UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
as it was known that the attention of Caesar was drawn to the other side of
the mountains, a general insurrection broke out in all parts of Ulterior
Gaul. In this revolt the Averni, under their great leader, Vercingetorix,
were the leaders, and to him the other tribes looked for the management of
the war. The proconsul again crossed the mountain, fell upon the town of
Genabum, which the insurgents had taken, recaptured and burnt the place
almost before the enemy had knowledge of his coming or intentions.
Vercingetorix now adopted the policy of wasting the country, and the Romans
were greatly straitened for supplies; but Caesar made a sudden investment
of Avaricum and succeeded in securing a large store of provisions. He then
laid siege to Gergovia, the capital of the Avernian territories, but was
presently defeated in so signal a manner that he was obliged to save
himself by a retreat. The news spread like a flame in stubble, and all
Gaul, excepting only the tribe of the Remi, again rose in revolt. All the
barbarian floods were loosed. The desperate warriors swore that they would
not return home until they had twice fought their way through the broken
lines of the Romans. It was not the first or last rash oath of barbarism.
For Caesar was equal to the emergency. He called a new levy from the
province of Cisalpine. He concentrated his forces. He drove Vercingetorix
into Alesia, and there besieged him and his eighty thousand Gauls. Another
barbarian army, said to have numbered more than two hundred and fifty
thousand men, came to the relief of their brethren, and Caesar found
himself with his ten legions surrounded by an almost countless host of
savage and vindictive warriors. Still he quailed not. Alesia was forced to
capitulate. Vercingetorix was taken and reserved for the coming triumph.
The rest were reduced to slavery. Every soldier was given a Gallic servant.
The encompassing army was routed and dispersed. So signal was the overthrow
of the rebellion that the various tribes each sought to placate the anger
of the conqueror and to procure favorable, or at least merciful, terms of
peace. The conquest of all Gaul was completed without another blow. It only
remained for Caesar to spend the winter in settling the conditions of peace
and organizing, after the Roman method, the vast territory into the two
provinces-soon to be consolidated into one-of Gallia and Belgica.
Now it was that the qualities of the Caesarian mind began to display
themselves with that rational magnanimity for which the subsequent career
of the great leader was so notably marked. The policy which he pursued
towards the Gauls was characterized by a