History of France from the Earliest Times (Vol. 1-6)

Complete Edition
 
 
e-artnow (Verlag)
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  • erschienen am 18. August 2020
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  • 2422 Seiten
 
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'A Popular History of France from the Earliest Times' in 6 volumes is a comprehensive account of French history from its earliest beginnings in Gaul to 1789 written by the French historian and statesman François Guizot. According to the author's opinion, there are, in the history of peoples, two sets of causes essentially different, and, at the same time, closely connected; the natural causes which are set over the general course of events, and the unrestricted causes which are incidental. The fated causes and the unrestricted causes, the defined laws of events and the spontaneous actions of man's free agency - herein is the whole of history. This carefully crafted e-artnow ebook is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents: Gaul The Romans in Gaul Gaul Conquered by Julius Caesar Establishment of Christianity in Gaul The Germans in Gaul, the Franks and Clovis The Merovingians Charlemagne and His Wars The Crusades, Their Origin and Their Success... Volume 2: The Crusades, Their Decline and End The Kingship in France The Hundred Years' War, Philip VI and John II The Hundred Years' War, Charles V Volume 3: The Hundred Years' War, Charles VII and Joan of Arc (1422-1461) Louis XI (1461-1483) The Wars of Italy, Charles VIII (1483-1498) The Wars in Italy, Louis XII (1498-1515) Volume 4: Francis I and Charles V Francis I and the Reformation Henry II (1547-1559) Charles IX and the Religious Wars (1560-1574) Henry III and the Religious Wars (1574-1589)... Volume 5: Henry IV, Protestant King (1589-1593) Henry IV, Catholic King (1593-1610) Louis XIII, Richelieu, Catholics and Protestants Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu, and Foreign Affairs Louis XIV, His Wars and His Conquests 1661-1697 Volume 6: Louis XV, the Ministry of Cardinal Fleury, 1723-1748 Louis XV, the Seven Years' War Louis XVI, France Abroad - United States' War Louis XVI, France at Home - Ministry of M. Necker Louis XVI, Convocation of the States General 1787-1789

François Guizot (1787-1874) was a French historian, orator, and statesman. Guizot was a dominant figure in French politics prior to the Revolution of 1848. A moderate liberal who opposed the attempt by King Charles X to usurp legislative power, he worked to sustain a constitutional monarchy following the July Revolution of 1830. Guizot's influence was critical in expanding public education, which under his ministry saw the creation of primary schools in every French commune. As Prime Minister, it was Guizot's ban on the political meetings of an increasingly vigorous opposition in January 1848 that catalyzed the revolution that toppled Louis Philippe in February and saw the establishment of the French Second Republic.

CHAPTER II.

THE GAULS OUT OF GAUL.


Table of Contents

About three centuries B.C. numerous hordes of Gauls crossed the Alps and penetrated to the centre of Etruria, which is nowadays Tuscany. The Etruscans, being then at war with Rome, proposed to take them, armed and equipped as they had come, into their own pay. "If you want our hands," answered the Gauls, "against your enemies, the Romans, here they are at your service-but on one condition: give us lands."


A century afterwards other Gallic hordes, descending in like manner upon Italy, had commenced building houses and tilling fields along the Adriatic, on the territory where afterwards was Aquileia. The Roman Senate decreed that their settlement should be opposed, and that they should be summoned to give up their implements and even their arms. Not being in a position to resist, the Gauls sent representatives to Rome. They, being introduced into the Senate, said, "The multitude of people in Gaul, the want of lands, and necessity forced us to cross the Alps to seek a home. We saw plains uncultivated and uninhabited. We settled there without doing any one harm.?. We ask nothing but lands. We will live peacefully on them under the laws of the republic."

Again, a century later, or thereabouts, some Gallic Kymrians, mingled with Teutons or Germans, said also to the Roman Senate, "Give us a little land as pay, and do what you please with our hands and weapons."

Want of room and means of subsistence have, in fact, been the principal causes which have at all times thrust barbarous people, and especially the Gauls, out of their fatherland. An immense extent of country is required for indolent hordes who live chiefly upon the produce of the chase and of their flocks; and when there is no longer enough of forest or pasturage for the families that become too numerous, there is a swarm from the hive, and a search for livelihood elsewhere. The Gauls emigrated in every direction. To find, as they said, rivers and lands, they marched from north to south, and from east to west. They crossed at one time the Rhine, at another the Alps, at another the Pyrenees. More than fifteen centuries B.C. they had already thrown themselves into Spain, after many fights, no doubt, with the Iberians established between the Pyrenees and the Garonne. They penetrated north-westwards to the northern point of the Peninsula, into the province which received from them and still bears the name of Galicia; south-eastwards to the southern point, between the river Anas (nowadays Guadiana) and the ocean, where they founded a Little Celtica; and centrewards and southwards from Castile to Andalusia, where the amalgamation of two races brought about the creation of a new people, that found a place in history as Celtiberians. And twelve centuries after those events, about 220 B.C., we find the Gallic peoplet, which had planted itself in the south of Portugal, energetically defending its independence against the neighboring Carthaginian colonies. Indortius, their chief, conquered and taken prisoner, was beaten with rods and hung upon the cross, in the sight of his army, after having had his eyes put out by command of Hamilcar-Barca, the Carthaginian general; but a Gallic slave took care to avenge him by assassinating, some years after, at a hunting-party, Hasdrubal, son-in-law of Hamilcar, who had succeeded to the command. The slave was put to the torture; but, indomitable in his hatred, he died insulting the Africans.

