JP On Gaming

Saturday, March 14, 2020

[Kinda Book Review] Caesar's Civil Wars

Now the dying days of the Roman Republic is a time that calls to my heart. I read many material on that time period. The case of characters is fascinating as each of them can be interpreted in so many different ways. Caesar, Pompey, Cicero, Crassus, to name but a few.

The book itself is separated into four parts, of which only the first one - the Civil War - is believed to be written by Caesar himself. The three other parts, the Alexandrian War, the African War, and the Spanish War.

If you go into this book trying to learn more about the period by reading this you will find yourself wanting. These books are dry and limited to military actions, particularly for the last two parts. The Spanish War in particular is written by someone who has a limited strategic view as we are presented with a complicated series of minor engagements. The result of these actions is hard to understand.

Like the Gallic Wars, this book is very much a pro-Caesar propaganda. His enemies are always overconfident and prone to panic while he acts with poise.

There is little mention of anything happening that is not a military matter. For example, little to nothing is mentioned of his affair with Queen Cleopatra or any of his actions while in Rome. This is a straight up after action report on four wars.

From a wargamer's perspective, this is a great book as it shows how the legions were used and we get extensive deployment details: placement of the cavalry, use of light infantry and auxillia.

So for a rating of this one... The narrative and its quality drops the more time advances. I will put it on an average of 3/5. The narrative starts with a 4 and ends with a 2 because some of the most interesting passages are missing.

Which leaves me with a 3/5 when it comes to the final score. I can live with that rating.

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