Back to home - Short address of this page: pressibus.org/victorinagb - Translated with DeepL.com Translator - Original page in french
Victorina, ruler of Gaul
inspirer of the emperors Postumus, Victorinus and Tetricus,
anticipator, with Zenobia of Palmyra, of the tetrarchy

The emperors of Gaul and Bagaudes

Gaul under Roman rule

Genealogy - History - Comics

Who knows about the Gallic Empire and its emperors Postumus and Tetricus who ruled in the 3rd century AD?

Why in this empire, which lasted about fifteen years, should we doubt the existence of a noble lady who refused the title of empress and behaved as a ruler ?

Will the existence of her funerary stele (photograph opposite), finally allow Victorina to be recognised as an essential personality in the history of a country which, much later, would become partly France ?
And why do some historians find it difficult to accept the existence of this Gallic empire? It co-existed with the Roman Empire and it could have lasted in what would have been called the triarchy...

Beyond that, is this empire a reflection of the permanence of the country of Gaul ? Is Victorina, with Vercingetorix, the most emblematic figure of the Gauls?

Resistance to Roman oppression continued with the Bagaude revolts. What became of them in the face of Attila's Huns and then Clovis's Franks ?

Summary
  1. Preamble : our ancestor Postumus, emperor of the Gauls
  2. Gaul : sixty peoples, one language and one religion, that of the druids
  3. 21 The revolt of Sacrovir and the capture of Autun
  4. 67-69 The Aquitanian Vindex and the Boian Mariccus undermine the Roman Empire
  5. 69-70 The Batacian Civilis and the Lingon Sabinus outline a Gallic empire
  6. 70 The brief Gallic republic and the reunion of Sabinus and Eponin
  7. 96-180 A century of peace and Roman impregnation
  8. 180-187 Maternus, the Gaul who wants to be emperor instead of the Roman emperor
  9. 194-197 Albinus, Caesar of the Gauls, fails to become emperor
  10. 250 Were the Christian victims of the riots at Toulouse and elsewhere anti-Roman ?
  11. 260 The Roman Empire on the brink of collapse
  12. 260-269 Postume the restorer emperor of Gaul
  13. 269-273 Victorinus then Tetricus emperors of the Gauls
  14. 260-273 Victorina cousin of Postumus and Tetricus, mother of Victorinus
  15. 267-273 Victorina and Zenobia of Palmyra, a common neo-Roman vision
  16. Certainties and then doubts about the existence of Victorina
  17. The dissipation of doubts about the existence of Victorina
  18. 260-273 The triarchy of the empires of Trier (Gaul), Rome and Palmyra
  19. 270-448 The bagaudes or Gallic resistance to Roman imperialism
  20. 280-281 Proculus and Bonosus, short-lived candidate emperors of the Gauls
  21. 285 Amandus the first emperor of Bagaudes
  22. 286-293 Carausius revived the Gallic empire and became emperor of the Channel
  23. 293-306 The tetrarchy, Constantius Chlorus de facto emperor of the Gauls
  24. 307-355 In Gaul Constantin I establishes order, his sons disorder
  25. 355-361 Julian Caesar of the Gauls, before becoming Emperor Julian the Apostate
  26. 375-388 Gratian then Maximus emperors of the Gauls under a new triarchy
  27. 371-397 Martin of Tours, Bagaudean apostle ransacker of Gallic heritage
  28. 395 Extension of the bagaudes, Rotrou in the Perche and Arnac in the Limousin
  29. 407-422 Constantin III the usurper and Maximus the Tyrant last emperors of the Gauls
  30. 410-416 The Wisigoths sack Rome and then move into Aquitaine and Hispania
  31. 410-460 The Bretons insularly settle in Armorica and attack the Loire Valley
  32. 435-437 Tibatto the last emperor of Bagaudes
  33. 443-534 The Rhodanian kingdom of the Burgundians
  34. 449-451 The Huns and Attila's betrayed trust in Eudox and the Bagaudes
  35. 406-455 The Vandals devastate Gaul, settle in Carthage, plunder Rome...
  36. 455-500 More kingdoms of our Barbarians ancestors (Alans, Saxons, Alamanni, Ostrogoths)
  37. 455-456 The Gauls had one of their own, Avitus, elected as Roman emperor
  38. 461-486 From Aegidius to Syagrius, the Gallic state of Soissons
  39. 486-511 End of Gaul, regeneration of the Bagaudes in Clovis and his victorious Franks
  40. 493-541 Clotilde succeeds where Victorina had failed
  41. 550 Ansbert the senator, the bishops and the survival of the Gallic aristocracy
  42. Gallic rulers symbols of fidelity or separatism ?
  43. Romans, Christians and Franks facing the permanence of Gaul
  44. End of Gaul, passages from the Gauls to the Franks and then the French
  45. Early Gaul, passages from the Celts to the Gauls
  46. Bilan : rulers of Gaul, Bagaudes, Franks, same fight against Roman oppression
  47. Bibliography of the Gallic and Bagaudic empires and the barbarian kingdoms in Gaul
  

Postumus or Postumus, Victorine or Victorina or Victoria, Victorin or Victorinus, which names to choose ?
The spelling used here aligns with that of Anne de Leseleuc's books,
who appears to be the leading historian dealing with the period 260-273 and these characters.
The family trees presented here may contain errors.


  1. Preamble : our ancestor Postumus, emperor of the Gauls

    Assuming, as is commonly accepted, that nine out of ten Frenchmen are descended from Charlemagne, there are more who are descended from Postumus, emperor of the Gauls from 260 to 269 AD, for the simple reason that he lived long before Charlemagne.

    It is very likely that Charlemagne himself is descended from Postumus. However, this has not been proven or even supported by some specific evidence (according to Geneanet 2019).
    Genealogists show the probable (if not certain) existence of a descent from Postumus to St. Sigarde of Dijon (600-678), who had at least three children, respectively ancestors of Bernard of Septimania, Rorgon I of Maine and Girard of Paris, three persons of Charlemagne's time present in many genealogies.

    On a page of his site, Guy de Rambaud presents the first descendants of Postumus, to whom he dedicates another page.

    The genealogical diagrams above and those to follow on this page are taken from my elastoc genealogy on Geneanet, including, here, links to Postume, Sigegarde de Dijon, Bernard of Septimanie, Rorgon I of Maine (if you're descended from them you may consider yourself Rorgonide, which is as meaningless as being descended from Charlemagne...), Girard of Paris.

    Alethius (428-512) witnessed the fall of the Roman Empire
    In the early descendants of Postumus, note Alethius, great-grandson of a grandson. He was a high-ranking figure, a consular senator of the Lyons province whose life is described in this page of the Guy de Rambaud Wiki. His sarcophagus is honoured under the stoop of the town hall of Charmes sur Rhône (red arrow in the Wikipedia photo opposite), as explained in this page of Wikipedia. Alethius was almost 50 years old when Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman emperor, abdicated. Alethius is as much our ancestor as Postumus...


    This very common ancestry is obviously an invitation to learn more about this empire. This is the starting point of the following study. It led me first to Victorina, to the hallo surrounding her existence, and to the discovery of her funerary stele. I found it incomprehensible how little I knew about her and this led me to create this page. One thing led to another and the subject was extended to an illustrated study of Gaul under Roman rule. Finally, more than Postumus, the most representative figure, the one who embodies the Gallic identity without rejecting the best Roman contributions, appears to me to be Victorina, wearing both the Gallic torc and the Roman diadem.



    Gaul in the Roman world. The provinces are numbered in the order of their conquest.
    [Bordas Encyclopedia, volume "93 - Ancient History", page 81, Roger Caratini (1924-2009), editions Bordas 1968]



  2. Gaul : sixty peoples, one language and one religion, that of the druids

    Should we speak of Gaul or Gauls ? Is Gaul only the union of sixty or so peoples? Despite appearances, maintained by the Roman writers, unity exists with language and religion as its cement.

    60 Gallic peoples, 60 territories
    Opposite map from the beginning of the 1st century AD taken from the book "Les peuples gaulois" by Stephan Fichtl (ed. Errances 2004)

    Below, correspondence between the locations of the Gallic peoples and the French departments [page from the Lexilogos website]


    The Germans were Julius Caesar's neighbours from across the Rhine. They would later become the Saxons, Suevi, Alamanni, Goths etc.

    Gaul was made up of about sixty peoples. Each occupied a territory called
    civitas (civitates in the plural), knowing that this word also has the meaning of citizenship or community of citizens, or even a city. Jean-Louis Brunaux [Dossier pour la Science n°61 page 50, 2008] : "The territory of a people is divided into pagi, the Latin term for country, up to five per people. These pagi, which have a certain independence, have their own assemblies and military bodies. They serve as relays for political life. "

    The Gallic language existed until the 5th century and we know many of its words. The page Wikipedia titled "Gaulish language presents the current state of our knowledge. Its origin is Celtic, it is of "great homogeneity from England to northern Italy", even if dialects are detectable. As for the religion, it is that of the druids, whose role, as we shall see, goes far beyond that of the priests of the Gallic religion. Let us begin with the traditional image that has survived the centuries, symbolised by this illustration.


    The Druids of today are not the Druids of yesterday. Our view of Druids has changed... On the left, caption of the image on the left, from about 1910 [Cardon Chocolate Vignette, Cambrai] : "On the first night of the Celtic year called "Mother Night" (6th night of the winter solstice), once a year, the Druids cut with a golden sickle the sacred mistletoe, that of an oak tree." (link) On the right box from 1991 (Secher / Le Honzec, ["Histoire de la Bretagne" volume 1]) On the druids, one may also consult this page of the e-story site or the page Wikipedia.

    The authority of the Druids. In his book "Les empereurs Gaulois" [01 page 54 and following], Maurice Bouvier-Ajam presents us with the political role of the druids, which was limited, but of a certain magnitude. "In contrast to this political heterogeneity of the councils of notables, the religious homogeneity contrasts. If it happens that here or there the participation of the druids in political life is clearer, the fact remains that the Druidic Church is the same everywhere and that it finally constitutes an institution common to all the Gallic countries, having its hierarchy of which we know little and holding its regional and - we can say - national councils. The druids - dru-uid-es - are the "very learned". Access to the Druidic Church seems to be based on intelligence and virtue more than on social origin. [... ] In remote times, the druids opposed, in the name of the gods, family-to-family fighting, and imposed, for want of anything better to do, rules on tribe-to-tribe fighting : holding their plenary assembly in the land of the Carnutes, probably in Chartres, they try to arbitrate disputes between states and to avoid wars; they try to find an acceptable compromise in case of a declared struggle; they try to draw up fair conditions of peace in case of a victory with unclear conclusions. Sometimes they are asked by the belligerents themselves to arbitrate. [...] It is important to note - and this struck Caesar himself - that, in spite of the intensity of local particularisms, the druids managed to be everywhere judges of private and criminal law.". Without writing, one would think that the first criterion for becoming a druid was to have an elephant's memory! For "That's the rub !, the Gauls have no written language." They transcribed their spoken language all the same by relying on foreign alphabets, Greek, Etruscan or Latin. This was used especially in international trade. "It is very likely, and not proven, that many Druids, especially of high rank, knew Greek or Latin, or even Greek and Latin, and taught the writing to those who needed it". The mnamon site, in this page, shows several examples of Gallic writing.


    The words and writing of the Gallic language Some words ["History of Brittany", scenario by Reynald Secher, drawing by René le Honzec, volume 1, published by Reynald Secher 1991] + Here an inscription that "clearly indicates that Gallic was commonly spoken in the 3rd century" + there the page "Speaking Gallic" ["Merde à César - The Gauls - their writings found, collected, translated and commented on" by Jean-Paul Savignac, ed. de la Différence] From the same author, in 2014, a French-Gaulish dictionary. From the presentation  "Jean-Paul Savignac's book shows to what extent the French language was structured on a Gallic background to which it may owe a good part of its originality."


    An example of writing Gallic with the Latin alphabet [19, "Les Cahiers de Science et Vie" 2011, commented by Lionel Crooson]

    It was the Druids who forbade writing, apart from the exceptional case indicated above. Julius Caesar sees two reasons for this  "On the one hand because they did not want their doctrine to be divulged, on the other hand to prevent their pupils, relying on writing, from neglecting their memory".

    A hypothesis by Maurice Bouvier-Ajam on the power of the Druids is surprising. He discusses [01 page 71] the example concerning a "mystery", that of "the discipline, certainly astonishing, of the Gauls in monetary matters." : "What may surprise, is that the various alloyed or filled coins from the various regions of Gaul all have, at the same time, the same characters, the same degrees of alloy and filling. It was therefore necessary that a higher authority, accepted by all, exercising an uncontested control, could impose its discipline in this matter, in the name of the common interest, in the name of what is therefore the national interest. It would be futile to suppose that this discipline could have been the result of a conference between chiefs; their divisions and local particularities did not allow it; they could not even agree unanimously and durably on the organisation of defence. From then on, one is strongly inclined to think that the recognised authority in this matter was that of the druids, of the Druidic Church."

    Still, there would have to be a single Druidic church when some scholars, such as Christian Goudineau, believe that there would have been several, depending on the people. In the same unifying sense as Bouvier-Ajam, Jean-Louis Brunaux attributes to them a role of cement between peoples  "Unstable regions may have known tyrants, before intellectuals such as the druids pushed for the adoption of laws" [Dossier pour la Science n°61, 2008].Despite progress, the druids remain highly mysterious...


    Did the last Druids teach philosophy ? Two panels from the comic book "The Druids", script Jean-Luc Istin, drawing Jacques Lamontagne, volume 1 page 38. This series brings the druids to life for a very long time in Breton lands. A study by Numa-Denis Fustel de Coulanges in 1879 (on this page of the mediterranee-antique.fr website), carried out only on the basis of Roman writings, concludes that Druidism disappeared rapidly after the Roman occupation, before the 3rd century. A writing by Ausonius (309-394) [15 chapter 30] pushes this date back to the fourth century as far as teaching is concerned. The druids still had the prestige of philosophers. Jean-Louis Brunaux goes in this direction, in his book "Les druides" (Le Seuil 2006). The page on the e-stoire.net website) dates their disappearance during the third century in Gaul. Adding another century for the British Isle ?

    A Gallic civilisation ? There is a real Gallic civilisation" headlined a article in Figaro Magazine in 2006. An issue of the Cahiers de Science et Vie 2011 [19] goes in this direction, speaking of the invention of a new form of city (the oppidum), the shaping of the countryside and a first-rate know-how in metallurgy, cooperage and boissellerie.

    Wheeled reaper (opposite) [The private life of men, "Au temps des Gaulois", drawing by Pierre Brochard, Hachette 1981]. The Romans would take their model from the Gallic charioteers, who knew how to make all sorts of chariots, for fighting or transport.

    A vintage comic book panel? Almost, it is a painted panel of a calendar for the month of August [Revue archéologique du Centre de la France, Tome 50 (2011), Alain Ferdière, "Voyage à travers la Gaule profonde", retouched reconstruction]

    There remains the question of the differentiation between Celto-Gaul civilisation and Gallo-Roman or more generally Mediterranean civilisation, taking into account the borders of the Empire. Does the specificity of the Gallic civilisation lie in the evolutionary mixture of Celtic and Mediterranean civilisations? This will be overturned by the arrival of the so-called barbarian civilisations...

      
    From before yesterday to today If the druids disappeared leaving us with almost nothing, many remains have come down to us. Gaul dressed in a tunic (around Auxerre, 1st century) (Photo Maurice Pons - Labor), reproduction of the Larousse page dedicated to the Gaule. Statue of a young Gaul (between 140 and 155) (Carrara marble, Reims), evidence of a Greek influence, reproduction from the Wikipedia page on the Roman Gaul. Nîmes amphitheatre, built in 90-120, the best preserved in Gaul, witness to the Romanisation of Gaul, still hosting great shows. With a capacity of 24,000 spectators, it was smaller than the amphitheatre of Tours / Caesarodunum. with a capacity of 34,000 seats (late 2nd century), one of the largest in the Roman Empire. This size, disproportionate for the modest city of the Turons, shows that the Gauls, like these two statues, came from all the surrounding countryside to attend the shows.



  3. 21 Sacrovir's revolt and the capture of Autun


    Battle between Romans and Gauls. Triumphal Arch of Orange, monument built in 20/25 under the emperor Tiberius, who ruled from 14 to 37 [page Wikipedia]

    The revolts of 39-27. The Gallic defeat of Vercingetorix in 52BC by the Roman troops of Julius Caesar was followed by a series of revolts. Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 40] describes them as follows  "From 39BC, the Aquitans rose up again. The Gallic populations from the Seine to the Rhine immediately take up arms. Rome sent its valiant general Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Octavian's son-in-law, who defeated the Aquitans in 38BC and the peoples of Belgian Gaul in 37BC. In 33BC, the Aquitanians rose again and the Morins fought again. In 29BC, the Trevians, settled on both sides of the Moselle, slaughtered the garrisons and declared their independence. A punitive expedition silenced them for a time, but the Aquitanians took advantage of these troubles in the east to launch a new offensive  it would take two years for the proconsul Valerius Messala Corvinus, the most renowned captain of the time along with Agrippa, to re-establish Roman order as far as the Pyrenees. Terrible campaign. In 27BC, he was entitled to the honours of triumph, just like Caesar in 46BC. But where is the "Roman peace" that so many historians make begin with the surrender of Vercingetorix?

    Augustus concerned about Gallic peace. In 44BC, eight years after the Gallic leader's death, his victor Julius Caesar was assassinated. His grandnephew Caius Octavius, initially one of the three consuls, became in 27BC, at the age of 44, sole ruler of the Roman Empire, under the name of Augustus. Joël Schmidt [18 page 185] emphasises the thoughtfulness of the first Roman emperor, who died in 14 at the age of 76. He visited Gaul four times and was thus able to defuse warlike tendencies. His successors, apart from Claudius from 41 to 54, were not so concerned with keeping the peace.

    From the year 12, two before the death of Augustus, Lyon hosted a federal shrine of the three Gauls where delegates from the sixty peoples met annually. This "council of the Gauls" had a religious, administrative and political role, communicating directly with the Roman emperor. It had a consultative role, sometimes as a counter-power, albeit limited. In this context, the amphitheatre of the three Gauls was inaugurated there in 19. The emperor Claudius, who reigned from 41 to 54 was born there, and the inhabitants were proud of it (they engraved a Claudian table).

    "The Eagles of Rome" is a 5-album series scripted and drawn by Enrico Marini, set in the year 9, at the end of the reign of Augustus (above box from volume 2) then aged 71. The action takes place in Rome and Germania. Published by Dargaud from 2007 to 2016. + the three pages of the meeting of the hero, Falco, with Augustus : 1 2 3


    Lyon, what remains of the amphitheatre of the three Gauls

    An internal peace was established against the background of the progress of Roman culture and economy, although this did not erase a discontent that made Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 42] say that: "Despite the diversities between Gallic peoples that Roman colonialism had carefully maintained and even emphasised, the idea of national unity had still come a long way since Vercingetorix".

    The insurrection of the year 21. Then came the great revolt of the year 21. Believing that there was "not an attempt to create a Gallic empire", Bouvier-Ajam explains it by the conjunction of three factors  "a military conspiracy, the irredentism of the Trevires, the excessive discontent of the agricultural regions".


    ["History of Touraine, from the origins to the Renaissance", script by Georges Couillard, drawing by Joël Tanter, 1986]

    Legend : Several peoples took up arms including the Andecavians and Turons. An Aeduan, Julius Sacrovir, a young Romanized nobleman, raised the auxiliaries he commanded and stirred up the peasants of the Nivernais [14 page 27, R. Marcello]

    Continuing with Jerome France [12 page 91] :"The two figures who took the lead were an Aeduan (federated city), Julius Sacrovir and a Trevirian (free city), Julius Florus. They belonged to those noble families, early rallies, who had received Roman citizenship at an early age and had then loyally served Rome and its interests. But they had been, with their respective cities directly affected by the fiscal measures of Tiberius and it was against these and not against the Roman power itself that they revolted." Between Roman power and fiscal pressure, there is nevertheless a causal link... The more or less strong force of this pressure explains in good part the succession of periods of calm and revolt during five centuries. As with a volcano between periods of calm and eruption, the lava of the national unity of which Bouvier-Ajam speaks, or of the permanence of Gaul, continued to bubble.

    Jérôme France : "Whatever the case, the insurrection was quickly subdued by the Lyon cohort and detachments of the Germanic legions. The revolting cities were defeated one after the other and Sacrovir massacred with his supporters, not far from Autun which he had seized". And to conclude : "Florus and Sacrovir in the forefront, they refused to adapt to this new order of things. Their revolt can therefore be interpreted as a movement of spite, almost love, in which they dragged their clients and dependents, together with a crowd of malcontents, downgraders and lovers of trouble. Their failure was inevitable. It marked the end of an era. And the beginning of another? When the "mob" of malcontents of all kinds takes the name of bagaude...

    Autun / Augustudunum, capital of the Eduens was then a very important city, symbol of Roman power (opposite the still standing walls). Driving the Romans out of the city was, on the other hand, a very strong symbol of the Gallic power still present. Replacing Bibracte, the old capital, by founding this new city had not been enough to subdue the Aedui, even though they were among the strongest Gallic supporters of Rome, since as early as -124, they had been proclaimed "brothers and consanguines of the Roman people" [01 page 54]. Such an old friendship...


    [Augustudunum (Autun) in 68, drawn by Christophe Ansar, from Volume 1 of "The Year of the Four Emperors", Gallia Vetus Publishing 2019]
    Autun, the prestigious Gallic university Capital of the Eduans, created, it seems, under the emperor Augustus to replace the oppidum of Bibracte, this city had a reputation throughout Gaul because of what can be called a university, prized by the Gallic nobility. "Sacrovir seized Autun  he armed all the young men who stayed there to study and formed a large army of them  such untrained troops were in no condition to fight against the Roman discipline  more made to wield the weapons of eloquence than those of combat, they soon folded." ["History of the Gauls" page 201, Jean Picot 1804]. Two centuries later, Ausone (309-394) echoed the still-great prestige of teaching in Autun. The theatre with 14,000 seats was the largest in Gaul.

    As a supplement, one can consult this page from Wikipedia, and this one from the site arbre-celtique, which, drawing on quotes from Tacitus, breaks down into seven pages outlining the evolution of this revolt  Revolt of the Andecavians and Turons, Julius Florus raises the Treviri, Julius Indus defeats his countrymen in the Ardennes, Julius Sacrovir raises the Aedui, Gauls from various cities lend their support to the Aedui, Caius Silius ravages the territory of the Sequans, The battle of Augustodunum. From Anjou to the Ardennes, occupied Gaul was thus shaken by a severe rebellion, which went far beyond that of two nobles disappointed by a deficient Roman friendship.



  4. 67-69 Aquitanian Vindex and Boian Mariccus shake the Roman Empire

    Lyon / Lugdunum capital of Gaul

    Lugdunum (Lyon), drawn by Christophe Ansar, from volume 1 of "The Year of the Four Emperors", Gallia Vetus editions 2019

    Lugdunum was then the capital of Gaul since 27BC, when the capital of Lyons Gaul became the seat of imperial power for the three Gallic provinces, before the Council of Gaul was instituted under Augustus, we have seen. Titus Livy (-64 - 17) writes  "Lyon commanded the Gauls, as the acropolis dominates a city".

    A general exasperation which Vindex takes up

    The sites arbre-celtique.com, by this page and cosmovisions.com, by this page summarize the revolt of Gaius Julius Vindex by first presenting him as a Roman general, son of a senator, of Gallic origin. governor of Lyons Gaul with the title of legate propreter. He was exasperated by the excesses of all kinds of the emperor Nero and the resulting fiscal pressure. Gathering in January 68 the greatest Gaulish notables, he is supported by the Sequans, the Arvernes, the Aedui, and then the Viennese, and he calls all the cities of Gaul to an uprising to overthrow Nero (restore Rome). He succeeded in convincing the consuls Galba and Otho, who were immediately dismissed by Nero.
    "Celtil" by Philippe Masson (Bedescope 1986) + the last three pagea featuring the death of Nero : 1 2 3

     
    "
    History of Lyon" script by André Pelletier and Françoise Bayard, drawing by Jean Prost, published by Horvath 1979. On the right, a coin issued by Vindex [illustration Gallica]. Vindex is never represented on such a coin, imitating a Nero coin. Here it is "Roma restitua", "Rome restored", quite a political programme, showing that the aim is to overthrow Nero. See the clarification in this page of the antiquitebnf.hypotheses website

    But the legate of Upper Germania, Verginius Rufus, remained loyal to Nero and marched against Vindex. Vindex and Rufus met under the walls of Vesontio (Besançon). Before engaging in battle, they had a conference, which was rather friendly, and they parted on very good terms. But Vindex's army felt threatened by the legions and the soldiers came to blows. The Gauls were defeated by the troops of Verginius Rufus. Vindex then despaired of his cause and killed himself.

    Vindex, one year before the year of the four emperors.

    Vindex is the cover hero of volume 1 "May 68" of the series "The Year of the Four Emperors", published by Gallia Vetus in 2019. The writer is Silvio Luccisano (also for Postume [05]), the illustrator is Christophe Ansar. The album has 50 pages and a 15-page supplement. Here are two pages on the last fight and death of Vindex : 1 2.

    Extract from the documentation of this album, made by Silvio Luccisano : "Historical sources are confused and do not allow to understand why, in the hypothesis of a secret pact concluded between Rufus and Vindex, the legions massacred the Gallic rebels. If one accepts the existence of this alliance, the battle of Besançon, the reality of which is indisputable, can only be explained by an initiative of the legionaries overrunning their commander in chief. It is also possible that Rufus, whose actions could be known quickly in Rome, played a double game with Vindex. Still, after the battle his army proclaimed him "imperator", an honour he declined."

    Nero's victory was short-lived. He was overthrown, declared a public enemy by the Senate. He committed suicide on 8 June 68.

    According to this page on the arbre-celtique site, the first measures of the new emperor Galba can be seen as a postumous thanks to Vindex. The monetary workshop of Lyon, loyal to Nero, was closed, the Trevires and Lingons, also loyal, were persecuted while the Sequans, Arvernes and Aedui, allies of Vindex, had their tribute reduced.


    Denarius of C. Julius Vindex. Obverse "Roma restituta" (Rome restored), reverse "Jupiter liberator" [cgb.co.uk]

    Nero, Roman emperor
    from 13 October 54 to 8 June 68

    Galba, Roman emperor
    from 8 June 68 to 15 January 69

    Otho, Roman emperor
    from 15 January 69 to 16 April 69

    Mariccus an enlightened man leading a peasant revolt
    Another page on the arbre-celtique site tells of another revolt in that year 69 known as the year of the four emperors. Shortly after Nero's death, while Vitellius was in Lyons, a Gallic peasant named Mariccus or Marricus or Maric raised the Boans (Sancerre region, Allier) against Rome. At the head of an army of 8,000 peasants, he seized Aeduan villages. Claiming to be the liberator of Gaul (adsertor Galliarum), he pretended to be a god. Caught by Vitellius, he was delivered to the wild beasts of the great amphitheatre of Lyon. Against all expectations, the latter did not devour him and, fearing that the Gauls believed him invulnerable, Vitellius had him killed before their eyes.

    Bouvier-Ajam [01 page51] : "The revolt of the mystic peasant is nonetheless of historical interest as a characteristic sign of the disarray of the Gallic population, of Gallic disgust with Roman adventures, of a drive towards independence."

    Anonymous illustration of the page titled "Mariccus the god", in fact a Briton Rivière painting from 1890 depicting Daniel in the lion's den.

     
    Mariccus (named Maric) in "History of Lyon" scenario A. Pelletier and F. Bayard, drawing by Jean Prost, 1979, here the whole page
    On the right, Vespasian is an ascendant of Charlemagne.



    Vitellius, Roman emperor
    from 19 April to 22 December 69
     
    Vitellius and Vespasian drawn by Christian Denayer in the Belgian journal Tintin No. 5 of 1969 (scenario Yves Duval), extracted from the story "The War of the IV Emperors" + the four pages of this story : 1 2 3 4

    Vespasian, Roman emperor

    Thus, it was the unrest in Gaul that led to the removal of Nero and the coming to power of new emperors who failed to quell the unrest and met a tragic end. Five emperors succeeded each other in a year and a half. It took the Roman state more than two years to bring the situation under control. Were the Romans afraid of another sack of Rome, like that of Brennus around -387 ? Even if the rebels were far away, even if they had no intention of marching on Rome, they triggered seismic tremors that made the imperial power waver. But if in 70, the agitation calmed down in Rome, it turned into a revolt in the north of Gaul...



  5. 69-70 Batave Civilis and Lingon Sabinus outline a Gallic empire

    Civilis, an allied leader who rebels. The Batavians occupied the area framed by the arms of the Rhine and its mouth, at the northern end of Gaul. They were traditionally allied to the Romans. Under Nero, suspected of collusion with the Germans, two of their leaders, Caius Julius Civilis and his brother Julius Paulus, were captured. Both were of royal descent, Roman citizens, citizenship no doubt granted to his ancestors by Caesar or Augustus. Paulus was killed, Civilis was taken in chains to Nero's court. But, in June 68, Galba took power and Civilis was released. Galba was in turn overthrown and, after the Otto interlude, the new Roman emperor, Vitellius, in April 69, again considered the Batavian leader a traitor.

    With the confrontation of the Romans Vitellius and Vespasian in the background, which will turn to the advantage of the latter, emperor in December 69, a troubled and agitated period follows, the changing and too wait-and-see attitude of the Roman authorities becomes incomprehensible, mutiny is everywhere. Bouvier-Ajam relates [01 page 84] :"Civilis feels well that the molested chiefs, especially the Trevirians and Lingons, share more or less his views. But instead of soliciting them, he prefers to let them come. And he decides to take action. In his mind, there is no question of prolonging a war with Rome: it is simply necessary to make it recognize that the time of ecumenical imperialism is over and that peoples, by their union, are able to achieve a balance and prosperity that it denies them. Secession? Perhaps, but it would surely be followed by a proposal for an alliance. Secession? perhaps not if the Empire, faced with the scale of the military action of the rebels, finally decides to understand."

    Wikipedia pages on Civilis and the Batavian revolt : "Dutch authors and artists made it a symbol of their national identity especially in the context of the War of Independence led by William I of Orange-Nassau against the Habsburgs. Writings from this period present Civilis as a defender of public liberties and turn him into a real hero."

    The Civilis revolt as seen in 1662 by Rembrandt (who named the battalion leader Claudius)

    "Le Vercingétorix hollandais", story by Uncle Paul in journal Spirou #1470, drawing by Malois (éditions Dupuis 1966), in 5 pages of comics 1 2 3 4 5 and a didactic panel. As on these pages, and as recounted by Tacitus, Civilis has the prophetess Velleda as his support (see below).


    The Civilis revolt as seen by Otto Van Veen (1556-1629) in 1612 [Wikipedia]

    Bouvier-Ajal continued : "As Civilis had foreseen, three high Gallic chiefs asked to see him: the Lingon Julius Sabinus, the Trevirian Julius Classicus and Julius Tutor. The Cologne interview takes place in the middle of winter 69-70."

    Three women warlords stood out around this year 69 :
    • Velléda, a Germanic prophetess was a supporter of Civilis's revolt [illustrated in the comic strip "Dutch Vercingérorix" shown above]. She was celebrated by writers, painters, sculptors and musicians. Opposite "Aviorix", fictional brother of Velléda, presented as a druidess of the Meuse, is the hero of a series by Marcel Moniquet, published in the Belgian newspaper Héroïc-albums in 1955 and 1956. + A panel.
    • Boudica (or Boadicea, Boudica, Boadicea), born c. 30 died in 61 is, in [Great] Britain a figure of the Breton/Celtic revolt against the Romans. One of them, Dion Cassius describes her as  "great, terrible to behold and endowed with a powerful voice. Flaming red hair fell to her knees, and she wore an ornate golden torc, a multi-coloured tunic and a thick cloak held up by a brooch. She was armed with a long spear and inspired terror in those who saw her". See this page or this one. ["Breizh Histoire de la Bretagne", volume 1, by Nicolas Jarry and Thierry Jigourel on the script, Erwan Seure - Le Bihan on the drawing, éditions Soleil 2017] + three pages : 1 2 3 + here other image of undetermined origin.
    • Cartimandua was queen around 50-70 of the Brigantes people, in the north-east of modern England. Unlike the previous two female warriors, she fought for the Romans.

    Sabinus and the desire to create a Gallic empire. The Lingon Sabinus, probably born in Langres. "is handsome, majestic, as proud to be a Roman general as a Lingon king. He claims to be, moreover, both of Lingon and Roman origin." While Civilis "dreams of a Batavo-German-Gaulish union at bottom likely to become an empire, at the very least a sub-empire within the Roman Empire", Sabinus has "hopes of a Gallo-Roman agreement quickly obtained from a softened Rome between the Roman Empire and a Gallic, only Gallic Empire". At the end of the Cologne interview  "It is beyond doubt that Civilis, who is nevertheless the instigator of the movement and the strongest force, has bowed to the resolutions of his interlocutors : he admits without reservation the creation of an autonomous Gallic Empire, a fraternal ally of the Batavo-Germanic Empire which he, himself, intends to achieve".

    And Maurice Bouvier-Ajam strings together sub-chapters [01 pages 88 to 110]: "The birth of the Gaulish Empire", "An empire without an emperor", "The brief aristocratic republic of the Gauls", "The vain attempt to maintain the Gaulish Empire", "The injustice of the Gods".

    "The coup staged by Civilis and these three Gallic chiefs[Tutor, Classicus, Sabinus]at Cologne was played out in extraordinary fashion". After an initial victory, with the vanquished swearing fealty to "the Gallic Empire", the one who, for all, has the dignity to bear the title of emperor, Sabinus, "suffered the worst setbacks when his companions were achieving their greatest successes".

    Sabinus had started well, however. "Shortly after the conference of Cologne, he solemnly broke, in front of his Lingons, the tables where the clauses of the agreements formerly concluded between the Lingons and Rome had been engraved. Then he had himself proclaimed not emperor, but "Caesar"  he would be the "Caesar of the Gauls", delivering the Gauls from all colonisation or external control, federating the Gallic populations into a Gallic nation, thus preparing for the constitution of an empire which could only result from a real consensus, and ready then to be the first of the Gallic emperors".
    Histoire de France Larousse, Castex and Marcello 1976[14]. Narrated in seven pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

    "Sabinus, who is undoubtedly a pure one, makes his deep intentions clear to the Druids, and this Gallic Caesar obtains from them that considerable support which, quite wrongly, surprises the Roman historians. [...]Popular support, thanks to this action, is much stronger and enthusiasm for the new empire is strong in most regions. It does not achieve the necessary generality  the Gallic instinct, once again, opposes it."

    The defeat of Sabinus It is among the Sequans that opposition is strongest. "To Sabinus's advances, they respond by proclaiming themselves an independent state, asserting that they will not budge". The confrontation takes place in the vicinity of Vesoul, the battle is tough. "The stubbornness and skilful strategy of the Sevans forced the arrivals to halt, then to retreat, then to stampede. Sabinus flees with a handful of men, sets fire to a dwelling in the Luxeuil or Bourbonne countryside, orders his soldiers to leave him before he throws himself into the inferno like Sacrovir once did."



  6. 70 The brief Gallic republic and the reunion of Sabinus and Eponin

    After the failure of Sabinus, the emergence of a Gallic republic The news spreads quickly, the legions of Civilis, Tutor and Classicus Maurice Bouvier-Ajam  "So that two tendencies clash in Gaul. We cannot doubtless speak of a "party of peace" and a "party of war", but of a hope in negotiation and a rejection of any idea of negotiation." A conference was held, probably in August 70, at Reims (Durocortorum). "This is really a national assembly of the Gauls. The representatives of the civitates are either "kings" or members of royal families, or "senators" delegated by senates of notables, or "principals" (principles) holding important public or military offices in their state, or elected "knights" or garrison "officers". [... ) After the conference and until the resumption of Roman rule, the said assembly held more or less frequent and attended meetings and more or less loosely ensured the provisional governance of the Gauls : the Gallic empire, not yet officially abolished, became an aristocratic republic, practically presided over by Aupex." Caius Julius Aupex was the chief magistrate of the Remes, whose capital was Reims


    Gallic democracies. In each territory, assemblies of wealthy (tax-paying) and available citizens met in large enclosures that could hold several thousand people. Decisions were made, chiefs (vergobrets) or representatives were elected, usually for a period of one year. On this topic, see also a article in "Dossier Pour la Science" 2008. Reminder: the Council of the Gauls which was held in Lyon, herefore.
    [illustrations Cléo Germain, educational album "The Gauls" by Stéphanie Ledu, Milan jeunesse 2010]

    Reims capital of the Gauls. In this year 70, the meeting place of the national assembly of the Gallic peoples, the city of Reims / Durocortorum, can be considered as the capital of Gaul. [Illustration Jean-Claude Golvin (link)]

    In addition, increasingly serious dissension was noted in Germania and Batavia, "Civilis being overwhelmed by the growing influx of the most savage Germanic peoples, dreaming only of fire and slaughter and not obeying his orders. Yes, the Germanic peril still existed". Aupex finally proposed to lay down his arms. "Aupex was listened to but not cheered; on the contrary it seems that the discussion was heated, illusory intermediate solutions being proposed". Eventually "almost all the delegates agreed with Aupex".

    At the same time a severe battle took place in which Civilis' Trevirians were defeated by Roman troops, under the command of Quintus Petillius Ceréalis (or Cerialis), senator and warlord. Then "the war continues savagely between the legions of Cerialis and the armies of Civilis, Classicus and Tutor". Then, "December 70 : Rome again became master of Gaul, Batavia, the upper and lower Germanies and any idea of a continued Gallic empire was abandoned".

    "Legend has it - and it is likely - that Civilis, having joined Classicus and Tutor, sank into Inner Germania and went as far as the vicinity of Coburg and that, living as a simple rural landowner, all three of them having renounced political and military action, as they had promised, finally taking refuge in oblivion and anonymity, they peacefully ended their turbulent existence there."

    Thus, if the year 69 had been that of the four Roman emperors, the year 70 was that of the three Gallic regimes, two of them remaining fugitive : the Roman occupation, the Gallic empire and the Gallic republic.

    Sabinus still around.... Bouvier-Ajam : "Sabinus, contrary to what the Gauls and Romans believe, is not dead. He pretended to commit suicide but, having driven away his companions, except one, after telling them that he would throw himself into the flames, he fled and took refuge in a cave on the Langres plateau with the only soldier he kept with him. The latter posed as a forester and managed to have some contact with the outside world. He learns that Sabinus' wife, Eponine, is starving herself. He manages to reach her and she goes with him to Sabinus' hideout. Continuing to play the inconsolable widow, she periodically goes to see him and, under the guise of travel, sometimes spends quite long periods in his company."

    [14 page 34]


    "For nine years this extraordinary life continues. But Sabinus's companion dies, onlookers endeavour to find his home, eventually ending up at the cave and, suspecting that the hidden inhabitant is a prize hostage, deliver Sabinus and his wife to Rimean soldiers. Sabinus was recognised and the case was immediately reported to the Emperor. Nine years after the defeat of the Gallic Caesar !"

    "Vespasian brings the prisoner before him. No one doubts that he pardons. If only to demonstrate that the times of revolt are duly over and that today the pax romana is solid. But Caesar, after having inflicted a long captivity on him, ignobly killed Vercingetorix. Vespasian will kill Sabinus. He "pardons" Eponin... And the wife of the man who was for so short a time the designated emperor of Gaul publicly proclaims her disgust with Roman barbarism, insults the despot, and demands suplice at her husband's side. These are the graces that a Vespasian always grants. Sabinus and Eponin are put to death, only their children are spared.".


    Eponin and Sabinus, the iconic Gallic couple A 2011 book (cover in the centre, presentation here) and the "Les miserables 62 website, with this page, present extensive documentation on Eponin and Sabinus, showing how much of an aura accompanied the couple's love, beginning with the accounts of the three Romans Plutarch, Tacitus and Cassius Dio. Diderot praised "the beauty, tenderness, fidelity and love" of Eponin, "one of the most beautiful pieces of the history of the Gauls, by the examples of virtues it presents and by the singularity of the events". One would even know of the grotto of Sabrinus. Plutarch attributes to the severity of the punishment the misfortunes with which Vespasian was subsequently burdened. [On the left painting by Nicolas-André Monsiau (1754-1837), then drawing by Jean-Marie Delaperche and, on the right, the painting "Eponinus and Sabinus condemned by Vespasian" by Antoine-François Callet (1741-1823)]



  7. 96-180 A Century of Peace and Roman Impregnation

    Jérôme France [124 page 101] : After 70, the Gauls left the forefront of the political history of the Roman Empire, as much because they did not play an important role in it as because Rome did not give them the same interest as before. This was not a decline, however, and the Three Provinces continued and expanded their economic and social development. In some ways one even gets the impression that they only settled down to better enjoy the material benefits of Roman peace, which returned with the Flavians [...] The decisive fact was for the Gallic provinces the stabilisation of the Germanic frontier and the establishment of a linear and fortified defence system, the limes"."

    Calgacos prevented the Romans from conquering Scotland [19th century drawing].

    Agricola, born in Forum Julii / Fréjus, having studied in Marseille / Massilia [statue of the Bath Baths]

    The Caledonians of Calgacos defeated by the Romans of Agricola. During the reign of Domitian, son of Vespasian, from 81 to 96, it was mainly in the larger island of Britain that an armed struggle against the Roman occupier was manifested. Tacitus gives a detailed account of this with Calgacos (or Calgacus), a Celtic from Caledonia (Scotland) leading the rebels in 83, who was defeated by the formidable peacemaker Cnaeus Julius Agricola. More than usual, the superlatives of Roman writers can be subjective, as Tacitus is Agricola's son-in-law...

    The situation really clears up in 96 when the Flavians, who disliked the Gauls, are replaced by the Antonines. Until 180, those who would later be dubbed "the five good emperors", Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antonin the Pious and Marcus Aurelius, would bring the Roman Empire to its peak, which would never be richer or more pacified than at this time.

       The emperors of the pax romana in Gaul Opposite, three Antonine emperors : Trajan, from 98 to 117, Hadrian, from 117 to 138, Marcus Aurelius, from 161 to 180 [Wikipedia]
    The Roman peace, pax romana, is presented on this page Wikipedia as "the long period of peace (from the 1st century to the 2nd century AD) imposed by the Roman Empire on conquered regions". More precisely : "This period is generally considered to have lasted from 27BC, when Emperor Augustus declared the end of the great civil wars of the 1st century, until 180 when the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius was announced." For Gaul, this period was much shorter, especially for the inhabitants of Autun and Lyon...

    Trajan leads the Roman Empire to its maximum extension.

    At his accession, Emperor Trajan had announced his intention to conquer the Parthian kingdom. He achieved this at the end of his reign in a way that Gilles Chaillet romanticized over drawings by Christian Gine in the three albums of the series "The Shields of Mars" (2011 / 2013). Opposite Trajan in the last panel (here + there the afterword by Gilles Chaillet).

    Hadrian favours peace

    In 117, Trajan's successor was Hadrian / Adrian, his grandnephew and adopted son. He did not continue the expansionist policy of his predecessor. He renounced all the newly conquered territories over the Parthians and reoriented the policy, pacifying and administratively structuring the Empire, while consolidating borders that remained fragile.

    A Roman peace at last welcome. Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 116] :"There is really osmosis; the Roman framework is accepted as soon as it is no longer an instrument of vassalization but becomes an institutional structure that is both logical and flexible, organizing the relationship between deliberation, execution and control  the Gallic mentality, thus finding the means to manifest itself, gives these institutions a character different from that of other provinces : deliberation is carried out with more lively discussion, more positions are taken, the execution is the object of vigilant observations and critical analyses. An administrative and judicial jurisprudence is progressively taking shape, which has its own specificity: custom is associated with Roman law, the Penetrator, uses its formalism for its own purposes and the governor, a judge of appeal, in constant contact with decurions and other notables, admits it perfectly."

    Roadways in Gaul Wrongly named Roman roads, they are primarily Gallic [below in Meurthe et Moselle - Wikipedia]. Opposite, map of Gaul in the 2nd century. It is divided into four major provinces, Narbonnaise, Aquitaine, Lyonnaise and Belgium, and the main roadways. [map of the school assistance site, rue des écoles). The Lower Germania (with Cologne /Colonia Agrippina and Mainz / Mogontiacum) and Upper Germania (with Besançon / Vesontio) are not included.
    The map below, dating from Gallian (c. 265), is more accurate (click on the thumbnail), including in Belgium the part of Lower Germania west of the Rhine (with Besançon, Sequania, Helvetia), usually included in Gaul (map by Gustav Droysen, 1886, under Gallian 260]. The .Hairy Shoulder excludes the Narbonnaise.
    Already traffic jams and already we were driving on the right (see this page) [drawing J.-M. Woerhel [05]]
    Road maps of the time resembled the P Peutinger Table, here anotated around the town of Dreux / Durocassio (link). Dating : late 1st century with updates to 4th and 5th century for the original document (unknown), 13th century for the only known copy.

