A druid was a member of the high-ranking professional class in ancient Celtic cultures. While perhaps best remembered as religious leaders, they were legal authorities, lorekeepers, medical professionals and they are however attested in some detail by their contemporaries from other cultures, such as the Romans. The earliest known references to the date to the fourth century BCE. Later Greco-Roman writers described the Druids, including Cicero, Tacitus, in about 750 CE the word druid appears in a poem by Blathmac, who wrote about Jesus, saying that he was. Better than a prophet, more knowledgeable than every druid, a king who was a bishop, the druids also appear in some of the medieval tales from Christianized Ireland like the Táin Bó Cúailnge, where they are largely portrayed as sorcerers who opposed the coming of Christianity. In the wake of the Celtic revival during the 18th and 19th centuries and neopagan groups were founded based on ideas about the ancient druids, many popular notions about druids are based on the misconceptions of 18th century scholars.
These have been superseded by more recent study. The modern English word druid derives from the Latin druides, which was considered by ancient Roman writers to come from the native Celtic Gaulish word for these figures, other Roman texts employ the form druidae, while the same term was used by Greek ethnographers as δρυΐδης. Based on all forms, the hypothetical proto-Celtic word may be reconstructed as *dru-wid-s meaning oak-knower. The two elements go back to the Proto-Indo-European roots *deru- and *weid- to see, the sense of oak-knower is supported by Pliny the Elder, who in his Natural History considered the word to contain the Greek noun drýs, oak-tree and the Greek suffix -idēs. The modern Irish word for Oak is Dair, which occurs in anglicized placenames like Derry – Doire, there are many stories about saints and oak trees, and many local stories and superstitions about trees in general, which still survive in rural Ireland. Both Old Irish druí and Middle Welsh dryw could refer to the wren, sources by ancient and medieval writers provide an idea of the religious duties and social roles involved in being a druid.
One of the few things that both the Greco-Roman and the vernacular Irish sources agree on about the druids is that played an important part in pagan Celtic society. He claimed that they were exempt from service and from the payment of taxes. Pomponius Mela is the first author who says that the instruction was secret and was carried on in caves. Druidic lore consisted of a number of verses learned by heart. What was taught to Druid novices anywhere is conjecture, of the oral literature, not one certifiably ancient verse is known to have survived. All instruction was communicated orally, but for ordinary purposes, Caesar reports, in this he probably draws on earlier writers, by the time of Caesar, Gaulish inscriptions had moved from the Greek script to the Latin script
Lake Geneva is a lake on the north side of the Alps, shared between Switzerland and France. It is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe and the largest on the course of the Rhône,59. 53% of it comes under the jurisdiction of Switzerland, and 40. 47% under France. Lake Geneva has been explored by four submarines, the Auguste Piccard, both built by Jacques Piccard, and the two Mir submersibles. Following the rise of Geneva it became Lac de Genève, in the 18th century, Lac Léman was revived in French and is the customary name in that language. In contemporary English, the name Lake Geneva is predominant, a note on pronunciation, Lake Geneva /ˌleɪk dʒᵻˈniːvə/ French, le lac Léman, le Léman or le lac de Genève German, Genfersee or Genfer See Italian, Lago Lemano, Lago di Ginevra. The Chablais Alps border is its southern shore, the western Bernese Alps lie over its eastern side, the high summits of Grand Combin and Mont Blanc are visible from some places. Compagnie Générale de Navigation sur le lac Léman operates boats on the lake, the lake lies on the course of the Rhône.
Other tributaries are La Dranse, LAubonne, La Morges, La Venoge, La Vuachère, Lake Geneva is the largest body of water in Switzerland, and greatly exceeds in size all others that are connected with the main valleys of the Alps. It is in the shape of a crescent, with the horns pointing south, the northern shore being 95 km, the crescent form was more regular in a recent geological period, when the lake extended to Bex, about 18 km south of Villeneuve. The lakes surface is the lowest point of the cantons of Valais, the culminating point of the lakes drainage basin is Monte Rosa at 4,634 metres above sea level. The beauty of the shores of the lake and of the sites of many of the places near its banks has long been celebrated, however, it is only from the eastern end of the lake, between Vevey and Villeneuve, that the scenery assumes an Alpine character. The shore between Nyon and Lausanne is called La Côte because it is flatter, between Lausanne and Vevey it is called Lavaux and is famous for its hilly vineyards.
