chapter
10 Pages

Introduction

History, as the saying goes, is written by the winners. Sir Winston Churchill is reported to have said: ‘History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it’, a quote that could suit no-one better than Gaius Julius Caesar, who, in deeds and words, wrote his own history and the history of Rome. Caesar was the victor in a civil war that shaped the Roman empire for centuries to come. In his Commentarii de Bello Civili (BC) we have a rst-hand account by one of the major protagonists of the war, who, in addition to being a military commander, was also a brilliant writer. is is the only account of a Roman civil war written by one of the leaders that has come down to us.1 A close reading of the Bellum Civile not only provides plentiful information on the political and military manoeuvres employed at the time but also oers us a rare glimpse of Caesar’s mind-set during and aer the war.