Monday, June 17th, 2013 1 17 /06 /JJune /2013 06:16

The language of francs, Frankish, was a Germanic dialect, little different from others; there was moreover a common Germanic, which allowed the various ethnic groups to communicate between them. More exactly, the Frankish belonged to the western Germanic group, called sometimes Teutonic, and which included two subgroups: on one hand, that of the mountains of the South, that spoke Thuringiens, Gépides, Lombards, Alamans, Hérules; on the other hand, that of the plains of the North and western, spoken by Angles, Saxons, Locks of hair, the Batavian, Francs. The mountain dwellers spoke the top - German (hochdeutsch), the men of plains the bottom - German (niederdeutsch).

The Germanic tribes of the North, which spoke the norrois or the Scandinavian, and that east (Vandals, Jutes, Suèves, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgondes), which spoke the Gothic, as far as they stayed beyond the Rhine and the Alps and acquired the culture written except the Roman influence, kept their clean language; what allowed the Scandinavian, German, Dutch languages, English. Those, on the contrary, who were administratively integrated, then culturally, in the Roman Empire, which brought them a grammar, a code of right, a literature, and soon a theology, abandoned the Germanic for the Latin. So for Francs: whereas their neighbors of the North and east (Saxons, Thuringiens, Suèves, Alamans, Bavarian) kept their Germanic dialects, they were totally Latinized.

What did not prevent rather barbaric Latinized, and with them all the population of Gallic origin, to keep a number my Germanic which passed in the French language. They were especially names having report in the war and in the equitation: war (warra), thuggish soldier, herald, local country squire, helmet, coat of mail, gaiter, boot, ax, harpoon, fang, trumpet, to brandish, win, truce, thrashes, stud farm (and nag), trot (and trot), gallop (and gallop); but also names of animals and plants: heron, herring, cockchafer, beech, hop, holly, acorn, sheaf, cluster; and names of colors: blue, white, grey; and then many of the others of current usage: village, bench, block, band, to build …

The conquests and the conversion of Clovis decided on Francs to adopt the Latin. The conquests, because the small tribe of Saliens, which liked originally on a small territory around Turned, soon occupied the Gaul, the part of the country incomparably vaster and more populated.295

The population salienne of exceeded not hundred thousand inhabitants; monopolizes her of Clovis, who established his aristocracy warrior, with whom he imposed his monarchy in the Gaul, counted three thousand men. The Gauls, established by 305 that tribe, trained people from forty to fifty million inhabitants.

While his people were strongly minority, Clovis, to train only a single nation proclaimed the equality between citizens Gallo-Romans and Francs. They had the same civil and economic rights; with this difference that, temporarily, francs remained subjected to the barbaric common law and the Gauls in the written roman law. In this account, it was impossible to impose the Frankish to the inhabitants of the Gaul; thus they were that the francs which learnt the Latin, which studied the Latin grammar, which learned about the roman law, which discovered the Latin literature. It is however necessary to mark an exception for Austrasie; if Reims and the other cities of the South remained Latin, all which populated the territory east of the Moselle remained hardly germanized. Certainly, Cologne, Trier, Mainz, and to a certain extent Turn and Worms, kept administratively the Latin; but the population all around kept one to speak Germanic, because of the deeper impregnation by francs and their families.

The conversion of Clovis in the Catholicism decisive for was itself the adoption of the Latin language. The bishops and the clerks to speak Latin, the liturgy took place in Latin, the Holy Writing and the Fathers were drafted in Latin. This language became the unitarian language for the Gallo-Romans rooted in the Christianity and Francs recently baptized.

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Saturday, June 15th, 2013 6 15 /06 /JJune /2013 07:57


Chapitre IV - Læti.

