The region which embraces the present kingdoms of Holland and Belgium is designated as the Netherlands; and under the items concerning these states you will find the geographical description of the two parts into which the region is politically divided. However, since the Netherlands formed, from their appearance in history until the middle of the century. XVI, a political, economic and cultural unit, the events of this long period of time will be exhibited under this overall name, while for the events of the subsequent period we refer to Belgium and holland in which entries is also the treatment relating to art, to the language and literature of the two countries (see also: Flemish, art ;Flemish, literature ; Flemish, music ; Flemings).
At a time when the territory of the Netherlands began to take on the appearance that, in its broad outline, it has preserved to this day, that is, in the Holocene era, a new population, which is commonly called the Neolithic, replaced the more ancient traces of which have been found (races of Spy and Cro-Magnon). Those Neolithics used tools of polished stone, practiced livestock breeding and agriculture and towards the nineteenth century a. C. learned about bronze. The use of iron only spread around 850 BC. C., that is to say two hundred years later than in Italy. The first Indo-European populations, Celts and Gauls, invaded the country around 600 BC. C.; around 300 a. C. a new Gallic group, the Belgians, overlapped the first Celtic layer,
Towards the middle of the century I a. C. the territory of the Netherlands south of the Rhine and Waal was occupied by several Celtic tribes belonging to the group of Belgians: Morini, Menapî, Nervî, Treviri, Eburoni and Aduatici. These last two tribes were heavily mixed with Germanic elements. The country north of the Rhine and Waal and the islands at the mouths of these two rivers were occupied by Germans: Batavi, Cannenefati and, further north, Frisoni. For Netherlands 2011, please check internetsailors.com.
Military operations in Belgium were one of the most difficult stages in Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul; these operations took place between 58 and 50 BC. C. and were marked especially by the defeat of the Nervî on the Sambra in 57 and by the conquest of the oppidum of the Aduatics, at the confluence of the Sambra and the Meuse. The subjugation of the northern regions, between the Waal and the Rhine on the one hand, the Vlie and, for some time, the Ems on the other hand, took place under the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius.
The subjugated populations, at least the Belgians and the Batavians, greatly benefited from the Roman civilization. In the shelter of the Rhenish border, Rome gave them a security and a peace that was interrupted only from 68 to 70 AD. C. for the revolt of the Batavian troops raised by Claudio Civile.
Rome facilitated the contact with the orbis romanus for the populations through a network of roads. The main road went from Boulogne-sur-Mer to Bavai (Bagacum) and from Bavai, through Tongres (Atuatuca) and Maastricht (Traiectum ad Mosam), up to Cologne (Colonia Agrippina). Another road connected Bavai to Reims and from Tongres one branched off towards Nijmegen (Noviomagus), where it reached the road that from Cologne, to Xanten (Vetera) and Utrecht (Traiectum), went to Leiden (Lugdunum Batavorum), near the mouth of the Rhine. The southern part of present-day Belgium was crossed by the road from Reims to the Rhine, passing through Arlon (Orolaunum) and Trier (Augusta Treverorum).
The Romanization was deep enough to cause the local population to abandon their Celtic dialects for Vulgar Latin. Politically, the territory of the future Netherlands was part of three provinces; Germania Secunda (capital: Cologne), Belgica Secunda (capital: Reims) and Belgica Prima (capital: Trier). From the former depended the civitates Batavorum (uncertain capital) and Tungrorun (capital: Tongres); from the second, the civitates Nerviorum (capital: Bavai, and in the fourth century Cambrai, Cameracum), Menapiorum (capital: Cassel, Castellum, and in the fourth century Tournai, Tornacum), Morinum (capital uncertain); from the third, the civitas Treverorum. The town retained a mainly agricultural character and the rare Roman cities were all small.
The crisis of the century III saw the first truly important Germanic invasions that devastated the territory of the future Netherlands. These invasions resulted in the disappearance of the cities of the Batavians and of the Vlie line. During the century IV Rome abandoned the whole northern part of the country, under the pressure of the Franks, the Frisians and the Saxons. The Salî Franks entered Toxandria (the current Dutch and Belgian Campine) and in 358 the emperor Julian authorized them to remain there; the Roman defense concentrated on the advanced fortifications of the Boulogne-sur-Mer-Bavai-Colonia road. In a century, the Salî Franks progressively colonized the regions of Lys and Schelda, while behind them began the expansion of the Frisians who colonized the country of the Batavi and the Cannenefati and ended up extending, in the century. VII, as far south as the mouth of the western Scheldt. Since the century V other Frankish groups, including the Ripuarî, had meanwhile come colonizing the territory between the Rhine, the Meuse downstream from the confluence with the Ourthe and the Ardennes.
Towards 446 Clodione, king of the Salî Franks, took possession of Tournai and of the whole southern part of Roman Belgium. However, while the Frankish populations had colonized the western part of the territory and soon had to colonize the center, which is Brabant, the whole region south of the great Roman road was simply conquered and occupied. From this it follows that it has preserved a language – the Picardy and Walloon dialects – originating from Vulgar Latin, while the northern part took on the language of the new residents, that is a set of Frankish dialects that gave rise to the Dutch language; further north was the Frisian linguistic dominion.
Under Childeric and Clovis, Tournai was for some time the capital of the main Salic kingdom, until the expedition of 486 against Siagrio followed the beginning of the Frankish king’s march towards central Gaul. Since then, ancient Belgian Gaul followed the fate of the Merovingian monarchy.