Chapter Eleven. Caesar as an Intellectual

  1. Miriam Griffin Emeritus Fellow
  1. Elaine Fantham

Published Online: 5 MAY 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444308440.ch11

A Companion to Julius Caesar

A Companion to Julius Caesar

How to Cite

Fantham, E. (2009) Caesar as an Intellectual, in A Companion to Julius Caesar (ed M. Griffin), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444308440.ch11

Editor Information

  1. Somerville College, Oxford, UK

Author Information

  1. Giger Professor of Latin Emeritus, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 MAY 2009
  2. Published Print: 10 APR 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405149235

Online ISBN: 9781444308440



  • Caesar as an Intellectual;
  • Caesar's education - elite boys of his generation were tutored at home, at best by serious Greek teachers;
  • first reading of literature, above all Homeric epic and then early Latin epic poets;
  • study rhetoric for the lawcourts - learning precepts of Greek manuals and exercising by arguing imaginary cases;
  • Caesar as an orator - Caesar's first appearance in the courts and lasting impression of his quality, a figure dominant in politics;
  • Caesar as a theorist of language - highly likely that Caesar's own approach to oratory was anti-rhetorical;
  • Caesar's interest in ethnography - Caesar's knowledge of Gaul and its peoples, the commentarii containing a wide range of material;
  • Caesar's Calendar - Caesar's scientific achievements – his calendar;
  • Caesar - ambitious attempt to extend and control knowledge not only of time but of place


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Caesar's Education

  • Caesar as an Orator

  • Caesar as a Theorist of Language

  • Ethnography

  • Caesar's Calendar

  • Epilogue

  • Further Reading