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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling!
As a great fan of Caesar, I loved this. It's surprisingly enthralling once you get into it, but takes a bit of work to start, especially if you're not familiar with the setting and political background.

Originally written as a series of despatches to the Senate back in Rome, it is undoubtedly propaganda created by Caesar to justify his own conquests, and make...
Published on 18 Aug 2006 by Roman Clodia

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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Large Pinch of Salt
What strikes the reader in particular about Caesar's long report about his war in Gaul is the lack of any great detail with regard to Gaulish opposition. Two of the most powerful Celtic tribes, the Belgae and the Nervii, are described as very brave, and one is led to believe that things are heading for a major showdown between them and the Romans. Yet it all kind of...
Published on 27 Aug 2010 by Thormod Morrisson


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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Large Pinch of Salt, 27 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Conquest of Gaul (Classics) (Paperback)
What strikes the reader in particular about Caesar's long report about his war in Gaul is the lack of any great detail with regard to Gaulish opposition. Two of the most powerful Celtic tribes, the Belgae and the Nervii, are described as very brave, and one is led to believe that things are heading for a major showdown between them and the Romans. Yet it all kind of fizzles out in an anticlimax. Caesar's campaign in Gaul is often represented as a walk-over, yet the fact that it took him nine years strongly suggests that the Celtic Gauls put up far greater resistance than Caesar would have us believe. Gaul was not a cluster of mud huts filled with primitive people, but a sophisticated culture with large cities, including ancient Paris and Lyon. Caesar was heavily in debt and Gaul was rich. Caesar's memoir raises far more questions than it answers. Sadly we only have Caesar's word, yet how far can that be trusted when he lied to the very Senate over the reasons for invading Gaul in the first place?
Gaul was a free land being illegally invaded by a ruthless opportunist carrying out Roman imperial expansion (or theft on a grand scale). Dumnorix, one of the most influential Gauls, declares loudly (before Caesar has him killed) that he is a free man and the subject of a free state. If Britain or America was faced today with such a warlike invasion its citizens are likely to declare the same kind of thing. Hitler is rightly viewed as a monster responsible for the deaths of millions, yet Caesar is hailed these days as a hero, even though he also was responsible for the deaths of millions, including women and children. This book remains an attempt at justifying his actions to a Senate with whom he was far from popular. Vercingetorix, king of the Gauls, and the worthy opponent who defeated Caesar several times before finally surrendering in a grand manner, according to Plutarch, on his sumptuously adorned horse. Caesar's version of the surrender plays this down in his book. Vercingetorix was kept captive for five years before being paraded as part of Caesar's triumph. Caesar then had him strangled in his cell, hardly a noble or heroic act, and a monumental insult to a Celtic warrior king, who would have expected the honourable death of decapitation, according to age old custom.
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2 of 65 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Taedet me huius libris...I think, 6 Aug 2006
This review is from: The Conquest of Gaul (Classics) (Paperback)
Gallia est in partes divisa tris. Well I'd shred this tome into far more parts than that! Caesar is a uniquely boring writer with a knack for making the most exciting battles into an excruciating protracted yawn. Forsan et haec olim meminesse juvabit! I don't think so.
Dabit deus his quoque finem! but that was Vergil of course.
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The Conquest of Gaul (Classics)
The Conquest of Gaul (Classics) by Julius Caesar (Paperback - 9 Dec 1982)
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