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date: 20 March 2023

Gaul, Transalpinelocked

Gaul, Transalpinelocked

  • John Frederick Drinkwater


Gaul, Transalpine, comprised the area from the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean coast of modern France to the English Channel, and the Atlantic to the Rhine and the western Alps. As a geopolitical entity, it emerged in the 1st cent. bce and lasted into the 5th cent. ce. Augustus divided Gaul into four provinces: Narbonensis, Lugdunensis, Aquitania, and Belgica. The Flavians annexed the *Agri Decumates and attached them to Upper Germany—carved, like Lower Germany, out of Belgica (see germania). *Diocletian subdivided all six Gallic provinces, making a total of thirteen.Gaul was predominantly Celtic in culture (see celts), but it did not include the Celts of the Danube and northern Italy; and it contained Ligurians and Iberians in the south, and Germanic immigrants in the north-east. The south had also been heavily influenced by Greek *colonization. Hence ‘Gaul’ was not a natural unit, but a Roman artefact. In order to protect the route to Spain, Rome helped *Massalia against bordering tribes.


  • Ancient Geography

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