Narrative explanation and the Roman military character
An examination of the Bellum Gallicum and Bellum Civile of Caesar, and books 21-30 of Livy, with particular reference to battle narratives; this thesis analyses the characterisation of commanders and their soldiers, and the use of soldiers as a moral focus, as part of the creation of causative patterns and explanations within narrative. I: sets out preconceptions and problems in the depiction of soldiers and leaders, and defines the terminology and scope of the argument: it also explains the analytical method of the thesis using Sallust, BC 57-61 as an example. II: On Caesar, BG. Begins with the drawbacks of the 'propagandist' approach: explores topoi of military action and character thematically (markers of bravery/cowardice, portrayal of Romans/enemies, the role of centurions, Caesar/subordinates/enemy leaders). III: On Caesar BC. Examines Caesar's modes of historical explanation in portraying civil war, through discussion of selected sections of the BC (also using comparative material from Cicero's Philippics): the start of the war; the fall of Corfinium; the Ilerda campaign; Curio in Africa; the battle of Pharsalus. Includes a consideration of Caesar's treatment of Labienus. IV (i): Traces narrative explanation on a large scale in Livy 21-3, and sections of 24-5, examining its relation to themes of Roman justification and destiny: observes and comments on parallels with Caesar in the depiction of soldiers and leaders. IV (ii): Continues with analysis of selected episodes, where particular tensions towards the end of the second Punic war condition and complicate narrative explanation: includes a view of the characterisation of Hannibal and Scipio. V A brief summary of the conclusions of the argument, and of its possible consequences and implications in a wider historiographical context.