Gallia Aquitania

Gallia Aquitania

Gallia Aquitania (Latin pronunciation IPA|/ˈɡalːia akʷiːˈtaːnia/; [Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879). "Aquitania". "A Latin Dictionary." [ Perseus Digital Library] , Tufts University.] also Aquitaine, Aquitaine Gaul) was a province of the Roman Empire, bordered by the provinces of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Narbonensis, and Hispania Tarraconensis.John Frederick Drinkwater (1998). "Gaul (Transalpine)". "The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization." Ed. Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth. Oxford University Press. [ Oxford Reference Online] .] It lies in present-day southwest France, where it gives its name to the modern region of Aquitaine.

Tribes of Aquitania

Fourteen Celtic tribes and twenty Aquitanian tribes occupied the northern parts of the Pyrenees and, from the country of the Cemmenus to the ocean, bounded by two rivers: the "Garumna" (Garonne) and the "Liger" (Loire). The major tribes are listed at the end of this section."Strabo: The Geography", [*.html The Aquitani] .] [ [ "The Fourth Book of the History of Nature, C. Pliny"] .] There were more than twenty tribes of Aquitani, but they were small and lacking in repute; the majority of the tribes lived along the ocean, while the others reached up into the interior and to the summits of the Cemmenus Mountains, as far as the Tectosages.

The name Gallia Comata was often used to designate the three provinces of Farther Gaul, viz. Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Belgica, and Aquitania, literally meaning ‘long-haired’, as opposed to Gallia Bracata ‘trousered’, a term derived from "bracae" (‘breeches’, the native costume of the northern ‘barbarians’) for Gallia Narbonensis; but a late authorWho|date=July 2007 confuses the two names and calls Farther Gaul ‘Gallia Bracata’. ["Historia Augusta", [*.html The Life of Probus] .]

Most of the Atlantic coast of the Aquitani was sandy and thin-soiled; it grew millet, but was unproductive with respect to other products. Along this coast was also the gulf held by the Tarbelli; in their land gold mines were abundant. Large quantities of gold could be mined with a minimum of refinement. The interior and mountainous country in this region had better soil. The Petrocorii and the Bituriges Cubi had fine iron-works; the Cadurci had linen factories; the Ruteni and the Gabales had silver mines.Fact|date=July 2007

According to Strabo, the Aquitani were a wealthy people. Luerius, the King of the Arverni and the father of Bituitus who warred against Maximus Aemilianus and Dometius, is said to have been so exceptionally rich and extravagant that he once rode on a carriage through a plain, scattering gold and silver coins here and there.

The Romans called the tribal groups "pagi". These were organized into larger super-tribal groups that the Romans called "civitates". These administrative groupings were later taken over by the Romans in their system of local control.

Aquitania was inhabited by the following tribes: Agesinales, Ambilatri, Anagnutes, Arverni, Ausci, Autobroges, Basabocates, Belendi, Bercorates, Bergerri, Bipedimui, Caduni, Cadurci, Cambolectri, Camponi, Cocossati, Consoranni, Cubi, Elui|, Elusates, Gabales, Latusates, Lemovices, Mandubii, Monesi, Mountainers, Nitiobriges, Onobrisates, Osquidates, Osquidiales, Petrocorii, Petrogoti, Pictones, Ruteni, Ruthenes, Santoni, Sassumini, Sediboniates, Sennates, Sibyllates, Sottiates, Succasses, Tarbelli, Tolosanes, Uliarus, Vassei, Vellates, Vellavii, Venami, Veneti (Veneticæ), Vibisci, Vornates.

Gallia Aquitania and Rome

Gaul as a nation was not a natural unit (Caesar differentiated between proper gauls (Celtae), Belgae and Aquitani) but a consequence of Roman action.Fact|date=July 2007 In order to protect the route to Spain, Rome helped Massalia (Marseille) against bordering tribes. Following this intervention, the Romans conquered what they called "Provincia", or the ‘Province’ in 121 BC. "Provincia" extended from the Mediterranean to Lake Geneva, and was later known as Narbonensis with its capital at Narbo. Some of the region falls into modern Provence, still recalling the Roman name.

