By Andrew M. Riggsby
A person who has even a passing acquaintance with Latin understands "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres" ("All Gaul is split into 3 parts"), the outlet line of "De Bello Gallico", Julius Caesar's recognized remark on his campaigns opposed to the Gauls within the 50s BC. yet what did Caesar intend to complete via writing and publishing his commentaries, how did he pass approximately it, and what almost certainly unexpected effects did his writing have? those are the questions that Andrew Riggsby pursues during this clean interpretation of 1 of the masterworks of Latin prose. Riggsby makes use of modern literary how you can study the ancient impression that the commentaries had at the Roman interpreting public. within the first a part of his examine, Riggsby considers how Caesar outlined Roman id and its courting to non-Roman others. He exhibits how Caesar opens up a potential imaginative and prescient of the political destiny during which the excellence among Roman and non-Roman turns into less significant as a result of their joint submission to a Caesar-like chief. within the moment half, Riggsby analyzes Caesar's political self-fashioning and the aptitude results of his writing and publishing the Gallic battle. He unearths how Caesar offers himself as a subtly new type of Roman normal who merits credits not just for his personal virtues, yet for these of his squaddies in addition. Riggsby makes use of case stories of key themes (spatial illustration, ethnography, virtus and know-how, style, and the simply war), augmented through extra man made discussions that herald proof from different Roman and Greek texts, to supply a large photo of the subjects of nationwide id and Caesar's self-presentation.
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Extra resources for Caesar in Gaul and Rome: War in Words
As a result, the utility of narratives is constrained (though never absolutely) by factors other than coherence with other narratives. indb 19 4/19/06 1:29:52 PM 20 caesar in gaul and rome to the point he claims to be making. ” 74 This leaves little left of the distinction between the history “of representations” and the history of anything else. The point here is not, of course, to condemn any particular traditional historical practice (and certainly not to do so categorically); historians are good at telling stories that meet their shared needs, and there is no generalized reason to stop doing so now.
As dictator in 49, Caesar arranged for the enfranchisement of the former province of Cisalpine Gaul, and in 45 he granted “Latin” status, sort of a partial Roman citizenship, to many communities in Transalpine Gaul. 31 It is not unreasonable to see some sort of connection here. This passage may constitute early propagandizing for the Romanization of southern Gaul (especially if it were written after the war), or it might simply reflect a preconception that Caesar held about these areas that generated both his style of description and his legislation.
The defeat of one set of enemies gives rise to war with new ones that Rome had not previously realized she had. Nor does Cicero stop to claim that a second and novel threat had arisen (though presumably most of the ethnic arguments he makes are as valid here as anywhere). The new, unknown tribes seem to be a danger mainly by virtue of being next in line. ” Thus not only is absorption guaranteed to be a sufficient solution to the Gallic problem (inside is safe), it is the necessary one (outside is dangerous).