Caesar's Civil War

Historical Reality and Fabrication


In Caesar's Civil War: Historical Reality and Fabrication, Westall combines literary analysis of Caesar’s Bellum Civile with a concern for the socio-economic history of the Roman empire. The Bellum Gallicum and the Shakespearean play are better known, but Caesar’s partisan account of the Roman civil war culminating in the battle of Pharsalus offers a historical text of perennial interest and relevance.
Two introductory chapters contextualize this book and offer a traditional narrative of political and military history for 49-48 BCE. There follow seven chapters that are dedicated to each of the geographical theatres of civil war. These chapters show how Caesar’s testimony sheds important light upon the nature of Roman rule in the Mediterranean, but also explore the problems to be encountered in using potentially tendentious testimony.

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Front Matter
Pages: i–xvi
Pages: 1–11
Pages: 44–85
Pages: 86–123
Pages: 124–158
Pages: 159–196
Pages: 197–236
Pages: 237–270
Pages: 271–302
Pages: 303–307
Pages: 321–345
Pages: 346–400
Richard Westall, Ph.D. (2000, Stanford University) is Adjunct professor at the Pontificia Università Gregoriana (Rome). He has published numerous articles on Roman history, Graeco-Roman historiography, and early Christianity.
"[Westall] geht es nicht um die bloße Darstellung der Ereignisse durch Caesar und andere als vielmehr darum, die in den diversen Regionen liegenden – häufig wirtschaftlich bedingten – römischen Interessen namhaft zu machen, die ebenso historisch verankert sind wie im aktuellen Bürgerkrieg für die beteiligten Parteien besondere Brisanz gewinnen. Zugleich entzaubert W[estall] Caesars tendenziöse Berichterstattung in prägnanten Interpretationen, teilweise anhand scharfsinniger Quellenvergleiche. (...) Unter Herausstellung der Bedeutung bestimmter geographischer Räume im Gefolge der Bürgerkriegsdarstellung Caesars erlauben W[estall]s Kontextualisierungsbemühungen interessante Einsichten auf verschiedenen Ebenen, die durch Überlegungen zur sozioökonomischen Lage Roms verbunden werden." Ulrich Lambrecht, Gymnasium 126, 2019.
"To sum up, W[estall] has provided a fresh and masterful analysis of Caesar’s civil war commentary. His study offers new and valuable insights into the history of the period. Careful attention is paid at every turn to Caesar’s method of justifying his actions as a response to supposed stubborn and unreasonable resistance on the part of his opponents. The author’s application of critical methods yields interesting and important results. The structure of the book makes it accessible to a broad range of readers, from someone new to the subject to an advanced scholar. By offering a narrative overview of the war in Chapter 2 and then segmenting the campaigns chronologically and geographically in the seven subsequent chapters, the book succeeds in exploring a complex set of questions with perfect clarity. This book is a credit to the author and to the series in which it appeared. Every university library should include this book in its holdings, and every scholar who studies this period of Roman history will gain from W[estall's] fresh insight into Caesar’s Bellum Civile." John T. Ramsey, Histos 14, 2020, xxxv-xliv.
List of Maps
List of Block Quotations

1 Introduction

2 The Civil War of 49–48 BCE

3 Italia
 1 Crossing the Rubicon
 2 Opening the Sanctius Aerarium
 3 The Sources of Soldiers

4 Hispania
 1 Laudes Hispaniae
 2 C. Caesar and Hispania
 3 Cn. Pompeius and Hispania
 4 The Significance of Clientelae

5 Gallia
 1 Omnis Gallia Germaniaque
 2 Massilia an Ally
 3 Massilia a Provincial Capital?
 4 Geopolitical Considerations
 5 Chagrin at Massilia
 6 Massilia and Phocaea, or the Theme of Libertas

6 Africa
 1 The Sources of Caesar’s Narrative
 2 Legitimacy of Command
 3 Roman Armies in North Africa
 4 The Grain of Africa

7 Macedonia
 1 Caesar Fleeing Forwards
 2 Pompeius’ Preparations for 48 BCE
 3 Life in the Military
 4 Other Than Soldiers
 5 Supply-Lines
 6 The Provincial Burden

8 Asia
 1 From Pharsalus to Alexandria
 2 Ephesus Capital of Asia
 3 The Ceremony and Rhetoric of Arrival
 4 Caesar and the Sanctuary of Artemis of Ephesus

9 Aegyptus
 1 Of Civil Wars Roman and Egyptian
 2 The Wealth of Egypt
 3 Banking and Imperialism


Weights, Measures, and Currencies
Maps: Theatres of War in 49–48 BCE
Index of Ancient Sources
Index of Modern Authors
General Index
All interested in the transition from Republic to Empire, and anyone working on the figures of Caesar, Pompeius, Cicero, or Augustus or interested in the phenomenon of civil war.
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