Book VII. Analysis Of Julius Caesar 's ' The Gallic War ' 1070 Words 5 Pages Critique Essay In this critique of Julius Caesar’s book, The Gallic War, I will be discussing the purpose and accuracy (or in this case, inaccuracy) over his adventures and military campaign against the Gallic tribes. Gallic walls, it is now explained, are made in overlapping units, filled with rubble on the inside and covered by large stones on the outside. They too have an able intelligence staff and have learned of Caesar's approach and have hidden the wagons and baggage in nearby dense woods. Especially during the winter when there was little to forage, having food could decide the outcome of a battle. Instead, he simply had Eporedorix and Viridomarus ride out with the troops and let themselves be seen by the Gauls, who immediately return to the Roman side at the sight of the two men. 7.01-05 Sight Reading With the Professor. There are a few more skirmishes during the next few days, but no major battles because Vercingetorix cannot be lured to level ground. Because of this, allied towns that weren't potential enemies at one's back might still be destroyed to make sure the enemy army starved or retreated. His decision seems traitorous, for after Roman defeat, an even brighter future is promised for the Aeduan king. Winners and Losers of Julius Caesar's Gallic War Battles, Roman Empire: Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, Meaning Behind the Phrase to Cross the Rubicon, Valens and the Battle of Adrianople (Hadrianopolis), 60-50 B.C. After these two defeats, the Gauls reconsider their plans. Camulogenus, the leader of the enemy force, commands the group. The wily leader and his dependents escape, however, before they can be dealt with. They try to undermine the ramp and set it afire, and attempt to kill the soldiers doing the building. Vercingetorix, son of the former Gallic chieftain, arouses his men to assemble and is soon joined by many other adventurers and soldiers. He must also get his army safely to Agedincum. They rush to save the structure, but are confronted by the enemy rushing from two gates at once; at the same time men on the wall begin to hurl pitch and burning wood onto the ramp. His men are enthusiastic and swear an oath that they will not return home until they pass twice through Caesar's column. But because the Boii have little grain and the Aedui are of little help in providing grain, Caesar's troops must endure several days without grain; on other days they have only cattle captured in distant villages, but in spite of this, morale remains high. Vercingetorix suggested a scorched-earth policy. The enemy hears of his approach, burns the town and all bridges approaching it, and moves to a position across the Seine from Labienus. This period of revolt follows the earlier Gallic battles at Bibracte, Vosges, and Sabis. Lucius Fabius, a centurion in the Eighth Legion, has sworn to be first to climb the wall and is assisted up by three of his men. The law is clear and there is no justification for Cotus' attempt to have the office. The various chiefs meet and their first task is to make sure Caesar is kept from joining his army, which seems easy enough with the legions in winter quarters and the knowledge that they will not leave without their commander-in-chief. The Bellovaci, who intend to fight the Romans themselves, do not make up their quota of 10,000 but because of their regard for Commius they do send 2,000. This series of annual war commentaries is referred to by various names but is commonly called De bello Gallico in Latin, or The Gallic Wars in English. That done, he sends Labienus with four legions against the Senones and the Parisii; the other six he takes to Gergovia in the country of the Arverni. When they reached Alesia, the Romans surrounded the hilltop city. Some rode off to the other Aeduan towns to convince them to resist and avenge themselves on the Romans, as well. All of Caesar's skills — being prepared, moving quickly, and taking advantage — are more important in this book than anywhere else; this widespread Gallic rebellion is his greatest challenge. On the east the Gauls set up their line. The Romans put torturous devices on the outside that could injure an army pressing against it. Then, when their cavalry has fled, the archers are surrounded and killed. At once he is called "King" by his supporters and soon manages alliance with other tribes, all of which agree that he is best suited to be their chief. Instead a solemn oath is taken. They are so confused, in fact, that after they find themselves in trouble, they are unable to recognize the friendly Aeduan forces that come to help them. By peaceful means or by attacking, he added troops from the Gallic tribes of the Senones (the tribe connected with the band of Gauls responsible for the sack of Rome in 390 B.C. He further asks the Aedui and the Segusiavi to supply 10,000 