The average surface elevation of 372 m above sea level is controlled by the Seujet Dam in Geneva, simulations indicate that the Tauredunum event was most likely caused by a massive landslide near the Rhône delta, which caused a wave eight meters high to reach Geneva within 70 minutes. In 888 the town was part of the new Kingdom of Burgundy, in the late 1960s, pollution made it dangerous to swim at some beaches of the lake, visibility under water was near zero. By the 1980s, intense environmental pollution had almost wiped out all the fish, pollution levels have been dramatically cut back, and it is again considered safe to swim in the lake. Major leisure activities practiced include sailing, wind surfing, rowing, on a scientific footnote, in 1827, Lake Geneva was the site for the first measurement of the speed of sound in water. The loud airborne sound coupled into the lake, establishing an underwater sound that could be measured at a distance. The flash of the exploding gunpowder provided the starting cue for the timepiece
Gallia Narbonensis was a Roman province located in what is now Languedoc and Provence, in southern France. It was known as Provincia Nostra, from its having been the first Roman province north of the Alps and it became a Roman province in the late 2nd century BC. Its boundaries were defined by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The western region of Gallia Narbonensis was known as Septimania, the province of Gallia Transalpina was renamed Gallia Narbonensis, after its newly established capital of Colonia Narbo Martius, a Roman colony founded on the coast in 118 BC. The Romans had called it Provincia Nostra or simply Provincia, the term has survived in the modern French and Occitan names of the eastern part of the area, now a région of France. By the mid-2nd century BC, Rome was trading heavily with the Greek colony of Massalia on the southern coast of Gaul, founded by colonists from Phocaea, was by this point centuries old and quite prosperous. The Massalians, for their part, cared more for their economic prosperity than they did for territorial integrity, in this strip of land, the Romans founded the town of Narbonne in 118 BC.
At the same time, they built the Via Domitia, the first Roman road in Gaul, connecting Gaul to Hispania, and the Via Aquitania, thus the Romans built a crossroads that made Narbonne an optimal trading center, and Narbonne became a major trading competitor to Massalia. From Narbonne, the Romans established the province of Transalpine Gaul, during this period, the Mediterranean settlements on the coast were threatened by the powerful Gallic tribes to the north, especially the tribes known as the Arverni and the Allobroges. In 123 BC, the Roman general Quintus Fabius Maximus campaigned in the area and defeated the Allobroges and this defeat substantially weakened the Arverni and ensured the further security of Gallia Narbonensis. It was from the capital of Narbonne that Julius Caesar began his Gallic Wars, the area became a Roman province in 121 BC, originally under the name Gallia Transalpina. The name distinguished it from Cisalpine Gaul on the side of the Alps to Rome. In 40 BC, during the Second Triumvirate, Lepidus was given responsibility for Narbonese Gaul, while Mark Antony was given the balance of Gaul.
Emperor Diocletians administrative reorganization of the Empire in c. AD314 merged the provinces Gallia Narbonensis, the new dioceses name was changed to Dioecesis Septem Provinciarum, indicating that Diocletian had demoted the word province to mean a smaller subdivision than in traditional usage. Galla Narbonensis and surrounding areas were incorporated into the Visigothic Kingdom between AD462 and 477, permanently ending Roman political control. After the Gothic takeover, the Visigothic dominions were to be known as Septimania. 210. ]us -- between 210 and 230 Tiberius Claudius Paulinus -- 216-217 Gaius Aemilius Berenicianus Maximus -- between 222 and 235 Iulianus -- between 222 and 235 William Smith, ed. Gallia Transalpina, dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography
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
A tribal chief is the leader of a tribal society or chiefdom. In the case of tribal societies existing within larger colonial and post-colonial states. The most common types are the chairman of a council and/or a broader popular assembly in parliamentary cultures, the war chief, the hereditary chief and this term has largely fallen out of use and such personages are now often called kings. Historically, tribal societies represent a stage between the band society of the Paleolithic stage and civilization with centralized, super-regional government based in cities. Stratified tribal societies led by tribal kings thus flourished from the Neolithic stage into the Iron Age, albeit in competition with civilisations, after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, tribal kingdoms were again established over much of Europe in the wake of the Migration period. By the High Middle Ages, these had coalesced into super-regional monarchies. Tribal societies remained prevalent in much of the New World, excepting Paleolithic or Mesolithic band societies in Oceania, europeans forced centralized governments onto these societies during colonialism, but in some instances they have retained or regained partial self-government.
