Julius Caesar


Julius Caesar was a strong leader for the Romans who changed the course of the history of the Greco - Roman world decisively and irreversibly. With his courage and strength he created a strong empire . What happened during his early political career? How did he become such a strong dictator of the Roman Empire? What events led up to the making of the first triumvirate? How did he rise over the other two in the triumvirate and why did he choose to take over? What happened during his reign as dictator of Rome? What events led up to the assassination of Caesar? What happened after he was killed? Caesar was a major part of the Roman Empire because of his strength and his strong war strategies.

Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman whose dictatorship was pivotal in Rome's transition from republic to empire. When he was young Caesar lived through one of the most horrifying decades in the history of the city of Rome. The city was assaulted twice and captured by Roman armies, first in 87 BC by the leaders of the populares, his uncle Marius and Cinna. Cinna was killed the year that Caesar had married Cinna's daughter Cornelia. The second attack upon the city was carried our by Marius' enemy Sulla, leader of the optimates, in 82 BC on the latter's return from the East. On each occasion the massacre of political opponents was followed by the confiscation of their property. The proscriptions of Sulla, which preceded the reactionary political legislation enacted during his dictatorship left a particularly bitter memory that long survived.

Caesar left Rome for the province of Asia on the condition that he divorce his wife because Sulla would only allow him to leave on that condition. When he heard the news that Sulla had been killed he returned to Rome. He studied rhetoric under the distinguished teacher Molon.

In the winter of 75-74 BC Caesar was captured by pirated and, while in their custody awaiting the arrival of the ransom money which they demanded, threatened them with crucifixion , a threat which he fulfilled immediately after his release. He then returned to Rome to engage in a normal political career, starting with the quaetorship which he served in 69-68 BC in the province of Further Spain.

In the Roman political world of the sixties the dominance of the optimates was challenged by Pompey and Crassus. The optimates, led by Quintus Lutatius Catulus and Lucius Licinius Lucullus , were chiefly men whose careers had been made by Sulla. Pompey and Crassus were consuls in 70 BC and had rescinded the most offensively reactionary measures of Sulla's legislation. During Pompey's absence from 67 to 62 BC during his campaigns against the Mediterranean pirates, Mithridates, and Crassus, his jealous rival. Caesar married Ponpeia after Cornelia's death and was appointed aedile in 65 BC As aedile , Caesar returned to Marius' trophies to their former place of honor in the Capitol, thus laying claim to leadership of the populares.

When Caesar was a praetor, he supported a tribune who wanted Pompey recalled to restore order in Rome. As a result, Caesar was suspended from office for a period and antagonized Catulus. Before leaving Rome to govern Further Spain for a year, Caesar divorced his wife Pompeia because of the allegation that she had been implicated in the offense of Publius Clodius. The latter was then awaiting trial for breaking into Caesar's house the previous December disguised as a woman at the festival of the Bona Dea, which no man is allowed to attend.

After his return from a successful year administrating Spain Caesar was elected consul for 59 BC through political alliance with Pompey and Crassus . This alliance was called the first triumvirate. Caesar's purpose was to gain a big military command. Pompey for his part sought the ratification of his Eastern settlement and land allotments for his discharged troops. Crassus sought a revision of the contract for collecting taxes in the province of Asia. An agrarian bill authorizing the purchase of land for Pompey's veterans was passed in January of 59 BC at a disorderly public assembly which Caesar's fellow consul Calpurnius Bibulus, was thrown from the platform and his consular insignia were broken. Bibulus tried to stop Caesar and his supporters from passing any further law but was only able to postpone the creation