Battle of Vosges (58 BC)

Arar - Bibracte - Alsace - Sambre - Axona - Octodurus - Avaricum - Gergovia - Lutetia - Armançon - Alesia - Uxellodunum

The Battle of Alsace was a battle in 58 BC between Roman forces under the leadership of Gaius Julius Caesar and some probably mainly Germanic tribes who had united under the leadership of Ariovistus, king of the Suevi. She was the decisive battle in the second debate in the Gallic War (after Helvetierkrieg ) that ended with a victory of Caesar. The battle is described in the first book of Caesar's De Bello Gallico, where he in addition to the Suevi the Haruder, Marcomanni, Vangiones, Nemeter, Sedusier and Triboci lists as an opponent.


According to Caesar's presentation The reason for the dispute was a petition under the protectorate of Rome Gallic tribe of the Aedui to the generals and governor of Gaul, Julius Caesar. The Gauls suffered from the attacks of Ariovistus, after he had beaten together with its allies, the Sequani, the Aedui in 72 BC at Magetobriga (or Admagetorbiga ). Basically, the governor had the authority to intervene in a threat to the province or of allies. In the case of Ariovistus was problematic since it BC the title " amicus populi romani " received in the year 59, for which, incidentally, the then Consul Caesar began. It was from sacred - and state- legal perspective forbidden to attack a amicus, unless this first made himself guilty of breach of contract.

Caesar turned the Germans 58 BC an ultimatum: Ariovistus should get no more troops across the Rhine, release all hostages häduischen and make any further attacks on Gallic tribes more, otherwise he would send his legions. Ariovistus answer was: " When lust Caesar, he likes to fight. Then he will see what the invincible Germans for heroes. "So Caesar had his legions march into occupied Ariovistus Alsace. On a hill at today Colmar, the two generals met and negotiated. In this battle of words, which is described in detail in Caesar 's De Bello Gallico suggested the Germanic King Caesar that he should not attack and occupy the land of the Germans. In return he would, ' cause every war for you ( Caesar ), without that you have to expose yourself to the Kriegsungemach and any danger ... ".

The Battle

Caesar refused and so it came to battle. 30,000 Germanic warriors rushed at Caesars six legions (about 24,000 men ). Initially, the Germans were able to harass the Romans strong, some maniple were already severely depleted, but the officer in the cavalry, Publius Licinius Crassus, decided spontaneously and contrary to Caesar's direct command to reinforce its associations to breaking the left wing Roman; this allowed some manipuli and the cavalry to circumvent this edge and included. Even more Centuries dealt the enemy, and fell to the enemy in the back. Panic set out in the receding ranks of the Germans wide, the battle was lost for the Germans.


Under allegedly huge losses, the Germans retreated across the Rhine. Also Ariovistus escaped in a boat, but the news of his defeat spread quickly, and his covenant of Suevi, Marcomanni, Nemeter Wangionen and splintered on the other side of the Rhine. The king of the Suevi died four years after the battle.

Caesar left the tribes of Triboci -down with Ariovistus, Vangiones, Nemeter and Sedusier under the condition that they would defend the Rhine frontier against anyone in their new seats.