infantry and 800 cavalry. Caesar, generous to the Aedui and Arverni, distributed Gallic captives so that every soldier throughout the army received one as plunder. The hillside, at the end the enemy attacks, is open because Caesar would have had to enclose the entire hill to complete his entrenchments. One of those in on the discussion was Litavicus, who was put in charge of the infantry being sent to Caesar. Caesar then moves to the town of Cenabum, whose inhabitants have heard of the siege of Vellaunodunum and have prepared their garrison. This is, of course, seen from the town and the muleteers are mistaken for the real cavalry. Women climb atop the wall and with bared breasts plead for mercy, for they have heard that the women and children at Avaricum were killed. The Tenth Legion, which he had accompanied on the charge, stops as instructed, but the others do not hear the trumpet and they continue charging. Each morning, he meets with the various chiefs in council, then exercises the troops. The next day, the Gauls attacked from both sides. But Caesar, although he had not as yet discovered their measures, yet, both from what had occurred to his ships, and from the circumstance that they had neglected to give the promised hostages, suspected that the thing would come to pass which really did happen. The Arverni and allies divided into three groups to attack. By this time the Gauls realized their freedom was at stake and having the Romans around to arbitrate and help them against other invaders meant the loss of freedom and heavy demands in terms of soldiers and supplies. Caesar's bait is effective. He merely points out, before letting them ride away, all that he has done for them and their people. The Gauls on the city side of the Roman lines empty the Roman turrets by firing missiles, then fill in the trenches and tear down the breastworks by pulling them over with large hooks, but all is not theirs yet Caesar sends young Brutus with troops, and Gaius Fabius with even more, then goes himself with still more until the enemy is beaten back. These men, however, have been instructed by Caesar to say that the Roman army is weakened by hunger and that Caesar has decided to withdraw if he is not successful in three days. Many hostages are then taken and the legions are sent into winter quarters. This is the longest book in the Gallic Wars and it describes the great revolt of most of the Gallic tribes. Others worked on building the fortifications, which meant Caesar's troop strength was diminished. Convictolitavis is seemingly ungrateful for Caesar's decision. This chapter or section of the book had a very insightful look into how Caesar handled himself as an emperor, and the many important reforms that he made. While he is gone, he leaves young Brutus in charge with orders to let the cavalry operate as far and wide as possible and says that he will return in three days. Then Caesar offers prizes to those who mount the wall first and, that done, gives the signal, and the troops charge the wall. Arriving in Italy, Caesar learns that the senate has decreed that all young men of military age should be drafted, so he decides to enroll soldiers in Cisalpine Gaul. Caesar then sends one legion in the same direction, stops it part way, and hides it in the woods. It is a first hand account of the final titanic struggle between two nations, one fighting for … As the towns are destroyed, there is much mourning, but the pain of loss is compensated for by the hope of recovering their losses by overcoming the Romans. At the same time the Gallic cavalry attacks the Roman lines farther down the plain. They stay atop the wall and call for more Romans to join them. They hope desperately that the Romans will not be able to stay in the area if there is a great scarcity of food or perhaps even better, that the Romans will go far afield and be easy to pick off. Labienus then led his men to join Caesar. Commentaries on the Gallic War Gaius Julius CAESAR (100 - 44 BCE) , translated by Thomas Rice HOLMES (1855 - 1933) Commentarii de Bello Gallico (English: Commentaries on the Gallic War) is Julius Caesar's firsthand account of the Gallic Wars, written as a third-person narrative. The time is right for his plan: he orders the men at work to slacken their speed. Finally, ending the day's engagement, Vercingetorix, as the victor, called off the fight for the day when new Roman legions arrived. and any corresponding bookmarks? He tried to ally the Biturgies, but they resisted and sent ambassadors to the Aedui for help against Vercingetorix. This he did, and after his troops had surprised the Aeduans, they took the food and cattle they found in the fields and then marched off to the territory of the Senones. But his current task is made doubly difficult because he is pressed on one side by the brave Bellovaci and on the other by Camulogenus' army. Still, their number is vast — almost 