Edctn of Julius Caesar

Arthur D. Kahn, Author Schocken Books Inc $28.5 (514p) ISBN 978-0-8052-4009-2
Julius Caesar expressed the will of his age and brought off his grandiose plans because, writes Kahn, he saw society as a thing in motion. A man of unbending will and inexhaustible energy, he possessed wide-ranging curiosity; his eloquence and wit charmed even his enemies. Although a dictator, Caesar refused to hunt ""subversives'' and rejected terror as a political weapon, according to this magisterial 608-page biography. Kahn, a former classics professor, clearly admires the ruler whom he sees as ``the greatest personality'' of the Roman era. Twelve years in preparation, the study welds ancient and modern sources, using semifictionalized techniques to bring the past to life: ``Caesar was at an age to banter with girls and grin at prostitutes ogling him from windows and doorways,'' the author writes at one point. Readers who can accept this technique will find Kahn's meticulously researched biography absorbing, and convincing in its re-creation of the social and political turmoil of the late Republic. (May 1)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
Paperback - 528 pages - 978-0-595-08921-5
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