The editors: Kathryn Welch is a specialist on the Late Republic
she has published numerous articles in learned journals. Anton Powell
is author of Athens and Sparta. He has edited several collective
works including Roman Poetry and Propaganda in the Age of Augustus.
The writings of Julius Caesar have beguiled by their apparent simplicity.
Generations of readers have been encouraged to see them as a limpid
record of positive achievement. The contributors to this volume
demonstrate that the appearance of simplicity is achieved by devious
and accomplished art. In nine original studies, focussing mainly
on the Gallic War, the contributors trace systems of justification
and omission, of measured praise and subtle criticism, which served
to promote Caesar and to leave Roman enemies empty-handed. It is
shown that Caesar's writing has an ingenuity of description which
might seduce the casual Roman sceptic, and an artfulness of focus
which now recalls the cinematographic. Even the notorious regularity
of Caesar's syntax and his economy of vocabulary are revealed as
pointed elements of a political manifesto. Far from being a plain
and traditional record of warfare, Caesar's Commentaries are here
shown to illuminate the political thinking of a man on his way to
reshaping the world.