna (Garonne
), which Strabo (p. 190) aptly calls a lake-sea (λιμνοθάλασσα
). From the aestuary of the Garonne
the direction of the coast turns a little to the west of north as far as the mouth of the Ligeris (Loire
). From the mouth of the Loire
its general course is about WSW. as far as Uxantis Insula (Ouessant
), which is opposite to the western termination of the great peninsula between the mouth of the Loire
and the bay of Cancalle.
The distance along the coast from the mouth of the Bidasoa
to the point of the mainland opposite to Ouessant
is about 814 English miles.
The west coast of this peninsula, the Bretagne
of ante-revolutionary France, is broken by singular headlands and deep bays.
In the latitude of Ouessant
the French coast runs due east to the bottom of the bay of Cancalle,
where another peninsula (Cotantin
) runs nearly due north into the English Channel
and terminates in Cap de la Hogue.
The great bay that lies between the Cotantin
contains the islands of Caesarea (Jersey
), Sarnia (Guernsey
), and Riduna (Alderney
). From Cap de la Hogue
the French coast has a general east direction to the outlet of the Sequana (Seine
); and from the outlet of the Seine
its general course is NE. to the mouth of the Samara (Somme
), and then nearly due north to Itium Promontorium (Cap Gris Nez
), the nearest point of the European continent to Britannia.
The ancient navigators had observed that the coast of Britain from the Land's End
runs eastward nearly parallel to the French coast, forming a long channel (La Manche,
or the Sleeve, as the French aptly call it), wide at the western extremity, and narrowing to the eastern, where it terminates in the Straits of Dover
or Pas de Calais,
and Cap Gris Nez.
The length of this channel measured along the French coast is about 660 miles, which is much greater than the distance measured along the English coast of the channel, for the form of the French coast is much more irregular.
The distance along the coast from Cap Gris Nez
to the mouth of the old Rhine near Leiden
is about 170 miles.
The coast of Gallia from the Itium to the mouth of the Rhine is flat: it belongs to the great plain of Northern Europe. Strabo supposed the mouths of the Rhine to be opposite to the North Foreland
no very great mistake, for the whole tract from the mouth of the old Rhine at Leiden
to the aestuary of the Scaldis (Schelde
) might easily be taken as belonging to the Rhine. Caesar was told that the Scaldis flowed into the Mosa, which receives the Vahalis (Waal
) from the Rhine (B. G.
This general parallelism of the NW. coast of France and the south coast of England, led Strabo into a strange mistake.
He supposes these two coasts to be exactly of the same length, 4300 or 4400 stadia.
He makes the Gallic coast extend from the mouths of the Rhine to the northern promontories of the Pyrenees in Aquitania, and the English coast from Cantium (Kent
) to the western extremity of Britannia, which he supposes to be opposite to Aquitania and the Pyrenees (p. 199). Consequently he supposed that the Seine, Loire,
flowed into the English Channel.
He also says that the distance from the (mouths of the) rivers of Gallia to Britain is 320 stadia; a monstrous mistake, but consistent with what he has said. Ptolemy's map of this coast of Gallia is much better than Strabo's delineation. Mela, who probably wrote somewhat later than Strabo, and compiled a very scanty geography, had however a much more correct notion of the Atlantic coast of Gallia than Strabo.
After describing the north coast of Spain up to Oeasso, he says: “Then follows the other (Atlantic) side of Gallia, the coast of which at first not projecting at all into the ocean, soon advancing almost as far into the sea as Hispania had receded from it, becomes opposite to the Cantabrian land, and, winding round with a great circuit, turns its shore to the west; then turning to the north, it again spreads out in a long and direct line to the banks of the Rhine” : which is indeed a very fair description. And Mela proves that he understood [p. 1.950]
the form of the coast, by saving, “that from the outlet (exitu) of the Garumna commences that side of the land which runs out into the sea, and the coast opposite to the Cantabrian shores.” Ptolemy's notion of the coast was also much more correct than Strabo's. Agrippa (Plin. Nat. 4.17
) ascertained by measurement the whole west coast of Gallia to be 1800 M. P.; and the general form of the coast must have been learned when the measurements were made. We do not know, however, from what point on the Spanish border he reckoned, nor to what mouth of the Rhine they were carried; but Gossellin, by assuming that they commenced at Oeasso (Cape Machicaco,
as he names it), which he takes to be the boundary between Gallia and Hispania, “to the mouth of the Rhine called the passage of the Vlie,
” finds that the Roman measures agree with the truth.
But this contains an assumption more than many people will allow, which Walckenaer, who adopts Gossellin‘s opinion, expresses as a fact as follows:--“The measures show that Ptolemy's eastern outlet of the Rhine is that which is known at present under the name of Flie-Stroom,
between the islands of Flieland
and of Schelling,
which represents the old mouth of the Flevum or of the Yssel,
before the great inundations of the 13th century converted into a vast lake the ancient Flevo.” (Géog. Ancienne, &c. des Gaules, &c.
vol. ii. p. 291.) However, the true length of the French coast from the Pyrenees to the old Rhine shows that the measurement of Agrippa was a fact.
The great mass of the Alps that lies between the basin of the Po
and the Rhone forms a natural boundary between Italy and France; but this mountain range, which has a general northern course from near the borders of the Mediterranean to the pass of the Great St. Bernard
(Alpis Pennina), covers a great extent of country from west to east, and boundaries can be fixed in such a country only at the heads of the valleys which penetrate the mountain mass on each side. The Romans did not trouble themselves with these mountain tribes till they had subdued the people in the lower country. In B.C. 58, when Caesar passed from Aquileia over the Alps into Ulterior Gallia, he had to fight his way.
He crossed the Alpes Cottiae by the pass that leads from Turin;
and he remarks that the last place in Cisalpine Gallia is Ocelum, Uxeau
in the valley of the Cluso.
He was attacked by Centrones, Graioceli, and Caturiges, all of them Alpine tribes, and it was on the seventh day from Ocelum that he reached the Vocontii in the Ulterior Provincia (B. G.
It is clear that Caesar did not consider these Alpine tribes as belonging either to the province of Citerior or Ulterior Gallia. [ALPES COTTIAE.]
At Mont Blanc,
the highest point in the mountains, the axis of the Alps takes a general east and then a NE. direction towards the snow-covered masses in which the Rhone and the Rhine rise.
The road from Aosta,
in the basin of the Po,
to the Summus Penninus (the pass of the Great St. Bernard
), was used at a very early period.
It leads down to Octodurus (Martigny
), where Caesar's troops were attacked in the winter of B.C. 57. Octodurus is at the great bend which the Rhone makes after descending the longitudinal valley which lies between the Pennine Alps and their continuation on the south side, and the Bernese Alps, one of the chief Alpine ranges on the north side.
The lower part of this valley, between. Octodurus and the head of the Lacus Lemanus (Lake of Geneva
), into which the Rhone flows, was occupied by the Nantuates. Above Octodurus in this long valley were. the Veragri and the Seduni, all Gallic tribes, but neither included in the Provincia by Caesar's description nor in the country of the Helvetii.
In fact, this long valley is entirely within the Alps. Caesar has not attempted to fix any boundary between the Citerior and Ulterior Provincia from the sea to the sources of the Rhine.
He heard of an Alpine people named Lepontii (B. G.
4.10) in the high valley of the Upper Rhine, and he found it convenient to define the eastern limit of Helvetia and of Gallia, which was his Provincia, by the course of the Rhine from its source to the German Ocean.
After the Lepontii he mentions Vatuantes or Mantuantes (Nantuates in the common texts is a corruption), the Helvetii, Sequani, Mediomatrici, Tribocci. and Treviri, as the nations on the Gallic side past which the river flows.
It would be useless to inquire which of the branches of the Rhine above Chur
Caesar meant; but from Chur
to the Lake of Constanz
he obtained a well-defined boundary in the river. The Rhine within the Alpine region was certainly not the limit of the Gallic mountaineers, who extended along the north face of the Alps into the basin of the Danube. The Lake of Constanz
and the course of the Rhine in a general western direction from the outlet of that lake to Bâle,
formed a well-defined boundary of Gallia in this part. Caesar's description shows that he excluded from the country of the Helvetii all the parts to the south of the Leman lake and of the Bernese Alps; and he knew that the Rhine where it entered the hill and the plain country was the disputed boundary between the Germanic and the Celtic nations (B. G.
1.1). From Bâle
to the outlets of the Rhine the river was the boundary of the two races, though there were Galli east of the Rhine in the Hercynian forest, and Germans had got to the west side in several parts long before Caesar's time.
The Rhine, as Caesar was told (B. G.
4.10), entered the sea by many outlets, between which great islands were formed. Asinius Pollio (Strab. p. 193), who took a pleasure in finding fault with Caesar, says that the Rhine had only two mouths. The Batavorum Insula was within the limits of Caesar's Gallia.
In the time of Augustus, when Drusus made his Fossa [FOSSA DRUSIANA
], which established a navigation between the Rhenus and the Flevo [FLEVO] and thence to the North Sea, this river line became a frontier against the Germans, extending from Arnheim
on the Rhine along the canal of Drusus to Doesburg,
and thence along the Yssel
to the lakes.
This new river frontier seems to be Ptolemy's eastern outlet of the Rhine; the middle outlet being that at Leiden,
and the western being where the Leck
now is. (Ptol. 2.9
This extensive country lies between 42° 35′ and 52° 10′ N. lat., if we carry the boundary no further than Lugdunum Batavorum (Leiden
It lies between the meridians of 4° 45′ W. of London and 9° 40′ E. of London.
The following measurements will give a better notion of its extent.
A straight line from the mouth of the Var
to the NW. extremity of Bretagne
is about 660 miles long.
A line drawn from the Spanish frontier on the west side of the Pyrenees to 48° 50′ N. lat., 8° 10′ E. long. on the Rhine, near Radstadt,
is about 615 miles long; and a line drawn from this point on [p. 1.951]
the Rhine, through Paris,
nearly due west to Bec du Raz
is about 594 miles long.
A line from the eastern extremity of the Pyrenees to Paris
is 445 miles; and a line from Paris
on the Rhine is about 270 miles long.
It, comnprehends all France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and a part of the kingdom of the Netherlands, those parts of the German states which lie west of the Rhine, the greater part of Switzerland, and the country south of the Leman lake which belongs to the kingdom of Sardinia.
The area of France within its present limits is estimated at about 200,000 square miles.
Gallia has the best position of any country in Europe.
It has a large coast on the Mediterranean and a larger on the Atlantic, which give it a communication with all the world.
These seas are well stocked with fish. Except the mountains that form its boundaries, and a few ranges that cover only a comparatively small part of its surface, it is a plain country with a very large proportion of fertile soil.
It produces corn in abundance, wine of the best quality, and, in the southern part of the valley of the Rhone, the olive. Some parts have good pasture, and it is well adapted for the growth of timber. Though the winters are cold in the north, the summer is warm, and fruits generally ripen well.
It is not so rich in minerals as Britain, but it contains coal, and iron in abundance; also lead, copper, and a great variety of valuable stone.
It is rich in mineral springs, and it has brine springs and rock salt.
This wealth was not neglected even in the period before the Roman conquest; but under Roman dominion it was still more productive. The Galli of Caesar's time were an ingenious people: they had made some progress in the working of metals and other useful arts, and they were apt learners. Of all the nations of Western Europe none has had more influence on civilisation than the Galli, both before and during the Roman dominion, except the Romans themselves; and since the establishment of the Franks in Gallia, the country between the Rhine and the Pyrenees, though now containing several states and parts of states, has still a unity both natural and social which makes it the most important part of the whole world.
The ancient geographers had a better notion of their work than some of the moderns. Strabo says (p. 177), in his book on Gallia: “It is the office of the geographer to describe natural divisions, and national, and also all that is worthy of mention; but whatever rulers variously dispose in their political arrangements according to circumstances,it is enough if a man mention it in a summary way.
As to the particulars, he must leave that to others.” The Roman geographers (Pliny, Mela), as well as Strabo, had a right conception of the great natural divisions of Gallia. Pliny and Mela describe Gallia Narbonensis apart from the rest of Gallia, and they place their description of it between the descriptions of Spain and Italy, not only because Narbonensis was then completely Romanised, but for better reasons. “Narbonensis,” says Pliny (3.4
), “is divided from the, rest of Gallia on the north side by the mountains Gebenna and Jura, a country in its cultivation, population, and civility of manners, and in its wealth, inferior to no provincia, and in brief Italia rather than a provincia.” The range of the Cévennes,
as these geographers rightly saw, separates Gallia on the Mediterranean from the Gallia that is bordered by the ocean. [CEVENNA
] Strabo made a mistake about the position of the Cévennes;
for as he supposed it to be at right angles to the Pyrenees, he must also have supposed that it ran from west to east.
The basin of the Rhone below Lyon,
bounded on the west by the Cévennes,
and on the east by the Alps, is a country by itself, and in all respects more like Italy than the rest of Gallia. Pliny may have supposed or he may not have supposed that the Jura was a continuation of the Cévenues,
which it is not, but the Jura also forms a natural division between Gallia to the east and the west, as Caesar saw. The Jura, as Caesar supposed (B. G.
1.2), extends from the north bank of the Rhone at Fort l'Ecluse
about 20 miles below Geneva to the Rhine; for he estimates the width of the country of the Helvetii at 180 M. P., and this is about the length of the Jura from the Rhone to the junction of the Rhine and Aar.
The Jura is a natural boundary between France and Switzerland. Caesar makes the length of the country of the Helvetii 240 M. P., which may be measured from Fort l'Ecluse
along the Rhone, the Leman lake, and the northern base of the snow-covered Bernese Alps to the source of the Reuss,
and thence along the Vorderrhein
the Roman Curia, where the Rhone begins to be navigable with rafts.
But the longest straight that can be drawn in Switzerland eastward from Fort l'Ecluse
is to Bregenz
on the Lake of Constanz,
and this line agrees very well with Caesar's length. Neither the Valais or Wallis, down which the Rhone flows, as already observed, nor any part of the highest Alpine country, is included in Caesar's Helvetia, though a large part of it is a mountainous country.
He says, therefore, quite correctly, “Undique loci natura Helvetii continentur,” --on the west by the Jura, on the south by the Rhone, the Leman lake, and the mountains, on the east and the north by the Rhine.
The basin of the Upper Rhone is a distinct country from the basin of the Lower Rhone, and from the rest of Switzerland: it is shut in between the Bernese and Pennine Alps as far as a point somewhat lower down than the bend at Martigny.
The valley widens before it reaches the Lake of Geneva,
which is a deep cavity in the valley of the Rhone filled with water.
The level of this large lake, the lowest part of the valley of the Upper Rhone, is more than 1000 feet above the Mediterranean.
The high lands on the west side of the Rhone basin extend northward under various modern names, from the utmost limit that we can assign to the Cévennes
[CEBENNA], but with diminished elevation. They extend to the heights of Langres,
the country of the Gallic Lingones, and form the west limit of the basin of the Arar (Saône
) which joins the Rhone at Lyon.
The heights of Langres
run eastward, and are connected with the Vosegus of Caesar (Caes. Gal. 4.10
), the Vosges.
This Vosegus, which Caesar saw, runs northward from the valley of the Alduasdubis (Doubs
), a branch of the Saône,
and parallel to the Rhine as far as Bingium (Bingen
) on the Rhine. Between the Vosges
and the Rhine is a long, narrow, and fertile plain, one of the finest parts of Gallia, which the Germans from the other side of the river looked on with a longing eye.
The high lands about Langres
and the neighbouring Vosges
contain the sources of the Mosel,
and the Saône;
and from this elevated, but not mountainous country, a tract of moderate height runs NW., forming the northern boundary of the basins of the Seine
and the Somme,
and terminates in the chalk cliffs (Cap Gris Nez
) which. project into the English Channel
between [p. 1.952]Calais
All the streams north of this watershed, the Schelde,
and the western branches of the Rhine, belong to the great flat which extends northward along the coast from Cap Gris Nez
to the mouths of the Rhine.
