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Thread: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

  1. #1

    Default Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    “Omnia Gallia in partes tres divisa est” - so said Gaius Ivlivs Caesar, by this meaning that all Gaul was divided in three parts. These parts have been, respectively, Gallia Cisalpina, or Gaul "behind" or "this side" of the Alps, Gallia "Transalpina" or "Provincia Nostra", which extended from the Alps to the modern day Auvergne in France, and Gallia "Comata" or "Hairy" Gaul.

    This administrative division was adopted given a realistic evaluation of the conditions necessary towards their administration. While Gallia Cisalpina and Transalpina were well Romanized, thanks to early conquest and/or the establishment of colonies like Narbo Martius in modern-day Languedoc, most of the rest of Gaul remained a wild, foreign territory with traditional Celtic culture and usages. Therefore it was named "hairy" Gaul, perhaps a well known reference to Celtic customs. Of this, we have plenty of references: GALLIA INQUIT TOGATAM REMITTO, COMATAM POSTULO (CICERO, THE PHILLIPICS), GALLIA OMNIS COMATA [long final a] UNO NOMINE APPELATA (PLINY, NATURAL HISTORY).

    All of these are explicit references to the least Romanized, further Gaul conquered during the Gallic Wars (58 to 51 BC), taken by Gaius Ivlivs Caesar during his famous campaign later described in De Bello Gallico. While Caesar himself never used that term, preferring the well known "Provincia Nostra" (also used to refer to Gallia Transalpina), the terminology became standard after the conquest. This terminology reflects the Roman view of further Gaul as a savage, barbarous hinterland, with clearly demeaning connotations. But we know with plenty of detail that the Gauls of Caesar's time were not barbarians dwelling in huts in the forest, as convinced as we may be by the skewed Roman point of view, and that the late conquest of further Gaul made it conserve its Celtic customs and usages for far longer than the areas named as "Provincia Nostra" or "Gallia Togata", which had by then been partially or fully Romanized. These customs had always been, due to an intense and long historical rivalry, seen by the Romans as barbarous and foreign, and in need of taming.

    Historically, we know that the Romanization of Gaul was a gradual process which lasted for centuries. Archaeological evidences shows Celtic customs, calendars and feasts being held well into the 2nd century AD. Gallic tribes that had been allied to Rome were treated leniently, and conserved significant local autonomy, with many of their representatives even being later admitted into the Imperial Roman Senate. The Gallic language itself is attested, together with religious customs, well into the 5th Century AD - a Gallic Shrine, named as "Vasso Galatae", is attested as being razed by Christians during this later date. Nonetheless, as the centuries passed, gradual romanization quickly extinguished the old Celtic culture, mores and language, giving place to a Romanized environment and a local Latin dialect with significant residues of ancient Gaulish. This was to form the source of later, Medieval, Frankish culture which adopted the existing Roman law and culture, as well as the Gallo-Romance language.
    Ditto.
    Last edited by Marie Louise von Preussen; October 15, 2018 at 11:46 AM.
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    Maybe an inclusion stating "Gallia" and "Gaul" are etymologically separate? I feel like that goes over peoples heads sometimes. I'm sure that's mentioned in one of the unit descriptions.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    I don't really believe this is necessary. Especially since if you're are at least familiar with some basic Latin, it becomes irrelevant. Technically, BTW, the etymological root of these words in English is the same.
    "Romans not only easily conquered those who fought by cutting, but mocked them too. For the cut, even delivered with force, frequently does not kill, when the vital parts are protected by equipment and bone. On the contrary, a point brought to bear is fatal at two inches; for it is necessary that whatever vital parts it penetrates, it is immersed. Next, when a cut is delivered, the right arm and flank are exposed. However, the point is delivered with the cover of the body and wounds the enemy before he sees it."

