Sunday, January 29, 2012

Long Ago and Not So Far Away

Passionate research fuels storytelling. It can also remind us that some history should never be forgotten, lest it be repeated.

From Wikipedia:
"The Roman proconsul and general Julius Caesar pushed his army into Gaul in 58 BC, on the pretext of assisting Rome's Gaullish allies against the migrating Helvetii. With the help of various Gallic tribes (for example, the Aedui) he managed to conquer nearly all of Gaul...

As many as a million people (probably 1 in 5 of the Gauls) died, another million were enslaved, 300 tribes were subjugated and 800 cities were destroyed during the Gallic Wars. The entire population of the city of Avaricum (Bourges) (40,000 in all) were slaughtered. During Julius Caesar's campaign against the Helvetii (present-day Switzerland) approximately 60% of the tribe was destroyed, and another 20% was taken into slavery."

Ancient Gaul and its tribes.

Gaul was no small country, either. It encompassed current-day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine.

Yet Rome, under Julius Caesar brought Gaul to her knees in 58BC. They annihilated twenty percent of the population and enslaved most of the rest. The Gaulic culture and languages, including that of the Celts, disappeared, replaced by Latin.

Hmm, I no longer find myself sad that Latin is dead.

And yet, history does repeat itself. In spite of these (and many other) glaring examples, we humans seem to have learned no lessons. Are we doomed to barbarism, no matter our evolution?

And did anyone else notice that Rome marched in to Gaul on the pretext of assisting their allies? Sound familiar?


More poking around turned up one reason Rome was so pissed off in the first place.

"In 387 B.C....the first Brennus...(of Gaul) sacked Rome and as the Romans were paying tribute to him, he noticed they were trying to slight him. It is said that Brennus threw his sword onto the pile saying "Vae Victus" (woe to the vanquished)..."
But still!

This last (also taken from rather delighted me, in that it reads like fantasy.
"Brennus then advanced across Greece, looting everything he could find. Disatisfied with the paltry loot, he decided to go on to Delphi which was reported as the treasure house of Greece. Without waiting for Kicharos, Brennus and his army of 40,000 set off to attack the temple of Apollo, the ultimate goal of his expedition.

Here it is said that Brennus was defeated by earthquakes, thunderbolts which reduced the soldiers to ashes, snow storms, showers of great stones, and "ancient heroes appearing from the heavens". It appears that after a long battle the Gauls were forced to retreat before they could reach the Delphic treasures."
Ahh. Now THAT I can sink my teeth in to.

Does anyone else feel as small and insignificant as I, when going back through time? Rome ruled "the world" for 2200+ years. America, only a tenth of that.

What are your thoughts on the barbaric past, and present, of the human race?

Updated November 2, 2017

~ That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell writing as O.J. Barré

O.J. Barré is author of the upcoming AWEN trilogy, a rollicking fantasy set in 2042AD, that draws upon ancient, current, and future history. Book One, AWEN RISING, is complete and in query. The first draft of Book Two, AWEN STORM, is nearing completion, and Book Three, AWEN TIDE, is swirling in the mists of creation.


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Pax Romana, the peace of the iron fist and the sword. Interesting how history spins victor and vanguished around in a cruel circle of hate, retribution, and greed.

The Roman Empire instituted modern plumbing for the elite of Rome, the famous aquaducts -- made of lead. Some theorize lead poisoning of the drinking water is what led to the increasingly insane emperors. Strange tidbit to go with your interesting, absorbing history lesson. Have a great week, Roland

Walter Knight said...

When Rome conquered most of Europe, the barbarians were forced to bathe. That's a good thing.

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