Vercingetorix was a king and chieftain of the Arverni tribe. Vercingetorix was the son of leader of the Gallic tribes. Vercingetorix came to power after his formal designation as chieftain of the Arverni at the oppidum Gergovia in 52 BC, he established an alliance with other Gallic tribes, took command and combined all forces, led them in the Celts' most significant revolt against Roman power. He won the Battle of Gergovia against Julius Caesar in which several thousand Romans and allies died and Caesar's Roman legions withdrew. However, Caesar had been able to exploit Gaulish internal division to subjugate the country, Vercingetorix's attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late. At the Battle of Alesia, the Romans defeated his forces. In order to save as many of his men as possible, he gave himself to the Romans, he was held prisoner for five years. In 46 BC, as part of Caesar's triumph, Vercingetorix was paraded through the streets of Rome and executed by strangulation on Caesar's orders.
Vercingetorix is known through Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War. To this day, Vercingetorix is considered a folk hero in his native region. Vercingetorix derives from the Gaulish ver-, cingeto-, rix, thus either "great warrior king" or "king of great warriors". In his Life of Caesar, Plutarch renders the name as Vergentorix. Having been appointed governor of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis in 58 BC, Julius Caesar proceeded to conquer the Gallic tribes beyond over the next few years, maintaining control through a careful divide and rule strategy, he made use of the factionalism among the Gallic elites, favouring certain noblemen over others with political support and Roman luxuries such as wine. Attempts at revolt, such as that of Ambiorix in 54 BC, had secured only local support, but Vercingetorix, whose father, had been put to death by his own countrymen for seeking to rule all of Gaul, managed to unify the Gallic tribes against the Romans and adopted more current styles of warfare.
The revolt that Vercingetorix came to lead began in early 52 BC while Caesar was raising troops in Cisalpine Gaul. Believing that Caesar would be distracted by the turmoil in Rome following the death of Publius Clodius Pulcher, the Carnutes, under Cotuatus and Conetodunus, made the first move, slaughtering the Romans who had settled in their territory. Vercingetorix, a young nobleman of the Arvernian city of Gergovia, roused his dependents to join the revolt, but he and his followers were expelled by Vercingetorix's uncle Gobanitio and the rest of the nobles because they thought opposing Caesar was too great a risk. Undeterred, Vercingetorix raised an army of the poor, took Gergovia, was hailed as king, he made alliances with other tribes, 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, 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 and villages along Caesar's march south. However, the capital of the Bituriges, Avaricum, a Gallic settlement directly in Caesar's path, was spared. Due to the town's strong protests defendable terrain, strong man-made reinforcing defenses, Vercingetorix decided against razing and burning it. Leaving the town to its fate, Vercingetorix camped well outside of Avaricum and focused on conducting harassing engagements of the advancing Roman units led by Caesar and his chief lieutenant Titus Labienus. Upon reaching Avaricum however, the Romans laid siege and captured the capital. Afterwards, in a contemptuous reprisal for 25 days of hunger and of laboring over the siegeworks required to breach Avaricum's defenses, the Romans slaughtered nearly the entire population of some 40,000, leaving only about 800 alive; the next major battle was at capital city of the Arverni and Vercingetorix.
During that battle and his warriors crushed Caesar's legions and allies, inflicting heavy losses. 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. However, Caesar's army was surrounded by the rest of Gaul, Vercingetorix had summoned his Gallic allies to attack the besieging Romans, so Caesar built another outer fortification against the expected relief armies; the relief came in insufficient numbers: estimates range from 80,000 to 250,000 soldiers. Vercingetorix, the tactical leader, was cut off from them on the inside, without his guidance the attacks were unsuccessful. However, the attacks did reveal a weak point in the fortifications and the combined forces on the inside and the outside made a breakthrough. Only when Caesar led the last reserves into battle did he manage to prevail; this was a decisive battle in the creation of the Roman Empire.
According to Plutarch, Caes. 27.8-10
Gaul was a historical region of Western Europe during the Iron Age, inhabited by Celtic tribes, encompassing present day France, Belgium, most of Switzerland, parts of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine. It covered an area of 494,000 km2. According to the testimony of Julius Caesar, Gaul was divided into three parts: Gallia Celtica and Aquitania. Archaeologically, the Gauls were bearers of the La Tène culture, which extended across all of Gaul, as well as east to Raetia, Noricum and southwestern Germania during the 5th to 1st centuries BC. 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, who were in turn defeated by the Romans by 103 BC. Julius Caesar subdued the remaining parts of Gaul in his campaigns of 58 to 51 BC. Roman control of Gaul lasted for five centuries, until the last Roman rump state, the Domain of Soissons, fell to the Franks in AD 486.
