Born to Run

Class Reflection



Location: Founders Library

In class we talked more on Cicero but I couldn’t help but know I didn’t do my best on my quiz cause I honestly didn’t study for it because I had two midterms today, GOTTA DO BETTER CHI! LOL. But anyway we talked more on Cicero after the quiz and we focused more on his ability to persuade the senate that Catiline indeed wasn’t a good cookie. We also spoke on the battle of Pistoria and also the death of those who betrayed Caesar and planned to kill him. Is Caesar a good leader? Yes, I say this because of his ability to talk. I feel as though eloquence is very important when it comes to an leader. You have to be able to properly speak, you have to be able to draw your audience to believe anything you say and even though Catiline showed up to the Senate, and even though his appearance at the event might have made Caesar to look like he wasn’t telling the truth, Caesar used things such as Logos, Pathos and Ethos in order to achieve his goal which was to persuade the senate in his favor. Unfortunately, politician’s today use tactics such as this, but are they telling the whole truth?



Location: Annex study room

This module focuses on Julius Caesar as a commander but also a leader when it come to Roman Politics. Caesars generalship is approached through two ways, Clausewitz and Jomini which happens to focus on the art of war, as well as Keegan and Kagan which focuses on the correspondence of military history. The dominant focus of this particular module is Caesar as the leader of men. Caesar form of recording events is seen as being very unusual. This is because his accounts which he wrote for the Senate (Commentarii) have mostly been preserved. Caesar had two commentarii’s, which were an account of his conquest of Barbarians in Gaul and the defeat of Pompey the Great. Two things that will be observed is:

  1. How did Caesar lead his armies in battle.
  2. How he depicted himself leading armies in and out of battle.

Imagine your a god in heaven looking down on Gaul



Location: Bedroom

This part of the module focuses on the story as Gaul as well as on Clausewitz and Jomini. Clausewitz (1780–1831) believed that war is a continuation of politics by other means. While on the other had Jomini (1779–1869) felt as though war is some sort of game. When looking at Caesar’s Gallic War, what will be observed is how he treats war like a Diagram, the interpretation of geographical and topographical details and how he describes the psychological and moral character of those who inhabit Gaul. As well as how Caesar combines the physical and moral to describe the land and people he is going to conquer.

Caesar Gallic War

Gaul is divided into three parts:

  1. Belgae
  2. Aquitam
  3. Celtae

These three areas are all different from each other based on language institutions and laws. Gauls are separated from Aquitari by the river Garonne. They are also separated from Belgae by the Marne and the Seine. The Belgae people are said to be:

  1. The most courageous. This is because they are the farthest removed from the culture and civilization of the province.
  2. Least often visited by merchants introducing commodities that make for effeminacy.
  3. Nearest to the Geraman’s which dwell beyond the Rhine. In which who they are always at war with.

The Helvetti excel the rest of the Gauls in valour. This is because:

  1. They are struggling in daily fights with Germans
  2. They try to keep the Germans out of Gallic
  3. They rage aggressive warfare

The Gauls occupy the separate part of the country which starts from the river Rhine and is bounded by the river Garonne, which is the ocean and territory of the Belgae. The other side of the Sequani and the Helvetti touches the Rhine with a northward trend. Belgae begins from the edge of Gallic territory which reaches the lower part of river Rhine.

Caesar creates war-like diagrams when he explains the different parts of Gauls as well as what divides them and what is near and close to them such as rivers and other countries which he can trying to come through in order to get to Gaul and even the oceans that he can chose are route to get there. He also depicts the vigor and morals of a people depending on where they live as well as other countries which are close to them and who they also have conflict with such as the Belgae people. His clear interpretation of the area seems like a discussion of a place that one may be trying to conquer so before we do that lets break the area down, know the in’s and out’s and also know what type of people they are and who they have beef with.

Reflection: What makes a good leader in war



Location: Bedroom

  1. What is an ideal military leader?
  2. Attributes a military leader should have.

A good military leader to me is someone who has stratigically planned out what he/she wants to do in order to be successful in a war. This leader shows a sense of strength so that his/her soldiers are motivated and confident in their quest. A military leader is also a critical and quick thinker especially when the doesn’t go as planned. A military leader is also reasonable when it comes to making decisions such as surrendering.

Military leaders should be reasonable people. People who take time before making massive decision, not ones who do things without thinking of its effects. A military leader should also have the art of persuasion, a military leader should also be eloquent so they can use his/her words to get them out of hard situations. A military leader should also be caring and understanding of the target and not those who are helplessly in the way such as citizens who inhabit their own countries but have nothing to do with the issues at hand. A good leader knows when to quit. A good leader is intelligent and doesn’t act out of emotions. A good leader doesn’t leave anyone behind.

