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Research Papers on Caesar's Military Leadership

Research papers on Caesar's military leadership look at the strategy that the leader imparted to win the many wars he engaged in. One of our several military strategist writers at Paper Masters can explain, in a custom research paper, why Caesar was so successful in his military leadership.

As a leader, Julius Caesar was masterful at instilling his soldiers with this pride, restoring their spirit when it fell, elevating their self-confidence and selfless devotion to the cause, giving them “fresh heart and hope”, when need be.  For example, Caesar warned his troops at Gergovia not to be too over-eager “for battle or hope of plunder”, recognizing the need for a surprise attack and cautious movements.  His troops were rash though and lost the battle;  Caesar condemned their “bad discipline” and for not listening to the commander-in-chief;  he writes, “I want obedience and self-restraint from my soldiers, just as much as courage in the face of danger”.  But then he, as a great leader, knew he had to re-build their shattered confidence with new victories, which of course were forthcoming.  This same issue once again surfaces when Caesar suffered setbacks in his Greek campaign.  He first blamed his troops:  “the setback we have sustained is anyone’s fault rather than my own”.  But Caesar again understood the necessity for his soldiers to regain their fighting spirit:  “so you must make an effort,” he wrote, “to repair the damage by your valour”.

Caesar's Military Leadership

Caesars Troops

Caesar knew exactly what to say in order to build up his troops for the battle, in one case by the promise of rewards at the siege of Avaricum for the first of them “to mount the wall”.  In another case, Caesar told his troops at Brundisium that “when we win, my generosity in reward will answer all your hopes”, thus further ensuring their loyalties, their passion for the cause, and their pensions.  The following are the main reasons Caesar was so successful:

  1. Caesar demanded total allegiance of his army
  2. Caesar demanded loyalty and got it
  3. Caesar always had his soldiers’ complete confidence

Caesar as a Military Leader

As a leader, Caesar was known for his clemency and generosity, using this to his strategic advantage.  He often asked that the conquered enemy only surrender their weapons, disband their armies, give over hostages, and end all further and future conflict.  The Helvetti, for example, were simply asked to “rebuild the towns and villages that they had burnt”.  Also, in the Roman Civil War, captured Pompeians had their lives spared and property restored at Pharsalus, lessening their fear at being captured.  And earlier in the civil wars, he had famously handed back the military fund handed over by officials of Corfinium--in an incident known as the “Pardon of Corfinium”;  he was neither willing to take away soldiers’ pay, nor their lives.

But some of his enemies deeply resented these psychological games: clemency was more a tactic, and more disarming, than anything else.  One critic puts it best, “Caesar knew he had enemies, but believed he could break their opposition by continuing to pardon them.  It was a contemptuous attitude”.  Though pardons were often read as an insult by civilized warriors such as the Romans, Caesar is said to have remarked that he was determined to be “foremost in justice and reasonableness”.  He wanted to “not only to excel them in magnanimity, but to overcome them with magnanimity”.

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