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Caesar: Life of a Colossus
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ROMAN EMPIRE -THE HISTORY... > WE ARE OPEN - CAESAR - WEEK SIX - April 2nd - April 8th – Chapter Nine: Gaul and Chapter Ten: Migrants and Mercenaries: The first campaigns, 58 BC - (pages 184 - 232) ~ No Spoilers, Please

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message 1: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3822 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

For the week of April 2nd - April 8th, we are reading chapters 9 and 10 of Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy.

The sixth week's reading assignment is:

WEEK SIX - April 2nd - April 8th -> 9. Gaul and 10. Migrants and Mercenaries: The first campaigns, 58 BC - (184-232)

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book was kicked off February 26th.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, or on your Kindle.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Vicki Cline will be moderating this selection.

Welcome,

~Vicki

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

Caesar Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy by Adrian Goldsworthy Adrian Goldsworthy

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS - ON EACH WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREAD - WE ONLY DISCUSS THE PAGES ASSIGNED OR THE PAGES WHICH WERE COVERED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS. IF YOU GO AHEAD OR WANT TO ENGAGE IN MORE EXPANSIVE DISCUSSION - POST THOSE COMMENTS IN ONE OF THE SPOILER THREADS. THESE CHAPTERS HAVE A LOT OF INFORMATION SO WHEN IN DOUBT CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY TO RECALL WHETHER YOUR COMMENTS ARE ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC. EXAMPLES OF SPOILER THREADS ARE THE GLOSSARY, THE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE INTRODUCTION AND THE BOOK AS A WHOLE THREADS.

Notes:


It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

Here is the link to the thread titled Mechanics of the Board which will help you with the citations and how to do them.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Also, the citation thread: (for Unreasonable Men - look at examples)

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Introduction Thread

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Table of Contents and Syllabus

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

Here is the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author may have used in his research or in her notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations or other books either non fiction or historical fiction that relate to the subject matter of the book itself. No self promotion, please.

Here is the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts - Spoiler Thread

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Link:

Caesar Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy by Adrian Goldsworthy Adrian Goldsworthy


message 2: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3822 comments Mod
Everyone, for the week of April 2nd - April 8th, we are reading Chapters 9 and 10.

The sixth week's reading assignment is:

WEEK SIX - April 2nd - April 8th -> 9. Gaul and 10. Migrants and Mercenaries: The first campaigns, 58 BC - (184-232)

Chapter Overview and Summary:

Chapter 9. Gaul


Gaul and surrounding lands

This chapter describes Gaul and Caesar’s Commentaries about his battles there.

Chapter 10. Migrants and Mercenaries: The first campaigns, 58 BC


Gallic warriors

This chapter covers Caesar’s battles with the Helvetii and with Ariovistus’ Germans.


message 3: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3822 comments Mod

Map of Gaul

Discussion Topics for Chapter IX:

1. How many ordinary Romans would have read or heard Caesar’s Commentaries? It would have been quite interesting to them to hear a contemporaneous description of various battles, sort of like CNN today.

2. How surprising to you is it that the wine industry was imported to Gaul (i.e. France) from Italy? Nowadays it seems that wine is synonymous with France.

Discussion Topics for Chapter X:

1. What must it have been like to be part of the mass exodus of the Helvetii? 368,000 people along with their animals and belongings trekking across many miles of hostile country, having to fight a good bit of the time.

2. Doesn’t it seem like Caesar had a good bit of luck in his first encounters in Gaul? Some of his troops were green and his group of officers didn’t necessarily have a history with him.


gathering feather organiceden | 1117 comments I’m just working my way through chapter x. Thankful that I live in the 21st century!


Michele (micheleevansito) | 1043 comments working my way though chap. 9.


message 6: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3822 comments Mod
No worries, nobody's being graded here.

A while ago I bought a T-shirt picturing the opening of Caesar's commentaries.

I couldn't grab a picture of the T-shirt itself, but the above is what's on it. I wish I could read Latin - Caesar is famous for having written wonderfully.


Michele (micheleevansito) | 1043 comments Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres = All Gaul is divided into three parts

Sorry that's all I can translate. Would need help with the rest.


message 8: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3822 comments Mod
I'm still amazed by the massive emigration of the Helvetii. You're told to travel hundreds of miles by your tribe's leader, your village has been burned down so you can't stay, you've got to take all your possessions with you, including livestock, and you've got to take food for humans and animals. Then along the way, the menfolk have to fight the locals wherever you go. I guess in many respects it's like our own wagon trains, with groups of people traveling west to settle on land far away. Although that travel was voluntary.


Harmke It were completely different times. I was shocked to read that looting was quite common. We only know it as an exception, something criminal.

The Helvetii must have been scared: of the future, their lives and families. But I also think we cannot start to imagine how hard life was like back then.


message 10: by Genia (new)

Genia Lukin Gaul is divided into three parts, of which one is called Belgium, the other Aquitaine, and the third, the language of which is Celtic, is called by us Gaul. They all differ in language, institutions and laws.

We got thrown into Caesar and Cicero in Latin, I still have nightmares about what a horrible person Catilina was.

Caesar was an okay writer, but I don't know how amazing. I think that he wins, perhaps, in comparison with the awfully cumbersome styles of the middle ages and much of the Enlightenment, but as you can see, he really could use some shorter sentences.


message 11: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3822 comments Mod
Re Catilina, Genia, looks like Cicero really got to you. He certainly knew how to lay on the invective. But he probably didn't have to exaggerate too much. If only part of what Cicero said the conspiracy was planning was true, it still was pretty bad.


message 12: by Genia (new)

Genia Lukin It was, more than anything, the environment of "Latin class". Everything done in the context of labiroously translating texts word for word seems worse, somehow.


message 13: by Glynn (new) - added it

Glynn | 214 comments Genia wrote: "It was, more than anything, the environment of "Latin class". Everything done in the context of labiroously translating texts word for word seems worse, somehow."

I took Latin in high school. Had an amazing teacher who was a great philosophy buff. I didn't learn a lot of Latin but it was a fun and enlightening class. The one latin phrase that stuck with me: "Illegitimi non carborundum!"


message 14: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3822 comments Mod
Glynn, I'm glad you enjoyed your Latin class. So many people look back on their experience with less favorable memories.


gathering feather organiceden | 1117 comments I'm really enjoying this:)


Danny | 3 comments Chapter 10 was exciting, in depth commentaries on the start of the gallic wars. I couldn’t comprehend the fact that in the space of two weeks, they built some 17-18 miles of fortified walls along the Rhône from Geneva to the Jura Mountains.

I looked into this a bit further and found an early 20th century journal discussing this very event - https://www.jstor.org/stable/3287051?...

It questions the validity of Caesars account of events, and proposes that only a sixth of the 19 Roman Miles he stated was actually built. Baron Stoffell was sent by Napoleon III to assess the area, in order to assist the latter in writing his ‘History of Julius Caesar’ book.

It’s an interesting couple of pages to flick through if you have the time!


message 17: by Genia (new)

Genia Lukin Glynn wrote: "Genia wrote: "It was, more than anything, the environment of "Latin class". Everything done in the context of labiroously translating texts word for word seems worse, somehow."

I took Latin in hig..."


My Latin teacher lacked any kid of recognizable sense of humour and was very stiff and sort of boring. Of course, college professors are not chosen for their teaching ability. Perhaps one day I will go back to Latin with someone else, and see if I can advance a bit.


message 18: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3822 comments Mod
Danny, thanks for the link to the article about the fortifications. It's amazing how much stuff you can find on the Internet.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments So I am far behind - these chapters moved, happily for me, to less cumbersome activity and action - not the previous part of the book with a confounding cast of characters to keep track of.
It really begins, for me, to show the effectiveness and power potential of Caesar. It seemed in Gaul Caesar's military talents went from those of Eisenhower in WWII up to almost those of Patton in the same war - politicking, planning and participating and I can see that he would have been inspirational (getting off his horse to be among the men in battle).
I also was astounded by the number of Helveti and wonder how "barbarians" mobilize and move 300,000 plus people.
And the number of Caesar's forces too were overwhelming to me - just imagine how much food and water you needed for this size group.
One last point is that I did check out the Roman triplex acies a bit to better understand it and came up with this short video you might find of interest https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWAkN...
you and also just google it "triples acies" and Wikipedia will take you to more info on this and other Roman tactics


message 20: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3822 comments Mod
Thanks for the link, Vincent. It's amazing how much stuff there is on the Internet for just about any topic. Ancient warfare seems quite cumbersome - supplies for the men and animals, having to travel on foot, communicating between different groups of men. But they managed quite successfully.


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