    Roman and Gaul, each with their own character. "Osmosis" is a word that seems strong when, a few pages before, Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 73] showed, on the contrary, the differences in mentalities : "It is necessary to evoke the profound difference in mentality between Gauls and Romans : even if History was to demonstrate later fertile conciliations, there were at the beginning asserted inconciliations. The Roman is a lawyer, the Gaul is not. The Roman establishes his social hierarchy on the basis of wealth, the Gaul on the basis of tribal tradition. The Roman despises manual labour, the Gaul honours it. The Roman aspires to world domination, the Gaul is averse to national unity. The Roman believes in the uniformity of public institutions, the Gaul in their diversity. The Roman believes in his universalism, the Gauls cherish their particularities. The Gaul is therefore a barbarian in the eyes of the Roman, who is also a barbarian in the eyes of the Gaul. But it is the Roman who wrote history." The state of grace of the Antonine period was then to gradually darken before the catastrophe of the year 260.

    It is in the cities that the "osmosis" is best accomplished. Alain Ferdière [16 page 44] :"By dividing the former territory of independent Gaul into some sixty civitates, or "cities", which correspond moreover roughly to the territories of the ancient Gallic tribes, and by uniting these cities to form three large provinces, Aquitaine, Lyonnaise and Belgium, the Romans first of all intended, once again, to facilitate and systematize the collection of taxes. [...] In any case, the Roman city represents an undeniable novelty in the Gallic world. For the first time all the powers, political and economic in particular, were concentrated in one place. This was not necessarily the case in the oppida. In this sense, it can be said that, in a way, the Romans taught the Gauls about centralisation".



    From the oppidum before the Roman conquest, with difficult access, to the civitas at the crossroads of roads and gridded streets (here Trier, Augusta Treverorum)

    Volume 3, "Pax romana" from "Drawn History of France", texts by Blaise Pichon, drawings by Jeff Pourquié, 2018.


    The Roman presence causes the Gauls to evolve, but gradually, as Alain Ferdière indicates in his interview "The conquest is not an invasion" [16 page 40] with this presentation : "Archeology has highlighted a rather unexpected trend : the Roman conquerors upset Gaul less than was thought. For although the Gallo-Romans converted to Romanity in many respects, they did not deny the heritage of their ancestors."

    An ancestral Roman influence. The impregnation of Roman mores and customs began earlier, and even earlier, by another influence, Greek. Notably through the presence of Massalia and its merchants. "Hundred years before Caesar's conquest, buildings "à la Romaine" appear in certain Gallic cities such as Lyon and Bibracte : tiles replace the thatch of the roof, the walls are built with stone, and no longer with the earth and wood traditionally used until then in northern Gaul. In pre-Roman Gaul, the demand for Italian products was such that Roman merchants came to settle in certain towns, such as Châlon sur Saône or Orléans, as reported by Caesar."

    "A fairly clear social distinction can be made. The Gallo-Roman elites [why not say "Gallic elites" ?], whom we know least, probably felt themselves to be Roman quite quickly, particularly because they were able to gain access to Roman citizenship, or even to the prestigious senatorial class. These notables consider themselves Romans living in Gaul and speak Latin fluently. It is much more difficult to know what it is for the lower classes and rural populations." And to conclude : "I therefore believe that it is preferable to speak of a plurality of Gallo-Roman cultures and worlds."


    Shoemaker in an alley, inn, shops in the market [images taken from the page "Scenes of Daily Life" on Jean-Claude Golvin's website]

    Alain Ferdière[16] continues : "If Gaul was already rich before the conquest, which in fact partly motivated Caesar's imperialist project, it becomes particularly prosperous under the Empire. It was even for the Romans "the pearl" of their Western Empire, bringing in a lot of money for the imperial power through very heavy taxes."

    City scenes in Arles
    The series "Arelate directed by Laurent Seuriac, in 6 volumes (2 cycles of 3 tomes), published from 2009 to 2017 by Idées+ then Cleopas then 100Bulles, takes place in Arles at the end of the 1st century and presents many scenes of daily life. + four pages : 1 (volume 1, construction of the amphitheatre) 2 3 4 (volume 3  travel, arrival in a villa, meals). Each volume ends with a documentary record, here one such page (from volume 1), on the boat deck at Arles. Life there is very romanticised. In this period of peace, violence is channelled into gladiatorial combat.

    From the slaves of antiquity to the serfs of the Middle Ages. As in the Mediterranean countries of the time, the population was divided into nobility, plebs and slaves. In what conditions did the latter live? Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 58]  "The Gallic slave is not the talking animal that the Roman slave is, he is only a man of very low status". "The slave trade seems to have been, in Gaul, very small, at least until the Roman conquest". "Slaves soon became quite close to the plebs  they entered them by emancipation or simply by negligence, by confusion.".

    Continuing the social analysis, Bouvier-Ajam comes to this conclusion [01 page 125] :"We see : a pre-feudal regime is outlined in Gaul at least from the beginning of the 2nd century. The prefiguration of the medieval knight's stronghold is given by the fortified villa of the Gallo-Roman knight  the prefiguration of the hierarchy of fiefs is given by the hierarchy of the territorial communities of Roman Gaul  the prefiguration of the free cities, the free towns of the Middle Ages is given by the municipal organisation of the vici  and, which is certainly the most important, the relationships between serfs, vilains, burghers, lords, which characterise feudalism and the whole of the Old Regime, are drawn up as early as the reign of Trajan. "



  8. 180-187 Maternus, the Gaul who wants to be emperor instead of the Roman emperor

    This episode is often treated only very briefly. Thus Wikipedia mentions in the year 186 : "Uprising of an army of deserters, under the leadership of Maternus. The revolt is suppressed in Upper Germania during the summer. Maternus ravages Gaul and Spain, then moves on to Italy, where he plans to kill Commodus, perhaps during the celebrations given in honour of Cybele in Rome in March 187. The plot fails and Maternus is executed."


    Cropped case from volume 7 of the Murena series, screenplay by Jean Dufaux and drawing by Philippe Delaby (Dargaud Publishing 2009). The action takes place under Nero shortly before his death in 59. Like the revolt of Maternus, this scene is a foreshadowing of the future bagaudes that would begin two centuries later and last another two centuries with varying degrees of magnitude.

    For Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 140] :"Marc-Aurelius died of the plague in the Danubian stronghold that is Vienna, in 180 : whatever his virtues, it is under his reign that this is the "beginning of the end of the golden age of Roman peace. His son and successor, Commode, would deliver the empire to anarchy." [right Commode, Wikipedia illustration]

    The accentuation of the Roman yoke. He then describes a general deterioration of the situation in Gaul : "The characterized troubles appeared in Gaul as early as 166, succeeding minor incidents shortly after the death of Antoninus. Their causes are diverse and it is not a question of an overall movement : disillusionment with renewed wars  ; resumption of massive and often excessive requisitions ; attempts by Rome to move Gaul again from participation to subordination and, in fact, lack of any attention by Rome to the opinions of the local assemblies  In this way, the whole economy was disrupted; the lower plebs of the cities, the agricultural workers and the small settlers became increasingly impoverished; the slaves and the miserable frequently rose up in arms, etc. The notables began to think that the Roman administration was an intolerable yoke and that a Gallic administration, ready to do what was necessary for the common defence of the Empire, would have neither the same demands nor the same brutality and would spare the vital interests of the country." Thus was born the idea of the Empire of Gaul, which came into being the following century.

    Development of brigandage and insecurity. In a article from 1987, Gilbert Picard provides details of this little-known "revolte de Maternus" : "It is the existence of this vast area, poorly controlled by the authorities and whose inhabitants must have had only unfriendly feelings towards the people of Haut Poitou, which allowed the grouping of deserters, some of whom may have originated from there  situated on the border of the provinces of Aquitaine and Lyonnaise, it allowed them, by passing the Loire, to easily evade possible prosecution. It was not without reason that the Bagaudes revolt developed there, not to mention more recent jacqueries and uprisings. It obviously took a long time for Maternus to go from being a small leader of brigands to a real insurgent general. This slow maturation of the revolt seems to us to have been very well described by Herodian. [...] Simultaneously unrest broke out in the north and east  towards the end of Marcus Aurelius' reign, insecurity was general throughout Chevelous Gaul and even threatened to spread to Spain."
    "Combat of Romans and Gauls" by Evariste-Vital Luminais (1821-1896)

    Maternus seizes the city of Poitiers. Gilbert Picard continued : "In 179 or 180, Maternus decided on a big blow on Limonum capital of Aquitaine[in the 2nd century, Poitiers / Limonum was capital of Aquitaine]; he made himself master of the centre of the city, burned a number of buildings and withdrew, after having freed the inmates of the prison he incorporated. Commode then becomes angry, and attacks the magistrates of the city. [...]Rather than take the necessary troops from the Rhine, he prefers to call on the army of Britain."

    At this point a character named Arthur / Artorius  intervenes:"An officer out of the ranks, Artorius Castus, is given an extraordinary command. His army, grouping almost two legions, is easily victorious, probably near the Loire estuary. But the clarissimus protested violently against an innovation that deprived them of one of their essential prerogatives. On the other hand the barbarians of Scotland took advantage of the departure of some of the troops to bring down Antonin's wall; the British troops transported to Gaul showed their discontent and did not hesitate to march on Rome, where Perennis was deposed and put to death."

    Is this King Arthur ?

    Did Lucius Artorius Castus, conqueror of Maternus, inspire the legendary figure of King Arthur  in the Middle Ages? Whether in the Wikipedia page or other pages such as this one, the arguments for and against are answered endlessly and without a clear conclusion...

    As for Merlin the Enchanter, he could be an ancient druid (link Wikipedia or celtic).

    The most tangible evidence is this funerary inscription...

    Left, illustration of undetermined origin, found on the Web, associated with Artorius

    The senseless coup de main of Maternus on Rome. Gilbert Picard continued : "However the defeat has dissolved the army of Maternus ; himself with a few loyalists is going to attempt a desperate coup on Rome, while other rebels try to gain Germania, attacking in passing Argentoratum [Strasburg] where the VIII Augusta resists victoriously. Finally Cleander, the new prefect of the praetorium, entrusts Pescennius Niger with an extraordinary command; in conjunction with energetic provincial legates, he succeeds in pacifying the Gauls."

    In another article from 1952 entitled "Peasant Revolts in Late Roman Gaul and Spain", Edward Thompson provides details of Maternus' passage into Italy : "Be that as it may, when the army of the central government was sent to Lugdunensis, Maternus's men, or some of them, withdrew from the scene of their activities, but only to accomplish what was at once the most dramatic undertaking and the immediate cause of their downfall. In small groups they infiltrated Italy and Rome, like Romulus and his shepherds long before, determined to murder the Emperor Commodus by attending a festival dedicated to the Mother of the Gods and to replace the Emperor with Maternus. They did not set out to be the representatives or precursors of any future form of society: their ideas did not include any new mode of social existence. Their aim was simply to replace one Emperor with another." Could such a bold move have any chance of success ?

    Argentoratum / Strasbourg, a fortified camp turned city

    Continue :""Anarchist" methods of personal terrorism as well as strong personal ambitions thus emerged and, as has often happened in similar circumstances, the disintegration of the group was not far away. Maternus' success and ambitions led him to lose touch with the feelings of his followers, and he was betrayed by some of his companions who were content to be led by a brigand but not by a 'master and emperor'. Maternus was captured and beheaded; but the movement he had led was not over. Nearly twenty years later, a general was obliged to operate in Gaul with detachments of at least four legions against "dissidents and rebels", no doubt many of the same type of person who had been active under Maternus himself; and it is not claimed that the government forces achieved any striking victories..."

    Poitiers, Strasbourg, Rome, the route of the brigand Maternus is not insignificant. We only know the Roman version of this adventure. "For Herodian, Maternus was a simple, if troublesome, deserter, and his followers a band of thugs and terrorists. In fact, they are more like a powerful army, a combination of soldiers, peasants and others, whose story was the first act in the long tale of the Bagaudes. The character of their movement must be sharply distinguished from the mere routine brigandage which could be found in every corner of the Empire at that time and the suppression of which was part of the daily tasks of the armed forces of the government."

    After the fever pitch of Maternus and his troops (from Poitiers to Rome via Stasbourg !), appeasement returned to Gaul. Severus Alexander is killed in 235 and everything is already ready for an epochal shift. Christine Delaplace [12 page 185] :"The real time of crisis did not actually begin until 235 and ended fifty years later in 284, when Diocletian initiated a major policy of structural reforms that laid the foundations of a new empire, the tetrarchy."



  9. 194-197 Albinus, Caesar of Gaul, fails to become emperor

    Jerome France [20 page 109] :"On the death of Commodus, the Empire was thrown into a crisis of succession, reminiscent of that which had followed the assassination of Nero. However, if Gaul was one of the theatres of operation, it was in a passive manner and without anything that could be compared with what had been, in 69-70, the unproductive attempt of the Empire of Gaul. After the assassination of Pertinax, who had succeeded Commodus (March 193), the contest for the Empire pitted Didius Julianus, the former winner of the Chatti, who owed the purple to the corruption of the praetorians, Septimus Severus, proclaimed by the legions of Pannonia, and Pescennius Niger by those of Syria. Severus emerged victorious from this confrontation, in December 195."

    Albinus advocates the creation of a Gallic empire. Then along comes Clodius Albinus, born in Africa in 147, to head the province of [Great] Britain [pictured opposite]. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 145] :"Septimus Severus marches on Rome and is recognized by the senate, as early as June 193. He feels that it is necessary not to displease Gaul : he offers to Albinus [in April 194]the title of Caesar, heir presumptive of the Empire and undertakes to associate him with his power by giving him particular authority over Gaul, Britain and Spain. Albinus accepts, Gaul bows. [...]The expedition [of Septimius Severus against Pescennius Niger]lasted more than two years. In Rome, despite his logical request, no one called on Caesar Albinus to act as interim leader for the Augustus Septimius Severus, and Albinus understands that he has been duped. At the request of Gallic civitates and especially the decurions of the Lugdunese, he allows himself to be proclaimed "Emperor and Augustus"[in January 197]. He moved to Lyon, letting Septimius Severus know that he remained willing to the agreement and sharing of power : the possibility of an empire of Gaul / Spain / Britain, associated with a Roman empire that would encompass all other territories. Lyon would be the capital of the former and Rome of the latter, with Rome also being the federal capital. [...]But Albinus' suggestion is rejected by Severus as soon as it is issued : the antagonism between imperial federalism and Roman despotism remains absolute. And deadly."




    Pertinax (supposed portrait), Didius Julianus, Pescennius Niger and Septimius Severus. Worse than the year 70 of the four emperors, comes 193 the six months of the four emperors and one and a half usurpers. The first emperor is Commodus, already seen in the previous chapter, assassinated on 31 December 192. He was succeeded by Publius Helvius Pertinax from 1 January 193 to 28 March 193, then Didius Julianus from 28 March 193 to 1 June 193, then Septimius Severus from 1 June 193 to 4 February 211. Pescennius Niger was a usurper from April 193 to 194. As for Clodius Albinus, he can be considered a semi-usurper in 193 since he refused the title of Augustus at the beginning of the year, before settling down when Septimius Severus appointed him Caesar in April 194 and becoming a usurper later, from January 197, when he was proclaimed Augustus, to his death on 19 February 197.

    The sack of Lugdunum / Lyon remains a landmark in this conflict. Jérôme France : "The decisive clash took place north of Lyon on 19 February 197 and finally turned to the disadvantage of Albinus, who took his own life. The capital of Gaul was plundered and burned by the victorious army and the Gallic provinces were subjected to the law of the victor. Thus the XIIIth urban cohort of Lyon was dissolved and replaced by detachments of the Rhine legion. As for those who, by conviction or fear, had supported Albinus, they were hit by proscriptions and confiscations. Finally, a new census was introduced in Lyonnaise, which probably also affected the other provinces of Gaul."


    "History of Lyon" scenario A. Pelletier and F. Bayard, drawing by Jean Prost, 1979 + the two pages on the insurrection of Albinus : 1 2

    Joel Schmidt [18 page 350] indicates spillover into Hispania : "Spain suffered the contagion of the revolt in the Gauls by following Albinus' envoy, a certain L. Novius Rufus, who was charged with raising them up. Septimius Severus dispatched one of his most trusted lieutenants, a certain Candidus, who scattered the remnants of Albinus' army who had thought to find impunity in the Iberian peninsula."

    The bonds of trust established between Rome and Gaul were then to gradually deteriorate, with tumultuous reigns, especially that of Caracalla, from 211 to 217. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 148] : "His abominations made him detestable. [...] Everything marked with the imperial seal is suspect  in every field the prestige of Rome has disappeared. The distance, the indifference are such that the assassination of Caracalla does not even raise in Gaul the joy that it raises in almost the whole Empire."

    Did Caracalla want revenge on the Gauls ? For Joel Schmidt [18 page 354], the emperor Caracalla, born in Lyons, son of Septimius Severus, harboured a solid grudge against the Gauls : "He set out on a campaign against the Germans, making a diversion through Narbonese Gaul. Indeed, he has a score to settle with the proconsul of this province who has shown little eagerness to rally to him. He therefore had him assassinated and, says the History of Augustus, "he upset everything in that province and made himself hated like a tyrant while pretending to be a good man, whereas he was wicked by nature. He persecuted the men and violated the rights of the cities"[...]It is surprising that a man who was born in the capital of Gaul and even passed in his childhood for a true little Gaul should have lashed out at his adopted country with such rage. No doubt he was still making the Gauls pay for their choice of Albinus as emperor.".
    Ci-contre, presented as "The first comic book by Jean-Claude Golvin, the master of ancient reconstruction", Quadratura is a comic book scripted by Chantal Alibert and drawn by Jean-Claude Golvin, 1st volume in 2018 from Passé simple editions. The action, an assassination attempt of Caracalla, takes place in 215 in Narbonne / Narbo Martius. + pages 1 and 4 cover + 1 other page..

    The maternal grandfather of Caracalla is an ancestor of Charlemagne, according to the elastoc genealogy and many other genealogies.

    The dubious certainties of genealogies
    It is statistically certain that we Europeans are descendants of a very large number of those who populated the Mediterranean rim, and beyond, twenty centuries ago. More precisely, of all those who have had descendants up to the present day. Over sixty generations, each of us is related to each of them in thousands and even millions of different ways. It is difficult, however, to determine any of these connections in a documented way. If we want to go back in time, we have to replace certainties with quasi-certainties or near-certainties, which cause divergences between genealogists. Moreover, proven errors from the past are not always corrected in the present and continue to spread... Christian Settipani, one of the most renowned historical genealogists, has thus traced his ancestry back to Ramses II (voir here) and some twenty generations beyond.

    Is Julius Caesar one of our ancestors ? He is not currently present in the elastoc genalogy. He should appear, but not as a direct ancestor. Perhaps like Caracalla, a grandson of an ancestor, so a very distant cousin...

    The end of Romanisation ? Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 150] :"There was, it is indisputable, a Romanisation of Gaul  if it is more limited than was once believed, it is no less certain. And, now, the achievement being acquired, we see a stop, a desire not to go further, for fear of adventure and depersonalization ... it occurs, in short, a Gallicization of all that Gaul has Romans and Romanized ...; confidence in Gaul is replaced for them that of the Empire, and, thereby, the profile of a Gallic Empire again takes shape. " A few decades later, the situation will become much more critical and the solution of creating an empire of Gaul will be effectively implemented ...



  10. 250 Were the Christian victims of the riots in Toulouse and elsewhere anti-Roman ?

    This page was originally supposed to be all about Victorina and the emperors of Gaul. Then the bagaudes, then... It developed over the whole Roman rule of Gaul and the internal revolts that shook it. The Christianisation of the country is an integral part of this, and we will come back to this in the chapter on Saint Martin, who was able to join the Gaulish revolt of the Bagaudes. But what were the roots of this religious movement when it met with strong opposition in some towns, without yet reaching the countryside? Two examples marked the imagination, Blandine in Lyon in 177, and Saturnin in Toulouse around 250.


    Blandina [link] and Saturnin [link] now have the aureola of the saints. In the amphitheatre of Lyons and on the Capitol in Toulouse, crowds demanded their deaths.

    Blandine in Lyon and the suppression of a Christian vanguard. Sophie Laurent on a page of the "world of the Bible" :"The first reference to the existence of a Christian community is a letter from the Christians of Lyons and Vienna which tells of the emperor Marcus-Aurelius's persecution of them in 177. It is possible, from the names mentioned in the letter, that part of this community originated in eastern Greece and that these Christians settled in Lyon arriving directly by the Alpine route." Blandina, the bishop Pothinus and about forty Christians constituting this community are executed or delivered to the circus games to amuse the people. This is an exceptional and isolated case (in terms of the written sources) in a Gaul that is not yet preoccupied with the new sect. After this episode, "it is not until the mid-third century that we find traces of other Christian communities in Gaul" (Wikipedia page on "Christianization of the Franks").

    Saturnin in Toulouse a symbol of the repression against the early Christians. The case of Saturnin in 249 or 250 is representative of the beginning of the widespread rise of Christianity in the country. Here is Brigitte Beaujard's account of it on this page of the site cairn.info : "If the account of the martyrdom of Saturninus of Toulouse is indeed inspired by historical facts, Saturninus' death in 249 would also be the result of a local emotion. In Toulouse, where a Christian community was developing under the leadership of Saturninus, its first bishop, the pagans complained that their gods had become insensitive and mute because of the Christians. To remedy this situation, the priests of the city organised a sacrifice to be held in front of the Capitol in the presence of a large crowd. Saturninus happened to pass by. The crowd seized him; "dragged towards the Capitol, he refused to take part in the sacrifice". The crowd gets excited. The bull destined for the sacrifice is maintained. The priests "pass a rope around its sides and let it hang down from behind in order to tie the feet of the holy man to it; then the bull is pricked and it springs from the top of the Capitol to the bottom. As soon as the first steps are taken, the head breaks off, letting the brain escape... ""

    Christians falling victim to excited mobs. And there were other such riots. Brigitte Beaujard  "In Lyons, Alexandria, Toulouse and many other places, Christians were thus the victims of violence committed by a pagan mob excited against them for fear that they threatened the power and protection of their gods. However, their co-religionists regarded them as victors over the violence. Indeed, by the firmness of their confession, by their acceptance of suffering and death for their faith, they had become witnesses of Christ, martyrs in the etymological sense of the word. Consequently, death opened the gates of eternity for them : it marked their triumph."


    The entrance to Tolosa / Toulouse as seen by Jean-Claude Golvin, the fish purified sign of recognition of the early Christians and a coin bearing the effigy of Decius. + board showing Tolosa later, in 419, drawing by Claire Chicault, volume 1 of "La saga de Wotila", Delcourt 2011.
    The bankruptcy of the ban The emperor Decius reigned from 249 until his death in 251, fighting the Goths. He banned the Christian religion, which was unpopular at the time and considered potentially dangerous. This was followed by anti-Christian riots and persecutions such as that of Saturninus, the scale of which must be put into perspective. As the victims were set up as martyrs, the clandestine nature, with fish as a sign of recognition, tightened the bonds, the Christian community was strengthened.



    Christianity spread first in the large cities. A article on the e-story site, presents "The beginnings of Christianity in Gaul The history of Christianity in Gaul begins as early as the second century and, curiously enough, it is in the official centres of pagan state worship that the new religion spreads : Lyon in particular, Autun, Bordeaux, etc. It was in Lyons that the first martyrs died: the bishop Saint Pothin and the young slave Blandine. It is proven that as early as 177, a Christian community existed in Autun. [...]The actual evangelisation of Gaul began between 236 and 250, when Pope Fabian sent seven missionaries there : Paul to Narbonne, Trophimus to Arles, Saturnin in Toulouse, Martial in Limoges, Gatien in Tours, Stremonius (Austremoine) in Clermont, Denis in Paris. Several of these names are of Greek origin, which explains why the Greek liturgy was, in Paris in particular, used during the early centuries."

    Caution should be exercised in relation to such an account, which only takes shape at a late date. For example, it is almost certain that Saint Gatian, presented as the first bishop of Tours, did not exist [23 pages 31-33]. Wikipedia, on the Martial page, states "Gregory of Tours amalgamated accounts of different origins, dates and values, to tell the legendary story of these seven missionaries. The foundation of the first bishoprics is in fact known most often only by late and legendary local traditions which aim to prove the anteriority of one see over another."

    On this page, Enrico Riboni, an atheist and freethinker, writes : "The religious intolerance of the Christians, which openly aims, from the very beginning, to impose a ban on the worship of gods other than their own, who, they insist, is the "only God", soon draws the wrath of Roman justice, which defends freedom of worship, which is one of the pillars of this complex and multicultural society that is the Roman Empire of the first centuries of our era. Christian propaganda cleverly turns the tables. Those condemned by Roman justice are proclaimed "martyrs", their remains are venerated in churches, the legend is invented that they were executed for "refusing to deny their faith", which of course is better than the naked truth, which is that they were condemned for being troublemakers wanting to impose religious intolerance in a multicultural society. "

    Proletarian and vulgar Christians. Joel Schmidt [18 page 357] wonders about rioters who attack Christians  "It would be good, in the light of these riots which often occur at the time of persecution of Christians, to write a history, if possible, of the sociological make-up and of the rioters and those, Christians, who are the victims. It would not surprise me, then, if the rioters, so attached to the cult of the emperor and of Rome, revolted against the Christians whose social origins were much more humble and who were recruited from the population perhaps least assimilated to Roman civilisation. This was another way of perpetuating the age-old conflict between Romans and Gauls, which in Roman Gaul took the form of hostility between the wealthy and profiteers of Romanity and those who were excluded from it by their peasant, proletarian or servile origins. The bagauderie, in a way, would give reason to this hypothesis."

    Marcel Simon, in "La civilisation de l'antiquité et le christianisme" (page 191, Arthaud 1972), adds the gnostics to the believers of the ancient religions : "Despite the energetic reaction in defence of orthodoxy, Gnosticism in all its forms continues to exert a real seduction among the intellectuals. Gnostics and pagans share a common contempt for Christianity, which is considered the religion of the vulgar, the illiterate and the pansies, unworthy of seducing the educated and thinking elite. On the other hand, and precisely because the gnostics exalt at the expense of faith, which is given to the mass of the faithful, this superior knowledge which is their own prerogative, there are many good Christians in the Church who affirm that faith - what we would call the faith of the coalman - is sufficient, and who discredit everything that goes beyond the rudiments of catechetical instruction. Any intellectual approach, any recourse to reason, any effort to give a logical structure to the Christian message and to deepen it, appears to them as a betrayal. Under the guise of evangelical simplicity, this obscurantist current, of which we have seen a Tertullian make himself the interpreter, brings water to the mill of the pagan and Gnostic adversaries of the Church." Gnosis, subversion or fulfilment of Christianity "Despite the persecutions that struck the great Gnostic outbreaks, the gnosis would surreptitiously continue to make its way through medieval and modern Christianity, and into our own time. It parasitized the Christian religion, flowing into its vocabulary and theological patterns, but insidiously giving them an entirely different meaning, in line with Gnostic beliefs. Gnosis thus worked to subvert Christianity from within by pretending to be its highest spiritual form." [from the page on the taigong788 website titled "The Gnostics, a religious movement with multiple influences"]

    Continuation of the article from the e-stoire site  "Shortly afterwards, the first persecutions were to multiply at the time of Diocletian, that is to say at the end of the 3rd and in the first years of the 4th century : in particular Saint Foy in Agen, Saint Vincent not far from Agen, Saint Genest in Arles, Saint Denis in Paris, Saint Lucian in Beauvais, Saint Quentin in Vermand, in the Aine (which was later to take the name of its first martyr) and especially Saint Maurice and the Theban Legion, composed entirely of Christians, at Agaune, in the Valais, Helvetia. [...]Throughout this clandestine period, Christian life was limited to the cities. When the edict of Constantine appeared in 313, which reversed the situation and made Christianity the official religion of the empire, basilicas were not long in coming up in the Gallic cities. But the countryside was not to begin to be reached until the great evangelistic missions of St Martin in the course of the fourth century."

        Christianity in Gaul in 325, 400, 500 and 600 [page from the Lutetia blog, Seconde JM Lambin textbook (Hachette 2006), page Gaul from the Soutien67 website and page from the magazine "L'Histoire"]



  11. 260 The Roman Empire on the brink of collapse

    From 238 onwards, the Roman Empire experienced serious difficulties, both internal (conflicts over power) and external (barbarian incursions). These would only really ease from 285, and a little later in Gaul in 296, with the arrival in power of the emperor Aurelian and the advent of a more efficient system of governance, the tetrarchy.

    Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 151] :"238 is the record year for imperial massacre : one killed in battle, one committed suicide, three assassinated. [...] Barbaric assaults in the east are becoming more and more frequent [...] The real threat is no longer only alamic : it is Frankish. By a vicissitude of history to which later times will give a certain look of paradox, it is the Franks who will bring about the provisional fraternization of Gaul and Rome and, in so doing, will give the brief illusion that the Roman Empire can continue to preside over Gallo-Roman destinies."

    Excerpt from Wikipedia's 238 page (+ page on the "Third century crisis").

    For the Romans, the worst year of the century was 260. In a battle in Mesopotamia, the emperor Valerian is taken prisoner by the Persian King of Kings Shapur I (or Chapur I) with his entire staff and 70,000 soldiers. He is then put to death. The Roman Empire is ready to collapse. His son Gallian replaces him but has much to do in the West where barbarian hordes are surging...


    Valerian is taken prisoner by Shapur I. Drawing by Jean-Marie Woehrel [05, page 6] and the bas-relief that inspired it [Wikipedia]

    Our Persian ancestor defeating the Romans
    Valerian and Shapur I are probably our ancestors (or brothers of our ancestors...). If the ancestry to Valerian is difficult to obtain, that to Shapur I is more established, even if there are still question marks marked opposite by the first name "XXX". This link is not to Charlemagne, but to one of his contemporaries, Angilbert of Ponthieu.
    This shows that we are descended from the Persians. And also from many other peoples. Including the Gauls...


    Gilles Chaillet, "The Legion of the Damned" (1975) appearing in "The Secret Memoirs of Vasco" (Lombard 2011) + the page

    Population shifts from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. The barbarian raids would now come one after another and require great military efforts to contain them, with some breakthroughs causing serious turmoil and internal divisions. But why these raids? You have to go to China to find the root cause. After worrying the Han Chinese empire for more than a century, the steppe Xiongnu (or Hiong-Nou) cavalry peoples suffered serious setbacks. A severe defeat in 91 led to an eastward flow that reverberated for several centuries. The northern Xiongnu repelled the western Xiongnu, who repelled the Huns, who repelled the Germanic peoples who attacked the Roman Empire in a series of devastating raids, again lasting several centuries. In Gaul, only the latest arrivals, the Franks, were able to stabilise the borders around the year 500, the Western Roman Empire having died 25 years earlier.

     
    [The Atlas of Empires, Le Monde / La Vie Hors-série, 2019 edition, page 17] On the right, volume 3 "From the Gallo-Romans to the Barbarians 212-481" of a "History of France" in comics started in 2004, on a script by Reynald Secher and drawn by various cartoonists, here Serge Fino. + a panel of this volume explaining the Chinese thrust and its repercussions on the frontiers of the Roman Empire.

    Christine Delaplace [12 page 187] :"The capture of the emperor Valerian in 260 and the fragility of the Empire's eastern defence favoured the designs of the barbarian peoples who had been exerting increasingly constant pressure on the Danubian and Rhine "limes" since the beginning of the century. In the same year, new migrants from the north (Vandals, Heruli, Gepids) pushed the Goths forward and they settled in Bithynia, in the Aegean Sea, and devastated the Asian provinces. In the same way, they forced the Germanic Alamanni and Frankish peoples to cross into Gaul."

    The barbarian raids on Gaul from 250 to 271 [05, page 55]
    Fight between Romans and Barbarians around 260
    [page Wikipedia "Ludovisi Battle sarcophagus"]

    Olac #69 in 1966 (SFPI editions), drawing by Pierre Dupuis. The Decumated Fields in 259 are attacked by the Alamanni.
    The eleven pages of the (invented) hero Olac in this battle : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

    Even though 260 was a particularly critical year, the fundamentals of the Roman Empire remained good. These difficulties should therefore be put into perspective, as Benoît Rossignol writes [20 page 31]  "The Empire remains very powerful. These temporary crises are quickly resolved. [...]In fact the difficulties encountered by the Empire in this second half of the third century are not heralding the future fall of Rome". On the contrary, even, adds Pierre Cosme, recalling the edict of Caracalla in 212 extending Roman citizenship to any free man of the Empire  "The growth of trade around the Mediterranean makes the different provinces communicate and unify them." By sealing the divisions, and there was a severe one in Gaul during that famous year 260...



  12. 260-269 Postumus the restorer emperor of the Gauls

    In 260, after the capture of Valerian, his 42-year-old son Gallian took over the reins of the Roman Empire. In Gaul, Valentinian had entrusted the defence against the barbarians to an experienced and trusted general, Marcus Cassianius Latinius Postumus, or Postumus or Postumus, a native of Aquitaine, bearing that name for being born after his father's death. As the Franks made a spectacular breakthrough, reaching as far as Spain, Gallien intended to have his young son Salonininus (or Saloninus) intervene on the Rhine front, assisted by the general Silvanus. Major tactical differences arise and Salonin is appointed Caesar. André Chastagnol [08 page 840] :"Postumus came into conflict with Silvanus over a murky tale of shared booty and besieged his rival and the Caesar with his army. The young prince then took the title of Augustus, but the garrison of Cologne itself rallied to Postumus and handed over Silvanus and Salonin to him, who were then put to death."

    Postumus emperor in spite of himself. Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 160] :"Postumus's disavowal of the murder of Caesar Valerianus Saloninus and the lieutenant general Sylvanus is formal. He goes so far as to take sanctions. [...] And here comes to his staff the announcement of Gallien's reaction: the Emperor condemns Postumus in absentia, as the murderer of the Caesar and his guardian! This is too much: his most loyal lieutenants ask Postumus to secede and let himself be proclaimed emperor. He refuses. But soon, all of his officers and legionnaires, including the repentant ones he had punished, acclaimed him, shouting that his acceptance was a matter of duty, that it was the fate of the army, as well as the fate of all of Gaul, that was at stake. Then, probably in December 257, after having made it clear that he in no way intends to become the master of the Roman Empire - what his whole attitude will confirm - he agrees to be proclaimed emperor."


    [05 page 8] script Silvio Luccisano, drawing Jean-Marie Woehrel + three pages (7, 8, 10), before the appointment and refusal to march on Rome : 1 2 3
    Right, "History of Brittany", script by Reynald Secher, drawing by René le Honzec, volume 1, published by Reynald Secher 1991 (here the entire page).

    André Chastagnol continues :"The new emperor was soon recognized in all of Gaul, except for the southeastern regions east of the Rhone, and then in Brittany (present-day England) and a large part of the Iberian Peninsula. Gallien twice tried in vain to regain possession of the lost ground and Pöstumus was able to protect Gaul by valiantly and successfully mounting the Rhine guard."


    Gallian Roman emperor from 260 to 268 [Wikipedia]

    Gallian provinces' gathering posture [05 page 17]

    Joel Schmidt [18 page 362] :"In 262, Postumus, celebrating his "quinquenalia", i.e. his five years of reign, is the object of the unanimous homage of the Three Gauls, which is more than Gallian can bear, who sends an army commanded by Manius Acilius Aureolus against the one he still considers an ursupator. This army commits such horrors and practices such ruthless repression that it further welds the Gauls around their emperor Postumus."



    Reverse of a coin paying tribute to the restorer of Gaul [06, verso of front cover] and obverse of another coin, with the portrait of Postumus
    The Gallic Empire under Postumus 260-269
    [fromWikipedia].

    Postumus' death. Chastagnol  "The reign lasted a little over nine years as "The first Gallic emperor" celebrated his decennial feast in the summer of 269  he was killed a little later, in July, August 269 by his own soldiers for refusing to allow them to plunder Mainz after the defeat of Lollianus[Lelianus / Lelien] to be discussed later. Gallian had died before him and had been succeeded by Claudius [Claudius II / Claudius Gothicus], in the centre of the Empire, in September 268."

    What was the year Postumus began his reign ? Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 160] says December 257, Postumus being killed in June 267, Delaplace [12 page 388], Luccisano [05 page 7] and Wikipedia say summer 260, Schmidt says end of year 258 [18 page 361], with a quinquennium celebrated in 262. Given that Chastagnol, who also gives the date of "June-July 260" [08 page 840] speaks of the celebration of the decennial feast in the summer of 269, the date December 258 could be likely and, to simplify the year 259. However, even if Bouvier-Ajam and Schmidt are careful not to claim it, the capture of Valerian in 260 is usually presented as prior to the advent of Postumus. In particular Aurelius Victor presents the capture of Valerian [07 page 88] before the proclamation of Postumus [07 page 90]. It is to believe that the decennial festival would have celebrated the beginning of the tenth year... The date 260 is therefore retained here. Jean Lafaurie's numismatic analysis [11 page 99] supports this, with the murder of Postumus confirmed in 269.

    What about Postumus the Younger, son of Postumus ? According to the Augustan History [08 page 867], Postumus is said to have appointed his son, also named Postumus, as Caesar, presented as a "rhetorician". Comment by André Chastagnol [08 page 841] : "This son of Postumus is absolutely unknown elsewhere  in any case, even if he existed, he was never proclaimed Caesar, let alone Augustus  neither inscriptions nor coins mention him."

     
    Treves capital of the Gauls. Reconstruction of Trier /Augusta Treverorum / Treveris (in the foreground the porta nigra), capital of the Gaulish Empire, and of an imperial office (with the pigeonholes for storing papyri), drawings by Jean-Marie Woehrel [05 page 45]

    Why did the Gallic Empire last so long ? The Roman Empire took more than ten years to attack the secession of the Gallic Empire. Certainly the Gauls, especially at the beginning of the reign of Postumus, had the military means to counter the Roman army, and we shall see that, some twenty years later, one of his successors, Carausius, succeeded even though he was less strong. However, this was not a matter of course, as the empire still appeared to be formidable. Claire Sotinel, in the book "Rome, la fin d'un empire" published by Belin in 2019 in the collection "Monde anciens" brings this explanation  "Classical historians have much reproached Gallien for not having sought to avenge, either his son, executed by Postumus, or his father, perhaps still alive, captive of the Persians. His political choices were the result of military and financial realism: deprived of the mineral resources and money workshops of the West, Gallien did not have the means to pay for strong armies; eastern defeats could also threaten the solidity of his position in Rome itself, and he could not know if Postumus would claim the entirety of imperial power. He therefore had to secure the foundations of his power first and foremost, which he did in a remarkable spirit of reform."



  13. 269-273 Victorinus and then Tetricus emperors of Gaul

    Joël Schmidt [18 page 362], after presenting the bloody retaliation of Gallien and his general Aureolus, presents the first appearance of
    Victorinus / Victorinus / Victorian : "One of Aureolus' lieutenants, a certain Pius Avonius Victorinus, who moreover is a cousin of Postumus, is so outraged by the spectacle of the massacres perpetrated by the Roman army that he defaults and Postumus associates him with the empire by giving him the dignity of Augustus."

    Death of Postumus, Leian less than six months. This appointment of Victorinus did not please all the Gallic generals. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 167] :"The commander of the place of Mainz, Caius Ulpius Cornelius Laelianus (Laelianus) rises up and urges his soldiers who proclaim him Augustus. Postumus rushes in. When he arrives, Laelian has left Mainz to be recognised by the neighbouring places and to seek reinforcements. Postumus attacks the city, which surrenders." It is then that soldiers want to plunder and kill their emperor who wants to prevent them. While Victorinus is on the side of Autun, waiting for things to clear up, Lenin is proclaimed emperor of the Gauls by his troops to replace Postumus. But he got angry with his officers who murdered him. His reign was very short, less than six months according to Bouvier-Ajam.

       Coins depicting Leilian, Marius and Victorinus.

    On the coins of the Gallic Empire, one may consult this page.

    Marius less than three months. Felian gone, Victorinus may reappear. It's still too dangerous, for his mother Victorina, Postumus' cousin. She prefers to give her support to a certain Marcus Aurelius Marius, asserting the high regard in which he was held by Postumus. Bouvier-Ajam suggests that this former blacksmith, of Herculean stature, who became director of the arsenal services, having taken up a military command, was a former lover of Victorina. Marius was acclaimed emperor, but like Lenin, he became angry with his officers, who murdered him. His reign would have lasted less than three months, according to Bouvier-Ajam.

    Victorinus, the return. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 187] : "On the advice of his mother, who considered that the time had now come, he presented himself to the Rhenish legions : his recognition by the armies was all the more easy as there was no serious candidate to succeed Marius."

    Lelian and Marius only a few weeks ? The chronology is, again, difficult to follow, as Jean Lafaurie's numismatic analysis [08 page 104] concludes that Victorinus' reign begins "at the beginning of the year 269". This means that the assassinations of Postumus, Leian and Marius follow each other in a very short period of time, at the beginning of the year 269. André Chastagnol even estimates [08 pages 841 and 842] : Melian would be killed before Postumus, whose death he estimates in June-July 269, "Marius may have governed the Empire for two or three months between September and December 269" and finally "Victorinus was not proclaimed until shortly before 10 December 269". The shortest estimate is that of the History Augustus [08 page 871] for Marius : three days, "on the first day he was appointed emperor, on the next he assumed the empire in the eyes of all, and on the third day he was assassinated". It is therefore better to forget the very short episodes of Lenin and Marius...

    The sordid death of Victorinus. The new emperor reigned for about two years, until 271 (November according to Jean Lafaurie). He too would come to a tragic end, but for a different reason than his predecessors. Aurelius Victor and the Augustan History present him as a debauchee. Victor [07 page 39] :"At the beginning of his reign he restrained himself, but two years later, after he had violated many women, when he had brought his desires upon the wife of Attitianus and she had revealed the crime to her husband, the soldiers, secretly incited to rebellion, killed Victorinus at Cologne during a sedition. " The Augustan History [08 page 869] reckons that "Victorinus was very valiant and, apart from his lechery, was an excellent emperor".

    The dramatic death of Victorinus. Maurice Bouvier-Ajam, presenting the simultaneous murder of a young son of Victorinus (whose existence André Chastagnol does not believe [08 page 871]), delivers a more tragic and striking account, taken up by Joël Schmidt [02 page 140] and Anne de Leseleuc [03 page 120] in a more demonstrative melodrama, all the same more sober than Eugène Sue's 1850 version : "We know that Victorien has his throat cut in Cologne during a riot raised by an officer whose wife he has raped. Victorina was leaving her residence, holding her grandson in her arms and accompanied by Victorian when soldiers rushed upon them, snatched the child from his grandmother's arms, slit the throat of the emperor and the baby he had made Caesar from birth. Victorina, on her knees, begs the soldiers to be merciful; they have already killed. She faints and is laid on her bed."

    Victorinus and his son murdered, Victorina bedridden
    Illustration from Eugene Sue's novel "The Helmet Lark or Victoria, the Mother of the Camps" (see further) [Gallica, drawing Horace Castelli]

    Victorina takes matters into her own hands The suspense is at its height, Bouvier-Ajam catches his breath and reveals to us the sequel (which is neither in Aurelius Victor [07], nor in the Augustan History [08]) : "To her profound astonishment, senior officers, a few hours later, ask for an audience : they explain to her that the assassins thought they were doing justice, that they deplore the error which cost the life of the young Caesar and that the whole army implores her to accept the imperial purple ! She postpones her answer but agrees to exercise power temporarily, with no other title than that of Augusta. Without doubt it draws from the tragic experiences of the recent past that a military emperor was not appropriate any more, for the present, with Gaul, that it was necessary now a civil emperor, a politician, an administrator able also to be made listen to the legions. But how to impose him? It is necessary that he is of his family and that she vouches for him. She will have her cousin Tetricus acclaimed.".

       Coins representing Tetricus I and Tetricus II.

    Map of the Gallic Empire in the time of Tetricus, 271-273 [from Wikipedia].

    Tetricus emperor of the Gauls from Bordeaux. Thus Caius Pius Esuvius
    Tetricus took power and donned the purple in the city he governed, Burdigala, now Bordeaux, in September 268 according to Bouvier-Ajam, more surely in early 271 according to numismatist Jean Lafaurie  "This is the beginning of the year 271 which must be recognized for the end of Victorin's reign" [08 page 104]. Tetricus is supported by the whole of the armies, the peoples of the Three Gauls and island Britain. Without Hispania, the Gallic empire had thus shrunk since Postumus. Tetricus appointed his son, also named Tetricus, as Caesar to assist him. He is Tetricus II. A few months later, having proved himself, he was appointed augustus, associate emperor.

