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Caesar [Paperback]

Adrian Goldsworthy
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

3 May 2007

From the very beginning, Caesar's story makes dazzling reading. In his late teens he narrowly avoided execution for opposing the military dictator Sulla. He was decorated for valour in battle, captured and held to ransom by pirates, and almost bankrupted himself by staging games for the masses.

As a politician, he quickly gained a reputation as a dangerously ambitious maverick. By his early 30s he had risen to the position of Consul, and was already beginning to dominate the Senate. His affairs with noblewomen were both frequent and scandalous.

His greatest skill, outside the bedroom, was as a military commander. In a string of spectacular victories he conquered all of Gaul, invaded Germany, and twice landed in Britain - an achievement which in 55BC was greeted with a public euphoria comparable to that generated by the moon landing in 1969. In just thirty years he had risen from a position of virtual obscurity to become one of the richest men in the world, with the power single-handedly to overthrow the Republic. By his death he was effectively emperor of most of the known world.

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Caesar + The Fall of Carthage: The Punic Wars 265-146BC (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS) + In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire (Phoenix Press)
Price For All Three: 23.07

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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753821583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753821589
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, THE ROMAN ARMY AT WAR was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including THE FALL OF THE WEST, CAESAR, IN THE NAME OF ROME, CANNAE and ROMAN WARFARE, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.

Product Description


Goldsworthy's magnificent biography places Caesar in the context of the Roman world and shows why we return to the great man. (Toby Clements Telegraph)

Book Description

The story of one of the most brilliant, flamboyant and historically important men who ever lived.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 77 people found the following review helpful
Adrian Goldsworthy is known to me as a writer of exceptional ability, especially when covering complex subjects. In this biography, he ambitiously attempts to cover Caesar the politician, Caesar the General and as much of Caesar the man that's available to history (sadly, very little). Many biographies concentrate on his military campaigns at the expense of his political aspect (a big mistake, as the two are indivisible), or vice versa. It was a gamble, but Goldsworthy more than suceeds. If you've never read a biography of Caesar before, start with this one - but that doesn't mean he neglects the scholarly aspects. He's not afraid to lay out to the reader the historical controversies that still swirl about Caesar, just as they did when he was alive.

Goldsworthy has the ability to make a complex subject appear both clear and simple, and a highly engaging writing style. I hope he goes on to cover Sulla, Marius, Pompeius and Cicero: or perhaps even older Roman characters. I hope I'll have the opportunity to buy many more of his books. I grew up when narrative history had fallen out of fashion. I'm so glad people have realised that history can be written this way, without sacrificing any academic integrity. Buy this book and you won't be disappointed!
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Veni Vidi Vici - I came I saw I conquered 29 July 2006
By D
Adrian Goldsworthy has produced a gripping history of one of the most colourful men to emerge from the classical world and indeed throughout history. The book traces Caesar's life from his early year and his exploits as a young man through his political and military career and of course his infamous death on the Ides of March 44BC.

Goldsworthy, a scholar of ancient warfare has detailed the military campaigns of Caesars proconsular command in Gaul with great clarity. There is an abundance of maps, which, unfortunately, are conspicuously absent in many books. There are several pages of b/w photographs of busts, coins and Rome etc. The complexities of Roman politics are handled by the author with ease, making this book a great read, enthusiast or not.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biography 20 Oct 2006
Adrian Goldsworthy's latest book, "Caesar", is another one of those great books that you cannot afford to miss this year. Following on from his excellent run of books; "The Punic Wars" and "In The Name of Rome", this new title is a great addition to anyone's library.

The tale of Julius Caesar has been told before many times but I doubt as well as this in recent times. The research and story telling is exceptional. I found the book easy to read although it is quite detailed in regards to the political and social events and background that made up Rome during Caesar's period.

The accounts of Caesar's military campaigns were well told and presented with a number of basic maps to assist the reader in following the action. The author presented the facts covering Caesar's life in an un-biased way and left it to the reader to make up his own mind in regards to those controversial events in Caesar's life.

The book is about 520 pages in narrative text along with a number of black & white photographs and maps. Overall this is a good book and I am sure anyone who has an interest or passion for this period of history or for Julius Caesar will enjoy this book immensely.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars reliable, authoritative and safe 9 Jun 2007
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
With Adrian Goldsworthy you know you're in competent academic hands (unlike Bettany Hughes or Tom Holland) and so can rely on his reading of the sources and the scholarship on Caesar. But this isn't by any means a dry, academic tome - Goldsworthy writes well for a lay audience and wears his (intense) learning very lightly. His admiration for Caesar shines through (something which, perhaps, he has to dampen a little in his academic work?) but this is never hero-worshipping for all that.

He sets Caesar in his time but never allows the political background to overshadow the man. Being Goldsworthy, there is a lot of emphasis on Caesar the general in both Gaul and the civil wars, but he doesn't allow military tactics to take centre stage, and stays with the mind of the man.

I enjoyed this book hugely, but my only tiny criticism is that it's a safe read - if you know anything about Caesar, then there won't be any surprises here: all the sources are reviewed, all the incidents dramatised well. This isn't, of course, Goldsworthy's fault as, after all, Caesar has fascinated for millenia but I guess for me the Christian Meier biography of Caesar is still a personal favourite above this one for the way in which he stretches his reading of Caesar.

So, this is highly recommended, but read Meier too and compare their views.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all-time favourite! 22 July 2010
I was really quite surprised by this book, it is a treasure.

I became interested in reading a more in-depth account of the life of Caesar after reading Tom Holland's 'Rubicon' so I bought this book in the hope that it would be a good complement to the excellent overview of the fall of the Roman Republic that Holland had described so well.

I must say that I wasn't prepared to be so taken with a biography that easily rates as one of the most exciting, involving and fascinating narratives I have ever read. Since completing this book I have read other biographies (for example an account of Caesar's adopted son Octavian/Augustus) and nothing really compares with it. I would say that Goldsworthy's style and scholarship is simply so good that you cannot go wrong with this biography of the great general and dictator and it would make a fabulous gift for anyone with any interest in the period. It reads like a novel in fact, and at no point does it become tiresome, dull, or dry and dusty in the way that so many classical commentaries unfortunately manage.

A triumph for Goldsworthy! (Pun intended!)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book
Bought it for my boyfriend for his birthday. He is very fond of the Roman culture especially the military part. He loved it. He said its a very well written very interesting book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Szilvia Siklosi
3.0 out of 5 stars Comments
Informative but uninspiring and maps too small on kindle and cannot be expanded. Hopefully pace will increase as we move into Gaul.
Published 2 months ago by mr sj donohoe
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
It really puts you back in time and you feel that you understand the man and what he was about. Lots of detail and atmophere great read.
Published 3 months ago by K. R. Failoni
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I bought this book with only vague, school boy knowledge of Julius Caesar. Goldsworthy briefly outlines roman history up till Caesars brith the goes into sharp, focused detail... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Smeaton
5.0 out of 5 stars Colossus
A great read and a great author , my 3rd book by Goldsworthy and hopefully many more. He makes his books both interesting and informative. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Russ G. Mills
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful into the personality of Caesar
I was curious to learn more about Caesar - the man, inparticular what made him 'tick'- what drove him.

I wasn't disppointed! Read more
Published 8 months ago by La Femme Savante
4.0 out of 5 stars A very in depth book on the life of Caesar
This is a huge book in its length and its detail about Roman society and Caesars life. The background to Caesars actions are explained to allow you to consider his actions in... Read more
Published 8 months ago by TVR-Andy
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
This is the first biography I have read on Caesar, and the first of Goldsworthy's books. After a fascinating, exciting, read, I'm sure this won't be the last of either. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Matthew Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read
Second only to the same author's Khan series these books weave a fantastic tapestry of the great man's life and Rome in general at the time. Read more
Published 13 months ago by P. Green
4.0 out of 5 stars GOod
Very interesting, I study latin at school, and there are things I already know but it's very nice to read and not boring after some time
Published 14 months ago by Me
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