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Gaul

century romans roman italy

Gaul, name given by the ancient Romans to the 2 regions inhabited by the Celts: Gallia Cisalpina, or northern Italy, and Gallia Transalpina, the area roughly equivalent to modern France, including parts of modern Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Northern Italy was conquered by Celtic invaders in the 5th century B.C.; they in turn were subjugated by the Romans in the 3rd century B.C. Julius Caesar gave Roman citizenship to the Cisalpine Celts, and in 42 B.C. Augustus Caesar incorporated Cisalpine Gaul into Italy. Transalpine Gaul came under Celtic control in the 5th century B.C., and from about 400 B.C. Rome and the Greek colony of Massilia (Marseilles) were allied. In the late 2nd century B.C. the Romans took more decisive control of this region. At the same time Germanic tribes were crossing the Rhine River and pushing southward into Gaul. The Romans fully occupied southern Gaul around 121 B.C., and during the Gallic Wars (58–51 B.C.) Julius Caesar repulsed the Germanic tribes and conquered the whole of Gaul. Under Roman rule, Gaul was divided into a number of provinces that adopted Roman laws and customs. Cities were founded, roads built, and the area prospered. It remained under Roman rule until the 5th century A.D., when it was overrun by various Germanic tribes.

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