Battle of Vosges (58 BC)
The Battle of Vosges was fought between the Germanic tribe of the Suebi under the leadership of Ariovistus against six Roman legions under the command of Gaius Julius Caesar in 58 BC. This encounter is the major battle of the Gallic Wars. Germanic tribes crossed the Rhine, seeking a home in Gaul, the main Gallic rebellion had not started yet, as it was in 52 BC. Prior to the battle and Ariovistus held a parley, Ariovistus cavalry cast stones and weapons at the Roman cavalry. Caesar broke off negotiations and instructed his men not to retaliate to prevent the Suebi from claiming they were induced into a trap by their accepting an opportunity to talk, Caesar led his forces forward in the standard three line formation. Observing that the German left was the part of their line he concentrated his forces there. The Germans attacked in several columns, moving so swiftly that there was no time for the Romans to hurl their pila and battle was fought proximally, a fierce struggle occurred in which the German left was broken after a stiff fight.
In command of the cavalry, Crassus had the opportunity to move around the battlefield. Seeing the left wing in peril, Crassus led forward reserves from the third line, overwhelmed on both flanks, the Germanic tribesmen fled for the Rhine closely pursued by the Romans. This 15-mile pursuit took a toll on the escaping Suebi. Ariovistus was driven back over the Rhine, which he would never cross again, Caesar had for the moment secured his German border. He chased them into Germania, building a bridge across the Rhine in only 10 days, Gaius Iulius Caesar, The conquest of Gaul, ISBN 0-14-044433-5, translated by S. A. Handford and revised by Jane F. fanaticus. org/DBA/battles/vosges. html
Siege of Uxellodunum
The Siege of Uxellodunum was one of the last battles of the Gallic Wars. It took place in 51 BC at Uxellodunum and it was the last major military confrontation of the Gallic Wars and marked the pacification of Gaul under Roman rule. The battle resulted in a decisive Roman victory, the group had apparently planned to begin a new rebellion against their Roman conquerors. Uxellodunum was heavily fortified both by its position and by its impressive fortifications built by the Carduci tribe. Additionally, one side of the fort was protected by a mountainside which prevented any approach from that direction, for these reasons, it was impossible to besiege it in the same manner the Romans had used at the Battle of Alesia a year before. By this manner, he planned to seal off the city. The Gauls trapped inside the oppidum, having learned the lessons of starvation from the disaster at the Siege of Alesia, made plans to leave the settlement by night to forage for food and provisions. Climbing over the ramparts and Drapes left a garrison of around 2,000 men inside Uxellodunum, some of the local Carduci Gauls in the surrounding areas freely gave the rebels supplies, but much of the provisions were taken by force.
The Gauls tried to sneak past the Roman sentries set by Caninius Rebilus. Caninius Rebilus, upon learning of the Gauls plans, concentrated the bulk of his legions, who was in charge of the convoy, immediately took flight with his warbands without informing Drapes. The rest of the Gauls were massacred almost to a man, Caninius Rebilus left one of his legions behind to defend his three camps and gathered the rest of his soldiers to pursue Drapes. He destroyed the remaining Gaulish forces in the area under Drapes, capturing Drapes and these reinforcements put the Roman forces at four and a half legions, enough to construct competent siege works and completely encircle the fort. While these actions had been ongoing, Gaius Julius Caesar was in the territory of the Belgae in Gaul, there he was informed by courier of the revolt of the Carduci and Senones. Indeed, Caesar made his way so quickly to Uxellodunum that he surprised his two legates, Caesar decided that the city could not be carried by force.
This was a problem for the Romans because they had told by deserters that the city had an abundant food supply, despite the previous blunders of Luciterius. Caesar decided therefore to target the citys water supply, however, noticed the difficulty the Gauls had collecting the water, having to come down a very steep slope to reach the riverbank. Exploiting this potential flaw in the defenses, Caesar stationed archers, more troublesome for Caesar however, a secondary water source flowed down from the mountain directly underneath the walls of the fort. It seemed to be almost impossible to access to this second source
Battle of Carrhae
The Battle of Carrhae was fought in 53 BC between the Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire near the town of Carrhae. The Parthian Spahbod Surena decisively defeated a numerically superior Roman invasion force under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus and it is commonly seen as one of the earliest and most important battles between the Roman and Parthian empires and one of the most crushing defeats in Roman history. Rejecting an offer from the Armenian King Artavasdes II to allow Crassus to invade Parthia via Armenia and his army clashed with Surenas force near Carrhae, a small town in modern-day Turkey. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Surenas cavalry completely outmaneuvered the Roman heavy infantry, Crassus himself was killed when truce negotiations turned violent. His death ended the First Triumvirate, the war in Parthia resulted from political arrangements intended to be mutually beneficial for Marcus Licinius Crassus, Pompeius Magnus, and Julius Caesar — the so-called First Triumvirate.
