The Conquest of Gaul (Classics) Paperback – 9 Dec 1982
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About the Author
Gaius Julius Caesar was born in 100 BC into an ancient patrician family. Much of his life was spent on military campaigns, & he returned to govern Rome as dictator. His dictatorship was declared perpetual in 44 BC, but his many bitter enemies hatched a conspiracy & assasinated him later that year. S. Handford translated a number of authors for Penguin, including Sallust and Aesop.
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Top Customer Reviews
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 back in Rome.
Starting with his departure from Rome in 58bc 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.
The Penguin volume is excellent, with an easy, free-flowing translations, an introduction outlining the background, a glossary of people and terms, and maps of Gaul. Altogether, a bargain.
Then there are the details. What stick out in my mind are individual tales of bravery as well as foolishness, rendered in detail as vivid as a novel, and the ever-present possibility of failure or even disaster from which Caesar always manages to pull victory at the decisive moment; of course, there are the many instances of brutality in a time of different standards of military conduct. Then there is the siege of Alesia. To protect his troops and starve out the enemy (and the charismatic Gaul, Vercingetorix), Caesar at Alesia had in a matter of days not only to build a surrounding rampart facing in, but also one facing outwards (14 miles in curcumference!), to ward off the last-stand of the bravest of the Gauls.Read more ›
Now we come to the fascinating contrasts with Tacitus's "Histories" for example. Somehow, in the intervening time between the conquests of Caesar and the year of the four emperors, about 100 years, much had changed. Not only in the style of writing itself but in the way both Roman and foreign society was envisaged in Roman eyes. Nowhere except in a very few occasions did Caesar mention that his men needed encouragement for the fight, or lacked bravery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
not the copy represented here, older and rather dishevelled.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Very well written account of the holocaust inflicted on Gaul Caesar doesn't waste a word and shows an inquisitive side in his comments on the customs of his enemies history at its... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Georgia
One of the most readable books I have purchased this year, full of interesting anecdotes and clever military analysis. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Joe Stockley
Real boys own stuff, you can feel the history and the significance oozing from every page, brilliant.Published 21 months ago by J. N. Stuart