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Gaul

The Roman province of Gaul occupies the portion of Europe that now forms France and part of Germany. Gaul was divided into three major regions: AQUITANIA to the West, LUGDUNENSIS to the North, and NARBONENSIS to the East. It was an important agricultural region, producing grain and wine. Gaul was originally conquered for the Roman Empire by Julius Caesar between the years of 58 and 52 B. C. The story is vividly told by Caesar himself in his Commentaries on the Gallic War. Gaul was later divided up into smaller provinces under the reforms of Diocletian.

Much of Gaul was lost to the Roman Empire during the reign of Honorius. In A. D. 418, the Visigoths were given a large portion of the finest land in Gaul to form their new kingdom of Toulouse. Goths and Vandals whittled large pieces of what remained of the province away during the Fifth Century until Clovis, King of the Franks, defeated Syagrius, the last governor of Gaul and symbol of Roman authority in A. D. 480. Syagrius fled to Alaric II, king of Visigothic Spain. Clovis was able to intimidate Alaric and force him to hand over the fugitive, which Clovis immediately murdered. Clovis went on to brutally consolidate his power to become the first king of an emerging nation later to be called France. Interestingly enough, this event happened four years after the Roman Empire ceased to exist in the West.


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