French destinies France

Vercingetorix : the gaulish chief who resisted caesar

This man is perhaps the first resistant of our history. This day of -52 before Jesus-Christ, Vercingétorix, throws his weapons at Caesar's feet. He is defeated. A few years earlier, the Gallic War had begun. A war of conquest for Rome. Young Gallic chief, Vercingetorix stood up against Caesar, the Roman general.


A young Gallic chief manages to unite the Gauls against Caesar. 

Julius Caesar had the doors opened. In the distance a crash. That of the weapons that the last Gallic warriors give up the weapons in all the senses of the term since they throw them from the top of the wooden walls which protect Alesia. They are defeated. Walking from the hill, a horse surrounded by men on foot. No doubt about it. It is Vercingetorix. The young Arverne chief who succeeded in the incredible: to federate the greatest number of Gallic tribes against him, Caesar, the man from Rome. The young warrior convinced the great tribes to follow him in his fight against this first pernicious and then frankly harsh control that the Romans wanted to impose. 

Victories, before the final defeat. 

Caesar wins the winner's chair. And yet even he, the great general, was not sure to win. Gergovia was a disaster, surprised by the Gauls, he had to withdraw. His troops literally starved to death when the Gauls applied the scorched earth policy, an idea of Vercingetorix. To burn the smallest field, the smallest house, cities sometimes to prevent the Romans from feeding themselves, and thus from advancing. And there was Alesia.

Approaching the Roman camp, Vercingetorix is silent. His men too. He discovers from very close what he saw in the distance. More than 30 kms of ramparts, tower, hundreds of traps. A wall to prevent the warriors from going hunting. The wall that made them die of hunger. He knows that behind this wall there is a second wall of the same length. This one is made to protect the legions from an external attack. Wise precaution of the Romans who were able to push back the army of help which the Gallic people sent, a little late, to save Alesia. Vercingetorix presents himself to Caesar. He gets off his horse. He throws his weapons in front of the stage, he removes the golden torque which encloses his neck. The mark of the chief. It is almost naked that he makes three times the turn of the stage before bending the knee and admitting defeat. Caesar won the siege of Alesia.

When the defeated becomes a symbol... 

The two men will meet again 6 years later for the last time. Vercingetorix, covered with chains, will parade at the back of Caesar's chariot at the time of his triumph before being strangled. His body will be dedicated to the gémonies, the staircase of the shame in Rome, before being thrown in the Tiber. But the symbol will continue to thrill the imagination of men. A symbol of the fight against Freedom, initiated by our Gallic predecessors, and still continued by the French. 

Walking in the footsteps of Vercingetorix

The site of Alesia was rediscovered in the 19th century in Burgundy at Alise Sainte Reine. You can discover the museo-park Alesia which proposes to discover the history of the siege of Alesia on the spot with a fascinating museum space, in which you can make many activities, in particular an investigation, a place to be discovered by all the family. On the website, there is a lot of information with documents and notably 3D reconstructions via videos. 

Where to go?

The Museo-Parc Alesia is located :

1, route des Trois Ormeaux
21150 Alise-Sainte-Reine

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site. 

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.