The most famous Roman of all’s first-hand account of his wars of conquest in Gaul (most of present-day France, Belgium and Switzerland) and an account of his invasion of Britain.
Caesar’s conquest of Gaul, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome’s territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain.
Written as a third-person narrative while on campaign, this dramatic story is a diary of momentous events which includes the Gaulish rebellion under Vercingetorix, the alliance with the Belgae, the battle with the Britons under Cassivellaunus, and conflict with the German Suebi tribe.
Equally as important, Caesar also takes time to describe Gaulish and German racial features, dress, religion, culture, customs, and animals.
He also provides a fascinating comparison between the Gauls and Germans.
Books 1 to 7 of Commentarii de Bello Gallico were written by Caesar, and Book 8 was written by General Aulus Hirtius after Caesar’s death.
Cover image: Vercingetorix throws down his arms at the feet of Julius Caesar. The painting depicts the surrender of the Gallic chieftain after the Battle of Alesia (52 BC). Artist: Lionel Royer, 1899.