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The Conquest of Gaul (Penguin Classics) Paperback – February 24, 1983
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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.
Text: English, Latin (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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What is overall surprising is that the Gauls are so technologically advanced. In one case they undermine a Roman garrison as they are "familiar with underground works."
On the whole though, the book appears as a self serving political tool. Caesar writes about killing a whopping number of Gauls in between harvesting grain, marching around, and building camps.
Unlike The Wars of the Jews-where siege engines are the main weapon, in Gaul the Roman Infantry and their swords win the day in open plain maneuver.
A great glimpse into the political, economic, and military aspects of ancient North-West Europe.