Saturday, July 7, 2012


Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres. 
De Bello Gallico, Julius Caesar  

 "All Gaul is divided into three parts," Caesar writes, and "one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours Gauls, the third."

Tout étudiants qui ont étudié le latin sont familier avec l'expression 'Gallia omnis divisa intérêt en tres partes'. C'est la première phrase de Guerre des Gaules de Jules César. Et la phrase se termine par, ' un part dont les Belges habitent, les Aquitains l'autre, ceux qui, dans leur propre langue sont appelés Celtes, dans notre Gaulois, le troisième.'

Caesar's Gallic Campaigns online.

Gaul, 1st Century AD

Strabo (58 BC-25 AD) a Greek historian wrote:
"The Gauls add to their natural frankness and ferocity a real thoughtlessness and bragging, as well as a passion for their appearance as they cover themselves with golden jewels, wear golden necklaces around their neck, golden bracelets around their arms and wrists and their chiefs are dressed in clothes with vivid colors and gold brocade. This frivolity is such that victory makes the Gauls insufferably arrogant when defeat leaves them in dismay."
Ammianus Marcellinus (330-400 AD) a Roman historian said:
"The Gauls are generally tall, with white skin, blond hair and frightful and ferocious eyes. Their mood is quarrelsome and extremely arrogant. Any of them in a fight will resist several brawlers at a time with no other help than his wife's, an even more dangerous fighter. Whether calm or wrathful, the Gauls always sound threatening or irritable..."

The several tribes Caesar fought from 58 BC to 50 BC were not barbarians. They had kings and coins, towns and trade. Craftsmen worked metal in bronze and gold. Like all men, they loved their freedom and independence. And they came close to defeating the Roman legions.

In 52 BC,  a young Gallic chieftain, Vercingetorix, united many of the Gallic tribes.  The Lingones with their capital at Andematunnum, modern day Langres, were allied with the Romans. The Roman armies met Vercingetorix at the the siege of Alesia. Victory was often in doubt, but as every scholl child knows the Romans prevailed.

The present day village of Graffigny-Chemin is but one hundred miles from the battle site and less than 40 miles from Andematunnum. Graffigny is indeed along the ancient Roman road that connected the Roman towns of Andematunnum (Langres) and Toul. And the street in Graffigny still bears the name Voie Romaine, Roman Way.

Graffigny-Chemin is off modern Highway A31.

Read more about the Lingones.

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