JULIUS CAESAR'S MILITARY CAREER: IN GAUL, BRITAIN AND AGAINST VERCINGETORIX

JULIUS CAESAR’S EARLY MILITARY CAREER

20120224-Siege-alesia-vercingetorix-jules-cesar.jpg
Siege of Alesia, Vercingetorix and Caesar
Suetonius wrote: Caesar “served his first campaign in Asia on the personal staff of Marcus Thermus, governor of the province [81 B.C.]. Being sent by Thermus to Bithynia, to fetch a fleet, he dawdled so long at the court of Nicomedes that he was suspected of improper relations with the king; and he lent color to this scandal by going back to Bithynia a few days after his return, with the alleged purpose of collecting a debt for a freedman, one of his dependents. During the rest of the campaign he enjoyed a better reputation, and at the storming of Mytilene [80 BC] Thermus awarded him the civic crown [a chaplet of oak leaves, given for saving the life of a fellow-citizen, the highest military award of the Roman state]. [Source: Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.): “De Vita Caesarum, Divus Iulius” (“The Lives of the Caesars, The Deified Julius”), written A.D. c. 110, Suetonius, 2 vols., translated by J. C. Rolfe, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, and London: William Henemann, 1920), Vol. I, pp. 3-119]

“He served too under Servilius Isauricus in Cilicia, but only for a short time; for learning of the death of Sulla, and at the same time hoping to profit by a counter-revolution which Marcus Lepidus was setting on foot, he hurriedly returned to Rome [78 BC]. But he did not make common cause with Lepidus, although he was offered highly favorable terms, through lack of confidence both in that leader's capacity and in the outlook, which he found less promising than he had expected.

“Then, after the civil disturbance had been quieted, he brought a charge of extortion against Cornelius Dolabella, an ex-consul who had been honored with a triumph [77 BC]. On the acquittal of Dolabella, Caesar determined to withdraw to Rhodes, to escape from the ill-will which he had incurred, and at the same time to rest and have leisure to study under Apollonius Molo, the most eminent teacher of oratory of that time. While crossing to Rhodes [74 BC], after the winter season had already begun, he was taken by pirates near the island of Pharmacussa and remained in their custody for nearly forty days in a state of intense vexation, attended only by a single physician and two body-servants; for he had sent off his travelling companions and the rest of his attendants at the outset, to raise money for his ransom. Once he was set on shore on payment of fifty talents, he did not delay then and there to launch a fleet and pursue the departing pirates, and the moment they were in his power to inflict on them the punishment which he had often threatened when joking with them. He then proceeded to Rhodes, but as Mithridates was devastating the neighboring regions, he crossed over into Asia, to avoid the appearance of inaction when the allies of the Roman people were in danger. There he levied a band of auxiliaries and drove the king's prefect from the province, thus holding the wavering and irresolute states to their allegiance.

Websites on Ancient Rome: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” forumromanum.org; “The Private Life of the Romans” forumromanum.org|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; Lacus Curtius penelope.uchicago.edu; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org The Roman Empire in the 1st Century pbs.org/empires/romans; The Internet Classics Archive classics.mit.edu ; Bryn Mawr Classical Review bmcr.brynmawr.edu; De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors roman-emperors.org; British Museum ancientgreece.co.uk; Oxford Classical Art Research Center: The Beazley Archive beazley.ox.ac.uk ; Metropolitan Museum of Art metmuseum.org/about-the-met/curatorial-departments/greek-and-roman-art; The Internet Classics Archive kchanson.com ; Cambridge Classics External Gateway to Humanities Resources web.archive.org/web; Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy iep.utm.edu; Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy plato.stanford.edu; Ancient Rome resources for students from the Courtenay Middle School Library web.archive.org ; History of ancient Rome OpenCourseWare from the University of Notre Dame /web.archive.org ; United Nations of Roma Victrix (UNRV) History unrv.com

Caesar’s Military Skills

Suetonius wrote: “He was highly skilled in arms and horsemanship, and of incredible powers of endurance. On the march he headed his army, sometimes on horseback, but oftener on foot, bareheaded both in the heat of the sun and in rain. He covered great distances with incredible speed, making a hundred miles a day in a hired carriage and with little baggage, swimming the rivers which barred his path or crossing them on inflated skins, and very often arriving before the messengers sent to announce his coming. [Source: Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.): “De Vita Caesarum, Divus Iulius” (“The Lives of the Caesars, The Deified Julius”), written A.D. c. 110, Suetonius, 2 vols., translated by J. C. Rolfe, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, and London: William Henemann, 1920), Vol. I, pp. 3-119]


“In the conduct of his campaigns it is a question whether he was more cautious or more daring, for he never led his army where ambuscades were possible without carefully reconnoitering the country, and he did not cross to Britannia without making personal inquiries about the harbors, the course, and the approach to the island. But on the other hand, when news came that his camp in Germania was beleaguered, he made his way to his men through the enemies' pickets, disguised as a Gaul. He crossed from Brundisium to Dyrrachium in winter time, running the blockade of the enemy's fleets; and when the troops which he had ordered to follow him delayed to do so, and he had sent to fetch them many times in vain, at last in secret and alone he boarded a small boat at night with his head muffled up; and he did not reveal who he was, or suffer the helmsman to give way to the gale blowing in their teeth, until he was all but overwhelmed by the waves.

“No regard for religion ever turned him from any undertaking, or even delayed him. Though the victim escaped as he was offering sacrifice, he did not put off his expedition against Scipio and Juba. Even when he had a fall as he disembarked, he gave the omen a favorable turn by crying: "I hold you fast, Africa." Furthermore, to make the prophecies ridiculous which declared that the stock of the Scipios was fated to be fortunate and invincible in that province, he kept with him in camp a contemptible fellow belonging to the Cornelian family, to whom the nickname Salvito had been given as a reproach for his manner of life.

“He joined battle, not only after planning his movements in advance but on a sudden opportunity, often immediately at the end of a march, and sometimes in the foulest weather, when one would least expect him to make a move. It was not until his later years that he became slower to engage, through a conviction that the oftener he had been victor, the less he ought to tempt fate, and that he could not possibly gain as much by success as he might lose by a defeat. He never put his enemy to flight without also driving him from his camp, thus giving him no respite in his panic. When the issue was doubtful, he used to send away the horses, and his own among the first, to impose upon his troops the greater necessity of standing their ground by taking away that aid to flight.

“He rode a remarkable horse, too, with feet that were almost human; for its hoofs were cloven in such a way as to look like toes. This horse was foaled on his own place, and since the soothsayers had declared that it foretold the rule of the world for its master, he reared it with the greatest care, and was the first to mount it, for it would endure no other rider. Afterwards, too, he dedicated a statue of it before the temple of Venus Genetrix.

Caesar’s Bravery


Suetonius wrote: “When his army gave way, he often rallied it single-handed, planting himself in the way of the fleeing men, laying hold of them one by one, and even catching them by the throat and forcing them to face the enemy; that, too, when they were in such a panic that an eagle-bearer made a pass at him with the point [the standard of the legion was a silver eagle with outstretched wings, mounted on a pole which had a sharp point at the other end, so that it could be set firmly in the ground] as he tried to stop him, while another left the standard in Caesar's hand when he would hold him back. [Source: Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.): “De Vita Caesarum, Divus Iulius” (“The Lives of the Caesars, The Deified Julius”), written A.D. c. 110, Suetonius, 2 vols., translated by J. C. Rolfe, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, and London: William Henemann, 1920), Vol. I, pp. 3-119]

“His presence of mind was no less renowned, and the instances of it will appear even more striking. After the battle of Pharsalus, when he had sent on his troops and was crossing the strait of the Hellespont in a small passenger boat, he met Lucius Cassius, of the hostile party, with ten armored ships, and made no attempt to escape, but went to meet Cassius and actually urged him to surrender; and Cassius sued for mercy and was taken on board.

“At Alexandria, while assaulting a bridge, he was forced by a sudden sally of the enemy to take to a small skiff; when many others threw themselves into the same boat, he plunged into the sea, and after swimming for two hundred paces, got away to the nearest ship, holding up his left hand all the way, so as not to wet some papers which he was carrying, and dragging his cloak after him with his teeth, to keep the enemy from getting it as a trophy.

Caesar’s Control Over His Army

Suetonius wrote: “He valued his soldiers neither for their personal character nor their fortune, but solely for their prowess, and he treated them with equal strictness and indulgence; for he did not curb them everywhere and at all times, but only in the presence of the enemy. Then he required the strictest discipline, not announcing the time of a march or a battle, but keeping them ready and alert to be led on a sudden at any moment wheresoever he might wish. He often called them out even when there was no occasion for it, especially on rainy days and holidays. And warning them every now and then that they must keep close watch on him, he would steal away suddenly by day or night and make a longer march than usual, to tire out those who were tardy in following. [Source: Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.): “De Vita Caesarum, Divus Iulius” (“The Lives of the Caesars, The Deified Julius”), written A.D. c. 110, Suetonius, 2 vols., translated by J. C. Rolfe, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, and London: William Henemann, 1920), Vol. I, pp. 3-119]

“When they were in a panic through reports about the enemy's numbers, he used to rouse their courage not by denying or discounting the rumours, but by falsely exaggerating the true danger. For instance, when the anticipation of Juba's coming filled them with terror, he called the soldiers together and said: "Let me tell you that within the next few days the king will be here with ten legions, thirty thousand horsemen, a hundred thousand light-armed troops, and three hundred elephants. Therefore some of you may as well cease to ask further questions or make surmises and may rather believe me, since I know all about it. Otherwise, I shall surely have them shipped on some worn out craft and carried off to whatever lands the wind may blow them."

