The multitude quickly joined him; the restoration of the throne of Luerius and Betuitus was at the same time the declaration of a national war against Rome. The centre of unity, from the want of which all previous attempts of the nation to shake off the foreign yoke had failed, was now found in the new self-nominated king of the Arverni.

VIII. These matters being arranged, and Lucterius now checked and forced to retreat, because he thought it dangerous to enter the line of Roman garrisons, Caesar marches into the country of the Helvii; although mount Cevennes, which separates the Arverni from the Helvii, blocked up the way with very deep snow, as it was the severest season of the year; yet having cleared away the snow to the depth of six feet, and having opened the roads, he reaches the territories of the Arverni, with infinite labour to his soldiers.

The greater portion of the Gallic districts submitted like the Haedui and Arverni to their fate, and allowed their inevitable punishment to be inflicted without farther resistance. But not a few clung in foolish frivolity or sullen despair to the lost cause, till the Roman troops of execution appeared within their borders.

If a general insurrection now broke out in central Gaul, the Roman army might be surrounded, and the almost undefended old Roman province be overrun before Caesar reappeared beyond the Alps, even if the Italian complications did not altogether prevent him from further concerning himself about Gaul. The Carnutes The Arverni

One must read Caesar's own account of his conflicts with Helvetii, Aedui, Remi, Nervii, Belgae, Veneti, Arverni, Aquitani, Ubii, Eubueones, Treveri, and other nations between the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Rhine, and the sea. Their numbers were immense, and they were well armed, and had cavalry, military stores, efficient leaders, and indomitable courage.

They were the most powerful of the three great nations that inhabited Gaul, and are supposed to be the original inhabitants of that extensive country. Some, however, deduce the name from the Gaelic "Ceilt," an inhabitant of the forest Celtillus, the father of Vercingetorix, assassinated by the Arverni, G. vii. 4

War with Allobroges and Arverni The attack of Flaccus, however, fell in the first instance not on the Arverni, but on the smaller tribes in the district between the Alps and the Rhone, where the original Ligurian inhabitants had become mixed with subsequent arrivals of Celtic bands, and there had arisen a Celto-Ligurian population that may in this respect be compared to the Celtiberian.

As in Greece the Lacedaemonian party combined with Persia against the Athenians, so the Romans from their first appearance beyond the Alps had found a support against the Arverni, who were then the ruling power among the southern Celts, in their rivals for the hegemony, the Haedui: and with the aid of these new "brothers of the Roman nation" they had not merely reduced to subjection the Allobroges and a great portion of the indirect territory of the Arverni, but had also, in the Gaul that remained free, occasioned by their influence the transference of the hegemony from the Arverni to these Haedui.

Caesar before Gergovia Fruitless Blockade The Roman main army in its turn advanced along the Allier down into the canton of the Arverni. Vercingetorix attempted to prevent it from crossing to the left bank of the Allier, but Caesar overreached him and after some days stood before the Arvernian capital Gergovia.

The Aedui shout aloud and conjure Litavicus to provide for their safety. "As if," said he, "it were a matter of deliberation, and not of necessity, for us to go to Gergovia and unite ourselves to the Arverni. Or have we any reasons to doubt that the Romans, after perpetrating the atrocious crime, are now hastening to slay us?