The History Book Club discussion

Caesar: Life of a Colossus
This topic is about Caesar
33 views
ROMAN EMPIRE -THE HISTORY... > WE ARE OPEN - CAESAR - WEEK TEN - April 30th - May 6th -> Chapter Seventeen: The Road to the Rubicon and Chapter Eighteen: Blitzkrieg: Italy and Spain, Winter-Autumn, 49 BC - (pages 358 - 404) ~ No Spoilers, Please

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

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

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

For the week of April 30th - May 6th, we are reading chapters 17 and 18 of Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy.

The tenth week's reading assignment is:

WEEK TEN - April 30th - May 6th -> 17. The Road to the Rubicon and 18. Blitzkrieg: Italy and Spain, Winter-Autumn, 49 BC (358 - 404)

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 | 3835 comments Mod
Everyone, for the week of April 30th - May 6th, we are reading Chapters 17 and 18.

The tenth week's reading assignment is:

WEEK TEN - April 30th - May 6th -> 17. The Road to the Rubicon and 18. Blitzkrieg: Italy and Spain, Winter-Autumn, 49 BC (358 - 404)

Chapter Overview and Summary:

Chapter 17. The Road to the Rubicon


The Rubicon

This chapter covers Caesar’s attempts to stand for consul a second time without having to give up his imperium and the attempts of his enemies in Rome to thwart him.

Chapter 18. Blitzkrieg: Italy and Spain, Winter-Autumn, 49 BC


Roman civil war

This chapter covers Caesar’s “illegal” march on Rome and his opponents leaving Italy to raise an army in Greece, and Caesar’s defeat of Pompey’s legions in Spain.


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

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod

Possible site of the Rubicon river

Discussion Topics for Chapter XVII:

1. What do you think of Lucan’s quote “Caesar could not accept a superior, nor Pompey an equal”?

2. What might have happened if Caesar had been allowed to consul a second time (and win) without leaving his province?

Discussion Topics for Chapter XVIII:

1. Do you think Caesar’s use of clemency was helpful to him, or just postponed dealing with his enemies decisively?


message 4: by Michele (last edited Apr 30, 2018 01:01PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michele (micheleevansito) Chapter XVII: 1. What do you think of Lucan’s quote “Caesar could not accept a superior, nor Pompey an equal”?

I think it hits pretty close to the truth. Its really what the whole civil war was about.

Chapter XVIII: 1. Do you think Caesar’s use of clemency was helpful to him, or just postponed dealing with his enemies decisively?

A bit of both. Clemency worked well in getting the people to side with him. but in several cases, clemency meant that they would go back to fighting him. It might have been better to have those people imprisoned, but where and who would guard them would be the question.


Boris | 30 comments Chapter XVIII: 2. What might have happened if Caesar had been allowed to consul a second time (and win) without leaving his province?

In the short term, this would probably have satisfied Caesar and avoided a civil war. There is no indication that he really wanted the war or even wanted to be an absolute tyrant. As a consul, fresh from his success in Gaul, he would be on the same level as Pompey and with his political skill, he would soon be the undisputed number one.

So we would still end up with Caesar as number one, just with much fewer casualties. The question is what would happen next? Would Caesar's rise, by bending and breaking the rules, have eroded the republic beyond repair and have paved the way for a future dictator or would he be able to effect institutional reforms and ensure stability for another couple of centuries?


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

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
I really like Lucan's phrase, it encapsulates a lot about the two men. Pompey is so interesting. He was a great general from a young age, and a wonderful organizer, eg. for getting rid of the pirates. He was elected consul without having had previous offices and not being technically old enough. But he seems to have been unsure of his status. For instance taking over the fight (and the credit) against the Spartacans from Crassus. He doesn't seem to have been a very good politician. I don't remember reading whether he was a good speaker.


message 7: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (last edited May 06, 2018 10:21AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
The stamina of the legionaries is pretty amazing. Many of them had to cross the Alps, chase Pompey down to the bottom of Italy, then go to Spain to take care of Pompey's troops there. Then many had to go back down to Brundisium in order to cross over to Macedonia to engage with Pompey. And Caesar was known for moving fast.


Harmke Boris wrote: "Chapter XVIII: 2. What might have happened if Caesar had been allowed to consul a second time (and win) without leaving his province?

In the short term, this would probably have satisfied Caesar a..."


I agree Boris, Caesar would have ended up at the top anyway. Caesar cared about his status and prestige. He wasn't aiming for absolute power I think, he just wanted to be the most prominent politician in Rome.


message 9: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Too bad they didn't' just let him have his second consulate. It seems strange so many top men were adamantly against Caesar.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1246 comments All the comments are interesting and I think right on - maybe if there wasn’t such an ambitious Pompey there would have been no war But regarding the apprehensions of the other prominent Romans one could look at Caesar like our Douglass MacArthur - spent most of time out of the states but came back eventually with big political ambitions - the biography of MacArthur by William Manchester was named : American Caesar (I never read it)


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

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Interesting comparison to MacArthur, Vincent. You need to do citations according to our standards, like so -

American Caesar Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 by William Manchester by William Manchester William Manchester


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1246 comments Vicki wrote: "Interesting comparison to MacArthur, Vincent. You need to do citations according to our standards, like so -

American Caesar Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 by William Manchester by [authorimage:William..."



Thanks - I could not find a way to do citations with the iPad - do you know is it possible?


message 13: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Sorry, I'm not well versed on the iPad. Maybe if you post a question in the Help Desk section someone can help.


message 14: by Michele (last edited Jun 24, 2018 01:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michele (micheleevansito) The Goodreads app doesn't allow you to do citations. Believe me, I've tried. My advice would be to log on via your internet browser and try doing the citations that way.


Helga Cohen (hcohen) | 591 comments Vincent wrote: "Vicki wrote: "Interesting comparison to MacArthur, Vincent. You need to do citations according to our standards, like so -

American Caesar Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 by William Manchester by [autho..."

You can't use the Goodreads app. Go to Goodreads on the browser and you can do it there. I do it all the time.


message 16: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2191 comments Mod
Thank you Helga.


back to top