Roman Heroics - Handout B

Nömen mihi est: _____________________

Using the Caesarian passage you have been reading, answer the following questions below. These will be graded and will serve as a focus for an upcoming class discussion.


1.) Write down three adjectives IN ENGLISH that you think best describe the centurion Marcus Petronius.

2.) Why does Petronius tell his men not to save him?

3.) Caesar says in your Latin selection that Petronius was "cupiditate gloriae adductus" (line 12).
What does this mean in English? Does it change your impression of Petronius? Why or why not?

4.) Do you think Petronius is a hero? List three reasons why or why not.

5.) Name two people in modern life that you think are "cupiditate gloriae adductus."
Do you look at them in a positive or negative light, and why?

The attack made by Fabius, Petronius, and the others (of which you just read) was a dismal failure. Seven hundred Roman soldiers and over forty officers died in the assault. When Caesar finally gets his men back into camp, he does the followingÖ

The next day Caesar paraded the troops and reprimanded them for their rashness and impetuosity. They had decided for themselves, he said, to advance farther and attack the town, neither halting when the retreat had been sounded nor obeying the military tribunes and generals who tried to restrain them. Much as I admire the heroism that you showed, he went on, in refusing to be daunted by a fortified camp, a high mountain, and a walled fortress, I cannot too strongly condemn your bad discipline and your presumption in thinking that you know better than your commander-in-chief how to win a victory or to foresee the results of an action. I want obedience and self restraint from my soldiers just as much as courage in the face of danger.
Caesar, De bello Gallico, 7.52


1.) Does what Caesar say here make Petronius less heroic? Why or why not?

2.) If he condemns his men in the reading above, why do you think Caesar chose to tell the story of Petronius at all?

3.) In the end, do you think that Caesar thought Petronius was a hero? Give at least three reasons given from your
Latin reading and the English selection above.