Gaius Julius Vindex - Governor in Tres Galliae

Vindex’s revolt against Emperor Nero was one of the major events leading to the fall of Nero that same year. Vindex was a Romanized Gaul, a member of the senatorial class and a figure of great importance with local Gallic tribes.

He was also a member of a growing group of officials who had become tired of Nero’s tyrannies. Thus he entered into communication with his fellow governors and, in the days before the summer of 68, openly declared himself in revolt from Rome.

He did not seek the throne for himself, but supported Servius Sulpicius Galba, then head of Hispania Tarraconensis. His actual goals were never clear, except that he encouraged Galba to seek the purple and promised him the help of the Gallic provinces.

Unfortunately , he failed in his task, as his command over the tribes other than the Aedui and Arverni (Averni) was limited. Further, his headquarters had to be in Vienna (Vienne), not Lugdunum (Lyons), because that city refused to open its gates to him.

Lugdunum proved fatal to his plans, for while he wasted precious time besieging it, Verginius Rufus, legate of Germania Superior, gathered all available troops, marched to the scene and defeated Vindex near Vesontio (modern Besancon). It is possible that both commanders attempted to avoid bloodshed through negotiations, but a battle was eventually fought. After most of his troops died, Vindex killed himself.

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