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Roman Culture in Gaul

By huseinr Feb 04, 2009 420 Words
Commencing in 121 BC the Roman republic initiated a conquest of the province of Gaul, which was completed in 52BC during Julius Caesar’s time as consul. After this takeover, roman culture spread rapidly within Gaul. Due to a combination of both the Gauls willingness to embrace roman culture and the Romans notorious ability to assume conquered peoples as roman citizens, the Gauls took up an extremely large part of Roman culture into their own, to the point where it can be argued roman culture was prevalent. Following the decisive battle of Alesia in 52BC, the Roman were able to extend their influence over the whole of Gaul, whereas before Rome only had a minor influence as a few citizens were settled in the south of the province. A great example of the merging from Gallic into Roman culture that we can see today is that the Celtic language only exists today in areas that Rome failed to conquer; Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. Otherwise the Celtic peoples completely conformed to Roman language, largely due to the fact that Rome forced ‘barbarians’ to learn Latin before accepting them as citizens. During the initial Roman conquests, Rome developed roads and cities throughout the province of Gaul and Romans constantly referred to Gaul as ‘the province.’ Obviously Roman development and adoption of this area was the beginning of the cultural influence. The Roman control over Gaul lasted close to six hundred years and many more Roman traits were implemented in Gaul. Artistic style became similar in manner to that of Romans, especially in architecture and sculptures. The wealthy peoples of Gaul built theatres, monuments and pottery in Roman fashion. Administrative and economic change also began in Gaul as there had been small, individual tribes before but now city-states and a common identity spread throughout the province. Many Gauls began producing commodities such as wine, glass and pottery and traded these with Italy. This is a great contrast to before the conquering by Romans as Caesar had stated, “merchants rarely travel to them or import such goods…” (Caes.BG, 1.1) Another interesting aspect we can derive is that the Romans suppressed the original Gallic religion. At some point in the first few centuries AD the Romans introduced Christianity, which is why the great majority of Celtic descendants are Christian today. By the end of the Roman empire Gaul was close to completely synchronized with Rome, as Gauls became Roman citizens and contributed to Roman civilization more than any traditions of Gaul.

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