“He did not take notice of all their offences or punish them by rule, but he kept a sharp look out for deserters and mutineers, and chastised them most severely, shutting his eyes to other faults. Sometimes, too, after a great victory he relieved them of all duties and gave them full licence to revel, being in the habit of boasting that his soldiers could fight well even when reeking of perfumes. In the assembly he addressed them not as "soldiers," but by the more fiattering term "comrades," and he kept them in fine trim, furnishing them with arms inlaid with silver and gold, both for show and to make them hold the faster to them in battle, through fear of the greatness of the loss. Such was his love for them that when he heard of the disaster to Titurius, he let his hair and beard grow long, and would not cut them until he had taken vengeance.


Roman soldiers setting up camp

“In this way he made them most devoted to his interests as well as most valiant. When he began the civil war, every centurion of each legion proposed to supply a horseman from his own savings, and the soldiers one and all offered their service without pay and without rations, the richer assuming the care of the poorer. Throughout the long struggle not one deserted and many of them, on being taken prisoner, refused to accept their lives, when offered them on the condition of consenting to serve against Caesar. They bore hunger and other hardships, both when in a state of siege and when besieging others, with such fortitude, that when Pompeius saw in the works at Dyrrachium a kind of bread made of herbs, on which they were living, he said that he was fighting wild beasts; and he gave orders that it be put out of sight quickly and shown to none of his men, for fear that the endurance and resolution of the foe would break their spirit. How valiantly they fought is shown by the fact that when they suffered their sole defeat before Dyrrachium, they insisted on being punished, and their commander felt called upon rather to console than to chastise them. In the other battles they overcame with ease countless forces of the enemy, though decidedly fewer in number themselves. Indeed one cohort of the sth legion, when set to defend a redoubt, kept four legions of Pompeius at bay for several hours, though almost all were wounded by the enemy's showers of arrows, of which a hundred and thirty thousand were picked up within the ramparts. And no wonder, when one thinks of the deeds of individual soldiers, either of Cassius Scaeva the centurion, or of Gaius Acilius of the rank and file, not to mention others. Scaeva, with one eye gone, his thigh and shoulder wounded, and his shield bored through in a hundred and twenty places, continued to guard the gate of a fortress put in his charge. Acilius in the sea-fight at Massilia grasped the stern of one of the enemy s ships, and when his right hand was lopped off, rivalling the famous exploit of the Greek hero Cynegirus, boarded the ship and drove the enemy before him with the boss of his shield.

“They did not mutiny once during the ten years of the Gallic war; in the civil wars they did so now and then, but quickly resumed their duty, not so much owing to any indulgence of their general as to his authority. For he never gave way to them when they were insubordinate, but always boldly faced them, discharging the entire ninth legion in disgrace before Placentia, though Pompey was still in the field, reinstating them unwillingly and only after many abject entreaties, and insisting on punishing the ringleaders.

“Again at Rome, when the men of the Tenth Legion clamored for their discharge and rewards with terrible threats and no little peril to the city, though the war in Africa was then raging, he did not hesitate to appear before them, against the advice of his friends, and to disband them. But with a single word, calling them "citizens," instead of 'soldiers," he easily brought them round and bent them to his will; for they at once replied that they were his "soldiers" and insisted on following him to Africa, although he refused their service. Even then he punished the most insubordinate by the loss of a third part of the plunder and of the land intended for them.”

Caesar in Gaul

In 58 B.C., Julius Caesar became governor and military commander of the Roman province of Gaul, which included modern France, Belgium, and portions of Switzerland, Holland, and Germany west of the Rhine, as well as parts of northern Italy. During his eight years there he led military campaigns involving both the Roman legions and tribes in Gaul who were often competing among themselves. One of the best sources on the period is Caesar's account, “Commentaries on the Gallic Wars,” originally published in 50 B.C.


Gaul at the time of Caesar's arrival in 59 BC

In 59 B.C., after serving a year as consul, Caesar had himself named the governor of Gaul, where he distinguished himself as a superb organizer and a motivator of soldiers with whom he worked with, fought with and suffered with. He inspired such respect and affection from the men who served under him it was said they would do anything for him. Caesar personally selected Gaul for his province to govern. At that time the most forbidding part of the Roman territory. It was the home of barbarians, with no wealth like that of Asia, and few relics of a former civilization like those of Spain and Africa.

Caesar governed Gaul from 58 to 49 B.C. David Silverman of Reed College wrote: Caesar “chose for his province Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum, but the Senate added to this Transalpine Gaul, which as it turned out was where Caesar would spend most of his time, returning to the Italian side of the Alps periodically to meet with his people from the city and to keep his finger on what was happening on the domestic scene.” [Source: David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]

Suetonius wrote: “During the nine years of his command this is in substance what he did. All that part of Gallia which is bounded by the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Cévennes, and by the Rhine and Rhone rivers, a circuit of some 3,200 miles [Roman measure, about 3,106 English miles], with the exception of some allied states which had rendered him good service, he reduced to the form of a province; and imposed upon it a yearly tribute of 40,000,000 sesterces. He was the first Roman to build a bridge and attack the Germans beyond the Rhine; and he inflicted heavy losses upon them. He invaded the Britons too, a people unknown before, vanquished them, and exacted moneys and hostages. Amid all these successes he met with adverse fortune but three times in all: in Britannia, where his fleet narrowly escaped destruction in a violent storm; in Gallia, when one of his legions was routed at Gergovia; and on the borders of Germania, when his lieutenants Titurius and Aurunculeius were ambushed and slain. [Source: Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.): “De Vita Caesarum, Divus Iulius” (“The Lives of the Caesars, The Deified Julius”), written A.D. c. 110, Suetonius, 2 vols., translated by J. C. Rolfe, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, and London: William Henemann, 1920), Vol. I, pp. 3-119]

Why Did Caesar Choose to Go to Gaul

It is not easy for us to say exactly what was in the mind of Caesar when he selected Gaul for his province. But there were three or four things, no doubt, that Caesar saw clearly. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

In the first place, he saw that the power which should hereafter rule the Roman state must be a military power. Sulla had succeeded by the help of his army, and Pompey had failed by giving up his army. If he himself should ever establish his own power, it must be by the aid of a strong military force. In the next place, he saw that no other province afforded the same political opportunities as those which Gaul presented. It is true that the distant province of Syria might open a way for the conquest of Parthia, and for attaining the glories of another Alexander. But Syria was too far removed from Roman politics; and Caesar’s first ambition was political power, and not military glory. \~\


area in pink conqured by Caesar by 51 BC

Caesar saw that the conquest of Gaul was necessary for the protection of the Roman state. The invasions of the northern barbarians—the Gauls, the Cimbri and the Teutones had twice already threatened Rome with destruction. By its conquest Gaul might be made a barrier against barbarism.Moreover, he saw that Rome was in need of new and fertile lands for colonization. Italy was overcrowded. The most patriotic men had seen the need of extra-Italian colonies. Gaius Gracchus had sought an outlet in Africa. He himself had advocated settlements in the valley of the Po. What Italy needed most, after a stable government, was an outlet for her surplus population. His own ambition and the highest interests of his country Caesar believed to be at one. By conquering Gaul he would be fighting not for Pompey or the senate, but for himself and Rome. \~\

The Roman historian Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.) wrote: “Backed therefore by his father-in-law and son-in-law, out of all the numerous provinces he made Gallia his choice, as the most likely to enrich him and furnish suitable material for triumphs. At first, it is true, by the bill of Vatinius he received only Gallia Cisalpina with the addition of Illyricum; but presently he was assigned Gallia Comata as well by the senate, since the members feared that even if they should refuse it, the people would give him this also. Transported with joy at this success, he could not keep from boasting a few days later before a crowded house, that having gained his heart's desire to the grief and lamentation of his opponents, he would therefore from that time mount on their heads [used in a double sense, one sexual]; and when someone insultingly remarked that that would be no easy matter for any woman, he replied in the same vein that Semiramis too had been queen in Syria and the Amazons in days of old had held sway over a great part of Asia.

“When at the close of his consulship the praetors Gaius Memmius and Lucius Domitius moved an inquiry into his conduct during the previous year, Caesar laid the matter before the senate; and when they failed to take it up, and three days had been wasted in fruitless wrangling, went off to his province. Whereupon his quaestor was at once arraigned on several counts, as a preliminary to his own impeachment. Presently he himself too was prosecuted by Lucius Antistius, tribune of the commons, and it was only by appealing to the whole college that he contrived not to be brought to trial, on the ground that he was absent on public service. Then to secure himself for the future, he took great pains always to put the magistrates for the year under personal obligation, and not to aid any candidates or suffer any to be elected, save such as guaranteed to defend him in his absence. And he did not hesitate in some cases to exact an oath to keep this pledge or even a written contract.

“[55 B.C.] When, however, Lucius Domitius, candidate for the consulship, openly threatened to effect as consul what he had been unable to do as praetor, and to take his armies from him, Caesar compelled Pompeius and Crassus to come to Luca, a city in his province, where he prevailed on them to stand for a second consulship, to defeat Domitius; and he also succeeded through their influence in having his term as governor of Gallia made five years longer. Encouraged by this, he added to the legions which he had received from the state others at his own cost, one actually composed of men of Gallia Transalpina and bearing a Gallic name too (for it was called Alauda [A Celtic word meaning a crested lark (Plin. N.H. 11.37) which was the device on the helmets of the legion]), which he trained in the Roman tactics and equipped with Roman arms; and later on he gave every man of it citizenship. After that he did not let slip any pretext for war, however unjust and dangerous it might be, picking quarrels as well with allied, as with hostile and barbarous nations; so that once the senate decreed that a commission be sent to inquire into the condition of the Gallic provinces, and some even recommended that Caesar be handed over to the enemy. But as his enterprises prospered, thanksgivings were appointed in his honor oftener and for longer periods than for anyone before his time.

Gaul at the Time Caesar Arrived


the locals in Gaul

Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) wrote in “The Gallic Wars” (“De Bello Gallico” c. 51 B.C.): “When Caesar arrived in Gaul the leaders of one party were the Aedui, of the other the Sequani. The latter, being by themselves inferior in strength — since the highest authority from ancient times rested with the Aedui, and their dependencies were extensive — had made Ariovistus and the Germans their friends, and with great sacrifices and promises had brought them to their side. Then, by several successful engagements and the slaughter of all the Aeduan nobility, they had so far established their predominance as to transfer a great part of the dependents from the Aedui to themselves, receiving from them as hostages the children of their chief men, compelling them as a state to swear that they would entertain no design against the Sequani, occupying a part of the neighbouring territory which they had seized by force, and securing the chieftaincy of all Gaul. This was the necessity which had compelled Diviciacus to set forth on a journey to the Senate at Rome for the purpose of seeking aid; but he had returned without achieving the object. [Source: Gallic War by Julius Caesar, Book VI (chapters 11 20). Loeb Classical Library, 1917, Bill Thayer, penelope.uchicago.edu]

“By the arrival of Caesar a change of affairs was brought about. Their hosts were restored to the Aedui, their old dependencies restored, and new ones secured through Caesar's efforts (as those who had joined in friendly relations with them found that they enjoyed a better condition and a fairer rule), and their influence and position were increased in all other respects: in result whereof the Sequani had lost the chieftaincy. To their place the Remi had succeeded; and as it was perceived that they had equal influence with Caesar, the tribes which, by reason of ancient animosities, could in no wise join the Aedui were delivering themselves as dependents to the Remi. These tribes the Remi carefully protected, and by this means they sought to maintain their new and suddenly acquired authority. The state of things then at the time in question was that the Aedui were regarded as by far the chief state, while the Remi held the second place in importance.

“Throughout Gaul there are two classes of persons of definite account and dignity. As for the common folk, they are treated almost as slaves, venturing naught of themselves, never taken into counsel. The more part of them, oppressed as they are either by debt, or by the heavy weight of tribute, or by the wrongdoing of the more powerful men, commit themselves in slavery to the nobles, who have, in fact, the same rights over them as masters over slaves. Of the two classes above mentioned one consists of Druids, the other of knights. The former are concerned with divine worship, the due performance of sacrifices, public and private, and the interpretation of ritual questions: a great number of young men gather about them for the sake of instruction and hold them in great honour. In fact, it is they who decide in almost all disputes, public and private; and if any crime has been committed, or murder done, or there is any disposes about succession or boundaries, they also decide it, determining rewards and penalties: if any person or people does not abide by their decision, they ban such from sacrifice, which is their heaviest penalty. Those that are so banned are reckoned as impious and criminal; all men move out of their path and shun their approach and conversation, for fear they may get some harm from their contact, and no justice is done if they seek it, no distinction falls to their share. Of all these Druids one is chief, who has the highest authority among them. At his death, either any other that is preëminent in position succeeds, or, if there be several of equal standing, they strive for the primacy by the vote of the Druids, or sometimes even with armed force. These Druids, at a certain time of the year, meet within the borders of the Carnutes, whose territory is reckoned as the centre of all Gaul, and sit in conclave in a consecrated spot. Thither assemble from every side all that have disputes, and they obey the decisions and judgments of the Druids. It is believed that their rule of life was discovered in Britain and transferred thence to Gaul; and to day those who would study the subject more accurately journey, as a rule, to Britain to learn it.

“The Druids usually hold aloof from war, and do not pay war taxes with the rest; they are excused from military service and exempt from all liabilities. Tempted by these great rewards, many young men assemble of their own motion to receive their training; many are sent by parents and relatives. Report says that in the schools of the Druids they learn by heart a great number of verses, and therefore some persons remain twenty years under training. And they do not think it proper to commit these utterances to writing, although in almost all other matters, and in their public and private accounts, they make use of Greek letters. I believe that they have adopted the practice for two reasons — that they do not wish the rule to become common property, nor those who learn the rule to rely on writing and so neglect the cultivation of the memory; and, in fact, it does usually happen that the assistance of writing tends to relax the diligence of the student and the action of the memory. The cardinal doctrine which they seek to teach is that souls do not die, but after death pass from one to another; and this belief, as the fear of death is thereby cast aside, they hold to be the greatest incentive to valour. Besides this, they have many discussions as touching the stars and their movement, the size of the universe and of the earth, the order of nature, the strength and the powers of the immortal gods, and hand down their lore to the young men.

“The other class are the knights. These, when there is occasion, upon the incidence of a war — and before Caesar's coming this would happen well-nigh every year, in the sense that they would either be making wanton attacks themselves or repelling such — are all engaged therein; and according to the importance of each of them in birth and resources, so is the number of liegemen and dependents that he has about him. This is the one form of influence and power known to them.”

Julius Caesar on the Gauls and Their Customs and Religion


Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) wrote in “The Gallic Wars” (“De Bello Gallico” c. 51 B.C.): “The Gallic people, in general, are remarkably addicted to religious observances; and for this reason persons suffering from serious maladies c s. and those whose lives are passed in battle and danger offer or vow to offer human sacrifices, and employ Druids to perform the sacrificial rites; for they believe that unless for man's life the life of man be duly offered, the divine spirit cannot be propitiated. They also hold regular state sacrifices of the same kind. They have, besides, colossal images, the limbs of which, made of wicker work, they fill with living men and set on fire; and the victims perish, encompassed by the flames. [Source: Internet Archive. Princeton]

“They regard it as more acceptable to the gods to punish those who are caught in the commission of theft, robbery, or any other crime; but, in default of criminals, they actually resort to the sacrifice of the innocent. The god whom they most reverence is Mercury, whose images abound. He is regarded as the inventor of all arts and the pioneer and guide of travellers; and he is believed to be all-powerful in promoting commerce and the acquisition of wealth. Next to him they reverence Apollo, Mars, Jupiter, and Minerva. Their notions about these deities are much the same as those of other peoples: Apollo they regard as the dispeller of disease, Minerva as the originator of industries and handicrafts, Jupiter as the suzerain of the celestials, and Mars as the lord of war. To Mars, when they have resolved upon battle, they commonly dedicate the spoils: after victory they sacrifice the captured cattle, and collect the rest of the booty in one spot. In the territories of many tribes are to be seen heaps of such spoils reared on consecrated ground; and it has rarely happened that any one dared, despite religion, either to conceal what he had captured or to remove what had been consecrated. For such an offense the law prescribes the heaviest punishment with torture

“The Gauls universally describe themselves as descendants of Dis Pater,2 affirming that this is the Druidical tradition. For this reason they measure all periods of time not by days but by nights, and reckon birthdays, the first of the month, and the first of the year on the principle that day comes after night. As regards the other customs of daily life, about the only point ispecul,ar in which they differ from the rest of mankind is this, they do not allow their children to come near them openly 1 until they are old enough for military service; and they regard it as unbecoming for a son, while he is still a boy, to appear in public where his father can see him.

“It is the custom for married men to take from their own property an amount equivalent, according to valuation, to the sum which they have received from their wives as dowry, and lump the two together. The whole property is jointly administered and the interest saved; and the joint shares of husband and wife, with the interest of past years, go to the survivor. Husbands have power of life and death over Status of their wives as well as their children: on the death of the head of a family of high birth, his relations assemble, and, if his death gives rise to suspicion, examine his wives under torture like slaves, and, if their guilt is proved, bum t em to death with all kinds of tortures I funerals, considering the Gallic standard of living are splendid and costly: everything, even including animals, which the departed are supposed to have cared for when they were alive, is consigned to the flames; and shortly before our time slaves and retainers who were known to have been beloved by their masters were burned along with them after the conclusion of the regular obsequies.

“The tribes which are regarded as comparatively well governed have a legal enactment to the effect that if any one hears any political rumour or intelligence from the neighbouring peoples, he is to inform the magistrate and not communicate it to any one else, as experience has proved that headstrong persons, who know nothing of affairs, are often alarmed by false reports and impelled to commit crimes and embark on momentous enterprises The magistrates suppress what appears to demand secrecy, and publish what they deem it expedient for the people to know. The discussion of politics, except in a formal assembly, is forbidden.”

