Gaul

Effects of Roman Rule

Although the Romans had won political control over Gaul, they never succeeded in imposing Roman culture throughout the land. Various provinces differed greatly in the degree to which they accepted Roman culture. The only serious attempt to rebel politically against Rome was the uprising of Postumus (A.D. 257), but Gallo-Roman civilization was too strong to fall before anything but the Germans of the 5th and 6th cent.

The villa system spread (see feudalism). A landed aristocracy grew up, employing the laborers, who made up the principal part of the population. The influence of Christianity and the ravages of Germanic invaders forwarded the local organization around the cities. The greatest testimony to the stability and thoroughness of the culture of Roman Gaul is the survival of the Latin language as French. However, an indication of regionalism is that Provençal, also a Romance language, survived in S France for centuries. For history see France.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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