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The Gauls were a Celtic people occupying what is now France and Belgium. They lived in chiefdom-level societies that grew increasingly centralised and stratified under the influence of the Greek and Roman merchants and soldiers who came to Gaul. Julius Caesar launched his eight year invasion of Gaul in 59 BCE. He claimed to have killed one million people and enslaved another million out of an original population of three million. The Gauls united and rallied under Vercingetorix, who defeated Caesar at the battle of Gergovia, but was later crushed by him at the battle of Alesia.