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The War Commentaries of Caesar (Meridian Classics) ebook

by Julius Caesar

Translated by W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn. Book 5. Chapter 1. Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius being consuls, Caesar, when departing from his winter quarters into Italy, as he had been accustomed to do yearly, commands the lieutenants whom he appointed over the legions to take care that during the winter as many ships as possible should be built, and the old repaired

Gaius Julius Caesar was born in 100BC into an ancient patrician family

Gaius Julius Caesar was born in 100BC into an ancient patrician family. He was imprisoned for a time with his familly, for protesting against the then leadership of Sulla, but advanced slowly through the sixties rising to the rank of praetor and forming the 'first triumvirate' with Pompey and Crassus. Elected consul in 59BC, he then became Governor for Transalpine Gaul. After the death of Crassus and the defeat of Pompey in 45BC, Caesar returned to Rome as dictator. He was assassinated in March 44BC

ISBN 13: 9780452008502.

Various events in the war between Caesar and the Helvetii. The Helvetii, being worsted, offer a surrender, but some clandestinely return home. The numbers of the several Helvetian forces before and after the wa. XXX. Certain parts of Gaul congratulate Caesar and request a council. When Caesar was informed by spies that the Helvetii had already conveyed three parts of their forces across that river, but that the fourth part was left behind on this side of the Saone, he set out from the camp with three legions during the third watch, and came up with that division which had not yet crossed the river.

Book 8 was written by Aulus Hirtius, after Caesar's death.

In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting local armies in Gaul that opposed Roman domination. The "Gaul" that Caesar refers to is sometimes all of Gaul except for the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis (modern day Provence), encompassing the rest of modern France, Belgium and some of Switzerland. Book 8 was written by Aulus Hirtius, after Caesar's death.

Contents: The Gallic Wars, Book 1 through Book 8; The Civil War, Book 1 through Book 3. Get A Copy. Online Stores ▾. Audible Barnes & Noble Walmart eBooks Apple Books Google Play Abebooks Book Depository Alibris Indigo Better World Books IndieBound.

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More by Julius Caesar,W. McDevitte (Translator),W. Complete Works of Julius Caesar (Delphi Classics).

Julius Caesar of his war against Gnaeus Pompeius and the Senate. It covers the events of 49–48 BC, from shortly before Caesar's invasion of Italy to Pompey's defeat at the Battle of Pharsalus and flight to Egypt with Caesar in pursuit. It closes with Pompey assassinated, Caesar attempting to mediate rival claims to the Egyptian throne, and the beginning of the Alexandrian War. Impression.

As I write this there is only one other review, and it is excellent. I could not possibly improve on it so I won't even try. Instead, I will approach it from an emotional, and I suppose female point of view.
This is not merely an entertaining book. These are the personal (straight from his brain cells), commentaries of one of the greatest generals, indeed one of the greatest men who ever lived. His genius, his integrity, his charm and personal magnatism were far beyond his time. He changed the course of history and would have accomplished much more had he not been brutally murdered by jealous, selfish, small-minded little men who could not bear to live in the shadow of his greatness.
I am so grateful that I have been privileged to read the very thoughts from the mind of someone who lived over 2000 years ago, the incomperable Gaius Julius Caesar.
Always wanted a copy of this. I had this in a "Classics Illustrated" edition when I was a kid. I enjoyed it then. I'll enjoy reading it now in retirement!!
Great book.
Yes.....this was one of my high school Latin study books. I'm so happy to have another copy of it. Thanks so much!
The last time I read Caesar's 'Commentaries' was in High School Latin class many years ago. Struggling with the translation, I lost most of the sense of the story. My compliments to Rex Warner for his excellent interpretation. On the other hand, I would have liked to have seen a discussion about the essential nature of the Commentaries. They are written in the first person which leads to the conclusion that Caesar wrote the words on a day-by-day or at least a week-by-week basis. Is this really true? Did Caesar have the literary ability and, more specifically, did he have the time? Somehow it is difficult to imagine Caesar sitting down every night and scribbling out the details of the day's combat, battle, negotiations...and...duplicity.

Of course, maybe Caesar did pen all these words but didn't write them until months later, in which case he must have had quite a memory for detail. More likely, I believe, is that Caesar used one or more ghost-writers to pen out his battles and strategies in the most favorable light possible. The ghost-writers may have been highly educated slaves, perhaps from Greece. Whoever wrote it, the purpose was quite other than an precise history. The story is propaganda pure and simple. It is designed to promote Caesar to the Roman population. The purpose of such propaganda was to skew public opinion in his favor in order to subvert the Republic and secure personal power. This propaganda was coupled with promises to his legionnaires to give them land carved out of the estates of 'enemy' patricians. It was also coupled with Caesar's spending vast sums of money [stolen from the Gauls; stolen from enemy Patricians and 'borrowed' from doubt, terrified.. noblemen] for the purpose of 'buying' the Roman mob with food and games.

