Comentarii de bello Gallico, 52-51 b.c.e.
Comentarii de bello civili, 45 b.c.e. (collectively translated as Commentaries, 1609)
Gaius Julius Caesar (SEE-zur) is better known as a leader than as a writer. However, his histories were models of the simple expository style of composition. Born into a Roman patrician family, he was required to prepare himself for political or military service to the state. He determined upon the military life because a relative, Marius, was the leader of the populārēs, the more democratic of the two groups who struggled for control of the state at the time. He was tutored in Greek and Latin literature and rhetoric. When his father died, Caesar at sixteen assumed the toga virilis. He was made a priest of Jupiter during the temporary triumph of the populārēs led by Marius and Cinna after the civil war that followed the social war of 90-89
As dictator, Caesar undertook a complete reorganization of the Roman state. His later writings, such as political pamphlets, grammatical treatises, and even poems, no longer exist. Much of his writing was suppressed by Augustus; of his longer works, only the Commentaries survive. As history and memoirs, and as models of clear expository writing, they give their soldier-author a unique place in literary history.