10 Fascinating Facts About the Gallic Wars
Hello I'm Simon Whistler you're watching top 10s and in the video today the top ten fascinating facts. About the Gallic Wars the. Gallic wars waged between the Gallic tribes living in present-day France, and Belgium and, the Roman, legions, under Julius, Caesar took place between the years 58, BC and 50 BC these wars are what ultimately gave seizes the upper hands over the Senate and his former political ally, Pompey, the great leading, in turn to civil war the outcome, of which made Caesar dictator, in perpetuity over, the entire. Roman, Republic but like most, conflicts, throughout the ages the Gallic Wars weren't as straightforward, as, they first appear and that's what we're looking at in today's video. Number. 10 biased, sources, know, now you have heard Winston, Churchill's famous quote that history, is written by the victors, and this, was indeed the case with the Gallic Wars in fact much of what we know about them comes directly, from Julius, Caesar himself in, his works with the exception of the last volume entitled, commentary. De Bello Galicia, more commentaries, on the Gallic war when, it comes to his political affiliations, Caesar was a member of the popular, as a demagogue, or populist, in today's terms they, were in direct, opposition to the, aristocrats. Who were also the dominant, group in the Senate both, groups they were comprised of members of the wealthier, classes but they differed, by the means through which they, sought support the, aristocracy was interested, in upholding the oligarchy, while the populist sort, popular support for either the common man or to, further their own personal, ambitions, it, should, be no surprise then, that the commentaries, were at least in part nothing. More than pure propaganda, but as you probably know what makes any piece of propaganda really, good is the fact that it doesn't actually it sounds like propaganda, and the, fact that these works written, by Caesar himself about his own exploits, but in the third person by the way does, give the impression of a more objective piece, of text than it actually is, Caesar he was fully aware, that his works were to be read by the masses, in city squares and he, designs, them as such even senator, Cicero praised the way in which the texts were written saying, that the Gallic war is splendid, it is bare straight, and handsome, stripped of rhetorical, ornaments, like an athlete of his clothes there is nothing in a history more attractive, than clean and lucid, gravity in, other words these commentaries, which were issued every year during the campaign are not, so much historical, texts, but rather a means to impress the room and work in class with a sort of action-packed. Story, if you will however, Casius do a Greek historian who, focused on the later years of the Roman Republic and the start of the Empire was quick to point out several inconsistencies, and. Emissions. From Caesars, works in the last book written by one of Caesars Colonels. Ollis here at us there, are mentions of unsuccessful, Roman, campaigns as well as the execution of defeated enemies these, were things that were never mentioned in any of the previous work so that we can be fairly sure that they did indeed happen there, are also no, mentions, of lootings, of Gallic centuries, or of POWs being, sold into bondage now. The reason for this is that if the generals were to sell people into slavery then the Senate was entitled, to a share of the revenue if there, wasn't any mention of it though Mao Caesar he could keep all of the spoils for himself, lastly. There are examples, of intentional. Mistakes throughout these works that were consistent. With the oftentimes, fantastical. Ideas the average Roman citizen, had about the edges, of the world the, general, prejudice at the time was that the further inland, you went from the shores of the Mediterranean the. More savage the people became, Caesar, was well aware of this fact since he wrote his works accordingly, but even though the bias is evident throughout these, commentaries they, aren't without value, the focus was primarily on the military aspects of the campaign and as, far as ancient warfare goes they are a really important, source number, nine Julius, Caesar's backstory, an important, historical figure, like Julius Caesar can't really, be accurately, depicted in just a few minutes nevertheless, it is important, to show a few details about the man in order to properly understand.