While the Celtic Gauls had lost their original identities and language during Late Antiquity, becoming amalgamated into a Gallo-Roman culture, Gallia remained the conventional name of the territory throughout the Early Middle Ages, until it acquired a new identity as the Capetian Kingdom of France in the high medieval period. Gallia remains a name of France in modern modern Latin; the Greek and Latin names Galatia and Gallia are derived from a Celtic ethnic term or clan Gal-to-. The 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 "milk-white" skin of the Gauls. Modern researchers say it is related to Welsh gallu, Cornish galloes, "capacity, power", thus meaning "powerful people"; the English Gaul is from French Gaule and is unrelated to Latin Gallia, despite superficial similarity. The name Gaul is derived from the Old Frankish *Walholant "Land of the Foreigners/Romans", in which *Walho- is reflex of Proto-Germanic *walhaz, "foreigner, Romanized person", an exonym applied by Germanic speakers to Celts and Latin-speaking people indiscriminately, making it cognate with the names Wales and Wallachia.
The Germanic w- is rendered as gu- / g- in French, the historic diphthong au is the regular outcome of al before a following consonant. French Gaule or Gaulle cannot be derived from Latin Gallia, since g would become j before a, the diphthong au would be unexplained. Proto-Germanic *walha is derived from the name of the Volcae. Unrelated, in spite of superficial similarity, is the name Gael; the Irish word gall did mean "a Gaul", i.e. an inhabitant of Gaul, but its meaning was widened to "foreigner", to describe the Vikings, still the Normans. The dichotomic words gael and gall are sometimes used together for contrast, for instance in the 12th-century book Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib; as adjectives, English has the two variants: 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. There is little written information concerning the peoples that inhabited the regions of Gaul, save what can be gleaned from coins.
Therefore, the early history of the Gauls is predominantly a work in archaeology and the relationships between their material culture, genetic relationships and linguistic divisions coincide. Before the rapid spread of the La Tène culture in the 5th to 4th centuries BC, the territory of eastern and southern France participated in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture out of which the early iron-working Hallstatt culture would develop. By 500 BC, there is strong Hallstatt influence throughout most of France. Out of this Hallstatt background, during the 7th and 6th century representing an early form of Continental Celtic culture, the La Tène culture arises under Mediterranean influence from the Greek and Etruscan civilizations, spread out in a number of early centers along the Seine, the Middle Rhine and the upper Elbe. By the late 5th century BC, La Tène influence spreads across the entire territory of Gaul; the La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age in France, Italy, southwest Germany, Moravia and Hungary.
Farther north extended the contemporary pre-Roman Iron Age culture of northern Germany and Scandinavia. The major source of materials on the Celts of Gaul was Poseidonios of Apamea, whose writings were quoted by Timagenes, Julius Caesar, the Sicilian Greek Diodorus Siculus, the Greek geographer Strabo. In the 4th and early 3rd century BC, Gallic clan confederations expanded far beyond the territory of what would become Roman Gaul, into Pannonia, northern Italy and Asia Minor. By the 2nd century BC, the Romans descr
Gallia Belgica was a province of the Roman empire located in the north-eastern part of Roman Gaul, in what is today France and Luxembourg, along with parts of the Netherlands and Germany. In 50 BC after the conquest by Julius Caesar during his Gallic Wars, it became one of the three newly conquered provinces of Gaul. An official Roman province was created by emperor Augustus in 22 BC; the province was named for the Belgae, as the largest tribal confederation in the area, but included the territories of the Treveri, Leuci, Sequani and others. The southern border of Belgica, formed by the Marne and Seine rivers, was reported by Caesar as the original cultural boundary between the Belgae and the Celtic Gauls, whom he distinguished from one another; the province was re-organised several times, first increased and decreased in size. Diocletian brought the northeastern Civitas Tungrorum into Germania Inferior, joining the Rhineland colonies, the remaining part of Gallia Belgica was divided into Belgica Prima in the eastern area of the Treveri and Leuci, around Luxembourg and the Ardennes, Belgica Secunda between the English channel and the upper River Meuse.
