This site was made possible by financial support from the Roberts Fund for Classical Studies at Dickinson College, Dickinson's Research and Development Committee, and the Library of Arizona State University. The project is directed and edited by Chrstopher Francese. Many indivduals have contributed to it, and many older scholars' work, now in the public domain, has been edited and repurposed for inclusion here.
Notes are by various hands, including Julia Gaisser of Bryn Mawr College, and the authors of many older students' editions and commentaries, including Allen and Greenough, Anthon, Harkness, Harper and Tolman, Hodges, T. Rice Holmes, Francis Kelsey, Lowe and Ewing, Spencer, Merryweather and Tancock, Moberly, Stock, Arthur Tappan Walker, and A.S. Walpole (links to source editions are here). Notes were chosen and edited, for the initial 2010 release, by Christopher Francese and Brendan Boston (Dickinson '10). In 2015 JoAnne Miller chose, transcribed, and edited the notes for Book 1.8-54. In the age of big data it might seem attractive to have access to all notes that have ever been written on a particular passage. But if you’ve ever looked at these older editions you know that that would be more bewlidering than helpful. Editing involves finding the kinds of notes that students are likely to want and need, and attempting to eliminate the dross, errors, and pedantry. We updated the sometimes archaic English used by these authors, and made the formatting consistent. We give credit by name to the author immediately after each note. Links to Pleiades for places mentioned in the notes were put in by Daniel Plekhov (Dickinson '13) and Qingyu Wang ('14) in 2013, with help from Pleiades and the Pelagios Project.
Over winter break 2017–18 the Book 1 notes notes were further proofread and edited, and links were added, by Eli Goings (Dickinson ’18), Beth Eidam (’20), and Carl Hamilton (’21). The main kinds of links are geographical (normally to Pleiades for ancient places or, for contemporary European places, Wikipedia), grammatical (to the DCC edition of Allen & Greenough’s Latin Grammar), and rhetorical, with definitions for a few literary and rhetorical devices used by Caesar. These point to Wikipedia or Wiktionary, which have clear definitions and examples from a variety of languages, not just Latin.
Only words not in the DCC Core Latin Vocabulary are glossed. For the initial release in 2010, vocabulary lists were made by hand by Brendan Boston and Christopher Francese. Since then our methods have improved and it has become possible to use parsed texts and custom dictionaries to create accurate and consistent lists much more easily. Crucial to the ability to get this work done has been the gracious generosity of Dominque Longree at the Laboratoire d'Analyse Statistique des Langues Anciennes (LASLA) at Université de Liège. LASLA's long-running scholarly efforts have resulted in an unparalleled dataset of hand-parsed and tagged Latin and Greek texts. LASLA's parsed Caesar ties each word form to its correct dictionary headword, obviating the homonym problems that bedevil automatic parsers. The DCC core is also tied, in its database form, to LASLA lemmata, which makes the core exclusions simple in Excel. The next improvement was to use custom definitions for the text at hand, as we did with our edition of selections from Vergil's Aeneid and the lexicon of Henry Simmons Frieze. Combining the LASLA parsed text with the custom dictionary yields correct and consistent core-excluded lists with a minimum of editing necessary. This same infrastructure of parsed texts and custom dictionaries runs The Bridge, Bret Mulligan's vocabulary tool that has recently done so much to ease the reading and teaching of Greek and Latin texts.
In the early 1900s Archibald Livingston Hodges was Latin instructor at historic Wadleigh High School in Harlem, New York City. Hodges’ edition of Caesar’s Gallic War was a notable academic publishing event of 1909. It was a student-friendly edition on which much labor was spent, not only in its lavish illustrations and scrupulous placing of macrons on the Latin text, but in its exhaustive lexicon, which includes specific Caesarian definitions for all words and proper names in BG 1–7. In 2015, with support from Dickinson College’s Research and Development Committee, we had Hodges’ Caesar Lexicon professionally digitized by NewGen KnowledgeWorks. In 2016 Seth Levin (Dickinson ’19) transferred the Hodges definitions into a master spreadsheet, cleaned up the definitions and lemmas, matching Hodges’ lemmas with lemmas recognized by The Bridge. Bret Mulligan of Haverford College the added this data to The Bridge, which allowed for users of The Bridge to select Hodges’ custom definitions whenever they want vocabulary lists for any section of Caesar’s Gallic War. Over the 2017–18 winter break Dickinson students Eli Goings, Beth Eidam, and Carl Hamilton used The Bridge to create vocabulary lists for the new sections of BG 1, formatted them in html, and uploaded them to the site. As usual, the lists exclude items from the DCC core Latin vocabulary.
