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Caesar: A Life in Western Culture Hardcover – August 31, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ms. Wyke's concern is how we have created and adapted Caesar's image and historical importance over the past 2,000 years—from Caesar's camp at Arles to Caesars Palace, Las Vegas; from Mussolini, seeking a Caesarian mandate for his own grand ambitions, to Asterix, using the Roman dictator for satirical purposes in comic-book form; from the Caesar coins minted in tribute by Brutus (before he revised his opinion) to the taunts leveled at George W. Bush as an empire-seeker in recent years."—Peter Stothard, Wall Street Journal
(Peter Stothard Wall Street Journal 2008-08-18)

 “Wyke has gathered together a splendid array of Caesarian traditions, reminiscences, and arguments in Western culture, high and low. . . . The material assembled in Caesar will warm the hearts of many students of the ancient world, with its repeated demonstration that Caesar’s career has made such an impact in so many different media over the last two millennia.”

(Mary Beard New York Review of Books)

"Wyke, a witty and ingenious professor of Latin at University College London, examines the blossoming of the Caesarian reputation in her superb new book. . . .Her account of how writers have used him explains why he's achieved what he most wanted when he was alive: to be acknowledged forever as the greatest Roman.:
(Robert Fulford National Post)

"The author demonstrates how different people at various times have held constrasting viewpoints on a man who continues to fascinate each successive generation. Clearly and engagingly written."
(Choice)

About the Author

Maria Wyke has taught classics at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Reading, and she currently holds the chair of Latin at University College London.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (August 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226921530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226921532
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,882,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Professor of Latin at University College London, my research interests include sexuality, gender and desire in Roman love poetry and the reception of ancient Rome. After some years investigating the place of Julius Caesar in western culture, I am currently pursuing a collaborative research project on Ancient Civilizations in Silent Cinema.

My research profile can be found on the UCL website at www.ucl.ac.uk/classics/


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Nethery on October 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is filled with erudition, but it's also a cinch to read. Wyke is quite simply a remarkable writer. She offers not only the life story of Julius Caesar, but also the story of how he has fared as a historical and cultural figure from his own time to today. There are so many things in this book that even expert Caesarians will find fresh and new. I can't say enough good things about this smart, enjoyable book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bonnie_blu on December 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book surveys western culture from Caesar's time to the 21st century and shows how Caesar's life has been used through numerous time periods and by many cultures to promote various political and/or spiritual agendas. Two very strong conclusions can be drawn from Wyke's investigation: 1) Caesar was without a doubt an extraordinary person gifted with a plethora of talents and great intelligence; thus, the continued attraction and relevance of his life more than 2000 years after his death, and 2) political/cultural/religious entities and movements will continue to co-opt the rich details of his life to promote their own agendas. Recently there has been a renewed effort to discover the "real" Caesar; however, this may be an impossible task unless additional sources are discovered. Therefore, Caesar's life will continue to be malleable.
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