    - Flavius Vegetius Renatus (in Epitoma Rei Militari, ca. 390)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by hlidskjalf View Post
    Maybe an inclusion stating "Gallia" and "Gaul" are etymologically separate? I feel like that goes over peoples heads sometimes.
    As MLvP mentioned, Gaul and Gallia are cognates. Perhaps you meant Gaul/Gallia and Celts/Celtica?

    I like the description, but what is it for in-game really? Gallia Comata is a rather large area; does it coincide with any of the regions in the game?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    they're convergent maybe but one is Latin in origin and one is Germanic; they're not etymologically identical, and the etymological root is not the same.

    in any case.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by hlidskjalf View Post
    they're convergent maybe but one is Latin in origin and one is Germanic; they're not etymologically identical, and the etymological root is not the same.
    That is very interesting. I had always taken the etymology in English sources (Latin Gallia -> French Gaule -> English Gaul) as a given, but indeed the sound change from Gallia to Gaule does not seem regular at all. The French Wikipedia discusses the issue at length and proposes the Germanic hypothesis with caution (without positing it as a definitive etymology). Now that I read the English Wikipedia, that one posits the Germanic etymology as definite and dismisses the alternative. I think the English Wikipedia could use a bit more cautious tone, but I lack the confidence/competence on this subject to go changing it on my own.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    As a side note, the descriptions in the game often spell the word as "Gual". I assume that is a misspelling that could be corrected.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    That is very interesting. I had always taken the etymology in English sources (Latin Gallia -> French Gaule -> English Gaul) as a given, but indeed the sound change from Gallia to Gaule does not seem regular at all. The French Wikipedia discusses the issue at length and proposes the Germanic hypothesis with caution (without positing it as a definitive etymology). Now that I read the English Wikipedia, that one posits the Germanic etymology as definite and dismisses the alternative. I think the English Wikipedia could use a bit more cautious tone, but I lack the confidence/competence on this subject to go changing it on my own.
    on a side note's side note, I'm looking through Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise (Xavier Delamarre), and in looking for some mention of Gallia versus. Gaules, I've come across: "L'expression latine 'Gaule chevelue' ('Gallia comata') désignait initialement la Gaule couverte de forets, avec foret = chevelure, vieille métaphore indo-européenne..." he's saying it's not initially meaning a 'long-haired Gaul' but a 'forested Gaul' opposite 'civilized Gaul.' He goes on to say "...elle a ensuite été interprétée au sense littéral par les Latins..."

    i've always thought "long-haired Gaul" was really ridiculous, honestly, this is a more reasonable interpretation?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by hlidskjalf View Post
    on a side note's side note, I'm looking through Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise (Xavier Delamarre), and in looking for some mention of Gallia versus. Gaules, I've come across: "L'expression latine 'Gaule chevelue' ('Gallia comata') désignait initialement la Gaule couverte de forets, avec foret = chevelure, vieille métaphore indo-européenne..." he's saying it's not initially meaning a 'long-haired Gaul' but a 'forested Gaul' opposite 'civilized Gaul.' He goes on to say "...elle a ensuite été interprétée au sense littéral par les Latins..."

    i've always thought "long-haired Gaul" was really ridiculous, honestly, this is a more reasonable interpretation?
    What you are saying makes all the sense in the world. I have wondered about the "hairy Gaul" interpretation (or long-haired Gaul) as well. I do not have an extensive Latin dictionary at hand right now, but some online resources list "leafy" as a meaning of comatus. I have no way to assess how reliable those sources are, but if they are reliable, it seems reasonable to think that the contemporary writers were referring to geographical conditions.