The streams which lie south of this watershed, and between it and the Pyrenees, flow into the English Channel
and the Atlantic,--the Somme,
and other smaller rivers. Thus four large river-basins west of the Cévennes
and the Vosges
discharge their waters into the Atlantic.
The basin of the great central stream, the Loire,
drains a surface as large as England. One large river-basin, the Rhone, discharges its waters into the inland sea.
The rest of the surface of Gallia is drained into the Rhine, and the North Sea. The Mosel
and part of the course of the Maas
lie in a deep bed sometimes several hundred feet below the level of the high irregular plains through which they flow; and part of this country, which extends from the Rhine at Coblenz
in a western direction through Luxembourg
and the north of France into Belgium, is the Arduenna Silva of Caesar (Ardennes
), to which he gives an extent far beyond the truth. [ARDUENNA
] Nearly the whole of Gallia west of a line drawn from Narbonne
is a plain country.
A man may walk from Leiden
to the Auvergne
for 450 miles without meeting with a mountain or a really hilly country.
The peninsula of Bretagne,
which contained the Armoricae Civitates of Caesar, is rough and hilly, but not mountainous.
The centre of France is the only mountainous country which is completely within the modern limits, the Auvergne,
an extensive region of extinct volcanoes, which on the east is connected, so far as elevation of surface makes the connection, with the rugged Cévennes.
This country of the Arverni of Caesar contains many lofty summits, some of them 6000 feet high. The Auvergne
and the highest parts of the Cévennes
have a short summer, and a long cold winter, during which the mountains are covered with snow, which, when it melts, swells the Duranius (Dordogne
), Oltis (Lot
), and Tarnis (Tarn
), three of the great branches of the Garonne;
and the heavy rains in the upper valley of the Loire
and its great branch the Elaver (Allier
) pour down floods into the basin of the Lower Loire
which fill the river (Caes. Gal. 7.35
), and often do great damage.
This outline of the geography of Gallia, if it is well understood, will enable a student to comprehend many things in the history of the people which are otherwise unintelligible.
He will see that this extensive country has natural limits, two seas, two great mountain ranges, and a large river.
It is subdivided into a western and north-western, and into an eastern and south-eastern, part by natural, well-defined boundaries.
Caesar divides this country into four parts.
The first is the Provincia, afterwards Narbonensis, which lies altogether in the basin of the Rhone, except that small part of the basin of the Garonne
which for political reasons was included in the Provincia before Caesar's time.
He divides the rest of Gallia into three parts, the limits of which he marks in a general way. Between the Pyrenees and the Garumna he places the Aquitani. North of them he places the people whom the Romans called Galli, but who called themselves Celtae or Celts, as he says (B. G.
He makes the Sequana and the Matrona (Marne
), its chief branch, the northern limit of these Celtae.; and though he does not. express himself with great precision, he means to say that they extended from the ocean to the Rhine. The Helvetii were Celtae, and also their northern neighbours the Sequani, who reached to the Rhine; and north of them the Lingones. North of the Lingones were the Leuci, in the highest part of the basin of the Maas
and the Mosel;
and north of them the Mediomatrici, on the Mosel,
whose position is shown by Divodurum (Metz
): the Leuci and Mediomatrici were Belgae. North of the Seine
and the Marne
were the Belgae. [BELGAE
] We should conclude that there was a great diversity in the language and manners of a people spread over such a country as Gallia, if nobody told us so, for the fact is the same even now. But Caesar, who observed this diversity, saw also that there was both difference enough between the peoples of the great divisions to show that they were not the same, and resemblance enough among the peoples of the several divisions to show a nearer relationship among them.
The division of the Aquitani seems satisfactorily established. They were Iberians, probably mixed with Celts. The Celtae form a well-determined division, but they were not confined to this country between the Garonne
and the Seine:
they were the natives of the Provincia, a fact that Caesar of course knew, and that the Ligurians also were there; but in his general description he purposely omits the Provincia. The Belgae properly so called may have been a pure race; but the Germans had long been in this part of Gallia. and we must suppose an intermixture to have taken place between them and some of the native Belgae, if Belgae was their true name.
As an hypothesis which rests on probable grounds is better than no opinion at all, if the hypothesis is not accepted as final, and so as to exclude inquiry, we may take that of Thierry (Histoire des Gaulois
) without taking all his reasons and all his history. The Gallic race seems to consist of two great divisions, which we may call Galli and Cumri; and, while we admit the relationship of these races to be shown by their language, religion, and usages, we may also admit that the differences are sufficiently marked to distinguish them.
The modern representatives of the Cumri, the Welsh, have preserved their integrity better than any of the Gallic tribes. Of the other peoples in the north of Great Britain, and in Ireland, who belong to the Gallic race, the writer has no distinct opinion, and is not required to express any here; nor has he the knowledge that would enable him to form an opinion. The Belgae, as Caesar calls the Galli north of the Seine,
though the name properly belonged in his time to the inhabitants of a part only of this country, were different from the Celtae, and they may be the Cumri; and this, probably, was the race that occupied all the Armorica or the sea-coast as far as the Loire.
The representatives of these people are the modern Bretons, a fact which cannot be denied, whatever opinion there may be about the origin of their present name and that of their country (Bretagne
), or about settlers from Britannia having gone over there in the fourth century of our aera, or later. Of the two races the Celtae seem to be superior in intelligence, and we found this opinion on the character of the French nation at the present day; for it is admitted by all competent judges, that though the Romans formed a dominion in Gaul which lasted several centuries, though many Germanic nations have settled in it, and though the Franks founded the empire now called the French, the great. mass of the [p. 1.953]
people south of the Seine
are still of Celtic stock. The Franks, who were a small tribe, probably had less effect on the Celtic population except in the north than the Italians who, during the Roman dominion, settled in all parts of Gallia in a peaceable way. Whatever may be the exact truth within the limits of these probabilities, the Celtic race, as now modified, is superior to the Cumri and to the German in some respects; superior certainly in the striking talents of distinguished individuals, inferior probably in the solid qualities that fit the bulk of a nation for daily life.
The physical type of the Gallic race and its various branches, may be better fixed now than by the doubtful evidence of the ancient authorities; for the race exists and may be examined, and the ancient authorities are vague. To enter on such an investigation without prejudice, a man must get a firm conviction, which may be got, that, though nineteen centuries have now passed since Caesar subdued the Galli, the population in a large part of the country is still essentially what it was then. The Romans and the Greeks describe the Galli as big men, and as having a white skin, blue eyes, and light-coloured hair, which they even reddened by artificial means. (Diod. 5.28
; Plin. Nat. 18.12
.) Their desperate courage, warlike character, fickle temper, and great ingenuity are also recorded. If a man will read attentively their history two thousand years ago, he will find the good and the bad, the weak and the strong, part of the Gallic character very much the same that it is now.
All the ante-historical history of the Gallic race, which some writers amuse themselves with producing, must be rejected as fiction. Nothing is certain except that the Gallic race has been widely diffused over Europe, but on what soil it first displayed its restless activity and versatile talent we do not know. The Galli have been in various parts of Spain, in Italy, probably, as far at least as the central parts, and east of the Rhine to a limit that we cannot fix. Within the historical period they have crossed the disputed boundary of the Rhine into Germany, and the Germans have crossed into Gallia; and even in our times the French have, by their warlike talents, reduced Germany to a temporary subjection.
But in the long contest the slow and heavy German has had the advantage over his more lively neighbour, and his race occupies extensive tracts on the west side of the Rhine, and he made good his footing there in some parts even before Caesar's time.
The historical period of Gallia commences with the settlement of Massilia or Massalia, as the Greeks called it, by the Phocaeans of Asia Minor (about B.C. 600), on the south coast of Gallia east of the Rhone, in a country occupied by Ligures. Few settlements on a barbarous coast have had a longer or more brilliant history than this ancient city, which still subsists, though it does not occupy exactly the same ground. The Greeks brought with them the cultivation of the vine, though the vine is a native of Gallia, and they taught the Galli the use of letters.
The origin of Gallic civilisation is probably purely Greek.
The history of this town and its settlements requires a separate article. [MASSALIA
In the article GALATIA
the history of a Gallic invasion of Delphi and of Asia Minor is briefly told; and the fact of the Galli being in the country north of the Julian and Carnic Alps, in the basin of the Danube, has been stated.
It seems that this people must have been also on the east side of the gulf of Venice,
either mingled with Illyrians, whoever they may be, or among them as a separate race. For Pyrrhus, the adventurous king of Epirus, after his unlucky knight-errantry in Italy, took a body of Galli into his pay, who probably came from the country north of Epirus. Pyrrhus was a captain quite to the taste of the Galli.
He led them into Macedonia against Antigonus Gonatas, who had a Gallic army too. Pyrrhus defeated Antigonus, whose Galli, as usual, made a desperate resistance. Having got possession of Aegae, he left a garrison of Galli there, who, as the biographer says, being a nation most greedy of money, plundered the royal sepulchres of the precious metals that they contained, and kicked about the bones of kings. (Paus. 1.11
; Plut. Pyrrhus,
100.26.) His Galli followed Pyrrhus into the Peloponnesus, and were with him at Argos, where he was killed (B.C. 273). We know not if any of them returned.
The Carthaginians, who had settlements on the Spanish coast, and in Sardinia and Sicily, and composed their armies of mercenaries, found employment for some Galli in the First Punic War.
These men served them in Sicily; but they were turbulent and dangerous auxiliaries. When the Romans were besieging Eryx, in the west part of Sicily, during this war, the Carthaginians had some Galli in garrison there, who, after failing in an attempt to betray the place and their comrades, went over to the Romans. The Romans afterwards entrusted them with the place, and they pillaged the temple. When the First Punic War was over, the Romans, disgusted with these fellows, put them in vessels, after disarming them, and got them out of Italy. The Epirotae received them, and suffered for their folly in trusting men who could not be trusted. (Plb. 2.7
After the close of the First Punic War the Carthaginians had a dreadful struggle with their own mercenary troops,--Iberians, Ligurians, Galli, and a race of mongrel Greeks. A Gallic chief, Autaritus, made a great figure in this war; for though he had only 2000 men, the remainder of his troops having gone over to the Romans during the siege of Eryx (Plb. 1.77
), he had great influence with the rebels from being able to speak the Punic language, which the long service of these men in the Carthaginian armies had made the common language.
The mercenaries were finally destroyed, after a war of three years and four months; a war distinguished above all others, says Polybius, for the cruelty with which it was conducted, and the disregard of all morality.
The history of the Galli in Italia is placed under GALLIA CISALPINA
The Romans had carried their arms into Africa, Macedonia, Greece, and Asia, before they got a firm footing in Transalpine Gallia. In B.C. 154 the Massaliots came to ask their assistance against the Ligurian Oxybii and Deceates, who were besieging the Greek settlements of Antipolis (Antibes
) and Nicaea (Nizza
The senate sent three commissioners, who landed at Aegitna, a town of the Oxybii, near Antipolis.
The people of Aegitna were not willing to receive the Romans; and, a quarrel ensuing, two Roman slaves were killed, and Flaminius, one of the commissioners, escaped with difficulty.
The consul Q. Opimius was sent with a force against the Ligurians.
He marched from Placentia, across the Apennines, took Aegitna, made slaves of the people, and sent those who were the prime movers in the attack on Flaminius in chains to Rome. Opimius, [p. 1.954]
who was a bold and prudent commander, defeated the Oxybii and Deceates in two successive battles. The Ligurians now submitted, with the loss of part of their land, which the consul gave to the Massaliots. (Plb. 32.7
. &c., ed. Bekker.)
A second demand of aid from the Massaliots, who were pressed by the neighbouring Ligurian tribe of the Salyes, brought the consul M. Fulvius Flaccus into the country (B.C. 125). Flaccus defeated the Salyes, and even invaded the country of the Vocontii, who lived north of them; though it does not appear that they had given the Romans any provocation. (Liv. Ep.
60.) C. Sextius Calvinus, consul B.C. 124, and afterwards proconsul in Gallia, completed the subjugation of the Salyes, whom he sold (B.C. 123). The Salyes had a king Teutomal, who, with other chiefs, fled for refuge among the Allobroges, a people higher up the Rhone. Calvinus cleared the way for the passage of the Romans from Etruria into Gallia, along the Ligurian coast, by removing all the barbarians to a certain distance from the sea-shore. During a winter residence north of Marseille, near some hot springs, he found the place so pleasant that he chose it as the site of a town; and here the Romans planted the Latin colony of Aquae Sextiae (Aix
), their first settlement north of the Alps (B.C. 122). (Liv. Ep.
At this time, the Aedui, a people between the Saône
and the upper course of the Loire,
were at war with the Allobroges, whose allies were the powerful people of the Arverni, who lived in the mountains of Auvergne. The Romans chose the party of the Aedui, made an alliance with them, and gave the barbarians, as they called them, the grand title of brothers and kinsmen. (Caes. Gal. 1.45
The consul Cn. Domitius, who now commanded in Gallia (B.C. 122), demanded of the Allobroges the refugee chiefs of the Salyes. Bituit (as Appian calls him, perhaps incorrectly), king of the Allobroges, sent an ambassador to the consul, to deprecate his anger.
The ambassador was richly dressed, and had with him a splendid train and a number of fierce dogs.
He was accompanied by his bard, who sung the glories of his king, of his nation, and of the ambassador; but the Roman consul was not moved by his music. The Allobroges now crossed the Isère,
and found the consul at Vindalium, at the junction of the Sulgas (Sorgue
) and the Rhone, a little north of Avignon. The Allobroges were entirely defeated (B.C. 121).
The consul for this year, Q. Fabius Maximus, came with large reinforcements, and Cn. Domitius had a command under him. The Roman generals crossed the Isère,
and entered the territory of the Allobroges. The Arverni, with their neighbours the Ruteni, were now advancing upon the Romans, who found that they had just crossed the Rhone by a bridge of boats, near the junction of the Rhone and the Isère.
(Strab. p. 191.)
The king of the Arverni, called Bituit by Livy (Ep,
61), who was at the head of more than 200,000 men, no doubt a greatly exaggerated number, looked with contempt on the Roman legions, whom he considered hardly enough for a dinner for his dogs.
But he soon discovered what an enemy he had to deal with. His men were frightened by the elephants in the Roman army (Flor. 3.2
); and in the rout the Arverni fled across the bridge, which broke under their weight, and men and horses were swallowed up in the rapid current of the Rhone.
It appears that the Allobroges also were in the battle. King Bituit wandered about the mountains, till Domitius treacherously got him into his hands, and sent him to Rome.
The senate put him in prison at Alba, on the lake Fucinus; and they afterwards got his son Congentiat into their hands. The Arverni, though defeated, were not further molested by the Romans: in fact, it was not easy to enter their country.
But the Allobroges were declared Roman subjects; and the Romans constituted the country on the east side of the Rhone as far north as Geneva, the remotest town of the Allobroges, a Roman province, which they designated simply by the name of Provincia. Fabius, who got the name of Allobrogicus from his victory, and Domitius, recorded their victory by erecting a trophy, of marble near the battle-field (Strab. p. 185), or each erected one; and Fabius built two temples. Domitius, a worthy ancestor of the emperor Nero, went about the new province riding on an elephant, with a rout of soldiers after him. (Sueton. Nero,
100.2.) Fabius and Domitius had a triumph at Rome for their victories, in which king Bituit appeared in his various-coloured armour and his silver chariot. The Provincia had now always a Roman army in it, and a Roman army was always kept employed.
The successors of Fabius extended the province, west of the Rhone, along the Cévennes;
and the Helvii, Volcae Arecomici, and Sardones, at the foot of the Pyrenees, were included in it. They also made an alliance with the Volcae Tectosages, whose chief town was Tolosa (Toulouse
); and thus they prepared the way for getting into the basin of the Garonne.
The Romans had hitherto no passage into Gallia except that along the sea.
It was to secure some passage over the Alps, as it seems, that the consul Q. Marcius Rex (B.C. 118) attacked the brave tribe of the Stoeni, an Inalpine Ligurian people, all of whom perished, either by the sword of their enemies or by their own hand. (Oros. 5.14
; Liv. Ep.
