The Conquest of Gaul, by Julius Caesar
Not what I expected. Written in plain language, as if he wanted to sound trustworthy, so the reader wouldn’t notice the (non-glorious) things he skips over.
Fascinating to read now, after I know more about both what happened to Caesar afterwards and the Gauls he attacked.
Three things I learned:
- Caesar’s mercy started during the Gaul campaign, when he’d often pardon former enemies that were willing to bend the knee.
- Caesar justified his attacks on the rest of Gaul and Germany on a domino theory: if the Germans prospered in Gaul, he said, they’d eventually march on Rome itself.
- The Pullo and Vorenus from HBO’s Rome were based on real people, that Caesar wrote about by name (!)