Julius Caesar’s Battle for Gaul: New A...


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Between 58 and 51 BC Julius Caesar conquered Gaul. He campaigned across much of present day France and the Low Countries, crossed the Rhine to Germany, and sailed the Channel to invade Britain. In doing this he achieved immense personal wealth and glory and the loyalty of a battle-hardened army of veterans. Caesar’s eventual return to Rome began with the crossing of the Rubicon which started a bloody civil war from which he emerged victorious and as dictator.
Roman historians have little to say on the consequences of the war on the Iron Age communities of north-west Europe. Their story is told instead by archaeology and numismatics. Huge numbers were involved in the war, at a vast cost in people and wealth. In the aftermath, leaders sympathetic to Rome were installed and sometimes whole peoples were resettled. The diplomatic relations created at this time directly affected the eventual incorporation of these peoples into the Roman Empire.

This book presents the latest archaeological research on the Battle for Gaul and its aftermath. Based on an acclaimed 2017 conference, it is the first Europe-wide overview and much of the research is published here in English for the first time. After an introduction to recent trends in historical studies, thematic studies and regional surveys analyze the archaeological and numismatic evidence from across north-west Europe. Comparative evidence for the Roman conquest of Spain is also examined, along with the fundamental role that the study of the Battle for Gaul played in shaping the development of Iron Age archaeology. Written by leading international experts, this book will be of interest to archaeologists, numismatists, ancient historians and military historians.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. There is a tide in the affairs of men

3. ‘In Bed with the Sun’

4. Before Caesar: how Rome conquered Iberia

5. Gaul on the eve of the conquest

6. The Battlefields of France

7. Gauls under siege: defending against Rome

8. Fighting for Caesar: the history and archaeology of Gallic auxiliaries

9. 58BC: The Helvetii. From the Swiss Plateau to Bibracte and back

10. Caesar’s conquest and the archaeology of mass violence in the Germanic frontier zone

11. Warfare and coinage

12. Island of last resort: the Iron Age coin hoards of Jersey

13. Soon a distant memory: Caesar’s invasions of Britain

14. Hermeskeil fortress: new light on the Caesarian conquest of and its aftermath in eastern Belgic Gaul

15. Our ancestors the Gauls: how the Alesia finds shaped Iron Age archaeology in France and beyond

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