The Gallic Wars, Part 1: The Eye Of The Storm

Hey all! Now that we are finished with the Crusades, I thought I would go back to a book analysis. This time we are doing The Gallic Wars, a gripping autobiography of Julius Caesar. I thought it would be good to start with a brief overview of Rome at the time.

Rome prospered. It had fought brutal wars taking the territory it now owned, but it had overcome it’s initial enemy’s. It had obtained truces with the bordering states around it, and it was RICH. It had rampant production and trade. Things were great. Hell, half of the nations around it were client states, meaning they had to pay tributes to it, only enhancing it’s wealth. In modern standards, by 60 B.C. it ruled Italy, Greece, most of Spain, southern France, Libya, Tunisia, Jerusalem, Syria, Lebanon, and some of Jordan! Things were great!

On top of its sprawling power and wealth, it had a great government! A senate made the executive and legislative decisions so no one person ruled. The legions were led by two consuls who had equally divided power so neither one of them could take over all Gaul, gaining power and prestige among the populace to an extent that if they destroy the other two or possibly let them die in a battle against the Parthians in Syria they could amass an army and then cross the Rubicon and take Rome and establish a dictatorship which would turn Rome into a one-man-ruled empire and that one man grew increasingly corrupt and eventually led Rome into a complete economic and civil collapse as it was invaded by enemies on all fronts! No, that would never happen!

In 60 B.C. Julius Caesar ran for Consul and succeeded. He now had achieved enough power to lead an army and in general was higher in governmental position. He led escapades throughout the Republic, doing smaller tasks like quelling rebellions or engaging in diplomacy. Eventually he decided it was time to go back to Rome itself, and as he was sailing through the Aegean sea he was captured by pirates. He told them they would be crucified for their insolence. (not religious in any way, it was just a painful way of killing people. Jesus probably wasn’t even born yet.) They proceeded to laugh in his face. Eventually they were paid a ransom for him, and then he hunted them down and crucified them. As you see here and will see in my upcoming posts, You don’t mess with Gaius Flavius Julius Marcus Antonius Constantinos Septios Caesar. Most of those names were made up.

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