(ORDO NEWS) — Excavations carried out in 2015 revealed that Julius Caesar was the consummate liar and propagandist of his time. In the first chapters of his memoir Notes on the Gallic War, Caesar tells how he defeated the Helvetii, a powerful Celtic tribe that inhabited the northwestern part of modern Switzerland.
The Helvetii, according to Caesar, decided to settle in Gaul; they plundered and burned settlements, killed people and advanced rapidly. Caesar boasts that he came to the defense of the Gauls and in 58 BC. e. defeated the Helvetii at Bibracte. Of the 368,000 men, women and children, allegedly only 110,000 survived and fled to their homeland.
However, military historians have calculated that the march of 368,000 people, 8,500 harnessed oxen and numerous herds of cattle would be at least 130 kilometers long – from a military and logistical point of view, such a journey is impossible. As for the burning of the settlements of the Gauls, archaeologists have found traces of a fire in only one settlement in Mont-Vuly – the Zee district in modern Switzerland, where the Helvetians lived, and not the Gauls.
Thomas Whitley of the University of Western Australia ran a complex Geographic Information System simulation to find out how many people actually lived in Helvetia at the time of Julius Caesar. To do this, Wheatley created 50 computer models.
“I took into account three parameters: how much food was at the disposal of the inhabitants, how much effort and resources were required to obtain it, and what were the costs of transportation,” Wheatley explained.
The scientist took into account various food sources: cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, grain, fruits and vegetables, beer, cheese and nuts, as well as game – roe deer, deer, wild boars, bison – and fish. The models showed that the territory at the disposal of the Helvetii could not feed so many people about whom Caesar wrote.
Today, most historians are of the opinion that the group of Helvetians really made a predatory campaign in Gaul, but were not going to settle on this land. Hundreds of thousands of Helvetians are a lie of a Roman commander who dreamed of greater glory and an impeccable political career.
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