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Julius Caesar [Paperback]

Philip Freeman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Price: 9.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

14 May 2009

“Elegant, learned and compulsively readable, Julius Caesar moves from broad sweep to brilliant detail”. Barry Strauss – Professor of History and Classics, Cornell University Julius Caesar is highly regarded today as a military strategist and tactician, and as the ambitious conqueror who expanded Roman territory several times over. Less well known is Caesar the man – his early years spent as a priest, his first marriage to General Cinna’s Daughter, his refusal to divorce his wife under threat of death during a civil war, his decision to join the army and his devotion to his family. Julius Caesar is a comprehensive work that touches all the important aspects of his life without miring readers in unnecessary details. Indisputably one of the most fascinating leaders in history, he is immersed in contradictions: a virtual dictator who continued to act on behalf of the plebeians and an intellectual who was capable of cruel vengeance. Philip Freeman, a distinguished classicist and brilliantly insightful author, describes Caesar in all his complexity, creating a stunning and engaging work that is destined to be a classic. Philip Freeman, a distinguished classicist and brilliantly insightful author, describes Caesar in all his complexity, creating a stunning and engaging work that is destined to be a classic. “Julius Caesar packed more into his life than most of history’s great men – and Philip Freeman unpacks it all with skill and clarity”. Anthony Everitt, author of Augustus and Cicero. Philip Freeman is the author of five books on classical, Irish and Celtic history and is the Qualley Chair of Classics at Luther College, Iowa and recipient of numerous fellowships in the US and Europe.

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

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Product details

  • Paperback: 405 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ome; Reprint edition (14 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743289544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743289542
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 509,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Freeman is the Orlando W. Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Classical Philology and Celtic Languages and Literatures. He has taught at Boston University and Washington University in St. Louis and lectured at the Smithsonian Institution. His books have been reviewed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other national publications.

Product Description

Review

"Elegant, learned and compulsively readable, Julius Caesar moves from broad sweep to brilliant detail". Barry Strauss - Professor of History and Classics, Cornell University "Julius Caesar packed more into his life than most of history's great men - and Philip Freeman unpacks it all with skill and clarity". Anthony Everitt, author of Augustus and Cicero." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Philip Freeman is the author of five books on classical, Irish and Celtic history and is the Qualley Chair of Classics at Luther College, Iowa and recipient of numerous fellowships in the US and Europe. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars trying to do justice... 10 April 2010
By arbiter
Format:Paperback
...to the packed life of Julius Caesar.

Philip Freeman refreshingly starts right at the beginning. Contrary to other authors who present a rehashed history of the late republic as a framework to their biography - which then starts only on page 30 or even 50 - , Freeman goes in medias res, picking up loose threads of needed background info, like a weaver does, to integrate it into his tapestry.

His style is down to Earth, relatively fast-paced, fluid and readable, although he occasionally takes poetic licence with the established SPO word order. There are no footnotes to interrupt this flow but annotations at the back of the book. Two maps supply the geographical context, although they might have been a little bit more detailed. Eight pages of glossy bw pictures grace the middle of the book. One note to the publishers: the second picture on page 1 is NOT Marius, but Sulla. Thankfully, the cover shows an enlarged picture of the Napoli Caesar, itself a reproduction of the Tusculum head, and not a Vatican/Augustean falsification.

Mr. Freeman displays great knowledge of the primary sources and does not generally succumb to overinterpretation or following other historians' footsteps. Facts of questionable logic or credibility he leaves open, but supplies sane arguments for or against, e.g. Caesar's involvement in the Catilina conspiracy. Only towards the end of the book, when he deals with the honours Caesar allegedly accepted, his research level drops. What he does manage very well is to show the tremendous odds against which Caesar labours to reform the republic, even if he does destroy the rotten body in the process. Also, he highlights Caesar's numerous unorthodox decisions, reminiscent almost of Hannibal: determine the least likely course of action...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good display of contemporary history 14 Feb 2010
By B. Wall
Format:Hardcover
Simply this book looks at the life and times of a great leader , misunderstood by some and understood by others . Freeman encapsulates the period with enormous focus . It doesn't wander off into other topics regarding Roman History but looks at the tragedy formulated around Julius Caesar . In other words it is exactly what is says on the tin - no more , no less . I recommend it for all those trying to understand the complexities of Roman History - a thoroughly good biography on a man that proved the most important of all in the Ancient Roman World .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This man was for real. 10 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
Excellent account of an extraordinary life. Unlike Brad Pitt pretending to be a hero in Hollywood blockbuster, this man was for real. Roman politics were complex, but the author tells the story in an easy to understand style. I found the retelling of the battles which makes the bulk of the book, especially vivid and exciting even though they are almost taken word for word from Caesar's own Gallic Wars. The fact that he was always victorious even in desperate situations illustrate perfectly his genius in war. Althought I found the book a bit light on the personal life of its subject, I'd recommend it for anyone who doesn't know anything about Caesar. It is well-written by someone who is a serious scholar but who knows how to be entertaining as well as informative.
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