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
Ambiorixs revolt was an episode during the Gallic Wars between 54 and 53 BC in which the Eburones tribe, under its leader, rebelled against the Roman Republic. Fifteen Roman cohorts were wiped out at Atuatuca Tungrorum and a garrison commanded by Quintus Tullius Cicero narrowly survived after being relieved by Caesar in the nick of time. The rest of 53 BC was occupied with a campaign against the Eburones and their allies. In 57 BC Julius Caesar conquered Gaul and Belgica In the battle of the Sabis Caesar defeated the Nervii, after this he turned against the Atuatuci, captured their stronghold, and sold the tribe into slavery. The Eburones, who until Caesars destruction of the Atuatuci were vassals of that Belgic tribe, were ruled by Ambiorix and Catuvolcus. In 54 BC there was a poor harvest, and Caesar, to the Eburones he sent Quintus Titurius Sabinus and Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta with the command of a recently levied legion from north of the Po and a detachment of five cohorts. Ambiorix and his tribesmen attacked and killed several Roman soldiers who were foraging for wood in the nearby vicinity, the survivors fled back to their camp, followed by Ambiorix and his men.
The Roman representatives, Quintus Junius, a Spaniard and Gaius Arpineius, a council of war, attended by the leading officers and NCOs, was formed. During this council, two opposing opinions took form, speaking first, Cotta argued that they should not move without an order from Caesar. Moreover, he said it would be better to make for a nearby legion, the officers told their commanders that whichever view prevailed was not as important as coming to a unanimous decision. Cotta was finally forced to give way and Sabinus prevailed, the Romans spent the night in disarray, putting together their belongings and preparing to march out of the Fort once morning came. The enemy heard the hubbub in the Fort and prepared an ambush, when dawn broke, the Romans, in marching order, more heavily burdened than usual left the Fort. When the greater part of the column had entered a ravine, Caesar notes that Sabinus lost his mind, running from cohort to cohort and issuing ineffectual orders. Cotta, by contrast, kept his cool and did his duty as a commander, due to the length of the column, the commanders could not issue orders efficiently so they passed word along the line to the units to form into a square.
The troops fought bravely though with fear and in clashes were successful, Ambiorix ordered his men to discharge their spears into the troops, to fall back if bested and chase back the Romans when they tried to fall into rank. During the engagement, Cotta was hit full in the face by a sling-shot, Sabinus sent word to Ambiorix to treat for surrender. Cotta refused to come to terms and remained steadfast in his refusal to surrender, however, followed through with his plan to surrender. However, after promising Sabinus his life and the safety of his troops, had him surrounded, the Gauls charged down en masse onto the waiting Romans where they killed Cotta, still fighting, and the great majority of the troops
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
The Battle of Alesia or Siege of Alesia was a military engagement in the Gallic Wars that took place in September,52 BC, around the Gallic oppidum of Alesia, a major centre of the Mandubii tribe. It was fought by the army of Julius Caesar against a confederation of Gallic tribes united under the leadership of Vercingetorix of the Arverni. It was the last major engagement between Gauls and Romans, and is considered one of Caesars greatest military achievements and an example of siege warfare. The battle of Alesia marked the end of Gallic independence in France, the battle site was probably atop Mont Auxois, above modern Alise-Sainte-Reine in France, but this location, some have argued, does not fit Caesars description of the battle. A number of alternatives have proposed over time, among which only Chaux-des-Crotenay remains a challenger today. At one point in the battle the Romans were outnumbered by the Gauls by four to one, the event is described by several contemporary authors, including Caesar himself in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico.
After the Roman victory, Gaul was subdued and became a Roman province, the Roman senate granted a thanksgiving of 20 days for his victory in the Gallic War. In 58 BC, following his first consulship in 59 BC and these were Cisalpine Gaul and Gallia Narbonensis. Although the proconsular term of office was meant to be one year and he had the command of four legions. Caesar engaged in the Gallic Wars, which led to his conquest of Gaul beyond Gallia Narbonensis. When the Helvetii, a federation of tribes from what is now Switzerland, planned a migration to the Atlantic coast through Gaul, Caesar went to Geneva and forbade the Helvetii to move into Gaul. While he went to Gallia Cisalpina to collect three other legions, the Helvetii attacked the territories of the Aedui and Allobroges, Caesar and his Gallic allies defeated the Helvetii. The Gallic tribes asked for Caesar to intervene against an invasion by the Suebi, in 57 BC he intervened in intra-Gallic conflicts and marched on the Belgae of northern Gaul.
