By Michael Sage
Pen & Sword, $39.95, 188 pages
Part of a series of books regarding the development of the Roman world from Pen & Sword Press, Roman Conquests: Gaul details the campaigns undertaken by Julius Caesar from 60-50 B.C.. I have yet to read the other books in this series, but I can say with certainty that I am sure to seek them out now.
“For Who is so worthless or indolent as not to wish to know by what means… the Romans have succeeded in subjecting nearly the whole inhabited world to their sole government — a thing unique in history? Or who again is there so passionately devoted to other spectacles or studies as to regard anything as of greater moment than an acquisition of this knowledge.”
Michael M. Sage’s account of Caesar’s Gallic campaigns is concise and gives long-ago events clarity. While any history book will have to use unfamiliar jargon, or place names, Professor Sage, defines the terms without the text becoming bogged down with footnotes. This book is scholarly, without becoming too technical, an ideal book for someone who enjoys military history, but may not possess a PhD.
Gaul, which consists of the lands west of the Rhine River, and north of the Alps, was a mish-mash of warlike tribes. By defeating the Gauls, Caesar developed the reputation he carries today, a brilliant General and military genius. His efforts during these campaigns placed Gaul firmly in the grasp of Rome for the next 500 years. If you, or someone you know enjoys Roman history this book deserves a place on your bookshelf.
Reviewed by Brad Wright