Vercingetorix surrenders to the Romans

03 Oct 2020  Sat

Vercingetorix was a king and chieftain of the Gallic tribe of the Arverni who united the Gauls in a failed revolt against Roman forces during the last phase of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. Despite having willingly surrendered to Caesar, he was executed in Rome.

Little is known of Vercingetorix prior to his rebellion of 52 BC except that he was the son of an aristocratic Gallic chief and a respected member of his tribe. Revered in France as its first national hero, Vercingetorix managed to unite several sovereign Celtic tribes to do battle against the aggressive Romans. Vercingetorix was an Arverni, one of the many Celtic tribes who ruled over France today, northern Germany, the Benelux countries, and the British Isles.

At the Battle of Alesia, the Romans besieged and defeated his forces; to save as many of his men as possible, he gave himself to the Romans. He was held prisoner for five years. In 46 BC, as part of Caesar's triumph, he was paraded through the streets of Rome and then executed by strangulation. To this day, he is considered a folk hero in Auvergne, his native region.

Depicted here is a Roman coins issued on Vercingetorix. Top: bust right (war chariot on reverse); bottom: female head (tied near war trophy on reverse).

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