IntroductionGaul (gôl) [key], Lat. Gallia, ancient designation for the land S and W of the Rhine, W of the Alps, and N of the Pyrenees. The name was extended by the Romans to include Italy from Lucca and Rimini northwards, excluding Liguria. This extension of the name is derived from its settlers of the 4th and 3d cent. B.C.—invading Celts, who were called Gauls by the Romans. Their cousins in Gaul proper (modern France) probably had been there since 600 B.C., for the Greeks of Massilia (Marseilles) knew them. The Gaul in Italy was called Cisalpine Gaul [Cisalpine, from Lat., = on this side the Alps], as opposed to Transalpine Gaul; Cisalpine Gaul was divided into Cispadane Gaul [on this side the Po] and Transpadane Gaul.
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