A little after the Gallic invasion of Spain, and by reason perhaps of that very movement, in the first half of the fourteenth century B.C., another vast horde of Gauls, who called themselves Anahra, Ambra, Ambrons, that is, "braves," crossed the Alps, occupied northern Italy, descended even to the brink of the Tiber, and conferred the name of Ambria or Umbria on the country where they founded their dominion. If ancient accounts might be trusted, this dominion was glorious and flourishing, for Umbria numbered, they say, three hundred and fifty-eight towns; but falsehood, according to the Eastern proverb, lurks by the cradle of nations. At a much later epoch, in the second century B.C., fifteen towns of Liguria contained altogether, as we learn from Livy, but twenty thousand souls. It is plain, then, what must really have been-even admitting their existence-the three hundred and fifty-eight towns of Umbria. However, at the end of two or three centuries, this Gallic colony succumbed beneath the superior power of the Etruscans, another set of invaders from eastern Europe, perhaps from the north of Greece, who founded in Italy a mighty empire. The Umbrians or Ambrons were driven out or subjugated. Nevertheless some of their peoplets, preserving their name and manners, remained in the mountains of upper Italy, where they were to be subsequently discovered by fresh and more celebrated Gallic invasions.

Those just spoken of are of such antiquity and obscurity, that we note their place in history without being able to say how they came to fill it. It is only with the sixth century before our era that we light upon the really historical expeditions of the Gauls away from Gaul, those, in fact, of which we may follow the course and estimate the effects.

Towards the year 587 B.C., almost at the very moment when the Phoceans had just founded Marseilles, two great Gallic hordes got in motion at the same time, and crossed, one the Rhine, the other the Alps, making one for Germany, the other for Italy. The former followed the course of the Danube and settled in Illyria, on the right bank of the river. It is too much, perhaps, to say that they settled; the greater part of them continued wandering and fighting, sometimes amalgamating with the peoplets they encountered, sometimes chasing them and exterminating them, whilst themselves were incessantly pushed forward by fresh bands coming also from Gaul. Thus marching and spreading, leaving here and there on their route, along the rivers and in the valleys of the Alps, tribes that remained and founded peoples, the Gauls had arrived, towards the year 340 B.C., at the confines of Macedonia, at the time when Alexander, the son of Philip, who was already famous, was advancing to the same point to restrain the ravages of the neighboring tribes, perhaps of the Gauls themselves. From curiosity, or a desire to make terms with Alexander, certain Gauls betook themselves to his camp. He treated them well, made them sit at his table, took pleasure in exhibiting his magnificence before them, and in the midst of his carouse made his interpreter ask them what they were most afraid of.

"We fear nought," they answered, "unless it be the fall of heaven; but we set above everything the friendship of a man like thee." "The Celts are proud," said Alexander to his Macedonians; and he promised them his friendship. On the death of Alexander, the Gauls, as mercenaries, entered, in Europe and Asia, the service of the kings who had been his generals. Ever greedy, fierce, and passionate, they were almost equally dangerous as auxiliaries and as neighbors. Antigonus, King of Macedonia, was to pay the band he had enrolled a gold piece a head. They brought their wives and children with them, and at the end of the campaign they claimed pay for their following as well as for themselves: "We were promised," said they, "a gold piece a head for each Gaul; and these are also Gauls."

Before long they tired of fighting the battles of another; their power accumulated; fresh hordes, in great numbers, arrived amongst them about the year 281 B.C. They had before them Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, Greece, rich, but distracted and weakened by civil strife. They effected an entrance at several points, devastating, plundering, loading their cars with booty, and dividing their prisoners into two parts; one offered in sacrifice to their gods, the other strung up to trees and abandoned to the gais and matars, or javelins and pikes of the conquerors.

Like all barbarians, they, both for pleasure and on principle, added insolence to ferocity. Their Brenn, or most famous chieftain, whom the Latins and Greeks call Brennus, dragged in his train Macedonian prisoners, short, mean, and with shaven heads, and exhibiting them beside Gallic warriors, tall, robust, long-haired, adorned with chains of gold, said, "This is what we are, that is what our enemies are."

Ptolemy the Thunderbolt, King of Macedonia, received with haughtiness their first message requiring of him a ransom for his dominions if he wished to preserve peace. "Tell those who sent you," he replied to the Gallic deputation, "to lay down their arms and give up to me their chieftains. I will then see what peace I can grant them." On the return of the deputation, the Gauls were moved to laughter. "He shall soon see," said they, "whether it was in his interest or our own that we offered him peace." And, indeed, in the first engagement, neither the famous Macedonian phalanx, nor the elephant he rode, could save King Ptolemy; the phalanx was broken, the elephant riddled with javelins, the king himself taken, killed, and his head marched about the field of battle on the top of a pike.

Macedonia was in consternation; there was a general flight from the open country, and the gates of the towns were closed. "The people," says an historian, "cursed the folly of King Ptolemy, and invoked the names of Philip and Alexander, the guardian deities of their land."

Three years later, another and a more formidable invasion came bursting upon Thessaly and Greece. It was, according to the unquestionably exaggerated account of the ancient historians, two hundred thousand strong, and commanded by that...

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