Caesar Against The Celts by Ramon L. Jimenez.
DESCRIPTION: Softcover: 285 pages. Publisher: Sarpedon; (1995). Never has a nation epitomized raw power more vividly than did Rome in the century before Christ. When Julius Caesar led his legions on a nine-year war of conquest to the north, he changed the course of European history and delayed the invasions of the east for five hundred years. “Caesar Against the Celts” takes the reader on each of Caesar’s campaigns in ancient France, Britain, and Germany, describing his battles on land and sea, including the invasions of England, the bridge across the Rhine, and sieges of numerous Celtic strongholds.
Though Caesar’s dangerous leap across the Channel to mysterious Britain was perhaps the most spectacular feat of his northern campaigns, the climax of the war occurred at Alesia, in central France. Here the young Celtic warrior Vercingetorix, commanding a huge coalition of rebellious tribes, finally surrendered to Caesar after an epic siege, only to be carted off to Rome in chains and put to death after his opponent’s triumphal parade.
Through the narrative are descriptions of the clothing, armor, weapons and tactics of Caesar’s devastating legionary army, as well as those of the Celtic tribes that covered Western Europe. This work also reflects the results of modern archaeological, linguistic, and historical research, including identification of the sites of many of Caesar’s battles, camps, and sieges.
Julius Caesar was, of course, his own war correspondent, leaving behind his “Commentaries on the Gallic War” as a unique record of these momentous campaigns. But modern scholarship suggests that his account of his battles in the north is less than the complete story, and that its rich detail masks a calculated political tract. “Caesar Against the Celts” presents the facts, the myths, and the speculations not only about what Caesar achieved, but also how and why.
The war against the Celts is described fully within the context of Caesar’s political career, and follows through to his ultimate success in Rome itself. The postscript, “The English Search for Caesar” examines the British Celts’ own history of their encounter with Caesar, as passed down through the centuries.
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PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW.
REVIEW: A highly-acclaimed account of Julius Caesar's decade-long campaign against the Celts of Germany, Gaul and Britain. A fascination with Caesar’s Gallic campaigns has led Ramon L. Jimenez to explore every aspect of the subject, from Roman coins to Celtic languages. After a career in California state government, he has devoted himself to writing and research, including walking many of the actual sites of Caesar’s major battles.
REVIEW: “Caesar Against the Celts” takes the reader on each of Caesar's campaigns in ancient France, Britain and Germany, describing his battles on land and sea, including the invasions of England, the bridge across the Rhine, and sieges of numerous Celtic strongholds. Though Caesar's dangerous leap across the Channel to mysterious Britain was perhaps the most spectacular feat of his northern campaigns, the climax of war occurred at Alesia, in central France. Here, the young Celtic warrior Vercingetorix, commanding a huge coalition of rebellious tribes, finally surrendered to Caesar after an epic siege, only to be carted off to Rome in chains and put to death after his opponent's triumphal parade. “Caesar Against the Celts” presents the facts, the myths and the speculations not only about what Caesar achieved, but also how and why.
REVIEW: As a long-time teacher of ancient Greek and Latin, I am all too aware that most students today will never experience the joy of "hearing Caesar's voice" in his native tongue (and that others will never even muddle through a translation). What then is so wrong with a popular account of Caesar's campaigns, particularly such a delightful one as this? As one who has devoted my career (however humble) to promoting classical scholarship, I am proud to recommend this book to both ancient history enthusiasts and to any newcomers who may be inspired to learn more about the stories and languages of antiquity. Come. Read. Enjoy. And for the Visigoths among us, lighten up, okay?
REVIEW: Mr. Jimenez’s book is a very good overview of Caesar's campaign against the Celts. He does a fine job describing the tactics and strategies that Caesar utilized as well as the political environment, both in Gaul and in Rome, in which Caesar operated. This a good book to obtain an understanding of the Roman perspective in the Celtic Campaign. It is well written and the writing flows nicely.
REVIEW: A good general history to the Roman Gallic wars. I learned learn about the Romans at the time, their political intrigues, the Celts and their culture/history, the Roman frontier in Europe, the Roman conquests and losses, the soldier's life on a day-to-day basis, and Caesar's career among others. Readable, interesting and educational any reader, scholar or lay-person will find more to enjoy than to find fault. A gem and a value.
REVIEW: Excellent little introduction to our old friend Julius Caesar, the role model for Napoleon and many another big risk-taker. Much superior to reading Caesar's work itself unless you want to wade through a lot of political self-promotion. Books like this one do a lot to rescue ancient history from the dank cellar of its earlier scholarship.
REVIEW: A great read and very informative. I can now bring up Vercingetorix in casual conversation. One caveat: the maps could have been much better done. They are dark and hard to read and tend to precede the narrative somewhat, so they give away what little suspense there is. (OK, we know that Caesar ultimately prevails but he did lose a few along the way.) Read a few pages beyond each one and then go back.
REVIEW: I really liked the book, but I wish the author had gone into more detail about the Celts. It's very good reading and has really gotten my interest about what happened in Europe after the fall of Rome.
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