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Caeser Essay, Research Paper

Gaius Julius Caesar was born on July 13, 100 BC. Although patrician descent,

Caesar’s family had not achieved real prominence. His father, also named Gaius Julius

Caesar, was the brother-in-law of Gaius Marius and married Aurelia, who was connected

with the prominent Aurelii family; he died about 85 BC, however, before reaching the

consulship. In 84, Caesar married Cornelia, daughter of Marius’s old partner Lucius

Cornelius Cinna. When Lucius Cornelius Sulla ordered him to divorce her, he refused and

escaped harm through the intervention of such people as his mother’s relative, Gaius

Aurelius Cotta.

Caesar was then sent to collect a fleet from the Roman ally Nicomedes IV of

Bithynia and was honored for conspicuous bravery at the siege of Mytilene. Returning

home after Sulla’s death , he unsuccessfully prosecuted two Sullans, Gnaeus Cornelius

Dolabella and Gaius Antonius Hibrida. He then left Rome for studies in Rhodes but was

captured by pirates. After obtaining ransom, he recruited private troops, captured the

pirates, and had them executed in. His studies on Rhodes were interrupted by the outbreak

of war with Mithradates VI of Pontus, against who he gathered a force in 74.

During a legateship to help Marcus Antonius Creticus fight piracy, Caesar was

made a pontiff at Rome in 73 BC. After his military tribunate and possible service against

Spartacus, he sided with those seeking power from outside the circle of nobles who

dominated the Senate. He supported restoration of tribunician powers and the recall from

exile of those who had supported Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in his revolt of 77. Caesar also

advertised his Marian connections: by displaying Marius’s effigies at his aunt Julia’s

funeral; through funeral orations for both Julia and his wife; and by the restoration of

Marius’ battle trophies on the Capitoline Hill.

After a quaestorship in Spain, Caesar earned popularity among the Transpadane Gauls by

supporting their agitation for Roman citizenship. He next married Pompeia,

granddaughter of Sulla and relative of Pompey the Great, and evidence indicates that he

supported important military assignments for Pompey in 67 and 66. As aedile in 65 BC, he

achieved great popularity–and went into debt–by financing splendid games. He also

probably cooperated with Marcus Licinius Crassus in an attempt to annex Egypt, in

supporting Catiline for the consulship, and in promoting the land-distribution bill of

Publius Servilius Rullus.

In 64 BC, Caesar presided over trials of those who had committed murder during

Sulla’s proscriptions. The following year, he prosecuted Gaius Rabirius, and used that trial

to attack the legality of the Senatus consultum ultimum, the Senate’s decree of a state of

emergency. In the elections of that year, massive bribery helped him become Pontifex

Maximus. Caesar took no part in Catiline’s conspiracy, but he courted popularity by

opposing the execution of Catiline’s accomplices and, as praetor in 62, by supporting

measures favorable to Pompey. Soon after, however, he divorced Pompeia on suspicion of

infidelity with Publius Clodius, although he refused to testify against the latter in the Bona

Dea affair. Caesar later married Calpurnia.

Caesar became governor of Further Spain in 61 after Crassus had helped pacify his

creditors. Military action in Spain restored Caesar’s finances, and he outwitted his political

enemies by forgoing a triumph (the traditional victor’s procession in Rome) in order to win

election to the consulate with the support of Crassus and Pompey. Faced with increased

opposition from conservatives like Cato the Younger, Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey

formed the First Triumvirate to further their ambitions After obtaining a reduction of the

Asian tax contracts for Crassus, ratification of Pompey’s postwar arrangements in the

East, and land for Pompey’s veterans, