Monday, August 31, 2009

Voie Romaine - Roman Way

Written history of France begins with the Romans.

Julius Caesar in The Conquest of Gaul,  writes that, "[t]he Meuse rises in the Vosges Mountains, in the country of the Lingones." Geographically, he is a bit off, for the Meuse rises on a plateau to the west of the Vosges Mountains, but there is no denying that Graffigny-Chemin is in the area he describes. In 52 BC, at Alesia (Alise-Sainte-Reine) near Graffigny, the Romans fought the Gauls in a life or death struggle. Julius Caesar beat the Gauls under Vercingetorix, bringing France into the Roman world. Had it gone differently, France might have ended up speaking German.

The Lingones like most Gallic tribes were farmers, but possessed at least two cities, Langres and Dijon, and possibly a third at Toul. If one draws a straight line between the ancient Roman cities of Toul and Langres, then midway on the route is the village of Graffigny-Chemin.

Heading north out of the village towards Toul and away from Langres is the route which is still called by its original name "Voie Romaine" or Roman way.

Michelin map of Graffign-Chemin

Picture - The ancient Roman way which passes by my grandmother's house in Graffigny and through the neighboring village of Chemin.

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