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Old January 16th, 2013, 06:41 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Lucius Vorenus View Post
In that legion there were two very brave men, centurions, who were now approaching the first ranks, T. Pulfio, and Lucius Vorenus(about my favourite) . These used to have continual disputes between them which of them should be preferred, and every year used to contend for promotion with the utmost animosity. When the fight was going on most vigorously before the fortifications, Pulfio, one of them, says, “Why do you hesitate, Varenus? or what [better] opportunity of signalising your valour do you seek? This very day shall decide our disputes.” When he had uttered these words, he proceeds beyond the fortifications, and rushes on that part of the enemy which appeared the thickest. Nor does Venus remain within the rampart, but respecting the high opinion of all, follows close after.

Then, when an inconsiderable space intervened, Pulfio throws his javelin at the enemy, and pierces one of the multitude who was running up, and while the latter was wounded and slain, the enemy cover him with their shields, and all throw their weapons at the other and afford him no opportunity of retreating. The shield of Pulfio is pierced and a javelin is fastened in his belt. This circumstance turns aside his scabbard and obstructs his right hand when attempting to draw his sword: the enemy crowd around him when [thus] embarrassed. His rival runs up to him and succours him in this emergency. Immediately the whole host turn from Pulfio to him, supposing the other to be pierced through by the javelin. Venus rushes on briskly with his sword and carries on the combat hand to hand, and having slain one man, for a short time drove back the rest: while he urges on too eagerly, slipping into a hollow, he fell. To him, in his turn, when surrounded, Pulfio brings relief; and both having slain a great number, retreat into the fortifications amidst the highest applause. Fortune so dealt with both in this rivalry and conflict, that the one competitor was a succour and a safeguard to the other, nor could it be determined which of the two appeared worthy of being preferred to the other
I echo the complimentary remarks reference this thread brought by the Op and the subsequent comments. This is an excellent example of what I referred to elsewhere. An inquisitive spirit of research and in providing analysis, a passion for the subject matter and outstanding contributions by all concerned.

As for the legendary centurions that Lucius has identified? Splendid.


They brought back memories of two USMC Staff Sergeants I once knew...and for that I am grateful.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #42

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no my principle source on this essay is Goldsworthy's bio on Caesar. i found it an incredibile read yet would you recomend Meier's book, would it offer new information or perspective?
Oh I know mate I just wanted to see if you'd read it or not

Well, its an in depth book on Caesar, which chronicles his political and military career in depth. It quite scholarly, but it can be hard reading at times. I Know Goldsworthy, so I stick with his work, which are generally excellent. Meier' book is good reading, if one can break into it though.


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right you are and Beorna is quite right in his criticisem of Caesar. you do have to give him credit for being able to make these moves look justifed as simply protecting rome or her allies. yet from his perspective and indeed all romans they felt perfectly justified. the romans were never very tolerent of foerigners, much less those they classified as barbarians. just look at what happened to Carthage. in the comming campaign with the Veneti of which i will post on now Caesar is good enough to at least state that their reason for rebeling was as he writes "they like most men deeply loved freedom and hated slavery" so at least he was pragmatic enough to acknowledge their reasons for resisting.
Indeed so. One does have to marvel at the array of talent Caesar demonstrates though, both as as orator of his conquests and as a tactician.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 06:49 PM   #43

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Well said. Although Vercingetorix had great numbers at his command,
The great numbers is a bluff. I estimate that Vercingetorix at most had 30,000-40,000 men. Caesar has superior forces.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 10:48 PM   #44

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The great numbers is a bluff. I estimate that Vercingetorix at most had 30,000-40,000 men. Caesar has superior forces.
The numbers will be unknown for ever, but you are probably correct. hans delbrück estimated for vercingetorix' troops in Alesia 20,000 and for the auxilian force up to 50,000. So indeed Cesar was as strong as the Gauls or perhaps stronger
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Old January 16th, 2013, 11:30 PM   #45

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The numbers will be unknown for ever, but you are probably correct. hans delbrück estimated for vercingetorix' troops in Alesia 20,000 and for the auxilian force up to 50,000. So indeed Cesar was as strong as the Gauls or perhaps stronger
This was the ultimate final battle of Gaul. Was that all Gaul could muster?
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Old January 17th, 2013, 12:44 AM   #46

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This was the ultimate final battle of Gaul. Was that all Gaul could muster?
They could have mustered a lot more people than these 258,000 which Cesar claimed to be present.
The Gauls had made an concilium in which they decided, that each civitas should give a special contingent. That's at least, what Cesar told us.
The Aedui and their clients seem to be part of the uprise. They shall have send 35,000 men. The Aedui were besides the Arverni the dominant civitas in Gaul. It was said in book II, that the Bellovaci could field 100,000 warriors and send at least 60,000. The Suessiones shall have been able to send at least 50,000 warriors, the nervii even 60,000.
well, I reported the story, that the bellovaci shall have been once the clients of the Aedui. of course this is hard to believe. But cos the Aedui were the dominant civitas, we should at least expect, that they had been able to field more than 35,000 for Alesia. Alesia was so close to the Aeduan lands, that they would have been able to send more.
If we compare the contingents at Alesia, with the Belgian campaign, then we can see, that the Bellovaci just sended 2,000 of 10,000 demanded one, allthough it was said, that they can field 100,000. The Suessiones who had 60,000 in the Belgian campaign just gave 6,000 for Alesia. It's difficult to say for the Nervii, cos they were said to have been heavily defeated. The Atrebates gave 6,000 instead of 15,000 in the belgian campaign, the ambiani 6,000 instead of 10,000, the Morini even only 6,000 instead of 25,000. The caletes which had 10,000 in the Belgian campaign were able to send together with 8 different aremorican civitates only 10,000.
So how great was the uprise really? After the battle Cesar gave 20,000 captured Aedui and Arverni back to their civitates. It is not clear if each or together had 20,000, probably together. it is difficult to say whether they were part of the troops of vercingetorix or of the auxiliary force. The Arverni and their clientes were asked to give 35,000 for the auxiliary force.

So we first have to asked, did really whole gaul participated in these uprise or at least, did the mentioned civitates did totally participate in the uprise or just parts of the civitates. What is with all those principes, who benefitted from cesar's campaigns? and at least of course, why were 258,000 said to be present, but only 60,000 attacked? unfortunately it is really impossible to say.
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