Gallo-Roman culture

From Academic Kids

This article covers the culture of Romanized areas of Gaul. For the political history of the brief "Gallic Empire" of the 3rd century, see Gallic Empire.

The term Gallo-Roman describes the Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire, particularly the areas of Gallia Narbonensis that developed into Occitania, and to a lesser degree, Aquitania. The formerly Romanized north of Gaul, once it had been occupied by the Franks, developed into Merovingian culture instead. Roman life, centered on the public events and cultural responsibilities of urban life in the res publica and the sometimes luxurious life of the self-sufficient rural villa system, took longer to collapse in the Gallo-Roman regions.

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Gallic Empire

Main article: Gallic Empire

During the Crisis of the Third Century, from 259 to 274, an independent Gallo-Roman realm that is termed the Gallic Empire by modern historians, was temporarily established. It was formed of the break-away provinces of Gaul, Britain, and Spain. The Gallic emperor Postumus set up the Empire's capital in Trier, in what is now the Rhineland-Palatinate of Germany. Fuller political details are at the entry Gallic Empire.

Christianism

In the 5th and 6th centuries, Gallo-Roman Christian communities consisted of independent churches in urban sites, each governed by a bishop; Christians experienced loyalties divided between the bishop and the civil prefect, who operated largely in harmony within the late-imperial administration. Some of the communities had origins that predated the 3rd century persecutions. The personal charisma of the bishop set the tone, as 5th-century allegiances, for pagans as well as Christians, switched from institutions to individuals: most Gallo-Roman bishops were drawn from the highest levels of society as appropriate non-military civil roads to advancement dwindled, and they represented themselves as bulwarks of high literary standards and Roman traditions against the Vandal and Gothic interlopers; other bishops drew the faithful to radical asceticism. Miracles attributed to both kinds of bishops, as well as holy men and women, attracted cult veneration, sometimes very soon after their death; a great number of locally-venerated Gallo-Roman and Merovingian saints arose in the transitional centuries 400 – 750. The identification of the diocesan administration with the secular community, which took place during the 5th century in Italy, can best be traced in the Gallo-Roman culture of Gaul in the career of Caesarius, bishop of Arles from (bishop and metropolitan of Arles from 503 to 543. (Wallace-Hadrill).

Gallo-Roman sites

At Périgueux, France, a luxurious Roman villa called the Domus of Vesunna, built round a garden courtyard surrounded by a colonnaded peristyle enriched with bold tectonic frescoing, has been handsomely protected in a modern glass-and-steel structure that is a fine example of archaeological museum-making (see external link).

Lyon, the capital of Roman Gaul, is now the site of a Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization (rue Céberg), associated with the remains of the theater and odeon of Roman Lugdunum. Visitors are offered a clear picture of the daily life, economic conditions, institutions, beliefs, monuments and artistic achievements of the first four centuries of the Christian era. The "Claudius Tablet" in the Museum transcribes a speech given before the Senate by the Emperor Claudius in 48, in which he requests the right for the heads of the Gallic nations to participate in Roman magistracy. The request having been accepted, the Gauls decided to engrave the imperial speech on bronze.

In Martigny, Valais, Switzerland, at the Fondation Pierre Gianadda, a modern museum of art and sculpture shares space with Gallo-Roman Museum centered on the foundations of a Celtic temple.

Other sites include:

Towns

Amphitheatres

Aqueducts

See also

Sources

  • Wallace-Hadrill, J.M. 1983. The Frankish Church (Oxford University Press) ISBN 0198269064, 1983

External links

sv:Gallo-romersk kultur

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