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The Implication of the Roman Siege Warfare from the Tactical Point of View in the Gallic Wars

Bae Eun Suk 1

1계명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to grasp the historical meaning of tactics by analyzing the cases of Caesar 's siege in the Gallic Wars. In the case of the Battle of Avaricum and Uxcellodunum, Caesar had carried out a general operation of moving soldiers on a protective transport route, and destroying enemy walls by mounting a siege tower, a battering ram, and a ballista. The uniqueness of Caesar's tactic was to mount the embankment and siege tower as close as possible to the enemy's wall. The reason is that the walls of Gaul were filled with rocks and timbers and they were able to withstand fire or wave attacks. Another reason is that the Gallic tribes were embarrassed by the unfamiliarity of the siege of the Roman army in the early stages of the war, but as the war proceeded, they responded in Roman style by imitating the Roman way. In the battle of Alesia, Caesar used the past siege tactics of fencing with moats and piles. He blocked the enemy's entry with a device like a moat, a V-shaped pit, and a pile. In addition, Caesar had built up a circumvallation that monitors Alesia residents and a contravallation that blocks the possibility of an attack behind. The so-called ‘bicircumvallation’ was constructed. This was also a device that the Roman army had used before. However, it made the length longer and blocked the possibility of external and internal attacks. This sophisticated encirclement was built because of the possibility of the emergence of the armed forces, and because of the improved tactical capacity of the Gallic tribes. In the case of the siege of the Gallic Wars, Caesar did not invent new siege machines or develop new siege warfare tactics. However, he improved the existing siege machine and siege warfare tactics to suit the enemy situation, thereby improving the combat power of the Roman army. He had increased the practical aspect of tactics. Therefore, the Gallic Wars could be seen as an opportunity to develop siege tactics in both Rome and Gallia.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.