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The Gallic War (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – October 27, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Dover Ed edition (October 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486451070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486451077
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By sad-Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you have bought a Loeb Classic before you already know that they are well manufactured books that are meant to last. In addition, the major feature of the series is that the original text appears in the original language on one page, across from the translation on the facing page - with a few exceptions.**

**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.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Octavius on March 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although there are many translations of Caesar's Gallic War, Loeb is unique in providing the reader with not only the translation, but the original Latin text on the accompanying page. Loeb also provides translations from some of the best scholars in classical studies. As for the text itself, it is a priceless insight into the life of one of the world's greatest statesmen and military leaders.

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.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kristopher Fisk on April 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Julius Caesar's dramatic commentary on the Gallic campaigns is an extremely riveting account of a man whose brilliance has yet to be eclipsed by any other political or military leader. As a work of military history, Ceasars campaign style combines exciting strategic and tactical views that led him and his legions to excel in pivotal battles against armies 2 and 3 times thier size. In addition, Ceaser shows his diplomatic knack, with detailed descriptions of his negotiations with the Gallic leaders. A read which is well worth it, in either the original Latin or as a translation.
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41 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Guillermo Maynez on February 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Just imagine that in this book you can read the account of the Gallic wars told by the hero of them. Yes, an egocentric and arrogant hero, but who among us feels able to accomplish what he did? This book is an example of rigorous writing, of military genius, of courage and will. First, Caesar quenches the revolt of the Helvetians (in today's Switzerland). Then, the German Ariovistus invades Gaul and is defeated by Caesar. Next year, Caesar defeats the Belgians. The third year, Caesar goes to sea to fight a maritime battle against the Vanesians, and then pacifies Aquitaine, in today's Northern France. In the winter, he crosses the Rhin and defeats the Suavians. And then he accomplishes a prowess: he crosses the English Channel to fight the Britons. Hey, a Roman conquering England? That is adventure.
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?
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