From on he conquered the Gallic peoples one by one and his successes in Gaul brought Caesar political prestige in Rome and great wealth through the spoils of wars and the sale of war captives as slaves. After his initial successes Caesar had to confront a number of Gallic rebellions which threatened his control over Gaul, in the winter of 54–53 BC the Carnutes killed Tasgetius, a pro-Roman king who had been installed by Caesar. Caesar sent one legion to winter there, soon after, the previously pacified Eburones, commanded by Ambiorix and destroyed the Legio XIV under the command of Quintus Titurius Sabinus in a carefully planned ambush. This was the first clear Roman defeat in Gaul and inspired widespread national sentiments, the Eburones, obtained the support of the Atuatuci, the Nervii and numerous minor tribes. They besieged the camp of Quintus Cicero, Cicero managed to inform Caesar about this by sending a Nervian noble to him with a letter
The Battle of Bibracte was fought between the Helvetii and six Roman legions, under the command of Gaius Julius Caesar. It was the major battle of the Gallic Wars. After following the migration of the Helvetii and defeating them, around 20 June, moved towards Bibracte to obtain the supplies promised by his allies, dumnorix, an Aedui chieftain opposed to the Romans, had been delaying supplies from reaching Caesars army. Informed by deserters of Lucius Æmilius, commander of the cavalry, when Caesar observed this, he sent his cavalry to delay the attack. The baggage train was assembled near the summit, where it could be guarded by the forces present there. After having driven off Caesars cavalry and with their own baggage train secured, according to Caesar, his hill-top battle line easily threw back the Helvetii onslaught by using pila. The legions counterattacked, driving the Helvetii back towards the hill where their baggage train sat. While the legions pursued the Helvetii across the plain in between the hills, the Boii and Tulingi arrived with fifteen men to assist the Helvetii.
At that point the Helvetii returned to the battle in earnest, the battle lasted many hours into the night until the Romans finally took the Helvetic baggage train, capturing both a daughter and son of Orgetorix. According to Caesar,130,000 enemy personnel escaped into the night, unable to pursue on account of battle wounds and the time it took to bury the dead, Caesar rested three days before he followed the fleeing Helvetii. These, in turn, had managed to reach the territory of the Lingones within four days of the battle, Caesar warned the Lingones to not assist them, prompting the Helvetii and their allies to finally surrender. Caesar claimed that 130,000 of the Helvetii and her allies escaped yet only 110,000 returned home. Also according to Caesar the census totals of the tribes at the start of the war were, Battle of Bibracte in German, new Haven, Yale University Press,2007. Caesars Gallic War - direct translation from Latin
Avaricum was an oppidum in ancient Gaul, near what is now the city of Bourges. Avaricum, situated in the lands of the Bituriges, was the largest and best-fortified town within their territory, the terrain favored the oppidum, as it was flanked by a river and marshland, with only a single narrow entrance. By the time of the Roman conquest in 52 BC the city according to Julius Caesar had a population of 40,000 people, aware that he had already been bested three times, decided to change tactics. Calling together a council of the tribes in rebellion against Rome, he convinced them to adopt Fabian strategy, never offering combat with Caesars forces, and denying them supplies. All the towns within range of Caesars foraging parties were destroyed, the land stripped bare, Avaricum was spared this fate since the Bituriges argued the town was impossible to take, and Vercingetorix agreed to make the town an exception. The shortage of grain was so acute that the men ate meat, Caesar personally made the rounds amongst his men, telling them that if the scarcity of food was too much, he would lift the siege and withdraw.
His soldiers protested, refusing to end a siege in disgrace when they still had to avenge the innocent Romans murdered by the Gauls, contented by this, Caesar designed and began engineering an impressive siege apparatus. Starting from high ground, he built a terrace of sorts. Two flanking walls were made, along with two towers to be advanced fully made, another wall was built between the flanking walls to connect them and open the front for the battle. As construction on Caesars siege terrace continued, Vercingetorix moved his cavalry into a closer to Caesars. Having discovered this, Caesar countered, marching in the dead of night and this drew Vercingetorix back to his main camp, rushing to its aid. After twenty-five grueling days of construction, and contending with Gallic raids and attempts to set the whole siege terrace on fire, Caesars apparatus was completed. Caesar ordered the advanced, and much to his good fortune. Taking advantage of lack of discipline, Caesar stealthily moved his soldiers into the towers and the wall.
