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The Landmark Julius Caesar: The Complete…
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The Landmark Julius Caesar: The Complete Works (2017)

by Julius Caesar

Other authors: Cynthia Damon (Introduction), Aulus Hirtius (Contributor), Kurt A. Raaflaub (Editor), Robert B. Strassler (Series Editor)

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1662116,706 (4.71)2
"The Landmark Julius Caesar is the definitive edition of the complete works of Julius Caesar, offering an unprecedented view into the life and career of one of the greatest statesmen and military commanders in the ancient world. Between 58 and 50 B.C., Caesar led his army to twice invade Britain and conquer most of the land that is now France, Belgium, and Switzerland. The Gallic War, Caesar's firsthand account of his campaigns, offers a record of his travels and insights into military strategy. It also served another purpose: to present the Roman public with a portrait of Caesar as a compelling, effective leader, which would be a key part of his public image as he fought off his rivals for control of the empire. The Civil War is Caesar's subsequent chronicle of his struggle to rule, from his crossing of the Rubicon in 49 B.C. through the death of his chief rival, Pompey, and the ongoing efforts of Pompey's heirs and followers to remove Caesar from power. Accompanying Caesar's commentaries are three essential additional works, The Alexandrian War, The African War, and The Spanish War, which together provide a comprehensive picture of the far-reaching military conquests that would concentrate unparalleled power and influence in the hands of the Roman dictator. With elegant new translations by Kurt A. Raaflaub, this volume includes detailed annotations, appendices, color maps, and illustrations to place the narratives in their historical and political context. Lively, accessible, and assembled with rigorous scholarship, The Landmark Julius Caesar is an indispensable resource for history buffs and fans of the classics"--… (more)

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Until I purchased this book I had never attempted to read the works of Julius Caesar. And after reading this I'm glad that I waited until now to do so, as I doubt that I would have found them as accessible and comprehensible as Kurt Raaflaub makes them in this translation.

The first step is the essay-length biography that serves as the Introduction to the book. In it, Raaflaub gives readers an overview of Caesar's life that is worth reading even for those already familiar with it, as in it Raaflaub provides a helpful context for the books that follow. These he presents in chronological order, starting with Caesar's Gallic Wars and concluding with the Spanish Wars. As Raaflaub explains, the inclusion of the later books in what is termed the "Corpus Caesarianum" represents something of a fudge, as their authorship is increasingly distant from Caesar, with only a few portions of the Alexandrian War based on Caesar's own drafts and the African War and the Spanish War written entirely by other authors, both of whom were likely officers who served in those campaigns. Yet the value of even the later works as firsthand accounts of Caesar's campaigns is enormous, justifying their inclusion here.

It is Raaflaub's labors with the translation, though, that make this book such a worthwhile read. Unfamiliar as I am with Caesar's writings, I cannot comment on the quality of the translation from the original Latin or how it compares to the English-language translations undertaken by other scholars. For me the value lay in Raaflaub's extensive footnotes and the supplementary materials he provides. The notes helped provide a modern explanation for the various Roman concepts and names mentioned in the text, while the maps and images provide further context and definition. Best of all, their inclusion within the text itself, with the notes at the bottom of the pages and the maps next to the relevant passages, saves readers from laboriously paging back and forth through the book for them. Together they make Raaflaub's edition an incredibly useful edition of Caesar's works, one that makes his classic account of his campaigns accessible to readers today. ( )
  MacDad | Mar 27, 2020 |
When I was a freshman at highschool, school officials for some reason decided that all of us must take French. I hated French and I rebelled. Our teacher, Mrs Lippisch (a kindly German lady whose husband brought her over from the old country) for some reason decided that I should not be expelled from school just because I refused to endure French. So she gave me a paperback, English translation of Caesar's "de Bello Gallico."

I took the book home and started reading and I've never recovered from the experience. To this day I maintain that de Bello Gallico is the greatest thing ever written by anyone and that Julius Caesar was and remains the greatest man who ever lived. Now Landmark has published this marvelous compilation of Caesar's works I can read and enjoy everything the man wrote. I'm gonna take a bath in Caesar.

Surely those remarks will raise some hoohaa from a million bookworms. I don't care. My conviction is an honest one, honestly come by, and is proof against all argument to the contrary because my conviction in this matter isn't rational. The rest of the world has my permission to live with it, because it's never going to change and I'm not running for President, so what I believe should rightly make no difference to anyone.

I'm just some jerk who loves "de Bello Gallico". If you read "de Bello Gallico" and decide you like it too, we might start a club. . . . ( )
  NathanielPoe | Feb 20, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Caesar, Juliusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Damon, CynthiaIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hirtius, AulusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Raaflaub, Kurt A.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Strassler, Robert B.Series Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To our very, very patient wives,
Deborah D. Boedeker
Toni W. Strassler
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Gaius Julius Caesar was born on July 13 in the year 100 (BCE) in the age of what is often called the Roman Revolution.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This particular volume is unique to the Landmark Series and should not be combined with other versions of Caesar's complete works.
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