In this splendid profile, Luciano Canfora offers a radically new interpretation of one of the most controversial figures in history. Julius Caesar played a leading role in the culture and politics of a world empire, dwarfing his contemporaries in ambition, achievement, and appetite. For that, he has occupied a central place in the political imagination ever since. Yet Caesar, struck down by his own lieutenants because he could not be comprehended nor contained, remains an enigma. The result of a comprehensive study of the ancient sources, Julius Caesar: The Life and Times of the People's Dictator paints an astonishingly detailed portrait of this complex man and the times in which he lived. Based on his many years of research, Canfora focuses on what we actually know about Caesar, the man of politics and war, in a stylish, engaging narrative chronologically structured around the events in Caesar's life. The result is a rich, revelatory, full biographical portrait of the dictator whose mission of Romanization lies at the very heart of modern Europe.
Copub: Edinburgh University Press
Luciano Canfora is Professor of Greek and Latin Philology at the University of Bari. He is the author of many books including the best-selling The Vanished Library: A Wonder of the Ancient World (UC Press).
“A comprehensive and readable, one volume biography of Caesar. . . . [Canfora] not only crafted a detailed and authoritative biography of Caesar, but he did so in such a manner that you truly get a feel for what the man may have really been like - not just the dry facts about his accomplishments and impact on history. . . . A ‘must-read’ for anyone with an interest in Roman History or reading biographies of exceptional historical figures.”—History In Review
“Canfora has full command of the sources, both ancient and modern, which allows him to analyze closely the events of Caesar’s life and to note and interpret differences between the sources.”—Library Journal
“A fluid, distinctive, and highly intelligent portrait of Caesar in his times.”—Clifford Ando, author of Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire
“Master of the complex source material and at home in the vast secondary literature, Canfora has used his experience with communism to construct a subtle, original quest for ‘the real Caesar,’ the proletarian dictator. The book can only enrich research and teaching.”—William M. Calder III, William Abbott Oldfather Professor of the Classics and Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign