Text – Julius Caesar and the Conquest of Gaul

“Caesar dreamt with an absolute power in order to carry out reforms to amaze the world. He began his political career at the forum, with the juvenile passion of making reforms as Pericles did, not holding the sword. He kept that eagerness for twenty years, until he was conscious of one basic idea: nobody would ever be great without the power of the legions. That is why when he was named consul of Gallia Narbonensis (Transalpine Gaul) and Gallia Cisalpina (Cisalpine Gaul), he did not aim towards clumsy personal enrichment as so many previous governors. He wanted to conquer all the independent Gaul. It was only then, with the careful management of his wealth and the devotion of his soldiers, when he could go back to Rome with enough importance to preside the funerals for the Republic and conceive the Roman Empire.

The Gallic Wars ended with astonishing figures for those times. A population of ten million Gauls suffered one million deaths, one million slaves and eight years of atrocious acts. Julius Caesar even exceeded himself during the Great Roman Civil War (Caesar’s Civil War). It has been said that it was the first true world war, since half a million soldiers fought each other for five years in three continents and one hundred land and sea battles”

AYLLÓN, J. R., “Introducción”, en SUN TZU, El arte de la guerra (Madrid: Ediciones Martínez Roca,  1999), pp. 27 y 28. [Translation by JJAC]

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