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To enjoy the book you need a decent grasp of roman history to understand the characters and concepts and logistics - the history of Rome podcast is an amazing tool to get a great overview of the Roman republic and empire - I would listed to all 160 plus episodes and it will make this book much more interesting
Caesar’s Civil War covers the period in Roman history from 49 to 48 B.C. The book primarily covers Caesar and his rival Pompey. I was disappointed in the book as I expected this to be a first person account as Julius Caesar was the author. But it is written in the second person more like a textbook. Maybe this is the fault of the translation from Latin to English. The book goes into Caesar’s role as Governor of Gaul; Caesar presents himself as the victim of a conspiracy occurring in Rome led by Pompey and Marcus Cicero. On 10 January 49 B.C. leading only one legion General Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River the boundary between Gaul and Italy proper, a legally proscribed action forbidden to an Army-leading Roman General. Thus began the Civil War. Caesar marched on Rome and Pompey fled Rome to central Italy. The book covers the battles but also the battles of Spain, Greece and African campaigns. The descriptions of the lay of the land as related to strategic advantages for battle were interesting. I was surprised at Caesar leniency toward the defeated solders. This was an interesting book but I was disappointed there was not more personal insight by Caesar. Robin Field did a good job narrating the book.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Civil War the most enjoyable?
I've enjoyed reading Caesar's works for decades. This let me revisit it while on the road and puttering at various tasks around the house. It is a story I'll return to.
What other book might you compare The Civil War to and why?
The obvious example is the Gallic War by Caesar. It is also a well told story written by a major participant. Like this one, it's entertaining to look for Caesar's self aggrandizement, though he hides it well.
Have you listened to any of Robin Field’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I chose this version of Caesar because of Robin Field's reading. Once again he makes me feel that I'm listening to the author. I'll be looking for more of his work.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Caesar's generosity to his opponents, particularly to the legionaries, but also to their commanders, is a stark contrast to the massacres of his followers by those same opponents. Undoubtedly there's some exaggeration on his part, but his popularity with the common Roman soldier and man in the street is more understandable from seeing his approach to the conflict.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful