His success as an orator led to political and social advancements, which by the late 60s bce had placed him among the most important men in the state. It was also common to praise oneâs own achievements when dedicating a monument or writing memoirs. CommentÄriÄ« dÄ BellÅ GallicÅ (English: Commentaries on the Gallic War), also Bellum Gallicum (English: Gallic War), is Julius Caesar's firsthand account of the Gallic Wars, written as a third-person narrative. . He ends the year harassing the enemy, searching for Ambiorix, chief of the Eburones, a Belgic tribe, and conducting an enquiry into a conspiracy by two Gallic tribes (the Senones and Carnutes). As time passed, generals and politicians recognized that by publishing their commentarii or res gestae they could justify their actions and promote themselves in Rome. The Romans launch simultaneous attacks against the restless northern peoplesâthe Menapii, Aduatuci, and the Treveri. Reports of incursions by two Germanic peoples (the Harudes and the Suebi) inspire Caesar to march north to prevent Ariovistus from capturing a major town of GaulâVesontio. The subject matter provided raw material for Livyâs From the Founding of the City, for Plutarchâs Parallel Lives, and for Suetoniusâ The Lives of The Twelve Caesars (all also in Classical Literature and Its Times). With the help of the tribunes of the people, he distributed cheap grain to the poor and guaranteed land to his veteran troops. A. His movement inland is temporarily checked when news arrives that a storm has destroyed 40 ships. C. lulii Caesaris Commentarii rerum gestarum [Caius Julius Caesar, Commentaries on His Achievements]. Power became ever more polarized in the hands of Caesar and Pompey. There he receives the surrender of the Trinobantes and other tribes and attacks the stronghold of Cassivellaunus. In A History of Private Life. In 113 bce they roundly defeated the Roman consul Cnaeus Papirius Carbo at Noricum (in Nearer Gaul). His actions resulted eventually in the annexation of the Near East and an ingenious settlement that took ac-count of the complex geographical and political factors of the region. Veyne, Paul, ed. The latter. A new army and a new general, L. Cassius Longinus, advanced against the Tigurini. Although the Gauls have some degree of a social class structure, they fight one another and the Germans. Unable to compete, they quit their holdings and flocked to Rome with other dispossessed citizens. : Harvard University Press, 1987. This series of annual war commentaries is referred to by various names but is commonly called De bello Gallico in Latin, or The Gallic Wars in English. Populares These senators used the people to achieve their political aims and objectives, and were often seen as a more democratic and radical groÃºp. Meanwhile, he lent support to Pompey and earned popular favor as aedile through his lavish games. Â© 2019Â Encyclopedia.com | All rights reserved. Caesarâs fellow Romans understood that a considerable factor in his rise to power was his rhetorical and literary talent. Working closely with the army, tribunes, and the people, Mariusâs military successes in Numidia resulted in his election in absentia for the consulship of the Republic in 104 bce. Only the Aduatuci tribe now withstands Romeâs might. defending the legal interests and property of plebeians (common people). Election to the office of praetor followed. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. Ciceroâs band, foraging away from the camp, is caught off guard. Consul The two annually elected chief magistrates of Rome. The Romans had a deep-rooted fear of Celtic tribes because of past history. His nobility is apparent from the beginning of book seven to the moment that he surrenders willingly to the decision of his own people and to Caesar. For the first time the Roman army no longer owed allegiance to the state but to the general who could provide for them. A. Goldhammer. A politicianâs self-worth, or dignitas, was closely associated with the glory (gloria) and honor (honos) he attained from military accomplishments and political offices. S. A. Handford). Twice Caesar had been granted unprecedented periods of public thanksgiving and prayers to the gods. At-tempting to deceive Caesar, the Aduatuci appear to comply but then attack the Romans by night. Only through instances of individual valor do the Romans retain the camp. Trans. During the second century bce the traditional systems of the Roman Republic began to fracture in the face of protracted foreign wars, an influx of foreign slaves, and extraordinary opportunities for wealth and prestige to be amassed by generals and their legates (military commanders). His vivid description of the British charioteers soon gripped the Roman imagination. The climax of the work is the siege of Alesia. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin, 1951. Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1985. Julius Caesar wrote commentaries on the wars he fought in Gaul between 58 and 52 B.C., in seven books one for each year. There ensues a battle in which Caesarâs legions rout the army of Ariovistus. He takes care to mention individual officers, centurions, and even slaves. After repulsing the enemy, Galba retires to the Roman province, where he winters amid the Allobroges. This complete edition of Caesar's Commentaries contains all eight of Caesar's books on the Gallic War as well as all three of his books on the Civil War masterfully translated into English by W. A. MacDevitt. âAs a whole Gaul is divided into three partsâ¦â (Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tresâ¦) (Caesar, C. lulii Caesaris Com-mentarii rerum gestarum, book 1, chapter 1; trans. The Sugambri retire across the Rhine. More generally, Caesarâs descriptions of the Celtic tribes helped shape later Roman views of the âbarbarian,â including those of historians, such as Tacitus, Ammianus Marcellinus, and Orosius. This site contains Latin text, notes, vocabulary, and media for selections from The Gallic War by Julius Caesar, intended for readers of Latin.. A note on the text. had a special interest in word forms. At Rome the form developed in the writings of the priestly colleges or of the leading magistrates, in senatorial dispatches and reports, and in the diaries of army generals and provincial governors. The praetor peregrinus (alien praetor) dealt with lawsuits involving foreigners. The memoirs of P. Rutilius Rufus, the autobiography of M. Aemilius Scaurus, or Ciceroâs account of his consulship are worthy predecessors to Caesarâs commentaries. Haphaestus Unnerved by the unusual spectacle of charioteers in Britain and by the British weather, the Romans survive an ambush and an attack on their camp. Fortunately for Rome the tribes moved westward toward Switzerland. a German chieftain named Ariovistus (chapters 30-59). (October 16, 2020). S. A. Handford). Access to the highest magistracies was restricted, even to nobles. The era saw the growth of enormous estates (the infamous latifundid), whose rise came at the expense of the smaller landowners. Suetonius. In fact, much of what we know about them comes directly from Julius Caesar himself, in his works (with the exception of the last volume) entitled Commentarii de Bello Gallico, or Commentaries on the Gallic War. Julius Caesar himself was one. The German historian Theodor Mommsen, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1902, regarded Caesar as the only creative genius produced by Rome and the last produced by the ancient world. Caesar compares and contrasts the civilized ways of Rome to the barbarism of those he conquers. After 18 days of maneuvers and raids, his point made, Caesar withdraws to Gaul. Swansea: Duckworth and the Classical Press of Wales, 1998. B. Greenough, Benjamin L. D'Ooge, M. Grant Daniell, Commentary on Caesar's Gallic War, AG BG 3.23. However, Caesar had an agenda he wished to promote. S. A. Handford. Moving swiftly, Caesar prevents them from crossing the Rhine River. In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting â¦ In 63 bce, a Gallic tribe, the Allobroges, who had long been faithful to the Roman cause, rebelled when their appeal for debt relief fell on deaf ears. Gallic Wars, (58â50 bce), campaigns in which the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar conquered Gaul. commentaries on the Gallic War, namely that published in 1918 by Francis W. Kelsey. In 105 bce at Arausio (modern Orange, France) the combined armies of the Cimbri and Teutones decisively routed the Roman legions of the proconsul Quintus Servilius Caepio and Cnaeus Mallius with the reported loss of 80,000 men. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1869. Nonetheless, there are traces of a tradition hostile to the content of Caesarâs Commentaries. To advance his ambitions, he joined forces with Pompey and Crassus in an unofficial political alliance known as âThe First Triumvirate,â a pact that foreshadowed the end of the Republic. O. Seel. In a remarkable speech, he shames the remainder of the army into action. The Latin title, literally Commentaries on the Gallic War, is often retained in English translations of the book, and the title is also translated to About the Gallic War, Of the Gallic War, On the Gallic War, The Conquest of Gaul, and The Gallic War. They also oversaw markets and weights and measures as well as public festivals and games. A. A slightly different stance suggests that Caesar wrote the Commentaries in stages but published them all at the same time. The coalition was cemented by the marriage of Pompey to Caesarâs daughter, Julia. was the conflict in which Julius Caesar first emerged as a great military leader, after an earlier career as an impoverished populist politician. Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War. He crosses the river Axona (now called Aisne) to aid the town of Bibrax. _____The Conquest of Gaul [Commentaries on the Gallic War] Trans. He advances on the Bellovaci, who surrender themselves to the Romans. ... Gallic War Book I Book II Book III Book IV Book V Book VI Book VII Book VIII. In his youth he composed the poem Praises of Hercules, a tragedy called Oedipus, and a collection of sayings (apophthegms). The three allies engineered a consulship for Caesar in 59 bce, during which he oversaw the ratification of Pompeyâs eastern settlement and supported the financial interests of Crassus in Egypt and the East. Quaestor Financial and administrative officials, the 20 quaestors at the time of the Gallic War maintained public records and oversaw the treasury. Chariots had not been encountered by a Roman army in over 150 years. On January 10 and 11 of 49 bce, Caesar, his dignitas irreparably slighted, crossed the Rubicon, a stream separating Gaul from Italy. There is also an 8th book, written by Aulus Hirtius. As a historical document, the Commentaries on the Gallic War remain enormously valuable as the memoir of a Roman commander in provinces of the empire. Book seven is the story of Vercingetorix, a young nobleman of another Celtic tribe, the Arvernians, who becomes the leader of the resistance movement in Gaul. The book ends laconically: âAfter this deed Caesar found Gaul somewhat quieterâ (Commentarii rerum gestarum, 5.58; trans. ." But the Roman world was not yet ready for a monarch. After an apologetic preface, Hirtius, Caesarâs general, opens with a verbal reference to books one and seven of the Gallic War: âThe whole of Gaul was defeated.â (omni Gallia devictd) (Gallic War, 8.1; trans. It is perhaps no wonder that just two years later his Roman troops were ready to follow him to the bitterest of encountersâcivil war. His troopsâ first action is against â¦ Later on, in 68 bce Caesar was to win acclaim as the new champion of the populares when he proudly displayed images of Marius at his auntâs funeral. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA). In Caesarâs time the ancient region of Gaul (roughly equivalent to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) was inhabited by disparate nations, or tribal groups. was a Roman general and politician who overthrew the Roman Republic and established the rule of the emperors. Doing battle, his Roman fleet proves itself superior to the enemy in oarsmanship, speed, and tactics. The influence of Marius cannot be overestimated, either on Roman politics in the first century bce or on the young Caesar. After he fails to relieve the town of Avaricum (todayâs Bourges), it falls to Caesar, whose troops have besieged it. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list. After their year of office in Rome, praetors and consuls sometimes governed outside Rome in a province, where they were known as propraetors or proconsuls. Intended to do more than document events, the commentaries are the product of someone who understood the importance of propaganda to increase his power and to achieve his autocratic ambitions. Very enjoyable audio program on Julius Caesar. https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/commentaries-gallic-war, "Commentaries on the Gallic War Encircling the ramparts of the enemy, the forces of Gaul are successively beaten back. Uderzo, Albert. Annual reports by Julius Caesar of his campaigns in Gaul and Britain between 58 and 52 bce, published in Latin in the 50s bce, plus a supplement for 51 and 50 bce by Caesarâs genera! They make their way through the squadrons of their own cavalry, then jump down from their chariots and fight on foot, Meanwhile the chariot-drivers