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Gaul (gôl), 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.

Roman Rule

By 121 B.C., Rome had acquired S Transalpine Gaul, and by the time of Julius Caesar it had been pacified. It was usually called the Province (Provincia, hence modern Provence), and it included a strip 100 mi (160 km) wide along the sea from the E Pyrenees northeastward and up the Rhone valley nearly to Lyons. Julius Caesar conquered Gaul in the Gallic Wars (58 B.C.–51 B.C.). He is the best ancient source on Gaul, and he has immortalized its three ethnic divisions, Aquitania (S of the Garonne), Celtic Gaul (modern central France), and Belgica (very roughly Belgium). Aquitania was probably inhabited by the ancestors of the Basques, and the Belgae were probably Celts, like the rest of the Gauls.

On the basis of these distinctions, Augustus in 27 B.C. set up great administrative divisions: Narbonensis (the old Province), under the direct rule of the Roman senate; Aquitania, now extending from the Pyrenees to the Loire; Lugdunensis (Celtic Gaul), a central strip mainly between the Loire and the Seine; and Belgica, including most of the rest. The latter three provinces were administered from Lugdunum (now Lyons), capital of Lugdunensis. Upper and Lower Germany were taken from Gaul; these included the upper Rhine, Alsace, W Switzerland, the Franche-Comté, E Belgium, S Netherlands, and the Rhineland.

In Roman Gaul it often became customary to call the chief center of a tribe or the country around it by some form of the tribe's name. Many of these names survive today. The principal tribes of Gaul (with the modern survivals or locations) were: Abrincati (Avranches); Aedui; Allobroges; Ambiani (Amiens); Andecavi (Angers, Anjou); Atrebates (Arras); Baiocassi (Bayeux); Bellovaci (Beauvais); Bituriges (Bourges, Berry); Cadurci (Cahors, Quercy); Carnutes (Chartres); Catalauni (Châlons); Cenomani (Le Mans, Maine); Eburovici (Évreux); Helvetii; Lemovices (Limoges, Limousin); Lingones (Langres); Lexovii (Lisieux); Meldae (Meaux); Namnetes (Nantes); Nervii; Parisii (Paris); Petrocorii (Périgueux, Périgord); Pictones or Pictavi (Poitiers, Poitou); Redones (Rennes, Breton Roazon); Remi (Reims); Ruteni (Rodez); Santones (Saintes); Senones (Sens); Sequani, in the Franche-Comté; Silvanecti (Senlis); Suessiones (Soissons); Treveri (Trier, French Trèves); Tricassi (Troyes); Turones (Tours, Touraine); Veneti (Vannes, Breton Gwened).

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.


See S. Dill, Roman Society in Gaul in the Merovingian Age (1966); R. Latouche, Caesar to Charlemagne (tr. 1968); H. Pirenne, Mohammed and Charlemagne (tr. 1968); J. J. Hatt, Celts and Gallo-Romans (tr. 1970); E. James, Origins of France: From Clovis to the Canetians, A.D. 500–1000 (1982); P. Geary, Before France and Germany (1988).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a Celtic tribe that inhabited northern Gaul (between the Seine and Rhine rivers). Some of the Belgae lived on the western coast of Brittany. The most important Belgic tribes were the Bellovaci, Suessiones, Remi, Ambiani, Atre-bates, Morini, and Menapii. Between 58 and 51 B.C. the Gallic Belgae were subjugated by J. Caesar. In 16 B.C. the area of their settlement became the province of Belgica. In the middle of the first century A.D. the Romans completed the conquest of the territory settled by the Celtic tribes (including the Belgae) in Brittany. In the fifth century, after the conquest of Belgica by the Franks, some of the Belgae were killed by their conquerors, but others merged with the Franks.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
More than 1000 child migrants were sent from England to the Farm School after World War One, and another 1520 children after World War Two A letter in the archives from Kingsley Fairbridge, founder of the child emigration scheme, said the Belgic was greeted by between 8000 and 10,000 when it docked and people there were impressed by the 22 boys' "sturdiness and good manners".
Held aboard the Belgic, he sued for habeas relief, challenging the Scott Act.
Stevens appreciated his Dutch Reformed heritage; though he was probably unaware of Bavinck, he may have known the Forms of Unity (including the Belgic Confession mentioned below), which, after the Bible, centrally inform Bavinck's theology.
In alliance with Germanic and other Belgic tribes, the Nervii led the resistance to invasion by Julius Caesar in 59BC.
(19.) The Belgic Confession beautifully explains this in article 2: "The Means By Which We Know God." These can be labeled God's special revelation and God's general revelation.
With these three Protestant creeds, we could also include the foundational documents of Christian Reformed churches which uphold the traditional belief in original sin: "Belgic Confession" (1561); "Heidelberg Confession" (1563) Question 7, Article XV; and "Canons of the Synod of Dort" (1619) Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine, Articles II and III.
(12.) These confessions include the Augsburg Confession (1530), Calvin's Institutes (1536), the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563), the Belgic Confession (1566), and the Westminster Confession (1646).
This new expansion pack will allow players to select four playable factions: Gallic Arverni, Germanic Suebi, Belgic Nervii and Rome.
During the week of December 19, 1918, the American steamer Alsatian delivered 6,000 barrels of apples, the Bohemian brought over 9,700 barrels as well as 8,600 boxes, and the Belgic carried a whopping 28,000 boxes.
Article 36 of the Calvinists' Belgic Confession (1561, 1566) is called "Of Civil Government" and includes the opinion that the civil government should "remove every obstacle to the preaching of the gospel and to every aspect of divine worship," and that the government's obligation included "removing and destroying all idolatry and false worship of the Antichrist." (38) The killing of Michael Servetus at Geneva was thus justified.
As Bertram has turned into a Schillerian robber/pirate and Alvar has gone to fight in the Low Countries in their struggle against Spain ("I sought / The Belgic states, there join'd the better cause" [Remorse 1.1.74-75]), Edmund has joined the struggle against the Ottoman empire:

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