    I am starting to think that a brief discussion of the terms used and the etymology would be in order, since there is so much confusion on the matter. I understand that the mission of the EB project is not only to entertain but to educate. What could be done, however, is to include some caveats and not introduce Gallia/Gaul and hairy/wooded as facts but as plausible interpretations.
    Last edited by Septentrionalis; October 17, 2018 at 04:03 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    Given that MLvP took the trouble of writing the suggested text, could it be used with some amendment about etymology and the "hairy Gaul" business? Also, I would like to know what is the actual in-game region that it would be for.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Given that MLvP took the trouble of writing the suggested text, could it be used with some amendment about etymology and the "hairy Gaul" business?
    I hope so, but this might serve as a reminder why one should check the names and locations of the in-game provinces before writing a description.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    I don't really like this myself. What I see is: "Oh, these Gauls are [email protected]#!ing great. Best people that ever was. Those filthy Romans tried to taint their culture, but they failed, cause Gauls are so great and their Gallic culture is also great. So ,a Gauls became more roman than Romans themselves, while staying 100% Gauls, no abandoning their great Gallic culture and no tainting it. Then Franks conquered them, but did not, cause Gauls are great, so they made Franks follow Gallic culture." Did I use enough "Gaul", "great" and "culture"? Unless this was written by French nationalist, I have no idea why its created. How are Frankish aka. German tribes that live here today relevant, I don't know, I just hope someone add Turkey as inheritor of Galatia and Pontus.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    I don't really like this myself. What I see is: "Oh, these Gauls are [email protected]#!ing great. Best people that ever was. Those filthy Romans tried to taint their culture, but they failed, cause Gauls are so great and their Gallic culture is also great. So ,a Gauls became more roman than Romans themselves, while staying 100% Gauls, no abandoning their great Gallic culture and no tainting it. Then Franks conquered them, but did not, cause Gauls are great, so they made Franks follow Gallic culture." Did I use enough "Gaul", "great" and "culture"? Unless this was written by French nationalist, I have no idea why its created. How are Frankish aka. German tribes that live here today relevant, I don't know, I just hope someone add Turkey as inheritor of Galatia and Pontus.
    If it makes you feel any better, the OP's description is too long to fit on screen anyway. It had to be shortened to be added to the game. Anyhow, while I sort of understand where you're coming from, as the thread title already suggests, we previously had no description whatsoever for this ancillary.

    Here is the final product:

    <desc>This man has been appointed by Consultum Senatus as Provincial Governor of Gallia Comata, there to take up the mantle of Governor and to administer the Province in accordance with Roman law. His Imperium is absolute within the boundaries of this province, but useless once he leaves it.

    While serving as Governor, he is immune to prosecution in Rome.

    HISTORICAL NOTES: “Omnia Gallia in partes tres divisa est” - so said Gaivs Ivlivs Caesar, by this meaning that all Gaul was divided in three parts. This division was adopted given a realistic evaluation of the conditions necessary towards their administration. While Gallia Cisalpina and Transalpina were well Romanized, thanks to early conquest and/or the establishment of colonies like Narbo Martius in modern-day Languedoc, most of the rest of "further" Gaul remained a wild, foreign territory with traditional Celtic culture and usages. Therefore it was named "hairy" Gaul, perhaps a well known reference to Celtic customs. Of this, we have plenty of references: GALLIA INQUIT TOGATAM REMITTO, COMATAM POSTULO (CICERO, THE PHILLIPICS), GALLIA OMNIS COMATA UNO NOMINE APPELATA (PLINY, NATURAL HISTORY). Its later Romanization (itself a process as intense as in the other parts) did not prevent Gallia Comata from becoming one of the most important provinces of the Roman Empire after the EB2 timeframe.
    </desc>

  14. #14

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    Much better, but maybe squeeze in some topographical information, if there is some space left.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    Much better, but maybe squeeze in some topographical information, if there is some space left.
    There isn't; it just barely fits on screen as it is.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    it does sort of sound like the description is saying caesar's "partes tres" are cisalpina, transalpina, and comata, which is obviously untrue, could be reworded to clarify what caesar was actually referencing

  17. #17

    Default Re: Gallia Comata Has No Description, So Here's a Suggestion

    Forgive me my ignorance, but I now ask for the third time. What region or other kind of content is this entry for?

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