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Caesar's Gallic Triumph: Alesia 52BC by Peter Inker

By Peter Inker

In fifty two B.C. at Alesia in what's now Burgundy in France Julius Caesar pulled off one of many nice feats of Roman palms. His seriously outnumbered military totally defeated the mixed forces of the Gallic tribes led through Vercingetorix and accomplished the Roman conquest of Gaul. The Alesia crusade, and the epic siege during which it culminated, was once one among Caesar 's best army achievements, and it has interested historians ever considering.

In this, the 1st full-length research to be released lately, Peter Inker reconstructs the conflict in photograph element, combining historic and smooth resources and proof derived from archaeological examine. He questions universal assumptions concerning the crusade, reassesses Caesar's personal account of occasions, and appears back at points of the conflict which were debated or misunderstood. His gripping account supplies new perception into Caesar the commander and into the Roman military he commanded.

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To this was added the spoils of war, along with donativa, one-off payments made by the general in gratitude of service. After the Alesia Campaign, Caesar decided to double the pay to ensure the loyalty of his soldiers for the coming civil wars. The remaining archaeological evidence from Alesia is confined to the siegeworks themselves. Roman weapons of the late Republic are scarce throughout Europe, most coming from siege sites in Spain. At Alesia there is surprisingly little in the way of Roman military equipment and this is likely to be due in part to biases in the excavation of material.

This last point was made all the more central when Caesar’s political interests were thrown into sharp relief by an unprovoked campaign against the Belgae the year after his initial invasion (57BC). Alternatively, Caesar’s crossing into Gaul was taken by other Gallic tribes as a helpful event that would further their own political ambitions. Many Gallic tribes felt that siding with Caesar was in their interests and the larger tribal groups, who aimed to benefit from his activities, supported Caesar’s actions.

The acceptance of elements of the non-land owning populace into the army had only been done in extremis before, but now Marius attempted to increase the strength of the army by changing the property requirements for service. He allowed the recruitment of proletarii, the landless citizens of Rome, making the class-based system redundant. The state had for some time been supplying equipment to the army and so standardization was already occurring. Hence by Marius’ time, the army was equipped fairly uniformly and the complex strata exhibited in the previous system was removed.

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