Cover of book France
Categories: Fiction » Historical Fiction

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hilst the statues wrought by Greek chisels quickly influenced and developed the crude craftsmanship of the pure Gallic sculptors. Just as the provincials desired to become Roman citizens, so they were ever eager to model the institutions of their cities upon those of their mistress, Rome. Municipalities were formed, in which the aristocratic traditions of the Celts were abandoned, and the forms of government which obtained in the Roman colonies were imitated. They were controlled by two annual magistrates (consuls), elected by a municipal council (curia). The Druidical hierarchy had quickly lost its prestige owing to the Roman policy of suppressing political associations of this nature. It was now the turn of the cult of Imperialism to yield to the worship of Christ. The Altar of Rome and Augustus at Lyons was replaced by the Church of St. Peter. In later days a general desire sprang up to trace the evangelization of Gaul to the Apostles or Disciples who had learned the Gospel from the lips of its Founder Himself. There was a rivalry between the towns and churches for such a distinction. The name of an early Bishop, like St. Trophimus of Arles, was easily identified with the disciple of St. Paul. The whole legend of the Three Maries, and the miraculous voyage of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary Magdalen to the shores of France, sprang up in Provence. The exact date of the evangelization of Gaul is doubtful, but it is at least probable that the new religion of Christ was introduced by the beginning of the second century. By the end of that century a mission from Smyrna had settled at Lyons, where Pothinius, their leader, and many of his followers suffered martyrdom in the amphi- The origin of this legend has been traced by M. Gilles to the monuments erected in m...

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