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Julius Caesar and the Gallic Wars. The Gauls The Gauls had been a threat on the northern frontier of Italy for a long time At intervals they poured forth.

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Presentation on theme: "Julius Caesar and the Gallic Wars. The Gauls The Gauls had been a threat on the northern frontier of Italy for a long time At intervals they poured forth."— Presentation transcript:

1 Julius Caesar and the Gallic Wars

2 The Gauls The Gauls had been a threat on the northern frontier of Italy for a long time At intervals they poured forth in destructive numbers In BCE 390 they destroyed Rome In BCE 102 only defeated by brilliant military leader C. Marius Long before time of Caesar the Romans had subdued the Gauls south of the Alps Making it into the province of Cisalpine Gaul

3 58 BCE: Caesar left Rome for Gaul; conquered most of what is now central Europe, opening up these lands to Mediterranean civilization

4 Reasons for Conquest Caesar presented it as a defensive and pre- emptive war But Caesar’s primary motivation was political ambition Desired to advance his career and pay off his huge debts According to Plutarch and recent scholars the campaign resulted in 800 conquered cities, 300 subdued tribes, one million male slaves and three million casualties

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6 Conquered Lands Caesar conquered all of Gaul which consisted of: The rest of current France Most of Switzerland and Belgium Parts of Germany Annexed them to Rome By conquering Gaul and securing the natural border of the Rhine, the Romans could easily oppose invading Germanic tribes

7 Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War (De Bellum Gallico) Caesar's personal record of the Gallic War included seven books on the campaigns from 58 to 52 BCE. the only report by a military commander of antiquity describing his own campaigns. ending with the defeat of Vercingetorix. an eighth book was later added by Aulus Hirtius after Caesar's death, linking events of the Gallic War to those of the Civil War (50-48 BC).

8 Vercingetorix

9 Statue of Vercingetorix in Burgundy

10 De Bellum Gallico provide a uniquely in-depth account of Gaul and its people. cultural descriptions are secondary to military matters in Caesar's campaigns However, the reader gains a familiarity with settings, tribes, and personalities unavailable in Strabo, Tacitus, or other ancient writers. the only primary source on the Celts of Gaul, Germany and Britain during the 1st century BC compares with Tacitus' account Germania, written in AD 98.

11 coin issued by Caesar depicting military trophy 56 BCE: Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus met in Caesar's province to renew their coalition. Pompey and Crassus were to be consuls again, and Caesar's command in Gaul was extended until 49 BCE.

12 Julius Caesar Denarius BC, Spanish mint. Diademed head of Venus right, Cupid on her shoulder / CAESAR below Gallia & Gaulish captive seated beneath trophy of Gallic arms.

13 Caesar in Gaul and Britain Caesar led a three-month expedition to Britain but he did not establish a permanent base there.

14 Triumphal Arch, Reims, France Caesar set up an efficient provincial administration to govern the vast territories; he published his history The Gallic Wars. Optimates in Rome attempted to cut short Caesar's term as governor of Gaul

15 49 BCE Caesar led his armies across the Rubicon River (the border of his province), which was automatic civil war.

16 The Rubicon River


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