Saturday, November 10, 2012

AP Essay Prompt #2

Discipuli Fortissimi,

This prompt is taken from the Caesar workbook and is based on a selection DBG 4.26-27 (last part of Lesson 7 and first part of Lesson 8), beginning at "Quod cum animadvertisset Caesar..." and ending at "...et se civitatesque suas Caesari commendare coeperunt". Incorporating the strategies and practices we discussed from your last essays, answer the following prompt to the best of your ability. Try to limit your response time to 35 minutes.

"In this passage Caesar's leadership skills are on display as he oversees the battle taking place before him, as well as in his dealings with the defeated enemy in the aftermath of the battle. In a short essay, discuss the presentation of Caesar as a leader. What qualities does he posses that enable him to be an effective leader during the battle itself? Does he also show effective leadership in dealing with the Britons after the battle?

Memento!: 1) Support your answer with direct quotes from the passage. Make sure to provide your own translation or close paraphrase to show the reader that you comprehend the text at hand.
                   2) Aim for a 2:1 ratio in sentences of Commentary (your analysis) to Concrete Detail(passage).
                   3) Focus your response to the particular wording of the prompt (Here to "discuss" specific qualities of Caesar's leadership, rather than comparison and contrast or some other approach).
                   4) Be assertive in your analysis. You are trying to convince the reader that you are an expert on Caesar and that your answer is completely on-point.

4 comments:

Akhil Padarti said...

Akhil Padarti thinks that it is unfair that his essay will have to take two comment to write, because he has an opinion and does not want to decrease the length.:

Caesar is a leader unlike no other. To him, he is on the end of the earth. He is in a place where no one has ever gone before. He is fighting against people whose type of warfare he or his soldiers have ever seen before. Normally, leaders retreat make amends and then try to attack again. However, Caesar made these changes during the battle, itself. “Quod cum animadvertisset Caesar, scaphas longarum navium, itwm speculatoria navigia militibus compleri iussit, et, quos laborantes conspexerat, his subsidia submittebat.” (ln 16 - 18). It says when Caesar had noticed this thing, he ordered the skiffs of the long boats, also the scouting boats to be filled with soldiers, and he was bringing aid to these, whom he had seen struggling. Caesar was able to analyze the situation and pinpoint the place where there were problems. So, as soon as, he understood the problem he made amends. He gathered all in troops into boats and brought aid to those that needed it. “Nostri, simul in arido constiterunt, suis omnibus consecutis, in hostes impetum fecerunt atque eos in fugam dederunt;” It says our soldiers, as soon as they took a position on dry land, with all their fellow soldiers having followed, were making an attack into the enemy and put them into flight. Caesar realized that his men were not able fight the best in water. Also, they were not able to stay together. Romans fight in a turtle formation. Their shields interlock and create a formidable defense. So, Caesar got them out of the water and after he let them fight on land, they were successful. Only a true general will be able to make the correct assumption like that. “Neque longius prosequi poterunt, quod equites cursum tenere atque insulam capere non potuerant. Hoc unam ad pristinam fortunam Caesari defuit.” (ln 19 - 21). It says that they were not able to follow them very far, because they weren’t able to hold the path of a cavalry and to capture the island. This one, compared to his previous fortune, failed for Caesar. Caesar made a foothold in Britain and he considers that a failure. The reason is because he was not able to kill of the barbarians and capture the whole island of Britain in one battle. This is a unreachable expectation, but it shows how successful his other battles were if landing successfully on Britain is considered a failure when compared to the others.
Continued on the next part.

Akhil Padarti said...

