Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Avaricum was an ancient Gallic city located in what is now modern-day Bourges, in central France.

Avaricum serves as the setting for Luigi Alamanni’s Avarchide. The text follows the plot of Homer’s Iliad, but the characters have Arthurian names; hence, Avaricum is the counterpart of Troy.

Arthur appears in the role of Agamemnon, Lancelot takes the place of Achilles, and Gawain assumes the character of Menelaus. A number of other Arthurian characters take part: Claudas as Priam, Meleagant (Meleagaunce) as Ulysses, the Lady of the Lake as Thetis, Galehaut as Patrocles, Tristan and Bors as Ajax and Diomede, Claudin as Paris, Lac as Nestor, and Segurant as Hector. Arthur’s forces did, eventually, conquer the city.

Avaricum | History

Gallic Wars | 58 – 50 BC
Avaricum was a major settlement of the Bituriges, a Gallic tribe. In 52 BC, during the Gallic Wars, Avaricum became a stronghold of the Gallic tribes led by Vercingetorix, who amied to unify the Gauls against Roman conquest.

Siege of Avaricum | 52 BC
In 52 BC, Julius Caesar, leading the Roman forces, decided to besiege Avaricum as part of his campaign to subdue Gallic resistance. Avaricum was well-fortified and situated in a defensible position. However, internal strife among the defenders and a lack of provisions weakened the city’s resistance.

Fall of Avaricum and Consequences
The siege of Avaricum was marked by intense fighting, and despite the city’s defenses, internal discord and starvation led to its fall. Julius Caesar’s forces captured Avaricum, and the Romans subsequently sacked and destroyed the city. The destruction of Avaricum was notable for its severity.

The fall of Avaricum was a significant blow to Gallic resistance. The defeat of the Gallic forces under Vercingetorix contributed to the ultimate subjugation of various Gallic tribes by the Romans. The destruction of Avaricum served as a warning to other Gallic tribes about the consequences of resisting Roman rule.

Roman Conquest of Gaul
Following the capture of Avaricum, Julius Caesar continued his campaign in Gaul, facing major battles against Gallic leaders such as Vercingetorix. The Roman conquest of Gaul was completed by 50 BC, bringing the region under Roman control.

The events surrounding the siege of Avaricum are detailed in Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico (“Commentaries on the Gallic War”).

Avarchide | Luigi Alamanni, 1548