The Civil War is a tense and gripping depiction of his struggle with Pompey over the leadership of Republican Rome - a conflict that spanned the entire Roman world, from Gaul and Spain to Asia and Africa. Caesar knew how to tell a rip-roaring adventure story. 6. While the men attempted to mount a rearguard action in their camp the women and children scattered into the surrounding countryside, with the Roman cavalry in pursuit. Perhaps the most unusual feature of the Gallic War is that in Caesar's commentaries on the war we have a first hand account of all but the last year of the war, written at the time by the most important figure in that war. While Caesar had been facing the Veneti, two of his lieutenants were campaigning elsewhere in Gaul. Eventually the weather improved enough for the entire Roman and Allied fleet, under the command of Decimus Brutus, to leave the Loire and sail up the coast to join the main Roman army. Caesar describes a meeting with a delegation of leading Gallic nobles who requested his assistance against Ariovistus, but a German presence west of the Rhine would probably have attracted his attentions anyway. Even if the migrating Helvetii didn’t try to cross the Roman Province, their route would inevitably take them the lands of Rome's allies, the Aedui. I first read it in my high school Latin class in the early 1960s, but most of what I had remembered was the Latin words and grammar, rather than the narrative itself. As soon as the weather was suitable he left the Italian part of his province, and rushed to join the army. Terms in this set (82) ... turning point in the Gallic War that put Rome in the lead. Test. Since the Roman government disapproved of Caesar's undertakings, his literary aim in the Gallic War is to merely justify his actions of his annexation of Gaul (modern France) to Rome. This is also taken as a sign that he had aggressive plans for the following year. Caesar did not really portray Vercingetorix in a way other than just stating what his part was in the battle. The average tidal range in the Mediterranean is only 28cm, while on the Atlantic coast of France it reaches up to 4 meters. The greatest asset of Caesar's army is its tight discipline. The migration itself would have caused endless chaos and disruption in Gaul, not least when the Helvetii reached their destination and attempted to overthrow the existing inhabitants of the area. The Aedui's bitterest enemies before the Gallic War were their eastern neighbours, the Sequani, who occupied the eastern bank of the Saone. Julius Caesar needs little introduction. 38; vii. The Romans planned to attack on the next day. was both the final full year of Caesar's command and the final year of the war. This was a massive figure, and would have given the Belgae three times as many fighting men as the Helvetii. On 12 April, with his defences in place, Caesar informed the Helvetii that he could not give them permission to cross the Province. For the moment the Aedui stayed loyal, although the Bituriges joined the revolt. Paperback. Eventually Caesar returned to his camp. Two miles from the camp the Romans were ambushed and the entire column was destroyed. The biggest weakness of the Belgic army was its supply system. Web. This encouraged at least one German tribe, the Sigambri, to cross the Rhine to take part. The Gallic War (58-51 B.C.) It is also worth remembering that Caesar's officers, and many of his men, were literate. 35; iv. Vercingetorix began the sequence with an attack on the Boii town of Gorgobina. Two reasons have been given for the outbreak of their rebellion. In these books, Caesar is his own herald: in a simple and compressed style, he shows himself involuntarily fighting necessary wars. During the Gallic Wars of 58-50 BC, Julius Caesar wrote the Bellum Gallicum in his free time, whenever he was not actively directing his military... See full answer below. Could someone please give me a good explanation of why Julius Caesar started the Gallic Wars? On his return to Gaul Caesar held a meeting of the Gallic chiefs where he pretended to be unaware that they had attempted to negotiate with the Germans. Chapter 1 Caesar, expecting for many reasons a greater commotion in Gaul, resolves to hold a levy by the means of M. Silanus C. Antistius Reginus, and T. Sextius, his lieutenants: at the same time he requested Cn. The Gallic War (58-51 B.C.) They agreed to delay Consular elections in Rome for long enough to allow Caesar's soldiers to return to the city and vote Pompey and Crassus in as the Consuls of 55 B.C. Before the Romans had completed their siege works Vercingetorix sent away his cavalry, and ordered them to gather a massive relief army. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. He decided not to accept any more ambassadors and to attack the Germans without any more delay. Over the next few weeks the Suessiones, Bellovaci and Ambiani each surrendered in turn, normally at the first sight of Roman siege engines. Commentaries on the Gallic Wars. Towards the end of one days march the Romans reached the Sambre River. Instead he suggested that they re-cross the Rhine to support the Ubii in their war with the Suevi. The first major Gallic revolt broke out on the maritime north-west coast. This series of annual war commentaries is referred to by various names but is commonly called De bello Gallico in Latin, or The Gallic Wars in … This a parallel presentation of the works of Julius Caesar in Latin and English translation. Web. Only after putting down three major Gallic revolts, the last and most famous being led by Vercingetorix, could Caesar claim to have pacified Gaul. Caesar realised that he would have to abandon the siege and reunite his army. Caesar's Commentaries were literally written as political propoganda for the people back in Rome. The Legions formed up in a rough order of battle, with each wing fighting its own battle. 