Caesar as a Military Leader in Gaul


Plutarch wrote in “Lives”:“Thus far have we followed Caesar's actions before the wars of Gaul. After this, he seems to begin his course afresh, and to enter upon a new life and scene of action. And the period of those wars which he now fought, and those many expeditions in which he subdued Gaul, showed him to be a soldier and general not in the least inferior to any of the greatest and most admired commanders who had ever appeared at the head of armies. For if we compare him with the Fab, the Metelli, the Scipios, and with those who were his contemporaries, or not long before him, Sylla, Marius, the Luculli, or even Pompey himself, whose glory, it may be said, went up at that time to heaven for every excellence in war, we shall find Caesar's actions to have surpassed them all. One he may be held to have outdone in consideration of the difficulty of the country in which he fought, another in the extent of territory which he conquered; some, in the number and strength of the enemy whom he defeated; one man, because of the wildness and perfidiousness of the tribes whose good-will he conciliated, another in his humanity and clemency to those he overpowered; others, again, in his gifts and kindnesses to his soldiers; all alike in the number of the battles which he fought and the enemies whom he killed. For he had not pursued the wars in Gaul full ten years when he had taken by storm above eight hundred towns, subdued three hundred states, and of the three millions of men, who made up the gross sum of those with whom at several times he engaged, he had killed one million and taken captive a second. [Source: Plutarch (A.D. c.46-c.120), Life of Caesar (100-44 B.C.), written A.D. 75, translated by John Dryden, MIT]

“He was so much master of the good-will and hearty service of his soldiers that those who in other expeditions were but ordinary men displayed a courage past defeating or withstanding when they went upon any danger where Caesar's glory was concerned. Such a one was Acilius, who, in the sea-fight before Marseilles, had his right hand struck off with a sword, yet did not quit his buckler out of his left, but struck the enemies in the face with it, till he drove them off and made himself master of the vessel. Such another was Cassius Scaeva, who, in a battle near Dyrrhachium, had one of his eyes shot out with an arrow, his shoulder pierced with one javelin, and his thigh with another; and having received one hundred and thirty darts upon his target, called to the enemy, as though he would surrender himself. But when two of them came up to him, he cut off the shoulder of one with a sword, and by a blow over the face forced the other to retire, and so with the assistance of his friends, who now came up, made his escape. Again, in Britain, when some of the foremost officers had accidentally got into a morass full of water, and there were assaulted by the enemy, a common soldier, whilst Caesar stood and looked on, threw himself in the midst of them, and after many signal demonstrations of his valour, rescued the officers and beat off the barbarians. He himself, in the end, took to the water, and with much difficulty, partly by swimming, partly by wading, passed it, but in the passage lost his shield. Caesar and his officers saw it and admired, and went to meet him with joy and acclamation. But the soldier, much dejected and in tears, threw himself down at Caesar's feet and begged his pardon for having let go his buckler. Another time in Africa, Scipio having taken a ship of Caesar's in which Granius Petro, lately appointed quaestor, was sailing, gave the other passengers as free prize to his soldiers, but thought fit to offer the quaestor his life. But he said it was not usual for Caesar's soldiers to take but give mercy, and having said so, fell upon his sword and killed himself.


“This love of honour and passion for distinction were inspired into them and cherished in them by Caesar himself, who, by his unsparing distribution of money and honours, showed them that he did not heap up wealth from the wars for his own luxury, or the gratifying his private pleasures, but that all he received was but a public fund laid by the reward and encouragement of valour, and that he looked upon all he gave to deserving soldiers as so much increase to his own riches. Added to this also, there was no danger to which he did not willingly expose himself, no labour from which he pleaded an exemption. His contempt of danger was not so much wondered at by his soldiers because they knew how much he coveted honour. But his enduring so much hardship, which he did to all appearance beyond his natural strength, very much astonished them. For he was a spare man, had a soft and white skin, was distempered in the head and subject to an epilepsy, which, it is said, first seized him at Corduba. But he did not make the weakness of his constitution a pretext for his ease, but rather used war as the best physic against his indispositions; whilst, by indefatigable journeys, coarse diet, frequent lodging in the field, and continual laborious exercise, he struggled with his diseases and fortified his body against all attacks. He slept generally in his chariots or litters, employing even his rest in pursuit of action. In the day he was thus carried to the forts, garrisons, and camps, one servant sitting with him, who used to write down what he dictated as he went, and a soldier attending behind him with his sword drawn.

“He drove so rapidly that when he first left Rome he arrived at the river Rhone within eight days. He had been an expert rider from his childhood; for it was usual with him to sit with his hands joined together behind his back, and so to put his horse to its full speed. And in this war he disciplined himself so far as to be able to dictate letters from on horseback, and to give directions to two who took notes at the same time or, as Oppius says, to more. And it is thought that he was the first who contrived means for communicating with friends by cipher, when either press of business, or the large extent of the city, left him no time for a personal conference about matters that required despatch. How little nice he was in his diet may be seen in the following instance. When at the table of Valerius Leo, who entertained him at supper at Milan, a dish of asparagus was put before him on which his host instead of oil had poured sweet ointment, Caesar partook of it without any disgust, and reprimanded his friends for finding fault with it. "For it was enough," said he, "not to eat what you did not like; but he who reflects on another man's want of breeding, shows he wants it as much himself." Another time upon the road he was driven by a storm into a poor man's cottage, where he found but one room, and that such as would afford but a mean reception to a single person, and therefore told his companions places of honour should be given up to the greater men, and necessary accommodations to the weaker, and accordingly ordered that Oppius, who was in bad health, should lodge within, whilst he and the rest slept under a shed at the door.”

Caesar’s Military Achievements in Gaul

Perhaps Caesar's greatest military achievement was his conquest and pacification of Gaul in which 55,000 Romans battled 250,000 Celts in a campaign that lasted from 58 to 51 B.C. His account of the events--- Commentaries on the Gallic War ---is still regarded as a masterpiece. Modern historians have compared it to Churchill's work. The historian Ernst Badian told National Geographic, "Blood was the characteristic of Alexander's whole campaign. There is nothing comparable in ancient history except Caesar in Gaul."

To protect his army of 40,000 men from the Gauls Caesar erected a fortress with a circumference of 14 miles. The fort was protected by hidden pit with upward pointing sticks, logs spiked with iron hooks, walls fashioned from forked timbers and double ditches. During one attack Celts hurled themselves bravely and foolishly at the fortress and were routed after the Roman cavalry charged down from a hill at a strategic time.

During his years in Gaul Caesar inexorably expanded Roman territory by defeating one tribe after another. He crossed the Rhine in 55 B.C. to preempt a German invasion. In 52 B.C., he put down the last great Gallic-Celtic uprising. Vercingetorix, the leader of the Gallic-Celtic forces, surrendered himself at the feet of Caesar who sent him to Rome where the Gallic leader was imprisoned for six years and then paraded through the streets and strangled in the Forum.

The provinces over which Caesar was placed at first included Cisalpine Gaul, that is, the valley of the Po; Illyricum, that is, the strip of territory across the Adriatic Sea; and Narbonensis, that is, a small part of Transalpine Gaul lying about the mouth of the Rhone. Within eight years he brought under his power all the territory bounded by the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Rhine, and the Atlantic Ocean, or about what corresponds to the modern countries of France, Belgium, and Holland. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

He at first conquered the Helvetii, a tribe lying on the outskirts of his own province of Narbonensis. He then met and drove back a great invasion of Germans, who, under a prince called Ariovistus, had crossed the Rhine, and threatened to overrun the whole of Gaul. He then pushed into the northern parts of Gaul, and conquered the Nervii and the neighboring tribes. He overcame the Veneti on the Atlantic coast, and conquered Aquitania. He also made two invasions into Britain (55, 54 B.C.), crossed the Rhine into Germany, and revealed to the Roman soldiers countries they had never seen before. After once subduing the various tribes of Gaul, he was finally caned upon to suppress a general insurrection, led by a powerful leader called Vercingetorix.



Caesar’s Early Victories and Conquests in Gaul

Caesar first conquered the Helvetii, a tribe lying on the outskirts of his own province of Narbonensis. He then met and drove back a great invasion of Germans, who, under a prince called Ariovistus, had crossed the Rhine, and threatened to overrun the whole of Gaul. David Silverman of Reed College wrote: “His tenure in Gaul began with a crisis, the westward movement of the Celto-Germanic Helvetii into the territory of Aedui, one of the Gallic tribes most friendly to Rome. Caesar's repulsion of the Helvetian migration induced the Gauls to look to him for help against Ariovistus, chief of the German Suebi, who likewise was looking to expand westward. The defeat of the Suebi at the Rhine confirmed Caesar's standing among the Gauls, but also convinced him that Roman rule ought to be extended throughout the whole of Gaul. In part his motivation was personal; as we have seen, in this period the path to personal power led more and more through the conquest of foreign enemies and the consequent accumulation of legions rather than through the Senate or the courts. [Source: David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]

Plutarch wrote in “Lives”: “His first war in Gaul was against the Helvetians and Tigurini, who having burnt their own towns, twelve in number, and four hundred villages, would have marched forward through that part of Gaul which was included in the Roman province, as the Cimbrians and Teutons formerly had done. Nor were they inferior to these in courage; and in numbers they were equal, being in all three hundred thousand, of which one hundred and ninety thousand were fighting men. Caesar did not engage the Tigurini in person, but Labienus, under his directions, routed them near the rivet Arar. [Source: Plutarch (A.D. c.46-c.120), Life of Caesar (100-44 B.C.), written A.D. 75, translated by John Dryden, MIT]

“The Helvetians surprised Caesar, and unexpectedly set upon him as he was conducting his army to a confederate town. He succeeded, however, in making his retreat into a strong position, where, when he had mustered and marshalled his men, his horse was brought to him; upon which he said, "When I have won the battle, I will use my horse for the chase, but at present let us go against the enemy," and accordingly charged them on foot. After a long and severe combat, he drove the main army out of the field, but found the hardest work at their carriages and ramparts, where not only the men stood and fought, but the women also and children defended themselves till they were cut to pieces; insomuch that the fight was scarcely ended till midnight. This action, glorious in itself, Caesar crowned with another yet more noble, by gathering in a body all the barbarians that had escaped out of the battle, above one hundred thousand in number, and obliging them to re-occupy the country which they had deserted and the cities which they had burnt. This he did for fear the Germans should pass it and possess themselves of the land whilst it lay uninhabited.”

