Dumnorix of Aedui vs Caesar & Rome - pt. I

“During  the  period  from  122  to  52  BC,  the  last  years  of  the  Gallic  independence,  the  Arverni  and  Aedui  tribes  were  competing  for  the  hegemony  in  Gaul.  In  71  BC,  the  Sequani  tribe  started  a  long  war  against  the  Aedui  who  were  pressing  them.  The  Sequani  were  in  a  disadvantageous  position  and  started  to  look  for  allies  in  the  Suebian  Germans  who  lived  on  the  east  bank  of  the  Rhine,  after  failing  to  cross  the  Oder  River  in  the  East.  Ariovistus  was  the  Suebian  warlord,  who  crossed  the  Rhine  with  thousands  of  warriors  and  managed  to  defeat  the  Aedui  in  61  BC.  The  Germans  unleashed  numerous  raids  against  many  Gallic  tribes  until  several  of  them  became  their  vassals.  The  Sequani  had  made  a  big  mistake  by  inviting  the  dangerous  Germanics  in  the  Celtic/Gallic  territory.

Diviciacus,  one  of  the  political  leaders  and  leading  Druid  of  the  Aedui,  committed  an  equally  big  mistake  when  he  asked  the  Romans  for  help  against  the  Germans.  He  traveled  to  the  “City  of  the  She-wolf”  and  was  presented  to  the  Senate  in  order  to  expose  his  request.  The  proposal  of  the  Aeduian  leader  in  the  Senate  for  an  alliance  against  Ariovistus,  met  the  objections  of  the  new  great  political  personality  of  Rome  (the  greatest  in  her  long  history  according  to  the  view  of  many  scholars),  Gaius  Julius  Caesar.  Caesar  refused  Diviciacus’  request  due  to  his  political  rivalry  with  Cicero  who  probably  supported  the  Gallic  leader  in  the  Senate.  Diviciacus  returned  to  Gaul  with  vague  promises  for  help.  Caesar,  in  order  to  reduce  Cicero  and  his  Galatian  friend,  asked  the  Senate  to  conclude  an  alliance  with  Ariovistus.  The  Senate  recognized  the  German  king  as  “Friend  of  the  Romans”,  a  move  that  emboldened  him.  Ariovistus  became  more  aggressive  in  Gaul  and  created  a  real  kingdom  in  the  conquered  Galatian  regions.

Dumnorix,  Diviciacus’  younger  brother,  did  not  agree  with  the  pro-Roman  policy  of  his  brother.  Instead  he  aimed  in  the  union  of  all  the  Gallic  tribes,  and  believed  in  their  ability  to  repel  all  invaders  in  Gaul,  both  the  Romans  and  the  Germans.  For  this  reason  he  conducted  an  alliance  with  the  Helvetii  (Celts  who  lived  in  modern  Switzerland)  and  with  Casticus,  the  son  of  the  leader  of  the  Sequani,  who  had  disagreed  with  the  pro-German  policy  of  his  father.  Indeed,  in  order  to  strengthen  the  Celtic  alliance,  Dumnorix  married  Orgetorix’s  daughter  (the  leader  of  the  Helvetii).

