In the 50s BC, Julius Caesar conducted a brutal war against the tribes of ancient Gaul. On the pretext of curbing an imminent barbarian threat to the Roman Republic, he first defeated and decimated the Helvetii tribe, before subjugating the other Celtic peoples who occupied the territory of what is now France. Caesar laid Gallic civilization to waste, but the cultural revolution the Romans brought in their wake transformed the Celtic culture of that country, as the Gauls exchanged their tribal quarrels for togas and acquired the paraphernalia of civilized urban life. The Romans also left behind a legacy of language, literature, law, government, religion, architecture and industry. From Marseille to Mulhouse, and from Orléans to Autun, Bijan Omrani journeys across Gaul in the footsteps of its Roman conquerors. He tells the story of Caesar's Gallic Wars and traces the indelible imprint on modern Europe of the Gallo-Roman civilization that emerged in their wake.
Bijan Omrani is an historian and classicist specialising in the history of Afghanistan and Central Asia. He read Classics and English at Lincoln College, Oxford. He is the author of Asia Overland: Tales of Travel on the Trans-Siberian and Silk Road.