The Greeks or Hellenes are an ethnic group native to Greece, southern Albania, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world. Greek colonies and communities have been established on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, but the Greek people have always been centered on the Aegean and Ionian seas, where the Greek language has been spoken since the Bronze Age; until the early 20th century, Greeks were distributed between the Greek peninsula, the western coast of Asia Minor, the Black Sea coast, Cappadocia in central Anatolia, the Balkans and Constantinople. Many of these regions coincided to a large extent with the borders of the Byzantine Empire of the late 11th century and the Eastern Mediterranean areas of ancient Greek colonization; the cultural centers of the Greeks have included Athens, Alexandria and Constantinople at various periods. Most ethnic Greeks live nowadays within the borders of Cyprus.
The Greek genocide and population exchange between Greece and Turkey nearly ended the three millennia-old Greek presence in Asia Minor. Other longstanding Greek populations can be found from southern Italy to the Caucasus and southern Russia and Ukraine and in the Greek diaspora communities in a number of other countries. Today, most Greeks are registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church. Greeks have influenced and contributed to culture, exploration, philosophy, architecture, mathematics and technology, business and sports, both and contemporarily; the Greeks speak the Greek language, which forms its own unique branch within the Indo-European family of languages, the Hellenic. They are part of a group of classical ethnicities, described by Anthony D. Smith as an "archetypal diaspora people"; the Proto-Greeks arrived at the area now called Greece, in the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC. The sequence of migrations into the Greek mainland during the 2nd millennium BC has to be reconstructed on the basis of the ancient Greek dialects, as they presented themselves centuries and are therefore subject to some uncertainties.
There were at least two migrations, the first being the Ionians and Aeolians, which resulted in Mycenaean Greece by the 16th century BC, the second, the Dorian invasion, around the 11th century BC, displacing the Arcadocypriot dialects, which descended from the Mycenaean period. Both migrations occur at incisive periods, the Mycenaean at the transition to the Late Bronze Age and the Doric at the Bronze Age collapse. An alternative hypothesis has been put forth by linguist Vladimir Georgiev, who places Proto-Greek speakers in northwestern Greece by the Early Helladic period, i.e. towards the end of the European Neolithic. Linguists Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson in a 2003 paper using computational methods on Swadesh lists have arrived at a somewhat earlier estimate, around 5000 BC for Greco-Armenian split and the emergence of Greek as a separate linguistic lineage around 4000 BC. In c. 1600 BC, the Mycenaean Greeks borrowed from the Minoan civilization its syllabic writing system and developed their own syllabic script known as Linear B, providing the first and oldest written evidence of Greek.
The Mycenaeans penetrated the Aegean Sea and, by the 15th century BC, had reached Rhodes, Crete and the shores of Asia Minor. Around 1200 BC, the Dorians, another Greek-speaking people, followed from Epirus. Traditionally, historians have believed that the Dorian invasion caused the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, but it is the main attack was made by seafaring raiders who sailed into the eastern Mediterranean around 1180 BC; the Dorian invasion was followed by a poorly attested period of migrations, appropriately called the Greek Dark Ages, but by 800 BC the landscape of Archaic and Classical Greece was discernible. The Greeks of classical antiquity idealized their Mycenaean ancestors and the Mycenaean period as a glorious era of heroes, closeness of the gods and material wealth; the Homeric Epics were and accepted as part of the Greek past and it was not until the time of Euhemerism that scholars began to question Homer's historicity. As part of the Mycenaean heritage that survived, the names of the gods and goddesses of Mycenaean Greece became major figures of the Olympian Pantheon of antiquity.
The ethnogenesis of the Greek nation is linked to the development of Pan-Hellenism in the 8th century BC. According to some scholars, the foundational event was the Olympic Games in 776 BC, when the idea of a common Hellenism among the Greek tribes was first translated into a shared cultural experience and Hellenism was a matter of common culture; the works of Homer and Hesiod were written in the 8th century BC, becoming the basis of the national religion, ethos and mythology. The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi was established in this period; the classical period of Greek civilization covers a time spanning from the early 5th century BC to the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 BC. It is so named because it set the standards by which Greek civilization would be judged in eras; the Classical period is described as the "Golden Age" of Greek civilization, and
The Gauls were a group of Celtic peoples of West-Central Europe in the Iron Age and the Roman period. The area they inhabited was known as Gaul, their Gaulish language forms the main branch of the Continental Celtic languages. The Gauls emerged around the 5th century BC as the bearers of the La Tène culture north of the Alps. By the 4th century BC, they spread over much of what is now France, Spain, Switzerland, Southern Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia by virtue of controlling the trade routes along the river systems of the Rhône, Seine and Danube, they expanded into Northern Italy, the Balkans and Galatia. Gaul was never united under a single ruler or government, but the Gallic tribes were capable of uniting their forces in large-scale military operations, they reached the peak of their power in the early 3rd century BC. The rising Roman Republic after the end of the First Punic War put pressure on the Gallic sphere of influence. After this, Gaul became a province of the Roman Empire, the Gauls culturally adapted to the Roman world, bringing about the formation of the hybrid Gallo-Roman culture.
