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The Landmark Julius Caesar: The Complete Works: Gallic War, Civil War, Alexandrian War, African War, and Spanish War

The Landmark Julius Caesar: The Complete Works: Gallic War, Civil War, Alexandrian War, African War, and Spanish War

The Landmark Julius Caesar: The Complete Works: Gallic War, Civil War, Alexandrian War, African War, and Spanish War

The Landmark Julius Caesar: The Complete Works: Gallic War, Civil War, Alexandrian War, African War, and Spanish War


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The Landmark Julius Caesar is the definitive edition of the five works that chronicle the mil­itary campaigns of Julius Caesar. Together, these five narratives present a comprehensive picture of military and political developments leading to the collapse of the Roman republic and the advent of the Roman Empire.
The Gallic War is Caesar’s own account of his two invasions of Britain and of conquering most of what is today France, Belgium, and Switzerland. The Civil War describes the conflict in the following year which, after the death of his chief rival, Pompey, and the defeat of Pompey’s heirs and supporters, resulted in Caesar’s emergence as the sole power in Rome. Accompanying Caesar’s own commentaries are three short but essential additional works, known to us as the Alexandrian War, the African War, and the Spanish War. These were written by three unknown authors who were clearly eyewitnesses and probably Roman officers.
Caesar’s clear and direct prose provides a riveting depiction of ancient warfare and, not incidentally, a persuasive portrait for the Roman people (and for us) of Caesar himself as a brilliant, moderate, and effec­tive leader—an image that was key to his final success.
Kurt A. Raaflaub’s masterful translation skillfully brings out the clarity and elegance of Caesar’s style, and this, together with such Landmark features as maps, detailed annotations, appendices, and illustrations, will provide every reader from lay person to scholar with a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

(With 2-color text, maps, and illustrations throughout; web essays available at

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307455444
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Series: Landmark Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 896
Sales rank: 101,567
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

KURT A. RAAFLAUB completed his Ph.D. in Switzerland, served eight years as co-director of the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., and is now professor emeritus of classics and history at Brown University. His main fields of study are the social and political history of the Roman republic; the social, political, and intellectual history of archaic and classical Greece; and comparative history of the ancient world.

ROBERT B. STRASSLER is an unaffiliated scholar who holds an honorary Doctorate of Humanities and Letters from Bard College and is chairman of the Aston Magna Foundation for Music and the Humanities. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Read an Excerpt