Condition of Læti: 1 ° Læti military colonists

What was the condition of Læti in the Empire? This condition, less known generally than that of Dedititii and Fœderati, deserves to be studied in a more particular way. Læti was before any soldiers, militate, as exactly noticed it Rambach [37]. Their first obligation was the military service, (armatæ militiæ obnoxii), the hereditary obligation, which was passed on from father to son, for them as for the veterans. Every son of Lète had to follow the paternal condition and enter the Roman armies as soon as he had reached the age prescribed by the law, that is his eighteenth year [38]; he was even subjected to it in case her alone mother was of origin létique [39]. He could not more escape in this obligation than the colonist in the loads which pressed on him by the fact of his birth. The son of Lète which refused the service was pursued as deserter as well as the son of a veteran and returned by strength under flags. The text of the constitution of emperors Arcadius and Honorius, dated the year 400 and sent to Stilicon, is formal: that all Lète, Allaman, Sarmate, deserter, or son of veteran or other, subjected to the law of the recruitment and intended to be incorporated into legions, receives the education and the army training [40]. The severity of the legislator admits no excuse, no exemption (Nulla igitur sit excusationis occasio). The assimilation is complete; she rereleases loads imposed in Provided as rights which are recognized by them. Of Cange, in its glossary, made also by the military service their distinctive character [41]. The colonies of Læti, intended as those of veterans to assure the defense of the borders against the raids of the enemies from the outside, were real military colonies with this difference that, instead of being consisted of Roman , former citizenssoldiers belonging to legions, they were trained by Barbarians or by foreigners called to replace the provincial the number of which was not any more enough for filling the frames of the armies. The Code Théodosien contains only three or four relative texts in Provided, but the imperial constitutions on the veterans are much more numerous, much more explicit, and certain report which existed between all of them authorize to apply to the first ones, at least to a certain extent, what we know about the last ones.

The veterans, established on the edges of the Rhine and the Danube, received concessions of lands, generally abandoned and uncultivated, which we called terræ limitaneæ, because of their nearby position of the border. It was, says to us Godefroi [42], the former use at Romain and that went back to the last times of the Republic. These lands were territories either annexed, that is taken on the enemy, or occupied by the soldiers and whose ownership, or finally the open fields they claimed and without owner, indicated under the name of vacant lands, terræ vacant, and whom the treasury could have. They were granted to them to put them in culture; they had the enjoyment of it and could pass on her to their children, but only to their sons and not to their daughters, because of the obligation of the military service which was attached to it. They lived on the product of these lands for which the State demanded no fee, because they were frank of any tax and considered as a pay, stipendium, veterans so colonized not stopping being a member of the army active and dedicating the arms to the defense of the ground of the homeland. The Roman government, to facilitate them the putting in exploitation, made them the advance of a sum of money, a pair of oxen and diverse seeds [43]. They also had the right to make the trade to increase their resources and could acquire new lands which, not going any more into the category of terræ limitaneæ, were subjected to the tax [44].

The regular organization and permanent of veterans' military colonies on the borders dates certainly first ones centuries of the Empire. She took a big development in the IIIth century, in the time of Alexandre Sévère and in the time of Probus, when the invasions became chronic and when the natural barriers were not any more enough to protect the bordering provinces. Lampride, the biographer of Alexandre Sévère, gives us some interesting details to the foundation of these colonies, to their essential character and the purpose that proposed the emperors by establishing them [45]military . In this time, there was another Roman territory beyond the Rhine, the more or less spread territory following the walking and the progress of legions. It was this conquered territory on the enemy who became the property of the generals and the soldiers, but to defend him: so he was inalienable. We thought that the best means to interest the soldiers in the territory defense was of them to return it owners. We supplied them on top of the cattle and slaves for the culture, being afraid that the shortage of workers or the old age of the colonists did not make abandon these nearby fields of the country of the Barbarians, which had been a misfortune and a shame for the Empire. Later, in the IVth century, veterans' colonies were not any more established on the conquered territories, but in provinces themselves; the border had moved back to the Rhine; the Rhine was often crossed itself by the barbaric troops which carried the iron and the fire up to the heart of the Gaul. It was necessary to multiply the colonies; We created, we developed the institution of Læti intended to complete and to strengthen that of the veterans. How we could doubt the narrow and intimate report which existed between these two institutions, when a rescript of Honorius and Théodose the Young person, concerning terræ limitaneæ, says formally that these lands held by private individuals must be put back to Gentiles, or, for lack of Gentiles, to veterans [46]. We shall see in the chapter as the condition of Gentiles was similar to that of Læti [47].