A brief notice is preserved of a memorable defeat of the Romans about this time. The Scordisci, a people somewhere about the Save,
a Gallic race, or a mixed race, annoyed the Macedonian frontier, and threatened Italy.
The consul C. Porcius Cato crossed into their country, where he and his army perished.
These savage people, however, still annoyed the Northern Greeks, whom they horribly maltreated.
It is to these and the like incursions of the Galli that Polybius seems to allude when he says (2.35): “The alarm from the Galatae, not only of old, but in my time also several times, has terrified the Hellenes.” We have here, and in many other places, evidence of the existence of a great number of Galli in the country north of Macedonia and Epirus.
The Roman dominion in the Provincia was secured (B.C. 118) by the establishment of Narbo Marcius (Nairbonne
), a Colonia Romana, on the Atax (Aude
). The Romans thus commanded the road into Spain through the Eastern Pyrenees, and had an easy access to their new friends the Tectosages. They spared no pains to secure and embellish the important position of Narbo, which became a commercial rival to Massilia.
An invasion of barbarians from the east of the Rhone and north of the Danube now threatened the Roman dominion. Livy (Ep.
63) speaks of a nation called Cimbri who entered the country over the mountains north-east of the Adriatic, the country which the Romans called Noricum.
This was the first time that the Romans heard the name of the Cimbri. (Tacit. Germ.
100.37.) Appian (de Reb. Gall.
xiii) calls these invaders Teutones.
The consul Cn. Papirius Carbo (B.C. 113) crossed the [p. 1.955]
Alps against them, and, after coming: to terms with the barbarians, treacherously attacked them, but he lost a large part of his army, and narrowly escaped (B.C. 113). The Cimbri then, according to Appian's story, which is worth very little, retreated to the country of the Galatae; but what Galatae are meant we do not know. Some few years later Teutones and Cimbri entered the country of the Belgae. (Caes. Gal. 2.4
This seems to have been a fresh set of barbarians: Caesar says that the Belgae were the only people of Gallia who prevented the Cimbri and Teutones from invading their territory, which may be true if he means the Belgae properly so called [BELGAE
]; but it is not exact, if he has told the truth in another place (2.29), where he says, that the Aduatuci on the Mosa were a part of these barbarians, who were left behind to guard the cattle and baggage, while the rest moved on to the south.
A short notice of the terrible devastations of these barbarians is preserved by Caesar (Caes. Gal. 7.77
.) They ravaged Celtica; and the people, who shut themselves up in their towns, were compelled by famine to eat one another. From Celtica the invaders passed into the Provincia; and, in B.C. 109, the consul M. Junius Silanus was defeated by them (Liv. Ep.
65). In B.C. 107 L. Cassius Longinus had the province of Transalpine Gallia. The Tigurini, one of the Helvetian pagi, under the command of Divico, were entering the country of the Allobroges, who were within the Provincia, and the consul went to meet them. The Roman commander fell in the battle, and his army was ignominiously compelled to pass under the yoke.
The text of Orosius (5.15
), which is undoubtedly corrupt, states that Cassius pursued the Tigurini to the ocean, where he was defeated; but the Leman lake was probably the place. (Liv. Ep.
65.) L. Calpurnius Piso, who commanded under Cassius, perished in the battle.
He was the grandfather of the Piso whose daughter Caesar married (B. G.
1.12). M. Aemilius Scaurus, a legatus probably of Caepio, the consul of the following year, was defeated about this time by the Cimbri, and being taken prisoner was killed by a prince named Boiorix, because he advised the Cimbri not to invade Italy. (Liv. Ep.
In B.C. 105 the consul, Cn. Manlius. Maximus, was in Gallia north of the Alps, with Q. Servilius Caepio, consul in the preceding year.
It was during Caepio's consulship, it seems, that he took and plundered Tolosa, the capital of the Volcae Tectosages, who had formed an alliance with the invading barbarians, or showed a disposition to do so, (Dion. Cass. Frag.
The consul and Caepio were encamped separately near the Rhone, when the barbarians fell upon them, and stormed one camp after the other.
The incredible number of 80,000 Roman soldiers is said to have perished. (Liv. Ep.
67.) Among the few who escaped was Q. Sertorius, who saved himself by swimming over the Rhone.
After such a victory it is not surprising that the invaders advanced further south. The Cimbri ravaged the country between the Rhone and the Pyrenees, and entered Spain.
But they were driven back by the Celtiberi, and returning into Gallia joined the Teutones.
The brief notices of these wars generally mention the Cimbri and Teutones together. We have hardly any evidence whether they were two people or one.
It is generally assumed that the Teutones must be a Teutonic race, as their name would show; but this is not conclusive. The Cimbri are also supposed by some writers to be a Germanic people, though the reasons for this supposition are not sufficient. Plutarch (Marius,
100.11) has collected some of the opinions about the origin arid nationality of these people, and nobody has found out anything better yet.
It was a whole nation in movement, with their waggons, dogs, wives, and children. The Romans appointed C. Marius consul for the third time, B.C. 103, to continue the war against the barbarians. Soon after his arrival in the province he made the cut at the outlet of the Rhone the traces of which still remain. [FOSSA MARIANA
] Marius had with him L. Cornelius Sulla, as legatus, who defeated the Tectosages, who were in arms against the Romans, and took their king Copill prisoner. (Plut. Sull. 100.4
The barbarians now divided themselves into two parts. The Cimbri, with the Helvetic Tigurini, crossed Helvetia to make their way into Italy by the Tridentine Alps. The Teutones, and a people with them named Ambrones, moved on towards the Ligurian country. (Plut. Mar. 100.15
The story of the movements of the barbarians cannot be accepted as true.
The fact of a body of barbarians advancing along the Rhone towards Italy, and of another body about the same time entering the basin of the Po from the north-east, is all that we know. C. Marius (B.C. 102.), now consul for the fourth time, entrenched himself near the junction of the Rhone and the Isère,
while the countless host of barbarians past him on their way to the south. Marius followed the Teutones, and in a battle near Aquae Sextiae destroyed and dispersed them. Their king Teutobocchus, a gigantic barbarian, was made prisoner, and afterwards walked in Marius' triumph at Rome. (Florus, 3.3
In the next year, C. Marius, consul for the fifth time, with his colleague Lutatius Catulus, defeated the Cimbri in the country north of the Po.
The destruction of these invaders kept Northern Gallia quiet for a time, and there was no great movement of the barbarians until B.C. 58.
In the wars which followed Sulla's usurpation, Q. Sertorius, he who escaped from the rout of Caepio's army on the Rhone, maintained in Spain the cause of the Marian faction; and many of this party fled to the Provincia. Some of the Aquitani served under Sertorius in Spain, where they learned the art of war. (B. G.
3.23.) In B.C. 78 L. Manilius, proconsul of Gallia, was obliged to quit Aquitania with the loss of his baggage; and the legatus, L. Valerius Praeconinus, was defeated and killed. (B. G.
3.20.) In B.C. 76 Cn. Pompeius marched into Spain against Sertorius.
He made his way into the Provincia, over the Alps, by a new route to the Romans, and his road to Narbonne was marked by blood. The Galli of the Provincia were in arms against the Romans. Pompeius gave the lands of the Helvii and Volcae Arecomici, who had been the most active in the rising, to the Massaliots. (Caes. B.C.
1.35.) Pompeius left M. Fonteius governor of the Provincia. During his administration the Provincia was in rebellion, and the Galli attacked both Massilia and Narbo, but Fonteius drove them off.
He was three years in Gallia, during which time the country was drained of its resources to supply the Roman armies opposed to Sertorius in Spain. Fonteius was also charged with enriching himself by illegal means; and when affairs were more settled, B.C. 69, he was tried at Rome, on charges made by the Allobroges and Volcae, for the offence of Repetundae.
He was [p. 1.956]
defended by Cicero; part of whose oration on this occasion is extant.
Another governor of the Provincia, during B.C. 66, 65, C. Calpurnius Piso (consul B.C. 67), was prosecuted by C. Julius Caesar B.C. 63 on a charge of repetundae and other offences. Cicero defended him, and he was acquitted.
In the consulship of Cicero (B.C. 63) Catilina and his desperate associates made proposals to the ambassadors of the Allobroges who were then at Rome.
The ambassadors had come to get protection from the senate against the greediness of the Roman governors. They were overwhelmed with debt, both the state and individuals; a common complaint of the provincial subjects of Rome. The Romans levied heavy contributions on those people who had made most resistance, and both communities and individuals felt it. Besides this, the Gallic cultivator seems to have been always in debt.
He borrowed money from the Roman negotiatores at a high rate, and his profits would be hardly sufficient to pay the interest of the money.
The profitable business of feeding sheep and cattle was in the hands of Romans, who probably got the exclusive use of much of the pasture land.
As the Allobroges were a conquered people, we may conjecture that their waste lands had been seized by the Roman state, and were covered with the flocks of Romans who paid to the Roman treasury a small sum for the right of pasture. P. Quinctius, for whom Cicero made a speech which is extant, had a good business in Gallia as a flock-master ( “Pecuaria res satis ampla,” pro P. Quinctio,
100.3). A Roman named Umbrenus, who had been a “negotiator” in Gallia, undertook to open the conspiracy of Catiline to the Allobroges, and he promised them great things if their nation would join in the rising. From fear, however, or some other cause, the Allobroges betrayed the conspirators to the consul Cicero. (Sallust, Sal. Cat. 40
; Appian, App. BC 2.4
It does not appear that the ambassadors got anything for their pains, though they well deserved it.
There were signs of insurrection in Southern Italy as well as in Gallia Citerior and Ulterior, and the revelations of the ambassadors saved Rome at least from a civil war.
The Allobroges at home were not satisfied with the mission to Rome, for they rose against the Romans, and ravaged the country about Narbonne.
Manlius Lentinus, a legatus of the governor C. Pomptinus, narrowly escaped perishing with his army near the Isère,
having fallen into an ambuscade laid by Catugnat, the commander of the Galli.
By sending fresh forces across the Rhone, Pomptinus defeated the Galli near Solomum (perhaps Sallonaz
), and ended the war by taking the place. (D. C. 37.47
; Liv. Epit. 103
Though the Greek and Roman writers give us no satisfactory information about the Cimbri and Teutones, they are quite clear about the people whom they call Germani. The Germani were on the east side of the Rhine, opposite to the Helvetii, with whom they were constantly fighting (Caes. Gal. 1.1
), and to the other Celtic and Belgic peoples who lived along the Rhine from the territories of the Helvetii northward. The Germani had got a footing in the country of the Belgae long before Caesar's time [BELGAE
]; and the Tribocci, also a German people, were settled in the plain between the Vosges
and the Rhine about Strassburg,
and consequently within the limits of the Celtae.
A quarrel between the Aedui, who were east of the Saône
and in the valley of the Doubs,
brought fresh Germans into Gallia. One matter in dispute was the tolls on the navigation of the Arar. (Strab. p. 192.) The Sequani made an alliance with the Arverni to annoy the Aedui on one side, and on the other they brought over the Rhine Ariovistus, a chief of the Suevi. The German came with his hardy men, and soon reduced the Aedui to submission. An Aeduan named Divitiacus, a Druid, who had the title and rank of Vergobretus, escaped into the Provincia, and thence made his way to Rome to complain of the tyranny of the German. (Caes. Gal. 1.30
.) Cicero (de Divin.
1.40) entertained this learned Celt at Rome, and his brother Quintus was acquainted with him when he was one of Caesar's legati in the Gallic War. Ariovistus, after defeating the Aedui, took possession of one third part of the lands of his friends the Sequani; and, as new comers from the other side of the river had to be provided with lands, ha demanded of the Sequani another third. (B. G.
This was the state of affairs in that part of Gallia when (B.C. 60) a rumour reached Rome that the Helvetii were preparing to move from their country. (B. G.
1.2.) The Romans had already suffered from the arms of the Tigurini, one of the four Helvetic pagi.
This movement of a whole people was an attempt to seize the supremacy of Gallia, and in the end to eject the Romans. In B.C. 59 C. Julius Caesar was consul; and it happened that during this year Gallia was quiet, partly owing to Caesar's own contrivance, perhaps, for it was during his consulship that the savage German Ariovistus was honoured with the title of “Rex atque amicus” (B. G.
1.35) by the Roman senate. Caesar obtained for his “provincia,” after the expiration of his consulship, Gallia Cisalpina and Illyricum, with Gallia north of the Alps, for five years; and he had a general commission for doing what he liked north of the Alps under the name of protecting the friends and allies of the Roman people. (B. G.
1.35.) Early in B.C. 58 he heard that the Helvetii were beginning to move from their country, and the road they were going to take was through the Provincia. Caesar hastily quitted Rome, crossed the Alps, and in a few days he was at Geneva.
The conquest of Gallia by Caesar is told with great brevity by himself. His purpose was to describe his military operations, and he tells us very little more about Gallia than what strictly belongs to the matter.
In one instance (6.11--20) he has made a digression to speak of the institutions and manners of the people; but he has given no description of the country except his brief introduction (B. G.
1.1). All the rest that we learn about the country and the people is told as part of his military operations; but we may learn from it more of the state of Gallia than from the learned labours of a modern compiler. His war with the Helvetii may be more conveniently spoken of under that heading. [HELVETII
] After driving this nation back to their homes he went against the German Ariovistus. His course was to Vesontio (Besançon
), the capital of the Sequani, on the Doubs,
the position of which he has well described. From Besançon
the direction of his march is not clearly stated: but he reached a large plain, and defeated Ariovistus five miles from the Rhine; for five miles is the true reading, not fifty. (Caes. Gal. 1.31
The battle was fought in the plain between the Vosges
and the Rhine, somewhere north of Bâle.
Nothing more is [p. 1.957]
said of Germans in this part of Gallia after the battle near the Rhine: the news of the defeat prevented others from coming over. Caesar only came into the country of the Sequani to drive out the Germans, but he left his army there for the winter, and crossed the mountains into Cisalpine Gallia to hold his circuits ( “conventus agere,” B. G.
In the winter the Belgic nations formed a union to defend themselves, for they suspected that Caesar would attack them after he had reduced the country of the Celtae. They were urged to arms by some of the Celtae, who did not like to see the Romans wintering in their country. Caesar, who gives these reasons for the combination of the Belgae, adds another; that the great. men in Gallia, and those who had the means of hiring followers, were accustomed to usurp royal power whenever they had a chance, and, if the Roman dominion were established, they knew this mode of making what their modern imitators call a “coup d‘état” would not be possible (B. G.
2.1). Caesar in his Commentarii mentions several instances of this kind of usurpation. His second book contains his history of the war with the Belgae (B.C. 57). The Remi submitted from the first.
The submission of the Suessiones, Bellovaci, and Ambiani followed.
He defeated the Nervii and their allies in a great battle on the Sabis (Sasmbre
); and then took the stronghold of the Aduatuci, who were the descendants of the Cimbri and Teutoni. (B. G.
The survivors of the Aduatuci were sold, and the number reported to Caesar was 53,000. They were purchased by the mercatores who of old followed the Roman camp (Liv. 10.12
) and followed Caesar's camp (B. G.
6.31). We do not see how the mercatores could make anything of their bargain, unless they had some escort to assist in conveying the slaves to the nearest market, which would be the Provincia; or it may be that the Belgians would have no objections to buy a few of these intruders.
The sale of slaves was one way that Caesar had of raising money.
After the great battle with the Nervii, P. Crassus with a single legion was sent to the Veneti, Unelli, Osismi, Curiosolitae, Sesuvii, Aulerci, and Redones, whom Caesar calls “the maritime states which border on the Ocean.” All these people submitted to a mere youth at the head of a few thousand men. The Transhenane Germans also sent to Caesar to proffer hostages and to do as they were bid.
The proconsul was in a hurry to visit Italy and Illyricum, and he told the Germans to come and see him the next summer. We have no evidence of the Roman armies having been led north of the basin of the Rhone before Caesar's Belgian campaign.
The rapidity of his movements, his success, and his savage treatment of those who resisted, struck terror into the barbarians.