Gaul, if you take all of it into account, is divided into three regions.The Belgae live in one, the Aquitani in the second, and in the third a people called Celts in their own language but Gauls in ours.[2] These three peoples are all different from one another in their languages, institutions, and laws. The Garumna River separates the Aquitani from the Gauls, and the Matrona and Sequana Rivers separate the Gauls from the Belgae.[3] Of all these groups, the most warlike are the Belgae, because they are the farthest from the civilized sophistication of the Province;merchants come to them least often with imports that foster an effeminate disposition;they are also the closest to the Germans living across the Rhine River, and they are constantly at war with them. [4] This is, moreover, the reason the Helvetiisurpass all the Gauls except the Belgae in bravery: they struggle with the Germans in almost daily battles, either trying to keep them out of their own country or else actually waging war in the Germans’ territory.
[5] [The region that, as stated above, the Gauls occupy starts at the Rhône River, and its other boundaries are the Garumna River, the Atlantic Ocean, and the territory of the Belgae. One part of it, where the Sequani and the Helvetii are found, touches the Rhine River. But its general direction is to the north. [6] The Belgae are found starting from the farthest borders of the Gauls, and then all of the way to the lower part of the Rhine, in a region verging toward the north and east.[7] Aquitania goes from the Garumna River to the Pyrenees Mountains and the part of the Atlantic Ocean next to Spain.It stretches northwest from the Province.]
[1] Among the Helvetii, by far the most noble and wealthy person was Orgetorix.In the consulship of Marcus Messalla and Marcus Piso, he was tempted by desire for kingship to conspire with the aristocracy, and he persuaded his nation to leave their own territory with all their forces.[2] He told them that, because they excelled above all others in bravery, it would be very easy to take over the whole of Gaul and rule it.[3] What helped to persuade them was that the Helvetii are closed in on all sides by natural boundaries. On one side is the Rhine River, extremely wide and deep, which divides the Helvetian territories from the Germans. On another side is the Jura, a very high mountain range between the Sequani and the Helvetii. Separating them from our Province on the third side are Lake Lemannus and the Rhône River.[4] This situation limited their ability to move far and wide and hampered them in attacking their neighbors. This galled them enormously, since they were a people keen to wage war. [5] In proportion to their large population and the glory they had acquired through war and brave fighting, they thought their territory was too limited, since it was only 240 miles long and 180 wide.
[1] Influenced by these factors and enticed by the prestige of Orgetorix, they decided to prepare all they needed for setting out. That meant buying up as many draft animals and wagons as they could, sowing crops as widely as possible—so that the supply of grain would last during the journey—and establishing peace and friendship with the nations closest to them.[2] To carry out these plans, they thought two years would be sufficient, and they committed themselves by a formal decree to setting out in the third year.[3] Orgetorix was chosen [to complete these tasks].[4] He took on the assignment of going as an emissary to the neighboring peoples. During this mission he persuaded Casticus—whose father, Catamantaloedes, had held the kingship over the Sequanifor many years and had been given the title Friend of the Roman People by the Senate—to take over his nation’s kingship, which had belonged to his father.[5] Orgetorix likewise persuaded Dumnorix of the Aedui, the brother of Diviciacus (who at the time held a position of leadership in his state and was hugely popular with the common people), to try the same, and gave him his daughter in marriage.[6] Orgetorix made a convincing case to these men that such plans could be realized very easily, because he himself was about to take over the rule of his own state. [7] There was no doubt, he stated, that the Helvetii were the most powerful people in the whole of Gaul; he would use his own resources and his army to help consolidate their control of their kingship. [8] This speech induced them to pledge loyalty to each other and bind themselves by oath. They hoped that once they had seized their kingship, they could establish control over Gaul in its entirety through their three most powerful and staunch nations.
[1] An informer made this known to the Helvetii, who, according to their custom, forced Orgetorix to stand trial in chains. Had he been convicted, his punishment would inevitably have been to be burned alive.[2] On the day set for the case to be heard, Orgetorix summoned to the place of judgment all his slaves and freedmen from everywhere, amounting to ten thousand people. In addition, he had a great number of clients and persons indebted to him, and he assembled them at the same place. He then used this crowd to escape from having to defend himself at trial. [3] The nation was roused by all this to enforce its rights with arms, but while officials were collecting a large band of men from the countryside, Orgetorix died. [4] There was a certain suspicion, according to what the Helvetii believe, that he killed himself.
[1] After Orgetorix’ death, the Helvetii did not give up their efforts to realize their intention to migrate from their country.[2] When they thought they were ready to go, they set fire to all their towns, around twelve of them, as well as their roughly four hundred villages, and all their other private buildings; [3] furthermore, they burned up all the grain beyond what they were going to carry with them—all this in order to eliminate any hope of returning home, so that they would be more fully committed to undergo all dangers;finally, they ordered every person to take with him three months’ worth of already-groundup rations from his home.[4] They persuaded their neighbors, the Rauraci, the Tulingi, and the Latobrigi, to adopt the same plan, burn down their towns and villages and emigrate with them. Also, they welcomed in their territory and adopted as their allies the Boii, who had settled across the Rhine but then crossed over into the territory of Noricum and attacked the town of Noreia.