      
    Prosper Mérimée deceived by a deception about Tetricus!
    Sensation in the world of archaeology in 1833! In the town of Nérac, Maximilien-Théodore Chrétin (1797-1865), working on an archaeological site, discovers a bas-relief showing Tetricus and his son Tetricus II ! And another representing them on a triumphal quadriga at the gates of Bordeaux. Articles were published and the Institut de France awarded prizes to the discoverer. Prosper Mérimée (1803-1870), a sort of minister of culture at the time, also became enthusiastic. Especially for the inscription "SPRGQ.", "Senatus populus romanus gallicusque", replacing the usual "SPQR" (Senatus Populusque Romanus). Another inscription, MTCNDP, plunges scholars into complex hypotheses. Then came doubt, followed by increasingly severe criticism, led by Mérimée. Chrétin readily admitted the deception. What he presented as a hoax was not considered a swindle. MTCNDP stood for Maximilien Théodore Chrétin Natif De Paris. The bas-reliefs are preciously preserved at the Saint Raymond Museum in Toulouse. More precise information on this page of Jean-François Bradu's website. In 2006, Hubert Delpont recounted all this and the life of Chrétin, who claimed to be Robespierre's nephew (which appears inaccurate on the grounds Roglo and Généanet), in the book "History of a Scam: Maximilian-Theodore Chrétin and the Empire of Tetricus."

    Civil War in Autun. Joel Schmidt [18 page 364] :"Tetricus never showed a desire to supplant the Roman emperors and did not oppose the enthronement of Claude II. [...]He had to oppose a revolt by the Aedui of Autun who, on the death of Postumus, had rallied to Claudius II. But the latter had not sought to rescue the city still loyal to the Romans since Caesar's campaigns, and Tetricus had seized it after seven months of siege. "The Aedui had nevertheless supported Postumus... There was therefore, for some months, a war of Gauls against Gauls... It was here that Tetricus II proved himself.

    The end of Tetricus' reign The Roman emperor Claudius II the Goth died of the plague in August 270, his successor Quintillus would have reigned for only 17 days, he died either suicided or murdered. He was replaced by Aurelian in September 270, who reigned for five years. He was a youthful friend of Tetricus, so he preferred, at first, to quell the rebellion of the queen of Palmyra, Zenobia. Then he turned to Gaul with the same desire to re-establish Roman power. Tetricus was less warlike than his army, and agreed with Aurelian to be captured, with his son Tetricus II, without too much damage. The Gauls and Romans did battle, but the few Gaulish generals who refused to fight had too few troops. Aurelian took advantage of this to present himself in Rome for a memorable triumph, presenting Tetricus and Zenobia in chains. Then, discreetly, he freed them and provided them with beautiful villas in Rome. Tetricus, who had kept his Bordeaux possessions, ended his life a few years later in southern Italy, in Lucania, a province where he had been appointed governor by his friend Aurelian.

    This version, taken up by Bouvier-Ajam [1], Schmidt [2], de Leseleuc [3, 4] is seen in a different light by the American historian Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), in his work "History of the Decadence and Fall of the Roman Empire" of 1788 : "If the legions of Gaul had been informed of this secret correspondence [between Tetricus and Aurelian], they would probably have immolated their general. He could not give up the sceptre of the West without resorting to an act of treason against himself. He affected the appearances of a civil war, advanced into the plain at the head of his troops, posted them in the most disadvantageous manner, informed Aurelian of all his resolutions, and passed on his side, at the commencement of the action, with a small number of chosen friends. The rebel soldiers, though in disarray and dismayed at the unexpected desertion of their leader, defended themselves for a long time with the courage of despair. They were finally cut to pieces, almost to the last man, in that bloody and memorable battle which was fought near Châlons in Champagne."

    Jean Lafaurie, in his numismatic study [11 page 113], dates the end of Tetricus' reign to 273, whereas the date 274 is often cited. The chronological summary of this episode of Gallic empire can thus be broken down as follows: Postumus 260-269, Victorinus 269-271, Tetricus 271-273.

     
    Tetricus video game hero. The game "Total war Rome II, Empire divided ", released in November 2017, involves Tetricus, Aurelian and Zenobia. Link with videos.



  14. 260-273 Victorina cousin of Postumus and Tetricus, mother of Victorinus.

    Victorina popular in the army. Aurelia Victorina Pia, referred to as "mother of the camps", "mater castrorum", appears to be a fighting woman, a cousin of Postumus who associates her with his triumph. Anne de Leseleuc introduces her as follows [03 presentation page] :"By associating her with his triumph, Posthumus propels Victorina to the forefront. At twenty-seven, the young woman reviews the legions. Soon she embodied the hope of an entire people, who renamed her Victoria". Joël Schmidt underlines the selflessness of her action [02 page 119] :"Gaul owes it to this woman to have been able to preserve her freedom and her honour. Victorina will have prepared the most eminent members of her family to receive the imperial purple, not out of personal vanity, but out of ambition for our sixty cities threatened with death by the Barbarians and abandoned at that time by the emperor who was on other theatres of military operations."

    Burdigala, the city of Tetricus

    Burdigala (Bordeaux), capital of the Bituriges and, more broadly, of Aquitanian Gaul was a prosperous city under the leadership of Tetricus, when Victorina asked him to become emperor of the Gauls. [illustration from the page highly documented on the site monumerique.aquitaine, drawing by Jean-Claude Golvin, 1999].

    Victorina transitory empress of the Gauls. On the death of her son, Victorina became de facto empress of Gaul as the army handed over power to her. For a few weeks she was considered as such, until she presented her cousin Tetricus to succeed Victorinus (and the short-lived Marius). The reasons for her refusal are explained by Anne de Leseleuc in this monologue [03 page 127] : 'I admit that the proposal had flattered me. What a long way I had come to get there... But for me the cause was understood. There could be no question of responding favourably to their request. However, to ensure the continuity of the Empire of the Gauls, I was convinced that I had to assume the functions that had always been mine. To do this, the responsibility for the government had to remain in the family. Tetricus was the only male representative still alive. And alive and well! His province of Aquitaine was in full prosperity. One could not have dreamt of a more competent administrator. [...] I knew that the choice of Tetricus would be approved by the provinces. It remained to convince the army, and the person concerned himself, who had no idea of what was going to happen to him".


    An example of what the cousinship between Posthumus, Tetricus (and his son Tetricus II) and Victorina (and her son Victorinus / Victorin) might be like.

    What about the Victoria-Victorina  name difference? The Victorina - Victorinus connection appears to be natural. Perhaps Victorina was first called Victoria before her son took the lead and she wanted to link her name with that of her son? Or, as Anne de Leseleuc [03 page 47] suggests, was it because she was compared to the Victoria of the coin reverses, that her name Victorina also became Victoria ? ("On the reverse side was Victoria Augusta. Everyone wanted to recognise me, the emperor's cousin who, during that tumultuous year, had spared no effort in running from town to town and supporting the courage of the people. I believe that it was after our great victory, when peace had returned to Gaul, that Postumus the first, and the others after him, changed my name from Victorina to Victoria). Joel Schmidt has a similar view [02 page 147]  "[After the election of Tetricus,] Victorina, who had never lost faith in her destiny was hailed with the title Victoria, Victory, as if inhabited by the genius of that divinity".

    Gallic woman (with torc), ex-voto in oak, Chamallières, la Source des Roches [Musée de Clermond-Ferrand, JF Bradu]
    The valued status of the Gallic woman. Excerpts from the page of the anti-myth site titled "The Gallic (Celtic) woman" : The Celtic woman was neither effete nor passive, she did not play a secondary role, as in Rome or Greece. This aspect of things is inherent in the nature of Celtic culture  in the spirituality that once served as its cement, the superior divine principle was not masculine but feminine. The Gaulish woman enjoyed a special status, exceptional even if one compares it with that of the Roman woman whose dependence on her husband was not only moral but also economic. The Gaulish woman, on the other hand, had a certain financial independence and assumed a share of her destiny when her husband died. This privilege, which must nevertheless be put into perspective, came at a price: this place in society and in the household economy was acquired by generations of women who, generally speaking, worked harder than men. According to Plutarch, women can play a prominent role in confederal assemblies, those common to several peoples and which deal with alliances or conflicts. The quality of their good judgement and impartiality is recognised there. This is why they are entrusted with the task of arbitrating between the two parties.

    It was in such a context that Victorina played a prominent role. Her influence in the appointment of emperors and her diplomatic relations with Zenobia, which some historians doubt, appear very likely. Here, another page on the Gallic woman.
    Funerary stele of a Gallic couple, 2nd century, near Dijon [Musée de St Germain en Laye].

       
    The hypotheses of Emile Mourey. Emile Mourey is an unusual researcher, often castigated by historians who look at his writings, "officially reframed by the Ministry of Culture", which seems to gratify him. In his articles on the Agoravox site, it is not easy to distinguish between what is proven and what is supposition. But it is troubling, assumptions appear... In a article of 18 January 2017, titled "After the error in locating the site of Bibracte, the misunderstanding of Autun", Victorina, Posthumus and Victorinus are introduced. On the left, Victorina hands to Posthumus / Hercules "the Davidic branch" in a medal present in illustration but absent from the text. In the centre a 2nd century medallion on marble and its schematic interpretation, with on the right, hanging from a willow tree, the emperor Posthumus / Hercules and his Caesar Victorinus. With in the background the fortress of Taisey, dominating Chalon dur Saône. The article also disputes the date of foundation of the present Autun. Still, Emile Mourey appears certain of the existence of Victorina and, on this point, he is right. But was she really "Augusta" ?
      
    In four further Agoravox articles, the one of 12 March, the second of 17 March, a other of 24 April and the last of 23 August 2019, Emile Mourey returns to the subject, presenting the illustrations above. He believes that the cathedral of Chalon-sur-Saöne was created by Victorinus and Postumus. It was then a Judaic temple, shown in the drawing on the left. The two founders would have been depicted, much later, in a sculpture, in the centre, and in a painting, on the right, with Victorinus on the left and Posthumus on the right each time.



  15. 267-273 Victorina and Zenobia of Palmyra, a common neo-Roman vision

    The meeting of two women of power. During the reign of Gallienus, from 260 to 268, Zenobia (240-275) had married Odenathus (220-267), a prince of Palmyra who, as a senator under Valerian, acquired de facto near-absolute power over the eastern provinces, with the exception of the Euxinian Bridge. Stopping the Persian invasions, he became "protector of the whole East" and then "King of kings". Assassinated in 267, his wife took power as guardian of a still child heir.

      
    Left : Zenobia is at the top on the obverse of a coin, then in the centre Zenobia imagined by Michelangelo (charcoal). Artists and writers have often considered Zenobia to have been a new Cleopatra, whom Michelangelo also drew in charcoal (here). On Zenobia, one may consult this page on the antikforever site or this one on the latogeetleglaive site. Did Victorina visit the Temple of Bel in Palmyra ? Right : illustration by Jean-Claude Golvin. His site features numerous illustrations of ancient cities and monuments, particularly in Gaul. He is the author, with Gérard Coulon, of the illustration book Voyage en Gaule romaine published by Actes Sud (reissued in 2016) : pages 1 and 4 cover + double page in a villa.

    In fact, the Roman Empire was split into three, Postumus ruled in greater Gaul from Trier, Zenobia ruled the Near East from Palmyra, now in Syria, and Gallian ruled from Rome over the rest of the Roman Empire.

    It was then that, according to Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 191], Victorina managed to enter into relations with Zenobia: "The two women had great admiration for each other (it is not known which of the two took the initiative of sending emissaries to the other); Zenobia intended to extend her power in Egypt, Victorina intended to consolidate the Gallic Empire : They will assist each other when the time comes, while at the same time causing trouble for the Roman emperor who refuses to satisfy their wishes. In truth, has the hour of the women heads of state come ?"

      
    "Victorina Mother of the Camps" or "Zenobia Haranguing Her Troops" : which is the title of this painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo done in 1725-1730 (Washington National Gallery, link) ? It is the latter, but the former is still likely, and even better because we see the tents of the camp in the background (as in the Victorina engraving presented in the next chapter). As if Zenobia and Victorina were interchangeable. Besides, aren't the soldiers (many blond or redheaded with braccae) Gauls ? And if it was indeed Victorina, if we had lost the original title of the work... This seems very likely !

    Anne de Leseleuc goes so far as to imagine a visit by Victorina to Zenobia [03, pages 134ff], shortly after the accession of Tetricus. They become friends and agree on trade : "I had learned much from Zenobia. I was about to set out again for Gaul with trade agreements that would provide new outlets for our exports and savings on imported goods." [03 page 147]. This is plausible, but we have no evidence and no testimony...

    It is consistent with the Augustan History [08 page 909], which has Zenobia say this sentence  "It is Victoria, who I believe is like me, with whom I would have wished to share the empire if distances had permitted". Why would such a statement have been invented ?


    Aurelian
    [Wikipedia illustration]
    Replacing Roman domination with cooperation. It was thus a real experiment in political and economic cooperation that the two rulers would have conducted. But it lacked the support of the emperor of Rome, Aurelian, whom, according to Joel Schmidt, Tetricus, his youthful friend, had tried in vain to convince  "Aurelian was determined to put an end to the experiment of a three-headed government that Zenobia in the East and myself in the West had tried to institute" [02 p 158].

    Aurelian the Roman emperor who reigned from 270 to 275, brought to an end both the Palmyrene Empire and the Gallic Empire, restoring the integrity of the Roman Empire under his authority and its capital Rome. Born around 215 in Panonia (around Austria, Hungary, Slovenia), he was of the same generation as Posthumus, Tetricus, Victorina and Zenobia, and is supposed to have been a youthful friend of Tetricus. Although adamant about reconstituting the Roman Empire, he allowed Zenobia, Tetricus and his son Tetricus II to live.

    Work by Gilles Chaillet
    showing the 3D map of Rome

        
    Aurelian's triumph in Rome in 274, with Zenobia in chains, Tetricus too. Images found on the internet, of undetermined origin, except the one on the right by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770). Victorina had been dead for a year, a victim of the plague.

    It is for all this that Camille Jullian, the great specialist of Gaul at the beginning of the 20th century, evoking Victorina and Zenobia [10 vol. 4 chap. XV] estimated that : "Never, in times of classical culture, will the sovereignty of the woman rise higher". But we shall see that this judgment from the beginning of the 20th century was erased by other historians who doubted the very existence of Victorina. Now that these doubts have been dispelled, will Victorina regain her aura? A reflection of what she was in her time?



  16. Certainty and then doubt about the existence of Victorina

    Until the early 20th century, there was no doubt about the existence of Victorina. In 1676, Jacques Audigier (1619-1698) in his work "L'origine des Français et de leur empire" wrote  "Aurélie Victorine was in such great veneration among the Gauls and foreigners that in Gaul the soldiers called her the mother of the camps and armies, as she had formerly been called Faustina, wife of Marcus Aurelius Augustus, and Agrippina, wife of Germanicus Caesar  outwardly Zenobia empress of the East and widow of Odenate, wished for nothing so passionately as to join her legions to those of Victorina, with the purpose of sharing the universe between them."

    In 1821, the "Dictionnaire historique, critique et bibliographique" by Louis-Mayeul Chaudon and Antoine François Delandine had an entry "Victorine" : "Mother of the tyrant Victorin, was the heroine of the West. Having placed herself at the head of a number of legions, she inspired such confidence in them that they gave her the title of Mother of the Armies. She herself led them with that quiet pride which announces as much courage as intelligence. Gallien had no more formidable enemy. After seeing her son and grandson Victorin die, she had the imperial purple given to Marius, and then to the senator Tetricus, whom she had elected in Bordeaux, in the year 268. Victorinus only survived the appointment of this prince by a few months. It has been claimed that Tetricus, jealous of her excessive authority, took her life; but several authors assure us that her death was natural."

    As famous as Zenobia in the 19th century. In 1847, Joséphine Amory in her "Galerie des femmes célèbres" devoted four pages to "Victorine" (here). Excerpts  "As brave as she was beautiful, Victorine had the genius of a superior man, the skill and prudence of the captain, the bravery of the warrior, and all the serious qualities that make the fearless leader. [...]The empress had by her influence conquered the right to elect emperors, and the blind confidence of her people admitted her decisions without examination." With in note :"Zenobia wanted to attack the Romans from the East and the West. History has compared Zenobia and Victorina and they also left equal reputations. They had the same rank, the same power, the same virtues, and, extraordinarily, they lived in the same century. This remarkable coincidence gave rise to a parallel. (Biographers, Crevier, Hist. des emp.)"

    In the "Journal des demoiselles" of October 1846, in the series "Les femmes illustres", Pauline Roland in a four-page article entitled "Victorina" (here) went so far as to compare the mother of the camps and Zenobia  "Zenobia's oriental character, her misfortunes, are surrounded by a prestige which we shall not try to destroy, and her name has remained popular to our days  however we are not afraid to affirm it, Victorina was more truly great." The demonstration ends thus  "In considering finally that Victorina did not make herself empress, but, which was more difficult, had the imperial purple which she disdained attached successively to the shoulder of three men, we do not hesitate to place the austere Gauloise above the queen of Palmyra." From the same author, the 22-page article in "La revue indépendante" in 1846, titled "Etudes sur l'histoire des femmes en France", has 6 on Victorina (here). Surprisingly, Pauline Roland describes in detail a grandiose funeral, as "The Gallic senate decreed the apotheosis of Victorina" in Trier. This is not attested by any Roman period source...

    In 1876, in the "Classical Dictionary of History and Geography" der Louis Grégoire : "Victorina or Victoria (Aurelia), sister of Postumus, is said to have had his son Victorinus adopted by him  nicknamed the "mother of the camps", she had the armourer Marius, and her son-in-law, the senator Tetricus, given the purple. She died in 268." In 1833, the collective work "Biographie universelle" already had a record of the same type (here) under the entry "Victorina". She had her statue in the celebrities in the park at Fontainebleau. Eugène Sue dedicated a novel to her "The Helmet Lark". But since then the original Roman texts have been subjected to a very thorough critical analysis, which has led a good part of the historians to doubt the very existence of Victorina. At the beginning of the 21st century, she is even supposed to no longer exist. Notably in Wikipedia.

    Wikipedia better in English than in French. Showing the illustration opposite, Wikipedia's french article on Victorine ends thus, in 2019 : "The editor of the History Augustus states that she would have issued coins and been proclaimed "mother of the camps" in the manner of an empress. However, we have neither coins nor inscriptions of Victorine, so André Chastagnol and Jean Lafaurie have hypothesised that both authors were mistaken because of reverses of coins of Gallic emperors celebrating the "Victoria Augusti" or the "Victoria Augusta", allegory of Victory."

    This uncaptioned illustration from the Wikipedia article of early August 2019 (copy) (caption since added), suggesting that a Gaulish coin had this portrait on the reverse (The inscription "Victoria Avg(usti)" was actually used), is, to say the least, a clumsy one, which is awkward when you want to expose a deception ! The corresponding English article is much more cautious, saying only that there are doubts and explaining that this effigy of Victoria is an image by Guillaume Rouillé dating from the 16th century...

    André Chastagnol, corrector of history
    André Chastagnol (1920-1996) had a key role in the analysis of Roman hustorian texts, in particular the large work "History Augustus" [08]. He and others have made some astonishing discoveries. In the first place, this book is not written by six authors but by one, and it contains many errors and inventions which have been precisely tracked down and have allowed another look at historical data which seemed to be taken for granted. However, in wanting to look everywhere for the slightest error, Chastagnol sometimes went too far. This is the case for Victorina, as the following chapter will demonstrate.

    André Chastagnol as seen by Gilles Chaillet on the screenplay (he imagines the Roman who wrote the "History Augustus") and Dominique Rousseau on the drawing in the fifth volume of "The Last Prophecy", Glénat 2012 + the panel.
    Where is the gross error ? André Chastagnol in his review of the Histoire Auguste [08, pages 857 and 858] has denied the existence of the one he calls Victoria. He begins by saying that this book merely repeats what Aurelius Victor wrote. He considers that "Victor's endorsement is not sufficient to remove the doubts which weigh on the very existence of this Victoria and, consequently, of the important role which is attributed to her in the history of the Gallic empire. We have no description of her and, contrary to the overly peremptory assertions of the Augustan History, no coins; the title of "mother of the camps" receives no confirmation. It is certain, on the one hand, that she played no role in the elevation of Marius and, on the other, that she did not obtain the title of Augusta. Victor would therefore be responsible for a gross error. It is not impossible that the origin of his blunder lies in the numerous coins marked with the names of the Gallic emperors and whose reverses, present the goddess Victory."

    Pierre Dufraigne [07 page 162] notes that :"There is independence of Eutrope, who does not speak of Victoria, from Victor and, on the contrary a certain analogy of structure and vocabulary between Victor's sentence and that of the H.A.[History Augustus [08]]. Only Victor and the H.A. mention Victoria  the latter sees her as a leading figure, a maker of emperors, who intervenes on several occasions and who received the titles of Augusta and mater castrorum. But there is no coinage in Victoria's name, although the H.A. states otherwise. So the character remains mysterious and its authenticity uncertain."

    One page on the site Roman-emperors.net takes up the argument of the gross misunderstanding on the reverse side of the coins  more severely: "Our good Aurelius Victor did not break his head : for him, the mother of the Gallic emperor Victorinus could only be called Victorina. From that moment on, there was only one more step to take to transform this Victorina into Victoria and, at the same time, to metamorphose a simple monetary allegory, a little pompous, into a woman of flesh and blood.

    Statue of Victorina
    Park of the Château de Fontainebleau, at the bassin des cascades, titled "Aurélia Victorina, Gallic princess, nicknamed "The mother of the camps"", dated 1857 (preliminary drawing in June 1848 in "L'illustration"), she is made of white marble, 2.35 m high, sculpted by Louis-Joseph Daumas (1801-1887). Could we put a torc  around her neck?

    A hazardous psychological interpretation. And the author of this page becomes a psychologist  : "Aurelius Victor's blunder was probably neither innocent nor unintentional. The fact of showing that it was only a weak woman, however brilliant she was, who had held (directly or indirectly) the reins of the Gallic secessionist Empire, peremptorily affirming that it was a simple matron who made and defeated all the rulers of this rump empire, was, in the eyes of these old and very macho Romans, to throw the most serious discredit on this rival of Rome that constituted the Gallo-Roman state of Postumus and consorts. At the same time, exalting this imaginary, fearless and impassive Victoria also meant ruining the reputation of Gallien, the effeminate emperor who, through his unbridled debauchery and indecent flabbiness, had managed to "incur the contempt not only of men, but also of women". This systematic denigration of both the Gallic Empire, which had fallen into disarray, and the reign of this Gallian, in which women wore knickers, served only to enhance the prestige of Claudius II (the Goth), Gallian's murderer and successor, but also and above all the presumptive grandfather of the great Constantine, the illustrious founder of the prestigious dynasty that ruled the Empire at the time when Aurelius Victor was writing! And then, no doubt it was also necessary, if only for the balance of the story, a Western counterpart to the beautiful Palmyrene Zenobia !".


    One of many editions

    Victorina / Victoria, mother of the camps

    Gaulish vs. Frankish
    "The Helmet Lark or Victoria, the Mother of the Camps" is a novel by Eugène Sue (1804-1857) published in 1850, whose heroine is Victorina, named "Victoria the Great", victim of the "infamous treason" of Tetricus / Tetrik. Full text here in one page and there (downloadable as pdf or epub) or there in five pages/chapters. This historical novel is included in volume 3 of the great fresco "The People's Mysteries or History of a Proletarian Family through the Ages" in 16 volumes. [illustrations from page Gallica, drawing Horace Castelli (1825-1889), Hopwood engraving, Roze] + here an introductory letter from Eugène Sue, dated 1 June 1850, showing how much he magnified the Gauls and denigrated the Franks, as well as the Christians  extract : "Yes, by virtue of what mysterious fatality have we Gauls, after having so valiantly reconquered our freedom from the Romans, been defeated, conquered, stripped, enslaved by this royalty, by this aristocracy of Frankish race ? ". As for the title, it is explained by this sentence  "One of these helmets was surmounted by a Gallic rooster in gilded bronze; the wings half-open, holding under its legs a lark which it threatened with its beak. This emblem had been adopted as a war ornament by Victoria's father, after a heroic battle, when, at the head of a handful of soldiers, he had exterminated a Roman legion which bore a lark on its ensigns. Underneath these arms was a bronze cup with seven sprigs of mistletoe, for Gaul had regained its religious freedom by regaining its independence." So it is a rooster, rather than a lark, that Victorina has on her helmet. A century and a half later, Yves Schmidt [2] and Anne de Leseleuc [3 and 4], who also romanticized Victorina's life, were fortunately better documented.

    Evidence neither way. The illustration opposite, is shown in the introduction to the book "The Secret of Victorina" [03 page 8] (noted drawn by Renata), as the coronation of Tetricus by Victorina / Victoria. This piece (photos) is also noted in Joel Schmidt's book [02 page 161]. As with Posthumus, Marius or Valentinus, the presence of Victoria on the reverse does not prove the existence of Victorina. Nor is it proof of her non-existence, for one cannot dismiss a way of guiding the new empire that was both discreet and majestic, as Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 268]  "She even tried to divinize herself, willingly abbreviated her name Victorina to Victoria and had coins minted in her cipher, on which the allegorical representation of the goddess Victoria, the goddess Victory, appeared." In the same sense, Franz de Champagny goes so far as to indicate a reverse of a coin "Romae Aeternam" or "Rome is represented, so it is believed, under the features of Victorina, mother of the emperor" [10 vol. 4 chap. XV]



  17. Dispelling doubts about Victorina's existence

    Why a Gallic woman would not have had a primary political role ? In her first book of 2003 [03, pages 266 and 267, here], Anne de Leseleuc puts forward strong initial arguments in favour of Aurelius Victor, with two major arguments :
    • Aurelius Victor is a reliable source everywhere else, there is no reason to believe that he would have been wrong only for Victorina,
    • Roman historians were attacked in their day "for daring to mention the political role held by women". So they hardly dared to go in that direction. Victor did, however, for Zenobia and Victorina.
    • Another psychological interpretation is more likely  "Let us finally note that many historians report that they were attacked for daring to mention the political role held by women. The pseudo Trebellius Pollion writes in "The Augustan History" : "They reproach me for having placed women in the midst of tyrants, more precisely "tyrannesses" or "tyrannesses" (Zenobia or Victoria) as they like to repeat, showering me with jokes and mockery". It is as if the author suspected that a few centuries later, a Chastagnol would come and denigrate his story. He replied in advance! Let us emphasize that he treats Zenobia and Victoria in the same way, why would one be true and the other invented? And wouldn't such an invention have been denounced when the History of Augustus was published? Certainly, there are proven inaccuracies in this work, but they are not of the same magnitude. And their author does not insist that they are true...

    Why would a reputable Roman historian have made a gross error ? Being a genealogist, I am beginning to have some familiarity with clues to form an opinion about the existence of a character or that of a link between two characters. Without yet knowing the existence of the stele, Anne de Leseleuc's argumentation had convinced me and I had added the following elements :
    And at last a smoking gun ! The discovery of Victorina's funerary stele, revealed by Anne de Leseleuc's second book in 2012, provides very strong evidence :
    [04, pages 111, 112, 122, 123] How did Anne de Leseleuc come to know of this stele ?
    Why did her discovery get no echo ? (I seem to be the second person to mention this...)

    Let's highlight the following :
    Confusion between two stele ! Under the title "Funeral stele of Victorina", in August/September 2019, a page (here memorized) of the Academy of Rheims website, having to do with the Gallo-Roman room of the Saint Rémi Museum shows (opposite on the left) a stele different from the one in the photo of the Anne de Leseleuc book. Does this mean that the stele has two sides? No. Is it another stele with a wrong caption? Yes! Thanks to the Musée Saint Rémi de Reims for answering my questions and for triggering the correction of this confusion (by clicking on this link, you can check if it is done).

    This chapter will be updated to take into account new elements on the Victorina stele, about which little is yet known... but enough to re-establish the existence of a great lady whom the 20th century has ignored for unsubstantiated reasons.

    On funerary art in Gaul, one may consult this page from Maryse Marsailly's blog or this one from Nicolas Aubry, from which is extracted the photo on the right (origin : Autun), stele of the worker Martio with his tools and an inscription of the same type as for Victorina.

    The torc at the neck: a symbol of nobility among the Gauls

    Illustration on the left: bronze, brass, glass, height 41.5 cm, found in the Juine River, at Bouray-sur-Juine (Essonne). Late 1st century BC - Early 1st century AD. [Musée des Antiquités nationales, Saint-Germain-en-Laye] + caption excerpt from the dedicated page of the musee-archeologienationale website, with other photos : "The statuette was discovered around 1845 in the Juine River. The figure depicted is a naked, beardless young man, sitting " cross-legged ", wearing a torc around his neck. [...] Is it one of the many Gallic gods, whose name and powers are generally unknown, or a deified hero, or an ancestor? The head, made of two bronze shells with cast lead, is welded to the body, composed of two brass parts shaped by hammering. Blue and white glass eyes, of which only one remains, were placed in the head before assembly. The young man wears a closed hook and eye torc around his neck. In the late Independent and early Gallo-Roman periods, this rigid metal necklace of the Gauls is often worn by native deities, either around the neck or in the hand, as a divine attribute, which it appears to be."

    Right-hand illustration: the warrior of Saint Maur in this page, also with a torc around his neck (early 1st century).




  18. 260-273 The triarchy of the empires of Trier (Gaul), Rome and Palmyra


    The Roman Empire divided into three, from 260 to 274 [from Wikipedia]

    The thwarted desire to create three empires in good harmony Anne de Leseleuc thus imagines Victorina's presence alongside Posthumus, with a more reserved Tetricus [04 pages 18 and 19] :"Postumus had in addition a secret weapon, his cousin. Victorina was ambitious and madly in love with Postume. It was she who set out to make him an emperor and she succeeded. A passionate nationalist, she promised herself to give Gaul its autonomy. [...]Postumus may not have been emperor for Rome, the Romans and Gallien, but he was indeed for the Gauls. All of Gaul acclaimed him. Only in secret did Tetricus think that leaving the Roman imperial union was a grave mistake that would have catastrophic consequences."

    Franz de Champagny shows how the division of the empire into three parts could have endured [10 vol. 4 chap. XV] :"It would not have been impossible at that time for Tetricus or Victorina in Gaul, Zenobia in the East, Gallian in Italy, all equally defenders of an Empire which could be united, but which could no longer be one, to concede to each other the right to rule, that is to say, to fight, and by this patriotic alliance save the Empire. But there remained outside them a fourth Caesar, Aureolus, hitherto an ally of Gallien, master of a single point, Illyria, but an important point; for it was the nursery of soldiers and the barracks of the Empire. Did Aureolus fear that they would agree to exclude him, and that Gallien, who had used him to fight the Gauls, would compensate himself at his expense for the emancipation of Gaul? or, driven by ambition alone, did Aureolus claim to be the Emperor of Rome and the centre of this confederation that they wished to see accomplished? What is certain is that he entered Italy, and that Gallien was obliged to return there in haste to fight him."

    Based on a passage by Trebellius Pollio (one of the six invented authors of the Augustan History [08]), Franz de Champagny goes further [10 chap. 3] : "Such, then, was Zenobia, who in the East, like Victorina in the West, raised the independence of nations and protested against the yoke of Roman absolutism. These two women, separated by the Empire of Gallien, placed so far from each other, but worthy of each other, could they agree from the Rhine to the Euphrates over the head of this Caesar who was too proud to ally himself with them, but powerless to defeat them? We can believe it; and we know what testimony the queen of Palmyra gave of the proud Gaul who, like her, put the helmet on her head and called herself the Mother of the camps. We will hear her say to Aurelian: "Gallian and Aureolus were not emperors. But Victorina seemed to me to be made like me, and, if distance had not separated us, I would have proposed to her to reign together."

    This division into three empires had effectively stopped the barbarian invasions. As Anne de Leseleuc writes [02 page 210], it could not but inspire a new political organisation : "No emperor could henceforth rule alone over a world harassed by Barbarians. Zenobia, Postumus, and then Tetricus, were precursors of the idea of a geographical partition of imperial powers."

    In hindsight, this partition into three can be called triarchy, since the division into four that came 15 years later was called tetrarchy (monarchy, diarchy, tri, tetra...).

    With regard to the economic balance sheet of the Gallic Empire from 260 to 273, Maurice Bouvier-Ajam stresses the importance of money in the economy. Initially, Posthumus' monetary policy was a success, explaining his prestige "in Gaul, in Rome and abroad. It is a visible, concrete sign of the recovered prosperity of Gaul. [...]One of the superiorities of the Gaul over the Roman will be that of the currency.". The situation darkened at the end of Posthumus' reign and during the following reigns, with serious internal problems, especially when the Aeduan revolt was put down by Tetricus father and son. The plague spread, barbarian invasions resumed in the east, and the currency weakened, containing less and less precious metal. A return to the Roman fold then appeared as a solution...

    Bordeaux, the city of which Tetricus was governor and where he was appointed emperor of the Gauls
    The lovers of Bordeaux and Pistillus, a craftsman from Autun who was recognized throughout Gaul
    Late 2nd, early 3rd century terracotta, discovered in Bordeaux (Burdigala), height 6.3 cm, length 12 cm, artist Pistillus
    This loving couple, discovered in 1850 in Bordeaux, sometimes called " lovers of Bordeaux ", remains exceptional in the abundant production of Gallo-Roman terracotta figurines, where representations of divinities, Venus and mother-goddesses in the lead, occupy a predominant place.
    The figurines, produced in very large series in central Gaul, Burgundy and other regions, are cheap objects of piety, intended for the gods, but which can also accompany the deceased to the grave. Others, rarer, are toys or decorative elements, perhaps this is the case here.
    The two figures, naked but partially covered by a blanket, are tenderly embracing. Treated here with great delicacy, the scene has nothing in common with the very crude erotic representations usually found on terracotta lamps of the Roman period. Better than on the somewhat frozen funerary steles where two spouses are sometimes depicted, it captures the intimacy of a couple in a unique way. At the feet of the embracing couple, a dog curled up in a ball is sleeping peacefully.
    On the reverse side of the bed, the object bears a trademark: PISTILLVS FECIT (Pistillus made). The potter Pistillus, active in Autun (Saône-et-Loire) towards the end of the 2nd century and the beginning of the 3rd century, signed part of his production, unlike most of his colleagues. This signature, affixed to the inside of the mould before it was fired, is not comparable to an artist's signature; it is undoubtedly linked to the organisation of production. Pistillus' work is distinguished by a rather refined use of various themes used by most coroplasts (figurine makers): protective goddesses, Abundance, Venus in an aedicula, Epona, busts of children, horses...
    [RMN-GP photo Franck Raux and caption excerpt from the dedicated page of the musee-archeologienationale website, with other photos]

    Religious tolerance in the Gallic Empire. Joel Schmidt [18 page 365] : "No one under Postumus, nor under Victorinus and Tetricus, was the Christians worried. Bouvier-Ajam goes in the same direction, adding [01 page 180] : "At the favour of this total tolerance, Gallic traditions are awakened here and there in the countryside where free peasants and fairly numerous and fairly close settlers maintain regular relations with each other  these reminiscences are expressed without constraint or outburst : Armorica, the countries of the Sarthe and the Loir, the Auvergne and the Rouergue, seem to have been more especially marked by Druidic resurgences mixed with a multiform paganism. Elsewhere, it is a certain revival of particular mythologies", notably oriental, local, plotinism... "Postume is both served and served badly by this confused evolution of beliefs". "Preachers, diviners, magicians, sorcerers want to be the priests of the wretched and pose as druids. [...]A common ideology of protest is sketched out. [...] This is a peril for Gaul, all the more dangerous because a mysticism adds its force of demand to that of hunger, jealousy, and hatred." We can feel what will be, a few years later, the development of the bagaudes.



  19. 270-448 The bagaudes or Gallic resistance to Roman imperialism


    Combat of Romans against Gauls (reminiscent of the statue of the Dying Gaul) only clad in their neck torque.
    Front of the so-called Amendola Vine sarcophagus, dating from the 2nd century (Capitoline Museums, Rome) (drawing iStock
    ).

    Brigandage and refusal to pay tax. The Dedicated Wikipedia page defines the bagaudes (bagaudae) as "armed bands of brigands, deserting soldiers, slaves and landless peasants who held northwestern Gaul to ransom from the 3rd to 5th centuries" and has them beginning in 284, 10 years after the end of the Gallic Empire. "At their greatest extent, they would cover two-fifths of the territory of Gaul (mainly northwestern)". This duration and area show a movement of extreme magnitude, a kind of Gallic state, fragmented and splintered, within the Roman state.

    For Maurice Bouvier-Ajam and Anne de Leseleuc, the Bagaudes begin earlier, under the Gallic empire, as if they could be a consequence of it. The first writes [01 page 215] : "It is clearly under Postumus that the fact bagaude becomes precise and, presumably, that the word bagaude becomes common. Slaves, agricultural labourers barely distinguishable from themselves, peasants burdened by drivers, colonists bent under the burden of drudgery and dues, unemployed vagabonds gather in scrublands, clearings, ungrateful lands, swamps. Their lairs are so protected, so threatening that clean-up operations are very rarely attempted. [...] Then, when the Bagaudes, the Bagaude men, start an insurrection, that insurrection is called a Bagaude. It is on this account that historians have spoken of a first Bagaude breaking out in 270, it would end in 274 after the repression of Aurelian."

    An economic crisis Thus, chronologically, it was the Gallic Empire that may have generated the first bagaudes. The exaggerated minting of coins (about 350 types, according to the reference work [06]), with coins containing less and less precious metal and with parallel workshops of counterfeiting, caused a strong inflation, generating panic and strong economic prudence. In 274-275, the upsurge of barbarian invasions, in a veritable flood, further darkened the picture. Not to mention the plague, of which Victorina was a victim...  
    Roman - Gaul combat (bas relief from the Louvre museum, early 2nd century) and a bagaude illustrated by P. Joubert [21]

    "The memoirs of Victorina" [03 page 190] confirm this bagaude from the time of Tetricus : "In a single year, the insecurity caused by the assassination of Posthumus, followed by those of Laelianus and Marius, the too short reign of Victorinus, the rallying of Rome to Spain and of Narbonne, depriving us of important external outlets, radically changed the character of brigandage". [...] "This new state within the state began to function in an even more disturbing way. All these bands scattered throughout the country had not given themselves a single leader, but a few ringleaders had brought whole regions under their authority. They had created armies and taken over estates and even villages. They organised defences, and began to cultivate the land they had taken over. They set up markets where they sold their produce without paying taxes, in total illegality and impunity, under the protection of the Bagaude soldiers. The bagaudés went from a state of revolt to an instinct for self-preservation. The workers driven out of the officines, with stolen tools, went back to work in the new communities."

    Freedom from Roman rule The page titled "286 the first revolt of the Gallic Bagaudes" presents the first symptoms of a revolt that would become widespread :"The Germanic raids of 276 and increasing piracy on the Channel coast led to the abandonment of many villages and the flight of the inhabitants to the forests. It was in the years 280 to 300, for example, that the salting workshops installed on the site of the present-day town of Douarnenez (Finistère) ceased to function and the Gallo-Roman sanctuary of Haut Bécherel (Côtes-d'Armor), raised at the end of the first century, was abandoned and burnt down.."

    On this page titled "A complex movement from 284 to 440  "The duration of the movement (more than a century and a half), the differences in context according to the periods, the often allusive form of the written documents, do not in any case allow for an analysis of great precision. At most, trends can be identified. This revolt movement was clearly anti-state, the aim being to free themselves from the oppression exercised by the central power (Roman in this case) and by its local representatives; but it is almost certain that it did not make any specific social or economic demands. It was not yet the same as the cahiers de doléances written in 1789. The military organisation of the movement was particularly inadequate and only ambushes or coups de main paid off. In pitched battles, the insurgents were no match for them. The slaves and free men involved in the insurrection wanted, in many cases, to establish a free and sustainable society rather than to confront representatives of the administration against whom they felt inferior. ". The author sees this as a "distant origin of peasant revolts in our lands". Until recent revolts, such as that of the red hats or the yellow vests (a mostly French Gallic (?) phenomenon) (see this page on the herodote site titled "From bagaudes to yellow vests") or the autonomous movement or attempts to withdraw into communities, via le Larzac and NDDL (see below) ? Right up to a president of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, who in 2018 complained about the, yet un-bragged, "Gaulois refractaires" (see this page of the economiematin website).


    The permanence of the bagaudés, from Asterix to Zadsterix. Were the courageous, funny and bickering inhabitants of a small village who resisted the Roman occupation for many albums, shortly after the defeat of Vercingetorix, precursors of the bagaudés ? And also, as written above, the yellow waistcoats and the Zadists of Notre Dame Des Landes? This is what is presented, in this page the parody "The domain of the beggars", an adventure of Zadsterix in 6 pages of comics triturating Goscinny and Uderzo's squares, on the site zad.nadir.


    This is an opportunity to take a detour into the real Asterix, not always plumb with historical truth."The Tour of Gaul" is the fifth album in the series of the Gaul "Asterix" imagined by René Goscinny on the screenplay and Albert Uderzo on the drawing, published by Dargaud in 1965. The map shown on the cover is that of France, not of Gaul, whether it was before or after Roman rule. While Lugdunum / Lyon (centre) and Gesocribate / Brest (right) are indeed in Gaul, Massilia / Marseille is in the Roman province at the time of the story around 50BC. Batavia, Belgium, Helvetia, though on the borders of Gaul, are absent from this funny (in both senses of the word...) tour. On plate 5, Asterix draws the map of.... France... Since the album has been modified with new colours, why didn't you also correct the box where the contours of Gaul are drawn ? Here the original version of Pilote n°175 of 28 February 1963 (same colouring as the Dargaud 1965 album) and there the current recoloured version of the Hachette editions.



  20. 280-281 Proculus and Bonosus, short-lived candidate emperors of Gaul

    That Proculus and Bonosus existed is proven by various sources, including Eutropius, and by coins, but only the Augustan History [08 page 1129] belatedly provides details. André Chastagnol [08 page 1109] calls them "pure invention". He is very precise in the case of Bonosus, as this further study shows. In their accounts, Maurice Bouvier Ajam [01 page 232] and Joel Schmidt [18 page 373] take up the account in the Augustan History, as it will be taken up here and as it is taken up on a page on the lesmonnaiesdeprobus website titled "The usurpers Proculus, Bonosus and Saturninus under Probus.

    Aside from a page on the emperor Probus, who reigned from 276 to 282, Wikipedia has a page on Proculus and another on Bonobus. About Proculus, on an English blog, a page is titled "The Proculus enigma, questioning the dating of Proculus coins. This is characteristic of the lack of interest in France in this character, who is very rarely mentioned, like Bonosus, in works on Gaul.

       Coins featuring Proculus, Bonosus, Probus

    A mysterious Proculus II
    As reported in this page on the Roman-emperors website, titled "Proculus", Maurice Bouvier-Ajam believes that there was a second Proculus, "adventurer of a curious sort", cousin of the first, who wanted to succeed him after his death as "emperor of the Gauls". He would even have been recognized as such by the legions of Hispania and [Great] Britain ! The information, coming from Gustave Bloch, appears fragile.

    It is Maurice Bouvier-Ajam's account [01 page 232] which is partly repeated below, erasing some incidental details to take into account, in part, André Chastagnol's remarks. "Lyon did not forgive Aurelian either for heavy taxes or, above all, for not having treated it as the capital of the Gauls, in favour of a half-barbaric Trier. The city and perhaps the whole civitas were all the more ready for secession as they saw in Probus the stubborn continuator of Aurelian's policy.""

    Lugdunum / Lyon by Jean-Claude Golvin : general view, entrance to the forum, theatre and Odeon of Fourvière (link)

    Proculus, an officer exhilarated by a first success. Titus Illius Proculus is a Roman officer who is "rich, proud of his fortune, expensive, boastful, naive and an excellent captain". In Lyons, "during an agape, he vociferates his recriminations and his comrades-in-arms, almost as a game, elect him emperor and promise to accompany him to the Rhine. He accepts, leaves at the head of a small group, recruits at great expense, obtains the assistance of naval officers, has a flotilla, lands on the coast of Esterel, heads east, collects large numbers of unoccupied garrisons, Bagaudes and deserters, reaches the Germans - no doubt an advance guard that has reached the Hautes-Alpes and Savoie - and defeats them. He organises his own triumph on the spot, specifies that he is "Emperor of the Gauls" and that he will continue to liberate the territory."

    But, as in a game of dice, his luck changes. Probus asks Proculus to rally to him. Refusal. Probus "seizes him through a simple coup de main set up by his emissaries and has him executed on the spot".

    Bonosus, a general betrayed by his troops; "Gallus Quintus Bonosus was a valiant general of Claudius II and Aurelian. He commanded the troops of the Rhine Mouths, which, following setbacks leading to fears of Roman reaction, proclaimed him "Emperor of Gaul and Allied Countries". With no real support outside his troops and realising that some of his own officers were failing, "he kills himself and his accomplices also kill themselves, the others flee by sea, others still surrender".