Caesar Brings Gaul Under Control

After this Caesar pushed into the northern parts of Gaul, and conquered the Nervii and the neighboring tribes. He overcame the Veneti on the Atlantic coast, and conquered Aquitania. He also made two invasions into Britain (55, 54 B.C.), crossed the Rhine into Germany, and revealed to the Roman soldiers countries they had never seen before. After once subduing the various tribes of Gaul, he was finally caned upon to suppress a general insurrection, led by a powerful leader called Vercingetorix. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]


Caesar and Ariovistus meet before battle

David Silverman wrote: “Resistance was stiffest in Northern Gaul, where Caesar with some difficulty subdued the Belgae and Nervii in 57 B.C. ; meanwhile, the Gauls of the Atlantic coast came along quietly, although in 56 B.C. an insurrection under the leadership of the Veneti had to be met in un-Roman fashion with a naval campaign. In 55 B.C. and 54 B.C. Gaul remained quiet, while Caesar explore the possibilities for the conquest of Germany (quickly abandoned) and Britain. [Source: David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]

Ariovistus was a leader of the Suebi and other allied Germanic peoples while Caesar was in northern Gaul. Ariovistus and his followers took part in a war in Gaul, assisting the Arverni and Sequani in defeating their rivals, the Aedui. They then settled in large numbers into conquered Gallic territory, in the Alsace region. They were defeated in the Battle of Vosges and driven back over the Rhine in 58 B.C. by Julius Caesar. [Source: Wikipedia]

Plutarch wrote in “Lives”: “His second war was in defence of the Gauls against the Germans, though some time before he had made Ariovistus, their king, recognized at Rome as an ally. But they were very insufferable neighbours to those under his government; and it was probable, when occasion offered, they would renounce the present arrangements, and march on to occupy Gaul. But finding his officers timorous, and especially those of the young nobility who came along with him in hopes of turning their campaigns with him into a means for their own pleasure or profit, he called them together, and advised them to march off, and not run the hazard of a battle against their inclinations, since they had such weak unmanly feelings; telling them that he would take only the tenth legion and march against the barbarians, whom he did not expect to find an enemy more formidable than the Cimbri, nor, he added, should they find him a general inferior to Marius. [Source: Plutarch (A.D. c.46-c.120), Life of Caesar (100-44 B.C.), written A.D. 75, translated by John Dryden, MIT]

“Upon this, the tenth legion deputed some of their body to pay him their acknowledgments and thanks, and the other legions blamed their officers, and all, with great vigour and zeal, followed him many days' journey, till they encamped within two hundred furlongs of the enemy. Ariovistus's courage to some extent was cooled upon their very approach; for never expecting the Romans would attack the Germans, whom he had thought it more likely they would not venture to withstand even in defence of their own subjects, he was the more surprised at conduct, and saw his army to be in consternation. They were still more discouraged by the prophecies of their holy women, who foretell the future by observing the eddies of rivers, and taking signs from the windings and noise of streams, and who now warned them not to engage before the next new moon appeared. Caesar having had intimation of this, and seeing the Germans lie still, thought it expedient to attack them whilst they were under these apprehensions, rather than sit still and wait their time. Accordingly he made his approaches to the strongholds and hills on which they lay encamped, and so galled and fretted them that at last they came down with great fury to engage. But he gained a signal victory, and pursued them for four hundred furlongs, as far as the Rhine; all which space was covered with spoils and bodies of the slain. Ariovistus made shift to pass the Rhine with the small remains of an army, for it is said the number of the slain amounted to eighty thousand.”

Caesar Connections to Rome While He Was in Gaul


Caesar returned to Rome or the Italian side of the Po River periodically to meet with his allies and keep his finger on what was happening there. Suetonius wrote: “Within this same space of time he lost first his mother, then his daughter, and soon afterwards his grandchild. Meanwhile, as the community was aghast at the murder of Publius Clodius, the senate had voted that only one consul should be chosen, and expressly named Gnaeus Pompeius. When the tribunes planned to make him Pompeius' colleague, Caesar urged them rather to propose to the people that he be permitted to stand for a second consulship without coming to Rome, when the term of his governorship drew near its end, to prevent his being forced for the sake of the office to leave his province prematurely and without finishing the war. On the granting of this, aiming still higher and flushed with hope, he neglected nothing in the way of lavish expenditure or of favors to anyone, either in his public capacity or privately. He began a forum with the proceeds of his spoils, the ground for which cost more than a hundred million sesterces. He announced a combat of gladiators and a feast for the people in memory of his daughter, a thing quite without precedent. To raise the expectation of these events to the highest possible pitch, he had the material for the banquet prepared in part by his own household, although he had let contracts to the markets as well. He gave orders too that whenever famous gladiators fought without winning the favor of the people [when ordinarily they would be put to death], they should be rescued by force and kept for him. He had the novices trained, not in a gladiatorial school by professionals, but in private houses by Roman knights and even by senators who were skilled in arms, earnestly beseeching them, as is shown by his own letters, to give the recruits individual attention and personally direct their exercises. He doubled the pay of the legions for all time. Whenever grain was plentiful, he distributed it to them without stint or measure, and now and then gave each man a slave from among the captives. [Source: Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.): “De Vita Caesarum, Divus Iulius” (“The Lives of the Caesars, The Deified Julius”), written A.D. c. 110, Suetonius, 2 vols., translated by J. C. Rolfe, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, and London: William Henemann, 1920), Vol. I, pp. 3-119]

Plutarch wrote in “Lives”: After his defeat of Ariovistus, “Caesar left his army at their winter quarters in the country of the Sequani, and, in order to attend to affairs at Rome, went into that part of Gaul which lies on the Po, and was part of his province; for the river Rubicon divides Gaul, which is on this side the Alps, from the rest of Italy. There he sat down and employed himself in courting people's favour; great numbers coming to him continually, and always finding their requests answered; for he never failed to dismiss all with present pledges of his kindness in hand, and further hopes for the future. And during all this time of the war in Gaul, Pompey never observed how Caesar was on the one hand using the arms of Rome to effect his conquests, and on the other was gaining over and securing to himself the favour of the Romans with the wealth which those conquests obtained him.” [Source: Plutarch (A.D. c.46-c.120), Life of Caesar (100-44 B.C.), written A.D. 75, translated by John Dryden, MIT]

Caesar Goes Back and Forth to Rome While Fighting in Gaul

Plutarch wrote in “Lives”: “But when he heard that the Belgae, who were the most powerful of all the Gauls, and inhabited a third part of the country, were revolted, and had got together a great many thousand men in arms, he immediately set out and took his way hither with great expedition, and falling upon the enemy as they were ravaging the Gauls, his allies, he soon defeated and put to flight the largest and least scattered division of them. For though their numbers were great, yet they made but a slender defence, and the marshes and deep rivers were made passable to the Roman foot by the vast quantity of dead bodies. Of those who revolted, all the tribes that lived near the ocean came over without fighting, and he, therefore, led his army against the Nerv, the fiercest and most warlike people of all in those parts. These live in a country covered with continuous woods, and having lodged their children and property out of the way in the depth of the forest, fell upon Caesar with a body of sixty thousand men, before he was prepared for them, while he was making his encampment. [Source: Plutarch (A.D. c.46-c.120), Life of Caesar (100-44 B.C.), written A.D. 75, translated by John Dryden, MIT]

“They soon routed his cavalry, and having surrounded the twelfth and seventh legions, killed all the officers, and had not Caesar himself snatched up a buckler and forced his way through his own men to come up to the barbarians, or had not the tenth legion, when they saw him in danger, run in from the tops of the hills, where they lay, and broken through the enemy's ranks to rescue him, in all probability not a Roman would have been saved. But now, under the influence of Caesar's bold example, they fought a battle, as the phrase is, of more than human courage, and yet with their utmost efforts they were not able to drive the enemy out of the field, but cut them down fighting in their defence. For out of sixty thousand men, it is stated that not above five hundred survived the battle, and of four hundred of their senators not above three.


Caesar coin

“When the Roman senate had received news of this, they voted sacrifices and festivals to the gods, to be strictly observed for the space of fifteen days, a longer space than ever was observed for any victory before. The danger to which they had been exposed by the joint outbreak of such a number of nations was felt to have been great; and the people's fondness for Caesar gave additional lustre to successes achieved by him. He now, after settling everything in Gaul, came back again, and spent the winter by the Po, in order to carry on the designs he had in hand at Rome. All who were candidates for offices used his assistance, and were supplied with money from him to corrupt the people and buy their votes, in return of which, when they were chosen, they did all things to advance his power.

