Today on October 3, 53 BCE, Vercingetorix, the ever-defiant rebel leader, finally surrendered to Julius Caesar following the epic Siege of Alesia.
The Siege of Alesia was one of Julius Caesar’s greatest military achievements. The Romans were in the midst of the ten-year conquest of Gaul (largely represented by present-day France). By 53 BCE, Caesar and his veteran legions had conquered most of Gaul, making him one of the greatest generals in Roman history. However, several pockets of resistance persisted throughout the countryside. A major revolt broke out led by the ferocious Gallic leader known as Vercingetorix. As a competent and outspoken commander, Vercingetorix managed to rally the various Gallic tribes against one common purpose - to defeat Rome.
While Gallic forces had some initial success against the Romans, they were ultimately forced to retreat and take refuge in the hilltop fortress of Alesia. Caesar pursued the rebel forces and laid siege to Alesia. He immediately ordered a massive siege construction, which encircled the entire fortress with two walls. The first wall would ensure no food or supplies could enter the city. The second wall would provide a defense against any reinforcements from attacking the Romans.
The Gauls attacked the outer wall with a relief force while Vercingetorix simultaneously attacked the inner wall. Their brave attempt failed to break the Roman lines as Caesar led and inspired his loyal soldiers himself during the attack. The next day Vercingetorix surrendered, ending the intense Siege of Alesia.