Gaul: Rome’s Ancient Adversary


This article will briefly cover the Roman province of Gaul. Some examples we will cover include the Celtic tribes, ancient Gaul, the Celtic religion, and coins minted by the various Celtic tribes.

Ancient Gaul

Gaul was a section of Western Europe that would take up modern-day France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, a small part of Northern Italy, and parts of Germany. Celts lived in the area for many centuries and developed a thriving culture. However, we don’t officially find a distinct Gaulic society until 500 BCE and forward.

The Romans were the first to write about Gaul, which Julius Cesar would later use as resources to help him to conquer Gaul. This is the same campaign Cesar started a civil war when returning to Rome.

During pre-Roman times there was evidence of large-scale gold mining. Archaeologists have found nearly 200 gold mines that pre-date the Roman occupation of the area. This can be matched with the amount of Gaulic gold artifacts found buried in the ground.

ancient celtic gauls religion and coins
Roman Amphitheater of the Trois Gaules on the Croix-Rousse Hill was built circa 20AD. This Amphitheater was used for gladiator battles and hunting. Lyon, Rhone, France.

Gaul’s Celtic Tribes

There were many Celtic tribes throughout Gaul, but they had no unified leadership. This is one of the reasons Julius Cesar had such an easy time during the early part of his campaign in Gaul. This was true until the now-famous Celtic leader Vercingetorix emerged to fight Julius Cesar and unite the Celts of Gaul.

Like other Celtic traditions, druids played a significant role in religious and secular society within Gaul. In addition, the Celts of Gaul spoke their own dialect/language called Gaulish.

After Rome conquered Gaul and brought it into the province of Gallia, the Celtic tribes would eventually adopt various practices and aspects of Roman culture.


Gauls Religion

As stated above, the Druids played a vital role in the Celt’s religion. Their religion had a solid connection to the nature they lived within. It’s thought that the Celts of Gaul (as well as other Celts) practiced versions of animism. For the Celts in Gaul, the boar was one of the most important animals for worship.

The Druids are one of the most recognizable aspects of Celt culture and religion. They were considered a high-ranking member of Celtic society. Often they would be the ones overseeing Human sacrifices (as well as animal sacrifices).

One of the issues is the Druids never wanted to write anything down. Sticking to an oral tradition is one of the main reasons we know so little about the Druid class and their teachings.


Celtic Coins

The silver and gold Celtic Gaul coins hold great numismatic significance as they provide valuable insight into ancient Celtic culture and their economic practices. The coins offer evidence of trade, commerce, and economic power in Gaul. They also give us a glimpse into the symbolism and beliefs of the Celtic people, with intricate designs featuring images of animals such as boars, bulls, horses, and sometimes even gods and goddesses. Overall, the silver and gold Celtic Gaul coins are a valuable piece of history that provides us with a fascinating glimpse into the economic, religious, and cultural practices of the ancient Gauls. Below is a link to all of the Celtic silver coins we currently have in stock.

Quinarius minted in 50 BCE by the Bituriges Celtic Tribe.

Published by Invest in History Co.

We specialize in high-quality gold and silver coins. Focusing on Middle East, Eastern European, and Ancient coins. We carry Roman, Greek, Parthian, Phoenician, Celtic, Byzantine, Russian, Jewish, Islamic, and many other culture's coins.

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