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
Autun is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in eastern France. It was founded during the Principate era of the early Roman Empire by Emperor Augustus as Augustodunum to give a Roman capital to the Gallic people Aedui, in Roman times the city may have been home to 30,000 to 100,000 people, according to different estimates. Augustodunum was founded during the reign of the first Roman emperor, Augustus and it was the civitas tribal capital of the Aedui, Continental Celts who had been allies and brothers of Rome since before Julius Caesars Gallic Wars. Augustodunum was a planned foundation replacing the original oppidum Bibracte, located some 25 km away, several elements of Roman architecture such as walls, and a Roman theater are still visible in the town. In AD356, a force of Alemanni brought the siege of Autun, the disrepair of the walls left the city in danger of falling. Autun was saved by the arrival of the Emperor Julian in one of his military successes.
In Late Antiquity, Autun became famous for its schools of rhetoric, a world map based on the Geography of Ptolemy was famous for its size and was displayed in the portico of one of the schools. It may have survived until modern times. In 725, the Umayyad general Anbasa ibn Suhaym Al-Kalbi marched up the Saône valley to Autun, on 22 August 725 he captured the town after defeating forces led by the local bishop, Émilien of Nantes, who was slain during the course of the battle. Autun marks the easternmost extent of the Umayyad campaign in Europe, the position was never retained, and Anbasa died soon after. The Umayyads are known to have raided the lower Rhone during the next decade, in 880, Count Richard of Autun was made the first duke of Burgundy. In 1788, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord became bishop of Autun and he was elected member of the clergy for the Estates-General of 1789. The High School plays an important role in the history of the city and even France since Napoleon and this school continues to operate today.
The decorated wrought iron gates were erected in 1772, the subjects taught in the school are indicated by various representations of objects along the top of these grids. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, the leader of the Army of the Vosges, Giuseppe Garibaldi, the city boasts two ancient Roman gates and other ruins dating to the time of Augustus. One of the most impressive remains is that of the ancient theatre, to the northwest of the city is the so-called Temple of Janus, only two walls of which remain. To the southeast is the mysterious Pierre de Couhard, a pyramid of uncertain function which may date to Roman times. Autun Cathedral, known as St. Lazares cathedral, dates from the twelfth century and is a major example of Romanesque architecture
Nevers is the prefecture of the Nièvre department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in central France. It was the city of the former province of Nivernais. It is 260 km south-southeast of Paris, Nevers first enters written history as Noviodunum, a town held by the Aedui at Roman contact. After his failure before Gergovia, the Aedui at Noviodunum massacred those who were there to look after stores, the negotiatores, and the travellers who were in the place. They divided the money and the horses themselves, carried off in boats all the corn that they could. Thinking they could not hold the town, they burnt it and this was a great loss to Caesar, and it may seem that he was imprudent in leaving such great stores in the power of treacherous allies. But he was in straits during this year, and probably he could not do otherwise than he did, dio Cassius tells the story out of Caesar of the affair of Noviodunum. He states incorrectly what Caesar did on the occasion, and he shows that he understood his original nor knew what he was writing about.
The city was called Nevirnum, as the name appears in the Antonine Itinerary, in the Tabula Peutingeriana, it is corrupted into Ebrinum. In still other sources the name appears as Nebirnum and it became the seat of a bishopric at the end of the 5th century. The county dates at least from the beginning of the 10th century, the citizens of Nevers obtained charters in 1194 and in 1231. For a short time in the 14th century the town was the seat of a university, transferred from Orléans, Nevers is situated on the slope of a hill on the right bank of the Loire River. Narrow winding streets lead from the quay through the town there are numerous old houses dating from the 14th to the 17th century. The apse and transept at the west end are the remains of a Romanesque church, while the nave and eastern apse are in the Gothic style, there is no transept at the eastern end. The lateral portal on the south belongs to the late 15th century. The church of Saint Etienne is a specimen of the Romanesque style of Auvergne of which the disposition of the apse with its three radiating chapels is characteristic and it was consecrated at the close of the 9th century, and belonged to a priory affiliated to Cluny.
