Doomed Gallic Chieftain Virdovix
|Victrix chieftain Virdovix|
Three Roman legions lead by Quintus Titurius Sabinus campaigned in the peninsula in 56BC to put down the local uprisings by the Uenelli, Lexovii and Aulerci Federations after they had removed their tribal senators and rebelled against Caesars treaty. Sabinus then built a 3 legion encampment at Petit-Celland (close to modern Avranches) to control the area overlooking the Vire valley.
Virdovix, wth his federated army besieges the Romans but Sabinus refuses to be drawn to battle, the gauls daily taunting his cowardice for several days trying to draw him out to fight them.
Sabinus deceives the gauls that he was departing the encampment by sending a gallic auxiliary deserter to convince theVirdovix that the majority of the Roman army was in fear, had low morale were lacking in food and were deserting. Sabinus was withdrawing the following morning early to join Caesar in the south who was fighting the Veneti ( Nantes). Sabinus however places one legion at each gate in along with auxiliary cavalry.
The following morning the Roman commence the apparent departure and the gallic assault commences, Sabinus coordinates the two other legions departing from the encampments other gates to assault the flanks and the rear of the gallic attackers by the auxiliary cavalry. Many of the Gauls were killed pressed between the fortifications and the Roman legions on each flank. The Auxiliary cavalry follow up the fleeing gauls turning it into a slaughter, Virdovix is killed in the fighting at the battle of Vernix and the tribes sue for peace.