The Gauls of Gallia Celtica according to the testimony of Caesar called themselves Celtae in their own language, Galli in Latin. As is not unusual with ancient ethnonyms, these names came to be applied more than their original sense, Celtae being the origin of the term Celts itself while Galli is the origin of the adjective Gallic, now referring to all of Gaul; the name Gaul itself is not from the Germanic word * Walhaz. Gaulish culture developed out of the Celtic cultures over the first millennia BC; the Urnfield culture represents the Celts as a distinct cultural branch of the Indo-European-speaking people. The spread of iron working led to the Hallstatt culture in the 8th century BC; the Hallstatt culture evolved into the La Tène culture in around the 5th century BC. The Greek and Etruscan civilizations and colonies began to influence the Gauls in the Mediterranean area. Gauls under Brennus invaded Rome circa 390 BC. By the 5th century BC, the tribes called Gauls had migrated from Central France to the Mediterranean coast.
Gallic invaders settled the Po Valley in the 4th century BC, defeated Roman forces in a battle under Brennus in 390 BC and raided Italy as far as Sicily. In the 3rd century BC, the Gauls attempted an eastward expansion in 281-279 BC, towards the Balkan peninsula, which at that time was a Greek province, with the ultimate goal to reach and loot the rich Greek city-states of the Greek mainland, but the majority of the Gaul army was exterminated by the Greeks and the few Gauls that survived were forced to flee. A large number of Gauls served in the armies of Carthage during the Punic Wars, one of the leading rebel leaders of the Mercenary War, was of Gallic origin. During the Balkan expedition, led by Cerethrios and Bolgios, the Gauls raided twice the Greek mainland. At the end of the second expedition the Gallic raiders had been repelled by the coalition armies of the various Greek city-states and were forced to retreat to Illyria and Thrace, but the Greeks were forced to grant safe-passage to the Gauls who made their way to Asia Minor and settled in Central Anatolia.
The Gallic area of settlement in Asia Minor was called Galatia. But they were checked through the use of war elephants and skirmishers by the Greek Seleucid king Antiochus I in 275 BC, after which they served as mercenaries across the whole Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean, including Ptolemaic Egypt, where they, under Ptolemy II Philadelphus, attempted to seize control of the kingdom. In the first Gallic invasion of Greece, they achieved victory over the Macedonians and killed the Macedonian king Ptolemy Keraunos, they focused on looting the rich Macedonian countryside, but avoided the fortified cities. The Macedonian general Sosthenes assembled an army, defeated Bolgius and repelled the invading Gauls. In the second Gaulish invasion of Greece, the Gauls, led by Brennos, suffered heavy losses while facing the Greek coalition army at Thermopylae, but helped by the Heracleans they followed the mountain path around Thermopylae to encircle the Greek army in the same way that the Persian army had done at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, but this time deafeating the whole of the Greek army.
After passing Thermopylae the Gauls headed for the rich treasury at Delphi, where they were defeated by the re-assembled Greek army. This led to a series of retreats of the Gauls, with devastating losses, all the way up to Macedonia and out of the Greek mainland; the major part of the Gaul army was defeated in the process, those Gauls survived were forced to flee from Greece. The Gallic leader Brennos was injured at Delphi and committed suicide there. (He is not to be confused with another Gaulish leader bearing the same name who had sacked Rome a century earlier. In 278 BC Gaulish settlers in the Balkans were invited by Nicomedes I of Bithynia to help him in a dynastic struggle against his brother, they numbered about 10,000 fighting men and about the same number of
Strabo was a Greek geographer and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus in around 64 BC, his family had been involved in politics since at least the reign of Mithridates V. Strabo was related to Dorylaeus on his mother's side. Several other family members, including his paternal grandfather had served Mithridates VI during the Mithridatic Wars; as the war drew to a close, Strabo's grandfather had turned several Pontic fortresses over to the Romans. Strabo wrote that "great promises were made in exchange for these services", as Persian culture endured in Amasia after Mithridates and Tigranes were defeated, scholars have speculated about how the family's support for Rome might have affected their position in the local community, whether they might have been granted Roman citizenship as a reward. Strabo's life was characterized by extensive travels, he journeyed to Egypt and Kush, as far west as coastal Tuscany and as far south as Ethiopia in addition to his travels in Asia Minor and the time he spent in Rome.