Tribal chiefs are known as Sheikhs, though this term is sometimes applied as an honorific title to spiritual leaders of Sufism. In Botswana, the chiefs of the various tribes are constitutionally empowered to serve as advisers to the government as members of the Ntlo ya Dikgosi. In addition to this, they serve as the ex officio chairs of the tribal kgotlas, meetings of all of the members of the tribes. The band is the unit of governance among the First Nations in Canada. As well, there may be hereditary or charismatic chiefs. There were 614 bands in Canada in 2012, there is a national organization, the Assembly of First Nations, which elects a national chief to act as spokesperson of all First Nations bands in Canada. The offices and traditional realms of the chiefs of Ghana are constitutionally protected by the constitution of the country. The chiefs serve as custodian of all lands and the culture of the traditional area. The Solomon Islands have a Local Court Act which empowers chiefs to deal with crimes in their communities, apo Rodolfo Aguilar serves as the chieftain of the Tagbanwa tribes people living in Banuang Daan and Cabugao settlements in Coron Island, Philippines.
His position is recognized by the Filipino government, the pre-colonial states that existed in what is today Uganda were summarily abolished following independence from Great Britain. However, following constitutional reforms in 1993, a number of them were restored as politically neutral constituencies of the state by the government of Yoweri Museveni, generally, a tribe or nation is considered to be part of an ethnic group, usually sharing cultural values
It covered an area of 190,800 sq mi. According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts, Gallia Celtica and Aquitania, during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Gaul fell under Roman rule, Gallia Cisalpina was conquered in 203 BC and Gallia Narbonensis in 123 BC. Gaul was invaded after 120 BC by the Cimbri and the Teutons, Gallia remains a name of France in modern Greek and modern Latin. The Greek and Latin names Galatia, and Gallia are ultimately derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal-to-. Galli of Gallia Celtica were reported to refer to themselves as Celtae by Caesar. Hellenistic folk etymology connected the name of the Galatians to the supposedly milk-white skin of the Gauls, modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, power, thus meaning powerful people. The English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, as adjectives, English has the two variants and Gallic. The two adjectives are used synonymously, as pertaining to Gaul or the Gauls, although the Celtic language or languages spoken in Gaul is predominantly known as Gaulish.
The Germanic w- is regularly rendered as gu- / g- in French, unrelated in spite of superficial similarity is the name Gael. The Irish word gall did originally mean a Gaul, i. e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was widened to foreigner, to describe the Vikings, and still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, by 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads rapidly across the territory of Gaul. The La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age in France, Italy, southwest Germany, Moravia, farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans described Gallia Transalpina as distinct from Gallia Cisalpina, while some scholars believe the Belgae south of the Somme were a mixture of Celtic and Germanic elements, their ethnic affiliations have not been definitively resolved.
One of the reasons is political interference upon the French historical interpretation during the 19th century, in addition to the Gauls, there were other peoples living in Gaul, such as the Greeks and Phoenicians who had established outposts such as Massilia along the Mediterranean coast. Also, along the southeastern Mediterranean coast, the Ligures had merged with the Celts to form a Celto-Ligurian culture, the prosperity of Mediterranean Gaul encouraged Rome to respond to pleas for assistance from the inhabitants of Massilia, who were under attack by a coalition of Ligures and Gauls. The Romans intervened in Gaul in 154 BC and again in 125 BC, whereas on the first occasion they came and went, on the second they stayed. Massilia was allowed to keep its lands, but Rome added to its territories the lands of the conquered tribes. The direct result of conquests was that by now, Rome controlled an area extending from the Pyrenees to the lower Rhône river
Ambiorix was, together with Cativolcus, prince of the Eburones, leader of a Belgic tribe of north-eastern Gaul, where modern Belgium is located. In the nineteenth century Ambiorix became a Belgian national hero because of his resistance against Julius Caesar, in 57 BC Julius Caesar conquered parts of Gaul and Belgica. There were several tribes in the country who fought against each other frequently, the Eburones were ruled by Ambiorix and Catuvolcus. In 54 BC Caesars troops urgently needed food, and so the local tribes were forced to give up part of their harvest. Understandably the starving Eburones were reluctant to do so and Caesar ordered that camps be built near the Eburones villages, each centurion was ordered to make sure the food supplies were delivered to the Roman soldiers. This created resentment among the Eburones, although Julius Caesar had freed him from paying tribute to the Atuatuci, Ambiorix joined Catuvolcus in the winter of 54 BC in an uprising against the Roman forces under Q.
Titurius Sabinus and L. Aurunculeius Cotta, because a drought had disrupted his grain supply, Caesar was forced to winter his legions among the rebellious Belgic tribes. Titurius Sabinus and L. Aurunculeius Cotta were wintering among the Eburones when they were attacked by them, led by Ambiorix and Cativolcus. Ambiorix deceived the Romans, telling them the attack was made without his consent, trusting Ambiorix and Cottas troops left the next morning. A short distance from their camp, the Roman troops were ambushed by the Eburones, another Roman force under Q. Tullius Cicero, brother of the orator Marcus, were wintering amongst the Nervii, leading a coalition of rebellious Belgic tribes, Ambiorix surrounded Ciceros camp. After a long while, a Roman messenger was finally able to slip through the Belgic lines, mobilizing his legions, Caesar immediately marched to Ciceros aid. As they approached the besieged Roman camp, the Belgae moved to engage Caesars troops, vastly outnumbered, Caesar ordered his troops to appear confused and frightened, and they successfully lured the Belgae to attack them on ground favourable to the Romans.
