Reduced to geographical expression, the France, due to its shape, is the Hexagone, like Italy is the boot. The Romans gave a proper name to this geometric figure. The Celts who settled in northern Italy from the century onwards had called Gauls. 4th BC, believing that they had to do with the rooster. Resolved to eliminate what had turned out to be a mortal trap, they occupied Padania in 222 BC; from the name of the former occupants they called it Gaul, later Cisalpina, to distinguish this province from the new one, created in 120 BC beyond the western Alps, always in Celtic territory: the Gallia Transalpina, which extended towards N up to the confluence of the Saone in the Rhone, where Lyons would have risen, and included the Mediterranean coasts of the Hexagon. But after Caesar had subjected the rest of it to Rome, the adjective Transalpina passed to indicate the whole, while the former Transalpina became the Narbonese, from the name of its capital. Settling on the left bank of the Rhine, Caesar always decided that it was the border between Gaul and Germany, two entities hitherto non-existent.The name Gaul would have survived the Roman domination (and then the Frankish conquest), mainly as a geographical notion indicating the territory between the Pyrenees and the Rhine. Only in the ecclesiastical context would it also have been used in official documents (acts of councils, papal letters, etc.), but in the plural: the ‘Church of the Gauls’. consequent delineation of a Gallic area, the coming and going to and from the Hexagone of Celtic populations ceased, many of which remained beyond the Rhine. At the same time, within Gaul, the various Celtic tribes, hitherto mobile, established their home, giving life to the civitates, that is groupings of several tribes around a city, which was its center.. This process of territorialization of ethnic affiliations had significant consequences on the toponymy of regions and sub-regions of Gaul, and then of France. It is the most ancient layer of historical regions, which in the Middle Ages and in the first centuries of the modern age corresponded to feudal and / or territorial districts (counties, marches, duchies, etc.) and from which also the ods are largely named. regions, while the dep. they usually have geographical denominations of origin, mostly of rivers. To the Belgians, who in the century. 3rd BC they had come to settle in the territory N of the courses of the Seine and the Marne, belonged to the Atrebates, who gave the name to the Artois. To the SW of the territory of the Belgians, the Cenomani gave their name to Maine, the Andecavi to Anjou and, to the South of the Loire, the Turoni to Touraine, the Pictones, then Pictavii, to Poitou, and the Arverni to Auvergne. Poitou and Auvergne are administrative regions, as is Provence, which, the eldest of the Roman provinces in the Hexagone such as Transalpina and then Narbonne, flaunted this prerogative by transforming the common name of the province into its own name; and Aquitaine, which, inhabited precisely by the Aquitans, was, next to the Celtic and Belgica, one of the ‘three parts’ – the one bounded by the Garonne, the Pyrenees and the Ocean – in which, according to Caesar (De bello Gallico, THE, 1), Gaul was divided, still to be conquered. 3 ° and 4 °, the distant premises of the dualism between northern and southern France Alps, SE. With Diocletian’s reform, Gaul had become part of one of the four new ‘praetorian prefectures’, including Spain and Britain, with capital first Trier, then Arles. Two of the four ‘dioceses’, in which the ‘prefecture of the Gauls’ was divided, were cut out in the territory of Gaul proper, according to the demarcation line indicated above. They are the diocese of Gaul (always in the plural, but this time in the strict sense), also with the capital Trier, and the diocese of the seven provinces’, with the capital Vienne. Within this, the consequences of the early Romanization and Latinization of the former Transalpine, then Narbonne, later subdivided into Narbonese Prima (capital Narbonne), Narbonese Secondo (Aix) and Viennese (Vienne), extended to Aquitaine – also it is divided into three provinces: Aquitaine Prima (Bourges), Aquitaine Second (Bordeaux), Novempopulonia ‘country of the nine peoples’ (Eauze) -, with evident effects on the linguistic level: it was, from the Alps to the Atlantic, the language of the d’oc (from which Languedoc, as the Narbonese Prima was called) compared to France of the lingua d’oïl, where Latin underwent a much more radical transformation. Only in 1271, after the massive diffusion of Cathar heresy created a further reason for division but also gave occasion to the royal conquest crusade, Languedoc (county of Toulouse), currently also an administrative region, was definitively incorporated into the kingdom of France, without losing its linguistic identity. cultural. For Provence, which the cadet branch of the Angevins took possession of in 1245, it was not until 1486. And Nice (in the Roman province of the Maritime Alps) and Savoy became French only in 1860. of the century 3 °, two groupings of Germanic populations had attacked the Rhenish limes: the Alamanni (‘all men’), a league of Swabians, from which the new name of Germany, Alamannia, would have derived. while the southwestern region of that country from Alamannia that was would become Swabia, and, further N, the Franks (‘free’: we mean, from the impending Roman domination), who were a league of peoples or tribes attested on the right bank of the Lower Rhine. It is they who would have given, first to a part and then to the entire Hexagon, its new name, which supplanted the Roman one of Gaul. 5th, the Burgundians, another Germanic people, had obtained the authorization to settle on the left bank of the Rhine, near Worms, to defend the Empire. But the Roman general Ezio, in 443, forced them to move to Sapaudia (Savoy). Here they would have given life to a kingdom that lasted until 532/534, when it was annexed to the regnum Francorum by the sons of Clovis. The toponym Burgundy still perpetuates, as the name of a region, the memory of the Burgundian domination. Along the centuries of the Middle Ages, it distinguished in the official title political-territorial entities of different nature (sub-kingdom, kingdom, duchy). They can be related to variously configured territories, sometimes extending to a very significant extent both to the West, N, and S of the space in which the story of the Burgundian kingdom took place, and in any case coinciding only in part with the od. Burgundy Always in the 10th century 5th, the invasion of Roman Britain by Saxons and Angles (440-460) caused a flow of refugees of Celtic lineage towards the continent, and precisely in the direction of the northwestern extremity of the Hexagon: the Armorican peninsula. From the British refugees it took the name of Brittany.
According to Programingplease.com, Frankish county and then, with Ludovico il Pio, duchy, Brittany firmly defended its autonomy against both the Frankish kingdom and, later, the neighboring Duchy of Normandy and the kingdom of France, into which it was definitively incorporated in 1532.Two peoples, both Germanic, fought for hegemony in Gaul between the end of the century. 5th and the beginning of the next: the Franks and the Visigoths. The former, divided into the two kingdoms of the Salii and the Renani (later Ripuari), occupied a territory that extended from the mouth of the Loire well beyond the Rhine; the latter, after various displacements between southern Gaul and Spain, occupied a large part of this and, to the North of the Pyrenees, the two Aquitanie and the two Narbonese, with the capital Toulouse.
