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Julius Caesar Essay, Research Paper

?Julius Caesar?

?Vini, Vidi, Vici? (The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations 10-3-99) which in

English means ?I came, I saw, I conquered.? This was Julius Caesar?s motto when he

was a soldier and invading different provinces. For this quote to still be recognized today

is a compliment to Caesar?s importance and fame at the time. Julius Caesar is considered

by some historians to be Rome?s greatest genius. He changed a chaotic, old system of

government into the basis for a new one that produced the greatest of all the ancient

empires.( 10-6-99) It has been said

that no other man in the world symbolized military or political strength more than Julius

Caesar did. While Caesar was a great Roman ruler without a doubt, his personal life

somewhat resembled a modern day soap opera.

There were many stories about Caesar. One of them was about him being

captured by pirates in the eastern Mediterranean. The pirates were holding him captive

and were asking a ransom of 20 talents. Caesar joked that he would ?give 50 talents for

his life.? He then vowed to come back and hang them all. Sure enough, a few weeks

after the ransom was paid and he was released, Caesar returned, captured, and hung every

last one of them. ( 10-2-99)

Gaius Julius Caesar was born on July 12, 100 B.C..

(http://www.main-vision.com/richard/Caesar.html 10-5-99) He was born into the Julia

family, an ancient but not distinguished Roman family. Julius got married in 84 B.C. to

Cornelia. Through this marriage, Gauis Marius became Julius?s uncle. Marius was the

leader of the Populares, a group that was pushing for change in Rome. As always, there

are always groups that oppose each other. This was not an exception. Sulla, the leader of

the Optimates, a reactionist group, was completely against Marius?s views. Marius would

have a big effect on young Julius?s life whether he wanted to or not. Eventually, the

Optimates came into rule in Rome. This was not good for Julius because his uncle was a

bitter enemy of the dictator. Sulla demanded that Caesar divorce his wife because of her

relationship to Gauis Marius. Caesar refused to divorce his wife and was left with

virtually no other choice than to leave Rome until Sulla resigned which was 78 B.C..

Before he resigned though, Sulla made one prediction about Caesar?s future. He said

?One day, the stubborn boy will become dangerous.?(Gauis Julius Caesar 10-3-99)

After Caesar had survived death once, he decided to enter the army. He would

eventually go on to an amazing military career. Caesar steadily climbed the ranks of the

army, and after a few years, was able to return home. Caesar then went on to serve as a

general in the army against Spartacus. He remarried to a wealthy wife, and allied himself

with Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Pompey the Great. This three-way alliance was

known as the first Triumvirate.(?Encarta 98 Encyclopedia? 10-6-99) This Triumvirate

controlled the government of Rome.

Around 58 B.C. Caesar found new allies in Celtic Gaul. Gaul was still

independent at this time. Caesar decided to take over Gaul, and marched there with six

legions of soldiers. Within a year, Rome was in control over most of Gaul. After taking

over Gaul, Caesar remained there for a while. While he was there, his associates

attempted to dominate the politics of Rome. Pompey tried to make the most of Caesar?s

absence. He assumed full power over Rome. As a result, the Roman Senate asked

Caesar to disband his army in Gaul and come back to Rome. Instead, in 49 B.C. Caesar

swept through southern Italy and into Rome. Pompey fled into Greece. Caesar was not

happy with letting him get away, so in 48 B.C. Caesar?s army swept through Greece and

destroyed Pompey?s forces. Pompey however, escaped into Egypt. he was assassinated

there a year later. Within one year of Caesar?s return, he was master of all Italy.

(Microsoft Inc. ?Gauis Julius Caesar?)

The traditional constitution of Rome stated that a dictator hold office for only six

months, and in a dire emergency. Caesar completely shattered this rule and appointed

himself dictator for life. ( 10-6-99)

Even after appointing himself dictator for such an extended period of time, Caesar took it

one step further by appointing himself consel for ten years. Traditionally, consels only

served in one year increments. This was an amazing show of power from Julius. During

the time he ruled, military strength was always his main asset. That is how he kept his

power, by being in total control of his armies.

It was once said of Caesar that he was ?Every mans woman, and every woman?s

man.? (The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations 10-3-99) Not every person in Rome felt

this way about Caesar. He didn?t really do much to keep their favor either though. He

offended them by having his statue built next to the early kings of Rome. One of

Caesar?s more unpopular acts was when he refused to accept a crown that Mark Anthony

had set upon his head. ( 10-4-99)

Caesar?s unpopularity grew so much that a plot to assassinate him was soon

forming. By the time it actually got carried out, sixty Roman senators were involved.

Many of them were Republicans who had long ago fallen out of favor with Caesar. Out

of the group was a young Republican named Brutus. Brutus was a friend of Caesar?s, and

would play a big part in his assassination. The plan to assassinate Caesar was to be

carried out at the Meeting of the Senate on March 15th, 44 B.C.. Somehow Caesar did

not know of the fate that awaited him at the Meeting. His wife however, had a feeling

that something bad would happen and warned him not to

go.( 10-5-99) Julius Caesar did not

listen to his wife?s warning and attended the Meeting. When he arrived, his attackers

surrounded him with daggers. At first Caesar put up a struggle, but when he saw Brutus

among the attackers, he quit struggling and said ?Et tu Brute?? which means ?You too,

Brutus?? Caesar was repeatedly stabbed, and then finally, he pulled his toga over his

head and fell lifeless at the feet of the statues of the early Roman kings.

( 10-3-99)

Gauis Julius Caesar was without a doubt a great leader. He once said ?In war,

events of importance are the result of trivial causes.? (The Columbia Dictionary of

Quotations 10-6-99) One of his only downfalls was the fact that he got greedy and did

not want to give up his position as ruler. If he would have gave way for another ruler, he

might not have been assassinated. But then again, if he would have given way to another

person, he might not be looked upon as a great Roman ruler.


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