In Caesar, Politician and Statesman, Matthias Gelzer outlines the pivotal role Julius Caesar played in Rome during his reign, ranging from a prosecuting advocate to a dictator. This book has undergone exhaustive revisions in order to maintain historical accuracy, In the introduction, Gelzer explains that his purpose for writing this book stemmed from a desire to gain a deeper understanding of Caesar’s part in Roman society, as well as those of his opponents such as Cicero, Pompey, Cato, and Brutus.
His main goal in writing this book was to “to give the educated public a lively picture of the complete political career of one of the great statesmen of the past”, Caesar provides an extensive biography of Julius Caesar while also informing the reader about the political ongoings during the last decades of the Roman Republic One characteristic of Gelzer’s biography is Gelzer’s blatant admiration for Julius Caesar. Gelzer maintains a fairly objective viewpoint in regards to the general outline of Caesar’s life; when it comes down to it, Gelzer openly admires Caesar, claiming that he possessed the qualities of a leader that Rome truly needed at that time.
One example of Gelzer’s admiration of Caesar was when Gelzer recounted Caesar’s manipulation of Pompey and Crassus, Crassus, a former supporter of Sulla, had a rivalry with Pompey, who had become closer with Caesar as they worked together. Rather than letting the two feud, he was able to convince them that working together would be more beneficial, thus forming the First Triumvirate.
The formation of the First Triumvirate provided Caesar with the foundation that he needed to jumpstart his career. Caesar conquered Gaul, and this made Pompey envious. When Crassus was killed in battle, the trio broke up, causing Pompey to revisit the feelings of hostility he had for Caesar.
When Pompey tried to oppose Caesar with an army, Caesar pursued him, forcing him into Egypt where he was killed Upon return to Rome, Caesar was made dictator for life. Although he only ruled for one year as dictator, he reformed Rome in a way that created lasting stabilityt He expanded the Senate and created two city-states He was able to please Romans by expanding the Senate, but also used it as a power move by filling the Senate with his allies One thing I particularly enjoyed about this book was the way Gelzer included background knowledge about the time period It provides insight as to how Caesar was able to Climb up in politics the way he did. Gelzer explains that Rome was unable to handle its growing population as Caesar was growing up, leading to much disorder in the Roman Empire.
It was a country of great size and influence, but was unable to use those attributes to its advantage in regards to diplomacy, Caesar, Politician and Statesman would appeal to someone who is looking for an in- depth biography of Julius Caesar, but is also interested in the ongoings of the Roman Republic during its last few decades. I feel that this book was both interesting and informative, and 1 had no trouble reading it. Gelzer analyzes Caesar‘s life and the moves he made very well, although he seems to border on admiration at times in context to World History, Caesar may seem like a narrow topic; however, Caesar’s impact on the Roman Empire was drastic.