Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter

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.

Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter

Author: Kathryn Welch

Publisher: ISD LLC

ISBN: 1910589365

Page: 225

View: 898

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.

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