The Roman

the River Rhine. As the Dacians overran the last Celtic outposts along the Danube and in Bohemia, the Romans consolidated their control over the southern Gauls. The alliances forged between Rome and these southern tribes, and the problems caused by the migrating Germans proffered the excuse Julius Caesar needed to launch a campaign of conquest in Gaul. The tool at his disposal was ideally suited to the task. Following the military reforms of Gaius Marius, the Roman legionary was the best trained and most versatile soldier in the ancient world. With commanders such as Caesar, victor)' was all but assured.

In a well-orchestrated campaign, Caesar systematically destroyed Celtic resistance in Gaul, and even launched punitive expeditions against Germania to safeguard the Rhine frontier. In battle after battle, Gallic bravado and impetuosity led to defeat at the hands of the well-trained and superbly disciplined Roman legions. By 52 BC Gallic resistance had been crushed following the bloody siege of Alesia, and Vercingetorix, the Gauls' last hope, was a prisoner in Rome. From that point on, Gaul was a Roman province. Only the Celts of Britain remained free from Roman domination.

A century later the Roman legionaries landed in southern Britain and brushed aside the British forces opposing them. With the south of Britain in Rome's hands, a series of governors extended Roman rule in the province, despite a bloody rebellion led by the warrior queen Boudicca in AD 60. The last resistance in Wales was crushed in a bloodbath on the Celtic holy sanctuary of Anglesey. Over the next decades the Romans advanced as far as the north of Scotland, but were unable to subdue the few remaining free Celts in the remote mountains of the highlands. Instead, they built a wall to protect the northern border of their Roman province of Britannia. Ireland and (to a lesser extent) Scotland were left to their own devices; the last truly independent outposts of the Celtic world.

Roman Britannia Mountains



11 the start of the second century BC, the Roman Republic controlled Spain, Greece, North Africa, and much of Italy and the rest of the Mediterranean basin. Within 50 years the Celtic regions of northern Italy and southern Gaul would lie added to the inventory, turning the Mediterranean into a Roman lake. These provinces would also serve as a springboard for Rome's conquest of the Celtic world.

Pressured by migrating Germans from the east, the Gauls of the late La Tene period were forced to give up their territories to the east of


editerranean r CYPRUS

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