Sep 06 2008

Caesar: Politician and Statesman by Matthias Gelzer

An excellent study of the crisis of the late Roman Republic, the Gallic and Civil Wars, and Julius Caesar’s personal genius. To put it as mildly as possible, Caesar was a man of remarkable ability, not the least of which was his extraordinary knack for never missing an opportunity, and he was born at the just the right time to take advantage of the festering political situation at Rome. Monarchy hardly seems to most of us like an improvement of the political system, but I would argue that the Empire was better off for the first two hundred years under the rule of the Caesars than it ever had been under the Republic. Caesar may have destroyed the Republic, but he undoubtedly gave the Empire a new lease on life. Modern Europe, which is the heir of the Roman Empire, can thank him for this.

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