The Gallic Wars he, was born sometime around 100 BC to a noble, Roman family after, his father's sudden death Julius, Caesar became the head of his family at the age of 16, as a young man he served for two years in the military where he won a Civic crown ancient, Rome's equivalent, of the Medal of Honor in 79. Be he returned to Rome to civilian, life due, to his charm his charisma and extensive, knowledge of the law he quickly rose through the ranks of the Republic's, political, scene back, in those times being a member of the political system came, without pay and going, up through the ranks often times meant paying out of pocket, Caesars, family was also going through some hard times during, his ascension which, meant, that he acquired some enormous, debts financing. 180. Day celebrations. And gladiator, fights in Rome this, was in addition to other personal, publicity campaigns, that he ran been in his 30s he was sent to Spain to hold administrative. Office there he reportedly, came across a statue of Alexander the Great where it is said that he was feeling dissatisfied with, his own life realizing, that Alexander. At his age had conquered the world while Caesar accomplished, almost nothing, at the age of 40 he ran for the position of consul the highest, in the Roman Republic with, the people backing him and with the right connections he was able to get it while in office he bullied legislation, through in order to serve him and his political allies. It was also customary, for former consuls to become provincial, governors after their terms ended and Caesar, was looking forward to this position this, way he could leave Rome and escape the possibility, of repercussions. For some of the acts he did while he was consul and further while he was governor of Provence he could once again become rich, by extorting, money from the peasantry that Caesar was initially given to provinces, to govern Illyricum along the east coast of the Adriatic, Sea and Cisalpine. Gaul located. In northern Italy then after the governor of transalpine, Gaul southern, France died he was given that too now, what Caesar lacked most of all was glory, in the eyes of the Roman people as well, as enough wealth to replenish his coffers both, of these things though they were possible through, war number, 8 the populist appeal for the Gallic Wars back, in Caesars times the ordinary, person saw war in a much more favorable light than, we see it today partially, because the average citizen, had more to gain from war than we do today waging, war on the tribes of gold came with an added bonus in the eyes of the average Roman on top of this spoils and glory that it had to offer you see several centuries of prior to the Gallic wars in 390, BC to be exact, Rome was sacked by the sonomas, tribe led by chief Brenes, the whole thing started, one year earlier when this celtic tribe advanced, to korea and besieged. The etruscan city of, Clue see'em the Etruscans asked, REM for help in dealing with this threat the sons of influential patrician, Fabio SEM Busters were sent a Zen voice during, the negotiations, however one of the fabbi brothers, was killed by one of the Celtic chieftains, which was an obvious transgression.
The Gauls then retreated, to deliberate what to do next later that year Gallic, ambassadors, were sent to Rome where they asked the Senate to hand over the fatty but, even though the Senate was much more in favor of the peaceful solution the influence, of the Fatima who were elected as consular Tribune's and given command of the army ensured, that this would never happen, the Gauls then advanced. On the city and in July of 390. BC the, two armies faced off at the confluence of the rivers Tiber. And alia, the size of the armies varies, considerably depending, on the sources and other modern interpretations, so, much so that we can't even say for sure who had the numerical, advantage, nevertheless, the outcome, of the battle is known, and it concluded, with a definitive, Roman, defeat at the hands of the cenotes one, day later the Gauls made it Rome which was unprotected, and with his gates wide open only, the Capitol, Hill could be defended, while the rest of the city it was reduced to ruins many. Roman, citizens were able to escape during the night past the unsuspecting Gauls, and after seven months of seeding the capital and burdened, by famine and disease both, parties finally, decided on a ceasefire where, the Romans would pay 1000. Pounds, of gold, this defeat ensured, an enduring. Hate for the rules in the eyes and minds of the Romans for centuries to come this is something that certainly, added, to their support of the Gallic Wars more than three hundred and thirty years later this, event in Roman history also gave them a wake-up call leading the Romans to greatly reinforce. Their city defenses and develop an army never before seen in the ancient world number seven who were the Gauls Gaul was, the name given to the regions, where various, tribes of Celts lived north of the Roman territories, these included France Belgium Luxembourg, Sweden parts of the Netherlands parts of Germany west of the Rhine River as, well as northern Italy but as a group of indo-european, nomadic. Or semi-nomadic people these Celts extended, at various times over large parts of Europe including, Britain Illyria and the Iberian, Peninsula the lower