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De Bello Hispaniensi

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Language  Classical Latin
Publication date  approx. 40 BC
Preceded by  De Bello Africo
Publisher  unknown
Author  Julius Caesar
Subject  History, military history
Julius Caesar books  De Bello Africo, Commentarii de Bello Civili, Commentarii de Bello Gallico, Vikings Irish Annals, Caesar's Conquest of Gaul

De Bello Hispaniensi (also Bellum Hispaniense; On the Hispanic War) is a Latin work continuing Julius Caesar's commentaries, De Bello Gallico and De Bello Civili, and its sequels by two different unknown authors De Bello Alexandrino and De Bello Africo. It details Caesar's campaigns on the Iberian Peninsula, ending with the Battle of Munda.

Authorship

De Bello Hispaniensi is preceded by De Bello Alexandrino and De Bello Africo. These three works end the Caesarean corpus relating Caesar's civil war. Though normally collected and bound with Caesar's authentic writings, their authorship has been debated since antiquity. One very plausible theory favors Hirtius as the author of De Bello Alexandrino (see there for details). But due to considerable differences in style, scholarly consensus has ruled out Hirtius or Julius Caesar as the authors of the two last parts. It has been suggested that these were in fact rough drafts prepared at the request of Hirtius by two separate soldiers who fought in the respective campaign; and had he survived, Hirtius would have worked them up into more effective literary form. Regarding De Bello Hispaniensi T. Rice Holmes writes: "Bellum Hispaniense is the worst book in Latin literature; and its text is the most deplorable. The language is generally ungrammatical and often unintelligible. The copyists performed their tasks so ill that in the forty-two paragraphs there are twenty-one gaps and six hundred corrupt passages, which Mommsen and lesser men have striven with an industry worthy of a better cause to restore." About the author, A.G. Way ventures that "Macaulay's guess that he was some 'sturdy old centurion who fought better than he wrote' is possibly not far off the truth" (p. 305).

References

De Bello Hispaniensi Wikipedia


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