Book Review: “The Gallic War”

Special to the Herald-Guide
November 03, 2011 at 9:54 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Michael White
Courtesy photo
Michael White
Reviewed by Michael White

"The Gallic Wars" was written by Julius Caesar while he was on campaign in Ancient Gaul, in what is now France. It is a firsthand account written from an objective perspective. Caesar refers to himself in third person, never using the word "I." The book was written to be read by plebs, so the text is clear and concise.

The book is divided into eight chapters, each detailing a major campaign. The majority of these are revolts of various combinations by Gallic tribes. However, expeditions across the Rhine River and the English Channel are discussed in detail as well. At the time, Britain and Germany were untamed lands inhabited, respectively, by fierce Celtic and Teutonic tribesmen.

Caesar also describes in detail the Gallic way of life and their political systems. All of this is set against a backdrop of intrigue in Rome against Caesar.

I thoroughly enjoyed "The Gallic Wars." It was an interesting and easily readable account of ancient warfare, politics and culture. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Rome, or just history. I would advise that the reader gain a little background before reading the book.

Michael White is a sophomore in the academically gifted program at Hahnville High. He enjoys ROTC, Student Council and volunteering at the National WWII Museum.

Editor’s note: Book reviews are published in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.

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