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Caesar: Life of a Colossus
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ROMAN EMPIRE -THE HISTORY... > WE ARE OPEN - CAESAR - WEEK TWELVE - May 14th - May 20th – Chapter Twenty-One: Africa, September 47 – May 46 BC and Chapter Twenty-Two: Dictator, 46-44 BC - (pages 448 - 489) ~ No Spoilers, Please

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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 May 14th - May 20th, we are reading chapters 21 and 22 of Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy.

The twelfth week's reading assignment is:

WEEK TWELVE - May 14th - May 20th -> 21. Africa, September 47 – May 46 BC and 22. Dictator, 46-44 BC (448 - 489)

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 May 14th - May 20th, we are reading Chapters 21 and 22.

The twelfth week's reading assignment is:

WEEK TWELVE - May 14th - May 20th -> 21. Africa, September 47 – May 46 BC and 22. Dictator, 46-44 BC (448 - 489)

Chapter Overview and Summary:

Chapter 21. Africa, September 47 – May 46 BC


Cato committing suicide

This chapter covers Caesar’s return to Rome from Egypt and the final defeat of the Pompeians in Africa.

Chapter 22. Dictator, 46-44 BC


Caesar’s triumph

This chapter covers Caesar’s successive dictatorships and the end of the civil war with the defeat of the Pompeians in Spain.


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

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod

Caesar as dictator

Discussion Topics for Chapter XXI:

1. So many things seemed against Caesar’s troops in Africa – his ships had trouble finding landing places, they were outnumbered, it was hard to find food. How much of his victory was because of luck?

2. Was Cato right to kill himself to keep Caesar from pardoning him?

Discussion Topics for Chapter XXII:

1. Did Caesar want to be dictator because he had so much he wanted to get done without the interference of the Senate, or did he really want to be king?


message 4: by Michele (last edited May 14, 2018 02:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michele (micheleevansito) Chapter XXI: Was Cato right to kill himself to keep Caesar from pardoning him?

Maybe its just me, but trying to understand a hatred so deep that one would die before accepting a pardon is something that I find hard to wrap my mind around. So from Cato's point of extreme hated, killing himself was the only thing he could do. From my point of view, that was stupid.


message 5: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Cato did always fancy himself as the most Roman of the Romans. He did do a good job in Cyprus, foregoing the usual practice of bleeding the place dry. You'd think he could have done a better job at his suicide, though. A gruesome way to die.


Michele (micheleevansito) It was gruesome..... his hatred overrode his common sense. Poison would have been better.


message 7: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
I'm having trouble with a sentence in ch. 22, on p. 474 in my edition, regarding the giving of land to veterans and others in Rome. "There is no reason to doubt that Caesar ... did not feel that the programme of colonisation was good for the State as well as in his own interest." It seems to say he didn't like the program (American spelling), but he initiated it. Maybe I'm confused by too many negatives.


Harmke Michele wrote: "Chapter XXI: Was Cato right to kill himself to keep Caesar from pardoning him?

Maybe its just me, but trying to understand a hatred so deep that one would die before accepting a pardon is somethi..."


No, it's not just you... I thought the same thing. And the way he committed suicide... horrible.

Discussion Topics for Chapter XXII: Did Caesar want to be dictator because he had so much he wanted to get done without the interference of the Senate, or did he really want to be king?

Caesar never asked to be a dictator. The senate offered him dictatorship and other priviliges without Caesar ever asking for it. Although Caesar won his position throuh a civil war, he never was repressive.


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

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Harmke, I guess you're right that Caesar didn't really "ask" to be dictator, at least formally, but I'm sure he let his friends in the Senate know that it would be a good idea.

Also, I had never thought about consuls serving at the same time as a dictator. I thought a dictator would take the place of both consuls.


message 10: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
I was surprised to read that Caesar increased the number of Senators to 800-900. Where did they meet that would hold all those people? In all the pictures I've ever seen of the Senate, it looks like no more than about 200 would fit. Maybe they just didn't all attend.


Harmke Vicki wrote: "Harmke, I guess you're right that Caesar didn't really "ask" to be dictator, at least formally, but I'm sure he let his friends in the Senate know that it would be a good idea."

Ha, yes, that's a good one. But don't you think that his friends in the Senate were a little bit exaggerating in offering him all those priviliges?


message 12: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Harmke wrote: "But don't you think that his friends in the Senate were a little bit exaggerating in offering him all those priviliges? "

Too much sucking up to the great man. Octavian learned a valuable lesson from Caesar's accepting too much, and didn't make the same mistake.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1246 comments It seems to me that Caesar, in the thinking of the time, had great ambitions for Rome and he wanted to keep his integrity - therefore the efforts for land reform and filling the promises to his soldiers.

His ambitions to remove poverty from the people and depopulate Rome etc are very interesting for the time - take away the soldier and do we have an early FDR?

I said "in the thinking of the time" to put perspective on his severe punishments of some - his games with so many suffering and dying etc.


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

Vicki Cline | 3835 comments Mod
Very interesting, Vincent. He does seem to have believed that "I alone can fix it." And he did have good ideas, and did fix some stuff, especially the calendar.


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