Roman Gaul  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Roman Gaul consisted of an area of provincial rule in the Roman Empire, in modern day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and western Germany. Roman control of the area lasted for 600 years. The Roman Republic began its takeover of Celtic Gaul in 121 BC, when it conquered and annexed the southern reaches of the area. Julius Caesar completed the task by defeating the Celtic tribes in the Gallic Wars of 58-51 BC and the romanization that ensued was quickest in the cities; Latin was spoken by a majority of Gauls in the third century AD but with some remains of the Gallic language. The last vestige of Roman rule was effaced by the Franks at the Battle of Soissons (486); displacing the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse in 507, the Franks brought most of Gaul save Septimania in the south under the rule of the Merovingians, the first kings of France.

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