What Was France Known as in Ancient Times?

France is a country that is steeped in history and culture. It has been known by many names over the centuries, each reflecting the unique characteristics of the region at the time. Let’s explore some of the names that France has been known as in ancient times.

Aquitania – The Land of Water

In ancient times, what is now France was inhabited by several Celtic tribes. The Romans conquered the region in 52 BC and named it Aquitania, which means “the land of water.” This name was apt as Aquitania was located near the Atlantic Ocean and had several rivers running through it.

Gaul – The Land of Warriors

After Aquitania, France was known as Gaul. The name Gaul comes from the Latin word Gallus, which means “rooster.”

The rooster was a symbol of bravery and courage among the Celts who inhabited Gaul. The Romans referred to the inhabitants of Gaul as Gallic tribes who were known for their fierce warriors.

Francia – The Land of the Franks

In the 5th century AD, a Germanic tribe called the Franks conquered Gaul. They established a powerful kingdom that lasted for centuries.

As a result, Gaul came to be known as Francia or “the land of the Franks.” During this time, Charlemagne ruled over Francia and united much of Western Europe under his reign.

The Kingdom of France

In 987 AD, Hugh Capet became King of Francia and established what would become known as the Kingdom of France. This marked a significant shift in power from feudal lords to centralized rule by monarchs. Over time, France became one of Europe’s most powerful nations with its cultural influence spreading across continents.


France has gone through several name changes throughout history, each reflecting the unique characteristics of the region at the time. From Aquitania to Gaul to Francia and finally, the Kingdom of France, this country has a rich and diverse history that has impacted the world in countless ways. Today, France is still known for its culture, art, architecture, and cuisine – all of which reflect its long and fascinating past.