    And Maurice Bouvier-Ajam concludes on these troubled attempts  "There were other attempts at secession, minor and brief, which did not go as far as the proclamation of even fantasy Emperors. But if all these revolts, large and small, were short-lived and soon suppressed, they nonetheless had a strong influence on the fate of Gaul and, even more so, of the Roman Empire. "



  21. 285, Amandus the first emperor of Bagaudes


    Histoire de France Larousse, Castex and Marcello 1976 [14 page 43].
    Recounted in seven pages (the murder of Posthumus and the beginning of the bagaudes on the first)  : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

    Juan Carlos Sanchez Leon [13 page 29] :"According to Aurelius Victor, two men called Aelianus and Amandus had formed an army of peasants and brigands in Gaul, whom the natives called bagaudes, and had plundered fields and attacked towns. In response to this insurrection, Diocletian sent Maximian to restore order in Gaul, where the Caesar, alongside the officer Carausius, routed the rebels and accepted their surrender in short order. This therefore takes place some time before Carausius' insurrection, "from the early months of 285 to the end of the year", probably "in Armorica, between the Loire and Seine" [13 pages 71 and 72].

    When an army supports a bagaude. For Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 239], this rebellion is more extensive, also affecting the army. The revolt of the Gaul Pomponius Elian (Aelianus or Alianus) is joined by the army of the Roman general Aeneus Salvius Amandus (or Amand) : "Amandus - who has seen the Bagaudes fighting with his army against the Germanic invaders - meets there Bagaudean chiefs whom he already knew and who give him pledges for peace. He received orders from Maximian to set their territory on fire. Amandus does more than refuse to obey him: he goes straight to the Bagaudes' side, followed by his troops who are as indignant as he is. The welcome given to the defector is unimaginable. He was proclaimed emperor. He is said to have had the skill to call himself emperor of the Bagaudes and aspiring to the quality of emperor of the Gauls  in short, it is a question, starting from peaceful or pacified Bagaudes, of extending the authority of their central leader, their emperor, over the whole country, by the gradual realization of an agreement with everything that is not Bagaude. [...] It will take Maximian eight months to overcome  Amandus will be killed, in a pitched battle, probably near Cosne. His memory will remain vivid for a long time; he becomes a "Saint Amand"" Saint-Amand is indeed a commune name often borne (see page of Wikipedia), the origin of which is uncertain or attributed to a Amand truly saint, as in Aquitaine. But, for example, for the Berry commune Saint Amand Montrond (candidate for the title of centre of mainland France, one may wonder...
    "History of Brittany", Secher text, le Honzec drawing, 1991 (285 is more accurate than 283) + the panel

    Amandus can be considered the sole emperor of the early bagaudes. After a lull, they started again in 316. They were to last for more than a century, until Attila, until the arrival of the Franks...

    This distinction between emperor of the Gauls and emperor of the Bagaudes overlaps with another difference, that between emperors who struck coins and those who did not. We do not know the faces of Amandus and the other Bagaudes emperors. There is, however, continuity between these emperors, most of whom were originally Roman army generals, notably Posthumus and Amandus.


    [14 page 47]


    Illustration of Eric Tréguier's article "Bagaudes, the insurgents of Roman Gaul" in "Wars and History" #18 of 2014 (full here).
    + pages from this article : 1 2 3



  22. 286-293 Carausius revives the Gallic empire and becomes emperor of the Channel

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam refers to him as "the last Gallic emperor" [01, page 244]. If he was indeed elected under this title by his troops and if he had coins minted designating him as such, Carausius ruled over a geographically small, though still important, empire in new frontiers...

    The proclamation of a new emperor of Gaul. Originally from the province of Menapes, in Belgium, Carausius (Marcus Aurelius Valerius), commander of the Classis Britannica /British fleet is commissioned by the emperor Maximien Hercules to defend the Atlantic coast against the Saxons and Franks. Disagreeing with his appointer, his legions proclaimed him emperor in 286. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 247] describes his arrival in the British Isle The first of these was the arrival of the Emperor on the British Isle of Man in 286, where he was given a triumphal welcome. people came from all sides to applaud "the liberator"; most of the settlements of accounts had taken place before his arrival; the points of opposition - which are now called points of dissent - were rare and without great danger. In front of his navy, his privateers, his legions, the British legions, the Frankish cohorts, Carausius is proclaimed "Emperor  he immediately makes it clear that he is "Emperor of the Gauls" and that Britannia is part of his empire and will enjoy the highest privileges there."

    Note that the August 2019 Wikipedia pages previously cited, on Carausius and Classis Britannica, give two different versions, one of an officer "inflated with pride" who "makes a mess" the other of a commander suspected of "keep[ing] captured treasures for himself and even allowing pirates to raid and enrich themselves before taking action against them". Maurice Bouvier-Ajam, in a note [01 page 397] disputes this, recalling that history is written by Roman writers who denigrate those they consider "ursupers". He believes that these "villainesses" are inconsistent with his subsequent action of Carausius and his murder. This is an important reason for the lack of knowledge of these seven years.

    The objective is the conquest of Gaul and Carausius is preparing for it. "He takes up the postumian idea of a coherent Gallo-British empire capable of commanding respect, but which will not fail to cooperate with Rome on new bases and even to become again a state of the Empire, an Empire within the Empire, when its status is recognised. He too, this dissident in spite of himself, will mint his coins with the legend "Romae aeternae". To ensure the strength and peace of his empire, he recognised the bagaudes, but bagaudes that were disciplined and would not disrupt the general economy, and he granted the right of settlement to mercenaries and former invaders, but who were bound by treaties and would contribute more or less to the defence of the whole, at least insofar as they had no interest in others dislodging them. Carausius was reproached for this policy of welcoming, of granting hospitality or alliance  let's go ! Is this not a common practice in Roman politics ?"

    Carausius' armed forces cross the Channel and land in Gaul.
    The aim: to liberate the country from the Roman yoke, since Carausius is considered "emperor of Gaul" by his troops.

    "Carausius, the Flemish Caesar", comic strip by Edgar Ley, published in 1951 in the Belgian Flemish magazine KZV (link)] + three plates : 1 2 3 + the cover of the album released afterwards.

    Carausius intends to anchor himself in continental Gaul by taking control of the English Channel, starting with its main military port, the capital of the Morins people, Gesoriacum which begins to be called Bononia and will become Boulogne sur Mer. Bouvier-Ajam continued : "Carausius sends emissaries to Boulogne, to find out whether the city is determined to receive him well and to greet him as Emperor. The Morins deliberate  they let him know that they agree, on condition that the city be declared the capital of his empire until he has pushed the limits of said empire further south." Carausius agrees, there is some resistance quickly neutralised and the emperor makes a triumphal entry into his new capital.


    Carausius [Wikipedia]

    Gesoriacum / Boulogne sur Mer, first capital of the Carausius Empire [Jean-Claude Golvin, link]
    Findings of coins bearing the effigy of Carausius made in Rouen [study by Hélène Huvelin]

    The attractiveness and success of this new empire. The empire of an initially very small Gaul quickly expanded to include "continental Brittany, Normandy, Picardy, most of Artois, a whole part of Maine and the island of France. [...]The recognition of the authority of the Gallic Emperor progresses everywhere, in the west, in the centre and even in the east. And almost always, it is the local populations who take charge of their "liberation", who declare themselves members of the Empire of the Gauls, who neutralize, "convert" or drive out the last faithful of Rome or the stubborn of irredentism. Rouen, joyful, opens its doors. Carausius immediately makes it his capital, with Boulogne becoming a sort of Rome of northwestern Europe, as well as the indispensable continental bridgehead for Carausian forces."

    Rotomagus / Rouen second capital of Carausius' empire of the Gauls later became capital of his empire of the Seas, otherwise known as the empire of the English Channel.

    [from the comic book "Rouen - From Rotomagus to Rollon", collective work published by Petit à Petit in 2015]

    Bouvier-Ajam continues [01 page 250] :"And the British economy is recovering, and Carausian Gaul, ever enlarging, is resuming its productive effort within its protected territory, and trade between the island and the mainland is normalising, and the popularity of Carausius is becoming more and more evident and radiant. For Maximian Hercules, this was no longer tolerable. In 289, Carausius had already been emperor for three years, and he attempted a maritime and continental operation, dangerously clearing the Rhine banks and borders. It was a total failure and the proud Maximian was reduced to asking for a treaty. By this treaty - which, of course, no one intends to respect - Maximian recognizes the imperial quality, the quality of Augustus of Carausius." Who should therefore no longer be considered, even by the Romans, as an ursupator...

    An Empire of the Channel. This agreement is very vague and does not define any borders. It would prove detrimental to Carausius, halting his territorial progress. Maximian had one satisfaction: Carausius was no longer emperor of the Gauls but officially emperor of the sea. On the one hand the emperor of the Channel, on the other the emperor of the Mediterranean ! This is the end of the resurrection of the Empire of the Gauls. The hope of reviving it is over, the force of attraction is over, the rallies are over.

    This empire of the Sea will live on for a few more years, until the end of 293 when its emperor is assassinated by Allectus, his prefect of the Pretorium, supported by the merchants of London / Londinium. Allectus then gradually gave up his mainland provinces to better preserve his island domain. Until Constantius Chlorus ended the independence of island Britain in 296, Allectus being killed in battle in 297.

    Allectus [Wikipedia]


    289, the empire of the Channel
    of Carausius, named "empire of the Sea"
    Map made from a description by Bouvier-Ajam aligning the southern boundary with the axis
    Nantes - Alençon - Noyon - Lens.


    289, Channel and Mediterranean empires.
    (from Wikipedia map of the Roman Empire in 150)

    Carausius is an ascendant of Charlemagne.


    Carausius initiator of the first Brexit ? The Hadrian's Wall, founded in 122, marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire and its province of Britain. It was doubled in 140 by the Wall of Antonin, reconquered by the Picts in the late 2nd century. The illustration on the left is from a page in English titled "How a third-century Roman soldier named Carausius was behind the first 'Brexit'" explaining how Carausius caused a first "brexit"... The illustration on the right is a box from Harold Foster's "Prince Valiant" (plate dated 13/12/1942).



  23. 293-306 The tetrarchy, Constantius Chlorus de facto emperor of the Gauls

    Christine Delaplace [12 page 196] :"The reigns of Diocletian (284-305) and Constantine (306-337) inaugurated a new Empire marked by a bold political reform, the system of tetrarchy (four emperors). It was characterised by the establishment of a pair of two Caesars who were hierarchically, matrimoniously and religiously subject to two Augustinians whom they had to succeed after choosing their successors to the Caesarate. This innovative system, far from splitting the Empire, should on the contrary have strengthened its unity in the long term if the dynastic principles inherent in all matrimonial politics had not thwarted those which advocated the election of the most worthy. This half-century in which two outstanding characters, two wise reformers, were installed at the head of the Empire was, however, overshadowed by the twenty or so years of wars of succession which broke out immediately after the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian and which ended with the victory of Constantine, son of the Caesar Constantius Chlorus (who became Augustus in 305-306) at the famous battle of Milvius Bridge against the last of the Western contenders, Maxentius."

    The Tetrarchy, the Roman Empire divided into four, from 293 to 306. The word comes from the Greek : tetra (four) and archie (government).
    [map Vikidia]

    The tetrarchs :
    • Diocletian was Augustus of the Asian and East African part of the empire from 293 to 311, having ruled the whole empire from 284 to 286 and the East from 286 to 293,
    • Maximian, or Maximian Hercules was Augustus of the western part from 386 to 393 (except for Carausius' empire of the Gauls) and then from 293 to 310 over Italy, Hispania, western Africa
    • Galerius was Caesar from 293 to 305 and then Augustus from 305 to 311 over Pannonia, Greece and Thrace.
    • Constantius Chlorus was Caesar from 293 to 305 then Augustus from 305 to 306 over Gaul and [Great] Britain

    Is Tetricus II one of the designers of the tetrarchy ? Joel Schmidt, as the aged Tetricus, has him say [02 page 212] : "What an answer to my hateful detractors who still persist in Gaul in accusing me of treachery and division, when I not only saved the Western provinces during my reign, and perhaps, by my example, saved the empire by showing one of its most worthy citizens, Diocletian, that it could function more rigorously and effectively once several rulers took charge. "

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam goes in the same direction by shifting the focus to Tetricus' son, Diocletian having only really taken power in 286 [01 page 208] : "Tetricus, showered with honours, probably died in 282, seven years after Aurelian. And his son in 293, having thus experienced the installation of the tetrachic system which, in many respects, met the views of Postumus and Tetricus himself. It is by no means excluded that he, by his advice, contributed to the preparation and establishment of the tetrarchy.""

    The time of the great understanding between augustans and caesars

    Statue of Diocletian, the initiator of the tetrarchy, and porphyry statue representing the four tetrarchs, stolen from Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and now incorporated into an outer wall of the Basilica of St Mark in Venice.


    Augustans marry their Caesars to their daughters
    "The Double Wedding of Constantius Chlorus and Maximilian Galerius" by Pierre Paul Rubens [Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper, link]
    In 293, the daughters of the Augustinians married the Caesars : Constance Chlore with Theodora, daughter of Maximian Hercules, and Galerius with Galeria Valeria, daughter of Diocletian. As a result, in genealogy, Constantius Chlorus becomes son-in-law to Maximian Hercules and Galerius becomes son-in-law to Diocletian.

    Bouvier-Ajam : "Despite its failures, Diocletian's reforms fundamentally changed the structure of the Roman imperial government and helped stabilize the Empire economically and militarily, allowing the Empire to endure for another two centuries, whereas it was on the brink of collapse during Diocletian's youth."

    Constantius Chlorus the beloved new master of the Gauls Maurice Bouvier-Ajam devotes three long sub-chapters [01 pages 262 to 273] to the new master of the Gauls Constantius Chlorus (CC). They are titled " :"CC the Liberator", "CC, the Caesar of the Gauls", "The Augustus CC", "Is this the lower empire ?", but surprisingly he does not refer to him as emperor of the Gauls. Isn't being Caesar, or better, Augustus (from 305 to 306), under the name Constantius I, equivalent to imperator ? Wikipedia and many other works refer to him as "Roman emperor" when he did not rule Rome and Italy. As much as Postumus before him, as much as Gratian after him, Constantius Chlorus was indeed, de facto (de facto), emperor of the Gauls. Even if this title was not awarded to him, as he was only considered to rule over a quarter of the Roman Empire, in fusion with the other three quarters. However, in reality, he pursued a different policy from Diocletian, notably allowing Christians freedom of worship.

    But, to borrow a distinction from Bouvier-Ajam, he was not "Gallic emperor", as were, by their Gallic origin, Postumus, Valentinus, Tetricus and Carausius. Constantius Chlorus was a native of Illyria (in former Yugoslavia - Albania), more precisely born in Dardania. A military man, he participated in the takeover of the Palmyra Empire. He then became governor of Dalmatia and then, in 288, prefect of the praetorium of Maximian, second in command of the Western Empire.


    A wall to contain the Barbarians, as an extension of the Danube and Rhine. "Barbarian peoples on the borders of the Empire, c. 300"[20]. The dividing line, called limes, is reinforced and firmly held during the tetrarchy. At
    right, reconstruction of the Germanic limes [Wikipedia] and the limes as seen by Gilles Chaillet (1975) ("Vasco's Secret Memoirs", 2011)

    Constantius Chlorus was [01 page 262] the most popular of the emperors, regarded as a liberator, proudly bearing the title Caesar of the Gauls (Caesar Galliarum). In these two years he introduced profound changes, notably creating "curia", assemblies of notables with strong local power. "The revival is clear in Bordeaux, Autun, the great cities of the north and east, Limoges, Nevers, Poitiers, Bourges, Orleans and Le Mans" [01 page 266]. Then [01 page 269] :"Rome ceases to be the capital of the Empire. [...-]At this price, Constantius Chlorus is one of the creators of the Lower Empire, because he "ignored" Rome, because he behaved as "Caesar of the Gauls", because, having become Augustus, he continued to "ignore" Rome and even refused to settle in Italy." (knowing that "Lower Empire" covers several meanings according to the historians)


    Constantius Chlorus, Caesar of the Gauls from 293 to 305 <(Augustus in 305-306). His capital was Trier.

    In the 1st century AD, Cosedia (Coutances), the ancient city of the Gallic tribe of the Unelles took the name Constancia as a tribute to the Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus and became the capital of the Pagus Constantinus [link]

    Constantius Chlorus was an ascendant of Charlemagne, his son the emperor Constantin is not, while being (here) by his descendant Charles Constantine of Provence (902-963) also an ascendant of many genealogists.

    He was the ascendant of several other Roman emperors, called the Constantinians, see further the descendant tree.


    The tetrarchy ended in 306 with the death of Constantius Chlorus, which ushered in a period of bloody infighting from which Constantius Chlorus' son, Constantinus I, emerged victorious in 324.



  24. 307-355 In Gaul Constantine I established order, his sons disorder

     
    Constantine I, Caesar of the Gauls from 307 to 310. After the death of his father Constantius Chlorus at York / Eboracum, in [Great Britain on 25 July 306, Constantine was proclaimed, in that city, Augustus by his troops. He did not officially become Caesar of Gaul until 307, after the death in battle of his rival Severus. Until 310, when he became emperor of the West. [statue by Philip Jackson, 1998, in the city of York, photo by Chris Dorey, "History of Brittany" by Reynald Secher and René le Honzec ]

    A turbulent transitional period began. From 306 to 307, Gaul was ruled by Flavius Severus. On his death, Constantine, son of Constantius Chlorus, supported by the army, became Caesar with authority over Gaul and [Great] Britain, ruling in diarchy with his father-in-law Maximian Hercules, who was overthrown by his son Maxentius and committed suicide in 310. Galerius, for his part, driven out of Italy by Maxentius, settled on the banks of the Danube and died, of disease, in 311. His succession aggravated the confusion, Licinius emerged victorious. For a time, we have seven emperors (a heptarchy...), until we find a tetrarchy in 311 and a diarchy in 313 between Constantine and Licinius. The two emperors promulgated the Edicts of Milan in 313 which established freedom of worship. After the defeat and execution of Licinius in 324, until his death in 337, Constantine I reigned supreme over the Roman Empire. Gaul was at peace. Constantine the Great created a new capital at Byzantium, which became Constantinople, convened the Council of Nicaea in 325 and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Then in 325, at the Council of Nicaea, presided over by Constantine, so-called Nicene Christianity became the official religion of the empire. But the emperor was not baptised until his deathbed, in 337 and by a priest who was not Nicene but Arian.

     
    On the left, Constantine's conversion to Christianity by Peter Paul Rubens, 1622 [Wikipedia]. It is said to have taken place during the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, with a supernatural appearance that enabled the battle to be won. Another divine intervention is said to have similarly enabled the conversion of Clovis almost two centuries later at the battle of Tolbiac (for this Gregory of Tours dubs him the "new Constantine" [23, page 773]). On the right, the ephemeral four-way division of the Roman Empire in September 337 upon the death of Constantine I [from Wikipedia]. Constantine II ruled Gaul, his capital was Trier.

    Constantin I defends the Christians in the 5th volume of the "Roma" series, titled "Fear or Delusion", drawn by Régis Penet, on a script by Eric Adam, Pierre Boisserie, Didier Convard, on a concept by Gilles Chaillet. + the panel.

    Constantine I, a Roman emperor who claimed to be emperor of the Gauls. In 337, Constantine II and his brother Constantine I succeeded their father Constantine I as head of the Western Roman Empire, the third brother, Constantius II having the Eastern Empire, a nephew Flavius Dalmatius (or Dalmatius) Greece and Macedonia, soon assassinated in late 337. A new tetrarchy, very quickly became a tetrarchy. Then came the diarchy and the monarchy... A war ensued between the first two brothers, Constantine I won and became master of Gaul in 340. This is the West-East diarchy. Bouvier-Ajam [1 page 285] : "Constant, from then on, flatters himself to be above all the Emperor of Gaul. His harshness, his debaucheries and his injustices make him less and less bearable : this "emperor of the Gauls" is almost everywhere denounced as "the Roman tyrant". He thwarts conspiracies..

    Magnence, an emperor from eastern Gaul. In this very troubled period, several pretenders to the title of emperor of Gaul were to fail in their opposition to Roman rule. Bouvier-Ajam continued   "But in 350, the glorious general Magnentius (Magnence) was, at Autun, proclaimed emperor by his troops. This Flavius Magnentius called himself a Gaul and "Gallic emperor". He was born in Amiens in 303. But he was the son of a literate officer of Germanic origin. Constantine was so well able to make himself hated that his popularity grew; nevertheless, he was never recognised by the majority of Gauls. And the Bagaudes, again fearing the Roman military tumult, are clearly hostile to him. As for Constantine, he fled to Spain and was massacred before the Pyrenees. Constantius II, who reigned in Constantinople, rushed in and, with the help of the Danubian legions, forced Magnentius to resist in the Alps. A successful sortie allowed him, after two years, to win Lyon. But his defeat proves certain  he has his mother and what he can of his family killed and commits suicide."

       
    The three brothers, sons of Constantine I, successively ruled Gaul : Constantine II (337-340), Constantine I (340-350) and Constantius II (350-355).
    Right, Magnentius who tried, from 350 to 353 to reconstitute the empire of Gaul. [Wikipedia illustrations]

    In a triple chapter on the histroireeurope.fr website, the Magnentian interlude is treated in more detail  "At a great banquet held in Autun, Magnentius was proclaimed Emperor on 18 January 350. Magnentius associated his brother Flavius Magnus Decentius, known as Decency, with power. Flavius Magnus Desiderius usurper Caesar in the West 351-10 August 353 executed. Constans I, who was hunting in the vicinity of Autun, only had time to flee to Spain. Magnentius' soldiers caught up with him at the foot of the Pyrenees and killed him. The people were so tired of the disastrous administration of the sons of Constantine I the Great that Magnentius' power was recognised almost everywhere in the Roman West. The decisive battle took place at Mursa, on the Drava, on 28 September 351. Against all odds, Constantius' soldiers, more disciplined and more heavily armed than his opponent's barbarian auxiliaries, won. Magnentius, defeated, barely escaped Constantius' horsemen and took refuge in Aquileia, on the other side of the Alps, determined to continue the fight. Constantius spent the winter of 351-352 without worrying about his opponent. In 352, Magnentius lost Italy before seeing Gaul invaded by the generals of Constantius II at the head of the former supporters of Nepotian and the veterans of Constantine I the Great. After wandering from town to town in Gaul, Magnentius finally found refuge in Lyon, where he established his headquarters. But troops and money were running out. The provinces began to turn on him. Trier, the northern metropolis revolts and expels Decency, Magnence's brother."

    Decentius and Sylvanus, two short-lived emperors of Gaul. The Magnentian episode will have lasted three years after all, the following ones will be much shorter. Maurice Bouvier-Ajam continued : "Magnence's brother and "Caesar", Decentius [or Decency]who guarded the Rhine banks, proclaimed himself "Emperor of the Gauls", settled in Sens, saw the game being lost, and choked. Constantius II, who had won the game, proved himself an even more abject tyrant in Gaul than his brother Constant had been." So much so, that once returned to Italy in 354 : "At once the dux of the infantry Sylvanus [or Silvanus or Sylvain] is proclaimed Emperor by his legions, who present him as a Gallic emperor : he is in reality a Frankish lete. He is assassinated after 28 days of reign."

    In 350, after 13 years of war of succession, with for Gaul alone the irruption of three ursupers, Constantius II governs the Roman Empire alone. But Constantinople was far from Gaul and in 355 he appointed a nephew as Caesar of Gaul...



  25. 355-361 Julian Caesar of the Gauls, before becoming Emperor Julian the Apostate

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 313] :"In 355, Constantius II appointed his nephew Caesar Julian to entrust him with the mission, which he believed to be impossible, of freeing Gaul from a large number of Barbarians  there was no shortage of Bagaude, Lethian and Gentile contests for Julian, but while he drove back Alamanni and a number of Franks, he dealt with the Franks of the Rhine Bouches. The neighbouring Bagaudes, who are quite numerous and will become even more so, must get used to this neighbourhood. A conflict then broke out between the Augustus Constantius II and Julian, his Caesar of the Gauls, who proved to be an excellent administrator and who, despite himself, was proclaimed Augustus by his troops in 360. A Roman civil war seemed inevitable, but Constantius II died suddenly and Julian ruled the Roman Empire alone, in 361.


    Top left, This was long thought to be a portrait of Julian, it wasn't him, but it looks like him...

    Bottom left, Julian, Caesar of the Gauls from 355 to 361 and then Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 [Wikipedia illustrations]

    Right, Julian draped as Esculapius from a Greek statue adapted in the 17th century for the Richelieu Castle


    Julian's dazzling destiny. The Wikipedia page dedicated to Julian (illustrations opposite) presents the extraordinary career of the new Augustus, grandson of Constantius Chlorus, nephew of Constantine I the Great, the emperor who moved the capital from Rome to Constantinople and made Christianity the official religion of the empire. Raised in the Christian religion (Arianism), he spent his youth under house arrest studying philosophy. After his rapid ascent to the imperial crown at the age of 30, he reorganised and cleaned up the heavy imperial administration, demonstrating great moral rigour. In matters of religion, he innovated: he promulgated an edict of tolerance authorising all religions and abolished the measures taken not only against paganism, but also against the Jews and against Christians who did not follow the Arian-inspired creed favoured by Constantius.

    Wikipedia : "In 362 he promulgated an edict forbidding Christians to teach grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy, i.e., all secular instruction. He justified the edict on Christians as follows: "Let them cease to teach what they do not take seriously, or let them teach it as the truth and instruct their pupils accordingly". At the same time, he tried to reform paganism on the model of Christian institutions (morality of priests, creation of charitable institutions) and instituted a hierarchy of cults around the Sun God. He favoured the pagan cities and the restoration of their temples, but did not pursue a systematic policy of rebuilding these temples, as might be suggested by the inscriptions that honour him as restaurator templorum ("repairer of temples"). Despite his indifference to cases of vexation caused to Christians, he did not take any real measures of persecution."

    The man who could have put the Roman Empire on a new footing died in June 363, at the age of 32, almost accidentally during a battle against the Persians. Christians subsequently held a stubborn grudge against him, referring to him as "Julian the Apostate" (apostate : man who abandoned his religion). He was however rehabilitated, notably by Montaigne and Voltaire. And also Richelieu. Many books are regularly devoted to him (including one by Anne de Leseleuc).

    Julian puts his trust in the ringmaster Charietto. Bruno Pottier emphasises how Julian, before he was emperor, contained the bagaudes by quoting the bagauded brigand Charietto who was famous in his time [15 chapter 42] :"The pagan historian Eunape of Sardis reports the astonishing exploits of a troop of brigands who were gathered together between 353 and 358 by a barbarian of extraordinary strength, Charietto. Eunape presented him as a new Hercules and a pagan hero, giving a mythological reading of his exploits. The implicit parallel between Charietto and Maximian Hercules, fighting the barbarians and civilising Gaul, is obvious. Charietto would have chosen to fight his fellow men around Trier. He would have wandered with his troop in the north of Gaul before putting himself at the service of Julian. He is said to have achieved extraordinary, almost supernatural results against the Chamavian Franks in 358."

    "Julian granted him very high military functions once he became emperor. These functions can only be explained if Charietto was already an officer beforehand, probably a deserter from Magnentius' army. Eunape personalised these events by following the literary type of the famous bandit story. He presented Charietto as a civilising hero, transforming the traditional Gallic bandits into useful soldiers against the barbarians. His story had above all the function of exalting Julian's action. He pacified Gaul by reintegrating into his army many deserters who had committed acts of banditry. The troop that Charietto had assembled was probably made up of deserters but also of peasants driven out by the barbarians, eager to fight against them and able to resort to pillaging to survive. These peasants were probably incorporated with Charietto into Julian's army. The band of this barbarian hero may also have included former barbarian raiders. Some barbarian laeti stationed on Gallic territory attempted to plunder Lyon in 357. A parallel can thus be drawn between Charietto's action and that of the Bagaudes of the third century."

    Would Julian have been able to found a Gallic empire ?

    If Constantius II had left him in peace, Julian would have had the stature to create the foundations of a long-lasting empire... He could have become the Augustus of Gaul...

    "Apostate" is a comic book series, created in 2009 in the Netherlands, directed by Ken Broeders, consisting of seven albums and a special edition (BD Must Publishing). Julian is the hero. It is true that his extraordinary life lends itself to a great saga. This one is done with care and lyricism. Opposite a box from volume 4 + two plates from volume 1 (2012 in French version) : 1 2 (355, Julian become Caesar) + four pages from volume 5 (2018) : 1 2 3 4 (October 361, death of Constantius II, Julian Augustus). One may also consult this page at peplums.info.

    The prestige acquired by Julian among the Gauls. Christine Delaplace [12 page 2013] :"Freeing himself, not without peril, from the tutelage of his senior officers, Julian succeeded in defeating King Alaman Chnodomar at the battle of Strasbourg, on 25 August 357. there he died six thousand Germans and only three hundred and forty-two Romans, whereas Julian had only been able to dispose of thirteen thousand men. This military triumph definitively transformed his position in Gaul and his role on the political chessboard of the Empire."

    Gaul had a privileged relationship with its philosopher prince who was transformed into a triumphant Caesar before reaching the supreme office. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 289] :"It was in Lutetia that, in spite of himself, Julian was proclaimed Augustus. He should not and could not forget it. For three years, he will be above all the emperor of Gaul and of Great Britain. he will not cease to speak of "his dear Lutetia" and to praise its charms in his writings. The small city of the Parisii emerges from its obscurity and begins to play the role of a capital. As an admirer of nature and a poet, he certainly loved this city and its environment. But there are other reasons for his choice: Lutetia is almost equidistant from a helpful Britannia and a worrying Germania, far enough from them not to be at the mercy of their expeditions, connected enough to the Loire and to the south to be rescued in case of need. Yes, little Lutetia - which he enlarged, oh so ! - was his real capital, even if Bordeaux was the main city of his empire."

    Paris, Julian's capital of the Gauls Opposite, Lutetia /Lutetia at its peak, at the end of the 2nd century, before Julian briefly made it the capital of the Gauls. In 275, Franks and Alamanni had sacked the city and the Parisians had abandoned the mainland to retreat to the fortified Ile de la Cité. Lutetia was demolished in order to rebuild, Lutetia became Paris, its hold on the left bank disappearing (not completely, see the thermes de Cluny). It was in this town folded on its island, surrounded by forests in the distance, that Julian settled in 360 in a palace on the site of the present Palais de Justice. [Lutetia, les Voyages d'Alix, drawing by Vincent Hénin, Casterman 2006] One can compare with a "Pilotorama" [Pilote n°108 of 18/11/1961, drawing by Jacques Devaux] titled "Lutetia 2000 years ago", so in -39, here, when only the Ile de la Cité was inhabited.

    Pierre Chuvin in a article of "Les collections de l''Histoire" No. 9 (2000) titled "Julian, melancholy emperor of Lutetia" : "Why Lutetia ? Julian could have enjoyed the advantages and comforts of large cities, Vienna where he had stopped in 355-356, Lyon, the metropolis of the Gauls, or even Autun. But, concerned above all with efficiency, he had first wintered in Sens, close to the theatre of operations. But Paris, thanks to the fortifications of the Ile de la Cité*, offered a more secure position. And its location allowed it to keep a watchful eye in two directions: towards the Rhine border and towards the Channel and Great Britain. The important Parisian inland waterways provided convenient connections and supplies from that side."

    After the emperor Julian the Apostate, the senator Symmachus precursor of secularism. As written on this page analysing the relationship to religion of the man who was also a philosopher and writer  "Julian's struggle against Christianity was the last serious attempt to thwart the spread of the new religion". Other attempts included those of Senator Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (340-402). Raised in Gaul, proconsul of Africa in 373, popular for his honesty and friendliness, he addressed in 384, while holding the high office of Prefect of Rome, to the emperor Valentinian II a letter urging him to restore the ancient symbols. Wikipedia : "In contrast to the Christians, who could not admit the existence of other gods than their own, Symmachus considered, like many intellectuals who remained faithful to paganism, " all the various cults as the different manifestations of the same divine principle too high to be easily accessible to common mortals ". In 384, he emphasised: " We all contemplate the same stars, the sky is common to us all, the same universe surrounds us  what does it matter which philosophy each one seeks the truth ? A single path is not enough to access such a great mystery ""

    For André Bobineau in this page from 2012 and Wikipedia on the page dedicated to secularism, the word "secular" comes from very far back, λαϊκός in Greek, laicus in Latin, mentioned even before the birth of Christianity in the sense of "common, of the people" and entering Christian literature at the end of the first century. From there to say that "Rome is a secularism guaranteed by the state" is a step taken by historian John Scheid, author of the book "The Gods, the State and the Individual" in a article published in "Le Point" in 2013. In this, Julian and Symmachus are precursors of our secularism.

     
    Left, 3rd century sarcophagus with philosophers and muses, which could be described as pagan or secular [Vatican Museum].
    Right, 5th century carved ivory depicting the apotheosis of Symmachus or one of his relatives. [British Museum]

    Constantius Chlorus and Symmachus our ancestors, Julian our uncle

    Julian and Symmachus are not recognised as ancestors of Charlemagne but here are their links to contemporaries of the man who was crowned Emperor of the West in the year 800, bearing in mind that Julius Constantius (son of Emperor Constantius Chlorus) is Julian's father (and Galla the Younger his sister)

    Ambroise of Milan (340-397) , bishop of Milan, one of the four fathers of the Latin church, was a first cousin of Symmachus. An example of the religious rift in Roman noble families...

    Below, Julian is grandson of Constantine Chlorine, son of a half-brother of Constantine I, cousin of emperors Constantinus II, Constantinus II, Constans I and Nepotian. They are the "Constantinians".
     

    Who wrote this famous book ?
    The answer to this question that still plagues historians is in a comic book. "Historia Augusta"[08] ("Historia Augusta", title assigned in 1603) is a famous collection of biographies of Roman emperors describing, among other things, their turpitude. From the time of its publication, at the end of the fourth century, it met with great success, especially as it was written with political ulterior motives, reinforced by proven or supposed affabulations.
    In the third of five volumes of "La dernière prophétie" (Glénat 2002 to 2012), Gilles Chaillet makes the senator Symmachus a deus ex machina who uses Augustan history for his own ends. + the last two pages of this third volume showing the death in 222 of the emperor Heliogabalus and then the arrival to the purple of Severus Alexander who ruled from 222 to 235 and the arrival of Constantin I, sole ruler of the empire in 324 : 1 2 + here the penultimate page of the last volume drawn by Dominique Rousseau after the death of the series creator.



  26. 375-388 Gratian then Maximus emperors of Gaul under a new triarchy


    Valentinian I emperor of the West settled in Gaul, at Trier

    Right, ancestry to Valentinian I

    Legitimate to the Romans and Gauls, they ruled within the same geographical boundaries as Posthumus. Unlike Posthumus, Valentinus and Tetricus between 260 and 273, the four emperors of Gaul who would hold this office from 375 to 388 and again from 407 to 422 were not Gauls and were not brought to power by Gauls. They became emperors of this part of the Roman Empire through power sharing struggles. This is why they are even more forgotten than the first three. Wikipedia, for example, does not give them the title of emperor of the Gauls, even though they were indeed designated emperors, either by the power in Rome or by their troops, and ruled Gaul (or a little more, Brittany, Hispania), while another emperor ruled in Rome and another in Constantinople. In the time of Gratian and Maximus, this three-way split was accepted by the other emperors. The Roman Empire thus lived under a triarchy.

    From 364 to 375, two brothers, Valentinian I and Valens ruled the Roman Empire in a diarchy, the former for the West, the latter for the East. In 367, ill, Valentinian I appointed his eldest son Gratian, aged eight, as his successor and associated him with his power as Augustus.

    Gratian emperor of the Gauls from 375 to 383

    Camille Julian [10 vol. 7 chapter VI III]:"Thus it was at Amiens that the reign of Gratian, and the new dynasty which was to replace that of Constantius, were inaugurated. After Trier, Arles, and Vienna, Paris and Amiens became the scene of the great imperial solemnities. The cities of Gaul, which had so long lived a humdrum life, were now stirred with an ambitious fever, shaken by the triple shock of battles on the Rhine, crises of state and religious quarrels. But Amiens, like Paris, was only to be a temporary residence for Valentinian. After the proclamation of Gratian, he went to Trier (autumn of 367), and, until his death, which came eight years later, he did not cease to make it his capital."

    Valentinian I died in 375, so Gratian was to succeed him. Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 295] :"To the general astonishment, Flavius Gratianus, the very young Emperor Gratian, makes it known that he is not Emperor of the West but only Emperor of the Gauls. And he defines the Empire of the Gauls: continental Gaul, Spain and Britain. The other "provinces" of the Western Empire - Italy, Illyria, Roman Africa - would constitute a "third empire" whose ruler would be his brother Valentinian II  in 375, Valentinian II was four years old  so his guardianship was entrusted to his mother, "the Augusta" Justine. It is thus the triachy : "Gallic" West, "Italo-Italian" West, East. When his uncle Valens, Emperor of the East, is killed by the Goths at the battle of Andrinople (378), Gratian appoints in his place "Count Theodosius", who becomes Theodosius I and will be Theodosius the Great.". This triarchy, little recognised as such, is also presented on this this page of the marikavel site.

    375, Gratian's Empire of the Gauls
    Failing to find maps of this period, it was necessary to invent some... Assuming that the boundaries of the empire did not change between 374 and 395 [Wikipedia map here], here are the maps of the diarchy of 374 and, given the description in the previous paragraph, the triarchy of 375. Note that it was in 402 that Ravenna became capital of the Western Empire in place of Rome, and, unofficially, Lutretia in 365-366 and Trier in 367-374 when Valentinian I resided there. + here a map of Gaul alone under Gratian, broken down into 17 provinces.

    There comes a "state of grace" which Bouvier-Ajam  recounts: "And Gratian remains in Gaul, guarding the frontiers, inflicting on the incorrigible Alamanni a bitter defeat in the vicinity of Colmar, and then visiting the main cities of his Empire. He experienced a period of extraordinary popularity: he was truly the Emperor of Gaul, the literate one who "spoke with the Gauls of the north and south."

    Then : "What a mess ! This too-young hero believes that his reign will be, whatever he does or does not do, a new golden age  he is predestined and has only to enjoy his good fortune. He indulges in all pleasures and vices. He made the mistake of preferring the company of "barbarian" chiefs, who were often less competent, to that of Gallo-Roman officers  on a whim or out of cowardice, he went so far as to depose and condemn his father's former captains  he inconsiderately distributed his favours ; He is a money-grubber, he is an opressor and encourages prevaricators, even if it means sharing with them the fruits of his infamies  he is hated by civil and military leaders who are perpetually worried about his reversals and moods  he is hated by the people, the clergy and the notables. He literally stirs up the plots of which he will finally be a victim."

    Camille Jullian [10 volume 7 chapter VI IX] has a much less pessimistic view of Gratian's reign, stressing in particular his good relations with Martin, the bishop of Tours, and with the Christians.

    A new "strong man" then emerges and Gratian's end becomes imminent.

    Magnus Maximus emperor of the Gauls from 383 to 388, of Spanish origin

    Not having made the same analysis as Maurice Bouvier-Ajam, Camille Jullian does not understand why Gratian is overthrown by Maximus (or Maximus) :"The political unity of this Empire was at the same time compromised by the revolt of Maximus, leader of the army of [Great-]Britain. We do not know the real reasons for this revolt against Gratian, in every respect unjust and criminal. Was this emperor reproached for favouring the Franks? But I doubt that there were many national elements among the troops of Brittany. He was criticised for being mainly an intellectual, rather indifferent to military successes, but the Rhine frontier remained inviolable. The pagan aristocracy wanted to take revenge on a Christian prince. But Maximus proved to be an ardent and fierce Catholic. I believe rather in a shameful and banal cause, the usual cause of the civil wars of the Roman Empire, an ambition of leader supported by a jealousy of army. What is surprising is that, despite the value and loyalty of his Frankish generals, Gratian could not oppose either the landing or the march of Maximus. There were a few battles, but Gratian was soon forced to give up in the face of the defection of his troops and the betrayal of his officers, and, taking refuge in Lyons, he was soon taken and slaughtered. His best supporter, the German Merobaudes, suffered the same fate  and neither his dignity as consul nor his intelligent loyalty to the interests of the Empire saved him from the cruelty of Maximus. What still astonishes me is that Theodosius I, instead of fighting this rebel, murderer of the legitimate leaders of the Roman people, hastened to make a pact with him."

    After Gratian's death in 383, the triarchy thus continued with now Maximus in Trier, at the head of the Gallic Empire, Valentinian II and his guardian Justina in Rome, at the head of the Roman Empire, and Theodosius I in Constantinople, at the head of the Eastern Empire. it lasted five years, until 388.

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 297] : "Maximus' popularity was great. Of the barbarian commanders familiar to Gratian, some disappear, others hasten to submit to their authority. [...]His administration is wise  he removes the incapable administrators whom Gratian had appointed  he renounces all exactions, all excessive pressurization, he is popular even in the bagald countries."

    But events were to follow one another "Some cohorts of "allies" or mercenaries attempted to find points of settlement or simple hideouts in various western and central regions : some succeeded, others were reduced to mercy by their pursuers and even more so by guards of cities and domains and by bagaudes fiercely hostile to their penetration or simply to their neighbourhood. As a result, the ebb is southward and some bands cross the Alps. [...]Northern Italy, molested by the savages who crossed the Alps, plagued by revolts due to excessive requisitions, and troubled by desertions and increasing brigandage, appeals to Maximus."


    Maxime / Maximus


    Like his father Valentinian I, like Gratian and Maximus, Valentinian II, emperor of the West, ruled from Trier [link article "A Puppet Emperor"]
    Ci-contrary "History of Brittany", script by Reynald Secher, drawing by René le Honzec, volume 1, ed. RSE 1991

    Maximus hesitates, delays in acting, and then decides. Bouvier-Ajam : "In 387, he wants to seize Italy and penetrates its territory. He suffered several defeats, conflicts broke out between his legions and his barbarian contingents, mutinies arose everywhere at once. At Aquileia, he was taken by legionaries in revolt and handed over to Theodosius, who had him beheaded in August 388."In 384, Magnus Maximus had associated as augustus his son Flavius Victor, and then in 387, as he left to fight Theodosius, he had left him the government of Gaul, with Trier as his capital. It was there that Theodosius sent his general Arbogast. The son was killed there, shortly after the father.

    388-394, the Roman Empire under the rule of the Frank Arbogast. This was the end of Gratian and Maximus' Gallic empire, the triarchy then reverted to a diarchy, the young emperor Valentinian II moved to Trier, under the tutelage of Arbogast, Theodosius' general-in-chief.

    Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 298] :"Arbogast's tutelage is overwhelming. Moreover, Arbogast, who had hitherto affected a religious indifference that was quite exceptional in those days, reveals himself to be a fanatical pagan, whereas Valentinian is a mystical Christian. Subtly, to free himself, the young Emperor leaves Trier for Vienna. Arbogast joins him there  a violent altercation, Valentinian is found hanging from a tree (May 392), the assassination is almost certain, which Arbogast calls suicide." Theodosius reacts with vigour  "Arbogast flees and commits suicide (6 September 394). Theodosius transfers the prefecture of Gaul to Arles; Trier is abandoned : defence against invasion there becomes too difficult. He died in Milan on 17 January 395, making his son Arcadius Emperor of the East and his son Honorius Emperor of the West : the two-headedness was thus, by his always clearly expressed will, "definitively" installed."


    On 5 or 6 September 394, at the Battle of the Cold River, in present-day Slovenia, with the help of the Vandal Stilicho, Theodosius defeated the Frank Arbogast and Eugenius, the emperor of the West, who had been appointed by Arbogast two weeks earlier on 22 August. Theodosius, on the right in the illustration (to the left of the Alain horsemen), thus becomes, for four months, the last emperor of the reunited Roman Empire, East and West [volume 1 of "La dernière prophétie", Glénat 2012, by Gilles Chaillet]. + double panel with Theodosius, Stilico / Stilicho and their troops just before the battle.



  27. 371-397 Martin of Tours, Bagaudean apostle sacker of Gallic heritage

    In Gaul, the total population of Christians did not exceed 2% around 250; it reached 5-10% under Constantine I around 330 [page Wikipedia]. Martin / Martinus (316-397), before he became a saint, was elected against his will as bishop of Tours by the inhabitants of the Turone city in 371, a century after Tetricus' Empire of the Gauls. Christianity was then a city phenomenon; Martin, who probably had powers as a healer-exorcist, wanted it to spread to the countryside.

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 308] believes that he is well received in Bagalda country : "The evangelists are obviously better received and listened to in Bagalda country. Saint Martin (316-397), this Panonian soldier who leaves the Roman army to enter "the army of Christ", this ascetic who will become in spite of himself bishop of Tours, this humble man who makes the powerful tremble, is and wants to be the apostle of the poor and the disinherited. In Amiens, in the middle of winter, he split his cloak in two to cover the shoulders of a poor man. He denounced the remnants of paganism as responsible for social oppression and did not spare his criticism of the overly rich and proud "lord bishops" of the great cities. Thanks to him and his followers, the "good word" was heard by the Bagaudes, strengthening them in their desire for independence but softening their morals, sometimes deciding them to accept a certain frugality and to renounce profitable expeditions. The Bagaude church became eminently popular, charitable, the priest being close to his flock, a moral guide, a source of comfort, an educator of children and often of adults."
    A proper illustration of the sharing of the coat ! The scene of the sharing of the cloak at Amiens in 334 still has worldwide resonance. Martin, then 18 years old, was a patrolling infantryman. Most likely, according to the customs of the Roman army, he was therefore not on horseback, or beside a horse, and his coat was not red. Sulpice Severus is silent on this subject. It is not easy to find "historically correct" illustrations like this cover of the comic book "Martin", texts by Brunor, drawings by Dominique Bar, published by Edifa Mame in 2009. Failing the internet, a search of the 1997 Tours colloquium on Martin reveals three other examples, one from the early eleventh century, two from the late fifteenth : 1 2 3.

