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Caesar’s Experiments in Crafting a New Model Warrior
Vercingetorix throws down his arms at the feet of Julius Caesar, Lionel Royer,1899
Towards the end of Rome’s republic, Sallust delivers a familiar litany bemoaning the fallen military ideal: ambitious men now seek personal glory and wealth, rather than fighting for the state. This paper examines the writings of Julius Caesar and his response to the moral panic surrounding Roman masculinity and status. Just as recent scholarship has stressed the complex rhetorical strategies in Caesar’s Commentarii, I will consider his attempt to renegotiate relationships, between the ranks and between Roman and barbarian, to produce a new model of manliness, which might challenge the late republic’s rhetoric of decline.