Julius Caesar: Man, Soldier, and Tyrant
Since the Renaissance, Julius Caesar has been idolized as a superman. Classical sources, however, present a far less exalted being. As General Fuller writes, Caesar was "an unscrupulous demagogue whose one aim was power, and a general who could not only win brilliant victories but also commit dismal blunders.... It is reasonable to suspect that, at times, Caesar was not responsible for his actions, and toward the end of his life, not altogether sane." There is not doubt that Caesar was an extraordinary man.” But Fuller points out that he was extraordinary for his reckless ambition, matchless daring, and ruthless tyranny, rather than for his skills as a military comander. Caesar continually had to extricate himself from results of mistakes of judgement. His unnecessary Alexandrian War, his close call at Thapsus, and his seemingly unpremeditated Gallic conquest are just a few of Fuller's many examples.And in telling Caesar's history, Fuller illuminates a century of Roman history as well. Aided by maps of Caesar's principal battles and diagrams of many of his weapons, Fuller brings to life Caesar's wars, his armies, his equipment, and his methods. Brilliant in design and impressive in scope, Julius Caesar clarifies how the military, political, and economic aspects of the Roman Republic worked together to produce a man whose name has come down to us as a synonym for absolute authority.
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Page 12 - Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world, Like a Colossus ; and we petty men Walk under his huge legs, and peep about To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Page ii - So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of any thing by history, when, on the one hand, those who afterwards write it find long periods of time intercepting their view and, on the other hand, the contemporary records of any actions and lives, partly through envy and ill-will, partly through favor and flattery, pervert and distort truth.