“But what was more considerable, the most eminent and powerful men in Rome in great numbers came to visit him at Lucca, Pompey, and Crassus, and Appius, the governor of Sardinia, and Nepos, the pro-consul of Spain, so that there were in the place at one time one hundred and twenty lictors and more than two hundred senators. In deliberation here held, it was determined that Pompey and Crassus should be consuls again for the following year; that Caesar should have a fresh supply of money, and that his command should be renewed to him for five years more. It seemed very extravagant to all thinking men that those very persons who had received so much money from Caesar should persuade the senate to grant him more, as if he were in want. Though in truth it was not so much upon persuasion as compulsion that, with sorrow and groans for their own acts, they passed the measure. Cato was not present, for they had sent him seasonably out of the way into Cyprus; but Favonius, who was a zealous imitator of Cato, when he found he could do no good by opposing it, broke out of the house, and loudly declaimed against these proceedings to the people, but none gave him any hearing; some slighting him out of respect to Crassus and Pompey, and the greater part to gratify Caesar, on whom depended their hopes.

“After this, Caesar returned again to his forces in Gaul, when he found that country involved in a dangerous war, two strong nations of the Germans having lately passed the Rhine to conquer it; one of them called the Usipes. the other the Tenteritae. Of the war with the people, Caesar himself has given this account in his commentaries, that the barbarians, having sent ambassadors to treat with him, did, during the treaty, set upon him in his march, by which means with eight hundred men they routed five thousand of his horse, who did not suspect their coming; that afterwards they sent other ambassadors to renew the same fraudulent practices, whom he kept in custody, and led on his army against the barbarians, as judging it mere simplicity to keep faith with those who had so faithlessly broken the terms they had agreed to. But Tanusius states that when the senate decreed festivals and sacrifices for this victory, Cato declared it to be his opinion that Caesar ought to be given into the hands of the barbarians, that so the guilt which this breach of faith might otherwise bring upon the state might be expiated by transferring the curse on him, who was the occasion of it. Of those who passed the Rhine, there were four hundred thousand cut off; those few who escaped were sheltered by the Sugambri, a people of Germany. Caesar took hold of this pretence to invade the Germans, being at the same time ambitious of the honour of being the first man that should pass the Rhine with an army. He carried a bridge across it, though it was very wide, and the current at that particular point very full, strong, and violent, bringing down with its waters trunks of trees, and other lumber, which much shook and weakened the foundations of his bridge. But he drove great piles of wood into the bottom of the river above the passage, to catch and stop these as they floated down, and thus fixing his bridle upon the stream, successfully finished his bridge, which no one who saw could believe to be the work but of ten days.

Caesar in Britain

Caesar invaded Britain twice. His conquests there are regarded as little more than the first steps of Rome’s effort to take over Britain. Britain did become fully Romanized until Emperor Claudius launched a more sustained campaign about a hundred years after Caesar’s invasion and that campaign was completed by Tacitus' father-in-law Agricola.

Dr Mike Ibeji wrote for the BBC: “The first Roman to seize the opportunities for glory provided by Britain was Julius Caesar. Having essentially conquered Gaul by 56 B.C., he found himself in a position where he was compelled to return to Rome and disband his army, unless he could find an excuse to stay in the field. He found that excuse in Britain. By claiming that the British tribes had helped the Gauls he had just cause to invade. In fact, as his own writings and the letters he sent to Cicero indicate, he was much more interested in the glory he would gain for crossing the Great Ocean and in the wealth of silver rumoured to be on the island, than in any so-called security risk. [Source: Dr Mike Ibeji, BBC, February 17, 2011 |::|]


Caesar's invasion of Britain


in 55 B.C., when Commius, king of the Atrebates, was ousted by Cunobelin, king of the Catuvellauni, and fled to Gaul. Caesar seized the opportunity to mount an expedition on behalf of Commius. He wanted to gain the glory of a victory beyond the Great Ocean, and believed that Britain was full of silver and booty to be plundered.

“His first expedition, however, was ill-conceived and too hastily organised. With just two legions, he failed to do much more than force his way ashore at Deal and win a token victory that impressed the senate in Rome more than it did the tribesmen of Britain. In 54 B.C., he tried again, this time with five legions, and succeeded in re-establishing Commius on the Atrebatic throne. Yet he returned to Gaul disgruntled and empty-handed, complaining in a letter to Cicero that there was no silver or booty to be found in Britain after all.” |::|

By the time of the second expedition in 54 B.C. “he had received the accolades he desired and ...pulled out of the island, exacting tribute and hostages and concentrated on pacifying the troublesome tribes of Gaul before crossing the Rubicon with his army and returning to Rome as its most powerful son. His power and prestige were so great, in fact, that his enemies were forced to assassinate him, sparking the civil war that destroyed the Republic. |::|

“Caesar's military adventurism set the scene for the second exploitation of Britain - by the Emperor Claudius. He was to use an identical excuse to Caesar for very similar reasons. Claudius had recently been made emperor in a palace coup. He needed the prestige of military conquest to consolidate his hold on power. Into this situation came Verica, successor to Commius, complaining that the new chief of the Catuvellauni, Caratacus, had deprived him of his throne. |::|

Plutarch on Caesar in Britain

Plutarch wrote in “Lives”: “In the passage of his army over it he met with no opposition; the Suevi themselves, who are the most warlike people of all Germany, flying with their effects into the deepest and most densely wooded valleys. When he had burnt all the enemy's country, and encouraged those who embraced the Roman interest, he went back into Gaul, after eighteen days' stay in Germany. But his expedition into Britain was the most famous testimony of his courage. For he was the first who brought a navy into the western ocean, or who sailed into the Atlantic with an army to make war; and by invading an island, the reported extent of which had made its existence a matter of controversy among historians, many of whom questioned whether it were not a mere name and fiction, not a real place, he might be said to have carried the Roman empire beyond the limits of the known world. He passed thither twice from that part of Gaul which lies over against it, and in several battles which he fought did more hurt to the enemy than service to himself, for the islanders were so miserably poor that they had nothing worth being plundered of. When he found himself unable to put such an end to the war as he wished, he was content to take hostages from the king, and to impose a tribute, and then quitted the island. At his arrival in Gaul, he found letters which lay ready to be conveyed over the water to him from his friends at Rome, announcing his daughter's death, who died in labour of a child by Pompey. Caesar and Pompey both were much afflicted with her death, nor were their friends less disturbed, believing that the alliance was now broken which had hitherto kept the sickly commonwealth in peace, for the child also died within a few days after the mother. The people took the body of Julia, in spite of the opposition of the tribunes, and carried it into the field of Mars, and there her funeral rites were performed, and her remains are laid. [Source: Plutarch (A.D. c.46-c.120), Life of Caesar (100-44 B.C.), written A.D. 75, translated by John Dryden, MIT]


Standard-bearer of the Tenth Legion

“Caesar's army was now grown very numerous, so that he was forced to disperse them into various camps for their winter quarters, and he having gone himself to Italy as he used to do, in his absence a general outbreak throughout the whole of Gaul commenced, and large armies marched about the country, and attacked the Roman quarters, and attempted to make themselves masters of the forts where they lay. The greatest and strongest party of the rebels, under the command of Abriorix, cut off Cotta and Titurius with all their men, while a force sixty thousand strong besieged the legion under the command of Cicero, and had almost taken it by storm, the Roman soldiers being all wounded, and having quite spent themselves by a defence beyond their natural strength. But Caesar, who was at a great distance, having received the news, quickly got together seven thousand men, and hastened to relieve Cicero. The besiegers were aware of it, and went to meet him, with great confidence that they should easily overpower such a handful of men. Caesar, to increase their presumption, seemed to avoid fighting, and still marched off, till he found a place conveniently situated for a few to engage against many, where he encamped. He kept his soldiers from making any attack upon the enemy, and commanded them to raise the ramparts higher and barricade the gates, that by show of fear they might heighten the enemy's contempt of them. Till at last they came without any order in great security to make an assault, when he issued forth and put them in flight with the loss of many men.

“This quieted the greater part of the commotions in these parts of Gaul, and Caesar, in the course of the winter, visited every part of the country, and with great vigilance took precautions against all innovations. For there were three legions now come to him to supply the place of the men he had lost, of which Pompey furnished him with two out of those under his command; the other was newly raised in the part of Gaul by the Po. But in a while the seeds of war, which had long since been secretly sown and scattered by the most powerful men in those warlike nations, broke forth into the greatest and most dangerous war that was in those parts, both as regards the number of men in the vigour of their youth who were gathered and armed from all quarters, the vast funds of money collected to maintain it, the strength of the towns, and the difficulty of the country where it carried on. It being winter, the rivers were frozen, the woods covered with snow, and the level country flooded, so that in some places the ways were lost through the depth of the snow; in others, the overflowing of marshes and streams made every kind of passage uncertain. All which difficulties made it seem impracticable for Caesar to make any attempt upon the insurgents. Many tribes had revolted together, the chief of them being the Arverni and Carnutini; the general who had the supreme command in war was Vergentorix, whose father the Gauls had put to death on suspicion of his aiming at absolute government.

