Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 August 2021
Caesar decamped to Gaul to fulfill his high military ambition, but he was far from immune from senatorial interference. A swift series of successes protected his precarious position down to the renewal of his command in 55; thereafter down to his decisive victory at Alesia in 52 he strove despite some memorable disasters to realize his repeated exaggerated claims to have "pacified the whole of Gaul." Final victory at Alesia brought the sustained applause not only of the People but also of the Senate. Caesar had a vital interest in making sure that Roman senators and the Roman People received a flow of positive news about his campaigns in Gaul, but his control over this multifocal network of communication is often greatly overstated. The chief media for this communication were not the Gallic War Commentaries but a dense network of "letters, rumor, reports" bringing a steady flow of news from various sources in the war zone to numerous recipients in Rome. Just as Caesar could not control the flow of information between the Army of Gaul and Italy, he also could not control political events in Rome, as the development of the crisis over his return shows.
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