35; iv. 20 Feb. 2014. W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn. Caesar was clearly not satisfied with the results of this first expedition. During the Gallic Wars of 58-50 BC, Julius Caesar wrote the Bellum Gallicum in his free time, whenever he was not actively directing his military.... See full answer below. Other ancient authors believed that the Veneti had discovered that Caesar was planning to visit Britain, and were worried that he might steal their trade. Caesar managed to restore some order, before the tenth legion and the two new legions arrived to save the day. An initial attack on the camp failed, but Ambiorix managed to convince Sabinus to abandon the camp and attempt to join up with either Cicero or Labienus. Further east Labienus guarded the Rhine, where an expected German invasion failed to materialise. The Roman right and centre soon won their battles, but Caesar and the left wing were hard pressed. Some of the survivors of this disaster, led by a Senonian called Drapes and an Cadurcian called Lucterius, escaped to the south in an attempt to reach the Roman Province. Before this happened Labienus was given two more legions. With the immediate crisis over Caesar decided to go back into winter quarters, and wait for the following spring to restore his control over the rebellious legions. Most of the time Transalpine Gaul was governed separately from Cisalpine Gaul, but in 59 B.C. I will spend more time laying out the events of Book I to reveal the complex nature of Caesar’s writing and his thoughts in politics. They were able to call on some of the extensive contacts that Orgetorix had established before his fall. Therefore, while Caesar's "Gallic Wars" are basically factual, you still have to take some of what he writes with a grain of salt. The one area in which Caesar does appear to have exaggerated was the size of the various armies that he opposed, but even then the exaggeration is limited compared to other ancient sources. Leaving his baggage at Sens (Agendincum) Caesar marched south, capturing Vellaunodunum, Cenabum (Orleans) and Noviodunum on his way. Fundamentally, Caesar uses the third-person narrative in order to make his commentaries on the Gallic Wars more objective and unprejudiced. A reading of Caesar’s most famous book, The Gallic War (De Bello Gallico), provides some answers and compelling lessons in the traits and attributes of a leader. Vercingetorix's first move was to split his army in two. Hirtius wrote a Bellum Alexandrinum about … Their new province was officially called Transalpine Gaul, to distinguish it from Cisalpine Gaul in northern Italy, but was often simply called 'The Province'. There are other equally valid reasons why Caesar may have made this decision. In my opinion, it is the responsibility for any region to fight for their rights as the real owner of the land. The Romans had been present in the south of France since 121 B.C. Since the Roman government disapproved of Caesar’s undertakings, his literary aim in the Gallic War is to merely justify his actions of his annexation of Gaul (modern France) to Rome. Gallic leader of a revolt against Rome; defeated by Julius Caesar in the Gallic Wars, he was put to death in 46 bc. (In the text as in the notes of this article, unless otherwise specified, references are to books and chapters of the Gallic War.) Vercingetorix wanted to adopt a scorched-earth policy and attempt to starve the Romans out of Gaul, but the Bituriges persuaded him to try and defend Avaricum. The Twelve Caesars Suetonius. They were coming under increasing pressure from the Germans in the north and east, and felt trapped with their backs to the Alps. The Gallic Wars By Julius Caesar Translated by W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn : Table of Contents Book 2 : Chapter 1 Caesar filled the rest of the year with two spectacular but slightly pointless expeditions outside Gaul. The Suessiones provided King Galba and 50,000 men, as did the Nervii. [1] In his book, Caesar describes how conquering Gaul allowed the Romans to be able to secure the national border of the River Rhine. Julius Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War describes the campaigns of Caesar in Gaul, and the different tribes of people he encountered there.There were seven books in all, describing six campaigns (the sixth book describing the Gauls and the Germans), and each was probably forwarded to Rome the winter following the campaign to keep Caesar's name in the minds of the Roman people … – Second Gallic Revolt. After capturing a number of Gauls the Sigambri realised that they had a chance to capture the Roman's baggage, which had been left at Atuatuci, the site of the disaster that had started the revolt. He turned south, sending several forces to attack the Roman Province in southern Gaul. When the Romans did begin their pursuit the Helvetii surrendered. 