Caesar’s Landings in Britain


Deal Beach — a beach made up of small stones or shingles near Walmer Castle in Kent — is probably in the area where Julius Caesar and his troops landed during the two Roman excursions to Britain of 55 and 54 B.C. From there the cliffs of Dover can seen to the south In the distance.

Professor Konnilyn Feig of Foothill College wrote: “In the first century B.C., Britain was settled by Iron Age societies, many with long-term roots in Britain, and others closely tied to tribes of northern France. Commerce was flourishing, populations were relatively large, and at least seven different British tribes had their own coinages. Tribes in southwest Britain and Wales controlled considerable mineral wealth in tin deposits and copper mines. [Source: Professor Konnilyn Feig, Foothill College, Los Altos, California, Athenapub ***]

“For this period, Caesar is the only extant source providing first-hand descriptions of Britain. His observations, while confined to the southeast areas of Kent and the lower Thames, are thus essential to understanding those regions. While no doubt self-serving in a political sense when written, Caesar's account is nevertheless regarded as basically accurate and historically reliable both by earlier scholars such as C. Rice Holmes (1907), and by today's authorities including Sheppard Frere (1987). ***

“Both the 55 and 54 B.C. Roman expeditions left from Boulogne (Portus Itius), and landed at Deal, a few miles northeast of Dover. In 55 B.C., the Roman cavalry ships were forced back to Gaul by a storm, and Caesar's troops were confined to the shore. In 54 B.C., a larger Roman expedition landed at Deal and penetrated inland along the River Thames.” After that they left. The Romans did “not to return again for 97 years, when the Claudian invasion of A.D. 43 began the active Roman conquest of Britain. Caesar's two expeditions, meanwhile, provided basic information on the terrain, inhabitants, and political, economic and military customs of Britain, our only direct historical record for that time period.” ***

First Roman Landing in Britain in 55 B.C.

Professor Konnilyn Feig wrote: “Caesar probably planned an expedition to Britain in 56 B.C., a year when the Armorican tribes in the coast of Britanny revolted against the Romans with aid from the tribes of southern Britain. The operation was further delayed by battles with the Morini and Menapi, Belgic tribes who controlled the Straits of Dover. [Source: Professor Konnilyn Feig, Foothill College, Los Altos, California, Athenapub ***]

“Finally, on August 26, 55 B.C., two Roman Legions (about 10,000 soldiers) under Caesar's personal command crossed the channel in a group of transport ships leaving from Portus Itius (today's Boulogne). By the next morning (August 27), as Caesar reports, the Roman ships were just off the chalky cliffs of Dover, whose upper banks were lined with British warriors prepared to do battle. The Romans therefore sailed several miles further northeast up the coastline and landed on the flat, pebbly shore around Deal. ***


“The Britons met the legionaries at the beach with a large force, including warriors in horse-drawn chariots, an antiquated fighting method not used by the Roman military. After an initial skirmish, the British war leaders sought a truce, and handed over hostages. ***

“Four days later, however, when Roman ships with 500 cavalry soldiers and horses also tried to make the channel crossing, they were driven back to France by bad weather. The same storm seriously damaged many of the Roman ships on the beach at Deal. This quirk of fate resulted in Caesar's initial landing force having no cavalry, which seriously restricted the mobility of the 55 B.C. operations. It was also disastrous for the planned reconnaissance since the legionary soldiers were forced to repair the ships and were vulnerable to the British forces who began new attacks. ***

“Thus immobilized, the Roman legions had to survive in a coastal zone which they found both politically hostile, and naturally fertile. The need to procure food locally resulted in scouting and foraging missions into the adjacent countryside. Caesar reports abundant grain crops along a heavily populated coastline; and frequent encounters with British warriors in chariots. After repairing most of the ships, Caesar ordered a return to Gaul, thus curtailing the reconnaissance of 55 B.C.” ***

Caesar on His Invasion of Britain in 55 B.C.

Caesar invaded Britain in 55 B.C. partly in hope of "getting pearls." Describing the invasion Caesar wrote: "The Romans were faced with grave difficulties. The size of the ships made it impossible to run them aground except in fairly deep waters and the soldiers, unfamiliar with the ground, with their hands full, and weighed down by the heavy burden of their arms, had at the same time to jump down from the ships, get a footing in the waves, and fight the enemy." [Source: Eyewitness to History, edited by John Carey, 1987, Avon Books]

“The enemy, who, standing on dry land or advancing only a short way into the water, fought with all their limbs unencumbered and on preferably familiar ground, boldly hurling javelins and galloping their horses, which were trained for this kind of work. These perils frightened our soldiers, who were quite unaccustomed to battles of this kind, with the result that they did not show the same alacrity and enthusiasm as they usually did in battles on dry land."

"Seeing this, Caesar ordered the warships---which were swifter and easier to handle than the transports, and likely to impress the natives more by their unfamiliar appearance---to be removed a short distance from the others, and then to be rowed hard ashore on the enemy's right flank, from which position slings, bows, and artillery could be used by men on deck to drive them back."

"The maneuver was highly successful. Scared by the strange shape of the warships, the motion of the oars, and the unfamiliar machines, the natives halted and then retreated a little. But as the Romans hesitated, chiefly on account of the depth of the water, the man who carried the eagle of the tenth legion, after praying to the gods that his actions might bring good luck to the legion, cried in a loud voice, 'Jump down comrades, unless you want to surrender our eagle to the enemy; I, at any rate, mean to do my duty to my country and general.'"

"With these word he leapt out of the ship and advanced towards the enemy with the eagle in his hands. At this the soldiers, exhorting each other not to submit to such a disgrace, jumped with one accord from the ship, and the men from the next ships, when they saw them, followed them and advanced against the enemy."

Second Roman Expedition to Britain in 54 B.C.

20120224-Campagne_Bretagne_-54.png
Caesar's Campaign in Britain
Professor Konnilyn Feig of Foothill College wrote: “The next year saw the Romans organize a much larger expedition to Britain, with a total of 800 ships used to transport five legions and 2000 cavalry troops, plus horses and a large baggage train. They sailed from Boulogne at night on July 6, and landed unopposed the next day on the beach between Deal and Sandwich. [Source: Professor Konnilyn Feig, Foothill College, Los Altos, California, Athenapub ***]

“Upon seeing the large size of the Roman force, the Britons retreated inland to higher ground. Caesar immediately marched inland with most of his troops to the Stour River, about 12 miles from the beach landing camp. At daybreak on the 8th of July, 54 B.C., the Romans encountered British forces at a ford on the Stour (later the town of Canterbury). The Romans easily dispersed the Britons, who retreated to a hill fort or stronghold (oppidum), which from Caesar's description, is probably the hill fort at Bigbury, a site with earthwork and ditch enclosures mile and a half from the river ford. The Seventh Roman legion attacked the hillfort but were blocked out by trees piled in the entrance by the Britons. To advance, the Roman troops filled in the outer ditch with earth and brush, making a ramp across it, and then capturing the fort. ***

“Bad news came for the Romans, however, shortly thereafter from the beach camp at Deal. An overnight storm had driven most of the Roman ships on shore. The main body of troops returned to the beach, to find at least forty boats completely wrecked. Security precautions required Caesar's army to spend ten long days building a land fort within which the entire fleet of 760 ships was transported. This, the second catastrophe for Roman ships in as many years caused by storms on the open beach, could have been averted had Caesar sailed only a few miles further up the coast to the protected harbor at Richborough (where the Romans landed when they next invaded Britain, in 43 AD). ***

“During this ten day hiatus, a large British force was briefly united under a single commander, Cassivellaunus, who ruled the Catuvellauni tribe on the north side of the River Thames. The army of Cassivellaunus met the Romans again at the Stour crossing. The Britons used chariot warfare, with two horses pulling a driver and warrior, the latter hurling javelins, then dismounting at close quarters to fight infantry-style. After a hard-fought battle, the Romans eventually drove back the Britons, and then pursued Cassivellaunus toward the Thames. ***

“In the wooded terrain north of the River Thames, Cassivellaunus adopted scorched-earth, guerrilla-warfare methods, destroying local food sources and using chariots to harrass the Roman legions. But neighboring tribes who resented the domination by Cassivellaunus, including the Trinovantes and their allies the Cenimagni, Segontiaci, Ancalites, Bibroci and Cassi (the latter five tribes, known to us only through Caesar's account) then went over to the Romans. ***

“Caesar thus learned from native informants the location of the secret stronghold of Cassivellaunus, probably the hill fort at Wheathampstead, located on the west bank of the River Lea, near St. Albans. Even as the Roman army under Caesar were massing outside his fort's gates, however, Cassivellaunus made the bold move of ordering his allies in Kent to attack the Roman beach camp at Deal. This attack failed, and Cassivellaunus then gave up. Yet the terms of surrender he negotiated with the Romans seem to have been moderate, as Caesar had learned of mounting problems back in Gaul, and wanted to return there. The Roman legions left Britain in early September, 54 B.C.” ***