The Ducal Palace was built in the 15th and 16th centuries and is one of the principal feudal edifices in central France, the façade is flanked at each end by a turret and a round tower. A middle tower containing the staircase has its windows adorned by sculptures relating to the history of the House of La Marck by the members of which the greater part of the palace was built
The Aedui, Haedui, or Hedui were a Gallic people of Gallia Lugdunensis, who inhabited the country between the Arar and Liger, in todays France. Their territory thus included the part of the modern departments of Saône-et-Loire, Côte-dOr. The country of the Aedui is defined by reports of them in ancient writings, the upper Loire formed their western border, separating them from the Bituriges. The Saône formed their eastern border, separating them from the Sequani, both statements are true, the first in the south, and the second to the north. Outside of the Roman province and prior to Roman rule, Independent Gaul was occupied by self-governing tribes divided into cantons, the Aedui, like other powerful tribes in the region, had replaced their monarchy with a council of magistrates called grand-judges. The grand-judges were under the authority of the senate, the senate was made up of the descendants of ancient royal families. Free men in the tribes were vassals to the heads of families in exchange for military.
According to Livy, they part in the expedition of Bellovesus into Italy in the 6th century BC. Before Julius Caesars time, they had attached themselves to the Romans and were honoured with the title of brothers, on his arrival in Gaul, Caesar restored their independence. In spite of this, the Aedui joined the Gallic coalition against Caesar, augustus dismantled their native capital Bibracte on Mont Beuvray and substituted a new town with a half-Roman, half-Gaulish name, Augustodunum. In 21, during the reign of Tiberius, they revolted under Julius Sacrovir, and seized Augustodunum, the Aedui were the first of the Gauls to receive from the emperor Claudius the distinction of jus honorum, thus being the first Gauls permitted to become senators. The oration of Eumenius, in which he pleaded for the restoration of the schools of his native place Augustodunum, shows that the district was neglected. The chief magistrate of the Aedui in Caesars time was called Vergobretus, certain clientes, or small communities, were dependent upon the Aedui.
It is thought that other Celtic tribes, such as the Remi, list of peoples of Gaul Caesar, Julius. A. E. Desjardins, Geographie de la Gaule, ii, T. Rice Holmes, Caesars Conquest of Gaul
Battle of Magetobriga
The Battle of Magetobriga was fought in 63 BC between rival tribes in Gaul. The Aedui tribe was defeated and massacred by the forces of their hereditary rivals. The Sequani and Arverni enlisted the aid of the German Suebi tribe under their king Ariovistus, following their defeat, the Aedui sent envoys to the Roman Senate, their traditional ally, for aid. The Roman general Julius Caesar would subsequently use their request for aid as a basis for launching his conquest of Gaul, according to Strabo, the cause of the conflict between the Haedui and Sequani was commercial. The Arar River formed part of the border between the hereditary rivals, each tribe claimed the Arar and the tolls on trade along it. The Sequani controlled access to the Rhine River and had built an oppidum at Vesontio to protect their interests, in 63 BC the Sequani and Arverni secured the aid of Ariovistus, a king of the Germanic Suebi tribe, to settle the hereditary dispute. Ariovistus crossed the Rhine with a confederation of Germanic tribes, the Battle of Magetobriga, the final battle between the Aedui and their enemies, took place close to the Sequani town of Magetobria 10 km from Luxeuil.
Ariovistus 15,000 Germanic tribesmen turned the tide, and the Aedui became tributary to the Sequani, in return, Ariovistus was promised land grants in Gaul. In 63 BC, following the Aeduis defeat at Magetobriga, the Aedui druid Diviciacus travelled to Rome, while in Rome, Diviciacus was a guest of Cicero, who spoke of his knowledge of divination and natural philosophy, and names him as a druid. Cicero wrote in 60 BC of a defeat sustained by the Haedui, N public affairs for the moment the chief subject of interest is the disturbance in Gaul. For the Haedui—our brethren—have recently fought a battle, and the Helvetii are undoubtedly in arms. In the wake of victory, and to the dismay of his allies, according to Caesar, he seized a third of the Sequani territory and proceeded to settle 120,000 Germani there as the nucleus of a new Germanic kingdom. That move left the Sequani between him and the Jura mountains, not a situation for either if they were not going to be allies. Ariovistus made the decision to out the Sequani from the strategic Doubs valley.
He demanded a further third of Celtic land for his allies the Harudes, Caesar makes it clear that Germanic tribes were actually in the land of the Sequani and were terrorizing them. They are said to all the oppida, but this statement is not entirely true. Presumably, the country to the north of there was under Germanic control, following Caesar’s victory over the Helvetii, the majority of the Gallic tribes congratulated Caesar and sought to meet with him in a general assembly. The Aeduan Druid and statesment Diviciacus, acting as spokesmen for the Gallic delegation, the Gallic request afforded Caesar the perfect pretext to expand his intervention as the savior and not the conqueror of Gaul
Bibracte, a Gaulish oppidum or fortified city, was the capital of the Aedui and one of the most important hillforts in Gaul. It was situated near modern Autun in Burgundy, the material culture of the Aedui corresponded to the Late Iron Age La Tène culture. In 58 BC, at the Battle of Bibracte, Julius Caesars armies defeated the Helvetii 16 miles south of the fort, in 52 BC, Vercingetorix was proclaimed head of the Gaulish coalition at Bibracte. A few decades after the Roman conquest of Gaul, Bibracte was abandoned in favour of Autun,25 kilometres distant, once abandoned, Bibracte remained undisturbed and unexamined until discovered by modern archaeology. Jacques Gabriel Bulliot initiated the first excavations at the site between 1867 and 1895 and his nephew Joseph Déchelette, author of a famous Manuel dArchéologie, continued the excavations between 1897 and 1907. The modern site known as Mont Beuvray is generally identified as ancient Bibracte, the site straddles the borders of the French départements of Nièvre and Saône-et-Loire in Burgundy.
The site is a park at the centre of a protected forest. It is the focus of cooperative European archaeological efforts, a ground for young archaeologists. Important international excavations have been undertaken at Mont Beuvray by teams from the universities of Sheffield, Budapest, Vienna, on December 12,2007, the site of Bibracte received the Great Site of France Label. Before the Roman conquest in 52 BC the great Celtic city of Bibracte had more than thirty thousand inhabitants, protected by a huge stone wall of the Murus Gallicus type enclosing an area of 135 hectares. The origin of the word Bibracte is still poorly understood, the term may have come from the Celtic *bibro- / *bebro- followed by the collective suffix -akti or from the Latin biffractrus. Furthermore, the wall of the city has shrunk since dating methods made it possible to show the precedence of the outer battlements compared to the inner battlements. The stone facing of the surrounding wall, was certainly reused for the construction of the second wall.
Therefore, it is unlikely that Bibracte was surrounded by two walls at the same time, some scholars of the era have cited other evidence to justify placing the Aeduian oppidum on the site of Autun, which was effectively the capital of the Aedui in the first century. Bibracte is mentioned twice in Roman sources. The first mention of Bibracte is found in Julius Caesars Commentaries on the Gallic War in the year 58 BCE. It was mentioned again in 52 BCE, when he was questioning the intentions of his Aedui allies, inscriptions from the era announced that the capital of the Aedui received the name Augustodunum during the reign of Augustus, which gave rise to the current Autun. Starting in the 16th century, a passion for local history arose among scholars and clergy, one theory placed Bibracte at Autun, the Gallic city at the site of the Gallo-Roman city