Talk:Julius Caesar

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 Definition Roman general and politician who conquered Gaul, won a civil war, and was assassinated in 44BC. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Classics, History and Military [Editors asked to check categories]
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This article contains some material from the Wikipedia article, but it's material that I wrote myself, so as per this policy page it doesn't need to be flagged as such. --Patrick Brown 19:49, 30 March 2007 (CDT)
Idem for myself (List of Caesar's literary works taken from my addition to the German wikipedia). —Arne Eickenberg 12:51, 8 April 2007 (CDT)
Check the history of edits to see who inserted this notice.
I removed the Wikipedia-tag, which was added by Aleksander Stos. Reason: see the two posts above. —Arne Eickenberg 13:36, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Needs something on Gallic Wars

I'm one of those traditionalists who had to read Caesar's Gallic Wars in high school Latin. It's so good and really ought to be discussed here, or at least have a plug pointing off to some future article. Don't have time to do it myself but I'll ask for it here.Pat Palmer 00:42, 5 April 2007 (CDT)

Don't worry, it will have. I'm just getting started. --Patrick Brown 13:03, 6 April 2007 (CDT)
In the list of Caesar's literary works there are two links to BG and BC. These articles would be the right place to further discuss the Gallic and Civil Wars. —Arne Eickenberg 14:41, 8 April 2007 (CDT)

Article title / Caesar's real name

Should the title of the article not be "Gaius Iulius Caesar" instead of "Julius Caesar"? The former was his real name, the latter is only the anglicized rendition. (If yes, then this should be done for all articles on Roman antiquity: e.g. "Mark Antony" would be invalid, and "Marcus Antonius" should be used instead.) Any comments/suggestions? —Arne Eickenberg 13:20, 8 April 2007 (CDT)

I understand the sentiment, and if this was a dictionary of classical biography, I'd fully agree with you. However, as it's an encyclopedia for the general reader, the titles should probably reflect what the general reader is likely to look up. If someone watches Shakespeare's Julius Caesar or Antony and Cleopatra, or HBO's Rome, and wants to find out if they're historically accurate, they'll look for "Julius Caesar" and "Mark Antony", not "Gaius Iulius Caesar" and "Marcus Antonius". So long as we make it clear that these are Anglicised I think we're covered for accuracy. --Patrick Brown 15:46, 8 April 2007 (CDT)

Historia Augusta/Spartianus

Arne, I notice you've included the name Spartianus as the author of the Historia Augusta passage cited. The six authors of the Historia Augusta are now generally considered pseudonyms for one anonymous author, so I think that would be better left out. Has anyone monitoring this page any objections to changing it?

I don't have any objections, especially since I only found the name "Spartanius" in a 19th century encyclopedia. —Arne Eickenberg 07:01, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

Classics only?

Great to see original classics articles under development. Thanks, guys.

I am not sure that we need to have put this with the Military and History workgroups. Surely not every military commander of antiquity will also be in the military and history workgroups? I'd be inclined to limit this to classics only. (Of course, we've really got to set clear policy about this, as about other matters. All in good time!) --Larry Sanger 08:23, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

I'd second that. Caesar was much more than just a military commander. Only people of antiquity who are mainly seen under military aspects, should also be included in the military workgroups, e.g. Gaius Marius (cp. his "Marian army reform"), general Agrippa under Augustus, and Caesar's brutish general Labienus, who was responsible for those massacres in Gaul. —Arne Eickenberg 08:41, 10 April 2007 (CDT)
I think you're right about removing Caesar from the Military group, however I think Caesar is generally acknowledged as a pivotal character in history and that the article should remain in both Classics and History. Carl Jantzen 11:30, 10 July 2007 (CDT)

Which images to use

My opinion is that (where possible & applicable) only contemporary depictions (coins, statues etc.) should be used. The en:Wikipedia article about Caesar for instance uses a lot of later images, incl. a variant of the Vatican type Caesar-head as their primary image, a type which was introduced after Caesar's death, but was based on the predecessor of the Torlonia-head, which was contemporary. Other images, incl. maybe a history of reception, the aesthetic nachleben so to speak, should be part of the paragraph "cultural depictions". What do you think? —Arne Eickenberg 13:25, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

Good plan. When I put in "Cultural depictions" as a header I was thinking of things like Shakespeare, but the evolution of his image would be an excellent addition to the article. --Patrick Brown 18:14, 10 April 2007 (CDT)
Shakespeare has got to be in there. Definitely. (After all he's responsible for the "You too, Brutus", isn't he? ^_~) Maybe we should actually use the German word Nachleben as the header. (Also used by Weigel in his Lepidus-biography.) This would of course include Shakespeare, but also the post-Caesarian imagery, the many Caesar legends and fragmented Caesar-romances from the Mediaeval Ages, e.g. Caesar's ashes, Caesar having an Oberon-child with Fay Morgana etc. pp. (I have a great book by Friedrich Gundolf on Caesar's path through the ages.) The only problem is how the topic "Divus Iulius" can be kept out of it, which is of course also a kind of "nachleben". (I plan on dedicating a complete article on the divinized Caesar, incl. Caesar's religious career, his divine ancestry etc. in detail.) —Arne Eickenberg 18:43, 10 April 2007 (CDT)
Well, you could have a sub-heading on the deified Caesar, with a summary and a link to the longer article. But I wouldn't advise using German terminology. Maybe a better English phrase can be found, but I don't think the general English-speaking reader could cope with nachleben. I'm sure you're aware how bad English-speakers are at learning other languages. --Patrick Brown 19:16, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

