Galijus, Gallone, Gallya, Gaule, Gaulle, Gauloise, Gawl, Gawle
A vast region of western Europe – including France and Germany – inhabited by a number of of Teutonic tribes in Arthur’s day. According to Geoffrey, it was conquered in the fifth century by Maximus, and later by Arthur, who had to take it from the Roman leader Frollo. The Roman province stretched from what is now northern Italy to the southern part of the Netherlands.
The name is most commonly used nowadays to refer to France, but this is not strictly accurate. The Gauls themselves were divided into several distinct groups, but united under a common religion that was controlled by the Druids. One group of Gauls invaded Italy c. 400 BC, sacked Rome and settled between the Alps and the Apennines. This region, known as Cisalpine Gaul, was conquered by Rome c. 225 BC. The Romans conquered southern Gaul between the Mediterranean and the Cevennes c. 125 BC, the remaining Gauls as far as the Rhine being conquered by Julius Caesar between 58 and 51 BC.
The thirteenth-century Lancelot do Lac says that King Claudas, Lancelot’s enemy, transferred his allegiance from King Aramont of Brittany to an unnamed King of Gaul. In Malory, King Bors is given as King of Gaul, but this is unlikely since the region was so large, and it encompassed many other kingdoms, including his own brother’s. If Bors had truly been King of Gaul, his power would have surpassed Arthur’s, and other legends more reasonably make Bors’ kingdom Gannes. Sir Accalon also came from this region. In most Arthurian legends, Gaul can be considered synonymous with France.
An unnamed King of Gaul appears in Meriadoc as an opponent of the Emperor of the Alemanni. As part of a peace treaty, he was betrothed to the Emperor’s daughter, but he rejected her when he found that King Meriadoc of Wales had already slept with her. After Meriadoc slew the Emperor, the King of Gaul awarded him numerous lands. In Meriadoc, the King of Gaul may refer to Clovis, the King of the Franks, who won a battle against the Alemanni in 506 a.d.