Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Archaeology of Caesar's Gaul

Just came across this webpage in BurgundyToday, which shows the sites linked to Julius Caesar's Conquest of Gaul--the later years, anyway.  Vercingetorix, Alexia, that sort of stuff.

I learned that three sites vie for the honor of being the site of the siege of Alesia, which surprised me. My old, dog-eared copy of Caesar's writings states unequivocaly that Alise Ste. Reine stands on old Alesai. According to Burgundy Today, two other places make that claim. Chaux-de-Crotenay is one; dunno about the other.
The Battle of Alesia, pitting Caesar (with Roman Legions) against Vercingetorix (with a loose confederation of Gaulish tribes), was the defining fight of Caesar's eight-year conquest. Many huge fights occurred before it, and other rebellions and uprisings followed, but Alesia--because of Caesar's writings--is seen as the key fight, and the one that ultimately decided the fate of Gaul. Livius.org presents a description of the fight, and I borrowed this picture of the Alise Ste. Reine site from their website.

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