At initial publication in 2010 the DCC Caesar edition had a dozen or so digitized maps from older editions by Brendan Boston. The map animations in the Media fields of 1.1, 1.2, 1.6, and 5.24 were made by Alice Ettling (Dickinson '11) in 2011. In 2013 Daniel Plekhov added the splendid new map of Caesar’s Gaul he created using ArcGIS. In the spring of 2018, with funding from the University Librarian at Arizona State University, Beth Eidam scanned and equipped with appropriate metadata all available published maps for Caesar’s Gallic War that are in the public domain. In the end this amounted to more than two hundred newly digitized maps by nineteen authors: A. Von Kampen, A.F. Barbie du Bocage, A.J. Mason , A.L. Hodges, Albert Harkness, Alexander Keith Johnston, Arthur Tappan Walker, C.J. Peters and Son, Edward Stanford, Emery Walker, Eugene Stoffel, Francis W. Kelsey, G.W. Boynton, H. Meusel, H.F. Towle & P.R. Jenks, Raimund Oehler, T. Rice Holmes, T.A. Dodge, and W.R. Harper and H.C. Tolman.
This work was undertaken with the invaluable help of Dickinson d Library Digital Projects Manager Don Sailer and archivist James Gerencser.
The richest sources were the publications of two military men and historians. The American soldier, businessman, and author Theodore Ayrault Dodge (1842-1909) was from Pittsfield, Massachusetts. After receiving a first rate military education in Berlin and London he enlisted as a private on the Union side in the American Civil War, retiring at the rank of major in 1870 to pursue a business career. Despite losing a leg at Gettysburg, he was an indefatigable traveler and historian. He wrote The Campaign of Chancellorsville (1881) and Bird's Eye View of the Civil War (1883). From 1890 to 1907 he published twelve volumes of his History of the Art of War: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus Adolphus, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. His two volumes on Caesar, which I am proud to own, include his dozens of sketch maps and plans for all of Caesar’s texts, based on first hand acquaintance with the routes and places. (Details of Dodge’s bio are from Wikipedia.)
Eugène Stoffel had a distinguished military career in his native France before being put in charge of the excavations of Gergovia and Alesia by Napoleon III. Backed by that kind of clout and cash, he was able to publish maps for Caesar’s works that are second to none in detail and geographical richness. They were also included with Napoleon’s biography of Caesar, the last volume of which Stoffel finished after Napoleon’s death.
These newly digitized maps supplement the excellent recent work of another historian-soldier, Captain Antonio Salinas of West Point, whose Caesar strategy maps made with Google Earth and using Nato symbology. Originally published in the Michigan War Studies Review, these have been part of the DCC edition from the beginning, thanks to Captain Salinas. All these maps exist and can be searched for in the DCC image viewer, and the ones that are relevant to specific pages of the DCC edition are also linked in the media fields for those pages.
Audio recordings of the Latin are by Chrisopher Francese and Jonathan Rockey. In 2012 Loren J. Samons contributed two specially created podcasts, Caesar’s Strategy and Genius (14:57) and Caesar’s Army (12:34), drawing on material from his popular course at Boston University, “Warfare in Antiquity.”
I am immensely grateful to all the individuals who contributed to this project, both the living contributors named above, and to those energetic scholars of the past like A. L. Hodges and T.A. Dodge, whose works we have endeavored to revive and bring to a new audience in new ways.
Christopher Francese, September 7, 2018