The walls fell quickly, and the surviving Gauls retreated to the center of town, forming a wedge formation, however, no Roman legionary descended from the walls, simply stood at their ease, watching the Gauls. Panic struck the Gallic defenders, and they all fled for wherever they thought there was an avenue of escape, Caesars legions were in no mood to spare any of the forty thousand Gauls within Avaricum, especially after twenty five days of short rations and great frustration. Only eight hundred managed to escape the massacre that followed, Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War vii
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
The Battle of Gergovia took place in 52 BC in Gaul at Gergovia, the chief oppidum of the Arverni. The battle was fought between a Roman Republican army, led by proconsul Julius Caesar, and Gallic forces led by Vercingetorix, who was the Arverni chieftain. The site is identified with Merdogne, now called Gergovie, a located on a hill within the town of La Roche-Blanche, near Clermont-Ferrand. Some walls and earthworks still survive from the pre-Roman Iron Age, the battle is well known in France, as exemplified in the popular French comic Asterix, where the battle is referenced, specifically in the book Asterix and the Class Act. As with much of the history of Gaul, the knowledge of the war comes principally from Julius Caesars Commentaries on the Gallic War. Vercingetorix had earlier expelled from Gergovia. In winter 53 BC, whilst Caesar was gathering his forces for a strike against the Gauls, leaving two legions and all his baggage train behind in Agedincum, Caesar led the remaining legions to Gergovias aid.
His sieges of Vellaunodunum and Noviodunum en route caused Vercingetorix to lift his siege and march to meet Caesar in open battle at Noviodunum, Caesar besieged and captured Avaricum and resupplied there. Caesar set out in the direction of Gergovia, which Vercingetorix was probably able to once he had divined his direction. The heights of Gergovia itself stand twelve hundred feet above the plain that they overlook and it is a plateau that is a mile and a half long by a third of a mile wide. It was a place to hold, as there was only one way in. It was a reasonably easy guess to make, realizing Vercingetorixs plan, Caesar resolved to trick him and cross under his very nose. Caesar one night camped near the town of Varennes, where there had previously been a bridge before Vercingetorix had destroyed it and that night, he divided his force into two parts, one part being 2/3rds of the force, the other being 1/3rd of the force. However, the force he ordered to march in 6 corps. He ordered it to continue its march south, duped, took the bait and followed this part of the force.
Caesar, with the two legions present at Varennes, speedily rebuilt the bridge that had been present there. He sent for the force, which during that next day stole a march on Vercingetorix, and completed a junction with the original force. Realizing that he had been duped, Vercingetorix set out south, realizing its mountainous location made a frontal assault risky, he decided to rely on his superior siege tactics
Julius Caesar, commanding the Roman forces, was surprised and nearly defeated. According to Caesars report, a combination of determined defence, skilled generalship, during the winter of 58-57 BC rumours came to Caesars ears that the Belgic tribes were forming a union because they feared possible Roman interference in their affairs. These reports provided Caesar with a pretext for conquering more than Gaul itself. In response, the other Belgic and Celtic tribes had attacked Bibrax, Caesar countered by defending the oppidum and winning an action at the Aisne. Caesar continued his advance and tribes surrendered one by one, four tribes, the Nervii, the Atrebates, the Aduatuci and the Viromandui refused to submit. The Ambiani told Caesar that the Nervii were the most hostile of the Belgae to Roman rule, a fierce and brave tribe, they did not allow the import of luxury items as they believed these had a corrupting effect and probably feared Roman influence. They had no intention of entering negotiations with the Romans.
Caesar would move on them next, as with all ancient battles, estimates of the forces available to both sides will always be a matter of some speculation. A Roman legion at this period had an establishment of some 4,800 fighting men with additional auxiliary forces. Eight Roman legions took part in the battle and it is not known if they were at full strength, but a reasonable estimate might be in the region of 42,000 men. Caesar claims he had received intelligence from the Remi that the various tribes of the Belgae had promised to contribute a total of 300,000 fighting men. According to Caesar the Remi estimates of the men promised by the four tribes now left to oppose Caesar were,50,000 Nervii,15,000 Atrebates,10,000 Veromandui and 19,000 Aduatuci. If these figures were reliable it would mean that Caesar was immediately faced with a maximum of 75,000 men, promises are not always kept so it is probable the actual number was smaller than this, though still high enough to outnumber the legionaries.
Caesars legions had been marching in Nervian territory for three days, following an ancient road and he learnt from prisoners that the Belgae were massing on the far side of the River Sabis, which was about 10 miles ahead. The Nervii had persuaded the Atrebates and the Veromandui to support them, the Aduatuci were marching to join them, but they did not arrive in time to take part in the battle. Their non-combatants had moved to an area screened by marshes. The Belgae had made their preparations and were now waiting for the Romans, Caesar sent forward experienced scouts to choose the next campsite. He learnt from prisoners taken that sympathisers in the ragtag of surrendered Belgae and other Gauls travelling with the army had gone to the Nervii and it was believed this would intimidate the Romans into withdrawing