What Was France Called in the Ancient Times?

France, as we know it today, has a long and rich history that dates back to ancient times. The country has gone through various phases of development and evolution over the centuries, which have contributed significantly to its current status as a major world power.

But what was France called in the ancient times? Let’s take a closer look.

Ancient Gaul

Before the arrival of the Romans, the territory that is now France was inhabited by various Celtic tribes who referred to their land as Gaul. The name “Gaul” is believed to have originated from an Indo-European word meaning “powerful” or “strong.”

The Roman Conquest

In 51 BC, Julius Caesar led a Roman army into Gaul and conquered it over several years of fierce battles. After the conquest, the Romans renamed the territory Gallia, which was derived from the original Celtic name.

Frankish Kingdom

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, Gaul came under control of various Germanic tribes. The most significant among them were Franks who established a powerful kingdom in Northern France under their leader Clovis I. The Frankish kingdom stretched across modern-day France, Germany, Belgium and parts of Italy.

Medieval France

During medieval times, France saw further political developments with feudalism becoming widespread across Europe. This marked an era when various lords and nobles controlled different regions of France; however, it was King Louis XI who united these territories into one centralized state under his rule.

The French Revolution

The 18th century saw significant changes in France with people challenging traditional power structures leading to social unrest and eventually culminating in The French Revolution. The revolution brought about sweeping changes such as abolition of Monarchy and establishment of a democratic government.


Throughout history, France has gone through various phases of transformation, and its name has changed accordingly. From ancient Gaul to a Frankish kingdom, medieval France to a democratic republic, the country’s evolution has been long and complex. However, one thing that remains constant is France’s position as one of the most influential nations in the world today.