Heroes and Villains, Number One: Julius Caesar, part 1

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

4 Responses

  1. Harry Colin says:

    Excellent. A much appreciated view of Caesar that serves as an antidote to the comic book characterizations of him so common in the last couple of generations.

    As a Trollopian, it’s good to see him mentioned, as his novels do portray a realistic society, compared to Dickens, whose characters are much like Chesterton’s – they exist to represent points of view as part of the author’s greater purpose.

    Because my mind travels strange paths, as I listened to the description of Caesar as a writer, I thought of the movie, “Trouble Along the Way.” In this film, Charles Coburn plays a priest whose small Catholic college, desperate for an infusion of cash, turns to a football coach – John Wayne – to try to generate money from a football program. In an early scene, Father President is interrupted by an aide to attend to some visitors; he is clearly annoyed and explained that he is re-reading Caesar’s Gallic Wars – no doubt in the original Latin.

  2. Robert Reavis says:

    We would be a better people if both the Gallic wars were read in Latin and Dickens was still read in English. Nothing new or original in discovering characters can become Caricatures of their worst faults. Dickens was not the first to see this and recognize it.

  3. Ken Rosenberger says:

    Wow! Check out Mr Esoteric, aka Rex Scott, closing with a number from Brian Wilson’s “Smile.” Nice pick.

  4. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Rex deserves great credit.