Roman Republican governors of Gaul
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Roman Republican governors〔The English word "governor" is used here to encompass Latin-derived terminology including ''consul'', ''praetor'', ''dictator'', ''proconsul'', ''propraetor'' and “promagistrate” to refer generally to an individual in charge of an administrative area; the Latin word ''gubernator'' meant "helmsman, pilot."〕 of Gaul were assigned to the province of Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy) or to Transalpine Gaul, the Mediterranean region of present-day France also called the Narbonensis, though the latter term is sometimes reserved for a more strictly defined area administered from Narbonne (ancient Narbo).〔The overview presented here relies primarily on A.L.F. Rivet, ''Gallia Narbonensis: Southern France in Roman Times'' (London, 1988), pp. 39–53, and Charles Ebel, ''Transalpine Gaul: The Emergence of a Roman Province'' (Brill, 1976); other sources include E. Badian, “Notes on ''Provincia Gallia'' in the Late Republic,” in ''Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire offerts à André Piganiol'' (Paris, 1966), vol. 2; J.F. Drinkwater, ''Roman Gaul: The Three Provinces, 58 B.C.–A.D. 260'' (Cornell University Press, 1983), pp. 1–34; and Christian Goudineau, ''César et la Gaule'' (Paris: Errance, 1990). Information not otherwise cited in the non-tabular portions of this article represents a consensus among these sources.〕 Latin ''Gallia'' can also refer in this period to greater Gaul independent of Roman control, covering the remainder of France, Belgium, and parts of the Netherlands and Switzerland, often distinguished as Gallia Comata〔''Gallia Comata'' is usually translated as the pejorative-sounding "Hairy Gaul," referring to the preference among Celts for longer hair and facial hair in contrast to the close-shorn Romans. ''Comatus'', ''crinitus'' and similar Latin adjectives meaning "long-haired, having an abundance of hair" were regularly applied to deities such as Apollo and Dionysus, and the disparaging quality of the epithet can perhaps be exaggerated in translation.〕 and including regions also known as Celtica (Κελτική in Strabo and other Greek sources), Aquitania, Belgica, and Armorica (Britanny). To the Romans, ''Gallia'' was a vast and vague geographical entity distinguished by predominately Celtic inhabitants, with "Celticity" a matter of culture as much as speaking ''gallice'' ("in Celtic").
The Latin word ''provincia'' (plural ''provinciae'') originally referred to a task assigned to an official or to a sphere of responsibility within which he was authorized to act,〔During the Late Republic, for instance, two ''provinciae'' assigned at different times to Pompeius Magnus were operations against the pirates and oversight of the grain supply (''cura annonae''); these were not confined to a geographic region.〕 including a military command attached to a specified theater of operations. The assignment of a ''provincia'' defined geographically thus did not always imply annexation of the territory under Roman rule. Provincial administration as such originated in efforts to stabilize an area in the aftermath of war, and only later was the ''provincia'' a formal, preexisting administrative division regularly assigned to promagistrates. The ''provincia'' of Gaul therefore began as a military command, at first defensive and later expansionist.〔John Richardson, "The Administration of the Empire," in ''The Cambridge Ancient History'' (Cambridge University Press, 1994), vol. 9, pp. 564–565 (online ) ''et passim'', especially p. 580.〕 Independent Gaul〔''Le Gaule indépendante'' is the subtitle of volume 2 (1908) of Camille Jullian's monumental ''Histoire de la Gaule'', referring to Gaul outside Roman rule at the time of Caesar's conquest.〕 was invaded by Julius Caesar in the 50s BC and organized under Roman administration by Augustus; see Roman Gaul for Gallic provinces in the Imperial era.
==Early Republican wars with the Gauls==
The early history of Romano-Celtic relations begins during a period of Gallic expansionism on the Italian peninsula, with the capture of Rome by Gauls in 390 BC (or more likely 387) and the suspiciously fortuitous〔On the manipulation of the story, see J.H.C. Williams, "Myth and History II: The Sack of Rome," in ''Beyond the Rubicon: Romans and Gauls in Republican Italy'' (Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 140–184, limited preview (online: ) "much of the material is clearly legendary, if not exactly fictional" (p. 141).〕 rescue of the city by Camillus after the Romans had already surrendered. The Gauls who fought at the Battle of the Allia and captured Rome are most often identified as Senones. Over the next hundred years, the Gauls appear in classical sources as allies of the Etruscans and Samnites, but sometimes as invaders. Battles occur on Roman territory and on that held by Etruscans; by Italic peoples who later become Roman allies (''socii'') willingly or under compulsion; and by the Gauls themselves. The defeat of the Senonian stronghold Sena (or ''Senigallia'') in 283 leads to nearly fifty years of mostly peaceful relations between Romans and Celts.