Læti, in charge of the defense of the borders, was likened to the Roman troops294.jpg Confined on the edges of the Rhine or the Danube, and indicated under the names of limitanei, castellani, ripenses [48]. It was, we saw him, the last degree of the militia, (deterior militia). They were subjected to all the duties compulsory for the former legionaries, as the preparation and the interview of roads, bridges, aqueducts, camps, cuttings off, dikes raised on the route of the river to protect the bordering territory against the raids of the enemy [49]. Such had been previously the condition of the princes or the barbaric leaders fallen to the power of Romain and incorporated into the lower militia by a favor which did not still share the rest of the nation [50]. Böcking does not hesitate to believe, and in it maybe he goes too far, that the disciplinary punishments and the corporal punishments imposed on the recruits made among Dedititii were not saved in Læti [51]. Placed in Notitia under the upper command of master of the militia of the infantry, magister militum præsentalis has leaves peditum, they do not come, indeed, that in the back row in the enumeration of the various bodies of which consisted the militia of the Empire [52]. Præposituræ into which all the military colonies of the Læti went was dignities of a lower order, minoris laterculi, which had been at first of the quaestor, then passed in the attributions of master of the militia. Præposituræ or Præfecturæ Lœtorum established only a part of the legion and did not become confused with her, as well as believed it certain authors; they distinguished themselves from it as the troop, as the detachment and the auxiliary body. The figure of one thousand or fifteen hundred men attributed to the staff of every prefecture of Læti, according to a text of Constantin Porphyrogénète [53], must be exaggerated, because the legion itself, from Constantin, did not contain a largest number of soldiers [54].

[37] Rambach, Of Lœtis, p. 25. - Roth, Beneficialwesen, Erlangen, on 1850. Die Lœti, Zweites Buch, p. 46-50.

[38] Vopiscus, Lives. Prodrunk, c. XVI.

[39] Böcking, II, p. on 1064. - Ulpien, V, 8. 24. - easily digestible, Of statu hom., I, 5. - Gaius, I, 78, 67.

[40] Cod. Théod., VII, tit. 20, law 12.

[41] Of Cange, Glossy lipstick. Med. and inf. latinit. Læti.

[42] Godefroi, Cod. Théod., VII, Of veteranis.

[43] Cod. Théod., VII, tit. 20, law 3. - the follis, the currency of cuivra weighed the third of the ounce and represented the twelfth part of the silique which was itself the twenty-fourth part of the solidus aureus or the golden penny. The golden penny in the IVth century was worth approximately 13 francs, which would carry the value of the follis in a little less than 5 centimes. - V. Becker and Marquardt, III, 2, p. 24. - Cod. Théod., VII, tit. 20, law 11. - Roth, Beneficialwesen, p. 50.

[44] Cod. Théod., VII, tit. 20, law 3. - ibidem, XI, tit. 1, law 28.

[45] Lampride, Lives. Alex. Severus, c. LVIII. - Cf. Sybel, p. 43-44.

[46] Cod. Théod., VII, tit. 15, law 1.

[47] V. the chapter VI, Of Gentilibus.

[48] Perreciot, t. I, liv. V, 2nd part ., p. 404.

[49] Perreciot, t. I, liv. V, 2nd part ., p. 404.

[50] Lampride, Lives. Alex. Severus, c. LVIII.

[51] Böcking, II, Of Lœtis, p. on 1068. - Eumène, Panég. of Constance, c. IX.

[52] Böcking, p. 119, 122.

[53] Constantin Porphyrogénète, In thematibus. Byzantine collection, Bonn.

[54] Naudet, t. II, 3rd part ., c. V, p. 157.

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Wednesday, June 12th, 2013 3 12 /06 /JJune /2013 17:12

Forgotten the Greek tragedies and the misfortunes of their heroes, in the Gallo-Roman time, the tastes changed.

Under the Republic, before Auguste's reign, the Latin authors had tried well to write patriotic tragedies inspired by episodes of their national history, but gradually, forgetting the subject of the room, the public was more interested than in directions, more and more spectacular, and in bloody episodes.

If the intellectuals continued to be inspired by Greek works, the people, him, especially wanted to have fun. The comedies of the big authors as Plaute and Térence, written in the IIIth and IIth centuries before Jesus Christ, knew an enormous success.287.jpg

The atellane

In a parallel to the tragic rooms developed a much more popular kind, doubtless borrowed from the Etruscan: the atellane. This practical joke, rather close to the commedia dell'arte, put on stage four characters who wore common masks: Pappus, the old man, Doscenus, the hunchback, Bucco, always starved, and Maccus, the simpleton. Their funny events were widely inspired of the everyday life.

The mime

Of another kind, the mime lasted till the end of the Antiquity.

