Julius Caesar (100-44 BC)

Julius Caesar

100 BC On July 13th, in Rome a boy was born, to the delight of his parents, praetor Gaius Julius Caesar and his wife, Aurelia. The family of the baby baptized him like his father was known in Rome. By dad he pulled from Iulia gens, established by Eneas’ son, Julius. His mother was a member of a famous plebeian family and was the niece of Consul P. Rutilius Rufus and a relative of the known general and politician Marius.

Caesar got a good education, firstly by his mother, then by Professor M. Antonius Gnipho. It is said that he had a perfect diction, wrote very good in Latin and Greek and had literary talent. He did hard sports, he liked swimming and he was a skilful rider.

His career started after the civil war during Sylla’s reign, ruler that had persecuted Caesar that is why he left to Asia where he perfected his education regarding war and diplomacy.

68 BC After dictator Sylla’s death, Caesar got closer to Pompeius and was chosen as a questor. His popularity increased more and more and also his ambition. That is why he was involved in disputes and in the intrigues in Rome, moment when he showed great qualities as a politician.

64 BC This year he was elected great pontiff. His party, People’s Party, became stronger and stronger.

As Spain’s governor Caesar demonstrated his abilities as a serviceman and as administrator, which made him an important candidate for the position of consul. In order to become a strong political figure in Rome, Caesar needed strong allies and the most suitable were Crassus and Pompey.

59 BC Caesar, Crassus and Pompey had established a triumvirate and Caesar was the first who took advantage this year becoming a consul.

As a consul, Caesar knew to remove the senators’ mistrust but attracted the people’s sympathy by his measures. He also made propaganda by a kind of ancestor of nowadays newspapers. He decided that a magistrate must have summed up the daily news that he had written on white painted wooden tablets and placed in different places in the city – Acta diurnal populi romani. Supported by his allies, he took measures also for agriculture, things that raised his popularity, but also for provincial organization.

After finishing the term, senators wanted to send Caesar to insignificant provinces in order to be far of power. There, Caesar could only take care of forests and roads, fact that he did not like. After skilful manoeuvres and with Crassus and Pompey’s support he obtained Gallia and Cisalpine provinces, in the North of Italy and Illyria. He took care that his followers with high positions would be his friends, especially some of tribunes. After that he left calm to Gallia, decided to increase his fame.

56 BC On April 15th, after many fights against tribes from Gallia, Caesar was worried because of disorders in Rome that is why he called his triumvirate companions for a meeting, at Luca, at the border of Cisalpine Gallia. It is not exactly known what they discussed but Caesar made peace between Crassus and Pompey, who had strong misunderstandings. Caesar got Gallia for another five years after the term’s timeout, namely until 49 BC Pompey and Crassus would have become consuls in 55 and then would have received Spain respectively Syria.

Returned on his position, Caesar organized a short expedition to British Islands but was obliged to come back to Gallia because of the problems that were here.

54 BC This year he did another expedition, with the same results like the first, a reason for which Caesar did not attack anymore Britannia. He defeated the rebelled tribes in Gallia and crossed the Rhine in order not to allow the Gauls to make any alliance with the German tribes.

53 BC Crassus died during the fights in Asia, relationship with Caesar had become cool and the triumvirate was crumbling.

Galus upraised against Caesar, decided to ward off the Romans from Gallia, their plans were destroyed and Caesar won the battles against them. Galus’ defeat increased the power of Caesar but Pompey had also plans for power and was at Rome and had the Senate by his side. The war between the two former allies started.

49 BC Pompey was defeated by Caesar’s legions. Within this war Caesar would have said the famous words “Dice were thrown” (in Latin: Alea iacta est).

44 BC On March 15th, Caesar died killed by conspirators, pierced by 23 dagger blows. Some people sustain that he would have said these words to Marcus Brutus, who rushed upon him: “You too, my son Brutus”. At Rome, quiet disappeared again until Caesar’s inheritor, Octavianus, would become what his predecessor wanted, Emperor [ro.biography.name].

 

 

Bibliography:

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