Akhil Padarti's essay continued
The leadership that Caesar shows on the battle field doesn’t follow him out of the battle field. The enemy lost the battle, so they must make amends and deal with the problem. “Hostes proelio superati, simul atque pugna receperunt. Statim ad Caesarem legatos de pace miserunt. Obsides daturos quaeque inperasset sese facturos polliciti sunt.” (Ln 1 - 3). It says the enemy having been overcome in battle as soon as they recovered from the fight at once they sent an envoy to Caesar about peace. The promised to give hostages and do whatever he had ordered that they would do. This is a normal reaction of the defeated, to throw themselves at the feet of the defeater. Caesar also accept their humble request for peace. So he sent his men to meet the envoys and set the terms. “Una cum his legatis commius Atrebas venit, quem supra demonstraveram a caesare in britanniam preamissum. Hunc ille e navi egressum, sum ad eos oratoris modo caesaris mandata deferret, comprehenderunt atque in vincula coiecerunt.” (Ln 3 - 6). It says altogether, Commius Atrebates came with these envoy, whom had shown above by Caesar, having been sent into Britain. They arrested him, having been sent out of the ship, after Commius carried orders by Caesar in a manner of a public speaker, and threm him in chains. Caesar blindly trusted the barbarians and sent someone to meet them. However, the barbarians doubled – crossed him and put his man in prison. Any regular leader would have not made the mistake and even if they did, the leader would redeclare war on the barbarians and beat them until there is no one left in the whole tribe to mourn for the dead. However, Caesar was nicer than most and pardoned them. Caesar, however, did not demand any more hostages than he already had and offered them peace again. Most people would look at this as a fault in the leader. He didn’t’ really understand the enemy correctly, as he had in the battle field. So, he knows the limitations of his men. He knows how to make them win in battle. He knows what he must do as a commander to win against impossible odds. However, he doesn’t know the enemy. He can’t read the signs. He can’t decide what the enemy is feeling. He won’t know when a sneak attack is coming. Maybe, there is one coming from the barbarians, especially if, luck has it that a huge storm comes and delays reinforcements. Maybe the Romans don’t plan on being in Britain for the winter and unfortunate circumstances force him to stay. If all this happens, then the barbarians might take advantage of it and the Romans might will defeated, especially if Caesar doesn’t understand the enemy.

Akhil Padarti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abel Melghem said...

Caesar was many things on the field of battle, ranging from a cunning strategist outside of the fighting, to a brutal fighter in the midst of it all, yet the quality that seems most prevalent is his ability to lead his soldiers into battle against all odds and still come out victorious. Caesar is able to take situations of negativity and turn it to his advantage by utilizing his surroundings to benefit him most. In the sentence “quod cum animadvertisset Caesar, scaphas longarum navium, item speculatoria navigia militibus compleri iusset et,” we see Caesar’s ability to problem solve. His troops were not able to fight in the deep waters because of their armor, so when Caesar saw this he ordered them to board the longships and sail under their cover to the enemies on the shore and attack them. Caesar’s ability to solve the problem ended up saving the first outing from being a complete disaster, and in the minds of the councils reading his report he sounds like a genius who used his wits to save the entire mission. This is what Caesar’s ultimate goal was, so in presenting himself as someone who can solve problems in the heat of the moment, he makes himself sound like a general who keeps his cool under extreme pressure, a quality that is rare in most cases. Another example of his shows of leadership is how he deals with the hostage situation in chapter twenty-seven. Here, he tells about how he not only used his problem solving skills to his advantage, but he also decided that he would not negotiate with the barbarians until he was sure that his men were alright. Therefore, he demanded that the hostages be brought forth before any kind of peace talks would take place, which he says the barbarians accepted. Though it is not said whether or not Caesar got his hostages, the fact that he is both a great problem solver and a general who puts his men first gives him the personality of a great leader, and makes him a hero in the eyes of the people he will one day rule. In the last line of chapter twenty-seven is where we see Caesar taking charge and showing his Roman authority over the Britons, “Intera suos remigrare in agros iusserunt, principesque undique convenire et se civitatesque suas Caesari commendare coeperunt.” Here Caesar has the British chieftains come and surrender their land and all they own to him, solidifying his hold on the area. Using his wit to solve difficult problems and putting his soldiers before all else are the traits of a great leader that Caesar wants to portray. In the heat of the moment, being able to turn his situations to his advantage and winning otherwise impossible battles are all traits of a great leader, traits that Caesar himself made famous.