His success was such as it even finished to supplant any other shape of theater. Contrary to the comedy and to the tragedy where the feminine roles were kept by men, the women also appeared on stage in the mime. The subjects were borrowed from legendary themes but we did not add it romantic intrigues, love affairs, we turned the gods in mockery by placing them in ridiculous or injurious positions. We respected nothing. The text was rather rudimentary, counted only the gesticulations, the dance … all which spoke to the sense. Of the demand of the public, the actresses eventually appeared totally undressed. These unrefined shows sank into the pornography at the end of the Late Empire, until their ban by emperor Justinien in 502. Nevertheless his wife Theodora had been herself an actress.288.JPG

The pantomime

Kind was also very appreciated, it was a show without word which was introduced in Rome in 22 av. J.-C. she put on stage with an actor who played to him alone all the roles, accompanied by singers and small orchestra. The subjects were generally inspired by the mythology.

It is likely that the number of actors, any styles of confused comedies, was very important in the Roman world given the frequency of the shows. We are lacking precise data for colonies but there was in Rome, in 27 av. J.-C., sixty five days of public games a year, among which forty five reserved for the theater. At the end of the IIIth century AD, in full decline of the Roman Empire, we mattered hundred and eighty-one days of shows, among which more than hundred reserved for the theater performances.

The games of scene, masks

The actors stir on the scene, go and come, exchange their retorts, sometimes address the crowd come applaud them. Then they disappear alternately in the doors of the wall of scene, to return a few moments later, dressed in new suits, with another mask or another wig. Led by the choirmaster and the banging of its heels, tambourines and flutes in the thin sound give rhythm to the comings and goings of the comedians, occupy the breaks between the various paintings. On both sides of the scene, in both tours which frame him, basilicae, extras wait for the moment of their entrance, by leaving the passage to the stagehands who transport decorations. Contrary to the Greek authors, the Roman minstrels were generally slaves or emancipated slaves. Some had to begin their very young career, if we judge it according to Gallo-Roman steles which were found: the one carries the name of North, died in 12 years, the other one that of Hellas, dead pantomime at the age of 14. Having received a training, the actors joined a company placed under the dependence of a director, himself paid by the magistrate of the city in charge of public games. Sometimes, the troops belonged to notables, as certain Eudoxus, in Arles, whose name we kept. The director of the company bought rooms to the authors and to assure the material and artistic organization of the representation. The slavish origin of the actors Romain did not prevent any of them from being very popular stars, whom we demanded through all the Empire. We also know that empress Domitia succumbed to the charms of one pantomime named Pâris, and that Messaline tried to seduce an other one famous actor, Mnester, who had been the cute of emperor Caligula. If they had the favors of the public, thus the comedians could grow rich and occupy an enviable place in the company.289.jpg

289b.jpgThese masks, inherited from the Greeks and become at more and more caricatural Romain, expressed strongly the feelings of the character. Sometimes poignant, either terrifying,290.gif Sometimes double-sided, he symbolized the behavior: the big ears indicate the wickedness, the paleness indicates a debauchee, whereas the lover had the red cheeks … Some of these masks, made in hardened painting, contained a cavity which deformed the voice, whereas others, realized in a material supple as a skin, married the volumes of the face of the actor. The approach of the actors was natural. They were taken size clogs which raised their size during comedies. For the tragedies, he carried buskins, shoes with soles so thick as they became real stilts there.

Sources Orange / Vaison-la-Romaine - The Journeys of Alix éd. Casterman _ The private life of the former one, René Ménard Gallica.bnf.fr

This article is dedicated to my friend Barbara

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Saturday, May 25th, 2013 6 25 /05 /MMay /2013 07:57


Chapitre IV - Læti.

In what class of the Germanic population?

We wondered in which class of the German company was recruited Læti, if it was in the classe.inférieure or in that of the free men, the warriors. The natural link of Læti and Lidi, Liti, barbaric laws the situation of which was not without analogy with that of Læti used in the service of Rome, besides the striking resemblance of deu X names, made suppose that these voluntary emigrants of the Germania could well be former servants avid to escape the domination of their masters, and who would have left their homeland to conquer, otherwise the complete freedom, at least the relative independence [32]. Welcome favorably by Romain, encouraged by previous examples, they would have put themselves in the service of the emperors, and the particular situation which was made for them would explain the creation of a term new to indicate them, term borrowed from their language and from the state in which they were used to live. You should not attach too much importance for the words and to see in Læti du IVe century the successors of the Lidi of former Germany. It is allowed to believe on the contrary that the Barbarians who so came to enlist under the flags of Rome and to change their nomadic existence against a sedentary life were originally men free of GGermanic tribes. Being attached to no leader as the companions, they granted gladly to follow the fortune of the Empire the prestige of which attracted them and which could pay generously their services by giving them lands, object of their greed. This opinion besides has for her the testimony of the learned legal adviser Overcoats [33] and several historians give evidence that one enough large number of Læti were of the tribe Salique, the first one between the tribes of Francs.