Trinovantes and Catuvellauni

Dr Mike Ibeji wrote for the BBC: “Camulodunum (present-day Colchester) was a hugely important site in pre-Roman times. It was most likely the royal stronghold of the Trinovantes, on whose behalf Julius Caesar invaded in 55 and 54 B.C. At this time, the Catuvellauni under their king Cassivellaunus were spreading their authority as southern Britain's largest tribe across the south-eastern counties. It seems that Cassivellaunus invaded Trinovantian territory and murdered its king, whose son, Mandubracius, fled to Caesar for help. [Source: Dr Mike Ibeji, BBC, February 17, 2011 |::|]

“This gave Caesar the excuse he was looking for to invade, and after a botched attempt in 55 (which even his own propaganda cannot quite disguise), Caesar returned to finish the job in 54 B.C. He chased Cassivellaunus back to his stronghold, which he stormed from two sides, forcing Cassivellaunus to flee and come to terms. |::|

“It is a moot point where this encampment was. Our best guess is Wheathamstead, Herts, but it is possible (though I do not think probable) that Cassivellaunus had transferred his capital to Camulodunum. Part of the problem is one of dating, since we do not know when Camulodunum came into Catuvellaunian hands. Our best dating criteria are by coins, but the earliest coins in the area are for the Catuvellaunian king, Tasciovanus, who ruled c.25-15 B.C. By c.AD 10, Cunobelin the nephew of Cassivellaunus, had taken over the area and his coinage reflects this. |::|

“The last Trinovantian king was called Addedomaros. It is possible that his remains are buried in the Lexden Tumulus, close to Gosbecks. The king who was buried here had been ritually burned along with his goods, which were a mixture of Celtic and Roman ornaments. Among them were the fragments of a small casket, within which was a medallion bearing the head of the Emperor Augustus.” |::|

Caesar Versus Vercingetorix

In 52 B.C., Caesar put down the last great Gallic-Celtic uprising. Vercingetorix, the leader of the Gallic-Celtic forces, surrendered himself at the feet of Caesar who sent him to Rome where the Gallic leader was imprisoned for six years and then paraded through the streets and strangled in the Forum.

David Silverman of Reed College wrote: “In 52 B.C. Caesar faced his most formidable Gallic opponent in Vercingetorix, a resourceful general whose initial successes induced almost all of the Gallic tribes to align themselves with him. The decisive victory came with the fall of the Gallic stronghold at Alesia (near modern Troyes; cf. Plut. Caes. 27) in 51, just in time to allow Caesar to turn his attentions to domestic affairs. By now the number of legions under Caesar's command had risen to 10, augmented by large contingents of Gallic auxiliaries (light-armed) and cavalry. [Source: David Silverman, Reed College, Classics 373 ~ History 393 Class ^*^]

With the defeat of Vercingetorix, the conquest of Gaul was then completed. A large part of the population had been either slain in war or reduced to slavery. The new territory was pacified by bestowing honors upon the Gallic chiefs, and self-government upon the surviving tribes. The Roman legions were distributed through the territory; but Caesar established no military colonies like those of Sulla. The Roman arts and manners were encouraged; and Gaul was brought within the pale of civilization. \~\


Siege of Alesia


Battle of Alesia: Caesar Victory Over Vercingetorix

Plutarch wrote in “Lives”: “He having disposed his army in several bodies, and set officers over them, drew over to him all the country round about as far as those that lie upon the Arar, and having intelligence of the opposition which Caesar now experienced at Rome, thought to engage all Gaul in the war. Which if he had done a little later, when Caesar was taken up with the civil wars, Italy had been put into as great a terror as before it was by the Cimbri. But Caesar, who above all men was gifted with the faculty of making the right use of everything in war, and most especially of seizing the right moment, as soon as he heard of the revolt, returned immediately the same way he went, and showed the barbarians, by the quickness of his march in such a severe season, that an army was advancing against them which was invincible. For in the time that one would have thought it scarce credible that a courier or express should have come with a message from him, he himself appeared with all his army, ravaging the country, reducing their posts, subduing their towns, receiving into his protection those who declared for him. Till at last the Edui, who hitherto had styled themselves brethren to the Romans, and had been much honoured by them, declared against him, and joined the rebels, to the great discouragement of his army. Accordingly he removed thence, and passed the country of the Ligones, desiring to reach the territories of the Sequani, who were his friends, and who lay like a bulwark in front of Italy against the other tribes of Gaul. There the enemy came upon him, and surrounded him with many myriads, whom he also was eager to engage; and at last, after some time and with much slaughter, gained on the whole a complete victory; though at first he appears to have met with some reverse, and the Aruveni show you a small sword hanging up in a temple, which they say was taken from Caesar. Caesar saw this afterwards himself, and smiled, and when his friends advised it should be taken down, would not permit it, because he looked upon it as consecrated. [Source: Plutarch (A.D. c.46-c.120), Life of Caesar (100-44 B.C.), written A.D. 75, translated by John Dryden, MIT]

“After the defeat, a great part of those who had escaped fled with their king into a town called Alesia, which Caesar besieged, though the height of the walls, and number of those who defended them, made it appear impregnable; and meantime, from without the walls, he was assailed by a greater danger than can be expressed. For the choice men of Gaul, picked out of each nation, and well armed, came to relieve Alesia, to the number of three hundred thousand; nor were there in the town less than one hundred and seventy thousand. So that Caesar being shut up betwixt two such forces, was compelled to protect himself by two walls, one towards the town, the other against the relieving army, as knowing if these forces should join, his affairs would be entirely ruined. The danger that he underwent before Alesia justly gained him great honour on many accounts, and gave him an opportunity of showing greater instances of his valour and conduct than any other contest had done. One wonders much how he should be able to engage and defeat so many thousands of men without the town, and not be perceived by those within, but yet more, that the Romans themselves, who guarded their wall which was next to the town, should be strangers to it. For even they knew nothing of the victory, till they heard the cries of the men and lamentations of the women who were in the town, and had from thence seen the Romans at a distance carrying into their camp a great quantity of bucklers, adorned with gold and silver, many breastplates stained with blood, besides cups and tents made in the Gallic fashion. So soon did so vast an army dissolve and vanish like a ghost or dream, the greatest part of them being killed upon the spot. Those who were in Alesia, having given themselves and Caesar much trouble, surrendered at last; and Vergentorix, who was the chief spring of all the war, putting his best armour on, and adorning his horse, rode out of the gates, and made a turn about Caesar as he was sitting, then quitting his horse, threw off his armour, and remained quietly sitting at Caesar's feet until he was led away to be reserved for the triumph.”

Caesar-Era Gallic Outpost in Germany

In 2012, archaeologists announced that they had found the remains of a Caesar-era military camp in Germany. Andrew Curry wrote in Archaeology magazine: “The discovery of a collection of 75 sandal nails has led German archaeologists to the rare identification of a temporary Roman military camp near the town of Hermeskeil, near Trier, in southwestern Germany. Directed by Sabine Hornung, an archaeologist at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the team uncovered the camp’s main gate, the flat stones that once paved its entrance, and grindstones used by the Romans to mill grain. Scattered among the paving stones were bits of metal that the team quickly identified as sandal nails. Some of the nails were quite large—as much as an inch across— and had distinct workshop marks of a type used by the army, “a sort of cross with little dots” or studs, says Hornung. “That told us it was definitely a military camp,” she adds. Ground-penetrating radar surveys showed that the camp, built to house soldiers on the move, sprawls over nearly 65 acres. [Source: Andrew Curry, Archaeology, December 6, 2012 <<>>]


Surrender of Vercingetorix


“Excavated pottery sherds, both from local and imported Roman wares, date the camp to the 50s B.C., the period Julius Caesar wrote about in his memoir, The Gallic Wars. From 58 to 50 B.C., Caesar waged three campaigns against the Gallic tribes and their powerful leaders for control over the territory of Gaul, primarily modern-day France and Belgium. Taking account of the camp’s date and the distinctly Caesarean sandal nails, Hornung says, “It’s very probable it is a camp built by Julius Caesar’s legions.” <<>>

“The camp sits just a few miles away from the so-called “Hunnenring,” a major Celtic hill fort with 30-foot-high walls. Such centers of military and political power made Gaul an attractive target for the Romans. By focusing their efforts on these regional centers, the Romans could exert sustained and concentrated pressure on local leaders instead of having to chase down the scattered tribes living in the German forests further to the east. Eventually this pressure, and the military victories achieved by Caesar and his legions, resulted in the conquest of Gaul and cleared the way for the general to assume sole control of the Roman Republic. For Gunter Moosbauer, an archaeologist at Germany’s University of Osnabrück familiar with the discovery, the finds from Hermeskeil are an “archaeological thrill.” He says, “Roman field campaigns lasted just a few months, and to find one of their temporary camps is really rare." <<>>

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\; “The Private Life of the Romans” by Harold Whetstone Johnston, Revised by Mary Johnston, Scott, Foresman and Company (1903, 1932) forumromanum.org |+|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history/ ; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; MIT, Online Library of Liberty, oll.libertyfund.org ; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Live Science, Discover magazine, Times of London, Natural History magazine, Archaeology magazine, The New Yorker, Encyclopædia Britannica, "The Discoverers" [∞] and "The Creators" [μ]" by Daniel Boorstin. "Greek and Roman Life" by Ian Jenkins from the British Museum.Time, Newsweek, Wikipedia, Reuters, Associated Press, The Guardian, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, World Religions edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); History of Warfare by John Keegan (Vintage Books); History of Art by H.W. Janson Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated October 2018

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