Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter: The War Commentaries as Political Instruments

Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter: The War Commentaries as Political Instruments


Edited by Dr Kathryn Welch, Edited by Dr Anton Powell, Contributions by Jonathan Barlow, Contributions by Research Fellow Adrian Goldsworthy, Contributions by Lindsay G H Hall, Contributions by Barbara Levick

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  • Publisher: Classical Press of Wales
  • Format: Paperback | 225 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 229mm x 18mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Swansea
  • ISBN 10: 1905125283
  • ISBN 13: 9781905125289
  • Sales rank: 1,099,273

Product description

The writings of Julius Caesar have beguiled by their apparent simplicity. Generations of readers have been encouraged to see them as a limpid record of positive achievement. The contributors to this volume demonstrate that the appearance of simplicity is achieved by devious and accomplished art. In nine original studies, focussing mainly on the Gallic War, the contributors trace systems of justification and omission, of measured praise and subtle criticism, which served to promote Caesar and to leave Roman enemies empty-handed. It is shown that Caesar's writing has an ingenuity of description which might seduce the casual Roman sceptic, and an artfulness of focus which now recalls the cinematographic. Even the notorious regularity of Caesar's syntax and his economy of vocabulary are revealed as pointed elements of a political manifesto. Far from being a plain and traditional record of warfare, Caesar's Commentaries are here shown to illuminate the political thinking of a man on his way to reshaping the world.

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Author information

Kathryn Welch is a specialist on the Late Republic she has published numerous articles in learned journals. Anton Powell is author of Athens and Sparta. He has edited several collective works including Roman Poetry and Propaganda in the Age of Augustus.