Vercingetorix a legendary Celtic King who ruled over one of the strongest tribes in Gaul the Averni, little is known of this mans early life, we don’t even know his true name as the Gauls believed that to know a person’s name was to give others power over them.

This legendary leader, who today has become a hero of Folklore in France, is most famous for uniting the Celtic tribes and leading them in a revolt against the invading Roman armies who were under the leadership of the famous general Julius Caesar. Although Vercingetorix was said to be a harsh leader he proved himself to be a very clever one, his strategy of burning many of the areas towns and crops prevented the Romans from living off the land and from being able to set up any stronghold while the armies marched through the Celtic lands. His most significant victory against Caesar then came in 52BC at Gergovia in the heart of the Avernii’s homeland where the Celtic armies slaughtered several thousand Romans and forced the legions to withdraw from the area thus making Vercingetorix a sharp thorn in Caesar’s side.

Caesar’s revenge was swift, the general has not gone down in history for just any reason and his defeat of the Gaulish forces and against Vercingetorix became one of Ceasars greatest military victories. In September 52BC while besieging the city of Alesia Caesar successfully managed to cut off Celtic forces inside the city from the relief forces arriving from the rest of Gaul. He did this by creating a doughnut like fortification that kept relief forces outside and trapped Vercingetorixes forces inside, Caesar himself then led an army into the city and defeated the Celts.

Vercingetorix surrendered, the manner of which has varying accounts, according to Plutarch, Vercingetorix dismounted his horse in front of Caesar, tore the armour from his body and sat, motionless at Caesar’s feet till he was taken away but Caesar described the surrender with much less drama. Vercingetorix was taken to Rome and imprisoned there for six years before being strangled in his cell.

 

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