The capital of Belgica Prima, became an important late western Roman capital. In 57 BC, Julius Caesar led the conquest of northern Gaul, specified that the part to the north of the Seine and Marne rivers was inhabited by a people or alliance known as the Belgae; this definition became the basis of the Roman province of Belgica. Caesar said that the Belgae were separated from the Celtic Gauls to their south by "language and laws" but he did not go into detail, except to mention that he learnt from his contacts that the Belgae had some ancestry from east of the Rhine, which he referred to as Germania. Indeed, the Belgian tribes closest to the Rhine. Modern historians interpret Caesar and the archaeological evidence as indicating that the core of the Belgian alliance was in the present-day northernmost corner of France; these were the leaders of the initial military alliance he confronted, they were more economically advanced than many of their more northerly allies such as the Nervii and Germani Cisrhenani.
Apart from the southern Remi, all the Belgic tribes allied against the Romans, angry at the Roman decision to garrison legions in their territory during the winter. At the beginning of the conflict, Caesar reported the allies' combined strength at 288,000, led by the Suessione king, Galba. Due to the Belgic coalition's size and reputation for uncommon bravery, Caesar avoided meeting the combined forces of the tribes in battle. Instead, he used cavalry to skirmish with smaller contingents of tribesmen. Only when Caesar managed to isolate one of the tribes did he risk conventional battle; the tribes fell in a piecemeal fashion and Caesar claimed to offer lenient terms to the defeated, including Roman protection from the threat of surrounding tribes. Most tribes agreed to the conditions. A series of uprisings followed the 57 BC conquest; the largest revolt was led by the Bellovaci after the defeat of Vercingetorix. During this rebellion, it was the Belgae, they harassed the Roman legions, led by Caesar, with cavalry detachments and archers.
The rebellion was put down. The revolting party was slaughtered. Following a census of the region in 27 BC, Augustus ordered a restructuring of the provinces in Gaul. Therefore, in 22 BC, Marcus Agrippa split Gaul into three regions Agrippa made the divisions on what he perceived to be distinctions in language and community - Gallia Belgica was meant to be a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples; the capital of this territory was Reims, according to the geographer Strabo, though the capital moved to modern day Trier. The date of this move is uncertain. Modern historians however view the term'Gaul' and its subdivisions as a "product of faulty ethnography" and see the split of Gallia Comata into three provinces as an attempt to construct a more efficient government, as opposed to a cultural division. Successive Roman emperors struck a balance between Romanizing the people of Gallia Belgica and allowing pre-existing culture to survive; the Romans divided the province into four "civitates" corresponding to ancient tribal boundaries.
The capital cities of these districts included modern Cassel, Bavay, Thérouanne, Arras, St. Quentin, Reims, Amiens, Triers and Metz; these civitates were in turn were divided into smaller units, pagi, a term that became the French word "pays". Roman government was run by Concilia in Trier. Additionally, local notables from Gallia Belgica were required to participate in a festival in Lugdunum which celebrated or worshiped the emperor’s genius; the gradual adoption of Romanized names by local elites and the Romanization of laws under local authority demonstrate the effectiveness of this concilium Galliarum. With that said, the concept and community of Gallia Belgica did not predate the Roman pro
The Helvetii were a Celtic tribe or tribal confederation occupying most of the Swiss plateau at the time of their contact with the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC. According to Julius Caesar, the Helvetians were divided into pagi. Of these Caesar names only the Verbigeni and the Tigurini, while Posidonius mentions the Tigurini and the Tougeni, they feature prominently in the Commentaries on the Gallic War, with their failed migration attempt to southwestern Gaul serving as a catalyst for Caesar's conquest of Gaul. The Helvetians were subjugated after 52 BC, under Augustus, Celtic oppida, such as Vindonissa or Basilea, were re-purposed as garrisons. In AD 68, a Helvetian uprising was crushed by Aulus Caecina Alienus; the Swiss plateau was at first incorporated into the Roman province of Gallia Belgica into Germania Superior. The Helvetians, like the rest of Gaul, were Romanized by the 2nd century. In the 3rd century, Roman control over the region waned, the Swiss plateau was exposed to the invading Alemanni.
The Alemanni and Burgundians established permanent settlements in the Swiss plateau in the 5th and 6th centuries, resulting in the early medieval territories of Alemannia and Upper Burgundy. The endonym Helvetii is derived from a Gaulish elu-, meaning "gain, prosperity" or "multitude", cognate with Welsh elw and Old Irish prefix il-, meaning "many" or "multiple"; the second part of the name has sometimes been interpreted as *etu-, "terrain, grassland", thus interpreting the tribal name as "rich in land". The earliest attestation of the name is found in a graffito on a vessel from Mantua, dated to c. 300 BC. The inscription in Etruscan letters reads eluveitie, interpreted as the Etruscan form of the Celtic elu̯eti̯os referring to a man of Helvetian descent living in Mantua. Of the four Helvetian pagi or sub-tribes, Caesar names only the Verbigeni and the Tigurini, Posidonius the Tigurini and the Tougeni. There has been substantial debate in Swiss historiography on whether the Tougeni may or may not be identified with the Teutones mentioned by Titus Livius.
