Anthropologist

Julius Caesar

By: Karen Beltran

A Tour through Ancient Rome in 320 C.E.
3 Minutes in the Roman Empire

From what you’ve seen of the Romans, can you speculate as to the demeanor of the Helvetians based on what you’ve read by Caesar?

They were not exactly the Barbarians the Romans viewed them as. Modern archaeologists have uncovered evidence that perhaps the Helvetians were in fact highly developed. The Helvetians were skilled craftsmen, had highly developed technology in metal working and sense of style. Celtic carts and waggons were even superior to Greek and Roman ones.

Why do you think the Helvetians were labeled Barbaric by the Romans?

The Romans viewed the Helvetians as barbarians simply because they did not have the same values as the Romans. The Helvetians were known to have battle cries and collect parts from their dead enemies, and the Romans saw this as barbaric as opposed to their breaking of treaties, killing women and children in war, taking foreign diplomats hostage, and making gladiators fight against animals for entertainment. Helvetians also stiffened their hair with chalked water and drank undiluted wine, which both practices were seen as disgraceful to the Romans. There is also a possibility of propaganda and general dislike for the Helvetians.
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Map of Roman province Maxima Sequanorum, which compromised the territories of the Helvetii and other tribes.

Can you compare the Helvetians and the Romans to children on a playground?

Upon knowing everything of the Romans and Helvetians, one is able to equate the battle between the two to children on a playground. Both sides fought hard and did everything they could to demonstrate that they were the best. It is obvious that the Romans felt threatened by the strength and bravery the Helvetians seemed to have, according to Caesar. The two fought back and forth making them very similar to little children.