Last time I introduced the three main groups of people Caesar fought in the Gallic War: the Gauls, the Germani, and the Britons. This week I'll be diving into the most important one: the Gauls.
It's no surprise that the Gauls would play such a prominent role in the Gallic Wars, and indeed they make up the vast majority of the factions in Hegemony Rome. Of the twenty-six factions currently playable in the game, eighteen of them are Gallic.
I mentioned last time that Caesar divided Gaul into three parts: the Belgae, the Aquitani, and the Celtae. This overview may have been serviceable for his readers back in Rome, but in retrospect it's quite problematic. Each of these groups was made up of many smaller tribes that acted independently, and more often than not those individual tribes spent all their time fighting each other.
To give you an idea of just how little unification there was within these tribes, one of the first problems Caesar faced when the war began was between several tribes of the Celtae group: the Allobroges were a Roman ally, and their land was threatened by the Helvetii who wanted to migrate through their land, ravaging it as they go. Meanwhile, the Aedui, another Roman ally, was being attacked by their neighbours, the Arverni. The Arverni had an ally in the Sequani, but when the Sequani found themselves over their heads they petitioned Caesar – an enemy of their “ally” – for help.
All of the factions I just mentioned were technically part of Caesar's Celtae division. They don't sound very unified, do they? Indeed, it wasn't until the very end of the war that they could agree to put their differences aside.
The Averni descend upon the Aedui capital Bibracte
Now the Belgae were a different matter. “Of all the Gauls, the Belgae are the bravest”, wrote Caesar. Apparently this is because they were so far from the civilization of Rome that they couldn't “import those things which tend to effeminate the mind”. Caesar also claims that the Belgae were descended from the Germani, so like the toga-wearing Gauls from my last post, the Belgae were probably a mishmash of Gallic and German culture.
And the Belgae were most definitely able to put their differences aside; the very first time they found Caesar on their border, all but one of the Belgic tribes united against him. That last tribe was the Remi, who allies with Rome, and for that, the rest of the Belgic coalition descended upon them.
But all the Gauls definitely shared much of their culture. From a military standpoint, they were particularly well-known for their cavalry, and Caesar hired most of his cavalry from Gallic cities in order to supplement his legions.
A Gallic cavalry charge
That's all for this week. Be sure to join me for the final part, where I'll discuss the last two faction groups: the Germani and the Britons. And in the meantime, check out the LongbowDevs twitter feed for more day-to-day development news.
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