Among the most durable and engaging texts in world literature, Julius Caesar's Conquest of Gaul tells how he and his legions conquered much of modern France in less than a decade (58-51 BCE), despite determined resistance. Perhaps the most famous Roman ever, Gaius Julius Caesar created a legacy which has resonated, for good or ill, throughout Western culture. Architect of an imperial system, eponymous sponsor of a reformed calendar system, orator second only to Cicero, conqueror of Gaul: Surely those accomplishments in the diverse fields of politics, applied mathematics, rhetoric, and military science would justify his eminence. Nevertheless, the high literary quality and historical value of this seemingly modest account match its exciting story of diplomatic maneuverings, shifting alliances, and military actions; the final chapters culminate in the revolt of the united Gallic tribes under Vercingetorix, France's first national hero, and are as compelling as any contemporary spy thriller.
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