The Commentaries of Caesar, 2 vols. (1833)


The Commentaries of Caesar, 2 vols. (1833)


Title: The Commentaries of Caesar
Author: Julius Caesar, William Duncan (trans)
Publisher: J & J Harper, New York, 1833.
Condition: Hardcover, with considerable wear. Binding tight, but obvious foxing to pages. Text clear, pages clean except for inscription on fly leaves and title page. Complete in 2 volumes.

About the book:

Contains Julius Caesar’s works. Contents are as follows:

1. Biographical Sketch of Caesar

2. Arguments

3. Wars in Gaul

4. Civil War

5. Alexandrian War

6. African War

7. Spanish War

About Julius Caesar (from Wikipedia):

Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general, statesman, Consul, and notable author of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey formed a political alliance that was to dominate Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power through populist tactics were opposed by the conservative ruling class within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar’s victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome’s territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain.

During his lifetime, Caesar was regarded as one of the best orators and prose authors in Latin — even Cicero spoke highly of Caesar’s rhetoric and style. Only Caesar’s war commentaries have survived. A few sentences from other works are quoted by other authors. Among his lost works are his funeral oration for his paternal aunt Julia and his Anticato, a document written to defame Cato in response to Cicero’s published praise. Poems by Julius Caesar are also mentioned in ancient sources.

His surviving works:

The Commentarii de Bello Gallico, usually known in English as The Gallic Wars, seven books each covering one year of his campaigns in Gaul and southern Britain in the 50s BC, with the eighth book written by Aulus Hirtius on the last two years.
The Commentarii de Bello Civili (The Civil War), events of the Civil War from Caesar’s perspective, until immediately after Pompey’s death in Egypt.

Other works historically have been attributed to Caesar, but their authorship is in doubt:

De Bello Alexandrino (On the Alexandrine War), campaign in Alexandria;
De Bello Africo (On the African War), campaigns in North Africa; and
De Bello Hispaniensi (On the Hispanic War), campaigns in the Iberian Peninsula.

These narratives were written and published annually during or just after the actual campaigns, as a sort of “dispatches from the front.” They were important in shaping Caesar’s public image and enhancing his reputation when he was away from Rome for long periods. They may have been presented as public readings. As a model of clear and direct Latin style, The Gallic Wars traditionally has been studied by first- or second-year Latin students.