The  opportunity  that  Caesar  was  waiting  for  the  beginning  of  his  invasion  in  Gaul,  came  in  early  58  BC,  when  the  leaders  of  the  Helvetii  decided  to  evacuate  their  country  because  of  the  continuous  pressure  of  the  Germanic  tribes  of  the  North.  At  the  same  time,  the  Celtic  as  well  tribes  Boii  and  Taurisci  fled  to  the  land  of  the  Helvetii  who  were  preparing  to  leave,  gathering  food  and  supplies  for  their  wagons.  The  Celtic  refugees  joined  the  Helvetii  and  their  allies:  the  Tigurini  (Celts  also)  and  the  Tulingi  or  Tilangii  (a  tribe  who  was  neither  Germanic  nor  Celtic,  but  probably  Pre-Indo-European  native  of  Central  Europe).  Thereby  the  Five  nations  gathered  370,000  people  under  Helvetian  leadership,  of  whom  92,000  were  warriors,  according  to  Caesar’s  narrative.  This  large  migratory  ‘wave’  aimed  in  a  new  home  in  the  land  of  the  Santones  (Western  Gaul  near  the  Atlantic).  The  Helvetii  asked  for  Dumnorix’s  help  and  he  persuaded  his  ally  Casticus,  already  king  of  the  Sequani,  to  allow  the  Five  Nations  to  cross  the  Sequanian  territory  in  order  to  reach  their  destination.  They  would  follow  the  Jura  Mountains  and  the  coastline  of  Lake  Geneva  to  reach  the  Sequanian  territory.  In  the  specified  day,  the  allied  Celts  burned  their  villages,  farms  and  fields  in  order  not  to  fall  into  Germanic  hands,  and  began  their  march.

(A  modern  representation  of  Dumnorix,  leader  of  the  Aedui,  in  the  National  Museum  of  Celtic  civilization,  Bibracte,  France.)

The  pro-Roman  Diviciacus  did  not  hesitate  to  inform  his  hitherto  political  rival,  Caesar,  on  the  movements  of  the  Helvetii.  Caesar  was  in  Aquileia  (northeastern  Italy)  when  he  was  informed.  The  pretext  for  his  military  intervention  in  Gaul  was  the  danger  for  the  Roman  province  of  Narbonesia  (modern  Mediterranean  France)  by  the  Helvetian  migration,  and  Diviciacus’  official  request  (also  a  “Friend  of  Rome”)  for  help  against  it.  Caesar  departed  immediately  with  six  legions.  When  he  arrived  at  the  southern  end  of  Lake  Geneva,  the  Helvetii  were  just  preparing  to  cross  the  nearby  passage,  in  order  to  pass  through  the  region  of  Narbonesia  to  the  Sequanian  territory.  Caesar  refused  them  the  crossing,  blocking  the  passage  with  his  legions.  The  Helvetii  decided  to  return  back  and  follow  the  northwest  passage  to  Gaul.  The  new  route  that  they  followed,  served  again  Caesar’s  plans  because  they  had  to  cross  the  Aeduian  territory.  Diviciacus  asked  the  Romans  for  the  “protection”  of  his  country  from  the  newcomers.

(Coin  of  the  Sequani.)

When  Caesar  was  informed  that  the  Helvetii  had  crossed  the  river  Saône,  he  marched  against  them.  When  he  met  them,  most  of  them  had  already  crossed  the  river  and  only  the  Tigurini  were  preparing  for  the  crossing.  The  Roman  legions  attacked  the  Tigurini  and  massacred  them.  Caesar  avenged  somehow  the  extermination  of    the  Roman  army  of  Longinus  by  the  Tigurini  about  50  years  earlier  (link).  Then  he  crossed  the  river  Saône  and  began  tracking  the  Helvetii,  who  marched  towards  Bibracte,  the  capital  of  the  Aedui.  Caesar  sent  his  cavalry,  a  substantial  part  of  which  consisted  of  Aedui  allies,  to  pursue  them.  The  leader  of  the  Aedui  horsemen  was  Dumnorix.  His  4,000  horsemen  were  disoriented  and  easily  intercepted  by  the  barely  500  Helvetian  horsemen.  This  fact  aroused  Caesar’s  suspicions  which  were  valid:  the  Aedui  were  divided  into  two  factions,  a  pro-Roman  under  Diviciacus  and  an  anti-Roman  under  his  brother,  Dumnorix.  Liscus,  the  Vergobretus  of  the  Aedui  (annual  elected  leader  of  a  Gallic  tribe)  in  that  year,  probably  following  Diviciacus’  instructions,  informed  Caesar  for  Dumnorix’s  ‘betrayal’.

