The Siege Of Alesia

By September 52 BC, the forces of Julius Caesar were facing a confederation of Gallic tribes commanded by Vercingetorix. In the final engagement between Rome and Gaul, Caesar conducted one of the most tactful sieges in history. With a force of 12 legions (approximately 60,000 men) and 120,000 Gaul allied-auxiliaries, Caesar besieged a Gallic force nearly four times the size of his.

The battle itself is considered to be one of Caesar’s greatest military achievements due to his use of a circumvallation around Alesia. He ordered the construction of numerous, heavily fortified forts to encircle and blockade the city so that he could “starve out” the Gallic forces. His investment paid off, as the Gauls failed to break the Roman defenses despite numerous attempts, further weakening themselves. By the end of the battle, Vercingetorix was surrendered to Caesar. The Siege of Alesia ended Gallic independence from Rome and won a substantial victory for Caesar.

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