Vercingetorix (82BC-46BC) was a King and Cheiftain of the Averni tribe who united the Gauls in a failed revolt against Roman forces during the last phase of Julius Caesars Gallic Wars. The Averni were a Galic tribe dwelling in the modern Auvergne region. In 52 BC he led the Averni and the united Gallic tribes to victory at the Battle of Gergovia in which several thousand Romans and their allies were killed, and the Roman legions withdrew. Unfortunately this probably annoyed Caesar and in the same year they were defeated at the battle of Alesia.
His surrender to Caesar following the defeat is beautifully depicted by the famous French painter Lionel-Noël Royer and can be seen at the Crozatier Museum at Le Puy en Velay.
Napoleon III erected a 7m tall statue of Vercingetorix in 1865 at the supposed site of Alesia. There is an annual festival held in his honour at the village of Alise-Saint-Reine.
There is also a monument to him in Clermont Ferrand on the Place de Jaude.
Often appearing in popular culture , amoung other things he appears in the Asterix series of comics, in the third yearbook of the Marvel G I Joe comics, in the French version of the Adventures of TinTin,and there is even an asteroid named after him!
There was a French film in 1909 about him and again in 2001 another French film 'Vercingtorix which was released in english as Druids based on a novel by Morgam Llywelyn from 1992.
After his surrender to Caesar he was imprisoned in Rome and after six years was executed,probably by strangulation in his cell, according to the Roman custom. Little did the Romans know his legacy would live on........