The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
Emona or Aemona was a Roman castrum, located in the area where the navigable Ljubljanica river came closest to Castle Hill, serving the trade between the city's settlers - colonists from the northern part of Roman Italy - and the rest of the empire. Emona was the region's easternmost city, although it was assumed that it was part of the Pannonia or Illyricum, but archaeological findings from 2008 proved otherwise. From the late 4th to the late 6th century, Emona was the seat of a bishopric that had intensive contacts with the ecclesiastical circle of Milan, reflected in the architecture of the early Christian complex along Erjavec Street in present-day Ljubljana; the Visigoths camped by Emona in the winter of 408/9, the Huns attacked it during their campaign of 452, the Langobards passed through on their way to Italy in 568, came incursions by the Avars and Slavs. The ancient cemetery in Dravlje indicates that the original inhabitants and invaders were able to live peacefully side by side for several decades.
After the first half of the 6th century, there was no life left in Emona. The 18th-century Ljubljana Renaissance elite shared the interest in Antiquity with the rest of Europe, attributing the founding of Ljubljana to the mythical Jason and the Argonauts. Other ancient Roman towns located in present-day Slovenia include Nauportus, Celeia and Poetovio. During the 1st century BC a Roman military stronghold was built on the site of the present Ljubljana, below Castle hill. Construction of the Roman settlement of Emona, fortified with strong walls, followed in AD 14, it had a population of 5,000 to 6,000 people merchants and craftsmen, was an important Early Christian centre with its own goddess, Equrna. Emona’s administrative territory or ager stretched from Atrans along the Karawanks mountains towards the north, near Višnja Gora to the east, along the Kolpa River in the south, bordered to the west with the territory of Aquileia at the village of Bevke. After few months of occupation in 388, the citizens of Emona saluted Emperor Theodosius I entering the liberated city after the victorious Battle of the Save, where Theodosius I defeated the army of the Roman usurper Magnus Maximus.
In 452, Emona was destroyed by the Huns, led by Attila. Its remaining inhabitants fled the city. According to Herodotus, Emona was founded by Jason, when he travelled through the country with the Argonauts, named by him in honour of his Thessalian homeland. According to the 18th-century historian Johann Gregor Thalnitscher, the original predecessor of Emona was founded c. 1222 BC. According to 1938 article by the historian Balduin Saria, Emona was founded in late AD 14 or early AD 15, on the site of the Legio XV Apollinaris, after it left for Carnuntum, by a decree of Emperor Augustus and completed by his successor, Emperor Tiberius. Archaeological findings have not rejected nor confirmed this hypothesis and it is most accepted; the location of Emona overlaps with the southwest part of the old nucleus of the modern city of Ljubljana. In a rectangle with a central square or forum and a system of rectangular intersecting streets, Emona was laid out as a typical Roman town. According to Roman custom, there were cemeteries along the northern and eastern thoroughfares into the city – from the directions of Celeia and Neviodunum.
The wider area surrounding the town saw the development of typical Roman countryside: villages, hamlets and brickworks. Archaeological findings have been found in every construction project in the center of Ljubljana. Intensive archaeological research on Emona dates back 100 years, although it was the Roman town was portrayed from the 17th century onward. Numerous remains have been excavated there, such as parts of the Roman wall, residential houses, tombstones, several mosaics, parts of the early Christian baptistery, which can be still seen today. Regarding its location within Roman Italy, in 2001 a boundary stone between Aquileia and Emona was discovered in the vicinity of Bevke in the bed of the Ljubljanica River; the stone is made of Aurisina limestone. Because similar stones were only used to demarcate two communities belonging to the same Roman province and because it is not disputed that Aquileia belonged to Roman Italy, this means that both towns belonged to Italy and that Emona was never part of Illyricum.
