Chapter

Semiramis in Gaul

Edited by Luciano Canfora and Julian Stringer

in Julius Caesar

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619368
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670734 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.003.0013
Semiramis in Gaul

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The process of granting to Caesar the provinces of Gaul and Illyricum was not without its difficulties. The Senate's original decision, taken before Caesar had been elected, had to be annulled and a new allocation made in its place. The long-drawn-out debate in the senate is recorded with a wealth of detail. Suetonius reports heated verbal clashes. Caesar is alleged to have stated with satisfaction, during a session or on the fringes of one, with the senators present, that he had ‘gained his heart's desire to the grief and lamentation of his opponents’ — a declaration that is revealing in what it says about his intention of acquiring precisely these provinces. The choice of Gaul had been a considered one, which accorded well with Caesar's precise calculations. Above all, there was an emotional angle of great significance, in the form of Gaius Marius' great victories against the Celtic and Germanic peoples, victories that had taken such firm hold in the public mind that they could not be erased. This was why Caesar, as praetor, sure of the emotional effect, had restored the commemorative trophies of those momentous victories achieved forty years earlier by the undisputed leader of the populares.

Keywords: Julius Caesar; Gaul; Illyricum; Gaius Marius; senate; Suetonius

Chapter.  4228 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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