The Ancient Inhabitants of France Before the arrival of the Gauls in France, the country was populated with other races which history knows principally under two general names: the Ligurians and the Iberians.
When did these people appear in Western Europe? From where did they come?
With remarkable nonchalance and never having furnished proof, historians hazard dates, such as six thousand, ten thousand — and even fifteen thousand years — before Christ, even though, in the admission of all, no one has any precise information on the arrival date of any people in Gaul.
"As for the history of France," writes Jubainville candidly, "the earliest date that the authors of antiquity have given us is that of the founding of Marseille one hundred twenty years before the battle of Salamis (500 B.C.), thus six hundred years before Christ" (The First Inhabitants of Europe, Jubainville, p. 26).
Who then were these Ligurians and Iberians? Let's glance at their history, before studying that of the Celtic peoples.
The Ligurians Characterized by their small waistline, their slightly swarthy skin, black hair and small head, the Ligurians, sometimes called "Liguses," are of Greek origin. This fact is admitted by historians.
"Thus small built were the Ligurian people, their origin linked with the most famous of the Greek colonies, Sicily" (Histoire des Gaulois, Thierry, Intro., p. 23), writes Amedes Thierry. But the knowledge of scholars and historians stops there! This is not surprising, since they never turn to the Bible to pursue their research. Thus they can add nothing to the story with certainty.
Dottin writes: "The problem [the origin of the Ligurians] remains insoluble, because no one is able to determine to which family the Ligurian language belongs" (The Ancient Peoples of Europe, Dottin, p. 188). He should have said: "...because no one will look to the Bible for the truth"!
Identity of the Ligurians, According to the Bible Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The Bible affirms that it was their descendants who, after the flood, would people the entire earth (Genesis 9:19).
One of the sons of Japheth was called Javan, from which we have the terms "Ionia" and "Grecia" or Greece (Strong's Concordance). In turn, Javan became the father of four sons: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim. It is from their descendants that the Greek and Latin peoples came.
The four sons of Javan dispersed to the southwest of the European continent, along the Mediterranean coast. Elishah, for example multiplied in Hellas (Greece) and in the isle of Cyprus, which the ancients called "Alisha."
As for Rodanim, brother of Elishah (his name is sometimes spelled Dodanim), he passed by the Dodecanese (a group of islands in the Aegean Sea) and the island of Rhodes, to which his descendants gave his name; then they went to settle around the mouth of the Rhone, on the Mediterranean coast; from Gaul they went to Italy and Rome, but the center of their region was the country of the Genosee, which still today carries the name "Liguria."
There are the Ligurians of which history speaks — "history" which is not able to trace their origin! They were the descendants of Javan, by Rodanim. As we will see later (Chapter 7), it is indeed this Greek people who later mixed with the Gauls, and it is a part of them who, under the general name of Gauls or Gallics, established themselves in Galatia about 280 B.C.
The Iberians History doesn't know very much about this people (The Ancient Peoples of Europe, Dottin, p. 188). Baron von Humboldt, George Dottin, as well as the great French historian Camille Jullian, each have divergent ideas about the origins of the Iberians. But they agree that these people were among the first inhabitants of Sicily. It is equally averred that they ended up settling in the Iberian Peninsula, to which they give their name. Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Languedoc "appear to have marked" their successive stages before arriving in Spain.
"This much at least is certain, that the Spanish Peninsula took its name (Iberia) from the Iberians, a name of Greek origin, and that in the first century before our era, one of their groups, known under the name of 'Aquitains', occupying the region between the Pyrenees and the Garonne River, where the soldiers of Caesar are going to find them" (Origins, Brentano, p. 28), remarks Funck Brentano.
Once again, in order to learn the entire truth, we must return to the Bible.
The Identity of the Iberians According to the Bible The Iberians descended from Japheth by Javan and Tarshish. This latter, Tarshish, was one of the sons of Javan, I Chronicles 1:7.
The descendants of Tarshish settled first in Asia Minor, in the region of Cilicia, where they gave their name to the city of "Tarsus," the birthplace of the Apostle Paul. From there, this tribe emigrated to the west; it went just to the Iberian Peninsula, to which it gave its name, as Brentano established.
Note well here that the ancient port of Tarshish famous in the time of Solomon (II Chronicles 9:21), was founded by them.
History tells us that the heart of Iberian civilization was Andalusia, a province in southern Spain. The Iberians were good sailors. Their arts and industries, as shown by the excavation enterprises since the beginning of the present century, indicates a striking similarity to those of the Phoenicians and the Greeks.
The influence of the Iberians in Gaul, and the role they played there, was always minimal and negligible.
"Of all the countries occupied by the Iberian race, Spain is the one in which this race maintained predominance in number and language for the longest period of time, thus autonomy," declares Jubainville.
To conclude, we emphasize the fact that neither the Ligurians nor the Iberians, who were enemies, were the ancestors, properly speaking, of the French. As both Diodorus of Sicily and Strabo affirm, the Ligurians and the Celtics (who lived around the Gauls) are a very different race.
The Gauls — the people of the Celtic race — are those who actually are the ancestors of the French nation, since the Celts and the Israelites are the same people!