The architect Jože Plečnik redesigned the remains of the Roman walls: he cut two new passages to create a link to Snežnik Street and Murnik Street, behind the walls he arranged a park displaying architectural elements from Antiquity, with a stone monument collection in the Emona city gate. Above the passageway to Murnik Street he set up a pyramid. After the Second World War, attempts were made to embed references to Emona grid into modern Ljubljana, with the Roman forum becoming part of the Ferant Park apartment blocks and an echo of the rotunda located along Slovenia Street. There was a Christian bishopric named Aemona, whose bishop Maximus participated in the Council of Aquileia, 381, which condemned Arianism. After the destruction of Aemona in the 7th century, the bishop's seat was transferred to Novigrad. In Latin the name Aemona
Battle of Thapsus
The Battle of Thapsus was an engagement in Caesar's Civil War that took place on April 6, 46 BC near Thapsus. The Republican forces of the Optimates, led by Quintus Caecilius Metellus Scipio, were decisively defeated by the veteran forces loyal to Julius Caesar, it was followed shortly by his ally, Cato the Younger. In 49 BC, the last Republican civil war was initiated after Julius Caesar defied senatorial orders to disband his army following the conclusion of hostilities in Gaul, he crossed over the Rubicon river with the 13th Legion, a clear violation of Roman Law, marched to Rome. The Optimates fled to Greece under the command of Pompey since they were incapable of defending the city of Rome itself against Caesar. Led by Caesar, the Populares followed, but were outnumbered and defeated in the Battle of Dyrrhachium. Still outnumbered, Caesar recovered and went on to decisively defeat the Optimates under Pompey at Pharsalus. Pompey fled to Egypt, where to Caesar's consternation, Pompey was assassinated.
The remaining Optimates, not ready to give up fighting, regrouped in the African provinces. Their leaders were Caecilius Metellus Scipio. Other key figures in the resistance were Titus Labienus, Publius Attius Varus, Lucius Afranius, Marcus Petreius and the brothers Sextus and Gnaeus Pompeius. King Juba I of Numidia was a valuable local ally. After the pacification of the Eastern provinces, a short visit to Rome, Caesar followed his opponents to Africa and landed in Hadrumetum on December 28, 47 BC. After landing, Caesar's forces were engaged by the Optimates led by Petreius and Labienus, Scipio being absent; the result was indecisive and both sides retreated. The Optimates gathered their forces to oppose Caesar with astonishing speed, their army included 40,000 men, a powerful cavalry force led by Caesar's former right-hand man, the talented Titus Labienus, forces of allied local kings and 60 war elephants. The two armies engaged in small skirmishes to gauge the strength of the opposing force, during which two legions switched to Caesar's side.
Meanwhile, Caesar expected reinforcements from Sicily. In the beginning of February, Caesar arrived in Thapsus and besieged the city, blocking the southern entrance with three lines of fortifications; the Optimates, led by Metellus Scipio, could not risk the loss of this position and were forced to accept battle. Metellus Scipio's army circled Thapsus. Anticipating Caesar's approach, it remained in tight battle order flanked by its elephant cavalry. Caesar's position was typical of his style, with him commanding the right side and the cavalry and archers flanked; the threat of the elephants led to the additional precaution of reinforcing the cavalry with five cohorts. One of Caesar's trumpeters sounded the battle. Caesar's archers attacked the elephants, causing them to trample their own men; the elephants on the left flank charged against Caesar's center. This legion sustained the charge with such bravery that afterwards they wore an elephant as a symbol. After the loss of the elephants, Metellus Scipio started to lose ground.
Caesar's cavalry outmaneuvered its enemy, destroyed the fortified camp, forced its enemy into retreat. King Juba's allied troops abandoned the battle was decided. Around ten thousand enemies were killed, those surviving the battle being put to the sword by the furious soldiers in spite of Caesar's plea to spare them. Plutarch reports. Scipio himself escaped, only to commit suicide months in a naval battle near Hippo Regius. Following the battle, Caesar renewed the siege of Thapsus, which fell. Caesar proceeded to Utica. On the news of the defeat of his allies, Cato committed suicide. Caesar was upset by this and is reported by Plutarch to have said: "Cato, I must grudge you your death, as you grudged me the honour of saving your life." The battle preceded peace in Africa—Caesar pulled out and returned to Rome on July 25 of the same year. Opposition, would rise again. Titus Labienus, the Pompeian brothers and others had managed to escape to the Hispania provinces; the civil war was not finished, the Battle of Munda would soon follow.
