Monday, October 20, 2003

Diviciacus' Tears: the Portrayal of the Aedui in Caesar's Bellum Gallicum

By Alexa Jervis

"In the Bellum Gallicum, Caesar's loyalty to the Aedui appears unbounded, as does his admiration for one of their leading men, Diviciacus. Caesar justifies his determination to take military action by invoking the Aedui and Caesar's portrait of Diviciacus has recently been cited as evidence of the author's tendency to burnish the reputations of Gauls loyal to Rome. But Diviciacus and his fellow tribesmen display one trait, often ignored by scholars, that suggests Caesar's portrayal of them may not be entirely positive in their propensity to weep."

"Romans cry at their lowest, most unroman moments during the panic that precedes their encounter with Ariovistus, and shortly before Ambiorix's fatal attack on Sabinus and Cotta's men...The frequent appearance of Aeduan tears signals a feeble nature, and subtly undercuts Caesar's apparent esteem."

Alexa Jervis' paper in its entirety will be presented at the 2004 Joint Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the American Philological Association to be held Friday, January 2, 2004 - Monday, January 5, 2004 at the San Francisco Hilton.

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