53 BC Syria. Cesar didn’t go into a lot of detail of him so I looked him up so I could get an idea. Since the Roman government disapproved of Caesar’s undertakings, his literary aim in the Gallic War is to merely justify his actions of his annexation of Gaul (modern France) to Rome. The fall of Avaricum came at the end of the winter of 53-52 B.C. [1] “Caesar’s Literary Aims in the Gallic War.” Livius. 2013. Caesar sent Galba and the twelfth legion to open the Great St. Bernard Pass. One Belgic tribe, the Remi, refused to join the anti-Roman league. Outwardly, it is believed that the wars were fought primarily to boost Julius Caesar’s political career and pay off his massive debts. $21.49. Over the winter of 58-57 B.C. Although the isolated legion eventually repulsed the attack Galba was forced to retreat out of the Alps and back into the Roman Province. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The inspiration for the revolt seems to have come from Indutiomarus, a member of the same Treviri tribe that had delayed Caesar's passage to Britain earlier in the year, but it was the Eburones tribe, led by their kings Ambiorix and Cativoleus, who actually began the fighting. Any chance of a peaceful solution to this confrontation ended later that day when a force of 800 German cavalry (limited to the cavalry that were not raiding the Ambivariti) attacked 5,000 Roman and allied cavalry, killing 74 of them. Caesar now had his extended command, an army, and no enemies, while in Rome his fellow triumvirs and rivals Pompey and Crassus were gaining prestige. He agreed to pardon them, and this encouraged the Carnutes to seek peace, using the Remi as their intermediaries. The Velocasses and the Veromandui promised as many, meaning either 10,000 between them or 10,000 each. The Germans were told to return in the next summer, the legions were set to winter in the lands of the Carnutes, Adnes and Turones tribes, close to the Belgic lands, and Caesar departed back to Italy and the other part of his province in Illyricum. Clearly isolated Roman forces, even entire legions, were not yet safe in Gaul. In the centre of the country the Bituriges and Carnutes were in revolt and in the north the Bellovaci were undefeated. Reason(s) for the Gallic Wars? For the first time he spent the winter in Gaul himself, staying with three legions posted near Samarobriva. After an unsuccessful attempt to save face by capturing Vercingetorix's camp, Caesar escaped to the north, crossing the Loire across a barely passable ford. Lv 7. Late in the winter of 54-53 B.C. His most exciting chapter regarding the Battle of Alesia (52 B.C), and the war against Vercingetorix will lead us to believe that the piece itself is simply another splendid propaganda. isabellad15. This attack confirmed Caesar's belief that the Germans were only waiting for the right moment to attack. "The Six Major Battles of the Gallic Wars." The Gauls had indeed sent embassies to the Germans, hoping to draw them further into Gaul to fight the Romans. Spell. ( Log Out /  pompey returned from ___ to ____ spain to rome. The Roman people were more impressed by Caesar's achievements than his setbacks. This was a disastorous decision. 90. In the spring of 56 B.C. In the previous summer he had led a legion through the area, taking hostages and the submission of the local tribes. Caesar then turned south and prepared to deal with the Treveri, but by the time he arrived they had already been defeated. It would also have threatened the Roman road that connected Italy to their Spanish provinces. A student of the Gallic Wars should watch for this quality throughout the books. was the conflict in which Julius Caesar first emerged as a great military leader, after an earlier career as an impoverished populist politician. In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took … While he was in Cisalpine Gaul Caesar raised two new legions. The situation in Gaul was complicated by the presence of Ariovistus, a German king who had crossed the Rhine at the invitation of the Sequani, to help them in their wars against the Aedui. Gravity. Whatever Caesar's original motives actually were, the presence of a large Roman army outside the Roman Province worried the Belgae, the inhabitants of north-eastern France and modern Belgium. Caesar's next move was to hold a council of Gaul, partly to see who turned up. Caesar led four legions against them, but was unable to force them into a battle. Julius Caesar wrote in compelling and no non-sense pros. Indutiomarus intended to lead the Treviri against Labienus, but the first blow fell on Sabinus's camp at Atuatuci, somewhere in the lands of the Eburones. was the conflict in which Julius Caesar first emerged as a great military leader, after an earlier career as an impoverished populist politician. Caesar then returned to the Italian part of his province. Drapes and Lucterius were only involved in the early states of the siege. he led four legions on a raid into the lands of the Nervii. Acco's death did indeed play a part in their discussions – a fear of sharing the same fate actually encouraged the rebels. Updated August 03, 2018 Julius Caesar wrote commentaries on the wars he fought in Gaul between 58 and 52 B.C., in seven books one for each year. This was the biggest victory won by any Gallic force during the entire war – Sabinus had commanded a legion and a half, and very few survivors escaped to bring the news to Labienus. In the west an army was campaigning south of the Loire. The first book covers the year 58 