Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Up dated translation, 12 Jun. 2011
As Dr. Hammond has said, every generation needs a new translation. This translation fits that bill perfectly. Previous editions in the popular mainstream were not really the best of translations. Some re-arranged the order of the books to assist in maintaining the thread of the progress of the narrative. Some styles of translation made the resulting English somewhat garbled and archaic. Hammond has returned Caesar's narrative to a more original construction.

The language has been modernised, but we retain 'cohorts' and 'legions' - some translations use,battalions and regiments etc., The flavour of a stern, dry authoritarian style has been preserved. The text is well served by maps - very helpful - and the the introduction and notes are excellent with use of the latest research at that time.

Of course these ancient texts are not to be read as histories - they say more about the authors than anything, but this translation is capable of adding colour and i would see it serving as the popular translation for this generation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Commentaries, 19 Mar. 2010
By 
This is Caesar's own account (written in the third person) of his conquests in Gaul. This of course means that the account is less than reliable in parts. Nevertheless it still remains a key account of the events of that time. It was intended as a factual base for other more florid historians to write their accounts. In the end, few contemporary historians tried as the "Commentaries" stood so well on their own.

The style is direct and told without emotion so might not be to the tastes of those who like to "feel" their history. However it still stands today as the primary source for these events so it's well worth a read.

One negative point for me was the amount of annotations; although very useful for a book like this the sheer number tended to distract a little from the story at times.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, 12 July 2012
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
As a great fan of Caesar, I love 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 sly digs at his enemies in Rome.

Starting with his departure from Rome in 58 BCE after his consulship, this takes in the battles against the rebellion under Vercongetorix as well as the abortive first invasion of Britain.

It might not be to everyone's taste, but I think Caesar's an elegant and lucid writer who uses understatement as a style factor. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Best classical military history, 21 April 2014
By 
reader 451 - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Caesar's Gallic Wars is almost pure military history, relating the conquest of Gaul by the Romans in the 50s BC, the subsequent revolts, and their repression. It is a brutal tale and, while it has its heroic moments, is not for the faint-hearted. But it is also noteworthy for its accessibility and readability. Caesar may have written two thousand years ago, and he may have been a military man addressing a public well versed in the contemporary art of war, yet his account remains completely intelligible to the modern lay reader. His battle accounts are far clearer than those of many a classical Greek writer. This is partly a question of the book's direct, unadorned style. But it is also because so much irrelevant detail is stripped out. Greek writers were interested in what corps from what city faced what other corps on what wing. Caesar just gives use the legions, the barbarians, and the gore.

Embedded in the military narrative is some ethnographical detail about the Gauls, Britons, and Germans. Though the Gallic Wars is not a single source, it certainly was a propaganda account, however, and it is hard to tell what to trust. Caesar writes that druids practiced human sacrifice, for example. This sounds likely true, but it is also reeks of stigmatisation. (Nor does the otherwise excellent introduction explain. If anyone knows of archaeological evidence on that, please feel free to post a comment.) The Gauls' motivations are sometimes difficult to understand - one suspects Caesar is less keen to tell us that their constant rebellions were not so much due to pride as to despair at Roman raping, pillaging, enslaving, and military requisitioning to the point of famine. Among other matters I found of both interest and surprise is the contemporary role of Germanic auxiliaries, and the presence of German tribes in Gaul already at the time. And I finally understood why Vercingetorix chose to surrender at Alesia, something which had never made sense to me. But no spoilers: the Gallic Wars must be read as the captivating story it remains.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars The Mighty Caesar Walks This Way, 9 Oct. 2012
For reasons that sport a certain cloudiness I prefer The Civil War to this. This book sure has the same pellucid and terse style that characterises Caesar's writing and I so love the way he refers to himself in the third person. But unlike the familiar characters in The Civil War (like Pompey, Cicero etc) who the hell are the Allobroges, the Belgae or the Ruteni? Given this is only one of two books we have by the great man (and killer) it deserves to be read for the history and for an insight into the savagery that has been Europe's story from when the gods decided to topple Old King Time, Cronos.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A great insight into history, 16 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fascinating to hear the voice of Caesar from across the ages.
I was looking to see what he thought and how he gained the upper hand during his campaigns.

Would not like to meet the Roman army head to head!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Oppidum, 13 Oct. 2010
As every schoolboy knows, it was Caesar's taking his armies across the Rubicon river into Italy that precipitated the Civil War. My favourite passage from the Commentaries was actually written by Hirtius, one of Caesar's generals, who added the final chapters after Caesar's death. He explains it thus: "After the stay in winter quarters was over Caesar, contrary to his usual practice, went to Italy, proceeding by forced marches, to make a personal canvass of the towns and colonies whose support he had solicited for his quaestor, Mark Antony, in his candidacy for the priesthood."

Forced marches, eh? Even Josef Goebbels, the spinmeister of the Third Reich, never came up with rationalisations for Hitler's conquests that were quite as screwball as that. But it does serve as a warning to us to read this fascinating narrative with caution. Caesar was a more subtle bender of truths than Hirtius, but his motives for bending them were a lot stronger. Historical distance shouldn't blind us to the fact that the conquest of Gaul was quite a horror story. Plutarch says a million men died; some modern authorities think it might be three times as many. And all for the glorification of Gaius Julius. He is surely the ultimate "unreliable narrator", but his is the only narrative we have. Read it, but never forget that there is probably a lie on every page.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caesar's blog, 18 Feb. 2010
By 
Cicero "johop" (Fort William, Scotland) - See all my reviews
"My account of how I saved Rome from the terrible Gauls by C. Julius Caesar". Spin was not invented in the 21st century, Caesar did a great job as his own spin doctor, these are a translation of his published "memoirs" from his campaigns in Gaul, written carefully to appeal to the Roman audience, but not so exaggerated that they could be decried as rubbish. Very interesting read, providing insight into the Roman viewpoint of the Gallic Wars. Interesting and informative Classical history, Julius Caesar and the Roman Republic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and informative, 15 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good revision of history
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 Oct. 2014
Essential reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Gallic War: Seven Commentaries on the Gallic War (World's Classics)
Used & New from: £0.03
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews