Julius Caesar discerned three broad divisions amongst the inhabitants of Gaul. The Belgae of the north were similar to, but wilder than, the Celtae of the centre, while the Aquitani tribes of the Southwest were entirely distinct in appearance and customs. Prior to Caesar’s conquest, most of the southern littoral had been annexed by Rome. The Allobroges would prove valiant allies in his campaigns, while Narbo, previously the main port of Gaul under the Volcae, had been converted into a thriving Roman commercial centre. The Arverni were perhaps the most powerful Gallic tribe and were renowned as skilled metallurgists. They were defeated by the Romans in 121 BCE, but would rise again under Vercingetorix to lead a powerful confederacy against Caesar. Thereafter, the main resistance came from the wild margins, with the sea-faring Morini holding out in marshland strongholds along the Channel coast, and the Veneti proving stubborn adversaries in the uplands of Armorica.
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