The great Gallic league. J. Dassié.
This study shows the existence of the great
Gallic league of an average value of about 2400 to 2500 meters in all the sources
of information : ancient itinerary, digital indications of the milliary columns,
land surveys on maps. This league exists and its use, very widespread, is
in a majority , at least in Aquitaine-Poitou-Charentes.
Although noticed by various authors, it seems
that a veilfell on this purely Gallic unit, practically banished publications
of reference, even most recent. The sources of the traditional arguments in
favour of the romanized mile often derive d' Ammien Marcellin and from
the writings of a bishop of the VI e century: equivalence between
the thousand and the romanized leuga
there are described perfectly.
It does not remain about it less than the
Gallic communication network existed, than it was dense, than thecommunications
were fast, which implied ways in very good state, at least for the principal
axes. Precise Julian: " the campaigns of César (58-51) will show us
that the large cities of Gaule were joined together by direct paths, running
without interruptions through the borders of the cities " (Julian, T 2,
p. 229. Bib.). It is difficult to imagine such a network without a system of
evaluation of the distances and an original demarcation. It is most probably
what detect the measurements of cartographic topography carried out on modern
maps, highlighting series of coincidences with metric from 2,4 to 2,5 kilometers.
The following stage must appear after the
conquest of Gaule. The existence of the Gallic league was to pose many problems
with the Roman administration: how to express distances with units without direct
relationship between them? The need for a certain rationalization was to surely
be felt. The origin of the " romanized" league of 2222 meters was
probably born from the political will to have a report/ratio evident,
round , with the Roman mile. Two leagues for three miles, a simple reducing
adaptation of the Gallic league, a non-violent assimilation... But of the government
decision, born in Rome, its application to the borders of Gaule, there were...
Gaule and the Gallic ones.
- Could these modifications be carried out only at the time
of the repairs of the imperial ways, perhaps at the time of the revision of
the annone? But what did it occur in the minor roads? In the ways with
load of the cities? A certain form of passive resistance would not have had
surprising anything! In addition, the milliary columns are of the monuments
of certain importance and the evidence of re-employment is numerous. Is it
unthinkable to consider the replacement or even the re-employment of a moved
Gallic terminal(or not!) and romanized by addition of a titulature, without
same correcting the indications of distance?
- Routes and tables, objects of so much of successive recopies,
comprise, on the other hand, a great quantity of anomalies. That does not
remove anything with the value of this irreplaceable information, but complicates
a little the task of the analyst. The errors of copyist are frequently blamed,
but these errors do not modify the advance, whose logic is relentless.
It is many transcription errors of the values, having to present
they also a coherent relationship with the former version.
- The inscriptions of the milliary columns are most interesting,
because they do not require corrections of the numerical values (at most a
restitution of the missing parts), their text having generally arrived directly
- The topographic studies of the remanence of the demarcation
of the ways bring confirmation and decisive assistance in their identification
of the modules of distance and the various points.
- The method of the crosswalks, including the greatGallic
league , makes it possible to define the module ofdistance perfectly used,
as well in the milliary epigraphy as in the texts and the routes.
It is a mode of representation which facilitates the visual detection of the
correlations. Applied to Itinerarium Burdigalense between Burdigala and Tolosa,
this form of analysis reveals a module of about 2450meters, but also between
Auch and Toulouse, a module of 2222 m (passage in Narbonnaise. Appendix Ii-3).
- The method of the sequences of successive rays curvimetric
solves many problems of localization of ancient sites · We constantly
meet points corresponding very exactly to ½ mile. Was there as emi-leugaire
Gallic demarcation? In corollary with there habilitation of the true Gallic
mile, it would be also interesting to check if its existence had effects on
metric the compartmental surrounding one.
- It is a field of new investigations which opens with there
cognition of this indigenous unit. These convergent methods constitute a tool
likely to bring solutions complementary to the study of the ancient ways and
let us apply we them in Aquitaine-Poitou-Charentes, according to the needs
for our work of air archaeology. These profitable results relate to only part
of our areaand it would be interesting that this form of study is generalized
in all Gaules.
Some ancient ways of Aquitaine.