One of the most daring and brilliant generals of all time, Julius Caesar combined the elements of tactical genius with the shrewdness of a master politician. He was an astute judge of men's character - their strengths and weaknesses. Whenever possible, he exercised restraint and mercy even when his worst enemies were in his power. But he also knew when and how to mete out stern punishment and his swift retaliations became a hallmark of his career. With his charismatic leadership, his powerful intellect and his magnetic personal charm, Julius Caesar became the idol of men and women everywhere. The fanatic loyalty of his troops and the adulation of the Roman public propelled him to the pinnacle of power. Historian Will Durant called him "the most complete man that antiquity produced."
Follow along in this recording as Julius Caesar in 50 B.C. undertakes the awesome enterprise of subduing savage Gaul, an area roughly the size of Texas. That task was barely completed before his enemies in Rome struck, igniting the bloody Civil War that engulfed most of the Roman Empire and afterward left Caesar in supreme power.
(P)2009 Audio Connoisseur
I'm building an interest in ancient history (purely as an amateur) and downloaded this with some dread as many of the early works can have dense translations. This is a great version of the Commentaries. I found it very entertaining and, months later, still recall passages and events all the time. Mr. Griffin's voice works very well with this material and he can make the occasional dense passage understandable.
I've had this book for over a year and have probably listened to it end to end 3 times. Caesar was an incredibly lucid writer... and a crafty one. If you're paying attention you can see all the places where he's pulling a fast one. Griffin is perfect.
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
Commentarii de Bello Gallico:
While listening to the Commentaries, I kept jumping back and forth between my Loeb Classics version of The Gallic War and my Penguin Classics version of The Conquest of Gaul (wishing that Landmark would publish their version). Reading/listening to Caesar makes me want to go back and learn Latin (the Loeb Classics keep seductively singing to me of the benefits of a Latin education). Anyway, I only meant to start the The Conquest of Gaul today, but the compelling narrative of Caesar's Gallic War (the record of his battles against Vercingetorix and the other chieftains) was just too damn compelling.
It is hard to underestimate the importance of JC (no not THAT JC) in terms of military strategy, political acumen, propagandistic spin, and his shrewd combination of prudent warfare and bold action. There are certain men who get caught up in history and certain men who make history and Caesar, even without his spin, sits pretty near the top of the heap with those other Übermensch who make history.
Commentarii de Bello Civili:
War is hell obviously, but a civil war is a unique form of Hades (a Haidēs of many shaidēs?). The sides are more amorphous, permeable, ambiguous. There is a reluctance to kill a soldier that last year you considered a friend or a brother. While war often requires thinking beyond strategy and tactics, a civil war pushes those skills to the extreme. How do you limit the blood lust of your soldiers when they are confronting a group that might easily be conveyed into a future asset? How do you break an opponent's spirit without destroying the enemy or turning them into an enemy? How do you maintain a paid army's loyalty without pay? How do you keep your friends from deserting you after a devastating loss? Now, do all of this while still not alienating those fickle friends in Rome.
Caesars Commentaries are one of the best reads, well listens, I have ever experienced.
As usual Charlton Griffin was an amazingly interesting narrator.
I have always wanted to read this work and never had the time. I downloaded and was not disappointed. The narration is superb and Caesar comes to life 2,000 years after his death. This is a must read.
His narration is superb! Makes the book come to life.
I listen to approximately 40 hours of audio books a month. I love audio books.
I've listened to this book twice. Actually there are some chapters I've listened to over and over again. Julius Caesar is my favorite historical person. I enjoy reading anything about Caesar so long as it's historically accurate. So reading The Commentaries just doesn't get any better for me. Caesar is a fantastic author and a brilliant general. I think he was the ultimate polymath. My favorite chapter is when Caesar and 10 hand pick troopers as he refers to them meet with Ariovistus and 10 of his body guards. Fascinating encounter and incredible collision of power. This book is my all time favorite and to think it was written over 2000 years ago and is still so relevant in this day and age. Just incredible!!
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. —Wayne Gretzky
Listening to this book is better than watching the Gladiator because it really happened. On top of that allows us to know some of what happened in the life of one of the persons who shaped our modern world.
Maybe Ceasar changed some facts to make himself appear more heroic to his peers but who wouldn't?
There is no history to match that of the man who was not only there but planned and lived this critical part of Roman history. It helps you understand the logistics of these wars if you have a map of Gaul and France but it is entertaining, even without, to follow this outstanding general, politician and writer as he shapes the world we now live in.
This is a great book you get a great view of Gauis Julius Caesar and his campaigns in Gaul and in the Civil War. Obviously this is written by and for Caesar so it is propaganda but it is still very informative and interesting.
I enjoyed the history and feelings revealed in the works. I disliked the obvious slant toward Caesar's vanity. History is written by the victors.
Yes, a book that explains exactly what was real and what was made up. Did Caesar really win or had the people been no real challenge?
Essential history reading.
"Classic of mispronunciation"
I bought this audiobook recently and am absolutely appalled at the mispronunciation of so much of the text by Charlton Griffin. I would be fascinated to know whether English is his first language or whether any audio proof reading was conducted on the recording. It is incoceivable that a professional reader could pronounce ordinary English words so badly.
Apart from the dreadful stressing of words like "forest" which is spokes as "four-est", there are glaring and disconcerting mistakes that leave the listener trying to make sense of the text.
Some examples are
"dogged pursuit" as in "dog-ed" is pronounced "dog'd"
"draught of men" as in "draft", pronounced "drout"
Americanism such as "missile" as in "miss'ile" pronounced "mizzle" and many more
"redoubt" pronounced "read-out"
Pronunciation of French place names in many cases are just not capable of understanding, such as the rivers "Aisne" which comes as "eye-ne" as opposed to "ayne" or "Saone" appearing as "sain" as opposed to "sa-own"
And dozens more of which perhaps the most amusing is the confusion of "route" and "rout", both pronounced "rout".
I wish I had not bought it and would advise readers to look for a better narrator.
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