In March and April 56 BC, meetings were held at Ravenna and Luca, in Caesars province of Cisalpine Gaul, to reaffirm the weakening alliance formed four years earlier. Pressure in various forms was brought to bear on the elections, influence through patronage and friendship, the faction secured the consulship and most, though not all, of the other offices sought. Legislation passed by the tribune Trebonius granted extended proconsulships of five years, matching that of Caesar in Gaul, the Spanish provinces would go to Pompeius, Crassus arranged to have Syria, with the transparent intention of going to war with Parthia. The notoriously wealthy Marcus Crassus was around sixty and hearing-impaired when he embarked on the Parthian invasion, greed is often regarded by the ancient sources, particularly his biographer Plutarch, as his major character fault and his motive for going to war. Historian of Rome Erich Gruen believed that Crassuss purpose was to enrich the public treasury and his major military achievements had been the defeat of Spartacus in 71 and his victory at Battle of the Colline Gate for Sulla a decade earlier.
Another factor in Crassuss decision to invade Parthia was the ease of the campaign. The Roman legions had easily crushed the numerically superior armies of other powers such as Pontus and Armenia. Cicero, suggests an additional factor, the ambitions of the talented Publius Crassus, upon his return to Rome as a highly decorated officer, Publius took steps to establish his own political career. Roman sources view the Battle of Carrhae not only as a calamity for Rome and a disgrace for Marcus Crassus, some Romans objected to the war against Parthia. Cicero calls it a war nulla causa, on the grounds that Parthia had a treaty with Rome, the tribune Ateius Capito put up strenuous opposition, and infamously conducted a public ritual of execration as Crassus prepared to depart. Despite protests and dire omens, Marcus Crassus left Rome on November 14,55 BC, Publius Crassus joined him in Syria during the winter of 54–53 BC, bringing with him the thousand Celtic cavalry troopers from Gaul who remained loyal to their young leader until death.
Crassus arrived in Syria in late 55 BC and immediately set about using his wealth to raise an army. He assembled a force of seven legions, in addition he had about 4,000 light infantry, and 4,000 cavalry, including the 1,000 Gallic cavalry Publius had brought with him
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. The wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the ruler of the Roman Republic. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine. The Gallic Wars are described by Julius Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, as a result of the financial burdens of his consulship in 59 BC, Caesar incurred significant debt. When the Governor of Transalpine Gaul, Metellus Celer, died unexpectedly, Caesars governorships were extended to a five-year period, a new idea at the time. Caesar had initially four veteran legions under his command, Legio VII, Legio VIII, Legio IX Hispana. As he had been Governor of Hispania Ulterior in 61 BC and had campaigned successfully with them against the Lusitanians, Caesar had the legal authority to levy additional legions and auxiliary units as he saw fit.
His ambition was to conquer and plunder some territories to get out of debt. It is more likely that he was planning a campaign against the Kingdom of Dacia, the countries of Gaul were civilized and wealthy. Most had contact with Roman merchants and some, particularly those that were governed by such as the Aedui. The Romans respected and feared the Gallic tribes, only fifty years before, in 109 BC, Italy had been invaded from the north and saved only after several bloody and costly battles by Gaius Marius. Around 62 BC, when a Roman client state, the Arverni, conspired with the Sequani and the Suebi nations east of the Rhine, to attack the Aedui, the Sequani and Arverni sought Ariovistus’ aid and defeated the Aedui in 63 BC at the Battle of Magetobriga. The Sequani rewarded Ariovistus with land following his victory, Ariovistus settled the land with 120,000 of his people. When 24,000 Harudes joined his cause, Ariovistus demanded that the Sequani give him land to accommodate the Harudes people.
This demand concerned Rome because if the Sequani conceded, Ariovistus would be in a position to all of the Sequani land. They did not appear to be concerned about a conflict between non-client and allied states, by the end of the campaign, the non-client Suebi under the leadership of the belligerent Ariovistus, stood triumphant over both the Aedui and their coconspirators. Fearing another mass migration akin to the devastating Cimbrian War, the Helvetii was a confederation of about five related Gallic tribes that lived on the Swiss plateau, hemmed in by the mountains, and the Rhine and Rhone rivers. They began to come under increased pressure from German tribes to the north, by 58 BC, the Helvetii were well on their way in the planning and provisioning for a mass migration under the leadership of Orgetorix