chapter  5
6 Pages

Civil War and the Ending of Bellum Civile I

From a literary perspective the Bellum Civile obviously does not involve a foreign enemy. e work itself opens with a typical Roman activity: a senatemeeting. However, Caesar is aware of the sensitivity of the situation and this shows up in his composition. He does not (and cannot) ignore the civil elements of the conict, but he chooses when to obscure them and when to move them to centre stage in the narrative. All through his advance into Italy we witness a bloodless war, primarily because the Pompeians ee from any confrontation and there is no real ghting. No Italian or Roman blood is admitted to have been shed in these clashes, and Caesar’s clementia is the dominant feature. ese were the early stages of the conict, when both sides were assessing each other. Caesar does not describe the killing of Italians or Romans in their native land. is is another example of how he distances himself from Sulla.1