The long section on the Gallic campaigns, though in places very informative on the historical record, really starts to sag. Caesar is a hard man to nail down despite being one the most written about men in ll history. Please There is much more on Caesar’s early military experiences than is customary; most works create the impression he had hardly any service at all before heading off the conquer the Gauls. It was a gamble, one that paid off as Caesar became consul and then proconsul of Gaul, and Goldsworthy strongly states it as such. And that is of course without counting the image that emerges from his own Memoirs, the, I truly enjoyed this book, and find that I'm actually rueful that I no longer have Goldsworthy's excellent biography to look forward to when I arrive home after work. Comments Required. Independent Premium. Create a commenting name to join the debate. Download books for free. Caesar: Life of a Colossus-- book review Caesar: Life of a Colossus is a scholarly work, but its prose is lively and accessible, and readers are never allowed to forget that too much information is gone forever. Good biography of a legend…even if the legend is mostly due to the 18th century obsession with the Roman Republic. Yale University Press, 2006, 583 pages, $35. Was he a hero or tyrant? Caesar: Life of a Colossus Adrian Goldsworthy. Caesar was a true patriot that bestowed glory on his beloved Rome. The book is comprehensive and can be a bit slow at times. But, for the most part, the book met my expectations. Lay history readers might find the refrain ("we cannot know for certain" and "we will never know" or words to that effect) repetitive pretty quickly in this account, but whether this is the first book someone will read on the subject or not, that admonition bears repeating. That said, the one area where I would really have preferred Goldsworthy to loosen up a little would be speculations about Caesar's motives. While I grant that there are a lot of holes in the historical record about this part of Caesar's life, it doesn't make up for the lack of polish and purpose that seem to pervade the rest of the biography. He spent much of his leisure time chasing the wives of his political colleagues; it was rumoured that he slept with men as well. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. . DICTATOR, 46-44 BC ... but before returning to this question it will be useful to review the evidence. 583 pages. Was Caesar an adventurer with luck, a typical Roman aristocrat only concerned with his glory - or a visionary with a new plan for the governance of Rome? Pp. Where he speculates, he does so cautiously and logically, presenting ideas that are reasonable--if often debatable. Enter your email to follow new comments on this article. He refused to take any crap from anyone. First, he takes a more sympathetic approach to analyzing Caesar's life, and always attempts to place him in the context of his peers. Reviews Caesar: Life Of A Colossus Biography [1] [2] [3]. This book begins with a description of the politics of late republican Rome in the early first century (BCE.) Ambition, the bids for political and military power, the taking advantage of opportunities by notable Romans with the skills to govern, made it an age of political turbulence within the seat of republican power, an age of war along the borders and civil wars among rival factions within Rome as the old, stable system of the republic gave way to dictatorship. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, Caesar: The Life of a Colossus, by Adrian Goldsworthy, Email already exists. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. For example, in 60 BC Caesar ga. Goldsworthy delivers a riveting account of Gaius Julius Caesar's life and times that rivals the brilliance of Shakespeare's dramatic interpretation. try again, the name must be unique, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful Goldsworthy does a great job of both stripping away the myth of Caesar and conveying the drama of his times. Peder Zane, News and Observer "Noteworthy. the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. There are well balanced characterizations of both Pompey and Caesar (showing the latter as definitely less brutal). The analysis is sound enough, though the author often gives Caesar the benefit of the doubt and often shrugs off the points that Cae. However, it was also the sort of man that he was as well. Goldsworthy often compares two or more sources together as well, noting all of the sources and guessing sometimes which one is the more likely version if they diverge. CAESAR (Life of a Colossus) by Adrian Goldsworthy This life of Julius Caesar was originally published (minus subtitle on jacket) as one of Weidenfield's military history tomes back in 2006. He balances Caesar's character in the light of the times he lived in making him more of a "product of his environment" rather than the exception to the rule. Shareable Link. "An authoritative and exciting portrait not only of Caesar but of the complex society in which he lived. This is door-stopper history to end all history. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. One of the best biographies I’ve read. The author uses all available historical sources and puts in order the known information into a cohesive timeline. Had his old ally Pompey defeated him in the ensuing Civil War, Caesar probably would've died and the history of Rome altered. That said, the one area where I would really have preferred Goldsworthy to loosen up a little would be speculations about Caesar's motiv. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. As a general he was famous for his celeritas, his speediness. They could not forgive his pre-eminence and formed a conspiracy to assassinate him, a task accomplished on 15 March 44BC. Caesar: Life of a Colossus is a scholarly work, but its prose is lively and accessible, and readers are never allowed to forget that too much information is gone forever. The long section on the Gallic campaigns, though in places very informative on the historical record, really starts to sag. For example, in 60 BC Caesar gave up his title of imperator and his right to celebrate a triumph in order to stand for the consular elections. The main emphasis is on Caesar the military leader including good descriptions (with maps) of most of the crucial battles and the all important logistical issues. Caesar: Life of a Colossus Adrian Goldsworthy As Adrian Goldsworthy writes in the introduction to this book, “in his fifty-six years, Caesar was at times many things, including a fugitive, prisoner, rising politician, army leader, legal advocate, rebel, dictator . try again, the name must be unique, Please was very well done and interesting. After reading Colleen McCullough's massive. Please The first to achieve supreme rule and the right to govern as virtual d. The last century of the Roman republic was an unusually violent time. The scholarship is up-to-date; the judgements sound. The story of one of the most brilliant, flamboyant and historically important men who ever lived. Every event is discussed in the context of its own moment, not in the context of who Caesar later became or what he later did, so we get a better picture of what was happening as Caesar and his contemporaries would have seen it at the time. try again, the name must be unique, Please Despite this, it is an incredible read and I recommend it to anyone interested in Julius Caesar. . The most insightful comments on all subjects At its best, which in my opinion is the book’s coverage of Caesar’s campaigns, the Civil War, and the section on the Ides of March, author Adrian Goldsworthy shines. Besides being a military genius, he was also a man of letters. Peder Zane, News and Observer Noteworthy. Goldsworthy's biography on Julius Caesar is both insightful and full of details. LibraryThing Review User Review - Stbalbach - LibraryThing. This is a very thorough life of Caesar from soup to nuts, as it were. It was only too easy to underestimate Julius Caesar. ‘Caesar’ by Adrian Goldsworthy is very comprehensive. His life is so well known, as everyone has heard of something about this extraordinary man, including Cleopatra and the Ides of March. . It is bound to intrigue and excite both the professional historian and the casual reader. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2006. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2006. Named 2006 Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com "An authoritative and exciting portrait not only of Caesar but of the complex society in which he lived." The text of Adrian Goldsworthy's biography of Julius Caesar is divided into three parts, one of which the Caesar's rise of political power inhabits, his campaigns in modern-day France and England the second, those who in their own time were called aristocrats, in ours assassins, the third. Faced with their recalcitrance, Caesar precipitated a civil war, which he won after a series of quick-fire campaigns. 'active' : ''"> Read full review Caesar's life is the stuff from which legends are made. In fact, the charm and the foppishness veiled determination and high intelligence, which his opponents did not immediately recognise. In fact, Goldsworthy spends so much time defending or speculating on Caesar's life before Gaul that if one only knew Goldsworthy's book it would be hard to say what, if anything, Caesar did before Gaul. Goldsworthy gives a thorough account of Caesar's military accomplishments as well as painting a vivid portrait of both the man and the power-hungry world he inhabited.-- "3”, “Roman laws tended to be long and complex - one of Rome's most enduring legacies to the world is cumbersome and tortuous legal prose.”, The Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award (2007), Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician, WE ARE OPEN - CAESAR - BOOK AS A WHOLE - FINAL THOUGHTS - Spoiler Thread, WE ARE OPEN - CAESAR - WEEK THIRTEEN - May 21st - May 27th - Chapter Twenty-Three: The Ides of March and Epilogue - (pages 490-519) ~ No Spoilers, Please, WE ARE OPEN - CAESAR - WEEK TWELVE - May 14th - May 20th – Chapter Twenty-One: Africa, September 47 – May 46 BC and Chapter Twenty-Two: Dictator, 46-44 BC - (pages 448 - 489) ~ No Spoilers, Please, WE ARE OPEN - CAESAR - WEEK ELEVEN - May 7th - May 13th – Chapter Nineteen: Macedonia, November 49 – August 48 BC and Chapter Twenty: Cleopatra, Egypt and the East, Autumn 48 – Summer 47 BC - (pages 405 - 447) ~ No Spoilers, Please, WE ARE OPEN - CAESAR - WEEK TEN - April 30th - May 6th -> Chapter Seventeen: The Road to the Rubicon and Chapter Eighteen: Blitzkrieg: Italy and Spain, Winter-Autumn, 49 BC - (pages 358 - 404) ~ No Spoilers, Please, WE ARE OPEN - CAESAR - WEEK NINE - April 23rd – April 29th – Chapter Fifteen: The Man and the Hour: Vercingetorix and the Great Revolt, 52 BC and Chapter Sixteen: ‘All Gaul is Conquered’ - (pages 315 - 357) ~ No Spoilers, Please, Readers’ Top Histories and Biographies of the Last 5 Years.
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