English: Gaul
Latin: Gallia
Galijus, Gallone, Gallya, Gaule, Gaulle, Gauloise, Gawl, Gawle

A historical region in Western Europe that encompassed present-day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and parts of Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany. This region were inhabited by a number of Teutonic tribes in Arthur’s day.

During ancient times, before the Roman conquest, the area was inhabited by Celtic tribes and was known as Gaul. The Romans referred to the region as Gallia when they incorporated it into the Roman Empire. The term “Gaul” is commonly used in English to refer to this region in ancient times, especially when discussing historical events or the cultures of the Celtic tribes that lived there. “Gallia” is often used in Latin texts or discussions involving the Roman perspective on the region.

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 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 GannesSir Accolon 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 I, the King of the Franks, who won a battle against the Alemanni in 506 AD.

Gaul | 60 BC – 11th century AD

In the years 58 to 51 BC, Julius Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul marked the Roman conquest of the region. The Gallic Wars resulted in Roman control over much of Gaul, which was divided into several Roman provinces.

During the period of the first century BC to third century AD, Gaul became Romanized, with Roman infrastructure, administration, and culture shaping the region. The Gallo-Roman culture emerged as a blend of Celtic and Roman influences. In the third century AD, Gaul faced invasions by Germanic tribes and experienced economic and political instability as the Roman Empire struggled with internal conflicts. The Gallic Empire briefly seceded from the Roman Empire.

In the fourth and fifth centuries, Germanic tribes – particularly the Franks – settled in Gaul, forming a significant presence. The region saw increased Frankish influence and the establishment of various Frankisk kingdoms. In the fifth century AD, the Western Roman Empire faced pressure from various barbarian groups, leading to the sack of Rome in 410 AD by the Visigoths. The Roman authority in Gaul weakened, and local leaders gained more autonomy.

The Franks, under the Merovingian kingdom in the fifth to eighth centuries AD, established a dominant kingdom in Gaul, with their center of power in present-day France. Clovis I’s conversion to Chrisitianity marked a significant turning point.

The Carolingian dynasty, in the eighth century, led by Charlemagne (Charles the Great), expanded its rule over much of Western Europe, including Gaul. Charlemagne’s reign led to a revival of learning and culture.

In the ninth and tenth centuries, Viking raids and invasions from Scandinavia impacted Gaul and the Carolingian Empire, leading to insecurity and the decline of centralized authority. Gaul experienced further fragmentation and feudalism during the tenth and eleventh centuries, with local lords exerting more control over their territories. This marked the transition from the Carolingian Empire to the feudal order.