Caesar's Army: A Study of the Military Art of the Romans in the Last Days of the Republic

By Harry Pratt Judson. | Go to book overview
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PREFACE.

THIS little book is an attempt to reconstruct Cæsar's Army so as to give a clear idea of its composition and evolutions. It is hoped that students of Cæsar's writings and students of military science alike may find interest in such a study.

The Commentaries of Cæsar are the story of his wars. They are military history. It is true that they were intended largely for civilian readers at Rome. Still, they imply throughout a certain amount of military knowledge that all Roman citizens were supposed to have. The modern student can hardly be said to read understandingly, unless the text conveys to his mind the same idea that it conveyed to the intelligent Roman reader to whom Cæsar addressed it. Hence it seems clear that we should at least seek to gain those notions of the military art with which the Roman reader was familiar, and in the light of which Cæsar described his campaigns.

Many of these facts are entirely lost. Many others we can reach at best only approximately. Our inferences, based sometimes on meagre data, may often be erroneous. And yet is it not better to have even such an inadequate idea than no idea at all?

It is needless to say that in these pages the work of modern scholars has been laid heavily under contribution. Especially the exhaustive and ingenious treatise of Rüstow has been followed in many particulars. It has been the aim of the author to reach the truth, and to present it as clearly as he could, giving credit

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