The Battle of Thapsus is regarded as marking the last large scale use of war elephants in the West
Otho was Roman emperor for three months, from 15 January to 16 April 69. He was the second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors. A member of a noble Etruscan family, Otho was a friend and courtier of the young emperor Nero until he was banished to the governorship of the remote province of Lusitania in 58 following his wife Poppaea Sabina's affair with Nero. After a period of moderate rule in the province, he allied himself with Galba, the governor of neighbouring Hispania Tarraconensis, during the revolts of 68, he accompanied Galba on his march to Rome, but revolted and murdered Galba at the start of the next year. Inheriting the problem of the rebellion of Vitellius, commander of the army in Germania Inferior, Otho led a sizeable force which met Vitellius' army at the Battle of Bedriacum. After initial fighting resulted in 40,000 casualties, a retreat of his forces, Otho committed suicide rather than fight on and Vitellius was proclaimed emperor. Otho was born on 28 April 32, his grandfather had been a senator, Claudius granted Otho's father patrician status.
Greenhalgh writes that "he was addicted to luxury and pleasure to a degree remarkable in a Roman". An aged freedwoman brought him into the company of the emperor Nero. Otho married the emperor's mistress Poppaea Sabina, he exiled Otho to the province Lusitania in 58 or 59 by appointing him to be its governor, an office in which he proved to be capable. Yet, he never forgave Nero for marrying Poppaea, he allied himself with Galba, governor of neighboring Hispania Tarraconensis, in the latter's rebellion against Nero in 68. Nero committed suicide that year and Galba was proclaimed emperor by the Senate. Otho accompanied the new emperor to Rome in October 68. Before they entered the city, Galba's army fought against a legion. On 1 January 69, the day Galba took the office of consul alongside Titus Vinius, the fourth and twenty-second legions of Upper Germany refused to swear loyalty to the emperor, they demanded that a new emperor be chosen. On the following day, the soldiers of Lower Germany refused to swear their loyalty and proclaimed the governor of the province, Aulus Vitellius, as emperor.
Galba tried to ensure his authority as emperor was recognized by adopting the nobleman Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus as his successor, an action that gained resentment from Otho. Galba was killed by the Praetorians on 15 January, followed shortly by Piso, their heads were placed on poles and Otho was proclaimed emperor. He accepted, or appeared to accept, the cognomen of Nero conferred upon him by the shouts of the populace, whom his comparative youth and the effeminacy of his appearance reminded of their lost favourite. Nero's statues were again set up, his freedmen and household officers reinstalled, the intended completion of the Golden House announced. At the same time the fears of the more sober and respectable citizens were allayed by Otho's liberal professions of his intention to govern equitably, by his judicious clemency towards Aulus Marius Celsus, consul-designate, a devoted adherent of Galba. Otho soon realized that it was much easier to overthrow an emperor than rule as one: according to Suetonius Otho once remarked that "Playing the Long Pipes is hardly my trade".
Any further development of Otho's policy was checked once Otho had read through Galba's private correspondence and realized the extent of the revolution in Germany, where several legions had declared for Vitellius, the commander of the legions on the lower Rhine River, were advancing upon Italy. After a vain attempt to conciliate Vitellius by the offer of a share in the Empire, with unexpected vigor, prepared for war. From the much more remote provinces, which had acquiesced in his accession, little help was to be expected, but the legions of Dalmatia and Moesia were eager in his cause, the Praetorian cohorts were in themselves a formidable force and an efficient fleet gave him the mastery of the Italian seas; the fleet was at once dispatched to secure Liguria, on 14 March Otho, undismayed by omens and prophecies, started northwards at the head of his troops in the hopes of preventing the entry of Vitellius' troops into Italy. But for this he was too late, all that could be done was to throw troops into Placentia and hold the line of the Po.
