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A legionary's account of a siege based upon the siege of Avaricum
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| Words: 4100 | Submitted: 02-Feb-2005
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DescriptionA legionary's account of a siege based upon the siege of Avaricum (52 B.C.)
Creative writing for a GCSE Latin Roman Army project.
He finished, "You may think that these measures are harsh and cruel, but you must admit that it would be a still harsher fate to have your wives and children carried off into slavery and be killed yourselves - which is what will inevitably befall you if you are conquered."
Obvisiouly, at the time we had no idea about the motivation that Vercingetorix was applying to his followers but we knew a confrontation between our two sides was more than likely at the time. Vercingetorix planned to, with the aid of his loyal and determined followers, burn all the villages and farms within the radius that their foragers could cover, along the line of our march. They knew they had plenty of supplies, because they could rely upon the resources of the people in whose territory the campaign was conducted and they thought that we would either succumb to starvation or have to expose ourselves to serious risk by going far from our camp in search of food. He also planned at the time to burn all the towns except those which are rendered impregnable by natural and artificial defenses; otherwise they could serve as refuges for shirkers among their own people, and give us the chance of looting the stores of provisions and other property that they may contain.
This proposal was unanimously approved by his people and in a single day more than twenty of the Biturgies' towns were fired. The same was done in the territory of the neighbouring tribes, until fires were visible in every direction; and although this must have been a grievous sorrow to all Gauls, they found consolation in the thought that victory was practically assured and that they would soon repair the loss. In a second joint council of war the question was debated whether Avaricum was to be burned or defended. The Biturgies went down on their knees and implored the representatives of the other tribes not to compel them to set fire with their own hands to a town that was almost the finest in Gaul, the chief defense and pride of their state. It could easily be held, they said, in view of its natural strength; for it was almost completely surrounded by river and marsh, in which there was only one fairly narrow opening.
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