Caesar's Civil War is an unfinished masterpiece. It was abandoned by an author who found himself living in a different world than that which saw its commencement. A snapshot of the late republic, it offers a vivid and detailed account of the troubled Roman empire near the turn to the common era. In it, Caesar recounts his break with the Senate and general Pompey and narrates the events of the nineteen months of civil war that followed. It ends after general Pompey's death, amidst the lead up to the Alexandrian war that initiated the next phase of the fight for Rome. The work shows the brilliance for which Caesar's oratory, like his generalship, was known. The primary topics covered in this introduction to Caesar's gripping history are the generic background of Caesar's commentarii or "Notebooks," his criteria for selection of material, the contemporary context of the civil war, the literary techniques employed, and the work's characterization and structure. General aids to the reader include maps to accompany the particular events discussed, a timeline of the civil war and of Caesar's life, explanation of technical terms, and a glossary.