He placed his soldiers in winter quarters between the Seine
and the Loire,
and south of the Loire,
in the territory of the Carnutes, Andes, and Turones, and immediately went to Italy. (B. G.
Caesar sent a legion and some cavalry under Ser. Galba to winter in the country of the Nantuates, Veragri, and Seduni, who occupied the country from the north-eastern boundary of the Allobroges and the Leman lake to the highest Alps. They were in the great valley called the Vallais, between the Bernese and the Pennine Alps. Galba placed part of his troops in the country of the Nantuates, who were nearest to the lake, and he fixed himself with the remainder at Octodurus (Martigny
). Caesar says that the purpose of Galba's mission was to clear the pass over the Alps by which the “mercatores” were accustomed to go at great risk and with the payment of heavy tolls. These “mercatores” were the enterprising Italian traders who crossed the pass of the Great St. Bernard
from Cisalpine Gallia to carry their wares among the Galli. Galba was attacked by the people in his quarters at Octodurus, which he left after driving off the enemy; and, retreating through the country of the Nantuates into the territory of the Allobroges, where, he was within the Provincia, he spent the winter there. (B. G.
Caesar was recalled from Italy (B.C. 56) by a rising of the maritime states, whose submission had perhaps only been made to gain time; but the immediate provocation was the demand for supplies made on some of them by P. Crassus, who was wintering somewhere about Angers
with a legion.
The movers of this war were the Veneti, a skilful maritime people, who had. many ships with which they traded to Britain. (B. G.
3.8.) Caesar's campaign against these states, and the sea-fight, are one of the most difficult parts of the Commentarii to explain [VENETI
] He defeated the fleet of the Veneti; and Q. Titurius entered the country of the Unelli, who submitted.
Before the battle Caesar sent P. Crassus into Aquitania with twelve cohorts, to prevent the Aquitani from coming to the aid of the Armoric states. Crassus first defeated the Sotiates, who lived about the modern Sos,
3.21.) The Vocates and Tarusates, who were next attacked, sent for aid from Spain, which is some evidence in confirmation of the relationship of these Aquitani to some of the Spanish peoples. [AQUITANI.] The Spanish auxiliaries whom Caesar names were Cantabri. (B. G.
After defeating the Aquitani and their Spanish allies in the wide plains south of the Gironde,
Crassus received the submission of the greater part of Aquitania; the names of the peoples are mentioned by Caesar. (B. G.
The position of several of these tribes can be determined; but the position of others is uncertain.
The summer was near ended, and Caesar had put down all his enemies except the Morini and Menapii, who were in arms. The Morini lived along the channel, from Gesoriacum (Boulogne
) northwards at least as far as Castellum Morinorum (Cassel
). [CASTELLUM MORINORUM.] The enemy fled into the forests and marshes, where the Romans followed them, not without loss. Caesar began to cut a road through the forests, and he had just reached the enemy, when the heavy rains compelled him to retire. (B. G.
Before taking leave of the Morini he wasted their lands, and burnt all the buildings that he could reach.
He placed his army in quarters between the Seine
and the Loire,
in the country of the Aulerci and Lexovii.
In the next year (B.C. 55) the Usipetes, whom Caesar calls Germani (4.1), and the Tenctheri, crossed the Rhine, and fell on the Menapii.
These invaders were themselves driven on by more powerful enemies, the Suevi, whose habits Caesar describes (B. G.
4.1); and he states that the “mercatores” used to go into their country. Here we have the evidence of the Roman proconsul to the fact of mercatores crossing the Rhine into Germany before the Roman arms had been carried over the river.
It is here assumed that these mercatores were Italians. Caesar determined to stop these German invaders, [p. 1.958]
who, after living on the Menapii during the winter, had moved south into the territories of the Eburones and the Condrusi, who were dependents of the Treviri. The Germans had got as far south as Liège,
when Caesar came towards them.
He tells us his own story of the treacherous dealing of the Germani with him, but he also shows that he was quite a match for them in cunning. The Germans at last were fallen upon by the Romans at the confluence of the Mosa and Rhenus ( “ad confluentem Mosae et Rheni,” as it is in Caesar's text, 4.15), where those who escaped the Roman sword were drowned in the river.
There is a great difference of opinion about the explanation of this campaign.
But the writer still thinks that this river Mosa is the Mosel,
and that the Germans were beaten and drowned near Coblenz.
A little below Coblenz,
if this explanation is accepted, and between Coblenz
Caesar built a wooden bridge on which he passed over the Rhine to the German side (B. G.
4.17), rather to make a display of Roman power than for any other purposes.
He stayed eighteen days in Germany, and returning into Gallia destroyed his bridge (4.19).
The rest of the summer was occupied with Caesar's first expedition to Britain, the immediate motive for which, he says, was the information that he had of aid being supplied from Britain to the Roman enemies in almost all the Gallic wars. (B. G.
4.20.) Tile fact may be true or not: he does not say that it was so.
He has mentioned one occasion (B. G.
3.9) when the Veneti sent to Britain for aid; but he does not say that it came.; What he says (4.20) may be fairly in. terpreted to apply to the wars of the Romans with the Galli before his time, as well as to his own time. Caesar remarks that “few persons” went to Britain except “mercatores,” and they were only acquainted with the coast and the parts which were opposite to Gallia. These “mercatores” may have been Italians from the Provincia, and also Galli. One would suppose that in those days nobody would go to Britain except traders, but Caesar's expression of “few persons” is explained by other parts of his work. (B. G.
2.14.) Political refugees used to run away from Gallia to Britain. Caesar sailed from Portus Itius (Wissant
), and landed about Deal
on the Kent
coast. On his return to the French coast the Morini, whom he had left on good terms, could not resist the temptation of plundering some 300 Romans, who had landed on a different part of the coast from the rest of the troops (4.37).
But the Morini got nothing by their treachery; and they lost many of their men in the pursuit by the Roman cavalry. Labienus also entered their country, and the Morini submitted; for this autumn had been a dry season, and the Romans were not stopped by the waters.
The country of the Menapii, who lived on the Lower Rhine and the Lower Mosa, was mercilessly ravaged this autumn.
The people hid themselves in their thickest forests, while the Romans wasted their lands, cut down the corn, and burnt the buildings. (B. G.
4.38.). Caesar placed all his men in winter quarters within the territory of the Belgae.
Caesar prepared for his invasion of Britain in B.C. 54 by building a great number of ships in Gallia, but he had to get from Spain the materials for fitting them out. (B. G.
In this spring he visited the country of the Treviri, who were on the Rhine above and below Coblenz,
and he settled the disputes between the two factions. These Gallic states were continually distracted by quarrels among the chief people. Caesar sailed on his second expedition to Britain from Portus Itius, and landed on the same part of the British coast as in his first expedition. (B. G.
5.8--23.) On his return he found that the harvest had failed in Gallia, which made it necessary for him to disperse his troops in winter quarters (5.24).
He had various ways of keeping the Galli quiet. If he found a man who could be useful and was fit for the place, he would make him a king, as in the case of Tasget, who was a man of high rank among the Carnutes, for his ancestors had held royal power. Caesar, finding Tasget useful, restored hint to his ancestral rank; but in the third year of his reign he was murdered, and a great number of persons were implicated in the conspiracy. (B. G.
In this winter the Romans had a great loss; a division of the army was cut off in the country of the Eburones; and Q. Cicero, the brother of M. Cicero, had great difficulty in defending his camp against the Nervii till Caesar came to his assistance. (B. G.
5.38--52.) Caesar spent all this winter in Gallia. Things were in too disturbed a state to let him leave. The Senones had a king, Cavarin, whom Caesar had made them a present of. They were going to put their king to death by a determination of the whole people, or the senate at least (publico consilio); but the king, hearing of their designs, escaped to his friend the proconsul. Caesar summoned the senate of the Senones, and the senate refused to come.
In this winter the Treviri attacked the camp of Labienus, who was on their borders; but Induciomar, the leader of the Treviri, was killed, and the assailants were defeated. (B. G.
In B.C. 53, Caesar, expecting fresh troubles in Gallia, increased his forces. (B. G.
After checking a rising of the Nervii, he summoned the states of Gallia to assemble in the spring, as his practice had been, and all came except the Carnutes, Senones, and Treviri.
He does not mention the place to which they were summoned; but he moved the meeting to Lutetia Parisiorum (Paris
), in order to be nearer to the Senones, who soon submitted, and also the Carnutes. (B. G.
6.4.) His principal business now was with the Treviri and Ambiorix, king of the Eburones, who had cut off the Roman troops in the previous winter. The Menapii were friends to Ambiorix, and they had been guilty of the insolence of never having sent ambassadors to Caesar.
He entered their country with his forces in three divisions, burnt as usual all that he came near, and carried off many head of cattle and many prisoners. (B. G.
This brought them to terms; and the proconsul without delay set off to punish the Treviri, who had got Ambiorix some friends among the Germans east of the Rhine. Before Caesar came Labienus had defeated, the Treviri; and on his arrival Caesar built a second wooden bridge over the Rhine, a little above the place where he built the first, and went a second time into Germania. (B. G.
This second passage of the Rhine was not marked by any great event. The Ubii, a nation on the east bank, who will afterwards appear on the Gallic side, humbly submitted; and Caesar, finding that his real enemies on the German side were the Suevi, made inquiries about them. They had retired with all their forces a long way, and planted themselves at the place where a forest of boundless extent commenced.
There they were waiting for the Romans, who prudently turned their backs on the Suevi and returned by their bridge (6.10). Being bent on taking Ambiorix, who had [p. 1.959]
done him so much mischief; Caesar entered the country of the Eburones.
He left his heavy material with Q. Cicero at Aduatuca, the winter quarters of the troops that had been destroyed the year before. (B. G.
6.32.) Aduatuca seems to be the site of Tongern,
and, as Caesar says that it was about the middle of the territory of the Eburones, it fixes their position. [ADUATUCA, EBURONES.] While Caesar was wasting the lands of this unfortunate people, some Germans, Sigambri, crossed the Rhine, and fell on the camp of Q. Cicero. (B. G.
6.35.) Caesar returned to the camp, but the Sigambri had time to get safe off with their booty. (B. G.
6.41.) Again he set out to vex the Eburones, as he expresses it; and we have his own word for what he did: he burnt every building that he could see, drove off the cattle, and the corn that his men and beasts did not consume was laid by the rains.
He left the. country with the belief that, if any of the Eburones had escaped him, they would die of hunger. (B. G.
After this merciless devastation Caesar summoned the states of Gallia to Durocortorum (Rheims
), where he made inquiry into the conspiracy of the Senones and Carnutes. Acco, who had been the cause of the rising, was flogged to death; and his accomplices ran away. (B. G.
6.44.) Caesar put his troops in quarters among the Treviri, the Lingones, a people who had always been quiet, and at Agendicum (Sens
), the chief town of the Senones.
He went into Italy to hold the conventus.
The Galli, hearing of disturbances at Rome this winter, thought that Caesar. would be detained in Italy (B. G.
7.1), and this would be a good opportunity for getting rid of the Romans. The Carnutes began, and the Arverni next rose under a brave and skilful commander Vercingetorix, who stirred up the Galli north and west of the Arverni as far as the ocean.
This brought Caesar into the Provincia in the depth of winter. (B. G.
He cut his way through the snows on the Cévennes,
six feet deep, and came down on the Arverni, who did not expect him by that way. (B. G.
7.8.) But Caesar was in the neighbourhood of Vercingetorix, who, at the request of the Arverni, advanced to their aid from the country of the Bituriges, whom he had brought over to his side. Unless Caesar could collect his scattered forces, he could not make head against Vercingetorix.
He resolved to do this himself, without the knowledge of his men, whom. he left under the care of Brutus; he went across the Cévennes
again in the depth of winter to Vienna (Vienne
) on the Rhone, where he found some newly raised troops of horse, who had been ordered to assemble there. From Vienna he travelled day and night to the country of the Lingones, where he had two legions. Having reached these troops, he summoned the rest of his forces from the country of the Senones and the Treviri, and got them all together before the Arverni could hear of his approach.
He left two legions and all his heavy material at Sens,
and set out towards the country of his allies, the Boii, between the Allier
and the Loire,
whom Vercingetorix was threatening. His march was rapid and terrible.
In two days he took Vellaunodunum, a town of the Senones, and then came right upon Genabum (Orleans
) on the Loire,
where the Carnutes, at the beginning of the outbreak, had murdered the Roman “negotiatores” who were living there. [GENABUM
] He broke into the town, which his men sacked; he left it in flames, and. crossed the Loire.
He was now in the country of the Bituriges (Berri
The first town that he took was Noviodunum.
He then came, on the capital Avaricum (Bourges
), which was defended by a strong wall, made with great skill. The Galli had a way of building their town walls, which Caesar describes very briefly and very well (B. G.
7.23); this people had made some progress in the art of defending places.
The siege was a work of great difficulty, and the sufferings of the Roman soldiers were extreme; for it was winter, and they had to work in the mud, the cold, and in continual rain. The Roman commander tells the end of the affair in a few words (B. G.
7.28): “The soldiers, whose passions were roused by the massacre at Genabum and their own sufferings, spared neither the helpless through age, nor the women, nor the children; out of the whole number, who were about 40,000, only 800, who had hurried out of the place on hearing the shouts of the invading enemy, escaped safe to Vercingetorix.”
Caesar found stores in Avaricum, and, the winter being over, he was ready for a regular campaign.
But he had first to settle a domestic dispute among the Aedui (B. G.
7.32.) Two men had been elected to the chief magistracy, an annual office, and the constitution allowed only one.
The whole state was in arms, one party against the other. Caesar summoned the Aedui to Decetia (Décise
), an island on the Loire,
and settled the dispute in favour of one of the men.
He exhorted the Aedui to give him their assistance in the war, with fair promises of what he would do for them after Gallia was completely subdued.
The position of the Aedui, between the Upper Loire
and the Saône,
made their alliance most important for the Romans.
It was the easiest line of communication between the north part of the Provincia and the basin of the Seine.
Caesar was still afraid of the Senones and the Parisii, and he sent Labienus with four legions into that country. [PARISII.] He marched south with six legions, with the intention of taking the hill town of Gergovia, in the country of the Arverni, in the upper part of the basin of the Allier.
This, his most signal failure in Gallia, is told in another place. [GERGOVIA
] After his defeat before Gergovia Caesar was in great straits.
He moved northwards to join Labienus; but his treacherous friends, the Aedui, seized Noviodunum (afterwards Nevirnum, Nevers
) on the Loire,
where Caesar had great stores, and the booty that he had got in the Gallic War. (B. G.
7.55.) His military chest also was there. His enemies lined the banks of the Loire
with troops, and the river being swollen by the melted snows was difficult to pass.
He could not think of retreating.
It would be a confession that he was beaten. Nor could he attempt to cross the Cévennes,
where the roads were almost impassable; besides, Labienus was on the Seine,
and he was afraid that he would be cut off. Nothing remained but to cross the river, which he accomplished.
He found corn and cattle on the east side, and was joined by Labienus, who was as lucky as himself in escaping from a very dangerous position (B. G.
7.57--62), and getting safe to Sens.
All Central and Western Gallia was now in arms. and Vercingetorix was chosen commander-in-chief. The Remi and Lingones still stuck to the Roman alliance; and the Treviri, who were kept busy by their German neighbours, sent aid to neither side. Vercingetorix bestirred himself to rouse all the country against the Roman proconsul. [p. 1.960]
He pushed on the Gabali, and some of the Arverni against the Helvii, who were within the Provincia and the Ruteni and Cadurci were sent to ravage the land of the Volcae Arecomici, who were also within the Provincia. (B. G.
7.64.) Caesar, knowing that the enemy was superior in cavalry, and that a] the roads into the Provincia and Italy were blocked up, got cavalry from over the Rhine, from some of his German friends there, and light troops who, fought among the cavalry after German fashion.
The proconsul, however, had an eye to the safety of the Provincia, and he began to move through the borders of the Lingones into the country of the Sequani.
He was on his road to the Provincia, with the intention, no doubt, of returning when he had got reinforcements.
