By Peter Inker
In fifty two B.C. at Alesia in what's now Burgundy in France Julius Caesar pulled off one of many nice feats of Roman palms. His seriously outnumbered military completely defeated the mixed forces of the Gallic tribes led by means of Vercingetorix and accomplished the Roman conquest of Gaul. The Alesia crusade, and the epic siege within which it culminated, was once considered one of Caesar s best army achievements, and it has involved historians ever seeing that.
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Extra info for Caesar's Gallic Triumph The Battle of Alesia 52BC
The Roman myth of the warrior farmer protecting his homelands against the invading barbarian had already been lost, the professional soldier with allegiances only to his officers and fellows becoming the reality. Some authors suggest that The Gallic War was written over the winter of 52–51BC at Bibracte, but recent analysis of the changes in writing style indicate it was written annually, with instalments being sent to Rome for consumption. In contrast, the last instalment of the book (VIII 51–50BC) was written by Aulus Hirtius after Caesar’s death, but as this section refers to events after the Alesia Campaign it need not be referred to in detail.
Peter A. Inker 2007 Gallic noble cavalryman. © Peter A. Inker 2007 Roman arrowheads from Alesia (scale 1:1). © Peter A. Inker 2007 Two inscribed slingshots from Alesia (scale 1:1). © Peter A. Inker 2007 Slingshot inscribed with TLABI from Labienus’ camp at Alesia (scale 1:1). © Peter A. Inker 2007 Germanic cavalryman. © Peter A. Inker 2007 Three Gallic swords and scabbards from Alesia (scale 1:8). © Peter A. Inker 2007 Gallic shield boss with wings from Alesia (scale 1:4). © Peter A. Inker 2007 Gallic helmet from Alesia with reconstructed cheek guards (scale 1:5).
Six tribunes were placed as middle-ranking officers of the legion and these were generally young and untested men of aristocratic birth, often lacking in initiative or bravery. Caesar chose the tribunes personally, many purely on the basis of political expediency and patronage. Above the tribunes was a quaestor, a junior senator who oversaw an entire province and provided Caesar with finances. Overall control of a legion was placed in the hands of a legatus. Caesar chose a number of legati; usually former tribunes, they were senators from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, but were usually politically motivated choices.