The Siege of Alesia

The statue of Vercingetorix, with the moustache of Napoleon III.

The Siege of Alesia in 52 BCE is one of the most decisive battles in world history. Julius Caesar overcame the Gallic leader Vercingetorix, and broke Gallic resistance against the Roman conquest. Until then, the Roman Empire was essentially the Mediterranean world, but now, it expanded far beyond the well-known sea, all the way to the Rhine.

Caesar’s own account is very artful: everything depends on one single siege, Alesia; during this siege, all is decided on one single day; during that day, one single fight really matters, the one in the northwest; and the fight over there is decided by one man, Julius Caesar. Things must have been more complicated; in the end, the Gauls had to prostrate for Roman organizing skills and discipline, but Caesar could rightfully claim that it was his generalship that had won the battle.

The photo shows the statue of Vercingetorix at Alise St Reine.


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