Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Show 60 – The Celtic Holocaust: Julius Caesar is our travel guide as he takes us through his murderous subjugation of the native Celtic tribal peoples of ancient Gaul. It sounds vaguely like other, recent European colonial conquests…until the natives nearly win.

In “Hardcore History” journalist and broadcaster Dan Carlin takes his “Martian”, unorthodox way of thinking and applies it to the past. Was Alexander the Great as bad a person as Adolf Hitler? What would Apaches with modern weapons be like? Will our modern civilization ever fall like civilizations from past eras? This isn’t academic history (and Carlin isn’t a historian) but the podcast’s unique blend of high drama, masterful narration and Twilight Zone-style twists has entertained millions of listeners.

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A Riveting Dive into the Celtic Holocaust - Hardcore History Show 60

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Show 60, “The Celtic Holocaust,” is a gripping and immersive exploration into one of the most significant events of the ancient world. As the title suggests, this captivating podcast delves into the brutal and transformative series of wars between the Celtic peoples of Gaul and the Roman Republic, led by Julius Caesar. Through an engaging narrative, Carlin invites listeners to experience the dramatic clash of cultures, fierce warfare, and the remarkable legacy left by both the Celts and Romans in this unforgettable historical event.

Celtic Gaul and the Roman Republic:

The story of the Celtic Holocaust begins with the Celtic peoples of Gaul (modern-day France, Belgium, and parts of Switzerland). In the first century BCE, these tribes shared a common language and culture, though they were often divided by internal strife and rivalries. The Roman Republic, on the other hand, was a rising power in the Mediterranean region, with ambitions to expand its territories further.

Carlin paints a vivid picture of the contrasting societies, highlighting the differences between the hierarchical and bureaucratic Roman system and the more egalitarian and decentralized Celtic culture. These disparities would set the stage for a brutal confrontation that would forever alter the course of history.

The Rise of Julius Caesar:

At the heart of the Celtic Holocaust is the enigmatic figure of Julius Caesar, a brilliant military commander and astute politician. Carlin delves into Caesar’s rise to power, exploring his motivations and ambitions as he sought to expand the Roman Republic’s influence. Caesar recognized that the conquest of Gaul would not only secure Rome’s northern borders but also cement his legacy and propel him to unparalleled political power.

The podcast highlights the strategic genius of Caesar, who skillfully exploited the political divisions among the Gauls to advance his objectives. By forming alliances with certain tribes and pitting them against one another, he managed to weaken the Celtic resistance and pave the way for Roman dominance.

The War in Gaul:

Hardcore History Show 60 recounts the harrowing details of the Gallic Wars (58-50 BCE), a series of brutal campaigns waged by Caesar and his legions against the Celtic tribes. Carlin describes the various battles and sieges that took place, including the Siege of Alesia, where the Roman forces finally managed to defeat the Gallic chieftain, Vercingetorix.

The podcast also delves into the devastating human toll of the conflict, with an estimated one million Gauls killed and another million enslaved. Carlin does not shy away from discussing the darker aspects of warfare, exploring the psychological impact of such violence on both the conquerors and the conquered.

Cultural and Historical Impact:

Beyond the battlefield, the Celtic Holocaust had profound and lasting effects on the cultural and historical landscape of Europe. Carlin examines the process of Romanization that took place in Gaul following the conquest, as the surviving Celtic peoples were gradually assimilated into Roman society. This assimilation led to the loss of much of the native Celtic culture, but also facilitated the fusion of Roman and Celtic traditions, resulting in a unique cultural blend that would influence future European civilizations.

The podcast also addresses the impact of the Celtic Holocaust on the Roman Republic itself, as the immense wealth and prestige gained from the conquest of Gaul played a crucial role in the transformation of the Roman political system. Julius Caesar’s triumphs ultimately led to his ascendancy as a dictator, setting the stage for the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.

Carlin further explores the lasting legacy of the Celtic Holocaust on the collective memory of Europe. The tales of courage, resistance, and tragedy that emerged from this brutal period have resonated through the ages, shaping the way we view and understand the past. From the heroic figure of Vercingetorix to the controversial legacy of Julius Caesar, the stories of the Celtic Holocaust continue to captivate and intrigue us to this day.


Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History Show 60, “The Celtic Holocaust,” offers an enthralling and comprehensive account of the Gallic Wars and their far-reaching consequences. Through a masterful blend of storytelling and historical analysis, Carlin invites listeners to immerse themselves in the world of ancient Rome and Celtic Gaul, providing a unique perspective on the clash of cultures, the horrors of warfare, and the enduring legacies left behind by these remarkable civilizations.

This podcast episode is not only an exceptional resource for history enthusiasts, but also for those who appreciate the art of storytelling and are eager to gain new insights into the complex tapestry of human history. The Celtic Holocaust serves as a sobering reminder of the power struggles, ambitions, and tragedies that have shaped the course of history, and Dan Carlin’s compelling narrative ensures that these lessons are not soon forgotten.