The occasion was tempting to the Galli. They attacked him on his march, and were defeated. (B. G.
7.67.) The Germans contributed largely to the victory. All the cavalry of Vercingetorix was routed, and he fled to Alesia, a town of the Mandubii. [ALESIA
] The siege of this place and the capture of Vercingetorix put an end to the campaign, the result of which was more unfortunate to the Galli than glorious to Caesar.
But a man of less ability and energy would have perished, with all his army.
The eighth book of the Gallic War is not by Caesar, though it is possible that he left some memoranda which have been used by the author. Gallia (B.C. 51) was still not quiet. The Bituriges were again preparing to rise, but they were soon checked.
The divisions among these Gallic people were more fatal to them than the Roman army. The Carnutes were quiet while Caesar was putting down the Bituriges, and they began to attack them as soon as they had yielded to the Romans. The Bituriges applied to Caesar for protection.
It was a hard winter when the Romans again entered the territory of the Carnutes. Caesar sheltered his infantry as well as he could in the ruins of Genabum, and sent out his cavalry to scour the country.
The houseless Carnutes had no place of refuge except the forests, which could not protect them against the severity of the season.
A large part of them perished, and the rest fled to the neighbouring states. (B. G.
The last great struggle of the Galli was made north of the Seine
by the Bellovaci and their allies.
This campaign, which is not very well told by the author, contains some difficulties (B. G.
8.7--22), but it is well worth a careful study. These Belgae and their allies showed considerable military, skill. They seem to have learned something from their enemy, and the Roman general is said to have acknowledged that their plans were “very judicious, and showed none of the rashness of a barbarous people.” (B. G.
The defeat of the Bellovaci and their allies was considered by Caesar the end of his Gallic wars. (B. G.
The revengeful proconsul had not yet caught Ambiorix, nor forgotten him.
He once more entered his country, and did all the mischief that he could, thinking, as the historian says (B. G.
8.24), that if he could not catch Ambiorix, the next best thing for his honour (dignitas) was to treat his country in such a way that his people, if any were left, might hate him so much, for the misfortunes that he had brought on them, as never to let him come among them again.
The last town that Caesar had to besiege was Uxellodunum, the site of which is uncertain.
It was a town of the Cadurci, in the basin of the Garonne,
and perhaps on the Oltis (Lot
). When Gallia revolted in B.C. 52, Drappes, a Senon, had got together what the historian calls (B. G.
8.30) some men of desperate fortune.
He had also induced slaves to join him, men banished from the various towns of Gallia, and robbers; with this rabble he had joined Dumnacus, a leader of the Andes, who was up in arms in the country of the Pictones (Poitiers
). C. Caninius and C. Fabius easily defeated the rebels, as the Romans would call them, near the Loire.
Drappes escaped from the dreadful slaughter with about two thousand men, and, in company with another adventurer, Lucterius, a Cadurcan, entered the country of the Cadurci.
It is worthy of notice that the Carnutes were in the battle on the Loire.
This obstinate people had not yet come to terms with the Romans. They had been cut to pieces, driven from their homes and dispersed, and again appeared in arms.
But it was the last time. They now submitted to the Roman tyranny, and all the Armoric states followed their example. (B. G.
The geographical position of the Carnutes, and their courage, made them the defence of all the states to the west between the Seine
and the Loire.
Drappes and Lucterius shut themselves up in Uxellodunum, and Caninius began the siege. Caesar, leaving M. Antonius among the Bellovaci, came among the Carnutes, against whom he had a heavy grudge; for the Carnutes began the great rising in B.C. 52, which had nearly driven him out of Gallia.
He caught Gutruat, whom he charged with being the author of all the mischief, and flogged him to death. (B. G.
This example was considered sufficient. Nobody else was punished.
The reports that he had from Caninius about the resistance of Uxellodunum, irritated Caesar.
He despised the rebels, but he thought that he ought to make an example of them.
The first five years of his government had been extended by another five years, which commenced from the beginning of B.C. 53.
It was now B.C. 51, and the Galli knew that he had not long to stay; it was necessary, therefore, to show them what they might expect, if they were rebellious. His treatment of the prisoners after the capture of Uxellodunum [UXELLODUNUM
] is the most disgraceful part of his history. (B. G.
He now thought that he had finished his work; and he had. Gallia remained for centuries a Roman country. Caesar, who had never seen Aquitania, paid that country a visit, and found it submissive.
After going to Narbo, he spent a few days in visiting all the conventus of the Provincia, and settling its affairs.
He placed his forces, for the winter, in Belgium, and west of the Cévennes;
four legions in Belgium, a sign that he still feared that warlike people.
He only placed two legions east of the Cévennes,
and they were in the country of the Aedui, a nation that had still great influence among the Gallic people.
He spent the winter at Nemetocenna (Arras
) in the present department of Pas de Calais,
not a place which an Italian would choose to winter in.
But the author (B. G.
8.49) explains this.
He wished to conciliate the people north of the Seine.
He treated the states with respect, made presents to the chief men, imposed no new contributions; and he endeavoured to make them satisfied by a mild administration, after being exhausted, by long and bloody wars.
After the winter he went into North Italy, a sign that he feared no rising in Gallia.
He was received with rejoicings by all the municipia and coloniae [p. 1.961]
of Gallia Togata. [GALLIA CISALPINA
] The town gates, the roads, and all the places by which he passed were decorated with every device that could be thought of.
The whole population, with their children, came out to meet him.
The temples and the fora were set out with all the pageantry of a Roman religious festival.
The wealthy showed their magnificence, and the poor their good will. The Italians of Cisalpina Gallia were proud of their governor; for he had tamed the warlike nations north of the Alps, the men who for centuries had been the terror of Italy. No commander ever better deserved such fame as is due to military success.
The conquest of Gallia is the greatest exploit that a soldier has ever accomplished.
Caesar returned to Nemetocenna; and, for some reason which does not. appear, called all his troops from their quarters, and led them to the borders of the Treviri.
There he, the Pontifex Maximus of the Romans, the head of the religion of the state, performed the solemn ceremony of a lustratio, or purification. Both he and his men had much need of it.
The war was over, the country was quiet; and he moved about just enough to keep himself in health and his troops. (B. G.
It was B.C. 50, the year before he crossed the Rubicon.
It is hard to understand how so busy a man got through an idle summer.
The next year he had plenty to do in Italy.
Caesar really makes four divisions of Gallia, though he formally mentions only three, for he excludes the Provincia; nor does he determine the limits of the Provincia, though we can make them out accurately enough. Of these four divisions, Provincia, Aquitania, the country of the Celtae, and the country of the Belgae, two have been described. [AQUITANIA, BELGAE.] The limits of the Provincia are described in that article. [PROVINCIA
] The Alpine tribes do not belong to any of these divisions.
Caesar's threefold division of Gallia, excluding the Provincia, was not arbitrarily made by himself; it is a division founded on the geographical character of the country and the national character of the people. We see from his Commentaries that the Celtae knew their own limits well, both on the side of the Aquitani and on the side of the Belgae.
He has traced the northern boundary of the Celtae by the Seine
and its great branch the Marne,
but he has not mentioned the boundary from the source of the Marne
to the Rhine.
He did not go further north in this part than the country of the Lingones; and it is not his manner to tell us what he did not know, or what did not concern his military operations. However, the boundary of the Celtae, from the source of the Marne
to the Rhine, may be determined well enough for all purposes. [BELGAE
] These natural divisions of Caesar are mentioned by later writers as existing divisions, though the political divisions were changed. Mela (3.2) makes the Garonne
the boundary of Aquitania, though it was not so in his time; but if we take his division to be a division according to races, which he seems to mean, it is true. Pliny (Plin. Nat. 4.17
) also says that Gallia Comata, which is all Gallia except the Provincia, is distributed among three peoples, whose boundaries are chiefly marked by rivers:. from the Scaldis (Schelde
) to the Seine
is Belgica; from the Seine
to the Garonne
is Celtica; and thence to the Pyrenees, is Aquitania.
This is correct for Celtica considered as the country of the Celtae; but when he adds, “which Celtica is also called Lugdunensis,” he makes an error, for Lugdunensis did not extend to the Garonne.
But the error is in the form of expression, and it is easy to see how he fell into it.
The following are the nations of Celtica, as Pliny calls the country of the Celtae. Caesar does not use the term Celtica. The HELVETII
were between the Jura, the Leman lake, and the Rhine. The SEQUANI
were west of the Helvetii, and extended to the Saône:
they had the valley of the Alduasdubis or Dubis (Doubs
The south part of the country between the Saône
and the Rhone, the modern department of Ain,
was occupied by the AMBALRRI. The ALLOBROGES
who belonged to the Provincia, had some possessions north of the Rhone, and they would in this part be the neighbours of the Ambarri. The RAURACI
neighbours of the Sequani,were along the west bank of the Rhine: they extended from a point on the river above Bâle
to the borders of the TRIBOCCI.
were west of the Sequani, and their territory extended westward to the Loire.
The MANDUBII on the north were a dependent state of the Aedui.
The position of the BRANNOVICES
or BRANNOVII, also dependents of the Aedui, is uncertain. The SEGUSIANI
or Sebusiani, on the west side of the Rhone, were also dependents of the Aedui; the colony of LUGDUNUM
) was planted in their country.
were west of the southern part of the territory of the Aedui; and they had as dependent states the GABALI
or Vellauni, on the south-east, and the CADURCI
on the south-west.
south of the Arverni, were in Caesar's time divided into two parts, Ruteni Provinciales (B. G.
7.7), who belonged to the Provincia; and Ruteni, who belonged to the country of the Celtae. The NITIOBRIGES were west of the Ruteni, and on the Garonne.
The smaller part of their territory seems to have been south of the river, and they were considered to belong to the Celtae; but they may have been a mixed people. (Caes. Gal. 7.31
.) The BITURIGES VIVISCI
not mentioned by Caesar, were about Bordeaux.
were north of the Nitiobriges, partly in the basin of the Duranius (Dordogne
); and north-west of them were the SANTONES
extending along the sea from the aestuary of the Garonne
to the borders of the PICTONES
or Pictavi. The Pictones occupied the country along the sea northwards to the mouth of the Loire,
and a considerable distance inland.
The position of the LEMOVICES
east of the Santones and Pictones, is indicated by that of the town of Limoges,
and the extent of their country by the old diocese of Limoges.
The BITURIGES CUBI
north of the Lemovices, occupied the rest of Celtica south of the Loire.
The BOIL, who had joined the Helvetii, were settled by Caesar (Caes. Gal. 1.28
) in the territory of the Aedui. The INSUBRES
who are placed in the maps on the Upper Loire,
north of the Vellavi, are unknown to Gallic history. [GALLIA CISALPINA
had territory both north and south of the Loire;
and their limits are those of the diocese of Tours.
were west of the Turones, and on the north side of the Loire.
or NANNETES were west of the Andes, on the north side of the Loire,
North [p. 1.962]
of the Namnetes, along the coast, were the VENETI; and, further west, the OSISMI
or OSISMII occupied the extremity of this peninsula. The CORISOPITI
a small people in the territory of the Osismi, are not mentioned by Caesar. The CURIOSOLITAE
one of the Armoric states, are north of the Veneti and east of the Osismi. The REDONES
are mentioned by Caesar among the Armoric states: if they really extended to the sea, they could only have had the coast about the bay of St. Michel.
The town of Rennes
shows their position in the interior.
As to the Biducesii mentioned by Ptolemy, or Viducaesii (2.8.5), see the articles BIDUCESII
The position of the AMBILIATES, one of the Armoric states mentioned by Caesar, is unknown. The ABRINCATUI
are not mentioned by Caesar. The UNELLI
an Armoric state (B. G.
7.75), occupied the peninsula of Cotantin.
were east of the Redones, and north of the Andes. [AULERCI
] A territory adjoining to that of the Cenomani on the west was occupied by the ARVII
a small people not mentioned by Caesar. The SESUVII
2.34) were neighbours of the Diablintes to the north. Caesar and Ptolemy (2.8.5
) place only the LEXOVII
on the coast between the mouth of the Seine
and the Unelli; but two small peoples, BAIOCASSES
seem to have been comprised within their territory.
The position of the EBUROVICES
is north of the Cenomani, and on the south side of the Seine.
were on the middle course of the Loire;
and they also touched a part of the Seine.
This position made their territory a central point of union for the Celtic nations, as we see in the history of the Gallic War. The Carnutes began the great rebellion in B.C. 52, and their submission in B.C. 51 was followed by that of the Armoric states. Their country was also the head-quarters of the Celtic Druids. (B. G.
The position of the AMBIVARETI
who are mentioned by Caesar as dependents of the Aedui, has hitherto been undetermined.
In a note to Long's edition of the Gallic War (7.90) reasons are given, which the editor thinks satisfactory, for placing them on the east side of the Loire,
opposite to the Bituriges Cubi.
The PARISH had part of their territory north of the Seine;
but still they were a Celtic people. Their chief place was Lutetia (Paris
). Their neighbours the MELDI
were on the Marne;
and part of their territory was north of this river, which Caesar makes the boundary between the Celtae and the Belgae; which, as well as other like instances, shows that when he names the Garonne,
and the Marne,
as boundaries of the Celtae, he speaks in general terms, and does not affect perfect accuracy--which, in fact, was impossible. Paris
was an important position even in Caesar's time,--being on an island, La Cité,
--and here he held a meeting of the states of Gallia. Under the later empire it became a chief residence. The Meldi on the Marne
are not the Meldi whom Caesar speaks of.
occupied the basin of the Seine
and the Yonne,
--a nation that sent a colony to Italy, and once captured Rome. Their capital, Sens,
retains the name of the people, and fixes a central point in their territory. The TRICASSES
were on the main branch of the Seine,
above the junction of the Icauna (Yonne
): their chief town Augustobona is Troyes.
were at the sources of the Seine
and on the high lands which run east to the Vosegus (Vosges
). Caesar does not tell us that they were Celtae, but this conclusion may be easily derived from his work. Ptolemy and Pliny assign them to Belgica, which is true as to the political divisions of their time; but the Lingones were a Celtic people, and one of those that settled in Italy. No Belgic people crossed the Alps or invaded Italy; a fact which, among many others, proves that, politically and nationally, there was a marked distinction between the Belgae and the Celtae.
There is an ambiguity in Caesar's Commentaries which is owing to the words Gallia and Galli having two meanings. All Gallia (omnis Gallia) consists of three parts, one of which the people inhabit, who call themselves Celtae, but the Romans called them Galli. (B. G.
1.1.) When Caesar uses the word Gallia, he often means all Gallia; and when he uses Galli, he sometimes means the Gallic people generally. (B. G.
But his description of the habits of the Galli applies mainly, perhaps altogether, to Celtica; and in many passages, where he uses the word Galli, he means only the inhabitants of the central part south of the Seine.
If any person will read attentively the description of the Galli (B. G.
6.13, &c.), he will see that it does not apply to the Aquitani, of whom Caesar knew very little, and had little to do with; and certainly not at all to a very large part of the people whom he includes in the general term Belgae.
He considered many of these Belgae to be Germans, pure and mixed. Of the Menapii and Nervii he knew little. The Treviri he considered to be as brutal as their neighbours the Germans. (B. G.
8.25.) The Morini have a Celtic name, and were of Gallic stock, but they were chiefly hog-feeders and cattle-feeders; they had not the civilisation of the cultivators of the ground. The Bellovaci and the other pure Belgae were a warlike race, and they had towns, which indicates a certain degree of civilisation. They were nearer, both in position and character, to the Celtic tribes than any other of the Belgae, except the Remi.
It seems probable that the Armoric peoples. the Veneti and others, being maritime, were in many respects different from the inland Celtae. Those Celtae, whose habits Caesar describes, the most civilised of the nation, were the Helvetii, Sequani, Aedui, Arverni, Carnutes, Senones, and their dependents. The Remi, though included in Caesar's general term Belgae, seem to have been closely connected with their southern neighbours; and in Caesar's time they were the rivals of the Aedui. (B. G.
