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The Conquest of Gaul
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140444335, Paperback)Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres... It is, perhaps, the most famous opening line of any memoir in Western civilization. What Caesar and the Romans called "Gaul," although we usually think of it as France, also comprised Belgium, the German lands west of the Rhine, southern Holland, and much of Switzerland. This is the only military campaign of the ancient world for which we have a chronicle written by the general who conducted it, and Julius Caesar is an insightful historian, with a keen eye for detail, as in this scene from the repulsion of the forces of the German king Ariovistus:
Caesar placed each of his five generals ahead of a legion and detailed his quaestor to command the remaining legion, so that every soldier might know that there was a high officer in a position to observe the courage with which he conducted himself, and then led the right wing first into action, because he had noticed that the enemy's line was weakest on that side.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:32 -0400)
The only chronicle by an ancient general of his own campaigns, this historical treasure is also a work of profound literary merit. Julius Caesar's fascinating account of his conquests offers a trove of priceless details about the cultures of Gaul, Germany, and Britain during the First century B.C.-and of the great man himself. Despite his extensive background in politics, Caesar expresses himself without hiding behind rhetoric, in an uncluttered, factual style. Vigorous, direct, and eloquent, his accounts resemble memoirs or historical outlines rather than a formal histories. His notes on cultural matters, although secondary to his attention to military affairs, offer the era's most complete picture of the settings and personalities among Celtic and German tribes. This excellent translation offers several helpful features.
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
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