Travel throughout the Mediterranean and Near East for scholarly purposes, was popular during this era and was facilitated by the relative peace enjoyed throughout the reign of Augustus. He moved to Rome in 44 BC, stayed there and writing, until at least 31 BC. In 29 BC, on his way to Corinth, he visited the island of Gyaros in the Aegean Sea. Around 25 BC, he sailed up the Nile until reaching Philae, after which point there is little record of his proceedings until AD 17, it is not known when Strabo's Geography was written, though comments within the work itself place the finished version within the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Some place its first drafts around 7 BC, others around AD 17 or 18; the latest passage to which a date can be assigned is his reference to the death in AD 23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia, said to have died "just recently". He worked on the Geography for many years and revised it not always consistently, it is an encyclopaedical chronicle and consists of political, social, geographic description of whole Europe: British Isles, Iberian Peninsula, Germania, The Alps, Greece.
The Geography is the only extant work providing information about both Greek and Roman peoples and countries during the reign of Augustus. On the presumption that "recently" means within a year, Strabo stopped writing that year or the next, when he died, he was influenced by Homer and Aristotle. The first of Strabo's major works, Historical Sketches, written while he was in Rome, is nearly lost. Meant to cover the history of the known world from the conquest of Greece by the Romans, Strabo quotes it himself and other classical authors mention that it existed, although the only surviving document is a fragment of papyrus now in possession of the University of Milan. Strabo studied under several prominent teachers of various specialties throughout his early life at different stops along his Mediterranean travels, his first chapter of education took place in Nysa under the master of rhetoric Aristodemus, who had taught the sons of the same Roman general who had taken over Pontus. Aristodemus was the head of two schools of rhetoric and grammar, one in Nysa and one in Rhodes, the former of the two cities possessing a distinct intellectual curiosity of Homeric literature and the interpretation of epics.
Strabo was an admirer of Homer's poetry a consequence of his time spent in Nysa with Aristodemus. At around the age of 21, Strabo moved to Rome, where he studied philosophy with the Peripatetic Xenarchus, a respected tutor in Augustus's court. Despite Xenarchus's Aristotelian leanings, Strabo gives evidence to have formed his own Stoic inclinations. In Rome, he learned grammar under the rich and famous scholar Tyrannion of Amisus. Although Tyrannion was a Peripatetic, he was more relevantly a respected authority on geography, a fact significant, considering Strabo's future contributions to the field; the final noteworthy mentor to Strabo was Athenodorus Cananites, a philosopher who had spent his life since 44 BC in Rome forging relationships with the Roman elite. Athenodorus endowed to Strabo three important items: his philosophy, his knowledge, his contacts. Unlike the Aristotelian Xenarchus and Tyrannion who preceded him in teaching Strabo, Athenodorus was Stoic in mindset certainly the source of Strabo's diversion from the philosophy of his former mentors.
Moreover, from his own first-hand experience, Athenodorus provided Strabo with information about regions of the empire which he would not otherwise have known. Strabo is most notable for his work Geographica, which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era. Although the Geographica was utilized in its contemporary antiquity, a multitude of copies survived throughout the Byzantine Empire, it first appeared in Western Europe in Rome as a Latin translation issued around 1469. The first Greek edition was published in 1516 in Venice. Isaac Casaubon, classical scholar and editor of Greek texts, provided the first critical edition in 1587. Although Strabo cited the antique Greek astronomers Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, acknowledging their astronomical and mathematical efforts towards geography, he claimed that
Arles is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence. A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory; the city has a long history, was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981; the Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970; the river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only more than 50,000.
Its area is 758.93 km2, more than seven times the area of Paris. The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Celtic influences have been discovered; the city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans. The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia further along the coast, its chance came. Massalia backed Pompey; the town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth." Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, a full circuit of walls.
Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it served as a major port. It had the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end; the boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot; the city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania and Armorica. At that time, the city was home to 75,000–100,000 people, it became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing.
His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West and made Arles his capital in 408. Arles became renowned as a religious centre during the late Roman Empire, it was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul; the city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.
The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy. Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils, the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years; the Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world"; the remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex.
