I just came across a short piece from National Geographic summarizing the life and accomplishments of Julius Caesar. Before he made himself “dictator for life,” the magazine notes, he had to prove his worth as a powerful military commander — and he started that quest in the deep heart of France, trying to subdue the tribes of Gauls who controlled that part of Europe. Here’s how National Geographic summarized his campaign in France (and the phrase that caught my attention): Caesar’s seven-year Gaul campaign ended triumphantly in 51 B.C. The Gaul leader Vercingetorix was paraded in chains through Rome before being ritually strangled. In all, Caesar’s campaign killed or enslaved more than a million Gauls […]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxRGJZydZwc There’s a lot of “hidden” or “lost” history in the deep heart of France. (Did you know, for example, that Clermont-Ferrand – in fact, much of the Auvergne – was ruled for 100 years by a Visigoth king who established his court at Toulouse? ) Today’s destination, the archeological site at Corent, gives us a glimpse into the far reaches of the Iron Age, when the Gauls dominated this part of France – although you’ll need to use a lot of imagination to put the picture together.
The plateau at Gergovia isn’t necessarily the first thing you’d notice when you come to this area. The great volcanoes of the Massif Central rise in the background and they’re more rugged, more beautiful than this lump of basalt. Clermont-Ferrand lies at the plateau’s base, its brooding black lava cathedral dominating the city’s skyline.