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The Gallic War (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – October 27, 2006
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About the Author
The late J.L. Whiteley was headmaster of East Ham Grammar School and a prolific editor of Latin texts for schools.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
**Exception example: with the works of the poet Catullus you will find all the steamy good parts are in Latin on both pages.
Another feature of the series is that the translators are generally top notch.
That said, let's talk about Julius' tome. Extremely fun to read and in general of significant importance not only as it pertains to Rome - it's politics, military agenda, etc. -- but in respect to understanding who was doing what in the provinces.
As a fan of barbarians everywhere, but particular of those tall woad-blue fellows, I can say this work is critical, although there are assuredly some historians that would debate Caesar's accuracy.
As to the translation, Prof. Edwards departs from the modern tradition (or they depart from him) by using third person, just as Caesar did. Most modern scholars have converted to first person, but this hardly matters unless you have a fear of formal, proper English. For this is precisely what you will find in this book. No modern cadences here.
Besides a fine translation, inside this book there are maps and sketchings that include that wonderful bridge that was constructed over the Rhine, as well as the gallic wall construction, roman seige appliances and a very valuable campaign map.
I don't know about you but I find the campaign map a God-send.Read more ›
Caesar's third person account covers his campaigns in Gaul, Germania, and Britannia (modern Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany, and England) from 58-50 B.C. Most modern scholars agree that the works were probably dictated by Caesar and written down by one or more of his subordinates. It is important to understand that Caesar's Commentaries were rhetorical and had a political agenda. Caesar often dictated the development of his campaigns to be dispatched to Rome so that it could be propagated by his political supporters. This was done because Caesar's extraordinary command in Gaul was always subject to being terminated by his opponents, whereby he could face criminal prosecution upon his return. By the public circulation of these propagandist bulletins, Caesar sought to obtain support in the Senate or in the Forum with the people to both avoid Rome's political pitfalls and subjugate Gaul at the same time while getting filthy rich in the process.
Caesar is extremely detailed as to his tactics and strategies. He presents his information in a brief and concise way without sophistry. Caesar provides his rationale for his strategies and his evaluation of the enemy's potential. Caesar gives a detailed account of movements, sieges, river crossings, and his mastery of logistics.Read more ›
But not everything goes smoothly for the Roman armies. In an ambush, the Gaul Ambiorix (is that where Asterix comes from?) devastates the armies of the Romans Sabinus and Triturius. This sparks a revolt by other Gaulians, who set siege to the Roman general's Quintus Cicero's fortress. But Caesar comes to the rescue and they win. Other battles ensue, but the last campaign is the most famous: Vercingetorix, a Gaulian leader, revolts and manages to put the Romans in great trouble, since his revolt has plenty of followers all over Gaul. After defeating Vercingetorix, Caesar has to placate all the Gaul, in a series of hard battles. Seeminlgy not tired after eight years in Western Europe, Caesar then returns to Italy and starts the Civil War.
The greatness of this book is that it takes you by the hand to some of the most important battles in History. Yes, they are far from us, but they shaped the Roman Empire and thus, our very own civilization. There is no substitute for the story being told by the main protagonist, strategist and conductor of it. It is many things: a crucial History book, good literature, and exciting adventure. What else can a reader ask for?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good choice for anyone wanting to know about Caesar and the Gallic War...I do recommend...works well for quick study.Published 6 days ago by desertgal
For those of us who studied Latin, Caesar was essential. I thought I was getting the version with both Latin and English. Disappointing.Published 3 months ago by michael p kern
Very quick delivery of an item that arrived exactly as described.Published 7 months ago by M.B. Myer
This is an eminently readable book which is perhaps one of the most useful and reliable sources for the Late Roman Republic (with its companion The Civil War). Read morePublished 7 months ago by James Kenney
Very interesting and informative. A view into Caesar's mind. Translation is easy to understand. Pedantic in the amount of detail, but an insight of his mind and intelligence.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
great book but the places and people from those time are a mystery to me so it is hard to follow the events and where they take place.Published 8 months ago by Bill in Florida