Gallic Wars

Control of Southwest Gaul
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56 BCE Mar 1

Control of Southwest Gaul

Aquitaine, France

During the Venetic campaign, Caesar's subordinates had been busy pacifying Normandy and Aquitania. A coalition of Lexovii, Coriosolites, and Venelli charged Sabinus while he was entrenched atop a hill. This was a poor tactical move by the tribes. By the time they had reached the top, they were exhausted, and Sabinus defeated them with ease. The tribes consequently surrendered, yielding up all of Normandy to the Romans. Crassus did not have such an easy time in facing the Aquitania. With only one legion and some cavalry, he was outnumbered. He raised additional forces from Provence and marched south to what is now the border of modern Spain and France. Along the way, he fought off the Sotiates, who attacked while the Romans were marching. Defeating the Vocates and Tarusates proved a tougher task. Having allied with the rebel Roman general Quintus Sertorius during his uprising in 70 BCE, these tribes were well versed in Roman combat, and had learned guerilla tactics from the war. They avoided frontal battle and harassed supply lines and the marching Romans. Crassus realized he would have to force battle and located the Gallic encampment of some 50,000. However, they had only fortified the front of the camp, and Crassus simply circled it and attacked the rear. Taken by surprise, the Gauls attempted to flee. However, Crassus' cavalry pursued them. According to Crassus, only 12,000 survived the overwhelming Roman victory. The tribes surrendered, and Rome now controlled most of southwest Gaul.


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Last Updated: : Wed Jan 31 2024