Julius Caesar

Mike Rotch

A baby was born on July 12 or 13 of 100 BC in Rome. Little did the proud parents of this baby know that he would rule most of the known world. This baby was born to the name of Gaius, his personal name, Julius was the name of his family's clan and the name of his family was Caesar meaning hairy. Caesar was such an amazing man that many people couldn't believe that he was born the same way as them. Over time stories have arisen about Caesar's birth. One story says that Caesar was pulled from an incision in his mother's stomach. This is where the medical term of Cesarean section came from, from Caesar's birth. Not everyone paid that much attention to the birth of Caesar, it was overshadowed by exploits of his Uncle Gaius Marius. Marius was a politician, he was a "new man" or a plebeian politician. He married into the aristocratic Caesar family so he would have a name to back up his words. Marius did not receive a first-class education or a lot of other advantages some politicians had. Marius was elected consul in 108 BC, once in office he proved himself as a brilliant general. He persuaded the senate to send him to Africa and replace the general in the war there. He took over for General Metellus. Soon he ended the war that had been dragging on for many years. When he returned to Rome Marius found another chance for fame. Nomadic German tribes had invaded the north of Italy and winning a couple battles over Roman armies. Marius took the spotlight away from this little bundle of joy named Caesar.

No matter what he wanted he was propelled into politics. Many of his relatives were senators or held other important political offices. He listened to many political discussions between his family which had substantial influences on him. He was trained to be a politician by his tutor Antonius Gnipho. He studied Greek and Latin literature, philosophy, and most important, rhetoric or the art of persuasive argument. At the age of twelve he was brought to the senate house to watch speeches and debates.

As a kid he wrote numerous poems and plays. Augustus believed that these writings might tarnish his reputation, when he became emperor he burned all of Caesar works. Caesar was a very handsome boy and for that matter man too. He dressed in a style all his own. He was not very strong as boy. All male children were expected to be good athletes. Caesar acquired skills in running, fencing, and horseback riding. He became capable of physical feats that would astonish his childhood friends. His health was a bit frail as a kid. At an early age he became somewhat deaf and after he was thirty he suffered occasionally from fits of epilepsy. He was rather tall for a man from his time, he grew to be about five feet eight inches tall.

In Roman tradition the fathers arranged their children's' marriages at an early age. Caesar's father arranged his marriage with a young woman named Cossutia. Caesar hated this idea. He wanted to control his own life. He had a strong will of his own. But he had lots of respect for his father so he agreed to marry Cossutia. The marriage did not last long, only a few months. Soon after the wedding Caesar divorced his bride. A little later Caesar's father died. When Caesar was nineteen he fell deeply in love with a woman named Cornelia. Cornelia was Cinna's daughter and Cinna was Marius' most powerful colleague and co-consul. This entangled Caesar even more with politics. Having Marius as an uncle and Cinna as a father-in-law. Soon after the marriage Caesar and Cornelia had a daughter, whom they named Julia after his aunt and Marius' wife.

Marius and Cinna were elected consuls while Sulla was at war with Mithridates in 86 BC. Soon after both Cinna and Marius died. It left their party leaderless and could not stop Sulla from taking control of the republic. When Sulla took control he forced Caesar to divorce Cornelia as a test of loyalty. He refused to divorce the love of his life. He knew that men had been killed for far less serious things. He knew his life was in danger, he avoided execution by leaving Rome for the