300,000 troops are requisitioned. Any plots the Aedui might have had are aborted by the rapidity with which he joins his legions. Vercingetorix broke down all bridges over the river, but this proved only a temporary set-back for the Romans. The natives of Transalpine Gaul, meanwhile, hear of his decision and spread rumors that the general is detained in Rome and cannot join his army. Thus they want to ready their forces in secret and so do not exchange hostages, which would reveal that coalition was being accomplished. He orders each state to supply certain numbers of soldiers and requests that all archers be brought to him. Caesar spared them and marched back towards Gergovia. So, just after midnight, Caesar sends his cavalry there with instructions to be extra noisy in their movements. I.--Gaul being tranquil, Caesar, as he had determined, sets out for ... begin to organize their plans for war more openly and daringly. They also build up the scaffolding on their walls to keep it on a level with the Roman turrets. The Latin title, Commentaries on the Gallic War, is often retained in English translations of the book, and the title is also translated to About the Gallic War, Of the Gallic War, On the Gallic War, The Conquest of Gaul, and The Gallic War. The first book covers the year 58 BCE: it opens with the war against the Helvetians, continues with a victorious battleagainst a Germanic army, and culminates in the modest remark that Caesar had concluded two very important wars in a single campaign. He even added allies to his roster, including Teutomarus, the son of Ollovicon, the king of the Nitiobriges, who was a friend of Rome on the basis of a formal treaty (amicitia). Caesar was afraid that if he didn't arbitrate, one side would turn to Vercingetorix for support of its cause, so he stepped in. Caesar then finds sufficient supplies for his troops and decides first to march toward the Senones. The Biturgies were dependents of the Aedui and the Aedui were allies of Rome ("Brothers and Kinsmen of the Roman People" 1.33). Meanwhile, Vercingetorix had thousands of cavalry from the Aedui and Segusiani. Luckily, their camp is near one of the bridges that Vercingetorix has destroyed and when the legions have departed and Vercingetorix' troops have followed on the other side, Caesar orders the bridge rebuilt. Vercingetorix then set up camp 15 miles from Avaricum and whenever Caesar's men went foraging at a distance, some of Vercingetorix' men attacked them. He then urges the Aedui to forget all disputes and concentrate on the war. Fighting continues throughout the night. Moving quickly by night, the Roman general reaches the enemy's camp by morning, but he is unable to take it by surprise. At the signal, the Roman troops quickly cross the wall and take three camps. All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who … They attack Cenabum, kill the Romans there and plunder the Roman property stored in the town. Caesar's defense is immediate. Caesar's troops found ample provisions, and by this time winter was almost over. Vercingetorix calls a council and says he will do whatever they think best: they may kill him to please the Romans or they may surrender and present him to the enemy alive. This inspired the people of Noviodunum to take up arms and shut the gates, backing down from their surrender. Then he goes forward to encourage his troops. In other books, the rebellions are generally restricted to a single area at a time, but here the revolt is general, including even the usually reliable Aedui. Clearing a roadway through six feet of snow in the Cevennes mountains is a massive feat when one considers that it had to be done by manual labor. Too, they are especially anxious to avenge those Romans who were killed at Cenahum. It is little wonder that Caesar is accorded heroic stature, especially after one considers the deeds recorded in this book. Caesar secures his baggage on a hill, then leaves two legions to guard it while he takes the rest of the army in pursuit. The troops see the two men and realize that Litaviccus has lied. From there, Caesar sent word to the other legions of the danger presented by Vercingetorix, ordering them to come to his assistance ASAP. By long marches he gets to the Loire and finds a place shallow enough for the troops to wade across, then with the cavalry helping break the force of the river, the entire army gets safely across. Caesar followed, killing those he could. They also confiscate the property of Litaviccus and his brothers and send deputies to Caesar to clear themselves. The Aedui which Caesar had sent out earlier appears on the Romans' right flank and the Romans mistake them for enemy troops. The area seems vital so the Gauls send 60,000 of their bravest soldiers there in secret. In the next book, which deals with the year 57, we visit the Belgians, who liv… The fortifications were not just a means to contain those within. The Gauls have archers mixed with their cavalry and these, for a time, check the Romans. But Caesar plans one more conquest before dealing with Vercingetorix. In desperation, he assigns each of the fifty boats to a Roman knight and orders that at night they move in silence four miles downstream and wait for him there. Now, grouped together on high ground, they wait. Caesar's assault position is inside a double ring of fortifications. Once more, when the dispatches of Caesar's mighty victories reach Rome, the senate proclaims a public thanksgiving of twenty days. A date is set for the beginning of their campaign and the meeting is adjourned. He moves his forces inside the city to await the new troops from Gaul. Caesar has reports of the enemy's plans and sets his men to work building trenches, ramps, battlements, and other siege works. Since the Roman government disapproved of Caesar’s undertakings, his literary aim in the Gallic War is to merely justify his actions of his annexation of Gaul (modern France) to Rome. 7:1 Gaul being tranquil, Caesar, as he had determined, sets out for Italy to hold the provincial assizes. He will, he says, make up for the loss by bringing to their side the rest of Gaul; the combination will be unbeatable! Pompey and M. Crassus were consuls), those Germans [called] the Usipetes, and likewise the Tenchtheri, with a great number of men, crossed the Rhine, not far from the place at which that river discharges itself into the sea. Litaviccus has been received by the Aedui at Bibracte, has been joined by Convictolitavis, and has sent representatives to make a treaty with Vercingetorix. He has Eporedorix and Viridomarus move up with the horsemen so that their people will see that they have not been murdered. Caesar places troops among the Ruteni in the province and among others who border on enemy territory and orders many of the new troops he brings with him from Rome to gather in the territory of the Helvii, bordering on the Arverni. When Caesar finally reached Gergovia, he surprised the inhabitants. Just before dawn, however, the enemy gets reports of the Roman movements and decides that the legions are probably crossing in three places. The enemy does not pursue, and in three days the Roman army reaches the river Allier, rebuilds the bridge and crosses over. While the battle rages, a messenger arrives and reports to the Aedui that their army is in Caesar's power. The Romans are not cavalrymen and the Gauls still with Caesar are no good at cavalry fighting, thus this thoughtfulness is rewarded later when the cavalry is responsible for the breakdown of the enemy forces at Alesia. Caesar suspects that Eporedorix and Viridomarus will betray him, but he does not want to seem distrustful because he cannot be sure. Caesar, no longer able to do without the rest of his forces, left Brutus in command while he went to Vienna where his cavalry was stationed. His forces grow rapidly. The Aedui are distressed at being forced to follow Vercingetorix, but are bound to their allies; thus Eporedorix and Viridomarus unwillingly obey the chosen leader. They are to take the baggage with them and make much noise. He groups his legions together before the Arverni learn of his plans, but Vercingetorix' messengers bring news to their general and he moves his army back to the Bituriges, deciding to attack Gorgobina, a city of the Boii. Convictolitavis is bribed, but there is the implication that he is largely influenced by a desire for greater power, for even though he is in office because of Roman authority, he says he would prefer that Rome had to come to the Aedui for assistance rather than vice versa. If a property lacked a good defense it would be burned. Summary. Vercingetorix and Caesar are the main figures in Book VII of De Bello Gallico, Caesar's narrative about his wars in Gaul, although the Roman allies, the Aedui, also play a large role. In the meantime, he instructs the men behind the mantlets to prepare themselves. By various contrivances, meanwhile, the Gauls in town attempt to undo the siege apparatus assembled by Caesar's troops. There Caesar is greeted by the Aeduans Viridomarus and Eporedorix. The Romans needed some to gather timber and food. Caesar decided against Cotus and in favor of Convitolitanis. One of the appealing elements in the Gallic Wars is inclusion of the many Roman tactical errors. For a year, two men — Convictolitavis and Cotus — have both claimed legal right as chief magistrate, and the state is divided, each man having his following. Caesar reaches Gergovia in five days. Then, to insure more than verbal agreement from them, Vercingetorix orders that hostages, soldiers, and weapons be delivered to him; his command is most strict and non-compliers are mutilated or killed. He then asked the Aedui to send him all their cavalry plus 10,000 infantry. 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