This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
He has likewise left Commentaries of his own actions both in the war in Gaul, and in the civil war with Pompey; for the author of the Alexandrian, African, and Spanish wars is not known with any certainty. Some think they are the productions of Oppius, and some of Hirtius; the latter of whom composed the last book, which is imperfect, of the Gallic war. Of Caesar's Commentaries, Cicero, in his Brutus, speaks thus: " He wrote his Commentaries in a manner deserving of great approbation: they are plain, precise, and elegant, without any affectation of rhetorical ornament. In having thus prepared materials for others who might be inclined to write his history, he may perhaps have encouraged some silly creatures to enter upon such a work, who will needs be dressing up his actions in all the extravagance of bombast; but he has discouraged wise men from ever attempting the subject." Hirtius delivers his opinion of these Commentaries in the following terms: "So great is the approbation with which they are universally perused, that, instead of rousing, he seems to have precluded, the efforts of any future historian. Yet, with respect to this work, we have more reason to admire him than others; for they only know how well and correctly he has written, but we know, likewise, how easily and quickly he did it." Pollio Asinius thinks that they were not drawn up with much care, or with a due regard to truth; for he insinuates that Caesar was too hasty of belief in regard to what was performed by others under his orders; and that, he has not given a very faithful account of his own acts, either by design, or through defect of memory; expressing at the same time an opinion that Caesar intended a new and more correct edition. He has left behind him likewise two books on Analogy, with the same number under the title of Anti-Cato, and a poem entitled The .Itinerary. Of these books, he composed the first two in his passage over the Alps, as he was returning to the army after making his circuit in Hither-Gaul; the second work about the time of the battle of Munda; and the last during the four-and-twenty days he employed in his journey from Rome to Farther-Spain. There are extant some letters of his to the senate, written in a manner never practised by any before him; for they are distinguished into pages in the form of a memorandum book: whereas the consuls and commanders till then, used constantly in their letters to continue the line quite across the sheet, without any folding or distinction of pages. There are extant likewise some letters from him to Cicero, and others to his friends, concerning his domestic affairs; in which, if there was occasion for secrecy, he wrote in cyphers; that is, he used the alphabet in such a manner, that not a single word could be made out. The way to decipher those epistles was to substitute the fourth for the first letter, as d for a, and so for the other letters respectively. Some things likewise pass under his name, said to have been written by him when a boy, or a very young man; as the Encomium of Hercules, a tragedy entitled (Edipus, and a collection of Apophthegms; all which Augustus forbad to be published, in a short and plain letter to Pompeius Macer, who was employed by him in the arrangement of his libraries.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.