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The Education of Julius Caesar: A Biography, a Reconstruction

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In this meticulously researched and absorbing biography, Arthur Kahn brings Caesar alive and explores the spirit of his age with intensity, illuminating the politics, the technological and scientific developments, military struggles, and the artistic and philosophical ferment.


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In this meticulously researched and absorbing biography, Arthur Kahn brings Caesar alive and explores the spirit of his age with intensity, illuminating the politics, the technological and scientific developments, military struggles, and the artistic and philosophical ferment.

30 review for The Education of Julius Caesar: A Biography, a Reconstruction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gerry

    These points. It will help to have a knowledge of how the Roman republic was set up, that is, its magistrates, key offices, the Senate, Comitia Centuriata, and Comitia Tributa. Little of this is explained to the reader, who is presumed to know this. After which, the reader will benefit in learning how the army operated, legions, cohorts, and the like. Knowing this, well, in you go. Experiencing the violent turbulence of the last century of the Republic’s existence, Caesar learned much and benefit These points. It will help to have a knowledge of how the Roman republic was set up, that is, its magistrates, key offices, the Senate, Comitia Centuriata, and Comitia Tributa. Little of this is explained to the reader, who is presumed to know this. After which, the reader will benefit in learning how the army operated, legions, cohorts, and the like. Knowing this, well, in you go. Experiencing the violent turbulence of the last century of the Republic’s existence, Caesar learned much and benefited from it, hence the title. He’s only young for a few chapters. The main story is his biography: where he went, what he did. In the background is the conflict, frequently violent with riots and murders, between the optimates and populares or, if you will, the well-to-do and the less wealthy. Caesar championed the latter. The author describes the wealthy party and its government as an oligarchy and explains what it does in terms of what typical oligarchies do (reckon he doesn’t like ‘em). Much of how Caesar thought seems to have been influenced by Epicureanism. Quotes from the period greats are found in the text as they may have related to J.C. Battles are fought and won or lost. There isn’t much about the movements or tactics. There probably isn’t that much information about them available two millennia later. Everything you may have read or leaned about Cicero and Cataline in your third-year Latin is tossed out the window. The author sums Cicero up as a “trimmer.” A major point which stuck with me is Caesar’s generosity in victory. He seemed to have a game plan to restructure the Republic and this did not sit well with the hide-bound aristocratic oligarchs who stood to lose big sesterces under this, so that explains the Ides of March. People are either “Caesarphiles” or “Caesarphobes”. The epilogue tells where the author stands.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark Carley

    There are some authors who can write good sentences and still not be very good storytellers. Such is the case here. I think the biggest problem is that he takes a very arrogant approach to his readers, assuming that we already know way more about Roman history than the average reader is likely to know. Also, no maps. How is this possible in a biography of a man who conquered most of the known world? Still, the book was loaded with new information for me and much analysis not just of Caesar, but There are some authors who can write good sentences and still not be very good storytellers. Such is the case here. I think the biggest problem is that he takes a very arrogant approach to his readers, assuming that we already know way more about Roman history than the average reader is likely to know. Also, no maps. How is this possible in a biography of a man who conquered most of the known world? Still, the book was loaded with new information for me and much analysis not just of Caesar, but most of his contemporaries. The author seems to very much like Caesar as a man of the people and redistributor of wealth, while ignoring the massive loss of human life attributable to him through his conquests. He also hates the Romans most admired by lovers of liberty - Cato and Cicero. Clearly this guy is a big time lefty, but it is an interesting take on the most important years of Roman history.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rena Sherwood

    Incredibly long and meandering biography of Caesar's life (and not just his school years). Sometimes the endnotes had nothing to do with the text it supposedly supported. (Yes -- I'm weird enough to read the endnotes.) Many quotes not attributed. There are so many other biographies of Julius Caesar out there. Skip this and read those! One good thing -- you'll be so happy when this book is done! Incredibly long and meandering biography of Caesar's life (and not just his school years). Sometimes the endnotes had nothing to do with the text it supposedly supported. (Yes -- I'm weird enough to read the endnotes.) Many quotes not attributed. There are so many other biographies of Julius Caesar out there. Skip this and read those! One good thing -- you'll be so happy when this book is done!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fourleggedfish

    Very well written. The author was knowledgable, did his research and presented it in a factual yet compelling manner. I never thought that I was reading a novel, but it was not a dry non-fiction book either. Also presented many sides of issues and left the reader to interpret available facts/evidence rather than telling the reader what to think of Caesar's life. Also included enough background information to put his life properly in context, but did not overwhelm with meaningless historical triv Very well written. The author was knowledgable, did his research and presented it in a factual yet compelling manner. I never thought that I was reading a novel, but it was not a dry non-fiction book either. Also presented many sides of issues and left the reader to interpret available facts/evidence rather than telling the reader what to think of Caesar's life. Also included enough background information to put his life properly in context, but did not overwhelm with meaningless historical trivia.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    This biography of Julius Caesar is a bit like one of Bob Woodward's instant histories in that the author plausibly fleshes out such facts as can be documented. For one unfamiliar with Caesar or the late Republic, this is a readable and interestingly opinionated introduction. This biography of Julius Caesar is a bit like one of Bob Woodward's instant histories in that the author plausibly fleshes out such facts as can be documented. For one unfamiliar with Caesar or the late Republic, this is a readable and interestingly opinionated introduction.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gene Turlington

  7. 5 out of 5

    Donald Broussard

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hank Cox

  9. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  10. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Schamber

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gregg Brown

  12. 5 out of 5

    DoctorM

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Chaffin

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jefferson Fortner

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Siefkes

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Stinson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Greg

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark Kenderdine

  20. 5 out of 5

    Camasarye

  21. 5 out of 5

    Garry

  22. 5 out of 5

    Todd Strohmeyer

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  25. 5 out of 5

    Altair

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt Lively

  27. 4 out of 5

    Billy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alex Smardz

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris Mitchell

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julia Dudek

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