The Celtic Holocaust

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History episode 60

Set in ancient Europe, The Celtic Holocaust goes back to the gallic wars when Julius Caesar and the Roman empire subjugated northern Europe.

Together with Dan Carlin, we take a look through Caesar’s eyes and march with his army to conquer the native Celtic tribal people of ancient Gaul.

Along the way, we’ll visit important tribes, names and places to draw our history from.

  • Posidonius – Acclaimed as the greatest polymath of his age.
  • Chiomara – A Galatian noble woman and the wife of Orgiagon.
  • Battle of the Allia – Fought between the Senones and the Romans in 390 BCE.
  • Diviciacus – Druid from antiquity.
  • Aedui – Gallic people and Tribe of Diviciacus.
  • Diodorus Siculus – Greek historian.
  • Helvetii – A Gallic tribal confederation.
  • Orgetorix – Aristocrat among the Helvetii.
  • Battle of Magetobriga – Fought in 63 BC between rival tribes in Gaul.
  • Ariovistus – Leader of the Suebi.
  • Suebi – A large group of related Germanic peoples.
  • Suetonius – Roman historian.
  • Cassius Dio – Roman statesman, Greek origin.
  • Belgae – Large confederation of tribes living in northern Gaul.
  • Nervii – One of the most powerful Belgic tribes.
  • Ambiorix – Leader of a Belgic tribe of north-eastern Gaul.
  • Veneti – A seafaring Celtic people.
  • Dumnorix – A chieftain of the Aedui and brother to Diviciacus.
  • Arverni – A Celtic tribe.
  • Vercingetorix – A king and chieftain of the Arverni tribe.
  • Siege of Avaricum – Avaricum in the winter of 52 BC.
  • The Battle of Gergovia – The chief fortified town of the Arverni.
  • Noviodunum – Meaning “new fort”.
  • Oppidum – Large fortified Iron Age settlement.
  • Battle of Alesia – Military engagement in the Gallic Wars that took place in 52 BCE.

The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. Rome’s war against the Gallic tribes lasted from 58 BC to 50 BC and culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul (mainly present-day France and Belgium). While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the internal division between the Gallic tribes helped ease victory for Caesar, and Vercingetorix’s attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late. The wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the sole ruler of the Roman Republic.

Although Caesar portrayed this invasion as being a preemptive and defensive action, most historians agree that the wars were fought primarily to boost Caesar’s political career and to pay off his massive debts. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, as they had been attacked several times by native tribes both indigenous to Gaul and farther to the north. Conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine.

The Gallic Wars are described by Julius Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, which remains the most important historical source regarding the conflict.

The Celtic Holocaust