In a vine-growing country, and one where the vine is indigenous, as it is in Gallia, the culture of this plant is an indication of greater civility and of general social improvement. Strabo (p. 178) seems to suppose that in his time the vine hardly produced any thing north of the Cévennes.
In the third century of the Christian aera it was cultivated on the slopes along the waters of the Mosel.
But Gallia was, in Strabo's time, and even earlier, rich in cattle and hogs: and it had abundance of good pasture and good horses, as their large cavalry force shows. The Galli would give a large sum for a good horse. (B. G.
The southern and central parts were cleared to a great extent, and corn was grown in abundance even north of the Seine.
The Provincia was considered by the Romans as another Italy in climate and products: and Strabo says [p. 1.963]
(p. 178) of Gallia generally, that “no part of it remained unproductive, except where there were swamps or forests, and even these parts were inhabited, yet rather on account of the populousness than by reason of the industry of the people; for the women are good breeders and careful mothers, but the men are more inclined to war than tilling the ground: but now,” he says, “they are compelled to till the ground since they have laid down their arms.”
There is no doubt that Gallia was a populous country in Caesar's time, populous at least after the measure of antiquity.
There were not so many, nor such large, towns as there are now; and there may have been a larger surface covered with forest. We may suppose, also, that the lands on the rivers and in the low countries were less completely embanked: so there would be more swamp and marsh.
But the dry lands were cultivated, and well-inhabited.
The proofs are abundant.
The news of the insurrection at Genabum in B.C. 52 was carried into the country of the Arverni, a distance of 160 Roman miles, as Caesar reckons it, between sun-rise and before the end of the first watch of the evening on a winter's day. (B. G.
This passage, which has sometimes been most absurdly explained, is a clear proof that the country was populous.
The news was passed on from village to village. Men must have run to carry it; those who received the news ran on as fast as they could to the next village, and so on.
In his wars we find that Caesar had few supplies from Italy.
He could hardly get much, even from Cisalpine Gallia, except horses.
The resources of the Provincia helped him greatly; but in many parts of Gallia he got all that he wanted from the country,--corn, cattle, hides, and materials for clothing.
The war supported him, and even made him rich.
The communications seem to have been pretty good in some parts.
There were roads; well-known fords at the rivers, which imply roads; and wooden bridges, in Celtica at least. Caesar even mentions a bridge (B. G.
2.5) over the Axona (Aisne
), in the territory of the Remi.
The Galli were acquainted with the use of the metals. The Bituriges had skill in mining (B. G.
7.22), which they found useful when the Romans besieged their town Avaricum. They worked iron mines extensively. Some of the Celtic nations coined money; the Sequani, for instance. They may have learned this from the Massaliot Greeks and their colonies, as well as the use of letters; for they used the Greek alphabet.
There appears to be no evidence that the Galli ever had any other than the Greek or the Roman alphabet, which are the same.
Strabo (p. 189) has some remarks on the great natural advantages of Gallia, both for internal and foreign trade.
He says, that it is worth while to observe the adaptation of the country to the rivers and to the sea, both the ocean and the inland sea; for, if any one will attentively examine, he will find that this is not among the least of the advantages of the country: “I mean,” he says, “that the necessaries of life are easily interchanged among all, and the advantages are made open to all; so that, even in such things as these, one may believe that there is evidence of the work of Providence, the parts of this country being placed with respect to one another, not as chance might have it, but with wise purpose.” The basin of the Atax (Aude
), on which Narbonne
stands, is connected with the basin of the Garonne
by an easy country; and the basins of both rivers are connected with Spain by the passes at the two ends of the Pyrenees. Between the head of the Saône
and the waters of the Seine
is a portage of small extent; and there was a navigation down the Seine
to the sea, and thence an easy voyage to Britain.
As the navigation up the Rhone was difficult, some of the goods from the Provincia were taken in carts by an easy land road to the country of the Arverni and the Upper Loire,
and so carried down to the ocean.
There were four sea-routes from Gallia to Britain,--from the country of the Morini, from the Seine,
from the Loire,
and from the Garonne.
These natural advantages of France were not neglected before it became a Roman provincia; but they were used much more afterwards, when the Romans made so many excellent roads in the country.
It is a signal example of bad administration in this fine country, that its natural capabilities were neglected for so many centuries, and that till comparatively recent times so little has been done to facilitate the interchange of the necessaries of life, and “make these advantages open to all.” The political divisions of ancient Gallia would be a reason for the demanding of tolls or duties on goods carried from one country to another; a mode of raising money obvious to the rudest barbarian, and practised by all nations that call themselves civilised. The Galli had river tolls before Caesar's time, and this impediment to commerce existed in France till the great Revolution of 1789, up to which time the map of France and its political divisions preserved many of the great features of a map of Gallia that would fit the time of Caesar.
The division of France into departments is one of the great monuments of her revolutionary convulsion.
But political divisions cannot all at once erase national character; and France, only a part of Caesar's Gallia, is still a country of many tribes.
The maritime commerce of the south was chiefly in the hands of the Massaliot Greeks, until the Romans came in for their share by settling Narbonne,
and finally by reducing all the Greek towns under their dominion. This Massaliot commerce requires a notice by itself.
The trade on the Atlantic in Caesar's time seems to have been in the hands of the Armoric states.
The course of the tin trade with Britain is described by Diodorus (5.22
), and his description may be true for centuries before his time.
The traders sailed to the promontory Belerion (the Land's End
) for the tin which the natives of Britain conveyed to an island, Ictis (Mount St. Michael
The merchants took it from Ictis to the French coast, whence it was conveyed on packhorses to the Rhone, and so down the river.
The social and political condition of the Gallic nation before the Roman conquest would supply materials for a long chapter. Thierry (Histoire des Gaulois, Deuxième Partie,
chap. i.) has treated this subject at some length, and in an instructive manner, though a careful reader will not accept all the conclusions that he derives from his authorities.
The stories that are told of the great ferocity of the Gallic nations may be true only of some of them, and their manners were improving when the Romans came among them. Posidonius (Strab. p. 198), who travelled in Gallia in the second century before our aera, speaks of practices which probably belonged to some of the northern peoples only. “After battle,” he says, “they used to fasten the heads of their enemies to their horses' necks, and when they got home nailed them to their doors.” He saw this often, [p. 1.964]
and at first he found it strange, but habit made him indifferent to it. Posidonus was a Stoic.
There is hardly a vice of which the Galli are not accused by the Greeks and Romans; drunkenness, cruelty, and abominable lust. We may easily guess what the Galli would have said of Caesar and his men, if they had written the history of the conquest. The Italian and Massaliot merchants encouraged the Gallic propensity to drink, just as the white trader now demoralises the Indians of North America. (Diod. 5.26
.) The Belgae had less intercourse with these greedy adventurers (B. G.
1.1), and they were less corrupted than the Celtae. The Galli made beer and mead; but they liked wine better, and would drink till they were mad. A Gall would give a boy for a good jar of wine.
The political condition of the Celtae and of all the Gallic nations was miserable.
The country was divided into numerous independent states, the most powerful of which were always contending for the supremacy.
The weaker states served one or the other of the more powerful states, and paid them tribute.
The political system was a tyranny of the rich over the poor; and the religion was a horrible superstition. Two classes of men had the power and the wealth: the noble, as we may call him, and the priest.
The poorer sort went for nothing. (B. G.
6.13.) The Celtae had slaves, and many of the poor chose the state of servitude to some noble, instead of freedom, when they became overloaded with debt, or unable to pay their taxes, or when they were wronged by some powerful neighbour.
In servitude the poor Celt would have at least a master to feed him and protect him against other tyrants.
These nobles were “equites,” --mounted men,--and each maintained as many dependents as he could, and horses for them. They were always fighting and quarrelling; almost every year till Caesar's arrival. Caesar does not explain how the poorer sort got into debt; nor how the land was divided.
The rich had doubtless large tracts.
There is no evidence that the poor had any land in full ownership. They were probably in the condition of tenants who paid their rent in kind, or partly in money and partly in kind; and their debts might either arise from arrears of rent, or from borrowing to supply their wants.
There is no difficulty in seeing where they might borrow: the towns would contain the traders, and the market would be in the towns. Arms, agricultural implements, and clothing must be bought with corn, cattle, and hogs.
The poor cultivator, whether a kind of proprietor or a tenant, would soon find himself in bad plight between his lord, the shopkeeper, and the “mercator,” who travelled the country with his cart loaded with the tempting liquor that he could not resist. (Diod. 5.26
The enormous waste of life in the Gallic domestic quarrels, their foreign expeditions, and in their wars with the Romans, was easily supplied.
A poor agricultural nation, with such robust women as the Galli had (Diod. 5.32
), is exactly the people to produce soldiers. Among such a people more male children are born than the land requires; and those who are not wanted for the plough, the spade, or to watch the cattle, are only fit to handle the sword.
A braver set of men never faced the enemy than the Galli with whom Caesar fought. Most of them were the children of poverty, brought up to suffer and to die. We often read, at earlier periods, of their losing, through intemperance, the fruits of a hard-fought battle; but nothing of this kind appears in the Gallic wars.
The nobles were immensely rich, while the mass of the people was poor. Of their great wealth there is conclusive evidence. Caesar (Caes. Gal. 1.18
) informs us that Dumnorix, an Aeduan, had made a great fortune by farming the tolls and other taxes, and that he was able to maintain a large body of horse.
The rich Galli were polygamists, and they had the power of life and death over wife and children. Caesar does not expressly limit this power to the rich; but we may be sure that it was a power which no poor man ever exercised.
He mentions a kind of marriage settlement among the rich,--for to them only it can apply,--which shows that the condition of women of that class was not so bad. If the husband received a portion with his wife, he added to it as much from his own fortune.
The produce of the joint stock was accumulated, and the whole stock, with its accumulations, belonged to the survivor. (B. G.
This is like an English estate by entireties, as it is called.
It was a good contrivance for keeping up the wealth of a family and providing for the wife, if she survived. Caesar says nothing of the law of succession among the Galli.
It seems that in Caesar's time things were changed. Gallia had gone though many revolutions.
He gives some instances of the superstition of the Galli, and of the barbarous practices of their religion (B. G.
6.15); and he mentions the Druids and the nobles as the ruling classes.
But we see little of priestly rule: it had evidently declined before the power of the nobles, and the growth of the numerous towns which Gallia then contained; and probably the influence of the Greeks was felt over a large part of the country. Caesar (Caes. Gal. 6.13
) was told that the Druidical system was the growth of Britain, and imported into Gallia.
He merely tells us what he heard; but he states that in his time those who wished to master thoroughly this mysterious learning, generally went to school in Britain.
It is much more likely that some revolution in Gallia drove Druids into Britain, and we must suppose that they carried their most learned doctors with them. The Galli were, as the Roman says. “a nation greatly given to superstitions,” a circumstance in which their conqueror and his officers did not resemble them at all. The Gallic Druids had a pontiff: and when one died, the next in merit (dignitas) succeeded; but if several were equal, a successor was chosen by the votes of the Druids, or, as it sometimes happened, the title to the office was decided by arms. Many young men flocked to the Druids to learn what they had to teach; and the priests, we may suppose, were taken from these pupils.
It would be an object of ambition to get into this sacred class; for the Druids were highly respected. They were priests, and judges in almost all disputes, public and private. Like the old Roman patricians, they had both religion and law in their hands.
The priest did not fight; and he paid no taxes.
This explains why parents were so eager to get their sons into this privileged order. (B. G.
It was a provision for them.
The pupils learned by heart a vast number of verses, though the Druids were well able to write, and used the Greek character for writing their language, both in public and private affairs. Here we have clear evidence that before the Christian aera the Celtic was a written language, a circumstance that would fix it; and the practice of committing to memory this long string of verses would have the same effect. Caesar supposes that the verses were not committed to writing, partly to prevent the learning from being [p. 1.965]
divulged,--which implies that other people could read besides the Druids,--and partly to exercise the memory. They taught the immortality of the soul and the transmigration into different bodies. They taught their youths also astronomy, and much about the nature of things, and the immortal gods.
In the different states we read of a concilium or assembly, variously constituted. One thing the Galli provided against carefully: there was to be no talk on political matters except in the concilium. If a man heard anything by rumour or report that concerned the state, he must open it only to the magistrates, who concealed what they thought fit, and told the people just as much as they thought proper. (B. G.
There was no liberty of speech. Caesar speaks of senates among the Gallic tribes (B. G.
2.5); that is, a governing body to which he gives a name which a Roman would understand.
He does not explain the constitution of these senates, which might not always be the same.
The head of the state seems to have been elective.
The chief magistrate of the Aedui, named Vergobretus (B. G.
1.16), was elected for a year, and had “vitae et necis in suos potestatem;” which is sometimes misunderstood to mean, that he could do as he liked.
It simply means that he was the chief judge. Something of a popular assembly, of a democratic element, appears in some of the states. Usurpations were common things.
A man who was rich enough to get a large body of adherents, would seize on power, and keep it as long as he could.
In the early period of Gallic history kings appear more frequently than in Caesar's time; and we read of kings whose fathers had been kings,--which, however, was rather a rare occurrence.
A long regular dynasty of princes was not to the taste of the Galli. Either popular insurrection or a successful rival displaced them.
These frequent revolutions filled the country with desperate men, who had nothing to lose, and were always ready for adventure. Exiles, fugitives, and men who had saved their lives by running away, swarmed in the country.
Those who could not find safety in Gallia found a refuge in Britain.
The attempt of Thierry (Histoire des Gaulois
) to explain the early revolutions and constitutions of Gallia, is ingenious, but not satisfactory.
A careful perusal of Caesar will give a better notion of the confusion that reigned between the Pyrenees and the Rhine, when the Romans came to settle all disputes and teach the people how to live.
Caesar was assassinated in B.C. 44. Little is said of what he did with Gallia from the time when he left it to the time of his death; but we may be sure that he did not neglect so profitable a conquest. Suetonius says (Caes.
25): “All Gallia which is bounded by the Saltus Pyrenaeus, and the Alps, and the Gebenna, by the rivers Rhine and Rhone, except the allied states and those that had done him service, he reduced to the form of a province, and imposed on the people an annual payment to the amount of ‘quadringenties stipendii nomine.’ ” It was not called “tributum” or “vectigal.” Ammianus Marcellinus (15.11
), who wrote in the fourth century of our aera, has a passage which has caused much difficulty.
He speaks of four divisions after Caesar's conquest, made by him as dictator; but he uses terms that can only be understood by referring to the divisions that existed in his time.
He says that “Narbonensis contained also Lugdunensis and Viennensis; Aquitania was a second division; the Superior and Inferior Germania and the Belgae were, under two jurisdictions at the same time.” (See the Note of H. Valesius.) Walckenaer attempts to explain this passage, and to show that it agrees with. what Strabo (p. 177) says: but it is not worth the labour. Both authors are very obscure here; and Ammianus is too uncritical to be trusted for such a matter, even if one were quite sure what he meant.
The conqueror of the Gauls knew the value of the men whom he had conquered.
He had formed a legion of Transalpine Galli, to which he gave the Gallic name Alauda: he fitted them out like Roman soldiers, and drilled them after Roman fashion. (Sueton. Caes.
100.24.) Finally he made them Roman citizens, which must have taken place after he was dictator.
In the Civil War he had Galli in his army,--Aquitanians, mountaineers from the border of the Provincia, archers from the Ruteni, and Gallic cavalry, which he had found useful also in his Gallic wars. His last military operation in Gallia was the siege of Massilia [MASSILIA
], B.C. 49.
He afterwards sent, under Ti. Claudius Nero, a supplementary colony to Narbo, and a colony to Arelate (Arles
), both of which are mentioned by Suetonius (Ti. Caes.
4), who speaks of other colonies, but he does not mention them. Baeterrae (Béziers
) may have been one, and Forum Julii (Fréjus
) another. All these were colonies of old soldiers. Caesar had Galli with him in his campaigns in Greece and Africa; and there were also Galli on the side of the Pompeian party.
These war-loving men had never a better commander, for Caesar led them to victory and paid them well.
The civil wars of Rome threw a great number of Gallic adventurers on the coasts of the Mediterranean. Juba, the African, had a picked guard of Gallic and Spanish cavalry (B.C.