Caesars forces launched a counterattack, and soon put the Belgae to flight. Later, Caesars troops entered Ciceros camp to find most of the men wounded, Indutiomarus, a leader of the Treveri, began to harass Labienuss camp daily, eventually provoking Labienus to send out his cavalry with specific orders to kill Indutiomarus. They did so, and routed the remnants of Indutiomaruss army, Caesar personally remained in Gaul for the remainder of winter due to the renewed Gallic threat. When the Roman senate heard what had happened, Caesar swore to put all the Belgic tribes. Ambiorix had killed a whole Roman legion and five cohorts, tullius Cicero, stationed with a legion in the territory of the Nervii, failed due to the timely appearance of Caesar
Commentarii de Bello Gallico
Commentarii de Bello Gallico, simply Bellum Gallicum, is Julius Caesars firsthand account of the Gallic Wars, written as a third-person narrative. In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting the Germanic peoples and Celtic peoples in Gaul that opposed Roman conquest. The Gaul that Caesar refers to is sometimes all of Gaul except for the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, encompassing the rest of modern France and some of Switzerland. On other occasions, he refers only to that territory inhabited by the Celtic peoples known to the Romans as Gauls, the work has been a mainstay in Latin instruction because of its simple, direct prose. It begins with the quoted phrase Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres. The full work is split into eight sections, Book 1 to Book 8, Book 8 was written by Aulus Hirtius, after Caesars death. The boni intended to prosecute Caesar for abuse of his authority upon his return, such prosecution would not only see Caesar stripped of his wealth and citizenship, but negate all of the laws he enacted during his term as Consul and his dispositions as pro-consul of Gaul.
To defend himself against these threats, Caesar knew he needed the support of the plebeians, particularly the Tribunes of the Plebs, by winning the support of the people, Caesar sought to make himself unassailable from the boni. The work is a paradigm of proper reporting and stylistic clarity and it is often lauded for its polished, clear Latin. It contains many details and employs many stylistic devices to promote Caesars political interests, the books are valuable for the many geographical and historical claims that can be retrieved from the work. Notable chapters describe Gaulish custom, their religion, and a comparison between Gauls and Germanic peoples, since Caesar is one of the characters in the Astérix and Obélix albums, René Goscinny included gags for French schoolchildren who had the Commentarii as a textbook. One example is having Caesar talk about himself in the person as in the book. Some English editions state that Astérixs village of indomitable Gauls is the part of Gaul. In Book 5, Chapter 44 the Commentarii de Bello Gallico notably mentions Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, during World War I the French composer Vincent dIndy wrote his Third Symphony, which bears the title De Bello Gallico.
DIndy was adapting Caesars title to the situation of the current struggle in France against the German army, in which he had a son and nephew fighting, and which the music illustrates to some extent. At Gutenberg Project, Caesars Commentaries, English translation by W. A. MACDEVITT, introduction by THOMAS DE QUINCEY De Bello Gallico, Latin text edition. The Gallic Wars By Julius Caesar, translated by W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn, IVLI CAESARIS COMMENTARIORVM DE BELLO, TheLatinLibrary. com,2008. Dickinson College Commentaries Selections in Latin with notes, Commentaries on the Gallic War public domain audiobook at LibriVox Wikisource, Commentaries on the Gallic War translated by W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn, Books 1–8
Gaius Julius Caesar, known as Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician and notable author of Latin prose. He played a role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed an alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate. Caesars victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Romes territory to the English Channel, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the Channel and the Rhine, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, with the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused the order, and instead marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province, Civil war resulted, and Caesars victory in the war put him in an unrivalled position of power and influence.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a programme of social and governmental reforms and he centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed dictator in perpetuity, giving him additional authority. But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March 44 BC, a new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesars adopted heir Octavian, known as Augustus, rose to power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began, much of Caesars life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources, Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history. Caesar was born into a family, the gens Julia.