According to Caesar, the territory abandoned by the Helvetii had comprised 400 villages and 12 oppida. His tally of the total population taken from captured Helvetian records written in Greek is 263,000 people, including fighting men, old men and children. However, the figures are dismissed as too high by modern scholars. Like many other tribes, the Helvetii did not have kings at the time of their clash with Rome but instead seem to have been governed by a class of noblemen; when Orgetorix, one of their most prominent and ambitious noblemen, was making plans to establish himself as their king, he faced execution by burning if found guilty. Caesar does not explicitly name the tribal authorities prosecuting the case and gathering men to apprehend Orgetorix, but he refers to them by the Latin terms civitas and magistratus. In his Natural History, Pliny provides a foundation myth for the Celtic settlement of Cisalpine Gaul in which a Helvetian named Helico plays the role of culture hero. Helico had worked in Rome as a craftsman and returned to his home north of the Alps with a dried fig, a grape, some oil and wine, the desirability of which caused his countrymen to invade northern Italy.
The Greek historian Posidonius, whose work is preserved only in fragments by other writers, offers the earliest historical record of the Helvetii. Posidonius described the Helvetians of the late 2nd century BC as "rich in gold but peaceful," without giving clear indication to the location of their territory, his reference to gold washing in rivers has been taken as evidence for an early presence of the Helvetii in the Swiss plateau, with the Emme as being one of the gold-yielding rivers mentioned by Posidonius. This interpretation is now discarded, as Posidonius' narrative makes it more that the country some of the Helvetians left in order to join in the raids of the Teutones and Ambrones was in fact southern Germany and not Switzerland; that the Helvetians lived in southern Germany is confirmed by the Alexandrian geographer Claudius Ptolemaios, who tells us of an Ἐλουητίων ἔρημος north of the Rhine. Tacitus knows that the Helvetians once settled in the swath between Rhine and the Hercynian forest.
The abandonment of this northern territory is now placed in the late 2nd century BC, around the time of the first Germanic incursions into the Roman world, when the Tigurini and Toygenoi/Toutonoi are mentioned as participants in the great raids. At the Vicus Turicum in the first 1st century BC or much earlier, the Celts settled at the Lindenhof Oppidium. In 1890, so-called Potin lumps were found, whose largest weights 59.2 kilograms at the Prehistoric pile dwelling settlement Alpenquai in Zürich, Switzerland. The pieces consist of a large number of fused Celtic coins; some of the 18,000 coins originate from the Eastern Gaul, others are of the Zürich type, that were assigned to the local Helvetii, which date to around 100 BC. The find is so far unique, the scientific research assumes that the melting down of the lump was not completed, therefore the aim was to form cultic offerings; the site of the find was at that time at least 50 metres from the lake shore, 1 metre to three meters deep in the water.
Bözberg Pass is a mountain pass in the Jura Mountains in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland. It is the shortest road between Basel and Zürich. Two tunnels have been dug under the pass, the Bözberg Rail Tunnel for the Federal Railway and the Bözberg Road Tunnel for the A-3 Autobahn. In Roman times, the pass was known as Mons Vocetius; the Roman road ran somewhat north of the present route, a stretch of it can be seen near Effingen. It was the site of the final defeat of the Helvetii in AD 69, following their uprising in the civil war of Galba. Aulus Caecina Alienus routed the remnants of the Helvetian forces at Mons Vocetius, after which the Helvetian capital at Aventicum was forced to surrender. During the Middle Ages, there were three different roads over the pass, all of which started from Effingen; the northern one followed the route of the Roman road to the ferries at Lauffohr and Stilli, the middle one through Unterbözberg to Brugg, the southern one through Gallenkirch and Linn to the ferry at Birrenlauf.
The middle route won out though it was swampy and steep and too small for large coaches. Commercial traffic took a detour until the city of Bern built a better road between 1773 and 1779; the railroad line was opened in 1875. With the advent of the automobile, the pass developed heavy traffic. In 1995, the year before the completion of the tunnel, 12,500 vehicles crossed the pass per day. Today, only about 3500 vehicles cross the pass each day. Bözberg Pass in German and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree