One doesn’t have to be too steeped in knowledge of Roman history to have heard the name of the Gaulish chieftain Vercingetorix. Most of us first met him through Asterix and Obelix comics (remember Asterix and the Chieftain’s Shield?).
Imagine my delight then when I got to know that there was a prominent statue of Vercingetorix in Jaude Square at Clermont Ferrand where I was visiting for work. The site of Gergovia where Vercingetorix gave Caesar’s forces a good thumping in 52 BC is located right on the outstkirts of the city. (Vercingetorix was shortly defeated in Alesia and then made a prisoner by Caesar- reference to the comic strip above).
The statue was designed by Frederic Bartholdi- the same person who designed the statue of Liberty. Vercingetorix’s face expresses all the fury and the fervour of battle.
The city of Clermont Ferrand considers Vercingetorix as one of it’s principal citizens and you even come across street medallions with his profile on them (along with that of Pope Urban II and Blaise Pascale).