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Caesar Against Rome is an absorbing narrative of the four-year Roman Civil War that began with Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon in 49 BCE. Focusing always on Caesar, the book sketches a panorama of Roman society—the first society to display the ambition, greed, and intrigue of modern politics—in the last century before Christ. Caesar was a complex and contradictory figure, extraordinarily talented and extremely ambitious, but at the same time vain, careless, and inclined to be forgiving. While Caesar's unusual ...
Caesar Against Rome is an absorbing narrative of the four-year Roman Civil War that began with Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon in 49 BCE. Focusing always on Caesar, the book sketches a panorama of Roman society—the first society to display the ambition, greed, and intrigue of modern politics—in the last century before Christ. Caesar was a complex and contradictory figure, extraordinarily talented and extremely ambitious, but at the same time vain, careless, and inclined to be forgiving. While Caesar's unusual clementia was a major factor in winning popular support, soldiers, and towns to his side, it allowed virtually all enemy leaders to return to the battlefield against him.
Supplemented by the writings of other ancient historians as well as the latest research, this book is based primarily on Caesar's own detailed Commentaries, written to explain and justify his military campaigns. Those interested in Roman history will find a wealth of information about every aspect of life in the late Roman Republic, including political issues, class divisions, marriage customs, travel, food, and entertainment. Military historians will discover details about every facet of Roman warfare from weaponry to personnel policy, to tactics, operations, and logistics. Single chapters are devoted to each campaign: Greece, Africa, Spain, and Egypt.
|Maps and Figures|
|Pt. 1||The Rise of Caesar||1|
|Prologue: Three Men||3|
|I||Sulla Against Caesar||7|
|II||Rome and Its Neighbors||15|
|III||Pompey and Cicero Conquer Rome||25|
|IV||The Road to Gaul and Back||43|
|Pt. 2||Caesar and Pompey||63|
|V||Across the Rubicon||65|
|VI||The First Spanish Campaign||81|
|VII||The Siege of Massilia||99|
|VIII||Curio in Africa||115|
|IX||The Campaign in Macedonia||129|
|X||The Battle of Pharsalus||147|
|Pt. 3||Caesar and Cleopatra||165|
|XI||The Alexandrian War||167|
|XII||Veni, Vidi, Vici||187|
|XIII||The Last Campaign||205|
|XIV||The Ides of March||223|
|Index of Persons||269|
Posted September 24, 2010
The book Caesar Against Rome by Ramon Jimenez is an interesting read, although it is riddled with inaccuracies and haphazard tangents from the topic of the chapter at hand. The book's focus is on the Roman Civil War, and on the events that both preceded and followed it. There is a very large amount of information covering all three of these times, although the sheer volume of "before and after" material can distract from the main point of the book. Often times during reading, I would follow the story very well, but then wonder to myself what the significance of what I was reading was to the Roman Civil War. While the information is all in some way connected to the war, it is often a long, drawn out connection that consequently bears little importance. The book could be greatly improved upon by removing some of these unnecessary tangents, and filling out the bland, yet important, facts with a sense of storytelling rather than a historical narrative. I bring this up because although this book would be a very good introduction to the topic of the Roman Civil War, it does not cover it with enough accuracy and depth to be a solid educational tool. However, if you are a person interested in history, but only concerned with a broad coverage of a specific topic, then this book would be an excellent one for you. The book does a good job of "blanketing" the topic, which, as stated before, can appeal to some readers. Furthermore, the information is presented in a simple manner, making it easier and more palatable than reading a textbook. Subjects are introduced with some flow from the previous topic, and the side-tracking away from the topic occasionally leads to a morsel of intriguing information about Caesar's life or political philosophies. In all, I would give this book 2.5 stars out of 5. It has the makings of a good book, but it seems unrefined at times and could use work. A decent novel for the casual reader, provided that the reader already has some interest in Rome and Caesar. Otherwise, the book never really "pulled" me into the history of the time.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 7, 2007
I tried to like this book, I really did. There were multiple errors throughout the book in the facts that were presented. Caeser was presented as a loner in his family though he had many relatives and there were several other innaccuracies like the 'fact' that Rome had already fallen before Caesar had even come to power. What? Okay if you want to read for entertainment purposes but do not do your history report with it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2004
The author has no credentials in classical studies, history, or anthropology. The book itself is plagued with factual errors and false conclusions (as demonstrated by the previous reviewer) demonstrating poor research and editing. The book offers nothing more than broad and oversimplified summaries of Roman society and politics. For example, in the first chapter of the book, the author fails to provide even a brief concise overview of the Social Wars or how its aftermath affected Sulla's politics and those of his opponents: as a result, the reader also gets a poor overview of the events and politics that influenced Caesar's later political career. These types of generalizations are rampant in this book as well as the author's other book, 'Caesar Against The Celts.' The book fails to analyze the broad context of the Roman Republic or explain to the reader the significance of events and persons that influenced Caesar and ultimately led to the Civil War. For these reasons, this book is fundamentally unreliable as an authoritative text. Read Syme, Gruen, Millar, Gibbons, Grant, Munzer, Ward, or other respected scholars who know what they're talking about if you wish to learn more about Rome. Don't waste your time, money, or your quest for a concise historical analysis by reading this misleading work.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2001
Looking for a good modern study of the Gallic campaigns, I picked up a copy of this book. Unfortunately, the author seems to have little, if no, advanced knowledge of the subject matter. The first sentence of chapter 1 claims that Caesar was 'the last male in one of Rome's ancient patrician families'. This is nonsense from several points of view, notably that it is factually wrong. There were other Caesars, uncles and cousins to the future dictator. On page two, we have Hannibal being defeated in the 'last' of the three Punic Wars (it was the Second). The elementary errors just go on and on and are found on every page. By page 26, I just could not take it anymore, and am now looking to dump this. This is nothing but a rehash of Caesar's Gallic War with truckloads of basic historical errors thrown in. Wait until a real historian decides to attack the subject.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.