The  horsemen  of  Dumnorix  had  disoriented  the  Roman  cavalry  in  order  to  save  the  Helvetii.  Dumnorix  constantly  provided  information  to  the  Helvetian  leaders  on  Roman  movements,  and  he  was  delaying  the  alimentation  of  the  Romans.  Caesar  writes  in  his  work  “De  Bello  Gallico”  (in  which  he  recounts  with  several  exaggerations  his  conquest  of  Gaul)  that  Diviciacus  begged  him  to  spare  the  life  of  his  brother,  and  for  this  reason  he  did  not  punish  him.  The  truth  is  rather  that  the  Roman  general  did  not  dare  to  harm  Dumnorix  because  he  feared  that  this  would  cause  the  dynamic  reaction  of  the  Aedui  and  other  Galatian  allies  against  him.  The  patriot  Dumnorix  seems  to  have  been  popular  and  influential  to  his  Gallic  compatriots.  The  only  thing  that  Caesar  did,  was  to  watch  closely  the  Aeduan  warlord.”


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Roman-identifying scum of the day: Ausonius

Let’s talk about Ausonius. In particular, let’s talk about some lovely epigrams of his which I have come across. They’re disgustingly anti-British, as you’ll see. I translated them for the benefit of my followers who do not have Latin-speaking privilege because I’m a good person. :)

CVIII: Silvius hic Bonus est. Quis Silvius? Iste Britannus. Aut Brito hic non est Silvius, aut malus est.

(This Silvius is Good. Who is Silvius? That Briton. Either Silvius isn’t a Briton, or he’s bad.)

CIX: Silvius esse Bonus fertur ferturque Britannus: quis credat civem degenerasse bonum?

(Silvius is called good and a Briton: who would believe that a good citizen had sunk so low?)

CX: Nemo bonus Brito est. Si simplex Silvius esse incipiat, simplex desinat esse bonus.

(No good man is a Briton. If he were to be simply Silvius, let the simple man cease to be good.)

CXI: Silvius hic Bonus est, sed Brito est Silvius idem: simplicior res est, credite, Brito malus.

(This Silvius is Good, but the same Silvius is a Briton: a simpler thing is, believe me, a bad Briton.)

Because it’s so hilarious a Briton would have the cognomen of Bonus, because everyone knows Britons aren’t good people!!

The worst thing about this, though? Ausonius is from Gaul. His anti-British attitude is good enough for any Roman but he’s not even Roman himself, not in the way they care about. We get so much shit from the Gallo-Roman upper class, because once they got let into the Senate they put on airs and decided to shit all over the rest of us to prove they were worthy of becoming Romans. Us and the Gauls have the same language, religion, appearance, many of the same cultural traits, and we’ve both suffered under Roman hegemony, but then you get people like Ausonius mimicking Roman prejudices and elevating himself above the rest of us awful provincials. Where is our Celtic solidarity now?????

People, when we fight each other for scraps of approval, only the Romans win. Don’t be like Ausonius.

Correram 2253 anos desde que foste atingido, 3 anos desde que me foste apresentado, e continuas moribundo, por morrer. Reencontro-te, agora, para te dar a paz merecida, nobre Gaulês.

O Gaulês Moribundo. Escultura de comemoração da vitoria dos Gregos contra os Gauleses. 

Modern Mythology: The Morrigan

requested by anon

“The Morrigan is most well known as an Irish Goddess who appears in crow or raven form, and is associated with battle, warriors, sovereignty, prophecy, and Otherworld power. Though literature referencing Her only exists in Irish, and to a lesser extent British and Scottish sources, the archaeological record indicates that She was known and worshiped in Gaul as well, suggesting that we have in Her a pan-Celtic Goddess.” (source)

The peloton in the 1959 Tour de France ride through massive snow banks as the motorbike photographer takes his pictures. Charly Gaul, the tremendous climber from Switzerland, is in the lead, wearing the white cap. Contrast the well wrapped team on the motorcycle with cyclists who are without arm or leg warmers despite what must be freezing temperatures. Thanks to Robert’s Flickr stream for this one.