    Eradicating old beliefs to impose his own This desire to start afresh, to change civilisation, to retain nothing of the past led him to destroy representations of the past which he considered "consecrated to the devil" (Sulpice Severus V.2 13.1). In a chapter entitled "Saint Martin energetically Christianises the countryside", Pierre Audin writes in his book "Histoire de la Touraine" (Geste Editions, 2016) that Bishop Martinus mounted expeditions "against the pagan temples that remained in the region, while performing miracles and Christianising the sacred fountains of the Gauls : He intervened in Candes, Tournon Saint Pierre and Saunay, three villages at the limits of his diocese where he built a church after having destroyed the temple. At Amboise, Martin toppled a votive column...".

    Martinus chasing the Gallic gods

    Sculptures from the extraordinary little 12th century Romanesque church "San Martin" in Artaiz, Spain (Navarre), see the many illustrations on this page and this one.

    There were many such facts, Langeais, Amboise, Levroux, Chisseaux, Autun, Châtres... Arthur Auguste Beugnot in his "History of the destruction of paganism in the West" (1835) (link), relying on Sulpice Severus's "Vita Martini": "Martin deployed in the two provinces he had chosen for the theatre of his exploits a bellicose ardour which only ceased with his life" (link). Luce Pietri, in the 1997 colloquium in Tours dedicated to Martin attributes to him a military strategy where "at the side of the leader each soldier fights according to his rank on the battlefield"  "For Martin declared war on the temples, with their destruction as his first objective. Whenever he can, he endeavours to convert the peasants first by his preaching, and thus bring them by persuasion to overthrow the pagan sanctities themselves. But in many cases he comes up against the resistance of the rural people attached to the gods of their ancestors  and it is therefore on the contrary by a demonstration of power, in a trial of strength at the end of which must burst forth the superiority of the God of the Christians over the idols, that he intends to strike the spirits and bring them to the law of Christ."

      Woodcuts. A pagan idol is decapitated [17th century, link], a sacred tree is felled (link).

    A violent proselytism. The Gallic heritage, whether religiously built (so-called "pagan" temples), religiously statuary (designated as "idols") or arboreal (ancestral trees with the misfortune of being sacred) is the target of Martin and his followers.

    From the Gallic temples called fana (fanum (Romano-Celtic temple) in the singular), only the underpinnings remain. There are nearly 700 of them that have left traces, as Yves de Kisch shows in a 4-page article in "Science et Vie Hors Série No. 224 of 2003 (here the first double page).

    Camille Jullian [10 volume 7 chapter VI IX], an admirer of the one he calls "the principal hero of triumphant Christianity", confirms by giving him reason : "He stopped in the villages, went straight to the pagan temple with the troop of his disciples, summoned or roused the people, preached with his customary vigour, it was often the sudden and spontaneous conversion of the crowd, the temple attacked, the idols torn to pieces, the walls overturned, the sacred pines felled. But sometimes, when the peasants were recalcitrant, there were real battles, and perhaps the emperor's soldiers came to the bishop's aid. As an apostle, Martin was less interested in convincing than in winning, and he was not interested in the freedom of conscience. But he only destroyed in order to rebuild at once. Christian oratories were erected on the ruins of the temples; priests from Marmoutier were left to serve them; and the devotees of the villages, instead of being obliged to make long journeys to go and worship their new God in the Episcopal church, would bring their prayers and wishes to him by the familiar paths of the land and at the traditional places of their assemblies: the nature of their divinity had been changed, but the paths and places of worship had not been touched."


    Vitré (Ile et Vilaine) (link).

    Condat sur Trincou (Dordogne), 2nd century (link)

    Origin unknown (link)
    Here, in a few sculptures that escaped destruction, is an easily recognisable "pagan idol", the Gallic three-headed god (past, present and future ?). This deity is said to have been hijacked by the Catholic church to represent the Trinity in "trifrons", see this page or this one. For more on the Gallic gods, see page by Jean-Louis Brunaux entitled "La religion gauloise".

    Martin outlawed. Certainly, the Caesars and emperors ruling Gaul from Constantine I onwards were Christians (except Julian from 355 to 363), certainly the emperor Gratian had proceeded between 375 and 383 to separate paganism and the state, certainly in November 392 (Martin was 76) the emperor Theodosius had prohibited the practice of paganism throughout the empire. But, even if in the countryside the bagaudes had blurred the Roman domination, destroying the property of others, private or public, was reprehensible at that time when Roman law applied. So Martin acted as an outlaw, like a brigand, destroying in the name of his god, just as the conquistadores did centuries later when they conquered America. The Gallic culture had to disappear so that Christian ideology could be imposed.

    Martin was thus a vector of Christianisation of the bagaudes. The following anecdote, related by Bruno Pottier [15 chap. 45], is characteristic : "The cult dedicated to a bandit in the vicinity of Tours suppressed by Martin around 370 may in fact have been dedicated to a Bagaude chief from the time of Amandus and Aelianus or to a famous local brigand. The continuation of Celtic-inspired practices of heroic cults in late antique Gaul would indeed not be surprising. A parallel can be drawn from another region of the Empire. Nicetas, bishop of Remesiana in the Balkan country of the Besses, mentions at the end of the fourth century, among the local pagan errors, the cult of a peasant for his exceptional strength. Suppressing a cult dedicated to a bandit allowed Martin to impose the exclusivity of his patronage on the local population during a period marked by strong social unrest. Martin of Tours in fact intervened on several occasions around 370 to protect the population of his diocese from the abuses of officials"

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 309] goes in the same direction : "Thanks to him and his disciples, the "good word" is heard from the Bagaudes, strengthens them in their will to independence, but softens their morals, sometimes decides them to accept a certain frugality and to renounce profitable expeditions. The Bagaude church became eminently popular and charitable, the priest being close to his flock, a moral guide, a source of comfort, an educator of children and often of adults. In spite of the serious disturbances that gave rise to heresies, it did not contribute little to the gradual policing of the Barbarians."


    Saint Martin ordering pagans to cut down a sacred tree (missal of the Basilica of Saint Martin, 12th century, coll. Bibliothèque municipale de Tours) [History of Touraine by Pierre Audin, page 34 [Le Geste, 2016)].

    The tree dedicated to Cybele has fallen on the peasants, who lie stunned. The one in the foreground was armed with a sword, showing the violent opposition to Martin's evangelism. [vitrail from Chartres Cathedral, link]

    Martin imagines demons to eradicate Gallic beliefs
    ["The 13th Apostle", texts Fafot - Mestrallet, drawings Lorenzo d'Esme] + cover

    Depending on one's point of view, one will therefore approve or not that "his "auctoritas" was constructive" [12 page 241]. As far as St Martin is concerned, in the face of Christian evidence, pagan opinion is too often ignored by historians. However, it should be taken into account that Celtic traditions had already faded during the first centuries of Roman domination. Bruno Pottier [15 chapter 30] points this out in relation to a debate among scholars concerning the persistence of Druidism in late antiquity: 'This debate has, however, been badly posed. It has in fact focused mainly on the possibility of the existence in Gaul in the 3rd and 4th centuries of real druids, comparable to those known for the Iron Age. This is highly unlikely, given the absence of relative evidence between the first century and Ausone's time. Linking this Bordeaux rhetorician, Phoebicius, to a line of Armorican druids only shows the intellectual prestige that could be achieved by an individual claiming such a tradition."

    Bruno Pottier also indicates that Martinus' uncompromising attitude towards Celtic traditions was not shared by all his moderate Christian contemporaries (such as Ausoniuse 309-394) or religiously uncommitted ones (such as Eutropius who died around 390) [15 chapter 34] : "Eutropius thus marked a marked interest in Celtic peasant traditions. He seems to have been curious like Ausonius about Celtic cultural traits. He could thus understand, without justifying it, the strange taking up of arms by the Bagaudes." In this, it cannot be said that Martin was acting in conformity with the state of mind of the time.

    A seminal precursor. The bishop of Tours had an influence far beyond the Turon people, as Christine Delaplace [12 page 248] :"Bishops, monks, missionary hermits, all took up, with more or less zeal and thaumaturgical gifts, the example of Martin in the countryside of the Tours diocese. Christianisation began with the eradication of pagan customs. The always spectacular and miraculous struggle of the evangelist with the demons led to collective conversions and the destruction of pagan temples. This first stage of Christianisation continued until the sixth century in certain remote areas, if we are to judge by certain episodes in the lives of hermits reported by Gregoire of Tours". An anathema was even issued at the Council of Arles in 451, bringing together 44 bishops  "If in the jurisdiction of any bishop, infidels light torches, or worship trees, fountains, or stones; if the bishop neglects to destroy these objects of idolatry, let him know that he is guilty of sacrilege. If the lord or ordainer of these superstitious practices will not correct himself, after being warned, let him be deprived of communion."

    Three times Martin challenges the emperor of Gaul. In his time, the bishop Martinus was already a very important figure, with an aura, listened to by the greatest. He relied on them to strengthen his action, particularly against arianism. Three times he went to Trier, the capital of Gaul, to meet with the successive emperors, Valentinian I and twice with Magnus Maximus (see this page). The third was the most delicate, as he objected to the execution of the heretical bishop Priscilian at Trier by the emperor Maximus, with the consent of the Byzantine pope Leon I.


    Excerpt from the comic strip "Martin de Tours", script by Pierre-Yves Proust, drawing by Freddy Martin (Martin !...), éditions Glénat 1996. + pages 1 and 4 of the cover + four plates presenting Martin's interview with the emperor of Gaul Maximus 1 2 3 4. In this scene, the three encounters are combined into one.



    Asceticism and luxury. Troglodytic dwelling of Martin, bishop and monk, and his followers, at Marmoutier, near Tours, above once (17th century?), in the centre today (+ page archaeology + page origins + fountain buried in 1985). Below, Martin asks to meet the emperor in Trier [link] outside his wealthy home.

    Martin's moderation in the face of Priscillian heresy. In 383, Magnus Maximus, known as Maximus, was proclaimed emperor by his troops in [Great] Britain and took power in Gaul and Spain. He reigned for five years until 388, placing himself in the Nicene orthodoxy, supporting in particular Ambrose, bishop of Milan against the Arians. The bishop of Avila, Spain, Priscillian (345-385) a Christian mystic wanting to live out a Christianity of the origins according to the vision he had at the time. In this he is not far from Martin. But relying on apocryphal books, Priscillian departs from the Nicene orthodoxy to which Martin is faithful. The page titled "Priscillian, a layman who wanted to return to the Christianity of the origins" then shows how, for the first time, Christians persecuted and killed other Christians  "Priscillian asks to be judged by Maximus himself, who resides at Trier. Hydacius and Ithacius join him there and play the role of accusers fiercely. The intervention of St. Martin of Tours saved him momentarily, but he could do nothing when the latter was condemned to death for heresy in Trier in 385 by Emperor Maximus as a Manichaean to justify this action to Pope Sirice, elected in 384. Priscilian and four other leaders of the movement were beheaded in Trier (Germany) in 385. This condemnation led to the refusal of St Martin of Tours to participate in the episcopal assemblies. Saint Martin, Saint Ambrose and the pope Siricius also protested against this measure and broke off communion with Hydacius and Ithacius. Priscillian was venerated as a martyr by his followers; and, after the fall of Maximus, the sect spread throughout Spain."

    An unmitigated contemporary appreciation In 2016, the city of Tours (which also knows how to destroy its tree heritage, cf. the book I wrote) celebrated the 1700th anniversary of the birth of the man who was its second bishop (the first, from 338 to 371, being St. Lidoire, bearing in mind that St. Gatian probably didn't exist). If it is natural that we celebrate a character who allowed, through his successors, the city to develop until it became the political and cultural capital of France at the end of the 15th century, there is reason to be surprised that we persist in erasing the dark sides of the character to practice only hagiography (cf. this municipal document). His long military past, his destruction of the Gallic heritage, his intolerance, whether against pagans or Arians, should not be erased. Conversely, we should not blacken the character, who had the courage to show in the Priscillian affair a moderation that was not that of other more sectarian saints, such as Augustine (354-430).

    Saint Martin and genealogists Martin had no descendants, no nephews are known to him, and almost nothing is known of his ancestry. No genealogist can therefore claim to be related to him. But one can have an ancestor who knew Saint Martin...
    Such is the case with Tetradius (335-387), an ancestor of Charlemagne (see opposite) whose story is told on this page : "At the same time [c. 380-386], the slave of a certain Tetradius, a former proconsul, and therefore of high rank, perhaps living in retirement on one of his estates, was possessed of a demon who tortured him atrociously. Saint Martin ordered the patient to be brought in, but it was impossible to get near him, so much so that he would throw himself at those who tried. Tetradius then begged Martin to come down to the house himself. But Martin refused, because Tetradius was still a pagan. Tetradius promised to become a Christian if the demon was driven out of his young slave. So Martin agreed, laid his hands on the possessed man and expelled the unclean spirit. This is the ritual gesture of exorcism, which the Orthodox priest still uses during the celebration of the catechumenate. At this sight, Tetradius had faith in Christ and immediately became a catechumen and soon after received baptism. He always retained an extraordinary affection for Martin.
    On the course of Martin's life, one may consult this page by Jean Loguevel.
    .
    vitrail from Chartres Cathedral, link]

     
    To the left, "History of Lyon" text A. Pelletier, F. Bayard, drawing Jean Prost, 1979 + the panel. On the right, the Saint John's Baptistery in Poitiers is one of the oldest Christian monuments whose origin dates back to the second half of the 4th century, beginning of the 5th. It has been heavily remodelled over the centuries [Wikipedia illustrations]. + evolution in three states (link). One may also consult the page Wikipedia titled "Paleochristian architecture" (with a chapter "The baptisteries"). Gallic heritage dies out, Christian heritage is born...

    >>>Important complements on Martin (and his basilicas in Tours, his cult...) in this nearby page.



  28. 395 Extension of the bagaudes, Rotrou in the Perche and Arnac in the Limousin

     
    "History of Brittany", Reynald Secher and René le Honzec 1991 and "The Saga of Wotila", volume 1, by Cécile Chicault 2011 + the panel of this bagaude attack.

    In the dilapidated climate in which Gaul was in the late fourth century, the bagaudes were thriving. This has already been mentioned during the invasion of Attila's Huns, but it was much earlier that the second Bagaude phase had begun. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 280] :"It is believed that it can be argued that around 316, thirty years after the Maximian repression which had put the Bagaudes at their lowest level, they again held two-fifths of the country. As we shall see, they will make further progress".

    [01 page 306] "At the death of Theodosius the Great, thus at the dawn of the year 395, the Bagaudes reached in Gaul its most considerable extent and would retain it more or less until the generalization of the Frankish settlement, which it facilitated more than it disturbed. "

    Salvian, a monk from Trier who settled in the Lerins Islands around 450, expresses himself as follows: "We call them rebels, lost men, we who have driven them to be criminals. If they have become bagaudes, is it not because of our injustices, the dishonesty of the governors, their confiscations, their rapines, they who, under the pretext of collecting public taxes, embezzle the sums collected ?" (link)

    Knowing that the large cities, with Gallo-Roman garrisons are spared, while having to pact, Bouvier-Ajam traces the geographical location of this great extension of the bagaude : "It reigns in the western countryside and has made a strong push from there to the banks of the Oise, but without much penetration into Orléanais or Ile de France : it holds most of the regions - north of a line running roughly from Blaye and Libourne to Montdidier and Peronne via Parthenay, Chinon, Vendôme, Châteaudun, Evreux and west of Beauvais. [...]The Bagaude dominates the Lot, Corrèze, Cantal and Creuse, has strong points in Allier, Cher, Nièvre, Yonne and Côte d'Or, literally governs a whole including the south of Ain and Haute Savoie, Savoie, Isère, Drôme, the east of the Ardèche and Gard. It is strongly established and duly protected in the eastern part of Champagne, in the countryside and valleys of the Meuse and Moselle, between the Marne and Meuse, with real captaincies at Commercy and near Epinay."

    Bouvier-Ajam goes on to compare large and small bagaudes  "The distinction is clearer than ever between regions of large bagaudes and regions of small bagaudes, i.e. regions with fairly scattered enclaves, shelters, lairs. In the former, the links are so strong that forms of provincial government have been set up: the bagaude is drawing up institutions and organising its armies. In the latter, relations are imprecise and episodic, even if contacts end up being more frequent between the not too distant kinglets and if, from this communication, chains with very diverse links are born."

    Then are introduced, with care, two of the obscure chiefs of these bagaudes : Rotrou and Arnac. "The bagaude geography is, for all these reasons, quite contrasted. It is not impossible that a Rotrou, a Bagaude chief, dominated the whole of the Perche, a typical large Bagaude region, that his descendants welcomed the Franks there and, having retained their own authority, subsequently became counts of the Perche. It is not impossible that an Arnac, by the play of a "chain" with spaced rings, reigned over a curious group of small bagaude comprising areas of Haute Vienne, Corrèze and Sarthe south of Le Mans; but perhaps he was a kind of bagaude emperor with a brief reign or a head of family whose offspring knew how to impose themselves in different areas ?"

    Some additional elements on Rotrou and Arnac. In the Perche there is the town of Nogent le Rotrou and in the Perche sarthois Montfort le Rotrou. The first Count Rotrou is referenced in the year 950. Did Rotrou's good understanding with the Franks lead to this descent ? For Arnac, here is the marginal note [01 page 405] of Bouvier-Ajam : "This Arnac, spotted by Albert Dauzat and by Jean Gonelle, has been confirmed with all reservations by Constant Pavie for toponymic reasons : villages of Arnac in Haute-Vienne (Arnac la Poste) and in Corrèze (Arnac Pompadour) and village of Arnage in Sarthe. Colloquium "La Gaule au début des grandes invasions barbares", Musée social, 1937."

      
    Illustrations of bagaudes, of undetermined origins, found on the web

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam then goes so far as to speak of a Bagaudian civilization [01 page 308]. "The new characteristics of bagaudes really concern only the countries of great bagaude, the others retaining and often even increasing their wild aspects. But where the great bagaude has resolutely asserted itself and protected itself, one can as well as not discern the appearance of a bagaude civilisation. We are, of course, poorly informed, but we do have some elements of knowledge, rather scattered and furtive. What can be taken for granted is, on the one hand, a greater penetration of the Christian faith in Bagaud regions than elsewhere and, on the other hand, an administrative simplification of the Bagaud countries which gives them a certain modernity compared to the countries under Roman subjection." And to continue on the importance of the bishop of Tours Martin, as he has just been presented.

    As regards the administrative function : "A bishop, more often an archpriest or a dean, usually participates in the management of public affairs and sometimes presides over them. Notables have imposed themselves and even elected officials take part here and there in political decision-making and in promoting the common good. These were summary structures, no doubt, but adapted to the circumstances, free from the shackles of Rome's polices, privileges and harassments, understood by the population, and even presenting relatively democratic characteristics. And, here again, these are simple structures that will offer themselves, often, to the simplism how much more brutal barbarians and the essential osmosis. "The bagaudes have thus promoted the integration of barbarians, especially Christians like the Franks ... Normal between looters and looters... but looters turned Christians...



  29. 407-422 Constantine III the Usurper and Maximus the Tyrant last emperors of Gaul

    Gaul governed by a prefect of the praetorium

    In 395, seven years after the death of Magnus Maximus, two years before that of St Martin, who, as we have seen, met twice, Gaul was once again attached to Rome, while retaining an autonomy, as shown by the division of the map opposite [20], corresponding to the now definitive division of the Roman Empire by Theodosius I in 395. On one side the East, on the other the West divided in two. We see a vast "Praetorian prefecture of Gaul" (page Wikipedia), which officially lasted from 395 to 476, including [Great] Britain and Hispania and thus taking up the borders of the defunct empires of the Gauls at the time of their maximum extension. Note the addition of a piece of Africa around Tangier (western part of Mauretania). As the Eastern Empire is also divided in two, we find a kind of tetrarchy. Not for long...

    The page on the English Wikipedia is much more comprehensive. It advances the creation of the prefectures to 337 (by Constantine I), and even to 318, and gives a list of these prefects. Among them : Vulcacius Rufinus (353-354), Flavius Florentius (357-360), Vulcacius Rufinus (366-368), Maximinus (371-376), Ausonius (377-378), Mallius Theodorus (382-383), Claudius Posthumus Dardanus (402 + 412-413), Decimus Rusticus (409-411), Agricola (416-418), Flavius Aetius (the general Aetius) (426-427), Eparchus Avitus (439), Tonantius Ferreolus (450-453), Arvandus (464-469), Flavius Magnus(469) (are listed the French Wikipedia pages, go to the "English" page for, often, more).

    Useful emperors for the Romans, legitimate for the Gauls. This period was very troubled, between settled or enlisted or invading barbarians, between too young or short-lived Roman emperors, between generals of the imperial army, barbarians or Romans, who were proclaimed emperors and were considered usurpers. Camille Jullian [10] stopped at Arbogast. Maurice Bouvier-Ajam manages to give an idea of what the power struggle in Gaul was like at that time. His two short sub-chapters "The Emperor of the Gauls Constantine the Usurper" and "The last Emperor of the Gauls : Maximus the Tyrant" [01 pages 301 to 303] are here reproduced in full. Links to Wikipedia are added for complements.

    Constantinus III the Usurper emperor of the Gauls from 407 to 411

    "Flavius Honorius was eleven years old when he attained the dignity of Western emperor. His father Theodosius the Great had provided him with a "mentor", practically a regent, the Roman "patrician" Stilicon (Stilicho), who was a Vandal.

    Honorius moved to Ravenna, sheltered by marshes. Stilicho, a courageous general with Franks and a guard of Huns in his elite troops, leads the war in Illyria and elsewhere against the Visigothic Alaric. He cared for Gaul only to requisition soldiers, horses and supplies, increasing the tax burden as much as was still possible and inventing new levies which he was unable to collect.

    Left Honorius, Stilicho and the Battle of Pollentia, from an account
    of 4 pages, titled "Les derniers gladiateurs" on script by Yves Duval,
    drawings by
    Philippe Delaby (published on 17 February 1987 in the newspaper
    Tintin n°597) + the first panel.
    Below Constantine III (Flavius Claudius Constantinus)

    Forgotten, unable to curb the "peaceful" penetrations of the border Germans, threatened with massive and brutal invasions, Gaul resumed deploring being mixed up in the turpitude of a Rome that was only interested in exploiting it and stripping its defences when it could. Always the same drama... And the drama is also the same in Britain.

    In 407, in Britain, the Roman general Constantine was proclaimed Emperor of the Gauls by the army and navy chiefs, civil officers and notables. He does not seem to be an ambitious man, even less an adventurer, but rather a man of duty, convinced that he must accept to remedy the negligence and excesses of the central power and to block the road to the great invasions while there is still time. He would later be called Constantine the Usurper to distinguish him from the "legitimate" Constantine the Great and the poor Constantine II.


    It was during his reign that the strongest barbarian breakthrough  took place: on 31 December 406 and the following days, Vandals, Suevi, Alans and Burgundians crossed the Rhine [21, drawing by Pierre Joubert]

    407, the Gallic Empire of Constantine III The new triarchy features two capital changes  Arles / Arelate replaces Trier for the Gallic Empire and Ravenna replaces Rome for the Roman Empire.

    His electors called him master of Britain, Gaul and Spain. He crossed the Channel, was triumphantly welcomed in Gaul, appointed his son Constant as Caesar, who Constant enthusiastically obtained the adhesion of Spain : here, too, a secession was being prepared, at the instigation of the General-in-Chief Gerontius. Arles was consecrated capital of the empire.

    Now in Arles, Constantine the Usurper sends word to Ravenna that Gaul will no longer send a man, deliver or even sell a horse or any supplies whatsoever, and that the tax collectors will henceforth work on behalf of the Gallic Empire. And he immediately set off on an expedition against the Goths, who had been encouraged by the dismantling of the frontiers to step up their invasion very strongly.

    But Gerontius, deep down, did not forgive Constantine the Usurper for having accepted the purple and, above all, perhaps, for having taken command of the armies himself  he murdered his son, Constantine Caesar, and hatched a plot in Arles  when, victorious, Constantine returned to his capital, he too was murdered (in 411).
    "

    Arles capital of the Gauls After Lyons / Lugdunum and Trier / Treveris, briefly Paris / Lutetia, Arles / Arelate was chosen capital of the Gauls by Constantine III, and, it seems, maintained by Maximus the Tyrant. On the right the Rhone arch, a triumphal arch from the end of the 1st century, demolished in 1684 on the decision of the city consuls, because it impeded the passage... [drawings by Jean-Claude Golvin + other drawings of Arles on this page of his site]

    Maximus Tyrannus emperor of the Gauls from 412 to 419 and from 421 to 422

    "As soon as the tragic death of Constantine the Usurper became known, Franks, Burgundians and Alamanni proclaimed the Gaul Jovin  "Roman emperor" in Mainz outright! He would be treacherously handed over to the Roman prefect of the Gauls Dardanus, and executed (in 412).

      Jovinus and Sebastianus were two brothers co-emperors of the Gauls for a few months, in 412. Abandoned by their mostly Burgundian and Alain troops, they were besieged in Valencia, then captured by the Visigoth Athaulf and executed.

    Left Jovin and Sebastianus, right Maximus the Tyrant [Wikipedia].

    Gerontius did not take the purple but had another general, Maximus, proclaimed Emperor of the Gauls, to be called Maximus the Tyrant... to distinguish him from the usurper
    [Magnus]Maximus once proclaimed to make a stand against Gratian. Gerontius intends to be the de facto master but has his worries both in Spain and in Provence  he lets "his" Emperor Maximus the Tyrant take the lead in an expedition against the Goths. Maximus was defeated and sent his submission... to Ravenna, to the Emperor Honorius! The latter was quick to grant him a pardon, to keep his command and to send him some reinforcements, and managed to seize Gerontius, whom he had put to death (in 419).

    Maximus was finally able to win some successes over the Goths  he then believed it possible to regain power and had himself acclaimed Imperator by officers of the eastern legions : he was hated for his brutality and injustices, was arrested and executed by those who had acclaimed him (in 422). He was the last bearer of the title Emperor of the Gauls, and only for a time.

    In truth, the attempt of his predecessor Constantine the Usurper was the last  - at any rate the last official attempt, if one may say - to reconstitute the Gallic Empire.
    "



  30. 410-416 Visigoths sack Rome then move into Aquitaine and Hispania


    410, the second sack of Rome by Alaric I's Visigoths. Drawings by National Geographic 1962 and Pierre Joubert 1984[21]

    Well before Attila's Huns, barbarian raids devastated the Roman Empire. The second sack of Rome in 410 by Alaric I and his Visigoths was a milestone. For eight centuries and the first sack of Rome around -387, by the Gauls of Brennos / Brennus, the Urbs had been devastated only by fire...

    The sacking of Rome by the Visigoths as seen by Gilles Chaillet (script) and Dominique Rousseau (drawing), in volume 5 of "The Last Prophecy". + two plates, at the beginning and at the end of the bag : 1 2

    Alaric I, the king of the Visigoths, is apparently not an ancestor of Charlemagne, but he is recognised as an ancestor of his contemporary Sancho Lopez, Duke of Gascony.

    So we are descended from the Visigoth Alaric, as we are from the Gaul Postumus or the Roman Constantius Chlorus... or Attila the Hun, or Genseric the Vandal, as we shall see later...

    Illustrations : Visigothic woman [21, Pierre Joubert] and Visigothic warrior

    Wikipedia : "The Visigoths and their new king Athaulf, brother-in-law of Alaric, entered Gaul, ruined by the invasions of the years 407 to 409. In 416, the Visigoths and their king Wallia continued their migration to the Iberian Peninsula, where they were sent in the pay of Rome to fight other Barbarians. When peace with the Romans was concluded by the fœdus of 416, Honorius granted the Visigoths land in the second province of Aquitaine (now Bordeaux, Charentes and Poitou). Sedentarisation in Aquitaine took place after the death of Wallia. The Visigoths entered Spain as early as 414, as federates of the Roman Empire." The kingdom of the Visigoths first had Toulouse as its capital. Then Narbonne, Barcelona and finally Toledo.

    419-484 Toulouse capital of the Visigothic kingdom
    In 2019, as this page indicates, Toulouse celebrated the 16th centenary of its designation as capital of the Visigothic kingdom  "They took up residence in Toulouse - not without a final diversions through Spain - a few months before the beginning of the reign of the great Theodoric I (419-451). " The reasons for their installation are little known, but it was undoubtedly to pacify part of Gaul ", notes Emmanuelle Boube. No forceful passage : a treaty (foedus) was made with the Western Roman emperor Honorius. " The federated people retain their king, their customs and receive the enjoyment of lands. In exchange they give their armed force to Rome." Win-win ? Not really. Increasingly powerful in the face of a decaying Roman power, the Visigoths achieved de facto independence around 470, under the reign of Euric.
    What traces did they leave in the city ? The victory of the Frank Clovis over Alaric II, killed at the battle of Vouillé in 507, sounded the death knell of the kingdom of Toulouse. The latter left few traces despite nearly a century of existence and the succession of five kings. Time has done its work and, above all, the Visigoths were not builders. "The people of the migration period most often borrowed the Roman way of life, its spaces and its buildings," observes Emmanuelle Boube. Often forgotten in France, the Visigoths are much less so in Spain, where their kingdom of Toledo will disappear only in 711, after the Arab invasion.
    "

    In 419, Theodoric I, son of Alaric I, questions one of his lieutenants about a Bagald chieftain who is ravaging the property of a Gaul. From volume 1 of the series "The Saga of Wotila", on script by Hervé Pauvert and Cécile Chicault and drawing by Cécile Chicault, Delcourt 2011 + two pages, the one presenting Toulouse the capital of Theodoric and the one of this box : 1 2


    Theodoric I, king of the Visigoths, died fighting Attila in 451, at the Battle of the Catalaunic Fields. ["The Song of the Elves",
    volume 3, 2010 by Falba and Ratera + the two plates of this death and immediate succession by his son Thorismund : 12]

    As Christians, the Visigoths had long been Arians in opposition to the Nicene, or Trinitarian Christians who, gathered around the Roman emperors and the pope, regarded them as heretics. Gaul fell victim to these clashes. [Wikipedia diagram]

    484-507 Narbonne capital of the Visigothic kingdom, then of Septimania 507-720
    Sylvie Queval in the document "An example of an intercultural relationship : the Visigoths at Narbonne 461-720" : ">Alaric II, succeeding his father, was king from 484 to 507 and made Narbonne his capital even though the city had already been under Visigoth control since 461. He attempted to negotiate with the Franks and their new leader, Clovis; but he failed and died at Vouillé. The Franks occupied Toulouse and Narbonnaise, now Septimania, became an extension of the Visigothic kingdom of Spain. The Visigothic kingdom is reduced to Spain and Septimania. The capital moved to Barcelona and then Toledo, but Narbonne remained the capital of the Gallic province of the kingdom of Toledo. It resisted all attempts at Frankish conquest. Thus, in 531 the king Amalric, who had married Clovis' daughter, wanted to convert her to Arianism  the Frank Childebert attacked Narbonne in retaliation, but the city held firm and remained Visigothic.
    In 589 the Visigoth king Recaredes converted to Nicene Christianity, he dragged the vast majority of the Visigoth population in his wake. The distinction between Romans and Goths tended to become blurred, and intermarriage increased. In 711, the Arabs pass Gibraltar and enter Spain. They take Narbonne in 720.
    "



  31. 410-460 Island Bretons settle in Armorica and attack the Loire Valley

    5th century, the Bretons (Britanni) invade Armorica. This is the "recelestisation" of a land still sparsely populated. This is the time when the Breton language is formed, "on a Gallic substratum mixed with Latin and Celtic island influences" [Nelly Blanchard, Les Cahiers de Science et Vie 91, 2014]. The biniou did not appear until the 13th century, and was not as Celtic as the dolmens and menhirs. Around 510 a peace treaty is signed with Clovis, the new Brittany is independent. This relationship between the Bretons of Armorica and the Franks became conflictual from 558 onwards.

    "When the Bretons arrived in Brittany, they carved out little kingdoms for themselves. Another tiny kingdom was also built right in the centre of France too, when the soldiers of the tiern Iomadus won a victory over the army of the chief Boso at Blois, during 410." [page from the radiobreizh website]. See below for the kingdom of Blois.

    ["Breizh History of Brittany", volume 2 "A New Land", by Nicolas Jarry and Thierry Jigourel on the script, Erwan Seure - Le Bihan at the drawing, editions Soleil 2017 + here a page where Gregory of Tours in 560 talks about the Gauls and the Celts]


    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 317] :"During these extremely troubled times, another penetration, almost discontinuous between 420 and 460, occurred in Gaul without difficulty. Under pressure from the Angles and Saxons, the Britanni of Celtic origin, long established in Cornwall and Wales, crossed the Channel and landed in Armorica where they settled. [...] In all this, the reflexes of the Bagaudes are contradictory. They clearly sympathise with the first arrivals of the Franks, which does not prevent them, at times, from sending reinforcements to the so-called Roman legions to stem their incursions. They welcomed the British wonderfully: some bagaudes existed in Armorica and especially on its borders. On the whole, they were hostile to the Burgundians and Visigoths: even in Arian country, the vast majority of the Bagaudes were Catholic. Proof of this will be provided by the support which the Franks will receive from her."

    The enigmatic Breton kingdom of Blois

    In 410 the Breton Iomadus (or Iuomadus), after expelling the "consul" Odo (or Boso), laid the foundations of a small kingdom that lasted for more than 80 years, until the arrival of the Franks, according to Wikipedia's short page: "The Kingdom of Blois was a self-governing or semi-self-governing territory created in 410 by the Breton chieftain Iuomadus. It maintained itself in the Loire Valley, probably allied to the Gallo-Roman Domain, until its conquest by Clovis in 491."
    This early occupation by the Bretons is surprising, when the bulk of their migratory wave dates from the end of the 5th century. Was this an isolated initiative by precursors? Was the role of the Bagaudes more important than that of the Bretons, their leader having had the charisma and the stature to make the enterprise a success?
    Ci-contrary inscription on the 425 map[20] of this kingdom which was part Breton, part Gallic, part Roman and part Bagauded. With surely also barbarians who had halted there. A localised attempt at stabilisation in a large unstable world.

    The kingdom of Blois is also indicated in this page, with the Bretons relying on bagaudes from the west : "In 410, Blois was conquered by the Breton chieftain Iuomadus, who expelled from it the 'consul' Odo, probably of Germanic origin. He founded an autonomous or semi-autonomous state there, which was maintained until the city was taken by Clovis in 491 (Georges minois, Nouvelle histoire de la Bretagne, fayard, 1992; Léon Fleuriot, Les Origines de la Bretagne, Paris, Payot, 1980). Armorica was strongly present in the revolt movements, the causes of which were the decadence of the Roman Empire and the barbarian incursions that created a climate of unrest in Gaul. From 435 to 437, the Armoricans went to war against Ravenna. Successfully using Hun mercenaries against them, Aetius and his second-in-command Litorius repel Tibatto's Bagaudes of Armorica." Tibatto will be back in the next chapter...


    Breton incursions into the Loire Valley: success at Blois, failure and at Tours. Left "History of Brittany" volume 1 (Reynald Secher / René Le Honzec 1991) + six pages on the arrival and settlement of island Bretons in Armorica : 1 2 3 4 5 6. Right "Histoire de la Touraine, des origines à la Renaissance", (Georges Couillard / Joël Tanter, 1986].


    "The Druids", screenplay Jean-Luc Istin, drawing Jacques Lamontagne, volume 9 page 24 (Soleil 2007).
    Was there really a struggle between Christians and the last Druids ? There is no written evidence of this.
    As elsewhere, the Christian authorities fought what was considered pagan, starting with customs of Celtic origin...



  32. 435-437 Tibatto the last emperor of Bagaudes

    The map opposite [20, Les cahiers de Science et Vie n°158 2016] is one of the few to show the Bagaudes' range, which can only be very approximate . It also indicates the first territories of Gaul where Barbarians settled: the Visigoths from Bordeaux to Toulouse, the Salian Franks in the north and the Burgundians in the north-east. And in Hispania the Suevi in the northwest, who would remain there, the Alans and Vandals, who would leave for Africa.

    New social disorders. Christine Delaplace [12 page 217] :"Northern and western Gaul in fact suffered the aftershocks of Rome's defensive weakness with much greater violence. In spite of the deficiency of the documents, it gives the impression of having been the victim more durably and more severely of what one could call "the trailing sky" of the invasion of 406-407 : slowness of the agricultural recovery, stagnation of the urban dynamism, famine and especially social disorders which led to the resumption of the Bagaude. This is attested by the Chronica in 435, again in 443. It seems to have been endemic in several regions and better organized than that of the third century."

    In the 5th century, to the, complexity of the political situations is added the lateness and bias of the Christian sources, increasing the confusion. This account, reported by Juan Carlos Sanchez Leon [13, pages 32-34] shows the interaction between the Bagaudes and the seizure of power by Constantine III usurper of the Gauls in 407-411  "According to the anonymous, the Baugaredi (Bagaudes), wishing to expel the Romans from Gaul, destroyed Amboise. Then a certain Constantine put himself at the head of the Baugaredi and founded a kingdom in Hispania and Gaul, leaving to the Baugaredi the country from the Garonne to Lyon. After massacring the Theban Legion there, Maximian arrived in Gaul, but died in Marseilles. Constantine became emperor and fortified Tours to give satisfaction to the Baugaredi, for with their help he had defeated Maxentius in Rome. Gaul, once the Bagaudes had been pacified, was once again subject to the Romans."

    Around 435, Bretons and Bagaudes seem to ally : "The Chronica Gallica speaks of Tibatto twice, once in 435 when he is mentioned as the leader of the movement for the independence of Gallia Ulterior (Armorica) and again in 437 among those who are taken prisoner and executed when the rebellion was brought under control. The independence movement seems to have reached its climax shortly after St. Germain's journey to Britannia in 429." (Les royaumes celtiques, Editions Armeline, Crozon, 2001)

    A focus of rebellion in Armorica. Bruno Pottier [15 chap. 47], wonders about this geographical origin : "With regard to the Bagaudes of the fifth century, Cliff Minor has noticed that the Gallic chronicle of 452 evokes for the years 435-437 two separate phenomena that have been too often identified. Indeed, it mentions a secessionist "rebellio" led mainly by Tibatto in Ulterior Gaul which would have resulted in a revolt, of the Bagaude type, of the whole servitia. This Bagaude revolt would not have concerned Gallia Ulterior but rather the rest of Gaul. However, the reference to Gaul Ulterior seems to refer precisely to Armorica. Tibatto was captured in 437 with other leaders of this seditio, which helped to calm the Bagaudean unrest that had existed since 435. He surprisingly reappeared in 448 or more likely in 445 as a disruptive element causing an agreement patronised by Bishop Germain of Auxerre between Armorican notables and Aetius to fail."

     
    From Brittany to Touraine, this revolt of 438 is that of 435-437, at least for its original scope,
    with a rather unclear role for Tibatto / Tibaton and the repressive action of Aetius (395-451)
    (presumed portrait at right), the future victor of Attila, often referred to as "the last of the Romans" (but there was later Syagrius).
    ["History of Touraine, from the origins to the Renaissance", script by Georges Couillard, drawing by Joël Tanter, 1986 - Wikipedia]

    He also questions the role of Tibatto / Tibaton : "It is therefore not certain that Tibatto was a leader of Bagaudes. His activity, a political and secessionist revolt described as a rebellio or seditio, seems to have been limited to Armorica. Tibatto was therefore not necessarily responsible for the revolt of agricultural dependents in the rest of Gaul. The two phenomena may be distinct but parallel, without any causal link. They can be explained by the collapse of imperial control over Gaul following the civil war between Boniface and Aetius between 432 and 434. Two scenarios are possible. Tibatto may simply have been a particularly radical Armorican notable in his desire to separate from the Empire. He may also have represented, as his name of Celtic origin seems to indicate, a more popular tendency within Armorica hostile to the notables who favoured a compromise with the Empire in 445. In the latter case only, there would have been a popular revolt against the joint local elites in 435 in Armorica and the rest of Gaul."

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam does not remove the questions [01 page 310] : "What is known about him, so often quoted here and there in the Latin Patrology, little ! A blow almost sure Gaul and even very Romanized Gaul, born in the very first years of the Vth century, we do not know if he was an improvised Bagaude military leader but making his proofs early or if he was a military adventurer having run away from the Gallo-Roman legions or left a deserters' den to put himself with his men in the service of the Bagaudes. We are leaning more towards the thesis of a Gallo-Roman officer being proclaimed imperator by a few troops on the occasion of a vacancy in command or a mutiny and being acclaimed shortly by the Bagaude warrior cantonments, perhaps starting with that of Commercy.

    The last Bagaudean emperor. Yet, forgetting these multiple questions, he presents Tibatto as the last Bagaude emperor : " He may be thinking of being awarded - or awarding himself - the Roman imperial purple. Or to be proclaimed emperor of the Gauls. He does not do this  even if Valentinian III, of Ravenna, declares him "the usurper" - a term that will remain with him - he is content to call himself a Bagald emperor, even if it means presenting himself, perhaps, as a future emperor of the Gauls on the day when the Bagalds will have chased the Roman legions and rule the whole country. "All the Bagald emperors have probably shared this dream, all of them have failed, and quickly.

    Even in this era of barbarian invasions and Roman decay (Ravenna had replaced Rome as the capital), Tibatto was no exception to this rule "Here he was as "Bagald emperor" in 435 and he hastened to grant the right of hospitality to Franks who had settled in the Tournai region. It is believed that he was murdered in the summer of 436, some say by barbarian mercenaries from Rome, others say by a Bagaude who had made a pact with the Roman patrician, and still others, probably more correctly, by deserters from the Roman legions who had reacted violently to his intention to recruit them. There will be no more Bagaudian emperors or even, it seems, candidates for the title. The role of the Bagaudes in Gaul, as we shall see, is not over for all that, but Roman pressure on the one hand and barbarian pressure on several sides, their action will no longer be that of pretenders to national power in Gaul. And the Bagaude will never again have its former violence, while in Spain it takes on a brutal vigour from 440 onwards and will be for twelve years the great affair of Roman generals as well as of Visigoth chiefs."

      Karadeuk the bagman
    (Caradeuc, or Caradoc Freichfras, Breton chief in the Vannetais around 465, also called "king of Vannes", whose existence is almost mythological...) Illustration from the third of sixteen volumes of Eugène Sue's "People's Mystery", published in 1850, for the novel "The Guard of the Daggerd, Karadeuk the Bagaude and Ronan the Vagre" (full text here). [Gallica, drawing by Eugène-Louis Charpentier (1811-1890)]. + other illustration of a Gaul vs. Frank fight + ending dialogue :
    - Have you heard of Bagaudia?
    - Yes, many times... My grandfather told me that a few years after the death of Victoria the Great...
    - The august mother of the camps?
    - Her name has reached you, brave ball-carrier?
    - What Gaul does not pronounce with respect the name of this heroine, even though she has been dead for more than two centuries... Have we forgotten the even more ancient names of Sacrovir, Civilis, Vindex, the chief of the hundred valleys ?
    - Beware... by pronouncing these glorious names, you are going to make the eyes of my favourite Karadeuk sparkle, who is stubbornly regretting that he has not found a man capable of sticking a dagger in the belly of this monster of Clovis !

    Huns and Alans checkmate the bagaudes. Luce Pietri [1, page 97] shows the role of the Huns and then the Alans in the repression of Tibatto's bagaudes: "In 435, the insurrection is reignited. a brief notice in the Chronicle of the Gauls tells us that on this date, "under the leadership of Tibatto, later Gaul abandons the Roman alliance. The pacification was this time undertaken with vigour and celerity: as early as 437, still according to the Chronicle of the Gauls, "Tibatto having been captured and the other leaders of the sedition taken prisoner or killed, the Bagaude revolt calmed down". This success is to be credited to Aetius' lieutenant, Litorius. A panegyric by Sidonius Apollinaris presents in passing the victor and his army returning from their expedition : Litorius is at the head of a contingent of those Hun mercenaries who made up the elite of Aetius' forces. [...]Despite the brutality of the repression, the Bagalda was not yet defeated : it manifests itself again during the 1940s in the tractus armoricanus. "Irritated by the insolence of this proud country", Aetius then tried a new method : rather than resorting again to a simple expedition, he decided to subject the region to permanent surveillance, abandoning these countries to the "very cruel Goar, king of the Alains, so that he would chastise them for the insolence of their rebellion.""

