Vercingetorix

From Academic Kids

Vercingetorix (72 BC - 46 BC), chieftain of the Arverni, led the great Gallic revolt against the Romans in 53-52 BC. His name in Gaulish means "over-king" (ver-rix) of warriors (cingetos).

As described in Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars, Rome had secured domination over the Celtic tribes beyond the Provincia Narbonensis (modern day Provence) through a careful divide and rule strategy. Vercingetorix ably unified the tribes, adopted the policy of retreating to natural fortifications, and undertook an early example of a scorched earth strategy by burning towns to prevent the Roman legions from living off the land.

Caesar and his chief lieutenant Labienus lost the initial minor engagements, but captured the tribal capital at Avaricum (Bourges). They then overtook and encircled Vercingetorix at the Battle of Alesia. Vercingetorix summoned his Gallic allies to attack the besieging Romans, prompting Caesar to build a legendary doughnut-shaped fortification with an inner wall to contain the Arvernian garrison, and an outer defensive perimeter to protect against the attempted relief.

Caesar's tactics wreaked havoc on the poorly organized rescue force. Vercingetorix surrendered in magnificent fashion, allegedly riding his horse out of Alesia and riding around Caesars camp before kneeling to Caesar with a flourish. He was imprisoned in the Tullianum in Rome for five years, before being publicly displayed.

There are two theories as to his cause of death. The first and mostly likely is that he was strangled shortly after Caesar's triumph in 46 BC. The second theory that is very popular but based only on legend is that he was beheaded by Romans.

The French spell his name with an accent mark (Vercingtorix).


External links and references

  • A reconstructed portrait of Vercingetorix (http://www.reportret.info/gallery/vercingetorix1.html) in a contemporary style and based on sources, part of the Reportret gallery.
  • Yonge, Charlotte M. (1864). The Chief of the Arverni. In Charlotte M. Yonge, A Book of Golden Deeds, London: Blackie & Son, Ltd., n.d.
  • Curchin, Leonard A. Lingua Gallica (The Gaulish Language). Retrieved Aug. 21, 2003 from http://www.arts.uwaterloo.ca/CLASS/gallica.html
  • Spinrad, Norman. The Druid King: A Novel. New York: Knopf, 2003

Vercingetorix is a movie released in 2001, also known as Druids. It was neither a critical nor a box-office success, but did far better in Europe than the United States of America.de:Vercingetorix et:Vercingetorix eo:Vercingetorix fr:Vercingtorix nl:Vercingetorix ja:ウェルキンゲトリクス la:Vercingetorix pl:Wercyngetoryks pt:Vercingetrix ru:Верцингеториг

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