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Julius Caesar: The Colossus of Rome

Overview

Julius Caesar offers a lively, engaging, and thoroughly up-to-date account of Caesar's life and times. Richard Billows' dynamic and fast paced narrative offers an imaginative recounting of actions and events, providing the ideal introduction to Julius Caesar for general readers and students of classics and ancient history.

The book is not just a biography of Caesar, but an historical account and explanation of the decline and fall of the Roman Republican governing system, in ...

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Julius Caesar: The Colossus of Rome

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Overview

Julius Caesar offers a lively, engaging, and thoroughly up-to-date account of Caesar's life and times. Richard Billows' dynamic and fast paced narrative offers an imaginative recounting of actions and events, providing the ideal introduction to Julius Caesar for general readers and students of classics and ancient history.

The book is not just a biography of Caesar, but an historical account and explanation of the decline and fall of the Roman Republican governing system, in which Caesar played a crucial part. To understand Caesar's life and role, it is necessary to grasp the political,
social and economic problems Rome was grappling with, and the deep divisions within Roman society that came from them. Caesar has been seen variously as a mere opportunist, a power-hungry autocrat, an arrogant aristocrat disdaining rivals, a traditional Roman noble politician who stumbled into civil war and autocracy thanks to being misunderstood by his rivals, and even as the ideal man and pattern of all virtues. Richard A. Billows argues that such portrayals fail to consider the universal testimony of our ancient sources that Roman political life was divided in Caesar's time into two great political tendencies, called "optimates" and "populares" in the sources, of which Caesar came to be the leader of one: the "popularis" faction.

Billows suggests that it is only when we see Caesar as the leader of a great political and social movement,
that had been struggling with its rival movement for decades and had been several times violently repressed in the course of that struggle, that we can understand how and why Caesar came to fight and win a civil war, and bring the traditional governing system of Rome to an end.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415333146
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/30/2009
  • Series: Roman Imperial Biographies Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations and maps

Prologue 1

I Rome and Italy in the Second Century BCE 3

II Caesar's Childhood: the Social War and the Sullan Civil War 27

III Caesar's Early Manhood: the Rise of Pompeius 56

IV Roman Politics in the 60s 78

V The Long Year 59 BCE 111

VI The Conquest of Gaul 130

VII Roman Politics in the 50s 166

VIII Caesar's Place in Roman Literature and Culture 192

IX The Civil Wars against Pompeius and the Optirnates 205

X Caesar the Dictator 236

Epilogue 259

Notes 263

Appendix Roman Magistracies after Sulla 286

List of Cicero's writings 289

Select bibliography 291

Index 299

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