The accounts of these early military conflicts, written by Greek and Roman historians, are complicated by overlays of legend and moralizing. Although stereotypes of impetuous barbarians prevail, among the various historians the Gauls are sometimes portrayed as acting with honor, bravery, or respect, even in the face of Roman treachery. A priest named Fabius Dorsuo is said to have been allowed by the Gauls to carry out religious rituals during the siege of Rome;〔For the passage from Livy (both Latin and English), see Emmanuele Curti, "From Concordia to the Quirinal: Notes on Religion and Politics in Mid-Republican/Hellenistic Rome," in ''Religion in Archaic and Republican Rome and Italy: Evidence and Experience'' (Routledge, 2000), p. 85 (online. )〕 three Fabii occasioned outrage on both sides when they abused their responsibilities as ambassadors to the Gauls, and were even accused of having brought about the attack through their actions.〔Livy 5.36.4–11; Plutarch, ''Camillus'' 17; Appian, ''Celtic Wars'' frgs. 2–3; Dionysius Halicarnassus, ''Roman Antiquities'' 13.12.1; these sources identify the Fabii with the generals who lost the Battle of the Allia (see Williams, ''Beyond the Rubicon'', p. 151, especially note 42). Summary of the incident by David Rankin, ''Celts and the Classical World'' (Routledge, 1987, reprinted 1999), pp. 104–105 (online. )〕 Romans cast themselves as underdogs in hand-to-hand combat with physically superior Celts, to such an extent that guile or divine aid is seen as the most likely explanation when a Roman manages to win: T. Manlius earns the nickname (''cognomen'') Torquatus by outsmarting a Gaul in single combat and stripping him of his torque; M. Valerius Corvus got his ''cognomen'' when a divinely-sent raven (''corvus'') distracted his opponent. Regardless of factuality, these stories contributed to the fashioning of a distinctly Roman identity in relation to a Gallic "Other."〔Williams explores the relation of myth and history throughout ''Beyond the Rubicon''; see also Rankin, ''Celts and the Classical World''; Jonathan Barlow, “Noble Gauls and Their Other in Caesar’s Propaganda,” in ''Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter: The War Commentaries as Political Instruments'' (Classical Press of Wales, 1998). The following account of Roman attitudes toward the Celts derives from Williams and Rankin.〕
As the only foreign enemy to have taken the city, the Gauls represented a "Celtic threat" that loomed large in the Roman imagination for more than 300 years.〔On the late-3rd century in particular, see Briggs L. Twyman, “''Metus gallicus'': The Celts and Roman Human Sacrifice,” ''Ancient History Bulletin'' 11 (1997) 1–11.〕 Cicero could still malign Catiline in 63 BC with an accusation of plotting the overthrow of the government with the aid of Celtic armed forces.〔Cicero, ''In Catilinam'' 3.4 and 9; Williams, ''Beyond the Rubicon'', pp. 92 and 177–179; E.G. Hardy, "The Catilinarian Conspiracy in Its Context: A Re-Study of the Evidence," ''Journal of Roman Studies'' 7 (1917), pp. 199–221: "He describes a plot for installing Gauls on the ashes of Rome. Cicero employed these 'terminological inexactitudes' so often that he perhaps came to believe that they were true" (p. 220).〕 The fear and dread of inferiority engendered by the Gallic sack of Rome became enshrined in Roman foreign policy〔Understood loosely as an unstated, customary approach to international affairs. Erich S. Gruen maintains that a true "foreign policy" depends on the existence of a professional diplomatic corps, which the Roman Republic lacked; see ''The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome'' (University of California Press, 1984), p. 203 (online. )〕 and myth as a virtually infinite quest to secure an ever-larger periphery; in his war against the Gauls and invasion of Celtic Britain, Caesar as proconsul could present himself as pursuing the old grudge to what Romans saw as literally the end of the world.〔In addition to Williams, ''Beyond the Rubicon'', see P.C.N. Stewart, “Inventing Britain: The Roman Creation and Adaptation of an Image,” ''Britannia'' 26 (1995) 1–10; Ralf Urban, ''Gallia rebellis: Erhebungen in Gallien im Spiegel antiker Zeugnisse'' (Franz Steiner Verlag, 1999), ''Historia'' 129.〕
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