BCE: it opens with the war against the Helvetians, continues with a victorious battleagainst a Germanic army, and culminates in the modest remark that Caesar had concluded two very important wars in a single campaign. While these negotiations were going on, Caesar dashed back to Italy to collect his three veteran and two newly established legions. Both of these expeditions ended in failure. Caesar then moved so quickly that he reached his next target before their own soldiers had arrived home. Caught entirely by surprise the Germans were unable to mount any real resistance. Discuss how breaches of discipline cause near-disasters for Caesar's troops and discuss how the lack of discipline among the enemy permits Caesar's smaller units to win important battles. Over the winter of 55-54 B.C. This time the rebels appointed a supreme commander – Vercingetorix, probably the most famous of the Gauls. The shortage of supplies forced the Romans to make a diversion towards Bibracte, the largest Aeduan town, where they expected to find supplies. - Cookies, Winter 54/53 B.C. The Carnutes submitted and Caesar went into new winter quarters at Cenabum. He seized power in his own tribe, the Arverni, and gained the support of the Senones, Parisii, Pictones, Cadurci, Turones, Aulerci, Lemovice and the tribes of the northern and north-western coasts. The only tribes that had not yet acknowledged Roman authority were the coastal tribes of the Menapii, who lived in the Rhine delta, and their western neighbours the Morini. After a night march the Roman's caught up with and defeated the isolated Helvetii (battle of the Arar). In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting the Celtic and Germanic peoples in Gaul that opposed Roman conquest. Caesar rushed back into the Province, eventually reaching Narbo, which for the first time was in real danger of being attacked. There was paper in the ancient world. On the following day the Romans formed up in order of battle, but instead of waiting to see if the Germans would do the same they advanced towards Ariovistus's camp, eventually forcing the Germans to come out and fight. By the end of the day the Veneti fleet had been destroyed, and the tribe was forced to surrender (battle of Morbihan Gulf or Quiberon Bay). In the fourth year of the war the Gauls were quiet, but at the start of the year Caesar faced another mass migration, this time by two German tribes – the Usipi and the Tencteri. Commentaries on the Gallic Wars which told of his military victims. This time Caesar was in a vengeful mood, apparently angered by the Veneti's failure to respect the rights of ambassadors. Caesar's Books, the Gallic Wars Julius Caesar wrote commentaries on the wars he fought in Gaul between 58 and 52 B. Caesar took advantage of the Gaul's exhaustion after the failure of the great revolt to win over their leaders. Not paper as we have today, but some kind of paper which could be used for writing a long account. Many years ago I remember reading that Julius Caesar did not write for historians he wrote for the purposes of his own aggrandizement and political advancement. The second expedition was delayed by the need to restore Roman authority over the Treveri, and by poor weather, and the fleet finally crossed the channel in July. Caesar was aware that he would soon be involved in a struggle with his political opponents in Rome, and the last thing he wanted was another Gallic revolt in his rear. One part was sent south, into the lands of the Ruteni, where they posed a threat to the Roman Province, while Vercingetorix moved north to attack the Bituriges. It is a marvel that this text has made it through the centuries. The Via Domitia ran through the Province and linked Italy with the Republic's Spanish provinces. Caesar had to make do with the destruction of some empty villages and then withdrew back to the south to go into winter quarters. The fact that Caesar mentions no other letters does not mean that he did not communicate more frequently. Keep in mind that what is most interesting is that Caesar does not explain why he went to war with Gaul at all. victories. When the Germans arrived in Gaul Caesar was wintering in northern Italy. Caesar begins Book I by discussing the origins of his labors in Gaul, namely the migration of the Helvetii, a confederation of Gallic tribes that lived on the Swiss plateau. They had dispersed after the battle of Vesontio, but could just as easily return, especially if the Romans withdrew back to the south of France. The Veneti decided to concentrate their own fleet to face the Romans. Caesar had four legions in his massive province, three posted at Aquileia in the north-east of Italy, where there was a threat from the Dacians, and only one was in Transalpine Gaul while Roman politics kept Caesar as close to Rome as he could legitimately reach until mid-March. In 59 B.C. 90. Only the intervention of his brother Divitiacus saved him from severe punishment when Caesar discovered what was going on. Once Caesar was sure that Vercingetorix was on his way he moved east to Vienna (modern Vienne), on the Rhone, where he picked up more troops. In the west the Helvii were forced back into their strongholds, but the Allobroges held their ground, supported by twenty-two cohorts that Caesar had put in place at the start of the year. The difficult tides also made it very difficult for the Romans to use their new fleet to land troops on these islands.