The cognomen Caesar originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by Caesarean section. The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations, that the first Caesar had a head of hair, that he had bright grey eyes. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name, despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesars father, called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia and his mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesars childhood, in 85 BC, Caesars father died suddenly, so Caesar was the head of the family at 16
Orgetorix was a wealthy aristocrat among the Helvetii, a Celtic-speaking people residing in what is now Switzerland during the consulship of Julius Caesar of the Roman Republic. In 61 BC he convinced the Helvetians to attempt to migrate from Helvetian territory to south-western Gaul. He was party to an arrangement with Dumnorix of the Aedui and Casticus of the Sequani to seize control of their respective tribes by arms. The Helvetians went on with their plans for migration but were defeated in 58 BC and this incident was the beginning of the Gallic War in which Caesar subjugated Gaul. Julius Pokorny segments the name orgeto-rix, where the first element contains Gallic orge, related to Old Irish orcaid, from the Indo-European root *per-g-, to hit. The second element is manifestly Celtic rīx, warrior-king, although Orgetorix had aspirations in that direction, he was not one. According to Julius Caesar in I.2 of De Bello Gallico and he made himself an ambassador on behalf of the Helvetians to the other Gallic tribes and he gave his own daughter to Dumnorix as a bona fide gesture.
Orgetorix failed in his attempt to become one of three ruling triumvirs of Gaul, the Helvetians made elaborate plans for making such a journey. According to Caesar they spent two years sowing crops and buying beasts of burden, intending that the migration should start in the third year, the effort came by way of marital exchange and individual alliances among some of the young nobles from all three tribes. Orgetorix was intending to make an attempt in seizing control of all Gaul, with Dumnorix. Unknown to the Helvetians, Orgetorix was making a deal that would involve the use of Helvetian soldiers to control of all Gaul. If the conspiracy was to be carried out, the Aeduans, rivals among the Helvetii discovered Orgetorixs illegal plot and moved to put him on trial, with the penalty of death by burning if found guilty. Many Helvetians suspected that Orgetorix committed suicide rather than death by burning. According to Caesar, he manages to evade pleading his case, nonetheless the Helvetians continue their attempt to migrate.
Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico 1.2 Dio Cassius, Roman History 38.31 Orosius, Seven Books of History Against the Pagans 6.7
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
Vercingetorix was a king and chieftain of the Arverni tribe, he united the Gauls in a revolt against Roman forces during the last phase of Julius Caesars Gallic Wars. Vercingetorix came to power after his designation as chieftain of the Arverni at the oppidum Gergovia in 52 BC. He immediately established an alliance with other Gallic tribes, took command and combined all forces and he won the Battle of Gergovia against Julius Caesar in which several thousands Romans and allies died and Caesars Roman legions withdrew. However, Caesar had been able to exploit Gaulish internal division to easily subjugate the country, at the Battle of Alesia, the Romans besieged and defeated his forces. In order to save as many of his men as possible he gave himself to the Romans and he was held prisoner for five years. In 46 BC, as part of Caesars triumph, Vercingetorix was paraded through the streets of Rome, Vercingetorix is primarily known through Caesars Commentaries on the Gallic War. To this day, Vercingetorix is considered a hero in Auvergne.
The generally accepted view is that Vercingetorix derives from the Gaulish ver-, cingeto-, in his Life of Caesar, Plutarch renders the name as Vergentorix. He made use of the factionalism among the Gallic elites, favoring certain noblemen over others with political support, the revolt that Vercingetorix came to lead began in early 52 BC while Caesar was raising troops in Cisalpine Gaul. Undeterred, Vercingetorix raised an army of the poor, took Gergovia and was hailed as king and he made alliances with other tribes, and having been unanimously given supreme command of their armies, imposed his authority through harsh discipline and the taking of hostages. He adopted the policy of retreating to natural fortifications, and undertook an early example of a scorched earth strategy by burning towns to prevent the Roman legions from living off the land. Vercingetorix scorched much of the land marching north with his army from Gergovia in an attempt to deprive Caesar of the resources and safe haven of the towns, the capital of the Bituriges, Avaricum, a Gallic settlement directly in Caesars path, was spared.
Due to the strong protests, naturally defendable terrain, and apparently strong man-made reinforcing defenses. Upon reaching Avaricum however, the Romans laid siege and eventually captured the capital, the next major battle was at Gergovia, capital city of the Arverni and Vercingetorix. During that battle and his warriors crushed Caesars legions and allies, Vercingetorix decided to follow Caesar but suffered heavy losses during a cavalry battle and he retreated and moved to another stronghold, Alesia. In the Battle of Alesia, Caesar built a fortification around the city to besiege it, the relief came in insufficient numbers, estimates range from 80,000 to 250,000 soldiers. Vercingetorix, the leader, was cut off from them on the inside. However, the attacks did reveal a point in the fortifications and the combined forces on the inside