On the other hand, all propaganda isn't necessarily completely false. Caesar was indeed the remarkable general he claims himself to be. Most of his numerous accomplishments can be documented via other sources. Also....although I strongly believe that it unjustifiable to judge ancients by present moral is, at least, interesting to examine Caesar's moral compass. He successively [and quite deliberately] crowds various Gallic tribes. When these frightened people react, Caesar claims they are 'in rebellion.' Time and again he demands that they submit to Roman authority and, when they don't, he slaughters them and/or sells them into slavery...a practice which greatly increases Caesar's wealth. At the end of his Gallic triumph, more than a million Gauls are slaughtered and even more are enslaved. The pitiful remnants are ripe for Roman exploitation and colonization. Yes, it worked, as evidenced by the fact that all 'Gauls' today speak Latin French rather than ancient Celtic. The Gallic language died along with their culture.

Still, some of Caesar's claims can be questioned. He is especially proud when he defeats German tribesman. He claims to subjugate Germans who have migrated to the West of the Rhine. Nevertheless, even today, the Dutch and the Flemish Belgians speak variants of German. Apparently Caesar didn't subjugate them with nearly the same success that he subjugated the Gauls. Caesar also claims to have intimidated Germans east of the Rhine by a remarkable engineering fete. His legions build a bridge across the Rhine to get at the 'rebellious' Germans. Once accomplished, his legions pursue the now...supposedly...terrified Germans deep into the forest. Stating that he has now 'taught them a lesson', he retreats and demolishes his bridge.

Hmmmmm? Let me tender another explanation. Caesar crosses the Rhine while the Germans retreat deeper and deeper into the forest. Caesar burns a few hamlets. At some point Caesar realizes that he is being suckered. The Germans are trying to pull Caesar's as far from supplies as possible, get them strung out in impenetrable forests and fens and strike them on ground of the Germans' own choosing. Ridiculous? Hardly. This is almost exactly the same tactic that Arminius [Hermann] used in the Tuteburg Forest against Augustus legions forty years later. Three legions were totally annihilated which saved central and northern Germany from Roman conquest, occupation and linguistic transformation. It eventually led to Germanic triumph against Rome several hundred years, later.

Caesar's destruction of his own considerable bridge helps make the point. Why not garrison the bridge and use it as a jump-off point for the eventual conquest of Germany? Probably because Caesar was in full retreat. He wished to eliminate the chance of a pursuit.
I recently reread Julius Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic Wars (this time in English), some forty years after first encountering it in Latin. It was a worthwhile exercise in two ways. First, when I read the Commentaries in high school, I was primarily (solely?) concerned with producing a translation that would earn me a passing grade. The content was of only minor interest. Second, having read a bit more Roman history in the last few years, I was able to view Caesar's commentaries in the context of his political career, his contemporaries, allies and opponents, and the events leading to the end of the Roman Republic. (For a great summary of this period, see Tom Holland's book, Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic.)

Upon being appointed governor of the Roman province of Gaul, which consisted of northern Italy and the Mediterranean coast of France, Caesar proceeded to rapidly conquer the rest of Gaul, making all of continental Europe west of the Rhine part of the Roman Empire. He defeated numerous Gallic and Germanic tribes whose armies greatly outnumbered his own legions. How did he do this? Well, if you believe Caesar, who might have been just a bit biased, his devoted legions followed his every command, defeated the Gallic armies, and inspired the Gauls to become his equally devoted subjects. At least, this is what Caesar hoped the Senate and people of Rome would believe after reading his Commentaries. Caesar's political career notwithstanding, his conquest of Gaul was a remarkable accomplishment from which we might learn a few lessons applicable in today's world:

1. Never fight a battle to obtain goals you could achieve by peaceful means. Caesar routinely sought to negotiate with the Gallic tribes, offering them peace and the continued authority of their tribal leaders if they would acknowledge Rome as their overlord. As Roman subjects, they could call on Caesar for protection against enemies and to arbitrate conflicts with other tribes that acknowledged Roman rule.

2. Earn and keep the loyalty of your military officers and men. Caesar's legions were devoted to him in part because he avoided needless battles. Furthermore, he devoted a major part of his attention to ensuring that the legions were adequately supplied with food and arms.

3. Take advantage of technological superiority whenever possible to gain a military advantage over your opponents. Caesar's legions were accomplished engineers as well as soldiers. They could build a bridge over the Rhine enabling them to unexpectedly outflank an enemy force, change the course of a river to deny water to a city under siege, and build ramparts and ditches around their camps to thwart enemy assaults.

4. Outmarch and out maneuver your opponent. This tactic can allow a small force to defeat a much larger force by attacking before the larger force is prepared.

5. Know the geography and topography of the region in which you operate. Caesar had detailed maps of Gaul prepared. From what I read elsewhere, they were not today's two-dimensional portrayals of the land drawn to scale. Rather, they were one-dimensional descriptions of the features along a road. Nonetheless, knowledge of the terrain allowed Caesar to deny his enemies any advantage they might have gained from fighting on their home ground.

6. Know the disposition and strength of the enemy's forces. Caesar used his cavalry to locate and assess enemy strength's and weaknesses.

7. Once you have conquered a region, you need to hold it. Caesar was noted for his generous terms of surrender which were designed to win the allegiance of his former enemies. On the other hand, if an enemy who had surrendered and accepted Roman rule later revolted, Caesar could suppress the revolt brutally, as an example to others.

Many of these same lessons can be found in the campaigns of other military leaders. Stonewall Jackson comes to mind, as do Patton and McArthur.
The War Commentaries of Caesar (Meridian Classics) ebook
Julius Caesar
Ancient Civilizations
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Plume (March 1, 1987)
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