TRAVEL & GEOGRAPHY

Caesar's Footprints: A Cultural Excursion to Ancient France: Journeys Through Roman Gaul

Pegasus. Dec. 2017. 416p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781681775661. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781681776125. HIST
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The focus of this work is Julius Caesar (100–44 BCE)—not his influence on Rome, but rather his lasting impact on the region of Gaul (encompassing a wide area of present-day western Europe) and its influence on Western culture. Classical scholar Omrani (Asia Overland: Tales of Travel on the Trans-Siberian and Silk Road) writes with a free-flowing narrative style. His engaging historical journey includes descriptions of Gaul prior to Roman involvement and continues to trace Roman conquest in the area and its adaptation to Roman influences. Omrani devotes the majority of this book to Gaul's historical progression; later chapters address Caesar's influence in the region and its links to the modern age. As only a few insights are offered, readers might wonder if more concrete connections could have been made. A good secondary read is Greg Woolf's Becoming Roman, which gives more detail regarding Roman influence in assimilating diverse cultures under one national identity.
VERDICT An easy read for those interested in exploring broader cultural and historical connections during the Roman transition into the European continent and its continuing impact on the region.

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