The Civil War is well documented by the standards of ancient conflicts, but there remain many gaps in our knowledge. The best account is provided by Caesar’s War Commentaries in three books covering 49-48, supplemented by separate accounts of the Alexandrian War, African War and Spanish War written by his continuators. The identities of the latter are unknown, but all appear to have been officers who served with Caesar and witnessed at least some of the events they described. All of these accounts are inevitably highly favourable to Caesar, even though in his own narrative he writes about himself in the third person, but they are very detailed. Another of Caesar’s officers, Caius Asinius Pollio, claimed that Caesar did not always bother to check the details of events which he did not witness. Pollio’s own account, written after Caesar’s death, has not survived, although it is referred to in some of our other sources, such as the early-second-century AD Roman History of Appian. Roughly contemporary with the latter were Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, which include biographies of many of the main protagonists in the Civil War. Less useful for military detail, but invaluable for the political background and a vivid impression of the time, are the speeches, and particularly the correspondence, of Cicero.
Caesar (translated by J.Gardner), The Civil War, 1967.
Appian (translated by J.Carter), The Civil Wars, 1996.
Plutarch (translated by R.Warner), Fall of the Republic, includes Lives of Crassus, Pompey, Caesar and Cicero, revised, 1972.
Plutarch (translated by I.Scott-Kilvert), The Makers of Rome, includes Lives of Brutus and Mark Antony, 1965 Suetonius (translated R.Graves), The Twelve Caesars, revised, 1979.
All of the above are also available as parallel-text volumes (i.e. with the Latin or Greek on one page and the translation facing it) in the Loeb Series. They also provide the most convenient version of Cicero’s Letters to Atticus and Letters to his Friends.
Adcock, E., The Roman Art of War under the Republic, 1940.
Bishop, M., and J.Coulston, Roman Military Equipment, 1993.
Le Bohec, Y., The Imperial Roman Army, 1994.
Brunt, P., The Fall of the Roman Republic, 1988.
Dupuy, T., The Military Life of Julius Caesar, 1969.
Fuller, J., Julius Caesar: Man, Soldier and Tyrant, 1965.
Gelzer, M., Caesar, Politician and Statesman, 1968.
Gilliver, C., The Roman Art of War, 1999.
Goldsworthy, A., The Roman Army at War, 100BC±AD 200, 1996.
Goldsworthy, A., Roman Warfare, 2000.
Gruen, E.S., The Last Generation of the Roman Republic, 1974.
Keppie, L., The Making of the Roman Army, 1984.
Meier, C., (translated by D.McLintock) Caesar, 1995.
Parker, H., The Roman Legions, 1928.
Saddington, D., The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 1982.
Seager, R. Pompey, A Political Biography, 1979.
Syme, I., The Roman Revolution, 1939.
Welch, K., and A.Powell, (eds), Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter. The War Commentaries as Political Instruments, Swansea, 1998. Weinstock, S., Divus lulius, 1971.
Yavetz, Z., Julius Caesar and his Public Image, 1983.