MysteriYES

A comedy mystery podcast in which two friends discuss a weekly mystery.

The Battle of Alesia

Julius Caesar

  • Dissolved Roman Republic

    • Created Roman Empire

  • One of the most famous leaders in history

    • Almost didn’t make it that far

  • Governor of several Roman provinces

    • Northern Italy/Southern France

    • Supposed to be one year term

      • Got 5 years instead

  • Waged Gallic wars

    • Beat back invasions from Gallic tribes

    • Expanded the borders of the Roman empire

  • Holding on to that new territory was tricky

    • Rebellions sprung up

    • 54 BC The Eburones rebelled and defeated a roman army

      • First time a Gallic army defeated a Roman one

      • Inspired further rebellion throughout the empire

    • Soon, more tribes aligned themselves with the Eburones

      • Lay siege to the camp of a Roman nobleman

      • Word was sent to Ceasar

      • Gauls had learned Roman siege techs

    • Caesar immediately marched and defeated the Eburones, but the area he left soon rebelled with even more Gallic tribes

      • This snowballed until almost all of Gaul was in open rebellion

    • Rome sent more troops into the area and Ceasar was able to crush the rebellion

      • Some were allowed to surrender, but other groups were annihilated or forced to starve

    • This inspired a Gallic king, Vercingetorix to rebel

      • Murdered a bunch of Roman citicens

      • Despite having a smaller army, Ceasar beat back his army and trapped him in the city of alesia.

      • Launched a siege.

    • Alesia is on a tall hill that’s almost impossible to attack

    • Rivers on two sides of the town, with plain on one side

  • Siege of alesia

    • Caesar knew the town was nearly impossible to attack

      • Vercingetorix still had larger army

        • 80,000 infantry & twelve thousand calvary

        • 50,000 combined

      • Built a ten mile wall around the town so no one could get out

    • Vercingetorix did try to stop the construction

      • Wall included 20-foot trench + two fifteen-foot v shaped trenches & moat

      • Also built spike pits

      • Twelve foot wall after that with spikes sticking out of it

    • During Construction

      • A large calvary battle took place

        • Seemed like Gauls might have the upper hand

        • Caesar sent in German troops

          • Attacked so ferociously that the Gauls fled and piled up at the city gates, abandoning their horses to climb the wall

          • Vercingetorix saw this and closed the gates in fear

      • Vercingetorix saw he had no chance

        • At night he sent out his entire calvary to search Gaul for someone to help them

        • The goal was to raise a massive army & finish the war

        • These men returned with an army of 8,000 calvary & 240,000 infantry

          • According to Ceasar

    • What do you do if you’re Ceasar?

      • Build another wall around your wall

      • At this point the people of alesia were starving

        • Vercingetorix allowed the common people of alesia to leave and slip passed Caesars wall. Mostly women and children.

          • Caesar wouldn’t let them through the wall

          • Vercingetorix wouldn’t let them back into the city

            • The people starved to death

      • Vercingetorix launched another assault on the wall at night

        • Prepared for fortifications

        • When wall was scaled, they just got killed by the Romans

        • Some Roman lossed, but “Unalloyed carnaged overlaid with the stench of blood and entrails, blended with piss and shit. The carefully engineered pits and hedges would have been topped with corpses”

        • The Gauls were beaten back

      • The Gallic reinforcements arrived

        • Discovered a weakness in the wall where the hill had been to steep to build

        • Created plan to distract Caesar while a smaller force exploited the weakness

        • The Gauls attacked at midday so Vercingetorix could see the battle from the city and attack from the other side

      • Final battle

        • Incredibly brutal and bloody battle

          • Red mist

          • Swords dulling after cutting through so many bodies

        • The smaller Gallic force created a turtle to assault the weakness in the wall

        • Caesar himself launched a counter-attack against the smaller forces

          • Sent his calvary outside the outer wall to attack the turtle from the rear

            • According to some historians, this was the single moment that decided the entire war

          • The Roman calvary broke through

            • Gauls, trapped and under siege, panicked

          • Caused the rest of the army to flee

    • Vercingetorix surrenderd to Caeser

      • Gauls were mostly forgiven

      • Vercingetorix was imprisoned for 6 years before being forced to march in a parade for Caeser

        • Then strangled to death