A History of Gaul by Fr. Funck-Brentano


Full Title: A History of Gaul – Celtic, Roman and Frankish Rule (Original Title: The Earliest Times)

Author: Fr. Funck-Brentano and translated by E. F. Buckley

Publisher: This edition was published by Barnes and Noble (Original Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Son’s)

Year: This edition – 1993 (Originally published 1927)


Synopsis: Traces Gaul from its prehistoric beginnings to the founding of the Capetian ruling house in 987 A.D.

Review: As you can see this book is really old. Considering however, that we don’t really have a lot of books out there on Gaul (if someone knows of any history books on Gaul please let me know) I was very excited to get a copy of it from a seller on Amazon.

The book is divided into five chapters that follow the historical divisions of Gaul. The first chapter talks about the pre-historic period, the second one is about Celtic Gaul, the third is about Roman Gaul, the fourth about the Merovingians and the fifth is about the Carlovingians.

Each chapter is further divided into topics like the Druids or Feudalistic Gaul. Each chapter also ends with a bibliography, and the whole book is also indexed. This book is a translation so I’m not sure if the original book in French had the same tone as this one but it seems like the translator and maybe the author was telling a story to people who were reading the book. It took me back to the days when my grandfather would tell me the stories of the myths and the history of Ireland. The dates in the book were all very general, there was some archeology in there but mostly it seems like the author was recounting what other people had told him about the subject he was talking about or what the classical writers had said about it.

So what did I get from this book? Honestly, mostly broad strokes of history that need re-checking because there has been a lot of archeological finds since 1927. It is a great book to have so that you can see the progress of how things developed over the course of the years and a great way to get a broad outline of Gaulish history. It wasn’t specific enough for me, but it is a place to start my search.

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10 thoughts on “A History of Gaul by Fr. Funck-Brentano

  1. Dafydd says:

    There’s a book called Roman Conquests: Gaul by Michael Sage that was released this year. Unfortunately it’s mostly about Roman Gaul, and I doubt it goes into too much detail about Iron Age Gaul, afterall the main focus of the book is on the military campaigns of Julius Caesar. I suppose if you want to find good up-to-date books about Gaul you’ll have to be able to speak French, as most of the modern historical and archaeological work about it comes from French scholars.

    • celticscholar says:

      I actually have read that book Dafydd, but thanks for mentioning it as it is a good one. You are right though, I would have to learn French just to be able to get these books…hmmm, maybe I can ask my aunt for help. She is a French teacher…

  2. Jander Katze says:

    Greetings! I found your page by searching more reviews on this book. I have been trying to find others who have a background in history and who have read this book. This is what I have posted in a few different groups, hoping to find answers, maybe you can help me out?

    “I have a question in hopes that someone else can give me their opinion on a certain book. There seem to be a lot of French readers in this group, so hopefully someone can! Has anyone read “The History of Gaul: Celtic, Roman and Frankish Rule” by Frantz Funck-Brentano? It is the latest English language book on Gaul that I could find, and although it was printed in English from French in 1993, it was originally written in 1932! That’s quite a long time ago. Anyone else with an academic background in history and/or anthropology read it? I’m reading it specifically for the second chapter “Celtic Gaul”, and right off the bat it seems it contains some questionable information that I have never read about the Gauls elsewhere (IE. That they migrated from Jutland?!), and has some antiquated anthropological ideas about “race” popular during the time. I question how reliable this book is after that. Any insight on what other books on Gaul that are out there that I may have missed? The only other books that I have been able to find is “Les Peuples Fondateurs A L’origine de la Gaule”, which is only published in French and “Celtic Gauls: Gods Rites &Sanctuaries”, which although is a great read, it is a bit too subject specific. As for book suggestions, I am not looking for books on Roman history of Gaul (there’s more than enough publications of Julius Caesars writings!), but more of an anthropological study on the Gauls themselves. I will even accept academic PDF links. Thanks!”

    • celticscholar says:

      Hi, sorry I have no idea on anything new on the Gauls, it isn’t my area of expertise, I just decided to read that out of curiosity. And yes, I’d cross reference anything written in this book by virtue of it being old.

  3. Jander Katze says:

    By the way, it is great that a fellow polytheist has a website like this! The neo-pagan psuedo-history you find online gets a bit…annoying to put it politely 🙂

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