Roman Provinces of Gaul 180 CE


Map Code: Ax02105

The Mediterranean coastline of modern France was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 121 BCE, and ‘civilized’ early; its inhabitants were termed bracata (‘trousered’), as opposed to the uncouth comate (‘long-hairs’) and presumably untrousered, northerners. Caesar completed the conquest of Gaul (58–51 BCE), and defined the crude tribal divisions that governed the delimitation of future provinces under Augustus (22 BCE). Aquitania contained a mix of Celtic tribes, including the dominant Arverni, and the earlier native Aquitani. Gallia Lugdunensis was ruled from Lugdunum (Lyon) in its far southeastern corner, while the Brittany peninsula in the remote far west (Armorica) was barely Romanized. Gallia Belgica, administered from Durocortorum (Reims) originally comprised a mix of Celtic and German tribes. Under Domitian (90 CE) Germania Inferior and Superior were hived off as militarized frontier zones, protecting against German tribal incursions. In the Marcomannic wars (166–180 CE), these tribes breached the border defences, to be repulsed: they would return with a vengeance.

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