On 20 January 1880, the Commission de Topographie des Gaules (CTG) officially became the Commission de géographie historique de l'ancienne France (CGHAF). However, the institution changed only in name and the latter’s primary objective was to complete the work of the CTG.


The continuity that existed between the two commissions was largely due to the fact that the majority of CTG members joined the new institution. Hence, figures such as Alexandre Bertrand, Anatole de Barthélemy and Alfred Maury sat on the CGHAF. Scholars who had joined the CTG in the 1870s, such as Charles Robert, Ernest Hamy and Antoine Héron de Villefosse, were also CGHAF members. The CTG’s network of correspondents remained unchanged. Some even continued to identify themselves as “correspondants de la Carte des Gaules” in their exchanges with the CGHAF. New scholars were also named auxiliaries of the CGHAF.

...and change

The CTG’s president, Félicien de Saulcy, died in 1880. Henri Martin, the author of a monumental Histoire de France and, from 1870, an important political figure, became president of the CGHAF, which no longer reported to the Ministry of Education, but to the Bibliothèque Mazarine. Precedence was now given to the Gallo-Roman and medieval periods, with prehistory and protohistory given only secondary importance. New areas of work began and a new section was formed responsible for studying fortified walls, producing a collection of sayings, making an inventory of pouillés and carrying out investigations in physical anthropology, led by Ernest Hamy.

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