    On Wikipedia 2019, while the page on Roman Gaul presents in its chronology (from -50 to 511), on the dates 435-437 "the great revolt of the bagaudes", Tibatto is treated only briefly, without a specific page, on the page of the bagaudes, as "chief of a bagaude". Too many questions, too much opacity, it's a far cry from the days when usurpers of a few weeks minted money in their own likeness...

    A very different movement from the bagaudes of Amandus. In a 2010 dissertation titled "Bagaude identity in the 2nd and 5th centuries : population movements, isolated, continuous or concerted revolts ? ", Isabelle Drouin compares [page 100] the brief bagaudes of the 2nd century of Amandus and Aelanius, forming a large overall movement, with those more diffuse, localised and prolonged of the 5th (beginning around 395, as seen in a previous chapter)  "This bagaude identity in the 2nd c. is taken up again in the 5th c, But by the faithful of Rome to designate these insurgent provincials. Why did they take up this term and not create a new one ? Could it not be partly because of some elements similar to the two movements? Indeed, the two Bagaud factions share the same rejection of central authority. The Bagaudes of the fifth century also seem to have been modest people who attacked the cities. This is where the comparison ends. They seem to have had a charismatic leader for each revolt and they are not mobile. [...]However, this Bagald homonymy is not the consequence of a real continuity, but of a pejorative nickname affixed by the inhabitants loyal to Rome to the untimely resistance of certain provincials.".



  33. 443-534 The Rhodanian kingdom of the Burgundians

    At the end of the 3rd century, the Burgundians, coming from the territories of the middle course of the Oder, settled on the banks of the Rhine and the Main. They became allies of the Romans and settled near Worms. Defeated by the Huns, the general Aetius settled them in 443 in the territory called Sapaudia, which became Savoy but was situated further north, from the Jura to the Rhine. In 451 they were victorious over the Huns with Aetius' troops at the Catalaunic Fields. Perfect allies of the Romans, they also fought the Suevi and the Alamanni.

    In 457, under the reign of their king Gondioc, they peacefully expanded their territory southwards, Lyon in 461. In 478, they established their border at the Durance, in agreement with the Visigoths. Much later Burgundy would be called Burgundy. [map according to page on the mephisto site]


    To the left, box taken from the comic strip "That vase from Soissons ! Who broke it? ", by Norbert Fersen (Domino 1975). Right, DHS and Kohli map from the page of the mephisto-1061 site on the Burgundians


    451, Gondioc and his Burgundians fight Attila's Huns on the side of Aetius. ["The Song of the Elves", volume 1, 2009 by Falba and Ratera] + the panel

    On Gondioc's death in 476, he was succeeded by his brother Chulperic I, who extended the Burgundian kingdom to its maximum extent. On his death in 480, Gondioc's four sons succeeded him, nicknamed "the tetrarchs". The eldest Gundobad eliminates in 491 two of them, Gondemar and Chilperic II, the father of Clotilda. The last brother, Godegisel was defeated in 500, Gondebaud reigned alone until 516. His son Sigismund succeeded him from 516 to 523, then his other son Godomar III from 524 to 534, until the Frankish conquest, after the capture of the city of Autun, which was besieged for a year. Three of Clovis and Clotilde's sons, half-French and half-Burgundian, shared Burgundy. The Burgundians were able to keep their laws and customs for a time, notably the "Gambette Law".

    Christine Delaplace [12 page 218] : "The Burgundian kingdom can appear to us as the "model of the successful Romano-Barbadian kingdom" : model of ethnic and religious balance, model of administrative and military organisation.". Further information on the Burgundians in this page of the e-story site.

    The Burgundian kings (red dots), descendants of Gondicaire. Note the presence of Syagrius (green dot), Clotilde (blue dot) and Evochilde (purple dot). Hence the question: who is this Evochilde the forgotten wife of Clovis ? Evochilde, is the mother of the Merovingian king Thierry I, the father being Clovis. The latter, before his Christian marriage and baptism, had therefore married the first cousin of his wife Clotilde... Explanation of the Wikipedia page on Thierry I  "Thierry's mother is not named by Gregory of Tours who, speaking of Clovis and Clotilde, merely says  " He associated her by marriage when he already had a son named Thierry from a concubine. ". Historians nowadays almost unanimously accept the reasonable hypothesis that she was a Rhenish Frankish princess. In reality, Thierry's mother was a so-called "second-rate wife", considered to be a "pledge of peace". (friedelehen). This union has often been misinterpreted as a concubinage by Christian Roman historians who were not familiar with the mores of Germanic polygamous family structures, without public marriage. This ancestry may explain why in 511 he obtained, in addition to the Aquitanian lands he had conquered, the eastern part of the Regnum francorum, which covered the former kingdom of Cologne. Some authors speak of Evochilde. We can then ask the question : Was it Evochilde who advised Clovis to marry his cousin ? This page from the comic book "Clotilde (scenario by Monique Amiel) is compatible with this hypothesis...



    Gondebaud, king of the Burgundians, was an ascendant of Bernard of Septimania + panel of Godard / Ribera[17] where Gondebaud defeats his brother Godogisel / Godegisile in the city of Vienna.


    "History of Lyon" text A. Pelletier, F. Bayard, drawing Jean Prost, 1979 + the panel

    "Césaire d'Arles", Louis-Bernard Koch on the script, Christian Goux (ed. du Triomphe 2013) + a board + recto and verso of cover.


    Proposal for the placement of the bandages that led to the cranial modification of the Lady of Dully (Switzerland). Geneviève Perreard-Lopreno.
    Singular Burgundian beauty in the 5th century.
    Extracts from the page of the sciencesetavenir website titled "The astonishing cranial deformation of the Lady of Dully" : "We have about thirty cases in this part of the Lake Geneva region, found during the 20th century. The Burgundian barbarians arrived in the lake region in 443 and quickly assimilated into the local population. Among the Burgundians, one of the cultural practices dictated by aesthetic considerations was the intentional deformation of skulls. ".
    This practice, already used by Neanderthals, is described on the page Wikipédia "Artificial cranial deformation".

    Reconstructed face of a Burgundian woman (5th century). Philippe Froesch - Visual Forensic.

    How then did we go from Burgundians to Burgundians ? The Wikipedia page on the Burgundians advances this explanation  "Despite the collapse of the Burgundian dynasty and the definitive victory of Clovis' sons, the cohesion between the two Burgundian and Gallo-Roman ethnic groups, born of the pacifying and unifying actions of the Burgundian kings had given rise to a Burgundian particularism and state of mind that time would not extinguish. Under the Merovingian sceptre, Burgundy remained. The Burgundian kingdom had disappeared but Burgundy was born. It bears in its name the memory of this first kingdom."



  34. 449-451 The Huns and Attila's betrayed trust in Eudoxus and the bagaudes

    In the Roman world of the fifth century, notables from all walks of life could meet. While the Hun Attila (395-456) had as a youthful friend his future conqueror the Roman general Aetius (395-454), he also befriended a Greek physician, Eudoxus, or Eudoxius, who lived in Gaul and was a bagulet. Gregori Tomski gives an account of this in his novel Friends of Attila (Jipto 2005).


    On the left, Attila receives in 449 the ambassador from Byzantium [21, drawing by Pierre Joubert].

    Below taken from the album Attila - The Scourge of God" in the series "The True True Story" scripted by Bernard Swysen and drawn by Pixel Vengeur, published by Dupuis in 2019. + the panel.

    On the right, the terrible reputation the Huns have long had, here in 1967 in the album "Sainte Geneviève, patron saint of Paris", text by Geneviève Flusin, drawing by Raoul Auger. + the board and the cover.

    The french Wikipedia page on the Huns shows that our perception of this nomadic people has changed greatly in fifty years  "Analysis of the human remains found in Hun culture tombs shows, with a large margin of uncertainty, varied types: mongoloid, europoid, and mixed-race, of various sizes and conformations."

    According to Catherine Wolff in the article "Attila defies Rome" published in the magazine "History and Civilizations", Eudoxus' friendship could explain Attila's willingness to invade Gaul "A major policy change took place in 451 : Attila decided to invade the Gauls. Attila did not take the decision lightly, and several reasons can be given to explain it. Some historians point to the influence of the physician Eudoxus, one of the leaders of the Bagaudean revolt, who took refuge with Attila in 448."

    Amédée Thierry in the article "Attila in the Gauls", Revue des Deux Mondes 1852, goes in the same direction : "The physician Eudoxe, " a man of great science, but of a perverse mind, " contemporary chronicles tell us, fled, in 448, to the Huns. There, no doubt, he did not fail to incite Attila to bring war to Gaul, promising him the support of brigands, slaves and rebellious peasants.

    For Bruno Pottier [15 chap. 35] :"The fact that a famous physician, Eudoxius, may have been at the head of a group of Bagaudes in 448 has not attracted enough attention. Indeed, the author of the chronicle of 452 praised his professional skills while denouncing his character. The case of Eudoxius, with an oriental name, evokes the father of Ausonius, a physician who spoke poor Latin but correct Greek. Eudoxius' authority among the peasants who accompanied him probably derived from perceived miraculous cures. Eudoxius could be compared in some ways to Mariccus, who was also assumed by his followers to have supernatural abilities. A figure like Eudoxius could legitimise the reinvention of Celtic military traditions, denoted by the term Bagaudes."

     
    Above Attila and Aetius drawn by Poïvet, scenario Lécureux, in 1976[17] + three pages on the Hun raid from Colmar to Orleans via Paris : 1 2 3. Opposite, Attila is a direct descendant of Charlemagne.

    The Sack of Metz "In the spring of 451, the Huns laid siege to the ancient Mettis, which resisted, sheltered by its 3rd-century ramparts. During the siege, Attila's troops live on the country, ravaging and plundering the rural estates and towns of the region. On April 7, 451, the eve of Easter, a section of the southern wall collapsed, allowing the besiegers to enter, looting and burning the city and massacring the inhabitants. The sacking of the city lasted several days. Most of the inhabitants were enslaved or taken prisoner, such as Bishop Auctor or Livier de Marsal. Only the oratory of Saint-Etienne, the future cathedral, is said to have escaped destruction." (Wikipedia page on the Siege of Metz)

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam goes further in the analysis of the relations Eudoxus - Attila - Aetius [01 page 319 and following] : "Aetius, who had formerly obtained the assistance of the Hun mercenaries to repress the Bagaudes, learns without joy in 448 that Attila has, across the Danube, welcomed a singular personage who was fleeing from Gaul where, he, Aetius, had put a price on his head. He was a Greek doctor, very learned, a bit crazy, named Eudoxe, who had been seduced by Gaul during a trip, had settled there and worked as he could to ruin the Roman authority. A good orator, a persuasive adventurer, he had great prestige over bands of brigands, maquis of slaves and wretches, and Bagaudes of revolting peasants. He offered Attila the support of all these people in case of a Hunnic aggression beyond the Rhine." [...] Eudoxus is formal : the day Attila wants to impose himself in Gaul, he will obtain for him the oh so useful assistance of the Bagaudes. And Attila believes it: he will thus appear as a liberator. His big mistake was to think that the Gauls, mostly hostile to Roman rule, would mostly refuse to join the defence of the Empire. However, the majority of the Gauls were indeed determined to put an end to the Roman occupation, but they intended, with the help of Barbarians who were gradually infiltrating and did not have the savagery of the Huns, to get out of trouble themselves and not risk a harsher oppression than that of the Romans. Anti-Roman, they were nonetheless the empire's frontier guards to the east  the clearest of the "Roman" legions - probably more than three-quarters - that Aetius would oppose the Huns were Gauls."


    Attila and Eudox. Published from 2008 to 2010 by Soleil Productions in three volumes, with script by Bruno Falba and drawing by Mike Ratera, the series "The Song of the Elves" describes the preparation of the Battle of the Catalaunic Fields and the battle itself, with the presence of elves, dragons and monsters to magnify the fighting, on a solid historical background. + two panels on the heated discussion between Attila and Eudoxe (volume1) : 1 2 + a panel on the death of Eudoxus, lynched by his own people (before the battle, volume 2)+ pages from the battle (intro to volume 1) : 1 2

    Bouvier-Ajam continues his explanation  "Attila is mistaken because he trusts Eudoxus and counts on massive support from the Bagaudes. Now the Bagaudes, the real Bagaudes, in their fierce rebellion against the Gallo-Roman "order", intend to achieve a free and united Gaul, and not to substitute Gaul's belonging to the Western Empire with belonging to any other empire whatsoever.". It is to believe that a leader could have agglomerated all the revolts around his white plume and a speech proclaiming "Vive les Bagaudes libres, vive la Gaule unie !".


    Timour contre Attila, first published in Spirou in 1958, by Sirius + the three pages on the battle of the Catalaunic Fields : 1 2 3
    + 1 Lécureux-Poïvet page[17] on the death of the Visigoth king Theodoric I (son of Alaric I) during this battle


    Attila mon amour, series in 6 volumes published by Glénat (here volume 5, 2002), on script by Jean-Yves Mitton and drawing by Franck Bonnet. Eudox and the bagaudes are absent from this long saga focused on the Attila - Aetius relationship + the first two pages with the emperor Valentinian III, the Visigoth king Theodoric I and the general Aetius : 1 2

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam then describes the Bagaudic maelstrom in which Attila has engaged : "The disillusionment of the Hun Emperor will be tragic : Eudoxus has totally misled him, perhaps without being on occasion dishonest  he promised him the help of the Bagaudes and just got him that of bandits that even the other rebels feared. When Attila wanted to take Metz, the pseudo-bagaude of Château-Salins, which was only a den of deserters and which Eudoxe said could be counted on, was wiped out by the bagaude of western Nancy, which wanted to safeguard Gallic territory. The bagaude of Commercy, promised by Eudoxe to Attila as an ally, has contracted against him with the Gallo-Roman garrison of Bar-le-Duc. Saint-Dizier is a Bagaude country which becomes a real centre of peasant mobilisation against the Huns. And when Eudoxus dies, murdered... by the Bagaudes (!), Attila finally understands that he has been constantly fooled by this foolish apostle of the dying Bagaudes who did not know they were so close to their end."

    Attila's harangue to his troops... on script by Manu Larcenet and drawing by Casanave in the album "God's Scourge", the third in the series "A Rocambolesque Adventure of..." (Dargaud 2006). + a panel + here cover.

    Under the same title, "God's Scourge" is an album published by Solien in 1995, script by Simon Rocca (Georges Ramaïoli), drawing by Février (volume 2 not published). + a panel.
    Attila is also the hero of the series "The Scourge of the Gods", see further in the Avitus chapter.

    At the decisive battle of the Catalaunic Plains, in 451, Aetius, with the help of Avitus, a high dignitary of Rome, future emperor,obtains solid support from the bagaudes. Bouvier-Ajam [01, pages 321 and 322] : "Avitus also assures Aetius - :who once fought the Bagaudes with the help of the Huns ! - of the assistance of Bagaude troops, against the commitment of honour that they would not be in any way worried when, the war over, they would return to their entrenchments. For such decisions to be taken, the fear of the 'Scourge of God' had to be felt everywhere, and the state of emergency had to be obvious. Certainly not all the bagaudes sent a contingent to the Roman patrician. Some abstained, but it does not appear that they ever attempted to disrupt the passage of the armies of Aetius and his allies. But thanks mainly to the manifold action of Avitus and the Clergy over whom he was influential, the Bagaudes' stand against the invader, in country after country, place after place, intensified. [...] Bagaudian support was more important to Aetius than that of the non-Bagaudian peasantry." The Visigoth king Theodoric I was killed at this very deadly battle, which marked the end of the Hun advance into Gaul. The Alans, allies of Aetius, then settled around Orleans, were decimated.


    Genevieve, Aignan and Loup stand up against the Huns. Paris, thanks to a young aristocrat Genevieve Severus (see this page), resists Attila's onslaught. Aignan, bishop of Orleans, organises the defence of his city  after a long siege, the city falls, but Aetius' troops arrive before it is sacked. The city of Troyes, thanks to its bishop Lupus, first cousin of the emperor Avitus, is spared. All three acted in the name of their Christian faith and would later be canonised. From left to right: the Parisians are frightened by Attila's approach, Genevieve convinces them to resist [anonymous circa 1890] ; Aignan on the rampart of Orleans [Italian school of Giuseppe Cesari (1568-1640)]  Bishop Loup stops Attila in front of Troyes [drawing by Henri Grobet, 1902].

    The Hun empire, in orange, was then very extensive. Wikipedia maps]

    A decisive battle for Gaul, not for the Roman Empire
    In 451, the battle of the Catalaunic Fields pitted not just the Huns against the Romans but two coalitions. On the side of Attila and his Huns, some : Ostrogoths, Rugians, Skirians, Gepids, Alans, Suebians, Sarmatians, Thuringians, Gelonians. On the side of Aetius and his meagre close guard of Romans, Visigoths with Theodoric I and his sons, Franks, Burgundians, Saxons, Gauls, Sarmatians, Alans of the Orleanese with their king Sangiban. Earlier, the Huns had plundered large cities, Strasbourg, Worms, Mainz, Cologne, Trier, Tournai, Cambrai, Metz, Reims, Amiens, Beauvais.

    Attila's defeat at the Catalaunic Fields was an orderly escape (guided by Bishop Wolf...) as he kept his spoils and devastated northern Italy the following year. In this, it was also a defeat for Aetius. The winners were the Visigoths, Franks and Burgundians, who consolidated their hold on their territories in Gaul.


    In 452, Attila stronger than ever. In the spring of 452, after the Battle of the Catalaunic Fields, Attila ravaged northern Italy. The 28-year-old Western emperor Valentinian III, suspicious of Aetius, sends a delegation headed by the pope Leon I to meet him. With his army suffering from both an epidemic and attacks on the eastern front, Attila agrees to a treaty, before dying suddenly in early 453. "Attila and his hordes invading Italy" after Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863).


    Valentinian III in the album "Leon the Great", featuring the role of the pope, script France Richemond, drawing Stefano Carloni (Glénat / Cerf 2019). + two pages 1 2 and here the cover.

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam concludes by noting that the bagaudes did not survive the terrible Attila and this is a fine ending : "Bagaudes, finding in the aftermath of this sort of national victory to be won over the Hun a new atmosphere, will loosen their protections, while remaining cautious, and re-establish their relations with the surroundings. The autarky of the bagaudes will be reduced, with the advantage, in the poor regions, that trade will replace raids. And all trade will benefit from this, as communications will become easier, without any local police disappearing. Another effect will also be a rapprochement between the Gallo-Roman population and the lètes, these barbarian peasant-soldiers, settled but still mobilizable." Bagaudes will still survive for some time, until the arrival of the Franks ...

    As for General Aetius, he did not survive long against his youthful friend Attila. Despite the triumph of his return to Rome, he fell victim to the jealousies and fears of the imperial family. He was stabbed to death by Emperor Valentinian III on 21 September 454.


    Aetius and Valentinian III as seen by Harold Foster. In 1940, after having his imaginary hero, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table, fight at length against the Huns (notably here), the American author imagines the meeting of Prince Valiant with the very real General Aetius in Rome, just before the latter's assassination. Note the Manichean treatment of the two characters and the realism of the central image, probably made from a photograph. + here the plate of October 6, 1940 where Foster reinvents the assassination of Aetius, killed by the emperor's henchmen who divert suspicions onto Valiant and his friends.



  35. 406-455 Vandals devastate Gaul, settle in Carthage, plunder Rome...


    [17] Above, Lécureux on the script, Poïvet on the drawing, two boxes showing the ravages of the barbarian raids and the Roman attempts to try to control them... + four pages extracted on the invasion of the Vandals, Suevi, Alans (crossing of the Rhine : end of 406) : 1 2 3 4

    We have seen, above, how much, from the year 260 onwards, barbarian raids, the distant aftermath of a Chnoian pressure on the steppe kingdoms, threatened the "limits" of protection of the Roman Empire. Beggars can't be choosers, this pressure was contained... until it cracked in the early 5th century. As this Wikipedia map shows, Europe was then devastated by highly mobile and battle-hardened troops, who, apart from the Huns stopped at the Catalaunic Fields, could only calm down after they had managed to set up a kingdom on territory once attached to the Roman Empire, which was thus gradually breaking down...

    In blue the route of the Vandals, in purple that of the Visigoths, in green that of the Huns, the three longest routes.


    Like the Huns and Visigoths, more so, the Vandals crossed thousands and thousands of miles, plundering as they went. On 31 December 406, Vandals, Alans, Suevi and also Burgundians, Gepids, Heruli, Quads, Franks, Alamanni began to cross the frozen Rhine.

    They crushed the Frankish settlers led by the Duke of Mainz. Worms, Mainz, Strasbourg, Tournai, Arras, Thérouanne, Boulogne, Amiens, Reims were sacked. Then they dispersed to Rheims, some remaining in northern Gaul, the others leaving for Spain, taking two routes, one through Touraine (the Loire was crossed in 408) and the Gironde, the other through Lyon and Toulouse.


    December 31, 406, backlash against the Hun push, no less than four hundred thousand people including one hundred thousand warriors will cross the Rhine (page "Les Francs avant Clovis" from the miltiade site) [illustration by René le Honzec in "Histoire de la Bretagne", 1991]
    Map from the page on the Vandals on the miltiade site showing the routes of the Vandals and their allies through Gaul.


    May 429, Pillars of Hercules / Strait of Gibraltar, the Vandals arrive in Africa. Drawing by Pierre Joubert [21]

    Genseric (389-477), king of the Vandal kingdom (capital Carthage)

    The Vandals, accompanied by some of the Alans crossed Spain from north to south in 409-429 and then moved into Africa. They settled on the coasts of Algeria / Mauretania and Tunisia / Numidia. Carthage became their capital. The Vandal kingdom of Africa would last almost a hundred years, from 439 to 533. Between Kabilia and Tunisia (Berber mountain country, with the Roman ruins of Timgad), the people are very white-skinned, and you can even find blond people, and women sometimes blonder than German women (according to this page). It was from this rear base that the Vandals sacked Rome in 455...


    Genserick and his Vandals as seen by Harold Foster : from the 27/1/1946 plate of "Prince Valiant"
    + here the plate showing the lynching of the emperor Petronius Maximus on 31 May 455 and the third sack of Rome begun two days later.
    In the year 455 the third sack of Rome by the Vandals of Genseric [Wikipedia - Karl Briullov, 1835 approx]
    Despite Pope Leo I's calls for restraint and even though there were no major fires, this sack appears more devastating than the previous one, according to the Wikipedia page  "The sack of 455 is generally considered by historians to be more severe than the sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410, for the Vandals spent fourteen days sacking Rome where the Visigoths had not stayed for more than three days."
    Later, in 550, after a long siege, there was a fourth sack of Rome by Totila and his Ostrogoths. These settled in Italy and so did not cross Gaul. The 5th, 6th and 7th sacks if Rome date from 846 by the Saracens, 1084 by Robert Guiscard's Normans and 1527 by the troops of Charles V.


    Humor among the Vandals. Astrid is the daughter of the leader of the Vandals. Family life and predatory life come together, as in Hägar the Horrible among the Vikings later, well earlier... Astrid, with a short life (one album), was born in 2004 at Soleil Edition, scripted by Sylvain Runberg, drawn by Karim Friha. The long-lived Hägar the Horrible was created in 1973 by American Dick Browne. + Astrid's panel containing these three boxes + a selection of five Hägar the Horrible gags where the Vikings can be replaced by the Vandals, the latter having, incidentally, common ancestors with the former (cf. beginning of the blue route on the map at the beginning of the chapter).



  36. 455-500 Other kingdoms of our Barbarian ancestors (Alans, Saxons, Alamanni, Ostrogoths)

    As the Visigoths, Burgundians, Huns and Vandals have already been dealt with, and the Franks later, this chapter presents the Gallic territories occupied or devastated by the other barbarian peoples. Without going into detail about small kingdoms, such as that of the Alans of Orlean, the two maps below show how rapidly the borders of the barbarian kingdoms changed around the year 500 (except for the Suebi stabilised in Portugal).


    The Alans settled in Orleanais-Touraine and near Valencia.

    Having penetrated Gaul with the Vandals, the Alans were to divide : some would also go as far as Africa, others would stop in Gaul. Jean Dartois on the page "Alains in Gaul" of the site lheritage : "However, and this is where the Alans enter fully into the history of the settlement of Gaul, some of the Alain tribes agreed to submit to the authority of Rome and were settled by Aetius around the Loire and Orleans. The number of these coalition troops is estimated at 15,000. A hundred or so localities in the Orléans region still retain the memory of the Alpine epic: Allaines, Alainville, Allaincourt... Another part, under the authority of King Sambida, settled along the Rhône, near Valence. The Alans were employed as mercenaries by the Romans. From 445 to 448, under the authority of Eochar [or Goar], they suppressed a revolt in Armorica."

    The Alains in Touraine ["History of Touraine, from the Origins to the Renaissance", text Georges Couillard, drawing Joël Tanter, 1986] + the board containing these boxes. Rider Alain [page "The Alains in Gaul"]

    The installation of these Alain troops was brutal and poorly accepted, as described by Luce Pietri [23, page 99], expanding the areas of settlement : "The main settlements were in Orleans itself, where King Goar fixed his residence, and in the northern part of the Orleanais ; but others spread northwards to the Bay of the Seine and southwards along the left bank of the Loire, so as to cut the tractus armoricanus in two. In these regions, the Roman landowners had to cede to their "hosts", in exchange for the protection they offered, part of their property, probably a third, if not more. The installation of the alan federates, whose rapacitas was proverbial, met with fairly strong opposition. The great landowners, injured in their interests, found themselves in the rebel camp. ; in 441, to the testimony of the Chronica Galica : "the Alans, to whom lands in later Gaul had been conceded by the patrician Aetius to be shared with the inhabitants, subdued their resistance by arms, expelled the landlords, and seized their lands by force.""

    Jean Dartois: "In 451 the Alans forced Attila’s Huns to lay siege to Orleans. In the same year, their heavy cavalry was at the centre of the Roman military system at the Catalaunian Fields, where it performed prodigiously." This battle was in fact catastrophic for the Alans, commanded by their king Sangiban. They were almost decimated there. A few years later, the remaining troops were incorporated into the Visigothic army. One may also consult the page "Alains" on the site mephisto-1061.

    Aetius and Sagiban, chief of the Alans, come to an agreement before the battle of the Catalaunic Fields : the Alans of Orlean will not support Attila.
    ["The Song of the Elves", volume 2, 2009 by Falba and Ratera + the panel of this agreement.

    The Saxons in Normandy, in the Boulonnais, at the mouth of the Loire...

    While island Brittany was the main victim of their raids in the 5th century, the Saxons also attacked the coasts of continental Gaul : plundering and permanent installations. In Picardy, the site of Vron has thus been occupied since about 370. In Normandy, Bayeux is a stronghold (the region is called "Otlinga saxonia") and Saxon necropolises have been found in nine places, including Lisieux. The presence is permanent from the 5th to the 7th century. Other Saxon poles are found at Ponthieu, Boulogne, in the Eure (at Muids) and even in the Charentes (at Herpes).


    [illustrations of undetermined origin, from the page "The Saxons in Normandy"]

    Luce Pietri [23 page 121]:"Saxon pirates, of those who had been scouring the western seas since the end of the third century, settled in small groups in the Bessin, around Boulogne and at several points on the Atlantic shore, notably near the mouth of the Loire, in the islands of the estuary. From these new bases of operations, they increased their plundering incursions on the coasts and made attempts to penetrate the interior. [...]In 463, Saxon pirates commanded by a leader named Adovacrius (Odoacer), seized Angers, only about 100 kilometres from Tours. In the years that followed, they seemed content to hold the city to ransom, having secured a few hostages. But in 469 again, Odoacer occupied the Angevin city, from which he was dislodged by the combined action of a Roman military leader, the Count Paul, and the Frankish king Childeric. The latter, after the death of Paul, who was killed in the engagement, exploited the success thus gained  he crushed the Saxons in pitched battle and pursued them in their flight to their coastal settlements, which were wiped out. On this side the immediate peril was removed." Note that the Wikipedia page of Count Paul confuses the Saxon Odoacer with the Odoacer who became king of Italy after deposing the last Western Roman emperor Romulus Augustulus.

    The Alamanni from Metz to Strasbourg

    Already in 273, the Alamanni had carried out murderous raids in Gaul, here at Augusta Raurica, a town near Basel in Switzerland. From Volume 1 of "Prisca and Silvanus", comic book scripted by Dorothée Simko, drawn by Roloff, 1995. + on volume 2 from 1997, a page on the profession of bronzier and a page presenting Augusta Raurica as a relic city.

    Twenty years after their first incursions, the Alamans (Alemanni) invaded Gaul and surprised the emperor Constantius Chlorus near Langres. They were routed in 301. In 352, they returned, repulsed by Julian in 357. Then in 365. In 374, some of them are allowed by a foedus to settle west of the Rhine. In 407, unfederated Alamanni rushed into the breach opened by the Vandals. They settled in Alsace and the Palatinate, before being repelled by Aetius.

    In 453-455, they were on Attila's side. Around 480, they occupied the north-east of Gaul, near the Rhine. They were repelled by the Franks in 496. For further information, see Karolvs' page, that on the cosmovisions site or that on Grimbeorn.

    Alamans defeated by Clovis' Franks at the battle of Tolbiac circa 496. Ribera drawing[17] + the battle  plates: 1 2

    The Ostrogoths in Provence, the Lombards in Nice...


    In 451, the Ostrogoths had fought with Attila's Huns. They were thus pitted against the Visigoths, Eastern Goths against Western Goths. ["The Song of the Elves", volume 2, 2009 by Falba and Ratera] + the plank

    In 508, the Ostrogoths of Theodoric the Great conquered Provence, which remained Ostrogothic until 536, when it was retaken by the Franks. These Goths from the east generally got on well with the Visigoths, Goths from the west, but less so with the Franks, who had just defeated the Visigoths... [map adapted from the page on jean.gallian]

    The Lombards also plundered, as shown on this page on Nice  "During the sad period of the invasion of the barbarians, who made the Alpes-Maritimes their main route to Italy, Nice, which had become in turn the prey of the Goths, the Vandals, the Visigoths, the Burgundians and the ferocious Lombards, was soon no more than a miserable burgess." In 575, the neighbouring town of Cemenelum / Cimiez was besieged by the Lombards and only ruins remained.

    Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, king of Italy in 496 (capital Ravenna), whose father Thiudimir was an ally of Attila

    A new barbarian order is established in the young kingdoms. Here a village court proceeds to judge a murder [21, drawing by Pierre Joubert]


    The genealogical intermingling desired by the Ostrogoth Theodoric the Great. Bruno Dumézil [22 page 80] :"In the mid-480s, the king of Italy, the Ostrogoth Theodoric the Great, is trying to impose peace in Europe. It is a project as magnificent as it is anachronistic  a barbarian king, heir to Roman power, attempts to establish, in place of the pax romana, the pax ostrothica. He ordered all barbarian kings to make both political and diplomatic alliances. Leading by example, he began by marrying Clovis' sister, then gave one of his daughters to be married to the king of the Visigoths, and another to the king of the Burgundians. All the European families are now united by blood and peace can be established - or so they think. It was in this context that the young Frankish king Clovis married the Burgundian princess Clotilde."


    For his close descendants, with three wives, here are the marriages between princes / kings and princesses of the barbarian kingdoms.
    Genealogists thank this king for bringing about so many mixed marriages !



    Downstreams to the Vandal Genseric, the Ostrogoth Theodoric the Great, the Lombard Wachon


    Ascendants to the Sueve Hermic, the Alaman Chlodomer, the Alain Ashkatar

    Towns revert to their Gallic names During this period known as the Lower Empire, towns often changed their names, reverting to a less Roman, more Gallic appellation. Thus the capital of the Tricasses, Augustabona, became Tricassum before being Troyes and the capital of the Turons, Caesarodunum, became Turonum before being Tours. Similarly, Lutetia, capital of the Parisii, would become Parisius and then Paris

    Opposite (click on the thumbnail to enlarge), a map of administrative Gaul in the 5th century, before the dismantling of the Gallo-Roman state. It shows the land communication routes, the new names of the cities, the names and boundaries of the provinces ["Histoire de France - La France avant la France" by Geneviève Bührer-Thierry and Charles Mériaux - Belin 2010]



  37. The Gauls had one of their own, Avitus, elected as Roman emperor

    Avitus, the Auvergnat who became Roman emperor. We have already seen Avitus in 451 when, as a high dignitary, having already held the office of prefect of the Praetorium of the Gauls in 439, he preciously helped the Roman general Aetius in his fight against Attila so that he could benefit from the support of the Bagaudes. He was 56 years old at the time. He had also been instrumental in concluding the peace with the Visigoths of Theodoric I. The emperor Petronius Maximus, who ruled for two months and 14 days in 455 had appointed him Master of the Militia. His full name was Eparchius Avitus Augustus, and he was an Arvernian nobleman, having been educated in Rome where he had acquired culture, eloquence, diplomatic and military skills. After a command in the Rhine defences, he had retired to his Auvergne lands, before his former comrade in arms, Aetius, who had become a general, called upon his skills. His daughter Papianilla married the writer Sidonius Apollinaire. Comes 455 the sack of Rome by Genseric's Vandals, the emperor Petronius Maximus is lynched by the crowd.

      Eparchius Avitus (395-456) on the left on a coin.

    Avitus and Aetius. In volume 2 of the series "The Song of the Elves" (Sun editions 2009, by Falba and Ratera), Aetius gets help from Avitus, here with a moustache. + the panel of their meeting + that of the beginning of the battle (volume 3).

    In this now advanced decaying Roman world, the Gallic notables then took the initiative of convening a great assembly at Beaucaire, between Arles and Nîmes, inviting as many Roman senators as possible. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 326] :"The assembly took place in July 455  the Gallo-Roman dominance was considerable  Sidonius Apollinaris reported the words of its representatives  "We have considered it a sacred duty to associate ourselves with the misfortunes of an aged power  we have borne the shadow of the Empire  the opportunity is offered to ,Gaul to show what she is worth. " In such conditions, the Gaul Avitus is invested Roman emperor of the West. He is, it seems, 60 years old (80 years for Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 326], 70 years for others, 60 years if he is the same age as Aetius). Out of duty, he accepts.

    But the Roman army takes over... Bouvier-Ajam [01, page 327] : "He is Gallic, popular in Gaul  he is the friend of the Barbarians, and proved it by associating the Visigoths with the anti-Hunanic campaign of Aetius  he is respected by the prefects, the bishops, the cities, the Bagauan regions, as well as by the other regions  he is the elected Emperor of the notables. In truth, does he not have everything to succeed? [...] Alas ! By far the most powerful general in the Empire is the Suebian Ricimer who returns, glorious, practically able to afford anything, from defeating the Vandals. And he finds that an assembly of notables has given Rome an Emperor without even asking his opinion ! He coldly summons Avitus and informs him that he demands his abdication and that he "appoints" him bishop somewhere in Italy. Avitus abdicates, after fourteen months of reign, in April 456. Ricimer imposed in his place the Roman general Marjorian. [...]But Marjorian took himself to be a real emperor and, unable to disabuse him of this, Ricimer slaughtered him after three years of rule. Avitus did not join the bishopric assigned to him and retired - finally - to his estate in Auvergne, where he died a few months later[or on his way home according to another version]. With him - and then with Marjorien - the proof was in the pudding that Rome would not reinvigorate itself.."

    The Barbarians attack the Roman Galactic Empire !

    "The Scourge of the Gods" is a science fiction series mixing Gods, Romans and Barbarians. Attila is in the forefront, but so is Avitus. Script by Valérie Mangin, drawing by Aleksa Gajic, series in six albums, publisher Quadrants 2001-2009. Here boxes from the last volume. + (also from this volume) a board, a page of the chronology in the afterword and the verso of the cover.

    Aegidius hyphen between Avitus and Syagrius Aegidius / Aegidius was born into a patrician family in Lyons. He forged his first weapons under the command of Aetius, who entrusted him with the Roman troops of the Loire. There he met Marjorian, who, once he became emperor, charged him in 457 with restoring order in a Gaul agitated by the failure of Avitus. Like Avitus before him, he became master of the militia. When Marjorian was assassinated, Aegidius became independent and created the domain of Soissons, which was then governed by his son Syagrius.

    Eparchius Avitus (whose son-in-law was the bishop and writer Sidonius Apollinaris (430-489)) and Aegidius are not recognised as ascendants of Charlemagne but, by way of Bernard of Septimania and Girard of Paris, they are ascendants of very many genealogists. Avitus is also an ascendant uncle of Gregory of Tours (link).


    Sidonius Apollinaris in
    "History of Lyon" text A. Pelletier, F. Bayard, drawing Jean Prost, 1979 + the panel



  38. 461-486 From Aegidius to Syagrius, the Gallic state of Soissons

    Yes, a Gallic state ! The title of this chapter may come as a surprise. Yet it stands out against the usual titles of "Kingdom of Syagrus", "Kingdom of Soissons", "Gallo-Roman State of Soissons" and other naming in the same vein. In its page titled "Kingdom of Soissons", Wikipedia begins its introduction : "The Kingdom of Soissons, also known as the domain of Syagrius was a state of the Western Roman Empire in northern Gaul. This autonomous Roman territory existed in Roman Gaul in the 5th century AD, a territory ruled in particular by Syagrius until the Frankish conquest by Clovis."Kingdom, no, it would need a king, neither Aegidius nor Syagrius was officially one, although the latter was sometimes nicknamed "King of the Romans". Domain or state yes, even principate. Further : "From the point of view of Roman historiography, this territory could be identified during its existence on the geographical map as the last Roman land of late western antiquity". Last Roman land, no way! There should at least be Romans living in this country, of which there are practically none. Avitus, its precursor was Arverne, Aegidius its creator was from Lyon. This territory is inhabited by Gauls, it is Gallic.

    Certainly they are no longer the Gauls of Vercingetorix, five centuries have passed, Gaul has been largely Romanised. And also largely Christianised, bagaudised, barbarised, it is another Gaul, a neo-Gaul, but a Gaul nonetheless... The Burgundians having taken Lyon, the Visigoths holding Aquitaine, the Alamans the East, the Franks the North, the Bretons Armorica, what remained of Gaul subject to the Roman Empire was reduced in 461 to the state of Soissons, which, separated from Rome and opposed to its leaders, became independent. Its geographical boundaries were changing, with the area shrinking over the years. The Salian Franks of Meroveius then Chlderic then Clovis had as their capital Tournai, now in Belgium.


    Left under the governance of Aegidius 461-464, right under the governance of Syagrius 464-486
    [corrected name maps for the domain of Soissons].

    Aegidius patrice des Gaules Maurice Bouvier-Ajam, once again, appears the most accurate on this period [01 page 330] : "Aetius, on his return to Italy, after the Catalaunic Fields, had had Count Aegidius, who had been one of his most important lieutenants, appointed "patrice des Gaules". A soldier of value and considered a good administrator, he was asked more specifically to ensure full protection and full "Roman order" from Brittany to Toul, from the valley of the Loire to that of the Somme  there must be there what Aetius calls a quadrilateral of absolute safety. Alas ! It is against the Visigoths and Saxons that the patrician must direct his efforts, appealing to the assistance of the Frankish king Childeric I [the father of Clovis I], who does not spare him his support but takes advantage of it to accentuate the Frankish advance. And here is Childeric "first ally of Rome" who makes a triumphal tour of western Gaul and returns to Tournai which he has made his capital."

    Page Wikipedia on Aegidius / Egidius : "Having to protect and administer what remains of Roman Gaul by force of circumstance, Aegidius pursued the struggle on his own account against the Visigoths, whom he defeated near Orleans in 463 succeeding in retaking Tours from them. He then undertook the siege of the fortress of Chinon, as Gregory of Tours relates, by diverting the spring that supplied it with water. But the inhabitants are saved by the arrival of a providential rain which forces Aegidius to lift the siege of the place"
    ["History of Touraine", Georges Couillard and Joël Tanter, 1986]

    Aegidius detaches himself from the Roman Empire "The good understanding between the Roman patrician and the Frankish king is lasting : it even irritates Ricimer, because it accentuates the detachment of Roman Gaul from Rome. The "first ally of Rome" is in fact only the first ally of Aegidius. The said Aegidius begins to think of himself as a small Gallic - let us say Gallo-Roman - emperor with a limited domain."

    Bouvier-Ajam continued : "Always on guard against all the Barbarians except the Franks - who are becoming more numerous and are stepping up their westward progression without difficulty - Aegidius makes enemies by his claim to absolute authority, by his incessant mutations of civil and military officers. He awakens the anxiety of the bagaudes by his vain attempts to obtain from some of them the payment of imperial taxes  he succeeds, by his caprices, in indisposing bishops."

    The death of Aegidius and the accession of his son Syagrius "Confused plots are hatched on all sides. Aegidius ends up either strangled or poisoned. All suppositions have been made about the authors of the assassination : henchmen of Ricimer, exasperated officers, accomplices of the bagaudes, spurned solicitors. Still, he was killed in 464 and Libius Severus [Libius Severus], then emperor of the West imagined by Ricimer, saw no problem with his son Afranius Syagrius succeeded him in his capacity as Roman patrician." Among the plots was that of Arvandus, prefect of the Praetorium of the Gauls, in 468, who was condemned to death and then eventually exiled.

    Wikipedia, in its french page Aegidius has a slightly different version : "Aegidius sent an embassy to Genseric during May 464, with the aim of forming an alliance with the Vandals against Ricimer or the Visigoths. This alliance did not come to fruition as the master of the militia died at the end of 464, on Ricimer's orders, either poisoned or killed in an ambush, leaving the command to his son Syagrius, perhaps with the support of count Paul on the Loire. Syagrius remained sole master of this enclave until his defeat by Clovis around 486 at Soissons."


    The ancient theatre of Soissons, reconstruction.
    Soissons was chosen as the capital for its proximity to Tournai, the capital of the Salian Franks, when they were allied with the Gauls...

    476, the 15-year-old emperor Romulus Augustulus bows to the barbarian leader Odoacer, this is the end of the Western Roman Empire. Charlotte Mary Yonge 1880]

    End of the Western Roman Empire. It was in 476, during the governance of Syagrius, that the empire ruled by Rome, in fact Ravenna  came to an end: after the death of Ricimer in 472, Odoacer, a barbarian of the Skirians / Scyres, once allied with the Huns, raised at the court of Attila, conscripted into the Roman army, and becoming the leader of a military rebellion, overthrew the young and last Western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, and became patrician of Italy, a country he was to rule until 493 when the Ostrogoth Theodoric the Great overthrew him. This did not change much for the Gauls and Syagrius, who did not care much about Rome other than sentimental nostalgia, for some. The Roman administrative apparatus remained in place, the state of Soissons did not change its habits...

    Bouvier-Ajam : "When the Western Roman Empire collapses, Syagrius declares that he depends on the only "surviving Roman emperor", i.e. the Eastern Roman Emperor, who is then Zeno. No doubt he manages to send emissaries to him and get his agreement, without managing to really interest him in his cause. In any case, his behaviour allowed him to rightly retain his appellation of "patrician", even though his Gallo-Roman officers preferred to call him "duke" and, according to Procopius, many of his contemporaries considered him a "king of the Romans" approved as such by the Eastern Emperor and the Gallo-Roman authorities."

    A state plagued by bagaudes [01 page 332] "Syagrius maintained his authority between Seine, Oise and Loire until 485. Without great difficulty, but with difficulties all the same  whether he tries threats or tries gentleness, he is completely unable to convince the Bagaud lands, which hold such a place in his principate. He is a king or quasi-king whom a whole part of his political domain refuses to recognise or even know."

    Clovis declares war... and wins it !"Until the death of Childeric in 481, all is well. From that death, and Clovis succeeding his father Childeric, Frankish pressure increases, which must be tolerated, but the "Roman Gaul" continues to exist, thus clearly outlasting the Western Empire. Alas ! With the Visigoths and Burgundians expanding their holdings in Gaul, Clovis wondered why he should not do the same. And, in 486, with the utmost diplomatic correctness, Clovis declares war on Syagrius : the end of "Roman Gaul" is only a matter of days."


    Clovis prepares to fight Siagrus / Syagrius [The History of France in Comics #2 (episode 4), Christian Godard, Julio Ribera] the three pages of the attack, the battle of Soissons and the capture of Syagrius : 1 2 3, before Clovis says out loud "Let's keep him !" and down low "Let's cut his throat !"

    Syagrius appeals to the Bretons, to no avail, and attempts a general mobilisation. Neither the city guards, nor the free peasants, nor the bagaudes volunteer. They don't feel concerned. After all, things were going well with the Visigoths and Burgundians... The battle of Soissons takes place in July 486, Clovis is victorious, he annexes the state of Soissons. Later, he took Paris as his capital.



  39. 486-511 End of Gaul, regeneration of the Bagaudes in Clovis and his victorious Franks

    Luce Pietri [23 page 123]: "Already in 448, Aetius, assisted by the young Marjorian, had had to intervene against the king of Tournai, Clodion [certainly Clovis's great-grandfather]who had just invaded Artois. The victory that the master of the militia won at the "Vicus helena" will undoubtedly liberate the Atrebate country, forcing the Franks to retreat further north. But a few years later, Clodion captured Cambrai and established his dominion as far as the Somme.. The emperors, Avitus or Marjorian, resigned themselves to recognising the fait accompli". This agreement was beneficial to Gaul for a long time, until the Franks became stronger...


    Merovech, here in the centre, certainly the son of Clodion the Hairy, father of Childeric and paternal grandfather of Clovis, with his Franks settled around Tournai, fought alongside Aetius against Attila at the Catalaunic Fields. Here in volume 3 of the series "The Song of the Elves", drawing by Mike Ratera 2010. His descendants are the Merovingians. + the panel.

    Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 336] "Bagaudes now existed hardly at all except in the Gallo-Roman principality of Syagrius. There is a terrible logic of history here  the last point of attachment of the bagaudes was the last province of Gaul which remained under Roman domination. And - as we have seen - almost all of these bagaudes refused any support to the last representative, albeit theoretical, of imperial domination. In other words, the bagaudes existed only to resist Roman occupation."

    Bruno Dumézil, in his book "Des gaulois aux Carolingiens" [22 page 71] wonders about the origin of the Franks  "When they are attested on the territory that we call the Gauls in the sixth century, they have neither a unique language, nor a unique cult, nor a unique historical consciousness. [...]The Franks are above all the men who obey the king of the Franks. [...]So who are they, these founding Barbarians ? Let's say that the Franks of the 5th century are probably the descendants of some ancient Franks (but probably very few in number), Roman deserters and a number of Gallo-Roman peasants resistant to the heavy levies of the late Empire. By forcing the line a little, one could argue that the Franks are simply Gallo-Romans transformed into Barbarians to pay less taxes and to follow the star of a charismatic leader. Would they be bagaudés of the North-East of Gaules? Would Bagaud troops have known a new life by reinforcing and regenerating barbarian troops? Thus transforming tribes into a conquering people ?"

    Bruno Dumézil then lists the four main factors of Frankish attractiveness. 1) "Anyone recognized as a Frank enjoyed an exemption from taxes." 2) A Frank was more valuable than a Gallo-Roman, "many Gallo-Romans probably became Franks to be better protected by the Law." 3) "A man's membership of the same people as his ruler made it easier for him to climb the ladder of honours." 4) "Finally, the kings of the Franks at the end of the 5th century had a very modern idea: to launch a fashion for identity clothing."

    Left, Frankish warriors by Liliane and Fred Funcken [volume 1 of "The Costume and Weapons of All Times",
    Casterman 1986]. Right Frankish, early 6th century [21, drawing by Pierre Joubert].

    Faced with a decaying Roman world and an obsolete Gallic world, the bagaudes flourished. For a long time they occupied two-fifths of Gallic territory, but their disorganisation and fragmentation allowed them no future. Either they disappeared in the face of economic prosperity, which eliminated their raison d'être, or they were reincarnated as a new force. Prosperity did not return, the Frankish force appeared. The concomitance of the end of the Bagaudes and the arrival of the Franks proves the validity of Bruno Dumézil's observations. One can either consider that the Franks relied on the Bagaudes to settle in Gaul or that the Bagaudes relied on the Franks to take power. And this ties in with a conclusion of Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 352] : "one does not conquer a country that gives itself."

    Finally, Clovis succeeded where Attila had failed in trying to draw the Bagaudes to himself. Rather than relying on an Eudox to convince the Bagauid chiefs, he and his predecessors acted in a more subtle way, notably by dealing with a key cause of the revolts  the refusal to pay taxes.

    On the left, Childeric I (436-481), father of Clovis, with the clothes found in his tomb discovered in 1653 in Tournai. Reconstruction by Patrick Périn. Details here.

    Clovis, aged 15, succeeded his father Childeric as king of the Salians Franks . Pierre de Laubier  "Clovis was raised on the pavois, but the emperor Julian, too, had been in 355, because this Germanic (or Celtic) custom had become part of the rites of the empire." (link). Two-page story that appeared in the Belgian newspaper "Tremplin" in the 1980s, reprinted in the Volume 23 of the series "Les meilleurs récits de Duval" (ed. Hibou, 2006). Script by Yves Duval, drawing by Dino Attanasio. The two pages of the story, telling the anecdote of the vase of Soissons : 1, 2 + album's cover.

    In the larger towns, the Franks were welcomed in a more laborious manner. Thus Luce Pietri [23, page 124] writes that "At Tours, Aegidius and his Franks had at first enjoyed a certain popularity" and that a few years later, again with the same Aegidius, "the people of Chinon dreaded the installation of a Frankish garrison within their walls, regarding it as an attempt to occupy". Then there were worse than the Franks, the Goths! The support given by the Emperor of Ravenna to the Visigoths allowed their king Euric, son of Theodoric I, to occupy a vast territory south of the Loire and to seize the city of Tours, probably in 471. The Visigothic Arian occupation, persecuting the Catholic faith, was painful for some 35 years (taken temporarily by the Franks between 494 and 496 and then around 498, with strong support from the bishops Volusien and Verus [23 page 160]) and it was with a strong sense of liberation that the people of Touraine welcomed the victory of Clovis' Franks.

    The first part of Clovis's reign was devoted to uniting all the Frankish peoples behind him, and then he expanded his territorial conquests.

    Three founding events

    1) At the Battle of Soissons, in 486, the Franks commanded by Clovis defeated the Gallic troops of Syagrius, claiming to be part of the Roman Empire that had disappeared a decade earlier. [opposite drawing by Julio Ribera 1976 in L'Histoire de France en BD [17]]

    2) Around 500, Clovis converted to Christianity. His baptism by Bishop Remi, takes place at the Reims Cathedral.

    3) In 507, Clovis I defeated the Visigoths at the battle of Vouillé. He was cheered by the Gauls of Tours ("urbs Turonum", formerly "Caesarodunum") + the panel of the battle ("L'Histoire de France en BD" 1976, Godard & Ribera[17]).

    Below: 9th century ivory plaque, with the intervention of the Holy Spirit as a dove. On the left is Queen Clotilde. [link Wikipedia - Musée d'Amiens] And two boxes where Jules Michelet explains the imprecision on the date of Clovis' baptism ["La balade nationale" by Sylvain Venayre and Etienne Davodeau, 2017], in the first volume of a "Drawn History of France" that begins with the Gauls.



  40. 493-541 Clotilde succeeds where Victorina had failed

    Stéphane Lebecq [16 page 72] : "Had Clovis, who had in passing made the unity of all the Frankish chieftaincies of the North around his person, extended the power of his people to two-thirds of Gaul, from the lower valley of the Rhine, as far as the Pyrenees. It is true that Armorica, on its way to becoming Brittany, remained totally marginal, and that the Basque country continued to resist all forms of intrusion by an outside power. But the king of the Scheldt Franks had become the most powerful figure in a Gaul whose structures were still strongly marked by the influence of Romanity. Moreover, Clovis himself still wanted to be a soldier of Rome, and was surely very flattered when, at the end of his Aquitanian campaign in 507, an ambassador of the Eastern Emperor, Anastasius, came to present him with the official insignia of the Consulate."


    Clotilde at Clovis' side. On the left Clovis, in 508, Gregory of Tours  "Or, then, Clovis received from the emperor Anastasius the codicils of the consulship, and then he went to the basilica of the blessed St. Martin, and clothed with the purple tunic and the chlamys, he placed the diadem on his head. Then, mounted on a horse, he distributed the gold and silver widely... with his own hand over the assembled crowds." "Histoire de la Touraine, des origines à la Renaissance", script by Georges Couillard, drawing by Joël Tanter, 1986. + the three pages of the chapter "Clovis - Visigoths and Franks" : 1 2 3 + two pages on the coronation of Clovis at Tours in "L'Histoire de France en BD" 1976, Godard & Ribera [17] : 1 2. Right, in 508, Clovis and Clotilde move into the palace of the emperor Julian in Paris, the new capital.

    Thus Clovis I was the last Caesar of the Gauls. He could have been proclaimed emperor of the Gauls if he or his troops had wanted him to, but the page was turned, Gaul was dead. There was no longer a Gaul claiming to be emperor of Bagua, no longer a Roman or Gallic general claiming to be emperor of the Gauls, only an honorary title with no popular impact. The Gauls and Gaul were only spoken of in the past tense.

    Stéphane Lebecq continues : "But Rome was ruined, and Constantinople, to which - sign of the times - the original name of Byzantium was increasingly given, was so far away ! When Clovis died in 511 - 2011 is therefore the 1500th anniversary of his death - , the reality was now that of a de facto independent regnum francorum, whose kings were Christians, and to which adhered more and more willingly, not only the populations of barbarian descent, but also the whole of the populations of Gallo-Roman origin, which were clearly in the majority, and which, a few generations later, would feel as much Frankish as the Franks of birth."

    Opposite, the death of Clovis in 511, aged 45 [Epinal print, 19th century] + the panel in full (with the "Remember the Vase of Soissons").

    Clotilde the queen mother respected by her son kings. Above illustration from 1889 + the board.

    Queen Clotilde, daughter of the Burgundian king Chilperic, Clovis's second wife at the age of 19, in 493 at Soissons, had a decisive role. She patiently led her husband to embrace Christianity and, once widowed and retired to Tours, near the tomb of Saint Martin, as queen mother, she intervened with authority and diplomacy in the conflicts between her sons. She died in Tours on 3 June 545 at the age of 70, 34 years after Clovis. She was sanctified by the Church.

    Clotilde more important than Clovis! Although a future saint and adulated as such, Clotilde, a great inspiration to her royal husband, was not a softy, as told by Olivier Cabanel, on this page of Agoravox  "At the death of Clovis, Clotilde withdrew to Tours, and in order to better establish the Frankish domain, sent her sons to fight Gondebaud, the Burgundian king of Vienne... she had not forgotten the crimes he had committed in killing Chilperic, her father. The spirit of vengeance that animated Clotilde continued indeed after the death of her husband, and was even exercised after the death of Gondebaud, in 516, against the latter's sons, Sigismund and Gondemar [or Godomar III]. And it was actually at Vézeronce, a small village in the Nord-Isère region, that the battle took place, between Franks and Burgundians, on a certain June 25, 524, a battle finally won by Clotilde's sons, including Clodomir, even if he died there, thus allowing, 10 years later, the reality of the kingdom of France..." "Opinions are divided on the outcome of the battle, some even giving victory to the Burgundian camp, but still, as the battles that followed went on, it was the Frankish camp that prevailed."


    Left, "Clotilde first queen of the Franks", scenario Monique Amiel, drawing Alain d'Orange, published in Djin n°38 to 45 (1980), reissued as an album by the éd. du Triomphe (2014) + nine plates on Clotilde's youth up to Clovis's baptism : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 On the right, Wikipedia map. In blue, purple, pink, red the Frankish kingdoms of Clovis' four sons, in 511. In green the Burgundian kingdom, before it was conquered and divided in 534.

    In 511, Clotilde divided the Frankish kingdom between the four sons of Clovis [Wikipedia - Grandes Chroniques de St Denis - Bibliothèque de Toulouse] On the long and tumultuous life of Clotilde, one can also read this page from the site france-pittoresque.
    The Burgundian kingdom, also known as Burgundy, had had a surge when at the Battle of Vezeronce, on 25 June 524, Godomar, nephew of Clotilde and successor to Gondebaud. succeeded in defeating the Franks, while King Clodomir, one of Clotilde's sons, was killed in battle, his head impaled at the end of a spear. Burgundy gained ten years of survival until the decisive campaign of 534. Wikipedia (Godomar page) :"Clodomir's brothers, Childebert I and Clothar I, deprived of the support of Thierry I, Clodomir's half-brother and the eldest son of Clovis, related to Sigismund whose daughter he had married, decide to march together against the Burgundian kingdom."

    "After a year's siege, the two brothers eventually captured Autun in 532 from where Godomar managed to escape. After the death of Thierry in 533, who was succeeded by his son Theudebert, the Franks embarked on a final campaign that put an end to the Burgundian kingdom", which was divided between the Merovingian rulers in 534. Three years later, in 537, the Franks conquered Provence from the Ostrogoths. Clotilde was then 62 years old, what a long way she had come, what territories she had conquered since her marriage !
    On 1 May 524, Clodomir, son of Clotilde, had Sigismund, son of Gondebaud and therefore first cousin of Clotilde, and his wife and sons murdered [Wikipedia - Grandes chroniques de France - Bibliothèque de Valenciennes]

    Olivier Cabanel concludes  "It was indeed in Clotilde, driven by her tenacious revenge, that France took on the outline we know, not so far from the one today, thanks to the victory of her sons over those of Gondebaud." For the geographical contours, it is not obvious, they are still closer to the limits of Gaul than those of France. On the other hand, the sociological and cultural contours of a new country are being formed: the era of the Gauls and Romans is coming to an end, a new direction is being taken. And to this are added two other findings (or opinions ?) :
    • Like his sons later, Clovis was merely the armed arm of Clotilde. More than a Frankish state, the Burgundian princess turned Frankish queen was able to impose a Nicene Christian state, first on Syagrius and the Visigoths with her husband, then on the Burgundians with her sons. The bishops triumphed as much, if not more, than the Frankish aristocracy.
    • Clotilde succeeded where Victorina had failed. She used a far more formidable weapon than a centuries-old nationalist sentiment  a new religion. Whereas the Gallic ruler had only modest ambitions of association with the Roman Empire, the Frankish queen squarely closed an old world to open a new one.

    Left Victorina in the park of the Château de Fontainebleau, statue already shown, right Clotilde in the garden of the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris, 1847 statue by Jean Baptiste Jules Klagmann (1810-1867) [Wikipedia].

    So, if Clovis is "an overrated king of the Franks", as Jean Boutier wrote in a article in Libération in 2011, Clotilde is a queen worth re-evaluating. As a supplement, one can read the chapter titled "Queen Clotilde settles in Tours, near the Basilica of Perpet" from the subpage "The 5th century Basilica of Saint Martin in Tours, erected by Bishop Perpet".

     
    Tours, the city of Martin and Clotilde Tours / Caesaridunum, created after Caesar's conquest suffered in the 3rd century from barbarian invasions (ten years entrenched behind its walls). In the 4th century, the city recovered and became the capital of the province "Lyonnaise troisième", comprising Armorique, Maine, Anjou, Touraine. The role played by Martin enabled it to acquire a prestigious episcopal dimension. It became a place of pilgrimage. Luce Pietri [23, page 89] : "In 508, it was in the basilica of Tours that the double triumph of the Frankish cause and the Catholic faith was celebrated, whose alliance appears definitively sealed under the aegis of Martin". When Clotilde settled there, around 511, the city, renamed Turonum, had two poles. On the right (east) the ancient city, "civitas", protected and limited by its ramparts (leaning to the south on the old amphitheatre), retaining its administrative role and housing the bishopric. To the left (west), still on the banks of the Loire, around the imposing basilica housing Martin's body, which had become a place of pilgrimage, the "vicus" was built up, which would become the town of Châteauneuf, constantly growing, as can be seen on these two maps from 400 and 600, and which would have its own ramparts in 918 to protect itself from the Vikings. Hugues Capet will be abbot of Marmoutier. It was in 1360 that a wall united the two towns. A century later, Tours was the royal city of Louis XI. ["Ancient and Medieval Tours", 2007, pages 355 and 365, site]

    However, in the short to medium term, this new Frankish world was handicapped by shifting divisions into sub-kingdoms as royal deaths occurred (here Wikipedia genealogy of the Merovingian kings descended from Clovis I and Clotilde). A century later, it was Dagobert I, king of the Franks from 629 to 638, who would reunite the kingdom again (here a map), but again rather briefly.

    Even so, these subdivisions must be put into perspective, as Bruno Dumézil writes [22 page 85] : "As long as the Frankish state is a proprietary state, as long as it has extensive domanial resources, divisions, reunifications, and partitions do not really harm its power. Let us add that Merovingian partitioning never led to a territorial explosion, as would be the case in the Carolingian world after the partitioning of Verdun in 843.[...]The great ones did not have an Austrasian, Neustrian or Burgundian sense of identity, they considered themselves as Franks or members of the kingdom ; and they will almost never try to push for the independence of Austrasia, Neustria or Burgundy." These three entities have their reasons for being, but they function as a network. A triarchy or tetrarchy in the Frankish style...



  41. 550 Ansbert the senator, the bishops and the survival of the Gallic aristocracy

    "The barbarian invasions of the fifth century did not make the Roman structures of the West disappear at once. Indeed, the barbarians represented only 5% of the population of the West. The ban on mixed marriages by the Franks shows the fear of losing their identity. Moreover, their unions with Gallo-Roman women were relatively rare. They are more frequent with other peoples who invade the empire." [Wikipedia, Tonantius Ferreolus page].

    For this, Ansbert the Senator (523-570) can be designated as a symbol of the union of the Gallic and Frankish peoples :

    Ansbert's ascending genealogy according to Christian Settipani + page on his mother's genealogy on Wikipedia, giving links to ambassadors to Byzantium, abbesses of Reims, bishops of Metz...


    From left to right : 1) coin depicting Tonantius Ferreolus (450-517), Ansbert's paternal great-grandfather 2) the chasse reliquary of Saint Firmin (480-553), 4th bishop of Uzès from 538 to 553, Ansbert's paternal great-uncle, 3) bas-relief of Sigebert the lame, Ansbert's maternal great-grandfather 4) a stained-glass window of Saint Dode, abbess of Saint-Pierre-les-Dames in Reims, Ansbert's maternal aunt.
    Saint Firmin's nephew, Saint Ferréol (521-581) (Ansbert's uncle, not son or brother) succeeded him as 5th bishop of Uzès, from 553 to 581. This aristocratic family succession of the title of bishop, from uncle to nephew, was to become common practice for several centuries.

    Sidonius Apollinaris (430-486), an ancestor of Ansbert. Presentation of the book by Jean Anglade published in 1981 : "We would not know much about the 5th century of our history without the "Letters of Sidonius Apollinaris"; but it was his "Panegyrics" and his other Latin poems that earned him his gilded bronze statue in Rome, in the Ulpian library : the official consecration of that time. The equivalent of a Nobel Prize in our time. "
    Extract from his page Wikipedia : "His testimony is multiple : at once literary, social, philosophical and political. A refined and worldly poet, Sidonius Apollinaris remained deeply attached to ancient Roman culture. Indeed, the Christian faith has little influence on his literary production and political commitment." See also here-above.

    The descending genealogy from Ansbert to Charlemagne.

    All of Charlemagne's descendants therefore have significant ancestry among the Franks and Gauls. At least because of Ansbert the senator, knowing that in the fifth generation only 12 of his 32 ascendants are known (with some variations according to the genealogists, genealogy is not an exact science...).

    Also, the ascendancy of Charlemagne shows in the fifth generation the presence of Pepin the Elder (580-640), whose maternal grandparents were Garibald, a German, and Waldrade, a Lombard.

    Other than his ancestry and descent, little is known about Ansbert the Senator, other than that he was a senator (in which senate ? Narbonne ?), is said to have been born around 523, died around 570. His wife Bilichilde or Blitilde was the subject of various hypotheses, now abandoned, on her ancestry. Ansbert is above all one of the rare genealogical crossroads known between, on the ascending side, the old Gallic, Roman and Frankish worlds before Clovis and, on the descending side, the new world of the Frankish kingdoms.

    Gallic and Roman survival through the episcopal aristocracy. The role of the bishops through the troubled times of the 5th and 6th centuries provided a reassuring pole of stability for the population. In her 1980 thesis, Luce Pietri demonstrates this by extending the example of Tours [23, page 137] :"The accession to the see of Tours of these prelates, who belonged by birth and training to the social elite of the time, had a decisive influence on the destinies of the Loire city. The fact is far from unique, as the contemporary history of several other cities in Gaul, such as Clermont, Bourges or Limoges, to mention only a few examples of neighbouring churches, attests. The noble offspring of great families, whom the misfortune of the times encouraged to renounce the vain and fragile prestiges of the world, and to whom their attachment to the Roman cause also forbade them to pursue a political career under barbarian domination, found in the exercise of the episcopal office a way of reconciling their social ambitions, which had been diverted from the century to the Church, with their pious inclinations. And above all, these prelates of high lineage placed at the service of the communities entrusted to them the qualities and virtues traditionally deployed by their ancestors in the service of the State. First of all, the advantages of an intellectual training that prepared them and helped them to assume their task, by sharpening their awareness of the mission entrusted to them: Their social position provided them with the ability to evaluate political situations and to take the decisions required by their sense of public responsibility. Finally, their social position provided them with means of action and influence which were not negligible  a network of highly placed relations, thanks to which they kept themselves informed of the evolution of the situation  important personal financial resources which they could devote to the material and moral edification of their Church."


    Councils: an episcopal democracy? The Gallic bishops met for the first time at Arles in 314. Whether provincial, regional or national, councils continued throughout the troubled era of the barbarian invasions. The non-exhaustive list of them is on this page of Wikipedia. In addition to church business, these meetings dealt in the background with the political problems of the day, brought geographical coherence to episcopal action, and strengthened the network of bishops throughout Gaul. [illustration: the Council of Marseille in 533, Saint Trophime church in Arles, painting on wood, end of 16th century (link)]. Note that the episcopal attributes of the mitre and the scroll did not appear until the 12th and 13th centuries in the West, and that the episcopal staff existed as early as the 5th century.

    This same judgment is found on the page titled "Gregory of Tours (538-594) or the Herodotus Gallic of the sixth century where the Bishop of Tours, successor to Martin, historian of the Franks, is seen as "a fine example of the salutary influence exercised by the bishops in the midst of a sixth century in which, without the episcopate, there would not have been a single element of order, police and administration."


    "History of Touraine, from the origins to the Renaissance", text Georges Couillard, drawing Joel Tanter, 1986 + 4 pages on the bishops of Tours through the barbarian turmoil : 1 2 3 4

    Gregoire de Tours, engraving by François Dequevauviller (1745-1817) coloured after Louis Boulanger (1806-1867).

    In a article in "L'Histoire" No. 358 of 2010, Charles Mériaux believes that "it is the whole Church that acquires an essential place in society and government. [...]These bishops did their utmost to draw out the principles of a Christian government. In the sixth century, a prelate like Gregory of Tours, in his Ten Books of History, is not content to report in a somewhat naive way the political events in which he participated. He offers a real " episcopal guide for the use of the Christian king ". [...]From the fifth century onwards, the bishops also became much more involved in the administration of the cities, which had been carried out in the time of the Roman Empire by the heads of the great families meeting in municipal assemblies. Gradually, the provisioning of the city, the maintenance of civil buildings, teaching and to some extent the exercise of justice passed into the hands of the bishop and his clerics."

    Christianity becomes the compulsory religion. In another article in "L'Histoire", No. 325 of 2007, Bruno Dumézil shows a flip side of this action, forced conversions  "Assuredly, the Christians appealed to compulsion. But this does not mean that the first centuries of the Middle Ages should be considered a period of widespread religious violence. [...] For the sake of men, it was necessary to make their salvation even against their will. Even if it meant using great means. [...] Rather than use this violence which they detested - and of which they could only rarely make use - the bishops based their action on their new prerogatives. With the disappearance of the Roman Empire and the disappearance of civil servants, they had become the masters of their cities. To their religious role had been added a political role, but also economic. [...] Thus, the man who refused baptism could no longer eat with the Christians, nor participate in the festivals or community activities. If the recalcitrant was a scholar, he was forbidden access to the circles of culture; if he was poor, the door of the hospice was closed to him. In a dangerous society, where the weak needed the protection of the powerful to survive, it was perilous to alienate the benevolent protection of the bishop." The range of methodes was extensive, for example: "The Visigothic ambassador Agila, overwhelmed by an illness which Gregory of Tours complacently described to him as the sign of St. Martin's wrath, had to come to terms with the validity of the Council of Nicaea and renounce Arianism."

    Only the Jews resist, with difficulty.... Bruno Dumézil continues: "Only the most tightly knit religious minorities, essentially the Jewish communities, resisted this treatment which, although non-violent, was nonetheless fearfully effective. And even then they were often put at risk. In 576, Bishop Avit asked the Jews to leave the city of Clermont. The prelate did not put forward religious reasons, but explained that their presence was causing civil unrest which, as head of the city, he had to put an end to. Understanding the meaning of the threat, many Jews preferred conversion to exile." He concludes, "In the seventh century, the West could thus legitimately define itself as a Christendom made up of states that were all Catholic. [...] It must be admitted that the High Middle Ages had perfected a hushed practice of persecution. [...]" In matters of religion, a leaden blanket fell on consciences, it would take 1200 years, the edict of Versailles, in 1787 for, after the failed attempt of the edict of Nantes in 1598, religions other than Catholicism to be tolerated within the borders of France.

    The family tree below is another illustration of the continuity of the Gallic aristocracy from the Roman to the Frankish period, from two Roman emperors in the mid-Vth century to a Frankish king in the mid-6th century, with the omnipresence of bishops providing a continuity and stability that cushioned the great upheavals of the end of the Roman empire and the establishment of the barbarian kingdoms. And this vector of stability will go well beyond the constitution of the kingdom of France by Philip Augustus...

    Genealogical chart in eight generations, drawing in particular on research by Christian Settipani (links are to Wikipedia):
    1. 01 Agricola, prefect of the Praetorium of the Gauls from 416 to 418 in the city of Arles, then the capital of Gaul, then consul in 421  his father Flavius Eparchius Philagrius was bishop of Cyprus from 382 to 385  his nephews are Saint Vincent of Lerins and Saint Loup, bishop of Troyes from 426 to 479, having prevented his city from being plundered by Attila.
    2. 02 granddaughter of St. Paule: read the commentary on the illustration below. 03 Flavius Felix Roman consul (complement here). 04 Petronius Maximus Western Roman emperor in 455. 05 Avitus, Western Roman emperor from 455 to 456, bishop of Piacenza in 456.
    3. 06 Esychius or St. Isice, bishop of Vienne from 476 to 494. 07 Ruricius, or St. Rurice of Limoges, bishop of Limoges from 485 to 507. 08 Flavius Magnus, prefect of the Praetorium of the Gauls in 469 and then consul. 09 Sidonius Apollinaris, prefect of Rome in 468-469, bishop of Auvergne from 471 to 486, canonized, writer.
    4. 10 Avitus of Vienna, bishop of Vienna from 494 to 518, writer. 11 Rusticus of Lyon, bishop of Lyon from 494 to 501, canonised  he was great-grandson of Eucher, bishop of Lyon until 449. 12 Ommat of Tours, bishop of Tours from 522 to 526. 13 Felix of Narbonne, prefect of the Praetorium of the Gauls in 460.
    5. 14 Sacerdos of Lyon, bishop of Lyon from 549 to 552, canonized, adviser to the Frankish king Childebert I. 15 Leonce of Lyon, or Leontius or Licontius, bishop of Lyon before 549 and his brother Sacerdos. 16 Florentinus of Geneva, or Florentinus, bishop of Geneva from 490 to 513. 17 Arcadius Placidus Magnus Felix, Roman consul in 511 (see the list of Roman consuls, which ends in 541). 18 Ennodius of Pavia, bishop of Pavia from 514 to 521, canonized, legate to Constantinople in 515, writer. 19 Tonantius II Ferréol, or Tonantius Ferreolus II, senator of Narbonese Gaul from 479 to 517, son of Tonantius Ferreolus, prefect of the Praetorium of the Gauls in Arles from 450 to 453. 20 Probatius of Uzes, or Probacian or Probace, bishop of Uzes from 506 to 533.
    6. 21 Aurelian of Arles, archbishop of Arles at 23, from 546 to 551, then the most important episcopal see in Gaul, canonized. 22 Munderic of Cologne, Frankish prince descended from Sigobert the Lame, king of the Rhenish Franks of Cologne, died 507. 23 Gregory of Langres, son of Gregoire of Langres, also known as Gregory of Autun, bishop of Langres from 506 to 539, governor of the country of Autun from about 465 to 505 ; he also has as brothers Tetricus of Langres, bishop of Langres from 539 to 572, succeeding his father, and saint Gal or Gallus or Gall, bishop of Clermont from 525 to 551. 24 Saint Nizier, or Nicetius, bishop of Lyon from 553 to 573, succeeding his uncle Sacerdos. 25 Maurillon of Cahors or Maurillo, bishop of Cahors from 550 to 580, canonized. 26 Firmin of Uzes, bishop of Uzes from 538 to 553.
    7. 27 Gundulf of Tongeren, viceroy of Austrasia, bishop of Tongeren-Maastricht from 600 to 607. 28 Mummolin of Neustria, mayor of the Neustrian palace in 566, count at Soissons, ambassador of the Franks to Constantinople. 29 Euphronius of Tours, or Eufronius, bishop of Tours from 556 to 573, canonised  it is not certain that he is an uncle of his successor Gregory of Tours, he is more likely a first cousin of his mother [23 page 204]  he is a grandson of a senator of Autun, who may be a brother of the bishop of Autun Euphronius. 30 Mummolin of Austrasia, duke of Austrasia, chamberlain of the Palace. 31 Thibert I, king of the Franks from 234 to 548, with Reims as his capital  he was son of Thierry I and grandson of Clovis and his first wife Evochilde. 32 Saint Ferreol, bishop of Uzes from 553 to 581, succeeding his uncle Firmin.
    8. 33 Gregory of Tours, bishop of Tours from 573 to 594, canonized writer, historian  in addition to his kinship with the other bishops of Tours here presented, he has such links, but undetermined, with two other Touraine prelates, Volusian, from 489 to 496, canonised, and Verus from 496 to 507 + his genealogical tree by Luce Pietri [23 page 792]. 34 Ansbert the Senator, a senator probably at Narbonne, as was his father Ferréol.

    On the left the descent of Saint Paula overlaps with the previous table for numbers 02 and 07. 02 is a granddaughter of Paule, or Paula (347-404), wife of a senator of Rome, descendant of the emperor Vespasian, who created the female branch of the order of St Jerome (here her life and there a summary in Quebecois). This granddaughter of Paule is also the niece of Saint Eustochia / Eustochium (here her life in English) and Saint Blésille. She is also sister to Saint Pauline, or Paule the Younger, and Saint Eustochius, bishop of Tours from 433 to 460, all three of whom were first cousins of Saint Melanie the Younger (having immense estates from Brittany to Spain)  finally, she was an aunt of Saint Perpet (Perpetuus), bishop of Tours from 460 to 491, nephew and successor of Eustoche.

    On the right, in each of the two illustrations, studying the Bible, Paule and her daughter Eustochia are listening to Jerome, a reference for the Gallic bishops. The proximity of Paule and her daughter Eustochia to Saint Jerome of Stridon (347-420), one of the four fathers of the Latin church, translator of the Bible into Latin, helped to set up, notably through the network of descendant bishops, common intellectual criteria for the bishops of Gaul.

    Right illustrations. Above, mosaic made from a page of the first bible of Charles the Bald, made by the scriptorium of the abbey of Saint Martin of Tours in 846 (it is a plate in four boxes  1) Jerome leaves Rome 2) he pays his teacher 3) in the middle, he teaches Paule, Eustochia and others 4) at the bottom, he distributes his bible called Vulgate) (variations here). Below painting by Francisco de Zurbaran (1598-1664] [Wikipedia].

    Left, Perpet directing the construction, from a calendar by Jacques Callot (1592-1635).

    In the centre, Perpet's basilica according to the "longitudinal section" (here) in the restitution of Jules Quicherat (1814-1882) + three other diagrams of the basilica: 1 2 3. There is also a chronic by Francis Salet (1909-2000).

    Right, Clotilde in the basilica at prayer at the foot of Martin's tomb, painting by Charles Van Loo (1705-1765) (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Brest, link) + variant by the same author.
    The fabulous basilica erected by Perpet. Great grandson of Saint Paul, the bishop of Tours Perpet / Perpetuus / Perpetus / Perpetua / Perpetus had the first great basilica of Saint Martin erected in his city, with construction completed in 471. Replacing a modest wooden chapel already named "basilica", built around 437 (40 years after Martin's death), this "magnum opus" of the Pre-Romanesque art, housed Martin's tomb. According to Charles Grandmaison (1824-1903), it was "not only the most famous and most frequented, but also the most magnificent in ancient Gaul". It was a source of astonishment and admiration to all who saw it. An attraction for pilgrims! Even if it was hardly a reflection of Martin's humility... Clovis was crowned here in 508, his widow Clotilde lived next door for a long time (link). Charlemagne came here in 800 before his coronation in Rome, his wife Luitgard was buried here (link). It was then, along with Rome, the main place of Christian pilgrimage in the West. Gregory of Tours speaks of it "with a kind of enthusiasm". According to him, the basilica was 160 feet long (47 m according to the Roman foot), 60 wide (18 m) and 45 high (13 m), these measurements having been corrected to 53, 20 and 45 m, notably by Charles Lelong ["Vie et culte de Saint Martin" 2000]; it was pierced by 52 windows and 8 doors, and there were 120 columns inside. It had two parts, the nave and the sanctuary, the latter with 32 windows. It was decorated with decorative and figurative mosaics. It suffered a partial fire in 558, was destroyed by the Vikings in 853 and 903 and finally by a great accidental fire in 997. Then rebuilt in 1014 and in 1902. The latter monument, still in place, is directly inspired by the Perpet basilica, as this document by Jessica Basciano shows  "This project made conscious reference to archaeological speculation about the 5th century church, especially that of Jules Quicherat". >>>Repeated (in redundancy + important additions) in the subpage The Basilica of Perpet.


    In 560, Gregory of Tours was discussing with his disciple Odon the ancient times in which the Gauls lived. The bishop, who was to become a saint, probably had no idea that he was descended from Saint Paul, who was born almost two centuries before him... ["Breizh History of Brittany", volume 2 "A New Land", texts Jarry - Jigourel, drawings Erwan Seure-Le Bihan 2017] + the panel.




  42. The emperors of Gaul and Bagaudes symbols of loyalty or separatism ?

    Alix's loyalty to Rome, Taranis's separatism. In the 1970s, two realistic comics embodied the relationship between Gauls and Romans, after the defeat of Vercingetorix : complementary relationships in Alix, hero of Jacques Martin (script and drawing) published from 1948 in the journal Tintin, and conflicting in Taranis, hero of Victor Mora in the scenario and Raphaël Marcello in the drawing, published in Pif Gadget from 1976 to 1982. Both are Gauls. Taranis opposes Roman oppression. Alix works for Gaulish integration into the Roman world, opposing both Roman and Gaulish excesses. In the 1972 album "Iorix the Great", a Roman officer of Gallic origin, Iorus, turns against Rome, taking back his name Iorix, to embody a new Vercingetorix. As Sabinus or Amandus did, he wants to go on a "triumphal march" and become "Iorix the Great", emperor of Gaul. But, as Alix says, it's too late or too soon...

    Alix will end up a senator of the Roman Empire  Taranis, like Asterix, will end up free with his people, isolated in an entrenched space, as in a future bagaude.
     

    Did Posthumus, Victorinus and Tetricus, like Iorix the Great, want to make a return to the Gaul of before the Roman domination ? For Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 210], Roman historians have by no means presented them as "separatists", but, on the contrary, "the only desire was to consolidate Rome and its empire a policy of relief to palliate Roman weaknesses". They would be Alixes. Que nenni, Maurice Bouvier-Ajam continues by exposing his personal opinion  "Even if, in the end, it is perfectly correct that the Gallic emperors largely contributed to the salvation of Rome, it is sheer folly to see this as their primary concern and reason for being. Their starting point was their desire to free Gaul from Roman oppression, to get it out of the state of inferiority in which Rome intended to keep it, to ensure the proper rights of a Gallic nation. All of them had to fight against Rome, and Tetricus as well as the others, by blocking the road to the legions that came to the aid of the Aedui. In short, they would be Taranis or Iorix  except that, moreover, Bouvier-Ajam tempers this judgment.


    Taranis, 49th and final episode "The Triumph of Taranis", Pif Gadget 1982
    (here the last page)
    Alix, 10th album "Iorix the Great", Casterman 1972 (here the beautiful last page)

    Historians who favour loyalty to separatism Like their Roman predecessors, modern historians have considered the Gallic emperors to be Alixes. Thus, in 1870, Franz de Champagny [10 vol. 4 chap. XV] :"But, if one separates from Rome in order to be free, one always attaches oneself to Rome in order to be civilized; one does not hate her with the hatred that the barbarians bear her. The insignia of Roman power are retained; there is a senate whose name appears on the coinage of Posthumus, while the name of the Roman senate is no longer inscribed on the coins of Gallien. The usual legends of the Roman coinage are written on the gold and bronze; Rome is represented on her throne with the words: "To eternal Rome". So we don't break with her; more than that, we defend her; who are we fighting on the Rhine, if not her enemies, the barbarians who are the enemies of peace and Roman civilisation? The god that Posthumus venerates the most, the one whose attributes he likes to take on and whose figure he associates with his own, is Hercules the tamer of monsters, the enemy of barbarism, the guardian of peace, the saviour of the people."

    Similarly and more strongly in 1997, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Lan%C3%A7on, in an article with a provocative title published in l'Histoire n°206  : L'empire gaulois n'a jamais exist !. "If the usurpation reflects a particularism, it does not correspond to any "national" thrust. The army was composite and the Gallic population long since Romanised. Belonging to the Roman empire was not questioned. Better still, it was a source of pride. Bertrand Lançon castigates any "renaissance of a Gallic nationalism" and, using the words of the historian Christine Delaplace any "revengeful chauvinism" and any "obsessive celtomania", then concludes that "the ephemeral " Gallic Empire " was thus above all an expression of the loyalty of its leaders to the Roman Empire and to the model it represented". Alixes, not Taranis... Is this not to forget that there were other, more pronounced marks of separatism, the bagaudes? And these coins presenting Postumus as the ruler of Gaul ? This title of "restorer of Gaul" ? And these clashes, these Roman soldiers killed by Gaulish soldiers ?

    Is it to support this desire to integrate the Gallic empire into the Roman empire, denying any spirit of independence or even autonomy, that the existence of Victorina is so denied ? Refusal to believe that she could have "embodied the hope of a whole people" [03, presentation page] ? Joël Schmidt [02] and Anne de Leseleuc [03, 4] have managed to find the right balance, showing the extent to which the Gallic emperors were born of the Roman world, wanting to leave it (Taranis) while remaining very much associated with it (Alix), in a kind of federalism that has previously been presented as a triarchy, a union of the empires of Trier, Rome and Palmyra.

    What empire? Beyond the Gaulish or Roman choice, was the future the empire ? Yes, when it worked well, no when oppression or disorganization was too great. And in the latter case, was it not better to build a new federalist empire, as Victorina and Zenobia wanted?
    Excerpt from the album "Nantes, De Saint Félix à Gilles de Rais", scenario Karine Parquet, collective drawing, here Kevin Bazot, éditions Petit à Petit 2017. + the panel.

    Wikipedia's unfair rebuke of Bouvier-Ajam. On his page Postume of the online encyclopaedia, in its August 2019 version, it is written, with reference to pages 23 and 210 of his book "the Gallic emperors" [01] : "It is nevertheless excessive to consider this empire as a Celtic or Gallic independence rebellion against Rome, as Bouvier-Ajam has hazarded". If Maurice Bouvier-Ajam considers on page 22 that "National unity attained under the Gallic emperors a quality which other peoples lacked", on page 23 that "Gallic pre-France acquired a harmony which the Merovingian divisions would wound", on page 210 that there is "a desire to free Gaul from Roman oppression", he considers that Posthumus, like his successors, wanted to act in association with Rome and not against Rome, in a partition of the Roman empire into [di, tri or tetra]-archies, as we have seen. Bouvier-Ajam is the one who has made the finest analysis of the Gallic Empire, it is a pity to reduce his point in this way. And by using the word "celte" practically absent from his work (and from pages 23 and 210) !... "Accord with Rome remains his goal" [01 page 163], yet it is clear... There is no choice between "fidelity or separatism" with an exclusive "or", there is "fidelity and separatism" with complex and changing links with the times.

    Bouvier-Ajam's nuanced analysis Let us take up some of Maurice Bouvier-Ajam's words to better understand his point of view [01 page 211] : "The Gallic emperors always understood that Rome and Gaul were, despite times of turmoil, the promoters of a Western society requiring their understanding to ensure its flourishing. They did not accept that their country, battered by crisis and banditry, almost in a state of civil war when the external danger increased, was in danger of sinking into anarchy: hence their reconciliation with Rome, hence, in particular, the final agreement between Tetricus and Aurelian. In so doing, the Gallic emperors did not seek to be "the supporters of Roman power" but wanted to be the saviours of a civilisation. Further on [01 page 358] :"It took all the Roman egoism and all the Roman clumsiness for the time of the Gallic emperors to take place  these episodes - which were quite often constructive - were literally imposed on Gaul, which would have done quite well without them... if Rome had not been Rome. As soon as a Roman emperor loves Gaul, Gaul loves that emperor. And every Gaulish emperor is quick to imitate Rome. And what about the Gallic medals "To eternal Rome" !"

    Why did you erase the Gallic resistance to Roman rule ? Certainly, as Christine Delaplace writes [12 page 191], the power of the Gallic emperors "remained faithful to the ideals of Rome and its institutions", certainly it was enough that there was a strong Roman power, capable of taking the empire back in hand, for Gallic dissent to cease temporarily, certainly (another reproach to Bouvier-Ajam ? ) "all this singularly inflects the autonomist or nationalist character that one has been willing to attribute to this period" But this in no way erases it, nor should it reduce it to a small portion to the point of keeping the public in ignorance of this empire of the Gauls. Three hundred years after the defeat of Vercingetorix, two hundred after the attempt of Sabinus, Gaul reconquered its independence during a period of fifteen years and several attempts will follow during two centuries. And the bagaudes, who knows what this word means? The permanence of Gaul has been erased by renaming the Gauls as Gallo-Romans, and by erasing the suffering and revolts of the periods of strong Roman oppression. To the point of denying that a Gallic woman could behave like a Zenobia of the West, as a ruler guiding the policies of the emperors.


    The dream of a new Gergovia. More than the nightmare of Alesia, it was of course the memory of the victory at Gergovia that made some of the rebels dream. The many comic books about the Gauls that exploit the time of Julius Caesar's conquest, or before, are outside the scope of this study. A chapter like this one allows for a few exceptions, Alix, Taranis or Asterix. The album "Vercingetorix", scripted by Stéphane Bourdin, Didier Convard and Eric Adam, drawn by Fred Vignaux, has the merit of presenting - finally ! - a Vercingetorix without a moustache, in a solid historical context. Published by Glénat in 2014, in the collection "Ils ont fait l'Histoire". + two plates : 1 2

    Does Gaul exist more after Victorina than before Vercingetorix? This question emerges from the article by Pierre Chuvin, entitled "Our ancestors... the Greeks !", which appeared in "L'Histoire" No. 96 in 1987. In it, the author writes  "The phenomenon of the "Gallic Empire" appears at one of the great turning points of ancient history and expresses for the first time what will henceforth be an essential need of the Roman world: faced with pressure at the frontiers, regional authorities are needed that are close enough to respond quickly, not too extensive to be faced with only one threat at a time. The threat to the Rhine from the 3rd century onwards helped to shape Gaul. In this context, during the last two Roman centuries of our country - Late Antiquity, between the restoration of the Empire by Diocletian after 284 and the installation of Clovis after 486 - a Gallic patriotism was expressed loud and clear. Gaul then possessed, with Trier, one of the capitals of this Roman Empire which, from then on, was to have several heads ".

    The creator of Alix was probably inspired by the Gallic emperors to create Iorix the Great. He could certainly have gone further by having him seek the support of brigands and recluses, but bagaudes did not yet exist in this post-Vercingetorix era. This frank opposition of the bagaudés to Roman colonialism, stronger and more separatist than that of the dissident emperors, to the point of siding with the Franks, is not, however, total. It has its limits, as we have seen with Eudoxus and Attila.

     
    The perception of the Gaul through the ages From the romanticism of the nineteenth century to the Vichy propaganda of 1940-1944 for the "Youth Yards" (in parallel with the Francisque of Germanic origin), the image of the Gauls was diverted into an exaltation far removed from the historical reality. As a backlash, in the second half of the 20th century, this image was devalued.
    "In the second half of the 19th century, historians such as Michelet, Henri Martin or Lavisse consolidated the thesis of " our ancestors the Gauls " while Napoleon III had instilled, through his writings (including the 1865 History of Julius Caesar) and his archaeological projects, the idea that submission to Caesar was beneficial in the long run : France owed its greatness to a mixture of Gallic autochthony and Roman culture. After the French defeat of 1870, the Gaul became a model of patriotism in opposition to the Roman Empire (assimilated to Prussia) and the concept of 'Gallo-Roman' civilisation developed, notably around Camille Jullian. Attention to this form of politico-cultural hybridisation was repeated in 1940, when Marshal Pétain recovered the image of a Vercingetorix who, devoted to his country, nevertheless recognised the need to integrate into the Empire of Rome, this time assimilated to the Hitlerian Reich. In the end, it was the image of the grumbling resistance fighter that flourished in the post-war period (Agulhon 2003, pp. 54-55), with the first publication of Asterix in 1959 endorsing the image of a Gallic people resistant to any form of imperialism, whether Roman or American." [Pascal Montaluc 2017, article "Back to the Gauls"]

    The battle of the chiefs, once to be emperor of the Gauls, now to be president of the French Republic, is a universal subject and, for a laugh, the Gauls, via Asterix, have become a reference... This is the fifth album in the Sarkozix series, script by Wilfrid Lupano and drawing by Jérôme Maffre (ed. Delcourt 2012).