The clash was decided by the king of the Franks Salii, Clovis, who defeated the Visigoths in Vouillé (507) and extended the borders of his kingdom up to the Garonne, also taking over Toulouse. But most of the Narbonese Prima, which in the century. 7th took the name of Septimania (perhaps ‘seven cities’), remained Visigothic until the beginning of the 8th century. Occupied in 719 by the Islamized Berbers who had invaded Spain, it was then conquered by the Franks in 759. Together with the ultra-Pyrenean Frankish territories, it would later take the name of Gothia, which also disappeared without a trace. AS of the Garonne, and up to the Pyrenees. , the Aquitaine of Caesar had become in the sec. 2nd-3rd the Novempopulonia, after its original name had passed to designate the entire territory between the Loire and the Pyrenees. But, also abandoned this new name, starting from the century. 7 ° ended up being called Gascony, from the name of its residents, who were Basques Cispirenaici. now masters of almost all of ex-Roman Gaul, they took the name, with the successors of Clovis, the regnum Francorum and the France or, better, a first France, limited for now to the territory between the Seine and the Loire also called Neustria. In fact, it was believed that it was inhabited only by the Franks, since the Romans took refuge in the territory to the South of the Loire, whose residents were called Romans (or Aquitani).AE of Brittany, Normandy is another historical region, currently divided into two (Upper and Lower Normandy). It preserves the memory of the raiders from the Scandinavian peninsula, the men of the North, who, together with the Hungarians and Saracens of contemporary sources, were the protagonists, between the century. 9th and 10th, of the second, and last, wave of invasions that struck former Roman Western Europe. The Normans, led by Rollone, who in 911 had settled with the consent of Charles III the Simple, king of the Franco-western kingdom, in the Cotentin peninsula, from the duchy to which they had given life – a fief of the kingdom itself – they moved in 1066 to the conquest of Anglo-Saxon Great Britain. They founded a kingdom there, with enormous consequences also for the kingdom on this side of the Channel, within which their first dominion had been carved out. In fact, it was enough that, in 1154, Henry II ascended the English throne, who from his father Goffredo Plantageneto had obtained the duchy of Normandy and inherited Anjou, Touraine and Maine, and from his wife Eleonora the duchy of Aquitaine, because a substantial portion of the Hexagone, in particular its Atlantic provinces, came to constitute what has been defined the France Anglaise, albeit with reference to the period of the Hundred Years War (1339-1453) rather than the 12th-13th century. The conquest of Normandy by Philip II Augustus, in 1204, although far from definitive, marked an important stage in the centuries-old story of the action undertaken by the kings of France, albeit without a precise plan, to build around Paris, asymmetrical seat of their power, a great continental kingdom, starting with the recovery of the maritime provinces that fell into the hands of the English. in the sec. 11 °, retained the title of king of the Franks, origin of the terms France and French, which are both documented in the Chanson de Roland, placing himself as the sole heirs of Clovis, who after the storm of invasions had re-established the unity of Roman Gaul. However, as a consequence of the division of August 843 (Treaty of Verdun), whose importance was not grasped by the contemporaries, the nascent kingdom of France remained for centuries limited towards the E by the so-called frontier of the four rivers (Rodano, Saone, Meuse, Scheldt), which then, in fact, only touched in part, or even not at all, except the Scheldt. The northern and central provinces of the fragile intermediate kingdom, which had been assigned to Lothair as a territorial prerogative (from Aachen to Rome) of the imperial title, were annexed as early as 880 (Treaty of Ribémont), after its early dissolution, by the kingdom eastern franc, the one that, at the end of the same process, it would be Germany. The Strasbourg oath of February 14, 842, which had sanctioned the alliance between Charles the Bald and Louis the German against his brother Lothair, was pronounced in theudisca language by the first and in Roman by the second, so that the following of the other could understand what each of them said. On both sides of the multi-lingual corridor km. 200 approx. that the following year would constitute the reign of Lothair, there were, in short, two national communities in the process of formation, which for the moment were characterized on the linguistic level. This and no more than this, to avoid undue anachronisms. Engaged for centuries, as mentioned, in canceling the English presence N and W of the Hexagon (Calais was conquered only in 1558), the reign of France he devoted himself only later to the recovery of the former Gallo-Roman and former Frankish territories that separated it from the Rhenish limes. Alsace, Lorraine (from Lotharingia, reign of Lothair II, 855-869, who had inherited the northern portion of the reign of his father Lothair I) and Franche-Comté, administrative regions of the od. France, became French, respectively, in 1648, in 1766 and in 1674, then constituting for a long time the subject of the dispute between France and modern Germany. But this objective was pursued by the kings of France out of any prospect of reaching natural borders, in the same way that, with the Peace of the Pyrenees of 1659, they obtained, beyond the chain of mountains so called, the counties of Roussillon (now associated with the Languedoc in a single transpiring region) and the Cerdagne, which had been, at the time.