Danube River Basin Transylvania, and even as far as Asia Minor which is present-day Turkey, what rather vague information we have about these people comes mostly, from the Greeks and the Romans they, were nevertheless, described, as tall and possessing, great physical, strength they, had fair skin and blond hair which, they would usually redden, by artificial, means Gallic. Women were also described, as the most beautiful of all barbarian. Peoples and they, could hold their own in battle, most schools were little to no defensive armor their usual means of defense was the helmet and the shield which, came in various shapes and sizes wealthier. Warriors, also wore a chainmail shirt, of which, they are these supposed inventors. Ghouls, mostly, preferred to the two-handed, sort but also had various kinds of Spears pikes javelins, bows and slings they, placed a lot of faith in their cavalry and in the northern parts of Gaul they even used war chariots, the foot soldiers were arranged, in great masses that loosely resembled, a Greek phalanx, with a line of shields in front to the sides and overhead, in the thick of battle it, was custom for champions to break these ranks and challenge, opponents, to single combat nevertheless. It would definitely be a mistake to you think of Gaul as a unified, nation they, are better described, as a loose confederation of, tribes around sixty in number which oftentimes fought against each other over lands, or other disputes these tribes also vary greatly in power and influence with smaller tribes maintaining, only a nominal independence. Under the protection of bigger ones what kept them together as, much as they were together were similar customs, language and, similar religion, the region was home to roughly 15 to 20 million people but because of this disunity, and intrigue, among them Caesar and his legions, were able to successfully, challenge, them number, six cassis belly like. Anymore, the Gallic Wars needed a motive, or at least a pretext, to be initiated, in the first place as a. Governor in charge of provinces, located, at the fringes of the Republic, Caesar, was given several, legions, to protect them and their interests but he couldn't just start attacking neighboring tribes without, just cause many, of these tribes were in fact allies of Rome and these, relations, they need to be maintained, nevertheless. Caesars casus, belli case, of war came in the form of helvetii a celtic, tribe in what is now present-day, switzerland together with several other neighboring tribes they decided, to migrate on mass, from that region integral. Proper, to the West numbering.
Somewhere Around three, hundred and twenty thousand people strong these, are just men and soldiers, but the entire population. Including, women children and, the elderly now. Regardless, of Caesars personal, motives for starting, war and mass migration, so close to his borders, and through his lands, could have caused a serious, instability, for the entire region for, starters just by walking, around so, many people could seriously, damage the, countryside that they were passing through secondly. Once they reached a place they would displace other tribes from their lands which in turn would kickstart a chain reaction throughout, the entirety, of southern, ghoul and even. Into transalpine, Gaul the, Roman province under Caesar, lastly, the vacuum left behind in Switzerland posed another threat, for Rome since it would have opened it up to other tribes possibly, the Germanic sube Rome preferred the Gallic helvetii there to act as a buffer in caesar's report to the senate he stated that the Helvetii chief for guitar rigs formed a secret plot with several other galaxies, Payne's two bands, together and take over the whole of Gaul for themselves and then probably to, drive back the increasing, threat of Rome was posing also. According to Caesar this plot was foiled and. Orgetorix committed, suicide before he could be put on trial but, despite that chief Kane's death the Helvetii went on with their migration, most likely pushed by the Germanic, people to the north they, did ask permission from Caesar to pass through his lands but he refused they then decided to head north without trespassing. Through Roman territory, even though Roman, lands were no longer under threat Caesar, chased after the Helvetii and attacked them on two occasions inflicting. Heavy losses the, remainder of their people were then forced to return to Switzerland and with his forces now on the move Caesar's, Gallic Wars had, begun number. Five Ariovistus the. Germanic, war chief even, though Caesar used the Helvetii to get his legions, into call he also needed, a motive to keep them there in fact every, new engagement he was involved in over the course of the following years needed, something, to justify hers and this time it was Ariovistus. A Germanic swadian chief, who crossed the Rhine River and Gaul shortly, after, his victory over Hal, vetti Caesar, received, a delegation, of Gallic leaders asking. Him to help them against the Germanic aggressor, aria vistas initially, came to Gaul at the request of these quaniee in order to help them against the a dream, the Adria who were allies of Rome had asked the Romans for help in 61 BC, but the Romans were unable to help because of an uprising that sprang up Aria, vistas initially came with 15,000.
