Gaul had since prehistoric times become the home of successive waves of invaders or immigrants from the East. The Roman armies brought a brief interlude of stability, but Roman rule ended with another wave of invasions, the Germanic invasions of the fifth century. Towards the end of the period covered by this book come the very last of the invasions, those of the ninth and early tenth centuries. Genetically, therefore, the population of Gaul was very mixed. Five hundred years of Roman rule had not entirely obliterated earlier ethnic differences, and the Germanic invasions introduced a new set of ethnic traditions. By the year 1000 there were at least eight distinct peoples, with their own more or less well defined territory and their own sense of community: Franks, Aquitanians, Burgundians, Goths,. Gascons, Bretons, Normans and Alamans. ‘Gallia’ might still be used as a geographical term, to distinguish the land west of the Rhine and Alps from ‘Germania’ and ‘Italia’, but only by those of a scholarly disposition. Certainly no one in 1000 would have thought of themselves as ‘Galli’, as they might well have done five hundred years earlier. How did these new patriotisms come into being?
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- The Peoples of Gaul
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number