  43. Romans, Christians and Franks facing the permanence of Gaul


    Wikipedia map of The Roman Empire, at its maximum extent, in 118, a year after Trajan's death.
    The first globalisation took place under the Roman Empire.

    Title and excerpt from the article by Guillaume Henchoz in 2016 on the website medium.com. "Same language, same consumables, same laws: the inhabitants of the empire who lived during the era of Emperor Trajan belonged to a community that stretched from Spain to present-day Iraq. [...]They do not necessarily practice the same religion, but consume the same products, obey the same laws, and share the certainly somewhat diffuse feeling of belonging to the same community. They are all citizens of the same political entity.

    Quoting Alberto Angela : "You could sit in a tavern in Alexandria, London or Rome and order the same wine from Mosel, then season your dish with the same oil from Hispania. In the shop next door you could buy a tunic whose linen was grown in Egypt but woven in Rome. [...]Goths, Alans and other Burgundians would not seek to destroy their neighbours but rather to integrate the empire, "just as someone living in the third world today does not necessarily want to see New York or the West disappear but simply to wear jeans, trainers and enjoy the benefits of the system."

    With a conclusion by Alberto Angela  "In many respects, the Roman world was certainly different from ours, even light years away, slavery, paedophilia and the death penalty were practised, but paradoxically it was also more civilised, more peaceful and more democratic than many others..."Um, it was better to be a Roman citizen...

    The intolerance of Christian culture towards Celto-Gaulish culture. Christianity was devastating, notably in the temples destroyed and replaced by chapels or churches in the name of ideals of love and respect and the banning of pagan cults by Emperor Theodosius in 392. He prepared the country for a new unity, acting first on the cities and then on the countryside by relying on the bagaudes, under the impulse of Saint Martin. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 346] :"It is unquestionably the action of the Church which will promote national unity, notwithstanding the differences between bagaudés and non bagaudés countries, and notwithstanding the last conflicts :: the increasingly clear uniformity of powers, claims, achievements, policies and hierarchies of the bishoprics, the increasingly developed relations between the bishops, all consolidate a national structure that even the persistence of paganism and the persecutions of the Aryans will not shake." We have seen above how the role of the bishops becomes primordial. Only the first ones, like Martin, came from and were elected by the people, but the aristocrats quickly took over this power. Dynasties were established, often from uncles to nephews.


    511 at Orleans, the Visigoth clergy abandon the Arian religion to adhere to the Holy Trinity of the Church of Rome. Drawing by Pierre Joubert [21].

    The long coexistence of Gallic culture with Roman culture. Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 pages 342 ff] draws up an assessment of the Roman occupation of Gaul  "There have been Roman emperors who have loved Gaul. A few, rare ones, even loved it for its own sake. But almost all of them thought only of using it. And to mix it with their struggles for power, to the point of disgust, which was more than once a saving disgust. [...] If Gaul was what it was in the days of barbarian penetration, it is not to Rome that it owed it, but to itself. To her resistance more than to her acceptances. Even to her Bagaudes! And, in the end, more to her emperors than to those of Rome."

    He judges the intervention of Aetius, the victor of Attila  with severity: "Aetius the saviour of Gaul ? See also. He wants to soften the Alans, who spend their time betraying their allies. He splendidly offers them half of the Gallo-Roman properties of a Tourangeo-Solognote region, leaving them to warn the inhabitants. There is armed resistance, massacre of resisters, expulsion of the entire families and the Alans are at home, with the tacit agreement of the Roman patrician."

    The Romans, failing to stifle Gallic culture, brought it to coexist with a new culture, that of cities and villae, amphitheatres and aqueducts, symbols of wealth and then fragility in the face of barbarian raids. That of a globalised economy on the scale of the mare nostrum, or mare internum, the Mediterranean Sea.

    Barbaric civilisations adapting to Romanity and submitting to Christianity. As for the barbarians, who gradually settled and then laid down their arms, they adapted to Roman rule, as long as it remained vigorous. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 347] : "The Visigoths ? They are rather abominable brutes and, until the reign of Euric (466-485), rather incapable of governing themselves. Rome made them "federates" and gave them a right of hospitality in "second Aquitaine", with Bordeaux, Agen, Angouleme, Saintes, Poitiers and Périgueux. This was not enough for them: Euric, buying high Roman officials to have a free hand, had the Auvergne delivered to him while waiting to extend his power over Provence and as far as the Loire. And it was the Roman emperor Julius Nepos who ceded the Auvergne. Sidonius Apollinaire writes  "Our servitude has become the price of the security of others" [...] Alains, Visigoths, Burgundians, Franks accepted by the Romans as legitimate occupants of Gallic provinces, as legitimate owners of Gallic property !". Rome a bulwark or an accomplice of the Barbarians ?

    Then came the great flood, until the Franks of Clovis used the Christian religion to bury what remained of Gaul.

     
    "History of Brittany" by Reynald Secher and René le Honzec, 1991 + corresponding pages : 1 2

    Yet the figures show that the population base of the new Frankish kingdom remained overwhelmingly the former residents. Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 350] :"It does seem that in 490, so four years after the battle of Soissons, the total of immigrant Barbarians hardly exceeded 425,000, or very significantly less than 10% of the Gallic population, Bretons obviously not counted."

    A mix often difficult to live with. Here the impossible love of a Visigoth and a Gaul girl, daughter of a Gaul and a Visigoth. Volume 2 of "La saga de Wotila" by Cécile Chicault 2013 + the three plates of this dispute in the setting of a Gallic villa, in 419 : 1 2 3

    A territory that is not demographically renewed. Starting on older historical grounds, Jean-Louis Brunaux, a specialist in Gallic civilisation, in the monthly "L'Histoire" No. 326 of December 2007, in an article entitled "Our ancestors the Gauls... .", goes in the same direction by making the following "very general observation" : "Archaeology also reveals that the habitat, although highly dispersed, was of astonishing density : Gallic farms are present everywhere, often even more abundant than the Gallo-Roman villas which succeeded them. It is therefore necessary to face the facts  it was not the Romans who largely cultivated Gaul, as was still thought some thirty years ago. But it was the Gauls themselves who, thanks to particularly efficient agricultural techniques - manuring, tilling, ploughing with powerful carts - ensured an abundant and high quality production of animal meat and cereals. The habitats, like the sanctuaries and necropolises, yield mammal bones in staggering quantities. This intense agricultural exploitation of the territory implies a large population, whose turnover rate was high. In the course of his eight campaigns, Caesar faced armies that were always so numerous and, after his victory, was still able to draw heavily on the male population to recruit valuable auxiliaries. The birth rate was therefore high, in any case much higher than in neighbouring Mediterranean countries where customs were more urban. At the beginning of our era, Gaul was by no means a depopulated country. And the Romans were in the extreme minority. As for the invasions of the Late Empire and the High Middle Ages, they probably concerned small populations of a few thousand individuals. It was therefore a mainly Gallic population that populated the country that was to become France during the first millennium."

    Maurice Bouvier-Ajam [01 page 352] goes so far as to ask whether the Franks really conquered Gaul : "This can be discussed. It is rather badly debated, as far as the "Roman kingdom" of Syagrius is concerned, certainly ! Was not this unfortunate Syagrius, in spite of himself, a kind of usurper insofar as he "represented" an emperor who no longer existed ? And, moreover, did not the Bagaud opposition and the widespread refusal of non-Bagauds to cooperate militarily indicate that there was no real human justification for his claims? But let's not go on and on... As for the Burgundians and Visigoths, on the other hand, the victorious war of the Franks cannot be equated with a Frankish conquest of Gaul. It was a war - or rather wars - between Barbarians, and there is no doubt that the vast majority of Gauls wanted, mainly for religious reasons, the Frankish victory: one does not conquer a country that is given away."

    Are our ancestors the Gauls or the barbaric Franks ?
    On Pouzet's drawing, Reiser, on the script, responds in his own way : "both !" + the whole panel. From the album "The History of France in 100 gags" (Dargaud 1969)

    Is Charlemagne descended from Clovis and Clotilde ?
    Clovis appears to be an ancestor of Charlemagne, bearing in mind that the link between Bertrade of Prüm and Thierry III, defended by Christian Settipani, is not recognised by other authors. It is an important point that the Carolingian emperor crowned in 800 may or may not be descended from the Merovingians.




  44. End of Gaul, passage from the Gauls to the Franks and then to the French

    I hope that the reader of this page will have the same impression that I had when reading Maurice Bouvier-Ajam's "Les empereurs gaulois" [01] : the revelation of a strong permanence of Gaul during the five and a half centuries of Roman occupation, with a variable intensity, agreeing or disagreeing with the occupants. Gaul did not die with the defeat of Vercingetorix in 52BC but around 500BC, with the combined action of Christianisation and the invasion of the Franks. This date of 500 corresponds to the baptism of Clovis, between 496 and 508 according to the authors, followed by the baptism of the entire Frankish aristocracy.

    A territory that from time immemorial has been a machine for integration. Compared to this new Franco-Christian control, the Roman presence appears as an old-fashioned occupation, that of the Greeks, Darius the Great or Alexander the Great, who left a large autonomy to the conquered countries. And even more so, as demonstrated by a article in the Cahiers de Science et Vie [20], titled "Rome a machine for integration". Oppression was more or less strong depending on the period, but it did not have the will to eradicate a civilisation, to pull down the Gallic temples and gods. John Scheid, in a article in Le Point in 2013, writes  "At a time when we are to build the European Union, we would do well to study the Roman case, a successful example of bringing culturally, religiously and politically different peoples together in a whole. It can also teach us a lot about living together without ending in chaos and civil war...". Provided we base it on the "good" emperors such as Trajan, Hadrian , Constantius Chlorus, Julian, knowing that there were too many "bad" ones for the Gauls.

    In another article in Le Point, in 2016, reacting to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's comment "As soon as we become French, our ancestors are Gallic", Jean-Louis Brunaux says that "Being Gallic is not an identity, that's what you have to understand. To be Gallic is to live in Gaul, knowing that Gaul is a real country, a real political space", which is not specific, the same can be said of the French and France. He continues  "There are several examples of peoples of Germanic origin having passed the Rhine who, a few years later, are considered Gauls with prerogatives and they participate in Gaulish political life". As it happens in France. Then : "Romanisation is much older than the Gallic War. There was a closeness to Roman trade, as early as 150BC, 100BC. Gallic nobles did not want to lose this Roman trade and even sought to expand it. All the nobility was on Caesar's side. Are the Gauls also the ancestors of Mickey ?
    Yes, along with the Romans and the Barbarians. As they are those of Tintin or Titeuf, probably those of Lucky Luke and Buster Brown... Because this Mickey, published in 1954 in the newspaper with his name, has French parents, Pierre Fallot on the script, Pierre Nicolas on the drawing. From 1952 to 1978, "Mickey through the centuries" had 176 episodes, each in different places and times. This one, the 24th, takes place in the time of Clovis and the Soissons Vase. + the first two pages : 1 2

    An ever-renewing territory. And Dominique Garcia concludes this article by pressing further on the Gaul-France  parallel: "There is no such thing as a population that assimilates, there are people who build an identity together, which is constantly renewed. Being French in 2016 does not mean the same thing as being French in 1962."

    On the Gaul - Roman relationship, two observations are more complementary than contradictory :
    As for the French, they did not exist until seven centuries later, around 1200, when Philippe Auguste went from being king of the Franks (rex Francorum) to king of France (rex Franciae), gradually from 1190 to 1204. Even if in Flanders or Aquitaine, it took a few more centuries for the population to feel French. Between the Gauls and the French, there were therefore the Franks, a name that brought together the invading barbarians of that name, those of other names, notably Visigoths and Burgundians, and the invaded Gauls, all of whom were united by Christianity to form a single people. Between 500 Gaul and 1200 France, there were, depending on the period, one or more Frankish kingdoms, Francia, Neustria, Charlemagne's Western Empire with Aachen as its capital... Lyon, Trier, Paris and Arles, the ancient Gallic capitals, were intermittently in the same country or in different countries. Then Paris and Lyon, then Arles, were attached to France and later Trier to Germany, while Belgium and Switzerland became independent...

    As Bruno Dumézil says [22 page 15] : "This old country and this new nation which we call France, let us begin with the Gauls and forget our scruples a little. To make history is also to admit cultural burdens. [...] France in the time of the Gauls, France in the Middle Ages, modern France and contemporary France are not the same country."


    Map of Transalpine Gaul before 60BC and the Roman occupation, taken from a 28-page study by Yves Texier in 1997, titled "The myth of "Our ancestors the Gauls"

    Map of Late Gaul between 378 and 395, under Theodosius, taken from Alain Ferdière's book "Les Gaules", Armand Colin 2005.
    The borders of Gaul were more "natural" than those of France. As these two maps (and others on this page) show, the borders of Gaul remained stable for a long time, beyond the various cuttings, knowing that Cisalpine Gaul (east of the Alps), despite its name, is usually excluded. And these are not the borders of France. As we have seen, the capital is Lyon / Lugdunum then Trier / Treverorum , Paris / Lutetia, briefly, Arles / Arelate at the end... Yves Texier in the study quoted above : "Gaul itself was much larger than today's France; it went as far as the Rhine, it included Switzerland, and even all of northern Italy... If there is no homeland without land, then the 'natural' borders of France have been lost. And at the very least, we are not the only ones whose soil was once Gallic." Indeed, looking for natural borders, we find : Atlantic, Pyrenees, Mediterranean, Alps, Jura (with or without Helvetia ?), Rhine up to its mouth, English Channel. This is Gaul, not France, or else the one of 1795-1811 (including Cisalpine Gaul and going as far as Rome in 1811!)... The Basque Country and Corsica were never part of Gaul, as well as the overseas departments of course... And did the inhabitants of Marseille / Massalia / Massilia really consider themselves as Gauls ?

    Permanence of space and time

    Joël Schmidt, at the end of his book "The Gauls against the Romans" [18 page 395], quotes this passage from Camille Jullian [10] : "Rome could break neither the will of the land nor the work of generations. There was always a Gaul and this Gaul always had its past, and in this Gaul there was always an Armorica or an Auvergne, a city of Marseille or a city of Paris. However long the empire of Rome persisted, however confused and obscure the life of Gaul and its people might be during that time, that life would last even longer than that of the Empire: for it rested not on the victory or consent of a day, but on the power of space and time"

    But everything has a time and an end, even if this may be elongated in places. Laurent Avezou, in the article "From the Romans to the Gauls, itinerary of a myth" in the magazine "Tours in France Gaul" of 2011 : "Some bishops, such as Didier of Cahors [who died in 654], ingeniously maintained aqueducts and amphitheatres as heirs of the Roman administration. Then in the 7th century, the northern inhabitants began to call themselves Franks, in the sense of "subjects of the Frankish king". Those of the south come to it in the following century." To the question "How to explain the current revival of interest in the Gauls ?", he answers  "A desire to return to a reality as objective as possible. Relativize the weight of Greek and Latin texts, often misunderstood or misinformed. And to show that this civilisation, seen in a more European than hexagonal framework, was as homogeneous and worthy of respect as that of the Romans who digested it. Perhaps this is another way of feeling European." Europe has an intermediate dimension between Gaul including Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and part of Germany (and England and Spain under Postumus, Julian and a few others) and the Mediterranean empire of the Romans; in this, to know Gaul is also to live with the countries surrounding France. As Victorina wanted to ally herself with Zenobia.

    The Greek historian Poseidonios challenges Caesar's view of Gaul

    The comic strip "L'enquête gauloise", scripted by Jean-Louis Brunaux and drawn by Nicoby (164 pages, ed. La Découverte - La revue dessinée 2017) imagines the anachronistic encounter of Poseidonios (or Posidonios) (-135 - 51) (the bearded one), a Greek historian who travelled in Gaul, Julius Caesar (-100 - -44) (dressed as a Roman), the conqueror of the Gauls, who believes he gave Gaul its borders, and screenwriter Jean-Louis Brunaux (b. 1953) (with glasses), an archaeologist specialising in Gallic civilisation. Their exchange of words is tasty and dismantles, while also defending, the vision that Caesar transmitted in his account the "Gallic wars". Here are three of the ten pages of this exchange  1 2 3.

    In the same comic, Jean-Louis Brunaux explains the origin of the word "Gaulish" (which is also a misappropriation of the word Galates by which the Gauls referred to themselves).


    Fantasms around druids and megaliths
    As Jean-Louis Brunaux reminds us above, menhirs predate the Celts and Gauls by several thousand years, who understood their significance as little as we do. Obelix, a menhir-cutter, has unfortunately given new vigour to this gross confusion.
    It was exploited in a cartoonish way in the small adult formats of the Elvifrance editions, in the 1970s. Thus on the left a Terror #10 (1970) (+ three pages : 1 2 3) and, on the right, a "Hors-série Rouge" No. A3 (drawing by Bollalta, 1975) (+ four pages : 1 2 3 4) + Terrificolor #12 in 1975 titled "Cries and lamentations" (cover and a panel)...
    Dolmens and menhirs are closely associated with the druids there with rites mixing sex and human sacrifice. The authors are Italian, perhaps this is a reminder of what the Romans imagined about the Celts and Gauls?



  45. Early Gaul, passages from Celts to Gauls

    If we can determine an end date for Gaul, what about its beginning ?

    This page from the Lexilogos site recalls the words of Julius Caesar : "The whole of Gaul is divided into three parts. The Belgians inhabit one, the Aquitanians another, those who bear the name Celts in their language and Gauls in ours, the third. All differ in language, customs and laws. The Gauls are separated from the Aquitanians by the Garonne, from the Belgians by the Marne and the Seine. It is added that : "The Celts originated in the region of the upper Danube, Bavaria and Austria. A first wave swept into what is now France : it was they whom the Romans called the Gauls. A second wave swept through the country in the 3rd century: the Belgians settled north of the Seine and the Volcans, who settled between the Rhône and the Garonne. Linguistically, we can assume that Belgian and Gallic are two Celtic dialects, very close to each other. ".

    Let's take the example of the Gauls called Turons, they are considered to be Celts settled in Touraine around -450 :
    The Turons come from Thurnau and Thuringia.
    Superimposing two maps, the one showing the Thurnau region, with the accompanying text ["L'Indre-et-Loire, La Touraine des origines à nos jours", by Pierre Audin and other authors, editions Bordessoules 1982] and the one from Wikipedia showing in dark green the Thuringia, usually designated as the place of origin of the Turons (notably by Fabien Régnier and Jean-Pierre Drouin in "Les peuples fondateurs de la Gaule" 2012). Claudius Ptolemy, in his Geography around 150, had mentioned the Turones as a Germanic people occupying part of what would be known in the 5th century as Thuringia.

    The Celts, far beyond Gaul

    Map of "The Celtic Expansion" published in 2011 in "Les cahiers de Science et vie" [19]

    Presenting a map of the same type, the page "Jacky's retreat" on bagaudes, reminds us that the Celtic origin of this word, "bagad", means group, band, fighter.

    "Celtic culture reached all of Gaul (between the Garonne and the Seine) around 500BC, Spain (Celtiberians) around 500BC, the Balkans, Greece (capture of Delphi in 279BC), Asia Minor (Galates in -275)" [Wikipedia]



    A Anguiped is a legendary creature from Gallic mythology whose body ends in a snake's tail. Wikipdedia illustration of a late 2nd century statuette. Gallo-Roman statuary has repeatedly depicted these strange witnesses to a vanished Celtic/Gallic heritage, passed down through Roman tolerance
    Four or five centuries before the arrival of the Romans, did the Celts invade a country with a very different tradition? Like a millennium later the Franks... Did they, like the Christians, suppress this culture or, like the Romans, adapt to it? Or, rather than an invasion, did not a new culture emerge through the use of a new metal, iron, leading to a new development of agriculture and a demographic expansion? Does this depend on the region? The lack of answers does not allow us to know who the first Gauls really were, whether they were many or a few Celts...If it is generally accepted that Gaul is gradually constituted at this time of late Hallstat (from 800BC to 450BC) and during that of the Tenes (from 450BC to 25BC), we know little about its identity and the factors that united all these peoples into one country, as Julius Caesar took the measure of it.

    The distinction between the La Tène Celts and the Gauls is difficult to make. For example when Jerome France writes [12 page 23] :"The beginning of the La Tène period is marked by a triple phenomenon of mutations, instability and expansion. Gaul for its part becomes more largely Celtic, with the exception of a few margins". The confusion between Celts and Gauls is omnipresent. Did Caesar defeat the Gauls or the Celts of Gaul?

    Were all the Gauls Celtic ? There is reason to doubt it, for both geographical reasons, especially for the Aquitaine people close to the Hispanics (who were certainly also largely in the Celtic era) and social reasons. This is confirmed by a 1925 study "The Origins" by Frantz Funck-Bentano reprinted on this page  "In the formation of the French nation would have entered 50% natives, Ligures and Iberians, 20% Celts, 5% Latins, 16% Germans, including the Gothic element, 4% Normans and 5% various elements: Greeks, Basques, Semites, Syrians, Africans...". With genealogical hindsight, the 50% figure seems too high and the 5% miscellaneous elements too low.

    The La Tène Wikipedia, features this statuette of a bard, found in Brittany, on the fortress of Paule, attributed to La Tène Celts and also to the Gallic people of the Osismes. This people are attached to the Celtic ethnicity, the Gallic language and the Celtic religion.

    The first sack of Rome by the Gauls of Brennus around -387. From the series "The Thread of History Told by Ariadne and Nino", volume "The Sacred Gauls Ancestors !", scenario by Fabrice Erre, drawing by Sylvain Savoia. + two pages with this excerpt : 1 2

    In the presentation of their book "History of the Gauls"[12], which on the cover begins in the 6th century BC and ends in the 6th century AD, Christine Delaplace and Jérôme France write that "the Gallic nation" is "born of the will of Rome as a "buffer state between the Empire and the Barbarians". Would the Gauls have always been Gallo-Romans ?

    As a result, it appears difficult to date the beginning of Gaul. At most at the end of the Hallstat, around 450 BC, at least a little before at the end of the La Tène, around 100 BC, before the Roman invasion, assuming that the Celts and the indigenous population took several centuries to mix before presenting themselves as more or less united peoples, Turons or Osismes, Arvenes or Eduens...

    A birth in the 4th century BC At birth, not everything is constituted, it is the beginning of growth. For this, we can take the earliest date, -450, based also on these words of Jean-Louis Brunaux in a article from the special issue "Gaul, who were you ?" of "Dossier Pour la Science" in 2008  "In the fourth century BC, the occupants of this territory already recognised the borders of the "country Gaul", imitated in this by their neighbours. Above their belonging to a people, they identified themselves as Gauls, that is, as inhabitants of the same country. Belonging to the 'Gaulish nation' was defined by a right of soil, not by a right of blood. Some populations, such as the Belgians and Aquitanians, did not become Gauls until quite late, when they settled in Gaul after the fourth century BC. The Gauls were also well aware of their ethnic diversity. In the 4th century BC, the occupants of this territory already recognised the borders of the "country of Gaul", imitated by their neighbours. Above and beyond their belonging to a people, they identified themselves as Gauls, i.e. as inhabitants of the same country. Belonging to the 'Gaulish nation' was defined by a right of soil, not by a right of blood. Some populations, such as the Belgians and Aquitanians, did not become Gauls until quite late, when they settled in Gaul after the fourth century BC. The Gauls were moreover perfectly aware of their ethnic diversity." Gaul, the Gauls and the Gauls would thus have existed for a thousand years. Would the period of full maturity be that of the empire of the Gauls ? That of Victorina?

    Statue of Paulmy, in the land of the Turons [History of Touraine, Pierre Audin, Geste Editions 2016] and Lady of Beaupréau in Anjou [1st century BC, link]. Same torque (Celtic collar that became Gallic), same position of the hands : isn't there a striking resemblance with the funerary stele of Victorina ?
    The torque, the position of the hands and Victorina
    The torque is a strong marker of Celtic-Gallic continuity, as told in the dedicated Wikipedia article, featuring the following illustration :



  46. Balance sheet: Gaulish rulers, Bagaudes, Franks, same fight against Roman oppression

    Permanent Gallic resistance to Roman rule

    (links lead to previous chapters)


    By removing the 8 years of Maternus, who is more of an itinerant band leader, we arrive at a total of 119 years during which Gaul, in part or in whole, is not ruled by the emperor who sits in Rome, Constantinople or Ravenna, but by a Caesar, Augustus or Emperor of Gaul or Bagaudes who lives in Gaul.

    By adding Maternus and the times when the Bagaudes occupied two-fifths of the territory (around 286 and 316 and from 395 to 451), without a declared leader, we can estimate that, over the first five centuries of our era, for 150 to 200 years, in a discontinuous manner, Gaul was independent or very autonomous, in large part or totally (sometimes beyond: [Great Britain and Hispania). In view of this, how can one believe that Gaul ceased to exist in 52BC with Julius Caesar's victory over Vercingetorix?

    This contradicts many historians who consider that Gaul practically no longer exists after the Roman conquest, or only under the control of Rome, in the manner of the words held by Bruno Dumézil [22 page 28] : "Despite some unrest and fairly few revolts, the Gallic territory experienced almost four centuries of peace : a continuous peace, assured it is true by the Roman armies, but a peace appreciated by all the Gallic elites, which we now call the Gallo-Roman elites. [...]These four hundred relatively dull years politically - between the 1st and 4th centuries AD - represent for the Gauls a period of very great prosperity." Hum...

    New insights

    The preliminaries and the making of this dossier have brought me successive revelations (links lead to previous chapters) :
    1. The existence of Posthumus and a Gallic empire. Link.
    2. Maurice Bouvier-Ajam, in his book "Les empereurs gaulois" [01], shows that, for five centuries, Gaul was torn between resistance to Roman oppression and the desire to appreciate its contributions. From the revolts of Sacrovir, Vindex or Albinus to the bagaudes of Amandus and Tibatto, via Victorina and her Gaulish emperors, a Gallic identity remained very much alive. I was particularly fascinated by the meeting of Victorina and Zenobia and their common vision of the evolution of the Roman Empire. After a period of doubt, the Augustan History [08] seems credible to me on the seven passages where it speaks of Victorina, including for the title of Augusta, because of the purple colour found on the stele. Link
    3. Anne de Leseleuc [04] convinced me of Victorina's existence by her argument and by showing her grave marker. Link.
    4. From Constantius Chlorus to Constantine III, Roman emperors ruled Gaul independently of Rome. They were caesars, augustans, emperors of Gaul who did not use the title. Rather, they were emperors over the territory of the Gauls and often also over island Britain and Hispania. At first legitimate with the tetrarchy, at the end usurpers in conflict with Rome. With this question : could Julian have founded a lasting empire of the Gauls ? Link.
    5. The role of Martin of Tours in our history is essential. The countryside could have been left out of the Christianisation of the cities, so much so that the bagaudes had begun a secession. More than his violence (against his demons and the Gallic heritage, not against men), his humility, continued by his followers, helped to convince the countryside. The gulf between the urban and the Christianised Barbarians narrowed. Gaul had become unlivable, and Martin was the first to find a way to live together in a new way. He also had in him the seeds of religious intolerance, which became more and more oppressive over the centuries... It was as if the civil war that threatened then had been postponed at the time of the Albigensian crusade and the wars of religion... Link.
    6. Reading Bouvier-Ajam's book showed me how much Attila tried to ally himself with the Bagaudes, who, for once, preferred to side with the Romans. But what would have happened if Attila, like Clovis, had become a Christian? Perhaps it was too early... Link.
    7. This re-reading also led me to visualise via a map what I call Carausius' "Channel Empire". Link.
    8. Olivier Cabanel has shown me that the Frankish Burgundian Clotilde has an ultimately more important historical role than her husband the Frankish Clovis. Link.
    9. Bruno Dumézil [22] has led me to consider that the Frankish kings attracted the bagaudés to themselves, perhaps to the point of constituting the bulk of their troops. Link.
    10. Luce Pietri's thesis [23] and also the genealogy with the works of Christian Settipani show to what extent, whatever the upheavals, the territorial nobility knew how to keep the reins of power. In the 5th and 6th centuries, it operated through the bishops, who managed to maintain administrative and legal continuity, even political and cultural continuity, allowing them to stay on course and reassure a population that was in great need of reference points. Link.

    Five centuries of evolutionary logic managing to break the Roman straitjacket.

    I come to present this evolution of Gallic resistance to Roman occupation :

    In other words, taking up the reading of the two lines of this table :
    Hence this shortened title (without being that of the battle of Soissons...) : Julius Caesar's Romans finally defeated, by Clotilde's Franks...

    And let us add the essential role of Christianity in rejecting both the Roman and Gallic civilisations and forcing them to start on new foundations. Constantine I understood this, but his successors, except in the East, did not draw all the consequences from it, whereas the Bagauds and the Franks knew how to make it the foundation of a new world.

    In 2004, Joël Schmidt had subtitled "Le combat de 1000 ans" his book "Les Gaulois contre les Romains" and ended it [18 page 401] with "La victoire finale des Gaulois". Certainly, but at the cost of the death of Gaul, as if, during this almost millennium, from before Brennus until after Victorina, it had only been able to live with and against the Romans...



  47. Bibliography of the Gallic and Bagaudic empires and the barbarian kingdoms in Gaul

    In conducting the survey, I have relied on the following books, as well as on web pages (such as Wikipedia) whose links have been progressively presented.

    [01] The Gallic Emperors by Maurice Bouvier-Ajam (1914-1984), historian, specialist in economic and social history. This work was published in 1984 by Editions Tallandier (424 pages) and reissued in 2000. Here are slightly arranged extracts from the presentation of the book : "The Gauls did not welcome Roman civilisation without resentment. We must not rely solely on the history of Roman writers, neglect the originality of Gallic art, or gloss over the all too frequent and serious conflicts that broke out between the two peoples. The author shows the harshness of the tax system, Rome's policy of assimilation and the uprisings that shook the very foundations of Roman domination. The author's analysis proves to be fascinating and seductive, bringing to life a whole sequence of French history that is almost totally unknown. It is a new invitation to look at our roots. However, I would like to add a big caveat: this book only answers the questions asked by historians and does not allow us to answer them. The author knows everything and presents us with his certain reality of the facts, with too few questions. With hindsight, knowing now the areas of vagueness, this reality, all the same very substantiated, seems to me very likely. The summary is presented here and there is a timeline there. And the back cover text here. If you only want to read one of the books featured here, this is the one. And then Luce Pietri's thesis [23].
    [02] Tetricus et Victorina, mémoire d'un empereur des Gaules, published by Maren Sell & Cie in 1987 (218 pages), was authored by Joël Schmidt, born in 1937, is a novelist and acknowledged historian of Roman antiquity. The preface to this book (reproduced here) is impressive for relying on an exceptional archaeological discovery  "the discovery of papyri which, according to proven but complex scientific methods, were revealed to be the Memoirs of the Emperor Petricus written while he was in exile in Rome after 273 and his defeat." And better still, from generation to generation the exchanges between his ancestor Tetrix and Vercingetorix have been transmitted and are recounted ! The book would have benefited from a preface or postface denouncing this invention and making it possible to distinguish the real from the imaginary. It is nonetheless interesting, embroidering a plausible reality around known facts. Posthumus and Victorina are half-brothers and half-sisters, both first cousins (through their mothers) of Tetricus (through his father). The bond between Victorina and Tetricus is strong. Victorina is carried off by the plague. In Rome, the end is happy, the son Tetricus II marries Cleopatra the daughter of Zenobia... Tetricus helps Diocletian to set up the tetrarchy. The back cover text is here. Consultation at 15% on Gallica.
    [03] Le secret de Victorina presents the memoirs of Victorina, written by Anne de Leseleuc, born in 1927, actress and then, in her fifties, novelist and historian. Published in 2003 by L'Archipel (132 pages including 15 illustrations), the book describes a reality that intersects with that of Tetricus' memoirs by Joël Schmidt. So much so that Rome is worried... This time, Victorina, Tetricus and Posthumus are first cousins through their mothers, Tetricus and Victorina are also first cousins through their fathers. And what's more - a family secret - Victorina's biological father is Postumus', which makes it impossible for their love to become a reality. Victorina, disillusioned by Tetricus' simulated surrender, ends up committing suicide. Although reality and imagination are not precisely distinguished, the doubts about Victorina's existence expressed by some historians, notably André Chastagnol, are pointed out and, in the appendix, the author argues against them. The back cover text is here.
    [04] Tetricus Gaulish Emperor, from Aquitaine to Rome and Lucania is a second book by Anne de Leseleuc, published in 2012 by Editions du Sagittaire, in the collection "Les rois heureux". In it, Posthumus, Victorina and Tetricus are the only children of three richly married sisters, but, as in the two previous books, Victorina "was in reality Posthumus's half-sister, her mother having, it is said, fawned over her elder sister's husband". Towards the end of his life, weary of the hectic life of Rome, Tetricus found serenity as prefect of Lucanis (southern Italy), where he remarried and had a second son. The 132 pages of this book end with a 30-page appendix, with the revelation of Victorina's tombstone, which explains why this time, unlike in her previous work, Anne de Leseleuc has her heroine die of the plague. Unlike [01] and [02], Tetricus' participation in the elaboration of the tetrachy is not mentioned. The table of contents is here and the back cover text there.
    [05] Postumus, Gallic Emperor - The Counterfeiters is a comic book scripted by Silvio Luccisano, an archeology and Roman history enthusiast, drawn by Jean-Marie Woehrel, a specialist in ancient and medieval history, and coloured by Nathalie Arilla, published in 2013 by Assor BD. These talented authors, surrounded by historians, have produced a remarkable historical comic book, both for the interest of the story based on a very likely case of counterfeiters, on a precise geography of the places, on a solid political context and on a documented social context. In addition to the 46 large-format plates of the comic book, there are 14 pages of supporting documentation. The adventure takes place at the beginning of the reign of Posthumus, who only appears at the beginning of the book. Strangely enough, the two heroes, Lucius and Antistia, have a determination and a character reminiscent of those of Tetricus and Victorina, as if there were a Gallic character symbolizing probity. The attention to detail allows us to plunge into the world of that time. A second volume was to take us to 274. It is a pity that it has not been published to prolong this immersion. Perhaps it is not too late, could Victorina be the central actress? The back cover is here, the preface by Paul Van Ossel here.
    [06] The Gallic Empire : The Antoninians deals with Gallic coins minted by the emperors at Trier and Cologne, the most common being double denarii called antoninianus. This 144-page book + 80-page "issue classification" is the basic work for numismatic collectors. It is written by Nicolas Parisot, Michel Prieur and Laurent Schmitt. Extract from the presentation (full text back cover here) : "The coinage of the Gallic emperors constitutes an exception in the Roman world. It is one of our main sources of information on this key period, the first outline of a modern Europe". However, it appears that this work only deals primarily with Antonine type coins, admittedly the most widespread, and therefore does not provide an exhaustive view of the coins of the period.
    [07] The Book of the Caesars by Aurelius Victor, was written around 360 AD. It is presented here in a 2003 book (editions Le Belles Lettres), produced by Pierre Dufraigne, published under the patronage of the Guillaume Budé Association. It contains 64 double pages of Victor's text in French on the left page and in Latin on the right page. In addition, there are 150 pages of notes and index, as well as a scholarly introduction of 62 pages which studies the work and its author. The work is considered to be second-hand, combining several books according to the period. With regard to the period of the Gallic emperors, as indicated on this double page the original account is said to be a "Imperial History", a missing source, common to other authors. On this basis, Aurelius Victor would have been the most accurate on the Gallic episodes. In particular, it states that "It is not known whether Victorina committed suicide, was murdered or died of the plague while nursing the sick". The discovery of the funerary stele in a sickhouse gives substance to the third hypothesis. In this page, the remacle site offers a translation (fully searchable).
    [08] History Augustus is a highly disputed work written in the late fourth century. In this 2003 edition published by Belles Lettres, André Chastagnol (1920-1996) analyses with a highly critical pen the description of those called the thirty tyrants, even denying the existence of Victorina. He begins with a 182-page general introduction presenting the contextual elements. In particular the six authors supposed to have written this large work are only one, a "imposter" writing late between 1390 and 1400. Then over 1244 pages, the author presents his analysis of the work, its original version in Latin and its translation into French. The latter is included on the remacle website. As written on the presentation page (full text back cover here), "The story thus undergoes a number of distortions and frequently resembles the historical novel". It is therefore advisable to be wary of both the initial account and Chastagnol's comments, at least to update them with the discovery of new facts. Like the funerary stele of Victorina.
    [09] The Caesars of the Third Century. This work by Franz de Champagny, published in 1870, comprises three volumes. In Book VII "The epoch known as the thirty tyrants 260-275" of the third volume, the mediterranee-antique.fr website (general summary) presents in particular the entirety of the first three chapters (fully searchable) :
    1. Trashing of the Empire under Gallien - 260-272,
    2. Three Empires, Gallien, Odenath, Posthumus - 262-267,
    3. Victorina and Zenobia - 267-268.
    [10] History of Gaul in 8 volumes, from 1908 to 1921, by Camille Jullian (1859-1933). This monumental and landmark work is available on the page "Antique Gaul" (fully searchable) of mediterranee-antique.fr. The author gives full credence to the existence of Victorina, whom he names Victoria, to whom he dedicates subchapter VI of chapter XV of volume IV, reproduced in full here]. Chapter XV of Volume IV, entitled "The Gallo-Roman Emperors" (here) (fully searchable). In 2011, Christian Goudineau, paid tribute to Camille Jullian in a article titled "Camille Jullian : la passion de la Gaule", which appeared in a Special Edition of the "Nouvel Observateur" [16].
    [11] The Chronology of the Gallic Emperors is a study (fully searchable) by Jean Lafaurie, in 127 pages, published in 1964 in the Revue Numismatique. Discarding the marginals Lelien and Marius, it establishes that three emperors of Gaul succeeded each other, Posthumus from 260 to 269, Victorinus from 269 to 271 and Tetricus from 271 to 273 (not 274).
    [12] History of the Gauls (6th century BC - 6th century AD) by Christine Delaplace and Jérome France, published by Armand Colin, 5th edition 2016. Jérôme France wrote chapters 1-5 (up to page 184), Christine de Delaplace chapters 6-9 (in all 307 pages). Without being quoted, Victorina is presented in this sentence (page 189) : "Victorinus' mother played a not inconsiderable role in the designation of his successor and historians tend to compare her to Queen Zenobia who presided, at the same time, over the destinies of the independent kingdom of Palmyra." It defends the existence of a "Merovingian Gaul or "French Gaul", from 511 to 613, 613 having as its only significant fact the end of the reign of Theudebert II, king of the Franks of Austrasia. Sometimes troublesome is a tendency to subjective generalisations, such as this sentence on page 242  "Martin was above all for his contemporaries the very example of sanctity". The back cover text is here.
    [13] The Sources of Bagaude History is a study (fully searchable) by Juan Carlos Sanchez Leon, from 1996, in 190 pages. Pages 25-74 deal with the bagaudes of the third century.
    [14] Vercingetorix, Caesar, issue no. 1 of the "Histoire de France en bandes dessinées", published by Larousse in 1976, in its second episode (pages 26-48) entitled "La Gaule Romaine", scripted by Pierre Castex (1924-1991) and drawn by Raphaël Marcello (1929-2007) (the first episode, pages 1 to 25, deals with "Vercingérorix the Arverne"). While Posthumus is presented in a single image and Victorinus, Victorina, Tetricus and Carausius are forgotten, Sabinus and Eponine are treated in 9 pages, Elien and Amandus in 6 pages. Thus, of the 23 pages dealing with the five centuries of Roman rule, more than half are devoted to Gallic revolts. There have been numerous reissues of this collection in 24 issues, notably in 8 albums bringing together 3 issues, thus 6 episodes, the first being entitled "From Vercingetorix to the Vikings". The 8-volume edition of 1980 is accompanied by a ninth volume containing educational material for each album. Here is the four-page one for the first, titled "Roman Gaul" : 1 2 3 4. There was also a 16-volume reissue in 2008 by Le Monde newspaper. The subject matter is classic, the scriptwriters and cartoonists are appreciated professionals of the comic strip.
    [15] Can we talk about popular revolts in late antiquity ?, study (fully searchable) by Bruno Pottier, in 52 chapters, subtitled "Bagaudes and social history of 4th and 5th century Gaul" published in 2011 in "Mélanges de l'école française de Rome", "Regards croisés : Antiquité et Moyen Âge dans les historiographies française et italienne". Introduction : "The Gallic Bagaudes have been the object of multiple contradictory and very clear-cut interpretations since the 1950s : peasant revolts according to Marxist analyses, introduction into the model of the " democratization of culture " by Santo Mazzarino, militias of autonomist landowners according to Anglo-Saxon historiography. These interpretations introduce different models of the transition for Gaul between Antiquity and the Middle Ages, based on divergent assessments of the evolution of Gallic elites and their patronage networks. They also bring into play various analyses of the process of Christianisation and the persistence of Celtic cultural elements in Late Antiquity. A synthesis can be attempted by considering that the proposed interpretations are all relevant, but for only part of the troubles attributed to Bagaudes."
    [16] La vérité sur les Gaulois, Hors-série du Nouvel Observateur n°78 de juillet-août 2011, en quatre grands chapitres : "La Gaule indépendante", "La Gaule romaine", "Nos ancêtres les Gaulois", "Dans le texte". L'introduction de Claude Weil est ici. [17] Attila, Clovis, fascicule n°2 de l'"Histoire de France en bandes dessinées", paru chez Larousse en 1976, en l'épisode 3 (pages 51 à 73) titré "La ruée des Huns", scénarisé par Roger Lécureux (1925-1999) et dessiné par Raymond Poïvet (1910-1999) (l'épisode 4, pages 1 à 25, par Godard et Ribera, est titré "Hache au poing, Clovis"). Les rééditions de cette collection en 24 fascicules ont été nombreuses, notamment en 8 albums réunissant 3 fascicules, donc 6 épisodes.
    [18] Les Gaulois contre les Romains, la guerre de 1000 ans, par Joël Schmidt, aussi auteur de "Tetricus et Victorina" [02], paru aux éditions Perrin en 2004 (377 pages), réédité en 2010, sous une nouvelle couverture (ici), en format poche (416 pages, c'est cette numérotation qui est présentement utilisée). Hans Cany en fait une critique positive en 2015, avec aussi le livre de Bouvier-Ajam [01], en cette page. On trouve à l'inverse une critique négative sur cette page. Ici résumé et sommaire. [19] Les Gaulois, qui étaient-ils vraiment ? numéro 125 de "Les Cahiers de Science et Vie" d'octobre-novembre 2011. Ici le sommaire. La part consacrée à la Gaule romanisée est réduite au dernier article de cinq pages. L'intérêt porte sur la difficile distinction entre les contextes celtes et gaulois. Et la vie quotidienne des Gaulois et Gauloises, ainsi que leur savoir-faire.
    [20] Du IIIème au Vème siècle Invasions barbares, numéro 158 de "Les Cahiers de Science et Vie" de janvier 2016 2011. Ici le sommaire. [21] Au temps des royaumes barbares, album de la série "La vie privée des hommes", publié par Hachette en 1984, sur des textes de Patrick Périn et Pierre Forni et des dessins de Pierre Joubert. Ici le sommaire. [22] Des Gaulois aux Carolingiens, by Bruno Dumézil, PUF 2013. Here summary and beginning of summary.
    [23] The City of Tours from the Fourth to the Sixth Century, work (fully searchable) by Luce Pietri (wife of Charles Pietri) published in 1983 by "L'école française de Rome", taking up the doctoral thesis defended by the author in December 1980, André Chastagnol [08] being the rapporteur, Jacques Fontaine the president. The book deals with Martin's influence on the development of the city of Tours within Gaul and then the Frankish kingdom. A powerful and detailed analysis allows us to distinguish the historical reality behind the illuminations of a Sulpice Severus or a Gregory of Tours. This is how the non-existence of Saint Gatian, the first bishop of Tours, is revealed, without becoming certainties, only strong probabilities, the drifts of Brice, the third bishop of Tours after Lidoire and Martin, and the important interlude under Brice of a man called Armentius / Armence who created the funerary chapel of Martin (page 117) and relaunched the Martinian cult, later taken up by the bishops of Tours following Eustochius and Perpetuus... In addition to the religious evolution, Luce Pietri describes the upheavals of the city of Tours, between bagaudes and barbarian invasions, first the Franks, then the Visigoths and again the Franks, this time perceived as liberators, or fears of raids, the Huns who besieged Orléans in 451 and the Saxons who seized Angers in 463. Luce Pietri edited a thesis in 2011 dealing with the continuators of Saint Jerome in the West. See also the next page.


    Musée St Rémi in Reims (link), Bavay (Nord) 2nd century (link), Valliège (near Evian) (link)



    This page was mostly completed in August 2019, translated in june 2021.

Alain Beyrand (alain (at) pressibus.org)
Page in Creative Commons
Short address of this page: pressibus.org/victorinagb
Original page in french

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