Men And helped the sequani win, their war but soon enough they began making harsh, demands like two-thirds of their lands by, 58, BC the Germanic numbers had swelled from 15,000. To. 120,000. In order, to populate the area west of the Rhine River and they had plans to bring even more after, unsuccessful, negotiations with. Ariovistus, Caesar moved quickly to take over the sequani capital, of Vasanti Oh before this way he could in doing so the two armies got within striking distance of each other and this was the first and, the, last time that Roman soldiers almost went into a panic based on stories, they heard about Germanic, tribes known nevertheless after, a few days rest Caesar went in pursuit of REO vistas, and caught up with him after a week of relentless marching, Ariovistus, was then able to go around Caesar, and set up camp behinds him on top of a hill in a position where he could intercept, the Roman grain supplies Caesar moved back behind the tribesman and built a fort there all the while keeping the, constructions safe from raids but after, successfully, interrogating, a prisoner Caesar found out that Aria vistas, was avoiding, a full battle because, of a divination, that said, that the Germans would not win before the next full moon in what could be described, as something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, Caesar initiated, a battle before the new moon resulting. In their victory the, retreating Germanic forces crossed the Rhine and it would be three years, before Caesar, would face them again number, four the bravest of the Gauls in his commentaries, Caesar, names, the belgae as the bravest of all the Gallic tribes, now these Balgo they weren't a single tribal where a confederation, of over 20 tribes that inhabited, the region northeast. Of present-day, Paris, and into, present-day Belgium, the reasons, Caesar called them such is to mainly reinforce, the preconceived, notion that the farther away one went from the Romans fear of influence the more Bob, the tribes became vast, plus the fact that the Belgae boarded the Germanic tribes to the east meant that they were in constant, conflicts, and in turn made them accustomed to war which wasn't an entirely false assertion, by Caesar nevertheless Belgica, was the next region Caesar, and his legions, went into some rumors reached Caesar after his campaign against aria vistas that the Belgae were amassing a large army as a response to his earlier conquests. There was also the fact that his legions hadn't left Gaul after, those conflicts, were over and well they were right to be alarmed, the following year in 57, BC sees it returns a goal with two new legions that he raised during the winter months raising, his forces to eight legions or 35, to 40,000. Men it is important, to note that Caesar, was initially given four legions to defend his provinces, but now had doubled his forces without, the approval of the Senate hearing.
Of The Belgae army he marched into their territory here, the two armies battled, it out twice, once, at the river sabers and another attack, Zona River even though the Romans were victorious on both accounts Caesar had suffered heavy, losses particularly. At the service this, was also the hardest, battle fought during the entire Gallic, Wars with the exception, of a last stand which was to follow years later Caesar, then marched his troops all through bélgica subduing one tribe after another b4 through seizures, or volunteered, surrender, now even though it's not mentioned it is safe to assume that a lot of pillaging took place during this period as well, as throughout the entire gallon, container Caesar, wins it his legions in belgica spreading, them out among various, tribes this, of course felt like and, indeed, was more, of a subjugation, than a temporary thing in 53, BC, there was a revolt, against this oppression and in, retaliation Caesar, virtually, exterminated, them, which opens, the door for some Germanic tribes to cross the Rhine and replace, them number, three the vanity and sea warfare Caesars. Pretexts, of waging war all across goal we're becoming weaker, with each passing, year when it came to the vanity a northwestern tribe located mostly on the Atlantic coast of brittany in france a simple case of diplomatic. Misunderstanding. Was enough to make caesar declare war on them the only problem was that the vanity were a seafaring, people then some of their strongholds were protected, by the tide itself, somewhat, similar to Monson mckellen in northern France in preparation, for his war Caesar ordered some 200. Ships to be built on the Loire River that connected with the Atlantic, and while, Caesar marched with his legions on foot toward vanetti territory, the ships went down river and up the coast hearing. Of their coming the vanity bordered, their ships and fled offshore when Caesar arrived he found only deserted. Villages which she then pillaged, and burnt the Roman ships unlike, the vanity once weren't built for the Atlantic, which meant the vanity could help maneuver them remin, naval battles were based primarily, on ramming, the enemy ship crippling, it and then boarding, it but the vanity went only faster, and had better knowledge of the tides but their ships were also sturdier, which made them impossible to successfully. RAM and cripple their, ships were also taller than the Roman ones so if the Romans got close the vanity could easily shower, them with arrows and other projectiles to, overcome this problem naval, commander Decimus Brutus one, of the men who would later take part in Caesars assassination, by the way but, he wasn't actually Brutus, who you're probably thinking of came up with an ingenious idea, to incapacitate the, vanity ships by making use of some hooks on long poles the Romans were able to tear down their sails making, the enemy ships dead in the water, they were then able to board the ships and win, the battle all while Caesar watched from the breach with, the fleece gone the Romans, could effectively, storm, those strongholds and finally, crush the vanity in the aftermath the elites were killed while most of the rest of their population, was sold into slavery this, grim fate of the vanity served, as an example for the rest of the tribes in the region about. The pure might of Rome number. 