Aquitania properly was between the Ocean, the Pyrenees and the Garonne river, but romans extended later until Loire river. In the Low Roman Empire was divided in three provinces: Aquitania I, Aquitania II and Novempopulana (this one the proper Aquitania).

The Arverni often warred against the Romans with as many as two to four hundred thousand men. Two hundred thousand fought against Quintus Fabius Maximus Aemilianus and against Domitius Ahenobarbus (Domitian). The Arverni not only had extended their empire as far as Narbo and the boundaries of Massiliotis, but they were also masters of the tribes as far as the Pyrenees, and as far as the ocean and the "Rhenus" (Rhine).

The main struggle (58–50 BC) against the Romans came against Julius Caesar under Vercingetorix at Battle of Gergovia (a city of the Arverni) and at the Battle of Alesia (a city of the Mandubii). The Gaulish commander was captured at the siege of Alesia and the war ended. Caesar seized the remainder of Gaul, justifying his conquest by playing on Roman memories of savage attacks over the Alps by Celts and Germans. Italy was now to be defended from the Rhine.

Under the leadership of Agrippa (38 BC), Augustus gained a great victory over the Gauls of Aquitania. He conducted a census here in 27 BC, and subsequently reorganized the region based on his observations of language, race and community. [Matthew Bunson (1994). "Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire". Facts on File, New York. p. 169.] Aquitania along with Narbonensis, Lugdunensis and Belgica now made up Gallia ["The Histories of Appian", [*.html The Civil Wars] .] At this point, it became an imperial province. Aquitania lay under the command of a former Praetor, and hosted no legions. [, [ "Provinces (Roman)"] .]

Late Roman Empire and the Visigoths

:"For discussion on this time and after, also consult History of Aquitaine"

Early Roman Gaul came to an end late in the 3rd century. External pressures exacerbated internal weaknesses, and neglect of the Rhine frontier resulted in barbarian invasions and civil war. For a while Gaul was governed by a separate line of emperors (beginning with Postumus). However, there had still been no move to gain independence. Diocletian reorganized the provinces in 293 as Diocesis Viennensis, consisting of Gallia Aquitania and Gallia Narbonensis. Within this arrangement, Aquitania was split into three provinces, Aquitania Prima, Aquitania Secunda, and Aquitania Tertia or Aquitania Novempopulana (modern Gascony). After this restructuring, Gaul enjoyed stability and enhanced prestige.

From 395, the division of the empire between eastern and western rulers again caused the neglect of the Rhine frontier, reflected in the transfer of the Gallic prefect to Arelate (Arles). In 418, Emperor Flavius Honorius rewarded his Visigothic federates by giving them land in Aquitania on which to settle following the Germanic invasion and civil war. This was done probably under hospitalitas, the rules for billeting army soldiers [P. Heather. (1996). "The Goths", Blackwell Publishers, Oxford.] [H. Sivan. (1987). "On "Foederati", "Hospitalitas", and the Settlement of the Goths in A.D. 418", "American Journal of Philology" "108" (4), 759-772.] . These were kept in check, until the death of Aëtius and the growing debility of the western government created a power-vacuum. The 460s and 470s saw Visigothic encroachment on Roman territory to the east, and in 476, the last imperial possessions in the south were ceded to the Visigoths. The settlement hence formed the nucleus of the future Visigothic Kingdom that would eventually expand across the Pyrenees and onto the Iberian Peninsula.

Roman Gaul seemed destined to become Visigothic GaulWho|date=July 2007 until, late in the 5th century, Clovis I led the Salian Franks south, and eventually drove the Visigoths into Spain.

ee also

* Gaul
* Roman Empire
* Aquitani
* Arverni


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