withdraw a little way from the fighting and position the chariots in such a way that if their masters are hard pressed by the enemyâs numbers, they have an easy means of retreat to their own lines. Along with the tribes of Britain, Germany, and the Danube region, these nations were known collectively as the Celts. Situated in 50 bce, each book begins as follows: The year is 50 B.C. On hearing the news of it, their old men â¦ sent envoys to Caesar and surrendered.... Caesar, wishing to let it be seen that he showed mercy to the unfortunate suppliants, took great care to protect them from harm, confirmed them in possession of their territories and towns, and commanded their neighbours to refrain from injuring their persons or property. In 102 and 101 bce, under the command of Marius, the Romans defeated first the Teutones and then the Cimbri. These are the tactics of chariot warfare. Nice), he acknowledges that Caesar had exceeded the limits of his command. This new translation reflects the purity of Caesar's Latin while preserving the pace and flow of his momentous narrative of the conquest of Gaul and the first Roman invasions of Britain and Germany. All 53,000 Aduatuci are sold into slavery. He had operated outside the limits of his provinces without senatorial authority and, by rights, should have been prosecuted. When they join forces with Vercingetorix, he turns to the Germanic peoples for aid. And life is not easy for the Roman legionaries who garrison the fortified camps of Totorum, Aquarium, Laudanum and Compendium â¦. His back is not long turned before the Veneti, a tribe of seafarers, reveal themselves to be unwilling subjects. An additional book by Caesarâs general, Aulus Hirtius (consul 43 bce), relates events of 51 and 50 bce. Each successive generation could augment the auctoritas earned by their ancestors and increase their own dignitas through the position, status, and wealth of their family. They capture some Roman officials and demand the return of their own hostages. Commentaries on individual books of the Gallic War are available, and sev- eral new commentaries are appearing on the selections from the Gallic War that were chosen for the Advanced Placement Exam in Latin (introduced in spring 2013), but nothing that presents multiple books in â¦ He encourages his Roman audience to believe in his actions and in himself. Just ten days later, a 400-yard Roman-built bridge spans the Rhine. The insurrectiâ¦, Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) In Caesarâs day, senators typically belonged to one of two groups: Optimates These senators followed the traditional senatorial routes to authority and political success, and were often seen as a less democratic and more conservative group. Generally they succeed in throwing the ranks of their opponents into confusion just with the terror caused by their galloping horses and the din of their wheels. In practice, power rested in the hands of a small landowning minority who controlled the Senate. Caesarâs narrative is a masterpiece of rhetorical or persuasive composition. It was customary for Romans to celebrate the resgestae (âthings doneâ) of their ancestors in speeches of praise at funerals and in funerary inscriptions. The presence of Mariusâs army veterans in the forum, Romeâs civic and commercial center, effectively silenced any opposition. Generally, though, Caesar sets up a framework of Roman versus barbarian, portraying the region as a threat to the survival of Roman civilization itself. Galba shows initiative and the Romans counterattack from the gates of the camp: It was a complete reversal of fortune: the Gauls who had counted on capturing the camp were surrounded and cut off. In Rome, the people celebrated. This gave some relief to the Romans, ever mindful that the Gauls had once sacked Rome. Julius Caesar wrote commentaries on the wars he fought in Gaul between 58 and 52 B.C., in seven books one for each year. G. L. Hendrickson. New York: New Press, 2003. Ed. Like most young noblemen in Rome, Caesar served a military apprenticeship. Aedile Each year four aediles were elected. Digressions on the characteristics of the Gauls and Germans are essential to Caesarâs account. A. ." They justify his conquests by encouraging the reader to draw comparisons between Roman ideals of nationhood and the ways of these foreign nations. The English scholar Francis Bacon (1561-1626) thought that the Commentaries revealed Caesar to be the most complete and unique figure to emerge from antiquity.