The Gallic Wars, the series of campaigns waged by Julius Caesar on behalf of the Roman Senate between 58-50 BC, were among the defining conflicts of the Roman era. Not only was the expansion of the Republic's domains unprecedented (especially when considering it was undertaken under the auspices of a single general), it had a profound cultural impact on Rome itself as well. The Roman Republic, so dynamic in the wake of the destruction of their ancient enemy, Carthage, had recently suffered a series of dramatic upheavals; from the great slave rebellion of Spartacus to the brutal and bloody struggle for power of Marius and Sulla. Rome had been shaken to its very core, and a victory was essential both to replenish the dwindling national coffers and to instill in the people a sense of civic pride and a certainty in the supremacy of the Republic.
Caesar's successful campaigns in Gaul have become the stuff of military legend, in part because he had the foresight to document them himself. Caesar himself wrote a famous firsthand account of the Gallic Wars, apparently from notes he had kept during the campaigns, and he wrote Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentaries on the Gallic War) in the third person. Caesar's account described the campaigning and the battles, all as part of a propaganda campaign to win the popularity of the Roman people. As a result, he left out inconvenient facts, including how much of a fortune he made plundering, but the work still remains popular today, and it is still used to teach Latin.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors
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I usually find such historical accounts a trial to absorb but this narrative was fantastic and full of interesting points that I thoroughly enjoyed it and will listen to it yet again. A real pleasure!
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