Assess the Reasons for the Roman Victory over the Celts Under Julius Caesar from 58 to 50 Bc.

Topics: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Gallic Wars Pages: 5 (1806 words) Published: December 10, 2011
In the year 100BC, a man by the name of Gaius Julius Caesar was born; he was to become one of the greatest leaders that the Romans would ever see. During his lifetime, Caesar fought many battles with many different outcomes; one of the most important was the Gallic wars. The Gallic wars were fought in the time period between 58 and 50BC during which Caesar managed to conquer the whole of Gaul. There were a number of reasons for the Roman victory over the Celtic people, who lived in Gaul, these included: Caesars exceptional leadership over the Roman army; the Roman’s militaristic advantage over the Celts; the fact that when Caesar came to Gaul, the countries people were not united and that the tactics used by Julius Caesar during battle were better then the Celts.

Throughout history, there had been many great leaders, ranging from Cleopatra to even Hitler; one of these great leaders was Julius Caesar. It is easy to see why Caesar is classified as a great leader when looking at his leadership during the Gallic wars. First of all, Caesar was well loved and respected by his army. It was important that he was respected as it meant that his army had confidence in him and also therefore in themselves. Caesars quick speed and decisiveness was also useful during the battle against the Celts, because due to that, even if he was caught unaware such as in his battle against the Nervii tribe, when they attacked his unarmoured army, he was able to respond quickly and win the battle. Throughout the Gallic wars, Caesar also made sure that his army had enough supplies such as food which was important as the Celts burned down all their crops and possessions believing that Caesars army would not be able to survive. Caesars personal account on why the crops were burned can be seen in this source written by Caesar, in his book called The Conquest of Gaul, based on Vercingetorix, leader of the Celts at one stage of the Gallic Wars, speech:

‘We must strive by every means’, he said, ‘to prevent the Romans from obtaining forage and supplies. This will be easy, since we are strong in cavalry and the season is in our favour. There is no grass to cut; so the enemy will be forced to send out parties to get hay from the barns, and our cavalry can go out every day and see that not a single one of them returns alive. What is more, when our lives are at stake we must be prepared to sacrifice our private possessions. Along the enemy’s line of march we must burn all the villages and farms within the radius that their foragers can cover… We should also burn all the towns except those which are rendered impregnable by natural and artificial defences; otherwise they may serve as refuges for shirkers among our own numbers, and give the enemy the chance of looting the stores of provisions and other property that they contain’

This source explores the difficulties that Caesar faced when trying to get supplies for his army, but, as he was a good leader, Caesar managed to overcome these problems and come out victorious in the battle against the Celts. Caesars great leadership is therefore a reason for why the Romans were victorious over the Celts as with him as their leader they were able to overcome all the obstacles set by the Celts such as the lack of supplies available in Gaul, surprise attacks by the Celts and also because Caesar was an inspirational leader who also increased his armies morale which was less likely to have happened within the leaders of the Celtic tribes.

The Roman army had a huge militaristic advantage over the Celts. Not only did they have a better leader, but they were also much more advanced. “They (the Roman’s) wore mail, or brass, helmet and breastplate…” explains America’s leading military historian Col. Trevor N. Dupuy, whereas the “Gauls (Celts) wore no body armor…” adds historian Aidan Warlow. The Romans also fought with swords and javelins as opposed to the Celts who fought with spears and arrows . As well as...
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