Enemies worse than chance: A few minutes on ancient warfare



Location: Bedroom

Within this part of the module we are taking a deeper look into Caesars leadership and the type of leader he was, as well as his flawed account of his conquest in Gaul and what exactly happened.

Leaders with no enemies conquer chance. Chance comes from the world fall. The Greek word for chance is Tyche. Carry is seen to be derived from a latin word fortuna, but leaders with enemies must conquer malevolent intelligence. General are often admired because:

  1. We suppose that it is harder to oppose the shipping of enemy mind.
  2. Than the shattershot of disinterested randomness.

The violent conflict between human and human is a game which does not have to be. For example, ancient armies in Europe did not seek to slaughter all opponents except for some who were actually terrors. Does who did inflict terror did things such as:

  1. Murder warriors
  2. enslave women and children

War was seen as rare during the ancient world because it lacked things such as nationalism and totalizing ideologies. Greeks and Romans during this time saw their world as a kind of neighborhood. Neighborhood is derived from the Greek word oikumene from the word oikos which means household. Oikumene can be seen in correlation to the words economics and vicinity.

Many ancient wars were seen as civil wars such as that of Athens and Sparta which hailed from different distinct homes. But the most famous and historically influential civil wars were fought in Italy. The first was between Rome and other Italians and fifty years later the war was among Romans themselves. The most recent of these wars are what is called “Social Wars”, because Romans called non-roman Italians allies.

The most distinctive of these conflicts was between Rome’s savior against a barbarian population (Marius) and his military protege (Sulla). The second conflict is between the old savior’s nephew (Caesar) and Romes new savior against barbarian pirates (Pompey). The thing about Caesars war in Gaul is that it was far from civil. To Caesar Gaul was a foreign place and he viewed it as a map filled with populations which Caesar is willing and proud to slaughter. Appian records that Caesar killed millions and enslaved another million and the place which he did this can today be seen as northern France. Caesar records these accounts in his Commertarii which were two that he wrote for the Senate. The first was about his conquest of barbarians in Gaul (Bellum Gallicum), and the second was about the defeat of his friend turned enemy Pompey (Bellum Civile). Unfortunately, Caesar does not tell the whole story. Because his accounts did not give the whole picture it was said that Caesar wanted to paint a positive picture of himself in the eyes of his senatorial readers, but it would be false to see this as some form of propaganda. Caesar’s account can be seen as false due to unrealistic population numbers and lack of counter stories to that of which he told. Caesar as a leader seems unbothered and unembarrased to report his elimination of an entire Gallic tribe.

Caesar the military psychologist


4:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: Bedroom

This battle between Caesar and Pompey in a culmination of a bloody civil war, a half a century after another bloody war. These wars were driven by competition for dominance in a city which had already the Medetteranian for over more than a century. In Caesar’s account of his battle with Pompey he already explains why he wins before even really beginning the story. Caesar explains that Pompey’s mistake was that he failed to “fan the flames of battle in the hearts of his men. Pompey feels as though Caesar is a good tactical thinker but a poor military Psychologist which I beg to differ due to his account on what Pompey was thinking and the reason for his loss as well as understanding his tactic when the war was taking place. Caesar wrote in the battle of Pharsahs and draws close attention to tactical skills and decisiveness, Caesar’s men trusted in him as well as one another which is why he won.

Caesar ever wished to squander the blood of his soldiers or divide the public of their of their armies. This is what he said to his soldiers who were clamoring for action and had this desirable zeal to fight. G. Crastinus was previously was previously the tenth legion and a man of remarkable valour. G. Tarius on the other hand worked with Pompey told him to wait for Caesars attack without moving their position so that his line would be scattered, fall in disorder and so that they would be easily fatigued. When Caesar’s soldiers were given the signal they ran with their javelins but observed that Pompey and his soldiers were not moving. This is when they realized through experience the need to slow down so they halted at the center so that they wouldn’t be tired and continued where they released their javelins and drew there swords.

At the same time Caesar ordered the third line, which had been undisturbed and up to that time had retained its position, to advance. So, as they had come up fresh and vigorous in place of the exhausted troops, while others were attacking in the rear, the Pompey could not hold their ground and turned to flight in mass. Nor was Caesar wrong in thinking that the victory would originate with those cohorts which had been posted opposite the cavalry in the fourth line, as he had himself stated in exhorting his troops; for it was by them that the cavalry was first repulsed, by them that the archers and slings were slaughtered, by them that the Pompeian force was surrounded on the left and the rout first started. But Pompey when he saw his cavalry beaten back and that part of his force in which he had most confidence panic-stricken, mistrusting the rest also, left the field and straightway rode off to the camp. To the centurions whom he had placed on duty at the praetorian gate he exclaimed in a loud voice that the troops might hear: “Protect the camp and defend it carefully if anything goes amiss. I am going round the other gates and encouraging the guards of the camp.” Having said this, he betook himself to the general’s headquarters, mistrusting his fortunes and yet waiting to see the issue.

