Caesar granted himself the governorship of Gaul at this time, thus marking the true beginning of Caesar's career as a general (BBCi).
In 58 BCE, Caesar went to Gaul and stayed there for eight years, waging wars and gaining the respect and admiration of those that followed him into battle. Caesar's Gallic conquests added the whole of modern day Belgium, Holland and France to the Roman Empire (Lannom 40). Caesar defeated German tribes, becoming the first Roman general to cross the Rhine River (Francese 46); he defended southwestern Gaul from invaders hailing from modern day Switzerland; he invaded Britain, and amassed the largest fleet of ships ever to cross the English Channel¨it would be two thousand more years before an armada comparable to Caesar's would assemble in the Channel (CarpeNoctum).
Caesar's victories came at a price, borne by the two million Gauls reportedly killed or enslaved during this time (BBCi). Caesar himself also suffered for his conquests; returning to Italy in 49 BCE after the Gallic battles, Caesar brought his