In danger of becoming a Wikipedia article

This article is in danger of falling into the all the same problems Wikipedia regularly does. As the the introduction page says, "we want Citizendium articles to be lucid, highly readable introductions written in compelling, narrative prose that really does the job of introducing a topic to people who need one". This should an introduction to Julius Caesar for an educated general reader, and should consist of a concise biography and a summary of his legacy and significance, not a repository for everything that is known on the subject.

The etymology section is very learned and well-referenced, but excessive for an article of this sort. Most of it could be perhaps be transferred to a Gens Julia article, as it applies to every personage called Julius Caesar, but this article only needs a summary (also, including wikilinks in section headers is ugly and should be avoided). The literary work section and the the "bibliography" that's just been added are just undifferentiated data dumps. "Literary work" needs to be rewritten as prose, with a bit of information on the works and what they're about. The bibliography is not a bibliography at all, merely a list of books. If any of those books are used to supply information or interpretations that are included in the body of the article, then they should be cited in the footnotes. Just dumping them in the middle of the article serves no useful purpose, so I've removed them (and copied them here - they might be useful for authors to consult). I also don't see any real reason for a separate "Divus Julius" article as trailed in the disambig notice at the top - Caesar's religious career can be included in the biography, and his deification in the "legacy" section when it's written.

I also think we should stick to spelling "Julius" with a J. It's not strictly accurate, but it is overwhelmingly familiar, and to use "Iulius" in a non-specialist work like this just seems pedantic.

  • Dando-Collins, Stephen. Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome, 2002 online edition
  • Dodge, Theodore Ayrault. Caesar, a History of the Art of War among the Romans down to the End of the Roman Empire, with a Detailed Account of the Campaigns of Caius Julius Caesar (1893) 789pp old classic; online edition
  • Goldsworthy, Adrian. Caesar: Life of a Colossus (Yale U.P. 2006), 608pp; major military biography
  • Gilliver, Kate. Caesar's Gallic Wars, 58-50 B.C., Routledge, 2003, 95pp online edition
  • Grant, Michael. Julius Caesar, 1969
  • Holmes, T. Rice. Caesar's Conquest of Gaul, 1911
  • Jiménez, Ramon L. Caesar against Rome: The Great Roman Civil War, Praeger Publishers, 2000 online edition
  • Gérard Walter. Caesar: A Biography. 1952 online edition
  • Zander, Horst, ed. Julius Caesar: New Critical Essays Routledge, 2005, 358pp deals with Caesar in literature, esp. Shakespeare. online edition
All serious encyclopedias have bibliographies to help the users. This is a very short list indeed, of a dozen or so recent and popular items. The authors did not say what scholary sources they in fact used to prepare the article but in any case a Bibliography is NOT the same as the list of references used. (Wikipedia gets this mixed up to its demerit.) And of course Caesar is a mainline topic for historians and military specialists. Richard Jensen 02:24, 3 May 2007 (CDT)
I agree that articles should be in as many workgroups as are relevant, to make it easier for authors from different fields to contribute. Still not convinced that the bibliography, in its current form, serves any purpose, but it should at least go at the end of the article, not in the middle of the "literary work" section, so I've moved it. I'd also question whether it's appropriate to link to works at Questia, which is a paysite. As the author of most of the biography section so far, I haven't really consulted any secondary scholarly sources, but worked direct from the classics, but obviously we'll need to work from scholarly material when it comes to Caesar's legacy and significance
Bibliographies are essential in a serious encyclopedia, because we cannot tell users that our article is the last word and they should not read any further. The users need some guidance on what to read--how many thousands of books and articles are there on Caesar?, and yes it should go at the end. Questia is widely available, and offers a great deal of free info (like the first page of every chapter) that is very helpful in deciding to purchase a book or borrow it interlibrary loan or track it down in a university library some miles away. (Everyone pays money for access to Internet and CZ of course, and they have to pay for access to some invaluable sites like JSTOR, Project Muse and EBSCO as well As QUESTIA.) Modern books are rarely free. Telling people the full text is available at Questia is free information and will help users make a better decision. (It is faster and may be cheaper than buying the book through a bookstore.) Richard Jensen 02:55, 3 May 2007 (CDT)
Maybe so, but should we be directing commercial traffic to one particular outlet? That's my concern. --Patrick Brown 03:11, 3 May 2007 (CDT)
My policy is to link to all available commercial sources I know about. This is esp important for journals that have multiple sources (all by subscription like JSTOR, EBSCO, Ingenta, Project Muse, Swetswise, HistoryCooperative, etc). Given the universal usage of there is no need to mention it unless it has a chapter available (in which cases users can be pointed there.) Richard Jensen 03:17, 3 May 2007 (CDT)