Speaking of my last answer, anyone know any good celtic/irish/gaul/scottish recon or even non-recon sources? I’m having trouble finding stuff compared to HP.

I’m looking for info on rituals, theology, myths, altar examples, offerings, hymns, etc. Anything you can provide would be useful. Masterposts, resource blogs, websites, books, etc.

Thank you in advance :)

If the ancients lose their children in the supermarket...
  • Britannia:will run frantically with her shopping cart with buttloads of food at every inch of the supermarket, while yelling at the top of her lungs for her children. Meanwhile, her children are searching around the place trying to find a tree to hug so their mum could find them
  • Ancient Greece:would ponder a while before calmly walking to the pet-food isle where she would find her son sleeping while hugging a can of cat-food.
  • China:He used to start of being worried and yelling all of his sibling's names, but now, instead of doing that, he would put away all the favourite foods his siblings love, only to wait for a while until they return back the food to the trolley.
  • Germania:He wouldn't have to worry much because the only child he would lose is none other than Prussia, and he usually finds him hanging around in the candy section.
  • Rome:would constantly be asking all the pretty ladies where his grandsons have gone, but of course moments later, he would hear his name in the intercom because he reminded his grandsons to ask the pretty lady in the information desk if they are ever lost.
  • Carthage:his daughter would hardly leave his side, but on the rare occasion she did, he would be the scary-looking guy scaring people while asking the whereabouts of his daughter.
  • Ancient Egypt:if Egypt ever leave her side, she would look around for a while, silently asking herself where he would go, until she finds him trying to help her with her shopping list.
  • Scandinavia:he would be flailing his arms around and darting everywhere to find his children with Norway sharing his head, Iceland telling people that he doesn't know who he is, and Sweden sitting quietly in the stroller. Denmark and Finland would then be seen in the furniture section.
  • Aestii:secretly sneak away and grab her child without the child noticing, then presume to keep the child on a leash (this is usually the result of Prussia and Poland).
  • Gaul:wouldn't even worry one bit, he knows his child well, he would always say as he walks towards the mirror isle.
  • Iberia:wouldn't have a care in the world and would have time prancing around trying to find his children, who would also be prancing around trying to find him.


THE Roman Republic was in death’s throes. Within a few short years, the “dictator for life” Julius Caesar would be assassinated, and, as a result, the government would descend into chaos. The consequence of a long civil war would bring the birth of an empire under the watchful eye of an emperor; however, it would also witness the loss of many personal liberties - liberties that were the pride of the people and the result of a long history of struggle and strife. Nevertheless, that was in the future - the year is 63 BCE and the city of Rome and the foundation of the Republic is being threatened. Luckily, one man would rise amidst the disorder, at least in his mind, to save it.

The year 63 BCE saw Rome as a city of almost one million residents, governing an empire that ranged from Hispania in the west to Syria in Middle East and from Gaul in the north to the deserts of Africa. Outside the eternal city, in the provinces, the next few decades would bring a strengthening of the borders - Pompey battling King Mithridates of Pontus in the East while Julius Caesar fought the assorted tribes of Gaul and Germany to the north, but at home Rome was facing an internal threat. The difficulties on the home front stemmed from troubles developing in the eastern provinces.  

A significant decrease in trade and the resulting loss of tax revenue resulted in an increase in debt among many of the more affluent Romans. Unemployment in the city was high. The Roman Senate stood silent, unable or unwilling to come to a solution. The people longed for a hero, namely the ever-popular Pompey, to return and bring a remedy. In the meantime, however, there was serious - or so it appeared - unrest, an unrest that led to a conspiracy, a supposed conspiracy that threatened not only the lives of the people who lived within the walls of Rome but also the city itself.

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Article by Donald L. Wasson on AHE