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Caesar Resources (June 2013)


Caesar  Annotated Bibliography, intended for teachers, from the Society for Classical Studies: 

Caesar's Campaigns in Gaul, from the Athena Review vol. 1 no. 4:

The Coinage of Julius Caesar: The Gallic Wars, from Maquarie University in Australia:

Julius Caesar's Art of War, maps to accompany BG Books 1-7, made using Google Earth by Antonio Salinas:

Older Books Freely Available

L. Sauveur, Talks with Caesar: De Bello Gallico. 2nd ed. revised. New York: Henry Holt, 1878. BG 1.1-20 recast as colloquia, with questions and answers (evidently intended to be memorized).

E.G. Sihler, A Complete Lexicon of the Latinity of Caesar’s Gallic War (Boston: Ginn & Co. 1891), 188 pp..

Latin Texts

O. Seel, C. Iulii Caesaris Commentarii, Vol. 1, Bellum Gallicum (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1961). This is the text reproduced in PHI:

A. Klotz, C. Iulii Caesaris Commentarii, Vol. 1. Commentarii Belli Gallici (4th ed.  Leipzig: Teubner, 1952) Vol. 2, Commentarii Belli Civilis (1950).

R. Du Pontet, C. Iuli Caesaris Commentariorum Libri VII De Bello Gallico cum A. Hirti Supplemento (Oxford: OUP, 1900). C. Iuli Caesaris Commentariorum Libri III De Bello Civili (Oxford: OUP, 1900). The Oxford Classical Texts.

B. Dinter, C. Iuli Caesaris Commentarii cum A. Hirti Aliorumque Supplementis (Leipzig: Teubner, 1886). Includes all of Caesar’s works, and the continuators, extant fragments of his letters, etc. along with a life of C. in Latin, Latin summaries (argumenta) for each book, and a massive index.  


Carolyn Hammond, Caesar: The Gallic War (Oxford World Classics) (Oxford: OUP, 1996). Translation, a few notes, a glossary, and a bibliography much better than that in the Penguin. Includes Hirtius, BG 8.

J.M. Carter, Julius Caesar: The Civil War, with the Anonymous Alexandrian, African, and Spanish Wars (Oxford World Classics) (Oxford: OUP, 1997). 0199540624. Outstanding translation, intro., notes, and very full glossary, maps, biblio.

J.M. Carter, Julius Caesar: The Civil War: Books I&II  (Warminster: Aris & Philips, 1991) 0856684627. Julius Caesar: The Civil War: Book III (Warminster: Aris & Philips, 1993) 0856685836. Improved text, excellent translation, superb historical and interpretive notes. 

Modern Historians

Kate Gilliver, Caesar's Gallic Wars, 58-50 BC (Essential Histories series) (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2002). Brief, inexpensive, reliable, excellent pictures, maps, and illustrations.

Adrian Goldsworthy, Caesar's Civil War, 49-44 BC (Essential Histories series) (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2002). Brief, inexpensive, reliable, excellent pictures, maps, and illustrations.

Adrian Goldsworthy, Caesar: Life of a Colossus (New Haven: Yale, 2006).

Matthias Gelzer, Caesar: Politician and Statesman, trans. Peter Needham (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1968; 6th German ed. 1959). Fundamental, and virtually a history of the period. Full listing of ancient sources in the footnotes.


Benario, Herbert W. Caesar’s Gallic War: A Commentary. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2012. Pp. x + 103. Paper, $19.95. ISBN 978-0-8061-4252-4.

Breindel, Ruth. Caesar AP Selections. Forthcoming from CANEPress, see

Laurén, Giles. Caesar’s Commentaries. The Complete Gallic Wars. N.p.: Sophron, 2012. 534 pp. $19.95. ISBN 978-0985081119. A revision of Francis Kelsey’s edition of 1918.

Mueller, Hans-Friedrich. Caesar: Selections from his Commentarii De Bello Gallico. Text, Notes, Vocabulary. Mundelein, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2012. Pp. xli + 372. Paper, $37.00. ISBN 978-0-86515-752-0.

Perry, David, A Call to Conquest: Readings from Caesar’s Gallic Wars. Prentice Hall, 2012. $53.45. ISBN 978-0133205213.

Steadmann, Geoffrey. College Caesar: Latin Text with Facing Vocabulary and Commentary. N.p.: Geoffrey Steadman, 2011. 120 pp. $9.95. ISBN 978-0984306572.

Tatum, W. Jeffrey. A Caesar reader: selections from Bellum Gallicum and Bellum civile, and from Caesar's letters, speeches, and poetry. BC Latin readers. Mundelein, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers Inc., 2011. xl, 206 p. $19.00 (pb). ISBN 9780865166967.

Caesar's Style:

P.T. Eden, “Caesar’s Style: Inheritance versus Intelligence,” Glotta 40 (1962) 74-117. The classic description of the nuts and bolts of Caesar’s prose style, with copious examples. The plainness is a conscious choice, with roots in annalistic histories like those of Claudius Quadrigarius and Calpurnius Piso: they share a preference for accurate and literal words over poetic and invented; non-avoidance of repetitions; parataxis with lots of resumptive pronouns and adverbs; repeated antecedents for relative pronouns; unemotive word order. But later in BG and especially in BC Caesar evolves a more ornate and emotional version of this style as he becomes more emotionally involved with the events: instances of anaphora, chiasmus, tricola, direct speech, and sententiae all increase, and word order becomes more expressive. The overall goal of the style is to convey an impression of truthiness, in contrast to what Pompey was doing with inflated literary accounts of his deeds in the East written by hangers-on.

Michael Von Albrecht, "Caesar," in von Albrecht, Masters of Roman Prose: From Cato to Apuleius. Interpretive Studies. trans. Neil Adkin (Leeds: Francis Cairns, 1989, German orig. 1979), pp. 54–67. In Caesar's plain style there is both candor ("the most effective form of propaganda is the truth" [66]; C. does not gloss over his failures) and a pose (the "'higher truth' of self-presentation" [67] and small alterations that bring out the meaning of events). 

H.C. Gotoff, “Towards a Practical Criticism of Caesar’s Prose Style,” Illinois Classical Studies 9 (1984) 1–18. Caesar’s style is closer to that of Cicero and Livy than Eden allows. Note the use of hyperbaton, subordination using participles, and some elaborate periodic structures. This is true even in the earlier books, as can be seen in BG 2.27.

Mark F. Williams, “Caesar’s Bibracte Narrative and the Aims of Caesarian Style,” Illinois Classical Studies 10 (1985) 215–226. Defense of the subtlety and sophistication of BG’s early books, using the example of BG 1.23ff. Caesar’s style is the “culmination of the old annalistic genre,” not second rate Cicero and Livy.

Anne Mahoney, “Reading Caesar with Petrarch: A Study in Style,” The Classical Outlook 89.3 (Spring 2012), 65–70. Comparison of the Latin of BG with accounts of the same events in Petrarch’s De gestis Caesaris (post 1345) helps us to recognize Caesar’s distinctive voice. Two of the passages analyzed are on the AP syllabus (4.25–26  landing in Britain; 5.30-31 Sabinus + Cotta).

J. E. Lendon, "The Rhetoric of Combat: Greek Military Theory and Roman Culture in Julius Caesar's Battle Descriptions," Classical Antiquity 18 (1999) 273-329. Many features of Caesar's battle narratives stem not merely from a desire to promote himself but to assert his ideas on war craft against the background of Greek theory. His battle narratives show his belief in the importance of psychological factors in battle, not just tactics, as in much of the Greek tradition. Problems in the topographical reporting of battles derive from Caesar's desire to make clear, not the terrain itself, but the interplay of terrain, morale, courage, and generalship. The Roman ethic of virtus forms a distinctive element in Caesar's battle narratives, in contrast to the Greek tradition. 

Harry Sidebottom, "Winter Quarters: Exploring Battle and Leadership," in Sidebottom, Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 99-111. Detailed and perceptive analysis of the episodes of Sabinus and Cotta and Cicero in BG 5. Caesar's account shows that equipment matters, but that it is morale and generalship that determines success or failure. Much of the account fits the conventional template of noisy, irreligious  barbarians vs. disciplined and collectively courageous Romans, yet here and there the Romans behave like barbarians, and the Gauls have as much virtus as the Romans. Caesar's assessment of Sabinus and Cotta in 5.33 shows that good generalship is not a historical constant, but culturally determined.

Andrew M. Riggsby, Caesar in Gaul and Rome: War in Words (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006). A subtle and sophisticated treatment of just about every aspect of the BG, including a fine reading of the first paragraph of BG 1 (pp. 28–32), lots on ethnography, and a fascinating discussion of virtus in the BG (pp. 83–105). Virtus is the mental toughness to do what is required; the Germans acquire it through individual exercise in confrontation with nature and with enemies; Romans acquire it in groups through experience and by submission to authority in difficult circumstances. “Caesar locates a tension within the nature of virtus: resisting outside forces (like the enemy) versus resisting internal ones (like the urge to rush into battle too soon)” (90). C. makes virtus largely a function of obedience to himself, and this may have a broader lesson: “If submission to Caesar could be manly in war, why not in peace?” (105).

Christopher B. Krebs, “’Imaginary Geography’ in Caesar’s Bellum Gallicum,” American Journal of Philology 127 (2006) 111–136. Unlike Pliny, Tacitus and others, C. does not mention any other boundary for Germany besides the Rhine, giving the impression that it is boundless, thus justifying his inaction there. The predominant concept of space in Gaul and Britain is "strategic," a space in which one travels and acts; in Germany it is "geographic" space, not space in which one acts but which one struggles to fathom. C. portrays himself going into Germany as a bold explorer of terra incognita like Alexander and Pompey, but, unlike Darius in Scythia (Herodotus 4.46-7), he is circumspect and cautious enough not to risk his soldier’s lives.

Hester Schadee, “Caesar’s Construction of Northern Europe: Inquiry, Contact and Corruption in De Bello Gallico,” Classical Quarterly 58 (2008) 158–180. The Gauls are portrayed as more civilized than the Germans, hence a more appropriate addition to the empire than the unknowable forests of Germany. Ethnographic information is connected with C.’s imperialist projects and military aims. Caesar’s picture of Germania suggests that it is unknowable, incorruptible and therefore unconquerable.  In the British expeditions C. emphasizes his obtaining of information. 

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