Abstract for: Julius Caesar's System Understanding of the Gallic Crisis: a peek into the mind of a History Maker

When studying history, it is usually through the accounts of the achievements of some outstanding leaders, who were capable of grasping the defining elements of the complexity of situations they faced, like Julius Caesar, whose political career was a collection of successes that were the result of his deep understanding of the Roman society and of his sensitivity in appreciating the complex situations in the lands under his control. In this work we will focus on the early stages of Caesar’s campaign in the Gallic war. By a Systems Thinking approach, we will retrace Caesar’s thought process, thus showing that what Caesar faced in those years is not different from many situations that today’s policy makers are required to manage. It is striking to see how many similarities there are between then and now, and how many lessons could be learned (re-learned?) and applied by our policy makers. Caesar’s decisions and following actions were, in fact, the consequence of his deep and thorough understanding of the environment, and because of such systemic comprehension, he could achieve Rome’s desired end-state: securing the northwestern borders. Rarely, modern day interventions, despite military victories, are able to generate the same kind of long lasting solutions.