commentaries of the
Gallic War are an account written for Roman senators, not a Latin
primer. They have been often misused as drill grounds for elementary
grammar, chopped into tiny pieces of the text.
Only by an intensive reading of entire books of Cesar’s Gallic
War one can feel the stylistic brilliance, the thrilling speed of
actions and the suggestive suspense of the most famous classical work
of Latin literature, written by one of the greatest geniuses of mankind.
The two audiobooks „Caesaris Bellum Gallicum“ contain the
whole text of the first book (Wars against the Helvetians and the
Germans under Ariovistus), read with classical pronunciation by
– The Helvetian War
story of the Helvetian’s emigration and desperate struggle.
his famous opening chapter about geography and inhabitants of Gallia
(„Gallia omnis divisa est in partes tres – All Gaul is
divided into three parts...“) Cesar reports about the emigration
plans of the Helvetians, a Gallic tribe whose region on all sides is
confined by natural borders: by the Rhine river, the Jura mountains,
the Lake of Geneva and the River Rhône. The Helvetians ask Cesar
for permission to go through the Roman province.
But „Cesar, in as much as he kept in remembrance that Lucius
Cassius, the consul, had been slain, and his army routed and made to
pass under the yoke by the Helvetii, did not think that their request
ought to be granted: nor was he of opinion that men of hostile
disposition, if an opportunity of marching through the Province were
given them, would abstain from outrage and mischief...“.