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Caesar Paperback – 20 May 1996


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Fontana Press; New Ed edition (20 May 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006863493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006863496
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 297,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Meier’s is a compulsively readable, scholarly, imaginative, and almost poetic account.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘A subtle and complex inquiry into the nature of politics and power in the late Republic… Meier builds up a convincing portrait of a man with a restless need for achievement but no master plan… His Caesar goes well beyond the confines of biography to present a radical analysis of a political system in decline, and the opportunities it afforded one of the most brilliant and unscrupulous individuals of all time.’ Independent on Sunday

‘A book of great historical importance and literary glory.’ Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

James Boswell called him ‘the greatest man of any age’. As politician and diplomat, writer and lover, but above all as a military genius, Julius Caesar is one of the most perennially fascinating figures in history. Christian Meier’s biography is the definitive, modern account of Caesar’s life and career, and places him within the wider context of the crisis of the Roman republic. Written specifically for a general readership, this authoritative, stimulating book serves, amongst other things, as a reminder to those who believe that men are mere servants of historical forces that the great individual still has an unarguably significant part to play.

“Meier’s is a compulsively readable, scholarly, imaginative, and almost poetic account.”
PETER JONES, 'Sunday Telegraph'

“A subtle and complex inquiry into the nature of politics and power in the late Republic … Meier builds up a convincing portrait of a man with a restless need for achievement but no master plan … His 'Caesar' goes well beyond the confines of biography to present a radical analysis of a political system in decline, and the opportunities it afforded one of the most brilliant and unscrupulous individuals of all time.”
JOAN SMITH, 'Independent on Sunday'

“This book of Meier’s … has become a book of great historical importance and literary glory, portraying the most fascinating ruler of the ancient world in his historical context, and in all his humanity, against the background of a Rome shattered by civil war.”
INGE FRESE, 'Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung'


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ON I JANUARY 49 BC the consuls began to do everything in their power to remove Caesar from his governorship. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 7 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
The book focuses equally on both the political and war aspects of Cæsar's entire life and achievements. It gives a clear account of everything, without lingering, and thus may be a little lacking in depth (but not much), but still an excellent read. Meier also provides vivid insights of Cæasar's opponents and supporters, which gives a background for understanding such men as Pompey, Cato, Cicero, Marc Anthony and Sulla. Furthermore, he refers to Cæsar's own work, and points out which parts of it he believes to be true, or pure propaganda, which is useful and interesting. Personally, I would have liked a more thorough account of the major battles, but that doesn't mean they aren't accounted for. I would recomment the book for anyone who wants to know more about this awesome character which is still so fascinating after 2000 years.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 16 May 2006
Format: Paperback
This is written by a German Classics professor and though it's pitched as a book for the general reader, I suspect it assumes a lot of knowledge that a Mr/Ms Average just doesn't have. Having said that, it is erudite without being overwhelming and is very well translated. It covers Caesar's life, military and political career, and puts it all into the context of the social/political crisis of the Republic. Both a weakness and a strength is the lack of critical bibliography and footnotes - yes, they can be off-putting to the general reader, but they also help 'site' a book within current scholarship.

Meier's interpretation of Caesar's thoughts, assumptions and motives gives this a daring depth that you just don't get in most history/academic books and while he never pretends it's more than his own subjective opinion, it still rings true.

Read this for a fascinating interpretation of a fascinating man who really did stride the ancient world like a colossus, but do remember it's Meier's version, not necessarily the 'truth'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By pearl on 18 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback
Meier asks the revolutionary question - what is it like to be something new?
He asks this of one of the greatest individuals of all time, someone who his contemporaries were baffled, fascinated and terrified of.
Caesar was something new, nobody before him, and probably after, had his astonishing array of gifts.
Caesar asked - how can I express my potential? Can I be allowed to express my potential?
The late Roman republic ultimately said no.
Meier's book is a brilliant study of two clashing, destructive realities.
I have never read a history book that has dealt at such a seabed depth with what it means to be an individual in society.
Read and then think. A lot.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By G. B. Lawrence on 13 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
Actually I am not thick and have a considerable historical knowledge, but I found this book quite inpenetrable. It seemed to me to be very long-winded and repetetive and I found Caesar himself getting lost in the detail. Meier spends most of the book putting Caesar into the context of Roman politics, which is, of course, important and he refuses to state facts where none exist, which is also commendable. But I found myself reading page after page about the Roman mind-set and still being none the wiser. By page 150 Caesar was in his thirties and all I had understood was that he, like Pompey, was different to other Romans, but I was still not sure why. Sorry, but I was very disappointed with this book.
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