This little gem of a thesis by Carl Zohren, first published in 1910, was discovered by Laura Knight-Jadczyk during her research into the Roman Empire, and is now translated from German into English for the first time.
Historian and philologist Luciano Canfora said about Caesar: “When they killed him, his assassins did not realize that they had eliminated the best and most far-sighted mind of their class.” This is the problem. According to all the history we are taught, Julius Caesar was a power-mad wannabe-king who destroyed Gaul and then the Roman Republic, and his assassination was a noble and justified act. That is how it is sold to us, at least. But a careful reading of the sources reveals something quite different.
Our problem lies in the fact that most of what we know – or think we know – about Caesar and those times, comes from his enemies. In Cicero, his most prolific contemporary, we see Caesar through the eyes of one of the most repulsive characters Rome ever produced. But the problem goes beyond Cicero; it is historians and historiography in general, and Valerius Antias, the main topic of this little book, was one of the chief architects of the deception. His work provided the justification Caesar’s murderers needed to go down in history as Rome’s saviors. But the truth is something completely different.