The mill c
Entremont is a 3.5 hectare archaeological site three kilometres from Aix-en-Provence at the extreme south of the Puyricard plateau. In antiquity, the oppidum at Entremont was the capital of the Celtic-Ligurian confederation, it was settled between 180 and 170 B. C. somewhat than the inhabitation of other Gallic oppida, such as Saint-Blaise. The site was abandoned when it was taken by the Romans in 123 B. C. and replaced by Aquae Sextiae, a new Roman city founded at the foot of the plateau. By 90 B. C. the former oppidum was uninhabited. The site contains two distinct areas of settlement surrounded by ramparts. Archaeologist Fernand Benoit named the older area, on the summit, "Ville Haute", the lower "Ville Basse". Subsequently it was recognised that the latter was an enlargement of the former, they are now labelled "Habitat 1" and "Habitat 2", respectively. Finds from the site are displayed at Musée Granet and include statues, bas-reliefs and impressive severed heads
Aix-en-Provence, or Aix, is a city and commune in Southern France, about 30 km north of Marseille. A former capital of Provence, it is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a subprefecture; the population of Aix-en-Provence numbers 143,000. Its inhabitants are called Aixois or, less Aquisextains. Aix was founded in 123 BC by the Roman consul Sextius Calvinus, who gave his name to its springs, following the destruction of the nearby Gallic oppidum at Entremont. In 102 BC its vicinity was the scene of the Battle of Aquae Sextiae, where the Romans under Gaius Marius defeated the Cimbri and Teutones, with mass suicides among the captured women, which passed into Roman legends of Germanic heroism. In the 4th century AD it became the metropolis of Narbonensis Secunda, it was occupied by the Visigoths in 477. In the succeeding century, the town was plundered by the Franks and Lombards, was occupied by the Saracens in 731 and by Charles Martel in 737.
Aix, which during the Middle Ages was the capital of Provence, did not reach its zenith until after the 12th century, under the houses of Barcelona/Aragon and Anjou, it became an artistic centre and seat of learning. Aix passed to the crown of France with the rest of Provence in 1487, in 1501 Louis XII established there the parliament of Provence, which existed until 1789. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the town was the seat of the Intendance of Provence. Current archeological excavations in the Ville des Tours, a medieval suburb of Aix, have unearthed the remains of a Roman amphitheatre. A deposit of fossil bones from the Upper Continental Miocene gave rise to a Christian dragon legend. Aix-en-Provence is situated in the south of France, in a plain overlooking the Arc river, about a mile from the right bank of the river; the city slopes from north to south and the Montagne Sainte-Victoire can be seen to the east. Aix's position in the south of France gives it a warm climate, though more extreme than Marseille due to the inland location.
It has an average January temperature of 5 °C and a July average of 23 °C. It has an average of only 91 days of rain. While it is protected from the Mistral, Aix still experiences the cooler and gusty conditions it brings. Unlike most of France which has an oceanic climate, Aix-en-Provence has a Mediterranean climate; the Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with double rows of plane trees, bordered by fine houses and decorated by fountains. It follows the line of the old city wall, divides the town into two sections; the new town extends to the west. Situated on this avenue, lined on one side with banks and on the other with cafés, is the Deux Garçons, the most famous brasserie in Aix. Built in 1792, it was frequented by the likes of Émile Zola and Ernest Hemingway; the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour is situated to the north in the medieval part of Aix. Built on the site of a former Roman forum and an adjacent basilica, it contains a mixture of all styles from the 5th to the 17th century, including a richly decorated portal in the Gothic style with doors elaborately carved in walnut.
The interior contains 16th-century tapestries, a 15th-century triptych, depicting King René and his wife on the side panels, as well as a Merovingian baptistery, its Renaissance dome supported by original Roman columns. The archbishop's palace and a Romanesque cloister adjoin the cathedral on its south side; the Archbishopric of Aix is now shared with Arles. Among its other public institutions, Aix has the second most important Appeal Court outside of Paris, located near the site of the former Palace of the Counts of Provence; the Hôtel de Ville, a building in the classical style of the middle of the 17th century, looks onto a picturesque square. It contains tapestries. At its side rises a handsome clock-tower erected in 1510. On the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville is the former Corn Exchange; this ornately decorated 18th-century building was designed by the Vallon brothers. Nearby are the remarkable thermal springs, containing lime and carbonic acid, that first drew the Romans to Aix and gave it the name Aquae Sextiae.
A spa was built in 1705 near the remains of the ancient Roman baths of Sextius. South of the Cours Mirabeau is the Quartier Mazarin; this residential district was constructed for the gentry of Aix by Archbishop Michele Mazzarino brother of Cardinal Jules Mazarin in the last half of the 17th century and contains several notable hôtels particuliers. The 13th-century church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte contains valuable pictures and a restored organ. Next to it is the Musée Granet, devoted to European sculpture. Aix is referred to as the city of a thousand fountains. Among the most notable are the 17th-century Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins in the Quartier Mazarin, designed by Jean-Claude Rambot, three of the fountains down the central Cours Mirabeau: At the top, a 19th-century fountain depicts the "good king" René holding the Muscat grapes that he introduced to Provence in the 15th century.
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