R. W. Westall, Caesar's Civil War

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Richard W. Westall, Caesar's Civil War. Historical Reality and Fabrication, Leyde, 2017.

Éditeur : Brill
Collection : Mnemosyne Supplements, 410
XIV-400 pages
ISBN : 978-90-04-35614-6
116 €

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.

Table of contents

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



Source : Brill


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