[1] There were, in all, only two suitable routes by which they could leave their home territory. The route through the territory of the Sequani, between the Jura mountain range and the Rhône River, was narrow and difficult. Wagons in single file could scarcely be driven along it. Worse, an extremely high mountain range looms above it, so that a tiny force could easily prevent their advance.[2] The other route was through our Province, and there they could travel much faster and more easily; the course of the Rhône forms the border between the Helvetii and the Allobroges, who had recently been pacified, and in some places it is shallow enough to ford it. [3] Genavais the most remote town of the Allobroges, and the closest to the Helvetian borders. From this town, a bridge extends over the river to Helvetian territory. The Helvetii thought that they could persuade—or else force—the Allobroges, who did not yet appear to be well-disposed to the Roman people, to let them pass through their territory.
[4] When everything was ready for setting out, they named a day for the whole expedition to gather on the bank of the Rhône. This was March 28, during the consulship of Lucius Piso and Aulus Gabinius.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Preface by Kurt A. Raaflaub xiii
Series Editor’s Preface by Robert B. Strassler xvii
Introduction: Caesar’s Life and Works by Cynthia Damon and Kurt A. Raaflaub xxiii
Summary by Book and Chapter lxv
Key to Maps and Diagrams xcii
TWO 49
FOUR 107
FIVE 131
SIX 171
EIGHT by Aulus Hirtius 269
NINE* 307
TEN 369
ALEXANDRIAN WAR by Unknown Author 1
AFRICAN WAR by Unknown Author 2
SPANISH WAR by Unknown Author 3
APPENDIX A Who’s Who in Caesar
John T. Ramsey, University of Illinois at Chicago 639
APPENDIX B Roman Currency and Units of Measurement
Bryan Brinkman, Loyola Marymount University 665
APPENDIX C Roman Calendars, Dates, and Time
Christopher S. Mackay, University of Alberta 668
APPENDIX D The Roman Military
Christopher S. Mackay, University of Alberta 672
Ancient Authors 677
Glossary 685
Bibliography 695
Figure Credits 709
Index 711
Reference Maps and Directory 791
The Internet has made it possible for us to include in our project essays on many more aspects of the corpus of Caesar’s works. They are freely accessible at
Caesar In His Time
E: Caesar, Man of Letters
Debra L. Nousek, University of Western Ontario
F: Caesar the Politician
Martin Jehne, Technische Universität Dresden
G: Caesar and Pompey
Dominic Machado, Wake Forest University
H: The Legacy of Rome’s Wars
Kurt A. Raaflaub, Brown University
I: The Fall of the Republic
Judy E. Gaughan, Colorado State University, Pueblo
J: The Legitimacy of Caesar’s Wars
Eric S. Gruen, University of California, Berkeley
Caesar’s World
K: Gaul in Caesar’s Time
Olivier Büchsenschütz, CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure
L: Oppida: Towns in Caesar’s World
Ian Ralston, University of Edinburgh
M: Romans, Germans, and Germania
Phyllis M. Carroll, University of Sheffield
N: Caesar on Britain
Tom Moore, Durham University
O: The Mediterranean State System
Arthur M. Eckstein, University of Maryland
P: Late Republican Provincial Administration
Nathan Rosenstein, Ohio State University
War In Caesar’s Time
Q: The Roman Army Camp
Duncan Campbell, University of Glasgow
R: The Rules of War
Josh Levithan, Independent Scholar
S: Military Engineering and Sieges
Duncan Campbell, University of Glasgow
T: The Economics of War
Nathan Rosenstein, Ohio State University
U: The Commercialization of War
Clare Rowan, University of Warwick
V: Military Logistics
Nathan Rosenstein, Ohio State University
W: War and Geographical Knowledge
Richard J. A. Talbert, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
X: Caesar the General and Leader
Lukas De Blois, Radboud University, Nijmegen
Y: Civil War Strategies
Arthur M. Eckstein, University of Maryland
Z: Patterns of Roman Land Warfare
Jonathan P. Roth, San José State University
AA: Caesar at Sea
Nicolle Hirschfeld, Trinity University
BB: The Chronology of Caesar’s Campaigns
Kurt A. Raaflaub, Brown University
John T. Ramsey, University of Illinois at Chicago
Literary Aspects ofCaesar’s Commentaries
CC: The Roman Commentarius and Caesar’s Commentaries
Kurt A. Raaflaub, Brown University
DD: Caesar the Historian
Christopher B. Krebs, Stanford University
EE: Caesar’s Portrait of “Caesar”
Keith Fairbank, Brown University
FF: Caesar the Ethnographer
Hester Schadee, University of Exeter
GG: The Gallic War as a Work of Literature
Debra L. Nousek, University of Western Ontario
HH: The Gallic War as a Work of Propaganda
Alexa Jervis, Buckley School, New York
II: The Literary Art of the Civil War
Luca Grillo, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
JJ: The Civil War as a Work of Propaganda
Kurt A. Raaflaub, Brown University
KK: The Cultural Legacy of Caesar’s Commentaries
Debra L. Nousek, University of Western Ontario
LL: The Origins of the Corpus of Caesar’s Works
Jan-Felix Gaertner, University of Cologne
MM: The Non-Caesarian War Books
Jan-Felix Gaertner, University of Cologne
NN: Editing Caesar
Cynthia Damon, University of Pennsylvania
OO: After Caesar
Hester Schadee, University of Exeter
PP: Caesar’s Invasions of Britain
Duncan B. Campbell, University of Glasgow
QQ: The Siege of Alesia
Duncan B. Campbell, University of Glasgow
Defining Episodes in Caesar’s Campaigns
RR: The Conquest of Uxellodunum
Kurt A. Raaflaub, Brown University
SS: Trench Warfare at Dyrrachium
Duncan B. Campbell, University of Glasgow
TT: From Defeat at Dyrrachium to Victory at Pharsalus
Gregory S. Bucher, University of Maryland
UU: Alexandria
Kurt A. Raaflaub, Brown University

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