Chapter

The Conquest of Gaul (58–51 <span class="smallCaps">bc</span>)

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/9780748619368.003.0014
The Conquest of Gaul (58–51 bc)

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When he departed for Gaul in the spring of 58 bc, Caesar had a clear idea of the movements of the peoples and their tensions; in particular, the German pressure on Gaul. He conceived a long-term strategic plan using up-to-date ethnographic knowledge to which he himself contributed with his Commentaries. This is but one example of the way he combined scientific study with imperialism. The Gallic campaign was conducted on two levels: Caesar's own favourable assessment of sometimes dubious victories; and the reality of an extremely difficult war with an outcome that was uncertain, given the threat constantly posed by the fiercely independent Celtic tribes. The dichotomy (especially in the first two years, 58–57 bc) shows clearly in the disparity between the political and military position and the reactions in Rome to Caesar's skilled reporting of them.

Keywords: Julius Caesar; Gaul; imperialism; Germans; war; Celtic tribes

Chapter.  8127 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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