Plutarch's Life of Caesar deals with the best known Roman of them all, Julius Caesar, and his vivid narrative covers most of the major events of the last generation of the Republic, as well as painting an insightful picture of this man who sacrificed everything for power. Pelling's volume gives a new translation of the Life together with a full introduction and running commentary on the events it describes. Culminating in the crossing of the Rubicon, Caesar's victory in the Civil War, and finally his assassination on the Ides of March, 44 BC, it goes on to trace the first stages of the new phase of civil war which followed and, in its turn, led to the establishment of the principate. The volume also discusses both the historical and the literary aspects of the Life, relating it both to the broader history of the Republic and to Plutarch's other works, especially the Life ofAlexander with which it forms a pair of Parallel Lives. A separate section of the Introduction also discusses Shakespeare's adaptation of Plutarch in Julius Caesar, and points out ways in which the subtle remoulding of Plutarch's material can illuminate the techniques and interests of both authors.
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