Things have been quiet on the blog lately, not for artistic reasons but because real life is intruding more than the ideal. (Without burdening the casual reader with excessive detail, it is not the best time to be working in the UK public sector at the moment).
I have also been immersed in Adrian Goldsworthy's monumental biography Caesar, essential reading for anyone interested in the late Roman Republic. Goldsworthy reviews the sources for the period to synthesise a fascinating account of Caesar's military and political career. With a supporting cast as vivid as Pompey, Cicero, Crassus and Cato, it's hard to make this dull, and Goldsworthy seizes his opportunity. I'd have regarded myself as a relatively well-informed general reader on the period, but I learned a huge amount from the book.
I found the political machinations more interesting than Caesar's military campaigns. The difficulty in writing about the latter is that the only real source is Caesar's own Commentaries, which are simply propaganda written for the Roman Senate. The various Gaulish tribes are never fully realised, being only legion-fodder for Caesar's conquests.
Caesar is a balanced assessment of Rome's most famous figure, and illuminates by showing him firmly in the context of his times and society. I highly recommend the book, but make sure you have some time on your hands!