The Age of Caesar - A history of the Roman Republic from the rise of the Gracchi to the fall of Julius Caesar The Age of Caesar - A history of the Roman Republic from the rise of the Gracchi to the fall of Julius Caesar

The Age of Caesar - A history of the Roman Republic from the rise of the Gracchi to the fall of Julius Caesar

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Beschreibung des Verlags

It was by accident that Caesar took up the profession of a soldier; yet perhaps no commander who ever lived showed greater military genius. The conquest of Gaul was effected by a force numerically insignificant, which was worked with the precision of a machine. The variety of uses to which it was capable of being turned implied, in the first place, extraordinary forethought in the selection of materials. Men whose nominal duty was merely to fight were engineers, architects, mechanics of the highest order. In a few hours they could extemporize an impregnable fortress on an open hillside. They bridged the Rhine in a week. They built a fleet in a month. The legions at Alesia held twice their number pinned within their works, while they kept at bay the whole force of insurgent Gaul, entirely by scientific superiority. The machine, which was thus perfect, was composed of human beings who required supplies of tools, and arms, and clothes, and food, and shelter, and for all these it depended on the forethought of its commander. Maps there were none. Countries entirely unknown had to be surveyed; routes had to be laid out; the depths and courses of rivers, the character of mountain passes, had all to be ascertained. Allies had to be found among tribes as yet unheard of. Countless contingent difficulties had to be provided for, many of which must necessarily arise, though the exact nature of them could not be anticipated. When room for accidents is left open, accidents do not fail to be heard of. Yet Caesar was never defeated when personally present, save once at Gergovia, and once at Durazzo; and the failure at Gergovia was caused by the revolt of the Aedui; and the manner in which the failure at Durazzo was retrieved showed Caesar's greatness more than the most brilliant of his victories. He was rash, but with a calculated rashness, which the event never failed to justify. His greatest successes were due to the rapidity of his movements, which brought him on the enemy before they heard of his approach. He travelled sometimes a hundred miles a day, reading or writing in his carriage, though countries without roads, and crossing rivers without bridges. No obstacles stopped him when he had a definite end in view. In battle he sometimes rode; but he was more often on foot, bareheaded, and in a conspicuous dress, that he might be seen and recognized. Again and again by his own efforts he recovered a day that was half lost. He once seized a panic-stricken standard-bearer, turned him round, and told him that he had mistaken the direction of the enemy. He never misled his army as to an enemy's strength, or if he mis-stated their numbers it was only to exaggerate. In Africa, before Thapsus, when his officers were nervous at the reported approach of Juba, he called them together and said briefly, "You will understand that within a day King Juba will be here with the legions, thirty thousand horse, a hundred thousand skirmishers, and three hundred elephants. You are not to think or ask questions. I tell you the truth, and you must prepare for it. If any of you are alarmed, I shall send you home."

GENRE
Geschichte
ERSCHIENEN
2015
20. Februar
SPRACHE
EN
Englisch
UMFANG
613
Seiten
VERLAG
Didactic Press
GRÖSSE
5,2
 MB

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