France spans 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and had a total population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017.

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These cities were built in traditional Roman style, with a forum, a theatre, a circus, an amphitheatre and thermal baths.

The Gauls mixed with Roman settlers and eventually adopted Roman culture and Roman speech (Latin, from which the French language evolved).

After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium, initially working gold, copper and bronze, and later iron.

The concept of Gaul emerged at that time; it corresponds to the territories of Celtic settlement ranging between the Rhine, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean.

Around 390 BC the Gallic chieftain Brennus and his troops made their way to Italy through the Alps, defeated the Romans in the Battle of the Allia, and besieged and ransomed Rome.

The Gallic invasion left Rome weakened, and the Gauls continued to harass the region until 345 BC when they entered into a formal peace treaty with Rome.The Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day.Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic and military connections with France.There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank.Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, from approximately 7,000 BC, this part of Western Europe entered the Neolithic era and its inhabitants became sedentary.The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean.