Caesar's Civil War (Oxford Approaches to Classical by William W. Batstone, Cynthia Damon

By William W. Batstone, Cynthia Damon

Caesar's Civil battle, the tale of the general's contest with the Pompeian occasion via nineteen months of civil conflict, is an unfinished masterpiece. the writer deserted it while he discovered himself residing in a distinct global than that which observed its graduation. The narrative ends after Pompey's dying, amidst the preliminaries to the Alexandrian struggle that initiated the subsequent section of the struggle for primacy of Rome. The paintings exhibits the brilliance for which Caesar's oratory, like his generalship, was once recognized: it used to be a political judgment, now not a literary one, that relegated the Civil battle to the dossier drawer. the first issues lined during this introductory ebook are the universal history of Caesar's commentarii or notebooks; his collection of fabric; the modern context of the civil struggle; the literary ideas that hold the tale; and the work's characterization and constitution. basic aids to the reader comprise maps to accompany the actual narrative occasions mentioned, a timeline of Caesar's existence and the civil conflict, causes of technical phrases of Roman background, and a bit on Roman names and renowned individuals of Caesar's time.

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1). There are a couple of details worth noting here. ” He then offered some political background that takes us back to 61. That is, the annalistic form that is so often mentioned in reference to Caesar’s commentaries is already compromised at the outset of the work for a larger historical, ethnographical, and political purpose. ” Then, when he comes to events of the year 58, the ostensible subject of Gallic War 1, he does not begin in annalistic fashion with the beginning of the year, but rather with his departure from Rome and arrival in Geneva.

The quintessential Roman virtue was pietas, a term that referred to a man’s obligations and devotion to country, gods, and family. As the avenger of Cassius and of national injuries, Caesar displays his devotion to Rome; as protector of history and participant in the plan of the gods, he displays his devotion to and alignment with the paternal deities; and as avenger of Lucius Piso, he exercises his devotion to family. From early in Gallic War 1 on, the coincidence of Caesar’s interests and power with the interests and power of Rome and her values is implicit everywhere.

In such a rhetorical situation, it is the human stories of the losers and the moral pressures of civil war that are of interest, not the step-by-step achievement of military success. Caesar’s account itself has more in it than military achievements. For example, Caesar, too, mentions suicide threats at Corfinium, though without Plutarch’s fairy-tale elements. 1–6). 6). The commander Domitius may well be included in the “some people,” but Caesar does not say so, nor does Choices: Genre, Content, Style | 17 he venture beyond a euphemism for suicide (“unduly harsh plans about their lives”).

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