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"Imaginary Geography" in Caesar's "Bellum Gallicum"

Christopher B. Krebs
The American Journal of Philology
Vol. 127, No. 1 (Spring, 2006), pp. 111-136
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3804926
Page Count: 26
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"Imaginary Geography" in Caesar's "Bellum Gallicum"
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Abstract

Caesar's "imaginary geography" of Germania as an infinite extension without any patterns but simply endless forests contrasts with his presentation of Gallia as an overviewed space. Within these geographies different concepts of space prevail, all of which serve to explain why his celeritas ceases in Germania. Having crossed the Rhine and thereby entered terra incognita like Alexander and Pompey, he refrains from campaigning because of the geographical conditions. By alluding to Scythia's similar space and Darius' failure, he shows himself to act prudently. It is also a characteristic of the imperator optimus to know when a venture is too risky.

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