To what time of the history appears Læti? When was this name adopted? The silence of the former authors on this point returns the question difficult to solve. The first text where is mentioned Læti goes back to the end of the IIIth century; we owe him to the rhetor Eumène [34]. The panegyrist of Constance excites the victories of the emperors and is delighted at happy results which they had the Gaul, its homeland. The deserted fields repopulate; vast for a long time uncultivated half-witted plains cover themselves with harvests. What are these new inhabitants, these new farmers? Læti restored in their first stationings, lœtus postliminio restitutus; the True admitted persons to make their submission, receptus in leges Francus. This text, so important by his date, but unfortunately too short, was the object of numerous discussions which concern mainly the sense which it is necessary to give here to the word lœtus. Zumpt [35] takes him in the ordinary meaning of a word of the adjective lœtus and brings back it to the noun Francus which follows:lœtus... Francus, seeing there only one and the same barbarians' adoption, in a nearby situation of that of the colonat. Sybel [36], on the contrary, leaning on the authority of Overcoat, believes that the passage of Eumène hints at two simultaneous, but very different events; that of Læti hunted by enemy troops of the lands which the Empire had them granted and where they had been restored, and that of the Francs subjected to the Empire, which had received lands to be cultivated. Obviously it is Barbarians Læti opposite to the True losers and established as the colonists, that is in a state of more complete subjection. The expression postliminio restitutus announces good that it was not a new condition created by Diocletian or Maximien, but who already existed Rhine before. On the other hand, he is certain that she was later than that of the colonists or the federal ones; she must be contemporary of the time when Francs entered close relations with the Empire, that is of the second half of the century. Before this time we see nothing which looks like what was later Læti, and, if it is recognized that the latter did not lower the former inhabitants of fields Décumates, he is of the least likely that the abandonment of the former limit transrhénane which postponed in the the Roman border near the Germania required the organization of a new military population intended to serve as rampart in the Empire in the Gauls. He is as well to be presumed as among Germain called to play this role Francs were rather chosen, as well as the Batavian, because of their qualities warriors, which would explain the special mention of these two peoples in the enumeration of the various colonies of Læti spread in the IIè and in the IIIè centuries on the ground of our homeland.

[32] Guérard, Polyp. of Irm., t. I, p. 275.

[33] Overcoat, Salic law, p. 475.

[34] Eumène, Panég. of Constance, c. XXI.

[35] Zumpt, p. 19-20.

[36] Sybel, p. 32-33. - overcoat, Salic law, p. 471.

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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 3 22 /05 /MMay /2013 19:50

284.jpg Oil on canvas realized by 1900. Private collection.

Contrary to what many persons think of the mistletoe is rare on oaks. So he is only more precious. This air parasite always green is the object of a particular worship at the Celts who consider it as an attribute or even an adversity of an important divinity. We say that the druids use for its picking a golden billhook. In reality, it is not very probable because the gold is a soft metal. Thus billhooks are rather bronze or iron covered with gold. The gold represents the sun and the sickle the lunar croissant. The mistletoe is collected in a white linen, and the druid carries a white, color dress priestly. He is picked the sixth day by the moon, moment when the strength of the lunar brilliance is in an ascending phase. The same day, the druids sacrifice two white, very young bulls because "their horns are united for the first time" (Pline). It is then the communion of beings and things (animals, vegetables, minerals).

The mistletoe also possesses for the Celts of the therapeutic virtues. They think that, mixed in a potion, the mistletoe is a remedy in the infertility. If we look at the meaning of this word in the various dialects, we notice that he means "who cures everything" in Irish (uileiceadh) and Welsh (oll-iach). In Breton-Armorican it means "high branch (uhelvarr)" and will mean afterward "water of oaks" in the XVIIIth century (deur derhue), the oak being the representation of the divinities.

Presentation of Henri Paul Motte here.


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