Gallic Wars By Julius Caesar Study Help Essay Questions

1. Describe the general structure of the Roman army. What were the names of the different officer ranks?

2. Why did the Romans recruit part of their forces in the field? What kinds of troops were most likely to be brought from Rome? What kinds were recruited in the field?

3. What were the political positions held by Caesar during his career?

4. Why was Caesar so successful as a soldier?

5. What is celeritas? How does it figure in Caesar's successes?

6. Compare the physical conditions affecting the kind of soldier produced by the tribes in Germany and Gaul. Which were better fighters? Why?

7. Why did the Sequani bring the Germans into Gaul? How valid is the argument presented by Ariovistus?

8. Discuss the importance of technology in Caesar's method of warfare.

9. What are most important parts of pre-battle activity for Caesar's troops? Discuss the importance of acquiring grain supply and sending out scouting parties. Show how inadequate attention to food supply can defeat an army. How important is the selection of a campsite?

10. Why does the Senate think Caesar's expedition to Britain is important enough to warrant a twenty-day thanksgiving?

11. Discuss the reasons why Ambiorix is successful in his defeat of the legion commanded by Cotta and Sabinus.

12. Compare Sabinus, Cotta, Labienus, and Cicero.

13. Why do the Aedui turn against Caesar in Book VII? What earlier events suggested that this might happen?

14. What are the various motives prompting revolt?

15. The Helvetians never actually attack Caesar in Book I. Why is he justified in moving against them?

16. How many times does Caesar show special favor to Diviciacus? Why does he do this? What are the results of the favors?

17. Give examples of Caesar's ability to take advantage of a sudden change in the situation facing him.

18. Discuss the use of hostages.

19. Discuss the importance of surprise as one of Caesar's basic weapons.

20. Several times Caesar wins battles because deserters to the enemy or prisoners taken by the enemy give mistaken or false information. Discuss how Caesar takes advantage of these situations.

21. The greatest asset of Caesar's army is its tight discipline. Usually a soldier does as he is told. Discuss how breaches of discipline cause near-disasters for Caesar's troops and discuss how the lack of discipline among the enemy permits Caesar's smaller units to win important battles.

22. Why is Caesar unsuccessful in his attempts to take the Venetii by land?

23. Why does Caesar send Galba to open a free road through the Alps?

24. Describe the kind of attack fortification Caesar's troops build when they begin the siege of a town.

25. Why does Caesar go to Britain twice? What are the differences in the two campaigns? How does Caesar's second campaign indicate he has learned much from the first one?

26. Why will Caesar not cross the Rhine by boat?

27. All the Roman commanders except Sabinus refuse to discuss terms with an enemy under arms. Why?

28. Caesar says several times that the Gauls are influenced by unfounded rumor. Give examples and discuss.

29. Who are the Druids? What is the nature of their authority?

30. What starts the general revolt of the Gauls in Book VII?

31. Evaluate the military skill of Vercingetorix.

32. Who are Viridomarus and Eporedorix? Why do they act as they do?

33. Labienus uses decoys -to trick Camulogenus at Lutetia. Describe this action.

34. What tribes are involved in the great revolt? How many of them have revolted previously? Are there any differences in their motives for rebelling?

35. What are the steps Caesar takes to draw his army together in the beginning of Book VII?

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