Julius Caesar: The Colossus of Rome

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-01-14
  • Publisher: Routledge

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"Julius Caesar offers an account of Caesar's life and times. Richard Billows' dynamic and fast paced narrative offers an imaginative recounting of actions and events, providing the ideal introduction to Julius Caesar for general readers and students of classics and ancient history." "The book is not just a biography of Caesar, but an historical account and explanation of the decline and fall of the Roman Republican governing system, in which Caesar played a crucial part. To understand Caesar's life and role, it is necessary to grasp the political, social and economic problems Rome was grappling with, and the deep divisions within Roman society that came from them. Caesar has been seen variously as a mere opportunist, a power-hungry autocrat, an arrogant aristocrat disdaining rivals, a traditional Roman noble politician who stumbled into civil war and autocracy thanks to being misunderstood by his rivals, and even as the ideal man and pattern of all virtues. Richard A. Billows argues that such portrayals fail to consider the universal testimony of our ancient sources that Roman political life was divided in Caesar's time into two great political tendencies, called "optimates" and "populares" in the sources, of which Caesar came to be the leader of one: the "popularis" faction." "Billows suggests that it is only when we see Caesar as the leader of a great political and social movement, that had been struggling with its rival movement for decades and had been several times violently repressed in the course of that struggle, that we can understand how and why Caesar came to fight and win a civil war, and bring the traditional governing system of Rome to an end."--BOOK JACKET.

Author Biography

Richard A. Billows is Professor of Greek and Roman History at Columbia University in New York. His publications include Antigonos the One-Eyed and the Creation of the Hellenistic State. Recent research interests include the origins of the Greek city state, the collapse of the Roman Republic, and the origins of Christianity.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Illustrations and mapsp. xvii
Family tree - The Juliip. xvii
Family tree - Caesar's Familyp. xviii
The Roman Forump. xix
The City of Rome during the Republicp. xx
The Roman Empirep. xxi
Gaul in Caesar's dayp. xxii
Prologuep. 1
Rome and Italy in the Second Century BCEp. 3
Caesar's Childhood: the Social War and the Sullan Civil Warp. 27
Caesar's Early Manhood: the Rise of Pompeiusp. 56
Roman Politics in the 60sp. 78
The Long Year 59 BCEp. 111
The Conquest of Gaulp. 130
Roman Politics in the 50sp. 166
Caesar's Place in Roman Literature and Culturep. 192
The Civil Wars against Pompeius and the Optimatesp. 205
Caesar the Dictatorp. 236
Epiloguep. 259
Notesp. 263
Appendix: Roman Magistracies after Sullap. 286
List of Cicero's writingsp. 289
Select bibliographyp. 291
Indexp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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