“The Civil War” by Julius Caesar

Two of the greatest generals of Rome, Caesar and Pompey, war against each other for life, glory, honor, dominance and, above all, the fate of the Roman Republic. The Gallic War lasted 8 years (58 BC – 51 BC), but the Civil War, from the very beginning till the decisive Battle of Pharsalus and death of Pompey, a year and a half (49 BC – … Continue reading “The Civil War” by Julius Caesar

“The Conquest of Gaul” by Julius Caesar

The people of Gaul were the inveterate enemies of Rome, having once before captured the City. The Roman historian Livy observed that the Gauls could not endure heat and physical exertion, and tire quickly in battles. They were impetuous, abounding in ingenuity, but lacking in fortitude, according to Caesar. The Commentaries on the Gallic War (58 BC-51 BC) are an intriguing account of war through … Continue reading “The Conquest of Gaul” by Julius Caesar

“Anabasis ” by Xenophon

Anabasis (also rendered as The March of the Ten Thousand or The Persian Expedition) is a firsthand account of the Greeks’ participation in Cyrus the Younger‘s revolt against his brother King Artaxerxes II, and their perilous return journey to the Black Sea after Cyrus’ death in the Battle of Cunaxa. Xenophon highlights the myriads of challenges a general faces in leading an army and carrying … Continue reading “Anabasis ” by Xenophon

“Cyropaedia” by Xenophon

He who rules himself well can rule the world. Plato writes in Republic that the principle of justice is the same for an individual as it is for a state. Therefore, the person who is eligible to govern a state must be a philosopher, i.e. lover of wisdom. Xenophon has found concrete expression of this ideal in the person of Cyrus, the founder of the … Continue reading “Cyropaedia” by Xenophon

“The Peloponnesian War” by Thucydides

The National Characters of Athens and Sparta The Athenians are addicted to innovation, and their designs are characterized by swiftness alike in conception and execution; you have a genius for keeping what you have got, accompanied by a total want of invention, and when forced to act you never go far enough. Again, they are adventurous beyond their power, and daring beyond their judgment, and … Continue reading “The Peloponnesian War” by Thucydides

“The Jugurthine War; The Conspiracy of Catiline” by Sallust

With a few changes in names, the whole story of “The Jugurthine War” can perhaps be transplanted from 110 BC Rome to the 20th century, or any other period in history, when there are global/central super powers, local tyrants/warlords and puppet governments. “The Conspiracy of Catiline” is a tale of political intrigue and class struggle instigated by lust-crazed individuals. It complements Cicero’s account of the … Continue reading “The Jugurthine War; The Conspiracy of Catiline” by Sallust

“The Histories” by Herodotus

Herodotus was hailed as “The Father of History” by Cicero; To me, he might as well be the Father of Humanism. The Histories is a magnificent epic which excels in scope, structure, richness of content, intricacy and theatrical grandeur. The main theme is the Persian Wars, i.e., the conflicts between the Persian Empire and Greek nations, culminating in the invasion of Greece by Xerxes I; … Continue reading “The Histories” by Herodotus