Caesar’s Greatest Victory

The Battle of Alesia, Gaul 52 BC

John Sadler, Rosie Serdiville

An exciting, readable new account of the Alesia campaign, incorporating the latest research, to illuminate the tactics of both Caesar and the Celts, and explore the momentous events of 52 BC.
Publication date:
October 2016
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Illustration :
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ISBN : 9781612004051

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
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• Roman military history at its most exciting and dramatic.
• A new account that reassess the role of both sides, and the campaign as a whole, not just the Battle of Alesia itself.

The Battle for Alesia was a decisive moment in world history. It determined whether Rome would finally conquer Gaul or whether Celtic chieftain Vercingetorix would throw off the yoke and consequently whether a number of independent Celtic tribal kingdoms could resist the might of Rome. Failure would have been a total defeat for Julius Caesar, not just in Gaul but in the Senate. His career would have been over, his enemies would have pulled him down, civil war would have ensued, no dictatorship, no liaison with Cleopatra. Rome would not have become an empire beyond the Mediterranean. European, and therefore world history might have been a very different story.

Caesar's campaign of 52 BC frequently hung in the balance. Vercingetorix was a far more formidable opponent than any encountered in Gaul; bold charismatic and imbued with strategic insight of the highest order. The Romans were caught totally off-guard and it seemed all too likely their grip on Gaul, which Caesar had imagined secure, would be prised free. The Siege of Alesia itself was one of the most astonishing military undertakings of all times. Caesar's interior siege lines stretched for 18 kilometres and were surrounded by an outward facing line three kilometres longer, complete with palisades, towers, ditches, minefields and outposts. This work was completed in less than three weeks. Vercingetorix's refuge proved a trap and, despite an energetic defence and the arrival of a huge relief army, there was to be no escape.

Caesar's Greatest Victory fully reveals both sides of the conflict, to explore in depth the personalities involved and to examine the legacy of the campaign which still resonates today. The arms, equipment, tactics and fighting styles of Roman and Celtic armies are explained, as well as the charisma and leadership of Caesar and Vercingetorix and the command and control structures of both sides. Using new evidence from archaeology, the authors construct a fresh account of not just the siege itself but also the Alesia campaign and place it into the wider context of the history of warfare. This is Roman history at its most exciting, featuring events still talked about today.


The photographic section is a definite highlight...a good account of one of the most decisive battles of the ancient world.
War History Online

Those seeking a primer on Alesia need look no further than this excellent book.
Military History Magazine

The battle of Alesia was a decisive moment in world History. Failure would have been a defeat for Caesar not just in Gaul, but at Rome, and without this victory, Rome might never have become a worldwide power.
All About History

It is clear that the authors know what they are talking about.
Miniature Wargames - William de Pretre

...a really interesting work that thoroughly describes not only the battle of Alesia, but the Gallic War and issues closely related to it. The authors base their work on numerous ancient sources, research works and books.
Imperium Romanum

If you are looking for a more in-depth narrative of the campaign and its protagonists, the place of this battle in history and its long term impact I would certainly recommend this book for your collection.
Society of Ancients newsletter

Caesar's Greatest Victory... is scholarly but ultimately readable, and introduces a campaign which is left out of secondary school and Latin teaching... A fascinating account of something I'd never heard of.
Books Monthly