HOME
The Info List - Commentarii De Bello Gallico



--- Advertisement ---


(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

_COMMENTARII DE BELLO GALLICO_ (English: _Commentaries on the Gallic War _), also simply _BELLUM GALLICUM_ (English: _Gallic War_), is Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
's firsthand account of the Gallic Wars , written as a third-person narrative . In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting the Germanic peoples and Celtic peoples in Gaul
Gaul
that opposed Roman conquest.

The "Gaul" that Caesar refers to is ambiguous, as the term had various connotations in Roman writing and discourse during Caesar's time. Generally, Gaul
Gaul
included all of the regions that Romans had not conquered or administer or which were primarily inhabited by Celts
Celts
; except for the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis
Gallia Narbonensis
(modern-day Provence
Provence
and Languedoc-Roussillon ), which had already been conquered in Caesar's time, therefore encompassing the rest of modern France
France
, Belgium
Belgium
and parts of Switzerland
Switzerland
. As the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
made inroads deeper into Celtic territory and conquered more land, the definition of "Gaul" shifted. Concurrently, "Gaul" was also used in common parlance as a synonym for "uncouth" or "unsophisticated" as Romans saw Celtic peoples as uncivilized compared with Rome.

The work has been a mainstay in Latin
Latin
instruction because of its simple, direct prose. It begins with the frequently quoted phrase _"Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres"_, meaning " Gaul
Gaul
is a whole divided into three parts". The full work is split into eight sections, Book 1 to Book 8, varying in size from approximately 5,000 to 15,000 words. Book 8 was written by Aulus Hirtius , after Caesar's death.

CONTENTS

* 1 Title * 2 Motivations

* 3 Modern influence

* 3.1 Educational use * 3.2 Astérix * 3.3 Vorenus and Pullo * 3.4 Vincent d\'Indy

* 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links

TITLE

The Latin
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_.

MOTIVATIONS

The victories in Gaul
Gaul
won by Caesar had increased the alarm and hostility of his enemies at Rome , and his aristocratic enemies, the boni , were spreading rumors about his intentions once he returned from Gaul. The boni intended to prosecute Caesar for abuse of his authority upon his return, when he would lay down his imperium. Such prosecution would not only see Caesar stripped of his wealth and citizenship, but also negate all of the laws he enacted during his term as Consul and his dispositions as pro-consul of Gaul. To defend himself against these threats, Caesar knew he needed the support of the plebeians , particularly the Tribunes of the Plebs, on whom he chiefly relied for help in carrying out his agenda. The _Commentaries_ were an effort by Caesar to directly communicate with the plebeians - thereby circumventing the usual channels of communication that passed through the Senate - to propagandize his activities as efforts to increase the glory and influence of Rome. By winning the support of the people, Caesar sought to make himself unassailable from the boni. The work is a paradigm of proper reporting and stylistic clarity.

MODERN INFLUENCE

EDUCATIONAL USE

It is often lauded for its polished, clear Latin
Latin
. This book is traditionally the first authentic text assigned to students of Latin, as Xenophon
Xenophon
's _Anabasis _ is for students of Ancient Greek ; they are both autobiographical tales of military adventure told in the third person. It contains many details and employs many stylistic devices to promote Caesar's political interests.

The books are valuable for the many geographical and historical claims that can be retrieved from the work. Notable chapters describe Gaulish custom (VI, 13), their religion (VI, 17), and a comparison between Gauls and Germanic peoples (VI, 24).

ASTéRIX

Since Caesar is one of the characters in the Astérix and Obélix albums, René Goscinny included gags for French schoolchildren who had the _Commentarii_ as a textbook. One example is having Caesar talk about himself in the third person as in the book.

Some English editions state that Astérix's village of indomitable Gauls is the "fourth part" of Gaul, not yet having been conquered by Caesar. In the 36th book of the Asterix series, _Asterix and the Missing Scroll _, a fictitious and supposedly censored chapter from Caesar's _Commentaries on the Gallic War_ forms the basis for the story.

VORENUS AND PULLO

In Book 5, Chapter 44 the _Commentarii de Bello Gallico_ notably mentions Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo , two Roman centurions of the 11th Legion . The 2005 television series _Rome_ gives a fictionalized account of Caesar's rise and fall, featuring Kevin McKidd as the character of Lucius Vorenus and Ray Stevenson as the character of Titus Pullo of the 13th Legion .

VINCENT D\'INDY

During World War I
World War I
the French composer Vincent d\'Indy wrote his Third Symphony, which bears the title _De Bello Gallico_. D'Indy was adapting Caesar's title to the situation of the current struggle in France
France
against the German army, in which he had a son and nephew fighting, and which the music illustrates to some extent.

SEE ALSO

* Roman Army
Roman Army
* _ Commentarii de Bello Civili
Commentarii de Bello Civili
_ * _ De Bello Alexandrino _ * _ De Bello Africo _ * _ De Bello Hispaniensi _

REFERENCES

* ^ As translated by H.J. Edwards in the Loeb Classical Library edition. * ^ Peck, Harry Thurston , ed. (1963) . "Caesar, Gaius Iulius". _Harper\'s Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities _. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, Inc. p. 248. * ^ _ Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Cæsar\'s Commentaries". Encyclopedia Americana _. * ^ _Caesar_. In Hans Herzfeld (1960): _Geschichte in Gestalten_ (_ History
History
in figures_), vol. 1: _A-E_. Das Fischer Lexikon 37, Frankfurt 1963, p. 214. "Hauptquellen : Caesars eigene, wenn auch leicht tendenziöse Darstellungen des Gallischen und des Bürgerkrieges, die Musterbeispiele sachgemäßer Berichterstattung und stilistischer Klarheit sind" ("_Main sources : Caesar's own, even though slightly tendentious depictions of the Gallic and the Civil Wars, which are paradigms of pertinent information and stylistic clarity_") * ^ cf. Albrecht, Michael v.: _Geschichte der römischen Literatur Band 1_ ( History
History
of Roman Literature, Volume 1). Munich 1994, 2nd ed., p. 332–334. * ^ Prior to its demobilization and subsequent remobilization by Augustus
Augustus
—see also Republican and Imperatorial legions . Julius Caesar , _Commentarii de Bello Gallico_ 5.44

EXTERNAL

.