When the Pompeians were driven in flight within the rampart, Caesar, thinking that no respite should be given them in their terror, urged his men to take advantage of the kindness of fortune and attack the camp. And though fatigued by the great heat, they obeyed his command, with a spirit ready for every toil. The camp was being zealously defended by the cohorts which had been left there on guard, and much more keenly still by the Thracians and barbaric auxiliaries. For the soldiers who had fled from the battlefield panic-stricken in spirit and exhausted by fatigue, many of them having thrown away their arms and their military standards, were thinking more of further flight than of the defence of the camp. Those who had planted themselves on the rampart stand up any longer against the multitude of javelins, but, worn out by wounds, left their position and with all, following the guidance of centurions and military tribunes, fled for refuge to some very lofty hills that stretched up to the camp.

Speed and Caesar’s OOAD loop



Location: Bedroom

Cicero names the term Luckiness (felicitas) as one of the four attributes every good commander (imperator) must posses. These for attributes include:

  1. Luckiness (Felicitas)
  2. Knowledge of military affairs(scientia rei miliaris)
  3. Excellence in general with a shade of masculine (virtus)
  4. Ability to get other to listen to you without necessarily having strictly defined legal powers to do so.

*** Which are some of the attributes I previously through my opinion thought a good leader should have.******

It is said that Caesar enjoyed both luck as well as skill. He was often called felix due to how lucky he was. Caesar believed that his luck was associated with his divine ancestry because there was said that he was related to that of Venus, the goddess of love.

Appian an Alexandrain historian wrote about the Roman civil war and calls Caesar “aner epituchestatus es panta” meaning “a man who chanced most favorably in all things. Plutarch wrote on the excellence (Crete) and chance (Tyche) of Romans. He insisted that Caesar did not win on luck alone. Another thing that helped Caesar to win was his speed (celenitas). Caesar’s speed helps him in two ways. Caesars record of his speed explains that, “ But when our men on the giving of the signal, had run forward with javelins levelled and had observed that the Pompeians were not advancing against them, profiting by the experience they had gained in former battles, they spontaneously checked their speed and halted in about the middle of the space, so that they might not approach the foe with their vigour exhausted; and after a brief interval, again renewing their rapid advance, they discharged their javelins and quickly drew their swords, according to Caesar’s directions. Nor indeed did the Pompeians fail to meet the emergency. For they parried the shower of missiles and withstood the attack of the legions without breaking their ranks, and after discharging their javelins had recourse to their swords. At the same time the horse on Pompeius’ left wing, according to orders, charged in a body, and the whole multitude of archers poured forth. Our cavalry, failing to withstand their attack, gradually quitted their position and retired. Pompeius’ cavalry pressed forward all the more eagerly, and deploying by squadrons began to surround our lines on their exposed flank. Caesar, observing it, gave the signal to his fourth line, which he had composed of six cohorts. These advanced rapidly and with colours flying attacked Pompeius’ horse with such fury that not one of them stood his ground, and all, wheeling round, not only quitted the position but forthwith in hurried flight made for the highest hills. When these were dislodged all the archers and slingers, left defenceless, without support, were slain. With the same onslaught the cohorts surrounded the left wing, the Pompeians still fighting and continuing their resistance in their lines, and attacked them in the rear”.

Class Reflection



Location: Founder’s Library

Today we talked about stratigic Caesar and read a couple of excerpts from the module. Here are some facts that we spoke of in class:

  1. 48BC-Defeat of Pompey/Battle of Pharsylis
  2. Caesar-Power and authority
  3. Gaul: Modern Day France/Belgium
  4. Iustum Bellum/A Just War
  5. Caesar had gotten into debt because he had to bribe people when he ran for counselship.
  6. Pompey is killed by the father of Cleopatra which made Caesar upset.
  7. Mercey in Latin means (Clementia)
  8. Clausewitz (Philolsopher on war): (1780–1831)-Irrational Force
  9. Jomini (philosopher on war): (1779–1869)-viewed war like a chess match.

Caesar was a master strategist due to the point that he explained Gaul as if he knew the in’s and outs and he did this so that he could know the routes which he needed to take in order to conquer them. He was also a good leader because he had a great connection with his soldiers. He didn’t need to force them but instead he used his words to motivate his soldiers into batter. I personally feel as though the only downfall of Caesar is that he wasn’t embarrassed to spill some blood and kill some people, I feel as though a good leader is a conflict resolver with his/her mouth and not with their hands or weapons.

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