Page title

"Classics As Crime Fiction. A Conversation with Caesar, Labienus, and Polybius"

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Prentice Lecture


November 15, 2018

Speaker & Affiliation

Christopher B. Krebs, Stanford University


4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
106 McCormick


Recording of lecture

Julius Caesar did not conquer Gaul all by himself. Bertold Brecht, in the 1930s and not without reason, saucily observed: “Caesar beat the Gauls. But did he not at least bring a cook along?”  (Fragen eines lesenden Arbeiters). Amongst those that evidently made a contribution none ranks higher than Titus Labienus, who, more than once, successfully fought far away from the proconsul. How did those events make it into the Gallic War? And if we listen carefully, can we perhaps discern Labienus’ voice in Caesar’s writing? We’ll listen in on one particular episode, hear more than expected, and tentatively reflect on what sleuthing and studying antiquity have in common (if anything).