On the Gallic War, a book written by Julius Caesar on his campaigns in Gaul (modern France and Germany) and Britain. It is often handed out as a reading exercise for the student of Latin because Caesar's style is very straightforward and easy to read, particularly by contrast with other Roman authors, such as Cicero (who wrote orations), Ovid (erotic poetry and the Metamorphoses), etc. Following the tradition of the time, Caesar usually writes in the third person, with occasional lapses into the first person plural. The book is evidently largely based on the notes and reports he sent back to the Senate during the campaigns.

  • Book I (58 B.C.)
      1  Description of Gaul--geography and inhabitants.
      2-29  Campaign against the Helvetii.
        Their ambitions--their leader, Orgetorix; his death--Caesar takes steps to protect the Province--the Helvetii enter the country of the Aedui--battle of the Arar--negotiations:  Liscus, Dumnorix, and Diviacus--battle near Bibracte; retreat and surrender of the Helvetii--their numbers.
      30-52  Campaign against Ariovistus.
        General assembly of the Gauls; complaints against Ariovistus--Caesar's overtures to him rebuffed--a temporary panic in the Roman army quelled by Caesar--conference with Ariovistus--defeat of the Germans (near Mülhausen).
  • Book II (57 B.C.)
      1-33  Campaign against the Belgae.
        Caesar chrosses the Axona--relieves Bibrax--punishes the Bellovaci--defeats the Nervii--captures a stronghold of the Aduatuci.
      34  P. Crassus reports the subjection of the maritime states of Gaul.
      35  Fifteen days' thanksgiving in Rome for Caesar's achievements.
  • Book III (57 and 56 B.C.)
      1-6  Servius Galba repulses an attack of the Seduni and Vreagri upon his camps at Octodurus.
      7-16  Campaign against the Veneti.
        The Roman fleet--the ships of the Veneti--a naval engagement:  victory of the Romans.
      17-19  Operations of Titurius Sabinus against the Venelli.
      20-27  Operations of P. Crassus in Aquitania.
      28-29  Operations of Caesar against the Morini and Menapii.
  • Book IV (55 B.C.)
      1-4  Description of the Suebi, Ubii, Usipetes, and Tencteri.
      5-15  Operations of Caesar against the Usipetes and Tencteri.
      16  Caesar determines to cross the Rhine.
      17  His bridge over the Rhine.
      18-19  Operations in Germany.
      20-36  First expedition to Britain.
        A difficult landing--defeat of the British forces--a storm damages the Roman ships--the chariot-fighting of the Britons--second defeat of the Britons--Caesar returns to Gaul.
      37-38  Defeat of the rebellious Morini--subjection of the Menapii.
      Twenty days' thanksgiving in Rome for Caesar's achievements.
  • Book V (54 B.C.)
      1-23  Second expedition to Britain.
        Preparation of a fleet--Caesar composes the factions of the Treveri:  Cingetorix and Indutiomarus--the intrigues of Dumnorix--landing unopposed--repulse of the Britons--Roman fleet damaged by a storm--description of Britain--Cassivellaunnus subdued--Caesar crosses the Thames--returns to Gaul.
      26-58  Revolt of Belgic tribes.
        Assassination of Tasgetius--Ambiorix and Catuvolcus--dispute between Titurius Sabinus and Cotta:  their defeat and death, and destruction of their troops--Q. Cicero attacked by the Nervii:  Caesar effects his relief--Indutiomarus attacks Labienus' camp, but is defeated.
  • Book VI (53 B.C.)
      1-8  Further revolt in Gaul.
        Caesar's operations against the Nervii, Senones, Carnutes, Menapii--Labienus defeats the Treveri.
      9-10  Caesar Crosses the Rhine--retirement of the Suebi.
      11-20  Description of the Gauls. 21- 28  Description of the Germans.
        Religion--customs--warfare--animals in the Hercynian forest.
      29-44  Caesar returns to Gaul--operations against Ambiorix and the Eburones--the Sugambri attack Caesar's camp but are repulsed--Ambirox escapes--execution of Acco.
  • Book VII (52 B.C.)
      1-7  General conspiracy of the Gauls--Vercingetorix chosen as leader.
      8-14  Caesar moves suddenly against the Arverni--succors the Boii--takes Vellaundodunum, Cenabum, Noviodunum.
      15-31  Siege, defence, and capture of Avaricum.
      34-52  Siege of Gergovia--abandoned, after severe repulse.
      53-57  Caesar moves against the Aedui.
      58-62  Labienus, successful against the Parisii, joins him.
      63-74  General revolt of the Gauls under Vercingetorix--they attack Caesar, but are defeated, and retire to Alesia.
      75-89  Siege of Alesia--the Gauls make an unsuccessful attempt to relieve it--surrender of the town, and of Vercingetorix.
      90  Submission of the Aedui and the Arverni.
        Twenty days' thanksgiving in Rome for Caesar's achivements.
  • Book VIII (51 and 50 B.C.)
      1-48  End of the revolt in Gaul.
        Bituriges reduced, Carnutes dispersed, Bellovaci defeated--Dumnacus besieges Lemonum, but without success--Armoric states subdued--Drappes captured--Uxellodunum besieged, and taken by Caesar--Labienus' successful operations against the Treveri--Commius subdued.
      49-55  Ceaser and the Senate.
        His triumphal reception by cities and colonies--he returns to the army in Gaul--his opponents in the Senate--he returns to Italy.
  • Appendix A:  The Roman Army
  • Appendix B:  Britain

Analyses and summary of books by H.J. Edwards

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