2 Caesar, in Britain, throughout, the Gallic Wars Caesar became the first Roman who officially, crossed the Rhine River and the first to go to Britain but while is crossing, into Germanic territory, was more of a show of force and he didn't actually encounter, anyone his visit to Britain it was rather different indeed he actually went there on two separate, occasions his. Reasons going there were as usual very implausible, and, unconvincing. In his commentaries, he said that the people there were aiding the goals that he was fighting on the mainland for the Romans back home they only heard rumors about the islands with all sorts of stories made up about it some of which were that it was actually the land of the dead so as you can probably imagine this was a pretty great PR win. Caesar nevertheless, in, his first crossing of the English Channel he only did it with two legions or roughly, ten to twelve thousand men even though this was more of a reconnaissance mission for Caesar it could have been disastrous. For him when his fleet reached the British shore around Dover, he was met with a formidable British, force on the hill what's, more his cavalry forces weren't able to make the crossing because of high tides when, the actual landing took place the Romans were met with fierce resistance and, suffered heavy losses they, were able to put together a defensive, position just, off the beach but with little supplies available the, campaign it only lasted for 20 days before they had to return to the mainland the most formidable weapon, the Britons had at their disposal was, the war chariot, with it the Britons were able to effectively deploy constant.
Hit-and-run Tactics harassing. The Romans at every turn, the chariot was driven by one man while two others were throwing javelins if necessary, it would stop the men would get off and fight on foot but if the battle became too fierce they would get back on and ride away and because the Romans didn't have their cavalry with them they couldn't actually fight, back against them nevertheless this, incursion, to the British mile was widely celebrated in, Rome so Caesar returns in 54 BC this, time however he would bring five legions, and, 2,000. Mounted troops and while, they face difficulty, is like the first time they were able to storm, a stronghold of one of the most powerful tribes, in southern Britain after securing, a peace treaty and annual tributes Caesar returned, to Gaul the Romans would not set foot in Britain for another 19, years number. One, Vercingetorix, as caesar's grip tightens, over gaul the people living there were feeling the effects, and they were beginning to conspire, against the romans even, though the annexation wasn't, official the many Gallic, tribes had to pay caesar annual tribute give him fighting soldiers, and supply, him with grain many, Gallic leaders came together and decided on a coordinated. Gallic rebellion, all across Gaul one, man vercingetorix. Was chosen, to lead this revolt their revolt consisted, mostly of guerilla style warfare, where there were many hit-and-run, operations, and a scorched earth policy that, was implemented wherever, the Roman legions went after, a series, of successful encounters, vercingetorix, was pinned down at the fortress of Alesia in 52, BC in charge, of some 60,000. Men and having the advantage of higher grounds vercingetorix, decided, to wait for reinforcements, Caesar was at another disadvantage since, the supply lines were unreliable, while they were going through enemy territory nevertheless. Knowing, that another Gallic be, arriving, at any given moment he began construction, of a circumvallate, in wall surrounding, the entire hill, fort after that was finished he began working on another one that this time facing outward, with his army in between when the Gallic reinforcements. Finally arrived at the battle commenced almost immediately, after several days of engagements, with the Romans being pinned in the middle they were almost overrun. In a last-ditch effort seize ahead of his 6,000, strong cavalry, was able to break through the lines and tacticals, from behind eventually, on the battle with no real chance of escaping vercingetorix, surrendered, the following day while, the Battle of Alesia is the official, end of the Gallic Wars and the region's annexation, into Roman territory, a mopping, up operation, took place over the following year and a half and even, though there were several other uprisings.
Remin Control in Gaul was not seriously, challenged, until the 2nd century AD in the aftermath of these wars over 1 million people lay dead and another, 500,000. Were sent into slavery, with, the wealth and forces Caesar accumulated, over this period he was able to challenge his former ally in Rome Pompey, Magnus as, well as the Senate and initiates, the following civil wars that were effectively, put an end to the room in Republic and paved, the way for the Roman Empire that would later arise so. I really hope you found the video interesting if you did please do hit that thumbs up button below do not forget to subscribe for brand new videos just like this every day of the week or so over there on the right track on some videos from the archives and as always thank. You for watching. You.