Otho's advanced guard defended Placentia against Aulus Caecina Alienus, compelled that general to fall back on Cremona, but the arrival of Fabius Valens altered the aspect of affairs. Vitellius' commanders now resolved to bring on a decisive battle, the Battle of Bedriacum, their designs were assisted by the divided and irresolute counsels which prevailed in Otho's camp; the more experienced officers urged the importance of avoiding a battle until at least the legions from Dalmatia had arrived. However, the rashness of the emperor's brother Titianus and of Proculus, prefect of the Praetorian Guards, added to Otho's feverish impatience, overruled all opposition, an immediate advance was decided upon. Otho remained behind with a considerable reserve force at Brixellum on the southern bank of the Po; when this decision was taken, Otho's army had crossed the Po and were encamped at Bedriacum, a small village on the Via Postumia, on the route by which the legions from Dalmatia would arrive. Leaving a strong detachment to hold the camp at Bedriacum, the Othonian forces advanced along the Via Postumia in t
Apulum was a fort in the Roman province of Dacia in the 2nd and 4th centuries AD, located in today's Alba-Iulia, Romania. It is the largest castrum located in Romania. List of castra Apulum Apulon Media related to Apulum at Wikimedia Commons Apulum Archaeology Roman castra from Romania – Google Maps / Earth
Battle of Bedriacum
The Battle of Bedriacum refers to two battles fought during the Year of the Four Emperors near the village of Bedriacum, about 35 kilometers from the town of Cremona in northern Italy. The fighting in fact took place between Bedriacum and Cremona, the battles are sometimes called "First Cremona" and "Second Cremona". Marcus Salvius Otho, with the support and aid of the Praetorian Guard, had his predecessor Galba murdered in January and claimed the throne. Legate Aulus Vitellius, governor of the province of Germania Inferior, had claimed the throne earlier in the month and marched on Rome with his troops. Vitellius' forces were divided into two armies, one commanded by Aulus Caecina Alienus and the other by Fabius Valens; the Vitellian forces included legions XXI Rapax, V Alaudae and powerful vexillationes from all the other legions stationed on the Rhine, together with a strong force of Batavian auxiliaries, a force of around 70,000 men. The forces commanded by Caecina crossed the Alps by the Great St. Bernard Pass to reach northern Italy.
They attacked Placentia but were repulsed by the Othonian garrison and fell back on Cremona to await the arrival of Valens' army. Otho left Rome on March 14 and marched north to meet the challenge, leaving his brother Titianus in charge of Rome, he made his base at Brixellum. His forces included legions I Adiutrix, XIII Gemina, a forward detachment of XIIII Gemina, the Praetorian Guard and a force of gladiators, his general staff included generals such as Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, who, as governor of Britain, had defeated Boudica eight years before but Otho decided to call his brother Titianus from Rome to act as his commander in chief. Before Titianus arrived, one engagement had been fought. Caecina tried to set an ambush at Locus Castorum, a village about half way between Bedriacum and Cremona on the Via Postumia; the Othonians were warned and their army marched for Locus Castorum, led by Suetonius Paulinus. The Othonians had the better of the fighting and Caecina's troops retreated to Cremona.
Here they were joined by Valens' army. Titanius took command, it was decided to march on Cremona to give battle, against the advice of Paulinus and other generals, who wished to wait until other legions, had arrived. Otho remained at Brixellum to await the outcome. On 14 April the two armies met on the Via Postumia, nearer Cremona than Bedriacum, with the Othonian troops tired after a long march; some of the heaviest fighting was where Otho's 1st Adiutrix legion raised from the marines of Classis Ravennas at Ravenna, clashed with Vitellius' veteran Rapax. The Adiutrix acquitted itself well, capturing the eagle of the 21st, though its commanding officer was killed as the 21st strove to recover it. Elsewhere on the battlefield, Otho's 13th legion was defeated by Vitellius' Alaudae and the Adiutrix gave way when a force of Batavian auxiliaries took them in the flank. According to Dio Cassius about 40,000 men were killed in the fighting; the Othonian troops fled back to their camp in Bedriacum and the next day surrendered to the Vitellian forces and took the oath of allegiance to Vitellius.
When news of the defeat was brought to Brixellum, many of Otho's troops urged him to fight on, pointing out that more troops were on the way but Otho chose suicide rather than cause more deaths. He had been emperor for fewer than three months. Meanwhile, the legions stationed in the Middle East provinces of Judaea and Syria had acclaimed Vespasian as emperor. Vespasian had been given a special command in Iudaea by Nero in 67 with the task of putting down the Great Jewish Revolt, he gained the support of the governor of Syria, Gaius Licinius Mucianus and a strong force drawn from the Judaean and Syrian legions marched on Rome under the command of Mucianus. Before the eastern legions could reach Rome, the Danubian legions of the provinces of Raetia and Moesia acclaimed Vespasian as Emperor in August. Three of these legions, III Gallica, VIII Augusta and VII Claudia had been on their way to support Otho when they heard of his defeat at the first battle of Bedriacum, they had been made to swear allegiance to Vitellius, but when they heard of Vespasian's bid for power they switched their support to him.
They persuaded the other two legions, VII Galbiana and XIII Gemina to join them, which the XIII Gemina did all the more as they were one of the legions, defeated at First Bedriacum, had been made to build amphitheatres for Valens and Caecina as punishment. Led by the commanding officer of the seventh Galbiana, Marcus Antonius Primus, they marched on Rome, having a shorter distance to march reached Italy before Mucianus' troops; when Vitellius heard of Antonius' approach, he dispatched Caecina with a powerful army composed of XXI Rapax, V Alaudae, I Italica and XXII Primigenia together with detachments from seven other legions and a force of auxiliaries. The first of Antonius' legions had arrived at Verona, but though urged to attack them before the remainder of the army arrived, Caecina declined to do so. Caecina had been plotting with Lucilius Bassus, commander of the Classis Ravennas, the Roman fleet at Ravenna, to switch their support to Vespasian, his troops refused to follow his lead however, put him in chains.
Valens, delayed by illness, had by now set out from Rome. Caecina's army, now without their general, advanced on Cremona. Antonius was now based at Bedriacum, advanced towards Cremona with a force of cavalry, they encountered the vanguard of the Vitellian army between Bedriacum and Cremona on the 24 October and a battle followed, with Antoniu
Gaul was a historical region of Western Europe during the Iron Age, inhabited by Celtic tribes, encompassing present day France, Belgium, most of Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2. According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule: Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC. Roman control of Gaul lasted for five centuries, until the last Roman rump state, the Domain of Soissons, fell to the Franks in AD 486.
While the Celtic Gauls had lost their original identities and language during Late Antiquity, becoming amalgamated into a Gallo-Roman culture, Gallia remained the conventional name of the territory throughout the Early Middle Ages, until it acquired a new identity as the Capetian Kingdom of France in the high medieval period. Gallia remains a name of France in modern modern Latin; the Greek and Latin names Galatia and Gallia are derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal-to-. The Galli of Gallia Celtica were reported to refer to themselves as Celtae by Caesar. Hellenistic folk etymology connected the name of the Galatians to the "milk-white" skin of the Gauls. Modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, "capacity, power", thus meaning "powerful people"; the English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, despite superficial similarity. The name Gaul is derived from the Old Frankish *Walholant "Land of the Foreigners/Romans", in which *Walho- is reflex of Proto-Germanic *walhaz, "foreigner, Romanized person", an exonym applied by Germanic speakers to Celts and Latin-speaking people indiscriminately, making it cognate with the names Wales and Wallachia.
The Germanic w- is rendered as gu- / g- in French, the historic diphthong au is the regular outcome of al before a following consonant. French Gaule or Gaulle cannot be derived from Latin Gallia, since g would become j before a, the diphthong au would be unexplained. Proto-Germanic *walha is derived from the name of the Volcae. Unrelated, in spite of superficial similarity, is the name Gael; the Irish word gall did mean "a Gaul", i.e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was widened to "foreigner", to describe the Vikings, still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, for instance in the 12th-century book Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib; as adjectives, English has the two variants: Gallic. The two adjectives are used synonymously, as "pertaining to Gaul or the Gauls", although the Celtic language or languages spoken in Gaul is predominantly known as Gaulish. There is little written information concerning the peoples that inhabited the regions of Gaul, save what can be gleaned from coins.
Therefore, the early history of the Gauls is predominantly a work in archaeology and the relationships between their material culture, genetic relationships and linguistic divisions coincide. Before the rapid spread of the La Tène culture in the 5th to 4th centuries BC, the territory of eastern and southern France participated in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture out of which the early iron-working Hallstatt culture would develop. By 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France. Out of this Hallstatt background, during the 7th and 6th century representing an early form of Continental Celtic culture, the La Tène culture arises under Mediterranean influence from the Greek and Etruscan civilizations, spread out in a number of early centers along the Seine, the Middle Rhine and the upper Elbe. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads across the entire territory of Gaul; the La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age in France, Italy, southwest Germany, Moravia and Hungary.
Farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia. The major source of materials on the Celts of Gaul was Poseidonios of Apamea, whose writings were quoted by Timagenes, Julius Caesar, the Sicilian Greek Diodorus Siculus, the Greek geographer Strabo. In the 4th and early 3rd century BC, Gallic clan confederations expanded far beyond the territory of what would become Roman Gaul, into Pannonia, northern Italy and Asia Minor. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans descr