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The War for Gaul Reviews

The War for Gaul by Julius Caesar, James O'Donnell (University Librarian)

The War for Gaul: A New Translation

Julius Caesar, James O'Donnell (University Librarian)

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1 review

Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 9 Apr 2019
ISBN: 9780691174921

A new translation that captures the gripping power of one of the greatest war stories ever told-Julius Caesar's pitiless account of his brutal campaign to conquer Gaul Imagine a book about an unnecessary war written by the ruthless general of an occupying army-a vivid and dramatic propaganda piece that forces the reader to identify with the conq

4 stars out of 5
Michael Kulikowski
18 Jun 2020

"His text might best serve as a crib, much superior to the hundred-year-old Loeb, for those who want to give the original a try"

O’Donnell does no such thing. His presentation is positively ascetic: a smattering of footnotes, mostly in dispraise of Caesar’s honesty; a single, austere map with very rough locations for the various Gallic peoples; and a steadfast refusal to add interpretative verbiage where Caesar is spare or ambiguous. He gives us just three pages or so of introduction to events in Rome before each book. Cross-references are notably absent. All this is intentional and aims to replicate the sensation Caesar’s original audience would have had, lacking maps and knowing next to nothing about Gaul. It all seems so exciting, but also terribly confusing.