2.40); and M. Antonius made a present to Cleopatra of some hundreds of these men. Caesar even placed some of his Transalpine friends in the Roman senate,--some of the semibarbarous Galli, as Suetonius calls them (Caes.
100.76, 80),--a measure which well deserved the ridicule that attended it.
Dio Cassius (43.51) says that, in the year B.C. 44, Caesar united the government of the Provincia and Hispania Citerior under M. Aemilius Lepidus. Hirtius had Belgica, and L. Munatius Plancus had Celtica. In B.C. 43, the year after Caesar's death, Lepidus still held his provinces. L. Munatius Plancus, who was also in Gallia, founded the colony of Augusta Rauracorum (Augst
), in Switzerland, and Lugdunnm (Lyon
), at the confluence of the Rhone and Saòne,
which soon became one of the first cities of Transalpine Gallia (D. C. 46.50
); but the colony of Augusta Rauracorum perhaps was not completely settled till the time of Augustus, as we may infer from the name.
The final settlement of Gallia was the work of Octavianus Caesar, afterwards the emperor Augustus. His success in administering the. Roman empire is due to his great abilities and to the name that he bore. His able assistant was M. Vipsanius Agrippa, who led his troops from Aquitania, which he found in a state of insurrection (Appian, App. BC 5.92
), to the banks of the Lower Rhine, B.C. 37.
He was the second Roman commander who crossed this river into Germany. The Ubii, a nation already well known to the Romans, had crossed the Rhine into Gallia, and Agrippa permitted them to settle there. (Tac. Ann. 12.27
; Strab. p. 194.) The Oppidum Ubiorum afterwards became the Roman colony Agrippinensis. [COLONIA AGRIPPINENSIS.] Probably about this time the. Tungri, another Germanic tribe, [p. 1.966]
were allowed to occupy the country from which the Eburones had perished. Agrippa seems to have established the policy of planting German tribes on the west bank of the Rhine,--nations that were driven by their countrymen from the other side of the river.
The true German hated and despised the men who shut themselves up within walls; and the Gallicised German who enjoyed his possessions on the west bank of the Rhine, was ready to defend them against his less civilised brothers.
The disputes of Octavianus Caesar with M. Antonius prevented him from directing all his attention to the Galliae. For some years the country was in a disturbed state. The Treviri were reduced to obedience by Nonius Gallus. C. Carinas defeated the Morini, and drove back the Suevi, who had crossed the Rhine. (D. C. 51.20
.) The Aquitani, the last people who continued in arms, were subdued by M. Valerius Messalla, B.C. 28. In B.C. 27, nearly a quarter of a century after Caesar ended his campaigns, and when Octavianus, now Augustus, had become master of the Roman world, Gallia Comata was definitively organised. Augustus, who took into his own hands the administration of the most important provinces, of those which required the largest military force, went to Narbonne
in B.C. 27. From this time we may date the regular administrative division of Gallia into four parts; but Augustus made very little change. The Provincia received the name of Narbonensis, from the Roman town of Narbo; but its limits were not altered. Aquitania retained its name; but it was extended to the Loire,
and consequently comprised a large part of Celtica [AQUITANIA
] The rest of Celtica received the name of Lugdunensis, from the new settlement of Lugdunum.
The remainder of Gallia was Belgica. (Strab. p. 177.)
The organisation of the provincia of Narbonensis was the first labour of Augustus. During the Civil Wars it had been hostile to the party of Caesar; and particularly Massilia and its dependencies. [PROVINCIA
] The policy of the emperor was to destroy the nationality of the Galli, to confound the old divisions, and to stamp a Roman character on the country. From Lugdunum, the capital of one of the new divisions, Agrippa made four great roads (Strab. p. 208): one over the Cévennes
to the Santones, at the mouth of the Garonne,
and into Aquitania; a second to the Rhine; a third to the Ocean, in the country of the Bellovaci and the Ambiani, the termination of which would be at Bononia (Boulogne
); and a fourth into Narbonensis and the Massaliot coast. Lugdunum was in fact the centre of Gallia, a kind of acropolis; and in the history of modern France its position has always been of the greatest importance.
It was on the high road from North Italy into Gallia Transalpina and to the Ocean: for a carriage road led from Augusta Praetoria (Aosta
), over the Alps, to Lugdunum; and another, steep and short, from the same town, over the Pennine Alps, into the basin of the Leman lake, and thence to Lugdunum.
This road over the Pennine Alps also passed to the Rhone or the Leman lake, after crossing which the traveller proceeded into the plain country of the Helvetii, whence there was a road over the Jura into the country of the Sequani and the Lingones.
In the country of the Lingones the road divided; one branch led to the Ocean, and the other to the Rhone. Agrippa made a measurement of the whole ocean coast of Gallia, and of the coast of Narbonensis.
To the time of Augustus we may certainly ascribe the Roman names of many of the Gallic towns. Caesar probably began the work, as we may infer from the name Julia, which appears in several places. Juliomagus (Anger
), for instance, was a site that Caesar had visited. Gergovia, in the country of the Arverni, where Caesar was defeated, lost its rank; and the neighbouring city of Augustonemetum took its place.
The capital of the Suessiones, Noviodunum, became Augusta Suessionum; and the capital of the barbarous Treviri, whose Galllic name is unknown, became Augusta Trevirorum. Bibracte, the capital of the Aedui, received the name of Augustodunum. Some of the old states were put in the class of Foederati; others were Liberi, as the Segusiani. (Plin. Nat. 4.18
.) The Lingones and the Remi, two people that had always been friendly to Caesar in his Gallic wars, are mentioned by Pliny (4.17
) among the Foederati. The Ausci in Aquitania had the Latinitas. [AUSCI
] The Roman civitas was sometimes conferred on great families for their merit, that is, their services to the Romans.
Augustus made a census of the three Galliae (Liv. Epit. 134
; Dio Cass. liii, 22) at the time when he visited Narbonne.
The object of this census was taxation, for which purpose a register was made of the people and of all their properties.
The Romanising of Gallia under Augustus was rapid, and the measures adopted for this purpose were judicious. Schools were established in the large towns of the Provincia; and Tacitus mentions Augustodunum, the chief town of the Aedui, in the Lugdunensis, as a great school in the time of Tiberius. (Ann.
3.40.) The Latin language took root in Gallia, and also Roman law; and both subsist to the present day.
The religion of the Galli was an obstacle to Roman civilisation; but the Romans were too prudent to attack, the religion of a nation openly.
A kind of mixture of Gallic and Roman religion grew up in many of the towns, and temples to Roman deities were built in all the places where the Romans settled. Some curious proofs remain of the blending of the two religions. On the site where the venerable cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris now stands, on the ancient island of Lutetia, once stood a temple whose sculptures indicate the blending of the Roman and the Gallic superstitions.
But among the people of the country the old religion maintained its ground, and it would be very difficult to say that all traces of it have yet entirely disappeared.
The importance of pacifying and organising the Galliae explains why the prudent emperor did not attack Britain.
He was too busy in Gallia, and the invasion of Britain was not a light matter. Augustus had also a decent excuse; for the Britons, it is said, sent. him a pacific embassy.
He made a second visit to Gallia in B.C. 16 to settle the disturbance that had risen on account of the census (Liv. Epit. 137
) and the tyranny of C. Licinius his procurator (Dio Cass, liv, 21). Drusus, the step-son of Augustus, completed the census of the Galliae, and he secured the defence of the Rhenish frontier by building numerous forts, chiefly along the left bank of the river. The Roman Itineraries along the west side of the Rhine, from Lugdunum Batavorum southward, show the numerous positions along this route, and indicate the origin of many modern towns.
In the time of Tiberius this bank of the river (Tac. Ann. 4.5
) was guarded by eight legions, a force almost equal [p. 1.967]
to that which protected all the other frontiers of the empire.
) and Ptolemy (2.9
) include the Leuci, Lingones, Sequani, and Helvetii in Belgica, which was true for their time; but it is not known when this change was made.
The commander in Belgica and on the Rhenish frontier had not only the Belgica of Augustus under him, but the four peoples which have just been mentioned. Thus Celtica was a second time reduced in its extent, the first reduction being that made by Augustus. But Transalpine Gallia still consisted of four great divisions,--Narbonensis, Aquitania, Celtica, and Belgica.
These are the divisions in the geography of Ptolemy.
But he places in Belgica, or, as he calls it, Κελτογαλατία Βελγική,
two subdivisions,--Germania Inferior (ἡ κάτω
), and Germania Superior (ἡ ἄνω
). His Germania Inferior extended along the Rhine from the sea to the river Obrincus; but we do not know what river Ptolemy means.
The southern limit, however, is fixed by the towns that he mentions. Moguntiacum (Mainz
) is the furthest town to the south. From the Obrincus southward he enumerates, in Germania Superior, the Nemetes, Vangiones, Tribocci, and Rauraci. The Tribocci were on the Gallic side in Caesar's time; the other three tribes came over afterwards.
The most southern town in Ptolemy's Germania Superior was Augusta Rauracorum (Angst
), a little higher up the Rhine than Basilia (Bâle
). The Germaniae, in fact, were peopled by transplanted Germanic peoples, who were under a military government.
This will explain Pliny, when he says that Belgica extended from the Schelde
to the Seine:
he means that the part between the Schelde
and the Rhine was occupied by Germanic peoples.
The establishment of the Germaniae belongs to the time of Augustus. They are mentioned by Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 3.41
); but Dio Cassius (53.12, 55.23) assigns the formation of the Germaniae to Augustus. We learn from Tacitus that Drusus and Germanicus had the command both of Belgica and the Germaniae.
At a later period (Ann.
13.53) he speaks of Aelius Gracilis, as legatus of Belgica, and of L. Vetus, as commanding in the Germania Superior. Vetus (A.D. 59) wished to join the Saône
and the Mosel
by a canal, in order that there might be a water communication between the Mediterranean and the North Sea, up the Rhone and the Saône,
and down the Mosel
and the Rhine. Gracilis would not let Vetus bring his legions into his province of Belgica; and the canal was not made. The Germaniae then had at this time a distinct administration; but this division existed, as it appears from other passages, even in the time of Tiberius.
Three Alpine provinces are mentioned. On the authority of Dio Cassius (54.24), it is said that Augustus formed the Alpes Maritimae into a province. In A.D. 63 Nero certainly gave them the Latinitas or Jus Latii (Tac. Ann. 15.32
); and in A.D. 69 they formed a province, for they were then governed by a procurator (Tac. Hist. 2.12
The Alpes Cottiae formed a kingdom under Cottius, an Alpine chief, until the time of Nero, who made this country into a province. (Sueton. Nero,
It consisted of fourteen communities, and occupied a tract on both sides of the Alps.
The chief place was Segusio (Susa
) on the Italian side.
The Alpes Penninae are mentioned as a province under the later Empire.
In the Geography of Ptolemy all these parts of the Alps are included in Italy. They were not united to Gallia until after the time of Constantine, as some modern writers maintain.
At the very commencement of the administration of Tiberius, the successor of Augustus, Gallia gave. a sign of what might be expected from the legions of the Rhine, who were then distributed in two camps, an upper and a lower. Germanicus, the nephew of Tiberius, was busied with the census of the Galliae when the news arrived of the death of Augustus. (Tac. Ann. 1.31.
) The soldiers on the Rhine were dissatisfied; they broke out into mutiny, and Germanicus with great difficulty reduced them to obedience. Some of them would have had him assume the imperial power, the first indication that is mentioned of the legions assuming to name a successor to the power of Augustus. In A.D. 21 there was a rising in Gallia headed by Julius Florus among the Treviri, and Julius Sacrovir among the Aedui, those brothers of the Roman people, who were their most uncertain friends. (Tac. Ann. 3.40.
) Both these men were Galli of noble rank, and Roman citizens, a personal distinction that had been conferred on some of their ancestors, after Roman fashion, for their services, which means their fidelity to Roman interests.
The taxation, the heavy rate of interest with which they were loaded, and the tyranny of their governors, were the alleged causes of this rebellion of the Galli. Both communities and individuals, under Roman dominion, were always complaining of debt. We do not know what particular contributions oppressed the Gallic states; but it seems probable that the great works undertaken by the towns, probably by the order of the governors, may have been one cause of debt. Temples and other public buildings rose up all over the country, and must have cost immense sums. Works of more direct public utility also, such as bridges, roads, and aqueducts, of which there are so many traces in France, could not have been accomplished without a very large expenditure. The Romans embellished and improved the country, but the people paid dear for it. Gallia not only had to supply all its own expenditure, but to furnish con.I tributions to the empire.
This rising, which, if the beginning had been more successful, might have ended in a general rebellion, had no results. The Andecavi, and Turonii or Turones, on the Loire,
who were the first to begin, were soon put down. Florus did not succeed in stirring up the Treviri, though he made a beginning in true Gallic style by murdering some Roman “negotiatores;” these men of money, who settled themselves in every place where gain was to be got.
A body of debtors and clients, as they are called,--needy dependents,--fled into the Ardennes,
a country which in some parts, even at the present day, is no bad place of refuge. Another Julius, named Indus, also a Trevir, and an enemy of Florus, helped to put down the rising, which ended by Florus killing himself. Among the Aedui the matter was more serious. Sacrovir was defeated by the Roman commander C. Silius, near Augustodunum, in a pitched battle.
He retired to his villa with his most faithful adherents, and there he died by his own hands. His men killed one another; and the house, which they had set on fire, consumed them all.
This is a sample of Gallic desperation, which is a part of the national character.
Caius Caesar, named Caligula, the successor of Tiberius, went into Gallia, but he did nothing except exhibit his madness and brutality at Lugdunum. [p. 1.968]
His uncle Claudius, who succeeded Caius, was born at Lugdunum, on the day in which the altar at Lugdunum was dedicated to Augustus. (Sueton. Claud.
This learned pedant and imperial fool wished to extirpate the old Gallic religion, and he commenced a furious persecution of the Druids. His biographer (Sueton. Claud.
100.25) says that he completely abolished the religion of the Druids. Augustus had gone no further than to forbid Roman citizens embracing this superstition. Pliny ascribes the extirpation of Druidism to Tiberius Caesar; but whatever these emperors may have intended to do, they did not succeed. Claudius was the first Roman emperor who set foot in Britain. Aulus Plautius, his general, was already there, and engaged in active warfare.
The emperor landed at Massilia, whence he went by land to Gesoriacum, afterwards Bononia (Boulogne
), and from Boulogne
he crossed the straits. Boulogne
became from this time a Roman port, and the usual place of embarkation for Britain. Claudius crossed the Thames with his army, and took Camalodunum, the town of king Cunobelin.
He was only sixteen days' in Britain, and on his return he had a triumph for the victories which his general had gained. (D. C. 60.19
It was probably when Claudius was in Gallia that the chief persons (primores) of Gallia Comata, “having,” as Tacitus says (Ann.
11.23) “long ago had treaties with Rome (foedera) and the Roman civitas, claimed the privilege of obtaining the honores at Rome.” This passage of Tacitus has sometimes been misunderstood. The “civitas” had not been given to any of the states of Gallia Comata; but some of the chiefs had obtained the Roman civitas, as we have seen in the examples of Florus and Sacrovir.
But it appears from this passage, that it was not the complete civitas, for they had not access to the high offices at Rome and the senate; and yet the Roman “civitas” implies both the suffragium and the honores. The “suffragium” was indeed nothing now; and the “honores” were only a name; but it was something for a Gaul to have the title of praetor and consul, and a seat in the Roman senate. Claudius made a speech to the senate, which is a singular mixture of pedantry and good sense.
He supported the claim of the Gallic chiefs by the universal practice of Rome of admitting foreigners into the senatorial body; and the first instance that he mentions was that of his Sabine ancestor, Clausus, the progenitor of the Claudia Gens.
He observed that the Galli were already mingled with the Romans by sameness of manners, arts, and marriage; and he argued that it was better they should bring their gold and wealth to Rome than keep it to themselves.
The wealthy Gallic nobles often visited Rome, and some of them resided there.
The emperor thought it better to attract to Rome the rich men of the provinces than to keep them away.
A senatus consultum followed the speech of the princeps; and “the Aedui were the first who obtained admission to the senate in the city” (senatorum in urbe jus). “This,” adds Tacitus, “was granted in respect of their ancient foedus, and because they were the only Gallic people that had the title of fraternity with the Roman people” (A.D. 48).
It is not said if other Gallic peoples, after the Aedui, obtained access to the senate. Probably we may conclude that they became admissible.
But this was purely a personal distinction, conferred at the pleasure of the emperor on such rich Galli as chose to reside in Rome.
The Provincia, the first part of Gallia in which the Romans fixed themselves, became, under the Empire, completely Italian in language, in manners, and in civility; and the parts of Gallia Comata nearest to it soon showed the effects of this proximity.
The younger Pliny (Plin. Ep. 9.11
) states that there were booksellers at Lugdunum in his time, and he was glad to hear that they sold his books.
The language and literature of Rome soon extended beyond the limits of the Narbonensis; for Latin was the language of administration, and of the numerous “negotiatores” and “mercatores” who covered the country.
It was also the language of most of the legionary soldiers.
The great nobles learned it as a matter of course: for their ambition was to live at Rome, and intrigue in public affairs. Julius Africanus, a Santon, was involved in the ruin of Sejanus at Rome (Tac. Ann. 6.7
): and Valerius Asiaticus, twice consul, and a man who claimed the merit of having planned the death of Caligula, was a native of Vienna (Vienne
) on the Rhine; but whether he was of pure Roman blood, for Vienna was a colonia, or Gallic, does not appear. (Tac. Ann. 11.1.
From Gallia came the blow which struck down the emperor Nero. C. Julius Vindex, the governor of Lugdunensis, an Aquitanian by descent, and a Roman senator through his father, hated Nero, whose infamous debaucheries he had been witness of at Rome.
He stirred up the Galli of his province (A.D. 68) to insurrection, not against the Romans, but against a sanguinary tyrant whom he despised.
The conspirators fixed on Ser. Sulpicius Galba, then governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, as the successor of Nero, the first example of a Roman emperor being named on a foreign soil. Galba hesitated, and with good cause; for the legions of Gallia had the power in their hands, and they were divided. Lugdunum was the only large city that continued faithful to Nero (Tac. Hist. 1.51
), who had given 4,000,000 sesterces to restore it when it was burnt (Tac. Ann. 16.13
); but its rival and neighbour, Vienna, was on Galba's side.
The legions on the Rhine had not yet declared themselves, and the states in their neighbourhood waited for the decision of the troops. Verginius Rufus, who commanded in the Upper Germania, felt or affected respect for the Roman senate, and would not support an election made by insurgents.
He entered the country of the Sequani, who had declared for Galba, and laid siege to Vesontio (Besançon
). Vindex, with the forces that he had collected, hurried to defend the place, and, though the two generals had an interview, and are supposed to have come to terms, their men fell to blows, and the army of Vindex was routed. Vindex ended his life by his own sword.
Galba had now declared himself, and advanced into the Narbonensis; Rufus, in the mean time, kept his men in suspense.
The news of the death of Nero decided the fortune of Galba.
The messengers from the Roman senate met him at Narbonne,
and urged him to hasten to Rome, where he was eagerly expected. (Plut. Galba,
The new emperor belied the hopes that were formed of his moderation and prudence.
He punished the Gallic peoples which had not declared for him; he deprived some of their territory, imposed on them heavier taxes, and even destroyed their fortifications. (Tac. Hist. 1.8
; Sueton. Galba,
100.12.) Plutarch (Galba,
100.18) speaks of the Gallic partisans of Vindex obtaining the “civitas,” and Tacitus (Tac. Hist. 1.8
) has the same; but, whatever the historians mean by this civitas, it was a name and nothing more. When Tacitus adds, [p. 1.969]
that there was a diminution of taxation, we understand what he means.
The troops on the Rhine soon chose a new emperor. Galba had appointed Vitellius to command in the Lower Germania, in place of Fonteius Capito, whom his officers murdered. Vitellius was more contemptible than Galba, but he had art enough to gain the affection of his men, and he was saluted emperor in the Roman colony of Agrippina (Cologne
) in January, A.D. 69. Thus Rome got an emperor from the banks of the Rhine, just after receiving one from Spain.
In fact, it had now two at the same time. Galba was murdered at Rome, before the end of the month in which Vitellius was proclaimed; and another emperor, Otho, had reigned and died before Vitellius crossed the Alps into Italy.
The eastern part of Gallia suffered terribly from the march of Vitellius' troops towards the Alps. They went in two divisions under his generals Valens and Caecina; the lazy emperor followed slowly after.
As he was passing through Gallia, Maric, a Boian, one of the meaner sort (Tacitus is almost ashamed to mention so low a fellow, Hist.
2.61), assumed the title of “Vindicator of the Galliae and God.” He got about eight thousand men together, and was gaining ground in the nearest cantons of the Aedui, when this honoured state and the elegant youths who had been brought up at Augustodunum, with the help of a few cohorts from Vitellius, dispersed the fanatical rout. Maric was thrown to wild beasts, and because he was not torn, the stolid rabble considered him invulnerable; but Vitellius, who was present, broke the charm by ordering the man to be put to death.
The story is significant of the popular ignorance; but a parallel may be found even in our own days.
Vitellius had another rival almost before half the year was over. Vespasian was proclaimed emperor at Alexandria on the first of July, A.D. 69; and not quite twelve months passed from the time when Vitellius was proclaimed at Cologne
to his ignominious death at Rome. One of the men who mainly helped to place Vespasian on the imperial throne, was a native of Tolosa in the Narbonensis, Antonius Primus.
During the contest between the partisans of Vitellius and Vespasian an insurrection broke out in Gallia, the most formidable since the time when Caesar reduced this country to obedience.
It began in the swamps of Holland. Claudius Civilis, of a powerful Batavian family, had served in the Roman armies from his youth, and had the rank of a Roman citizen. Both he and his brother Paulus had fallen under the suspicion of Fonteius Capito, the governor of the Lower Germania. Paulus was put to death by the order of Capito, and Claudius was given up to Nero, who put him in prison. Galba set him at liberty, and sent him back to the Germaniae. Civilis pretended to take the side of Vespasian when the news reached the Rhine of the east having declared for him, but his real object was to establish the independence of his country, and to get power himself.
In a short time he drove the Roman troops out of the Insula Batavorum, and besieged two legions in Castra Vetera [CASTRA
] near the Rhine. (Tac. Hist. 4.22
The success of Civilis brought him aid from the Germaniae and the Galliae; and deliverance from Roman oppression was now talked of. The Batavi themselves paid no “tributum” or taxes to the Romans; and an inscription preserves the record of their being honoured with the title of brothers (fratres), as the Aedui of old had been. But Civilis affected to take up arms against their common tyrants, and the Galli were invited to assist in expelling them. When the news of the death of Vitellius reached the Galliae and the Germaniae (Tac, Hist.
4.54), the war against the Romans was carried on by Civilis with new vigour.
He did not affect any longer to be on the side of Vespasian.
He was fighting against the power of Rome.
The burnings of the Roman capitol in the contest between the partisans of Vitellius and Vespasian, seemed to the Galli an omen of the end of the Roman empire. The Druids declared that this conflagration was a sign of the wrath of heaven, and that the dominion of the world was given to the Transalpine nations. The Druids were not wrong: they only mistook the time. The Roman camp on the Rhine was full of discord. Hordeonius Flaccus, an old and feeble commander, a partisan of Vespasian, was murdered by his own men, (Tac. Hist. 4.36
.) Upon this messages passed between Civilis and Classicus, a Trevir, who commanded a body of cavalry of the Treviri. Classicus was of royal descent, and he boasted rather of his ancestors' hostility to Rome than of their alliance. Two other men joined them; Julius Tutor, a Trevir, and Julius Sabinus, a Lingon. Tutor was set over a part of the banks of the Rhine by Vitellius. Sabinus, a vain man, was puffed up by a false con. ceit of a Roman descent; he gave it out that one of his female ancestors had an adulterous connection with Caesar during the Gallic War.
These men met at Cologne
to concert their plans, but in secret; for most of the Ubii were still disinclined to revolt. Indeed, it was only a part of Gallia, the north and some parts of the east, that was ready for insurrection; and chiefly the Treviri and the Lingones. The Sequani refused to join any league against Rome.
The conspirators made an attempt to corrupt the legions, which were now under the command of Vocula, who was murdered by a deserter from the first legion. (Tac. Hist. 4.59
.) Classicus entered the Roman camp, having assumed the insignia of the Roman empire, as Tacitus expresses it, and the Roman soldiers took the military oath in defence of the empire of, the Galliae. Tutor compelled the people of Cologne
and the soldiers on the Upper Rhine to take the same oath. Civilis was still employed on the blockade of the Roman troops at Vetera. Famine at last compelled the soldiers to yield; but before the surrender was accepted, they were required to swear fidelity to the Gallic empire. Civilis cut off his long light hair, which he had let grow, pursuant to a vow made, after the fashion of his country, when he began the war against the Romans. (Tac. Hist. 4.61
But he neither took the oath to the Gallic empire, nor allowed any Batavian; he trusted to the power of the Germans, and he had ambitious views of dominion.
There was among the Bructeri at this time a virgin, named Veleda, who had great authority, for the Germans thought that most women had the gift of divination; and Veleda had proved her claim to this distinction.
She had foretold the success of the Germans and the destruction of the Roman legions.
Civilis and Classicus, elated by their success, deliberated whether they should give up Cologne
to their men to plunder. (Tac. Hist. 4.63
.) The Transrhenane people hated this strong walled place, and a deputation from the Tenctheri brought their wishes to the municipal body of Cologne.
The speech which Tacitus puts in the mouth of these Germans is valuable, because it gives us some information [p. 1.970]
of the state of this flourishing city at that time.
The original Roman settlers had intermarried with the German Ubii, and they had become one people.
There were duties levied on goods that passed through Cologne,
and doubtless on goods passing up and down the river. The Ubii consented to abolish these imposts, and to allow the Germans to pass through their town unarmed and in the daytime. The Agrippinenses satisfied the Tenctheri by their concessions; and it was agreed that Civilis and Veleda should be the witnesses to the compact. Commissioners from Cologne
were sent with presents, and the business was amicably settled.
But the holy woman could not be approached: she staid in a lofty tower; and one of her kinsmen brought to her the words of the commissioners, and carried back her answers, as if he were a messenger between a divinity and men. (Tac. Hist. 4.65
The insurrection of the Batavians had been prosecuted with vigour and success.
In the country of the Lingones it was a miserable failure. Julius Sabinus, proclaiming himself Caesar, led a disorderly rabble into the territory of the Sequani; and the Sequani, faithful to Rome, accepted the challenge. The Lingones were routed, and Sabinus was one of the first to run. His fate does not concern us here, and his name might be forgotten but for the con. stancy and devotion of his wife Epponina for nine years, during which he lurked in his hiding-places.
She was one of the illustrious women of Gallia; for it is one of the characteristics of the nation to produce women above the common stamp. (Plut. Ama torius,
vol. iv. ed. Wytt.)
The defeat of the Lingones and the news of the approach of the armies of Italy under Annius Gallus and Petilius Cerialis, checked the Gallic insurrection. Seven legions were marching upon Gallia: four from Italy, two from Spain, and one that was summoned from Britain. The Remi, who had received Caesar in a friendly manner when he first entered the country of the Belgae, summoned the Gallic states to deliberate on the question of peace or war.
It seems probable that their object was to secure peace, and that they were resolved against war.
The deputy of the Treviri, a Gaul with a Roman name, Tullius Valentinus, was the eager advocate of war; but he was more a man for words than for deeds. Julius Auspex, the orator of the Remi, spoke in favour of peace.
The states were divided by interests and jealousies; there was discord among them before they had got the victory. (Tac. Hist. 4.69
This meeting showed that a Gallic rebellion was impossible; for the Galli could not agree as to the conduct of the war, nor what they should do if the Romans were driven from the country. Nor was Rome yet so feeble as to fear the nations of the North.
She had good soldiers, able generals, and a man of ability as emperor. Civilis was engaged in a quarrel with a countryman, Labeo, who had a faction of his own. Neither Classicus nor Tutor made any vigorous preparations to resist the Romans. Tutor met one division of the Roman army with the forces of the Treviri, Vangiones, Tribocci, and Caracates, the last a people who lived about Mainz;
he had also some of the Roman soldiers who had taken the oath of fidelity to the Gallic empire. The Romans of Tutor deserted to the enemy, and the Germans followed their example. Tutor, with his Treviri, retired to Bingium (Bingen
) on the Rhine, where he was surprised and routed. Cerialis had now got to Moguntiacum (Mainz
),--a general full of confidence in himself aud contempt for the enemy, He declined the aid which the states of Gallia sent, and ordered their troops home: he told the Galli they might turn to their usual occupations; he could finish the war himself.
He passed from Mainz
to Rigodulum on the Mosel,
where Valentinus had posted himself with a large force of Treviri, and fortified himself, Cerialis quickly dislodged him, and on the next day entered Colonia Trevirorum, the ancient city of Trier,
on the Mosel,
the capital of the Treviri.
With difficulty he prevented his men from destroying a city which was the native place of Classicus and Tutor. Cerialis summoned the Treviri and Lingones to Trier.
The speech which Tacitus (Tac. Hist. 4.73
) has put in the soldier's mouth is a wonderfully brief and masterly composition, well suited to make the Galli satisfied with the Roman dominion, as the only means of averting anarchy, and to detach them from alliance with the Germans. The Treviri and Lingones were well satisfied to be told that they had better be obedient and enjoy what they had, than run the risk of losing all by persevering in their resistance.
This was the end of the Gallic rising, which was not a national movement, but the rebellion of a few states.
The real rebellion was along the Batavians and the German settlers in Gallia, though there were still some Lingones in the army of Civilis.
Civilis, with Classicus and Tutor, fell upon the camp of Cerialis near Trier;
for Cerialis, though an able commander, was careless and a man of pleasure.
The enemy was not repelled without difficulty. (Tac. Hist.
This failure of Civilis encouraged the Agrippinenses to come over to the Roman side, which they had unwillingly deserted for the German and Batavian alliance. They sent to offer to Cerialis the wife and sister of Civilis and the daughter of Classicus, who were with them, as hostages; and they massacred the Germans who were dispersed in the houses of the city. Fearing the vengeance of Civilis, they sent for help to Cerialis. Civilis was marching upon Cologne,
hoping to find at Tolbiacum (Zulpich
), in the territory of the colony, a cohort of Chauci and Frisii, on whom he greatly relied; but on the way he heard the news of all these Germans being destroyed by the treachery of the Agrippinenses. The Chauci and Frisii had been gorged with food and wine, and while they were drunk and asleep the Agrippinenses closed the doors of the place, set fire to it, and burnt them all alive, (Tac. Hist. 4.79
.) Civilis hastened to Cologne,
and this important city was again in the hands of the Romans.
Cerialis carried the war into the Insula Batavorum. Civilis at last came to terms, and obtained his pardon.
The history of the last part of this campaign is imperfect in Tacitus, whose work breaks off suddenly. (Hist.
The political divisions of Gallia remained unchanged till the fourth century of our aera.
The origin of the new division is unknown.
The history of the Galliae under Roman dominion belongs to the history of the Roman empire, and cannot be separated from it.
The subject is instructive, but it be. longs to a different kind of work.
This article, though long, is not complete, but perhaps complete enough for its purpose, and within such limits as are reasonable, The following references will be useful.
There is a good article on France
in the Penny Cyclopaedia.
D'Anville, Notice de la Caule Ancienne;
Thierry, Histoire des [p. 1.971]Gaulois;
Walckenaer, Géographie Ancienne Historique et Comparée des Gaules Cisalpine et Transalpine;
and Forbiger's Compilation, Handbuch der alten Geographie, &c.,
are all useful.
The references in these works will show what a large mass of literature has accumulated on the geography and history of the Galliae,