It is situated at the foot of the Gergovie plateau, the official but disputed site of the Battle of Gergovia, where — near to the Arverni oppidum of Nemossos (a sacred wood, in Gaulish) — the Arverni and other Gallic tribes gathered under Vercingetorix's command to fight the Roman legions of Julius Caesar in 52 BC.
The village was known as Merdogne until 1865, when it successfully petitioned the emperor Napoleon III to change the name to Gergovie, because the site of the Gauls' victory over Caesar was a more glorious name than one that sounded like shit (merde).
- Graham Robb, The Discovery of France, Picador, London (2007), p.304 (quoting Onésime Reclus, France, Algérie et colonies, (1886), p.32)
- E. Mourey, History of Gergovie, Saint Remy, 1993.
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