“Gaul is a whole divided into three parts, one of which is inhabited by the Belgae, another by the Aquitani, and a third by a people called in their own tongue Celtae, in the Latin Galli.”
That's the first sentence Julius Caesar's famously wrote in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico. Of course, those groups were only a rough outline of the Gallic people, and the reality was decidedly much more nuanced. Each group was composed of dozens of loosely related tribes, often at war within their own groups, and – with the exception of the Belgae – rarely did these tribes unite in the way Caesar's overview would suggest.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. This week I'm going to begin talking about some of the factions in Hegemony Rome, and when we started laying out Rome's enemies we also decided to divide them into three parts, but not the same parts Caesar mentioned.
Citerioris Provinciae (aka Cisalpine Gaul) on the strategy map
Before we talk about Rome's enemies, let's talk about Rome. A couple centuries before the Gallic War, Rome began conquering territory outside of Italy. They were sort of new to this, so these new provinces weren't very well defined, and when Caesar was in control of the two provinces in the southern part of Gaul he just referred to them as Citerioris Provinciae and Ulterioris Provinciae, “nearer province” and “further province”. The Roman military, it seems, was not terribly creative when it came to naming things. Nevertheless, the name stuck: the southern part of France is still known as Provence to this day.
The provinces were fully controlled by Rome, but you have to remember that they were Gallic not long before, so by the time of Caesar's campaign their culture was a mishmash of the new Roman influences and the ancient Celtic influences, and they were even sometimes called the “toga wearing Gauls”. So while the soldiers from these provinces wore Roman equipment, and they fought alongside the legions, they still fought much as the Gauls did, lacking the tightly regulated organization of the legions.
The faction selection screen in the sandbox (alpha version)
The Three Parts
Now that I introduced the Roman provinces, what are the three enemies I mentioned?
When Caesar began writing his commentaries, he could never have foreseen that the war would extend as far as it did, and eventually he found himself in the territories of peoples far more exotic than the three kinds of Gauls he had identified. As the war reached Germania and Britannia, he would find that these people were truly unique from the Gauls he had already encountered.
So when we started designing the factions that was where we began: Rome had her two provinces, and her enemies would be divided into three parts: the Gauls, the Germani, and the Britons. Of course, as I mentioned at the beginning of the post, these groups were made up of a complex network of tribes: at current count, we've divided these three groups into twenty-four different factions.
Be sure to join me for the next two parts, when I describe these three groups in more detail.
Established farmland in the Roman province
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