Caesar's campaigns in Gaul.

Essay by jamber0662College, UndergraduateA+, March 2005

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Caesar's campaigns in Gaul began in 58 BC, when the Helvetii and several neighboring peoples began a mass migration from their homes in Switzerland. He waged numerous campaigns, costing the lives of an estimated two million men, women, and children. Within eight years he brought under his power all the territory bounded by the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Rhine, and the Atlantic Ocean, or about what corresponds to the modern countries of France, Belgium, and Holland.

The Helvetii migrated from Switzerland because the population increased and their country became to small therefore they proposed to emigrate into Gaul. Feeling that the passage of such a large body of emigrants through Gaul would be dangerous to the province, Caesar was determined to interfere. The Helvetians were met at Bibracte and after a terrible battle they were defeated with great slaughter.

After many failed attempts at negotiation with the Germans who had settled west of the Rhine, and was under the rule of Prince Ariovistus, Caesar waged war against them.

Although the Germans were brave they were no match for the legionaries. Few escaped, among those were Ariovistus. Thus ending the campaigns of this year.

In 57 B.C. Caesar moved north and conquered the Belgae, who consisted of several tribes such as the Remi, Bellovaci, Suessiones and Nervii. He raised two legions and nearly annihilated the Suessiones. The Bellovaci and the Remi put themselves under his protection; however the Nervii remained in arms. One day the Nervii and their allies rushed upon the legions from an ambuscade in the woods on the opposite bank. The enemies were so quick and the Roman's were so entirely unprepared that they had no time to put their helmets on, to remove the covering from their shields or to find their proper places in...