Julius Caesar was no aspiring autocrat seeking to realize the
imperial future but an unusually successful republican leader who
was measured against the Republic's traditions and its greatest
heroes of the past. Catastrophe befell Rome not because Caesar (or
anyone else) turned against the Republic, its norms and
institutions, but because Caesar's extraordinary success mobilized
a determined opposition which ultimately preferred to precipitate
civil war rather than accept its political defeat. Based on
painstaking re-analysis of the ancient sources in the light of
recent advances in our understanding of the participatory role of
the People in the republican political system, a strong emphasis on
agents' choices rather than structural causation, and profound
scepticism toward the facile determinism that often substitutes for
historical explanation, this book offers a radical reinterpretation
of a figure of profound historical importance who stands at the
turning point of Roman history from Republic to Empire.
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