Julius Caesar is one of the most interesting ancient Romans, not least because of conflicting interpretations of his character and motivations. In this class, we will examine ancient and modern texts in an effort to expand the picture of who he really was and what he was trying to accomplish. The first text we will use is Suetonius’ Life of Caesar (2nd c. AD), full of truths, half-truths, and speculations. Then we will read excerpts from the Gallic Wars, Caesar’s account of his campaigns. Third, we will read George Bernard Shaw’s play, Caesar and Cleopatra, and finally, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
Required Texts: George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra; William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar; (Suetonius and the Gallic Wars are online free texts, links for which will be sent to enrollees)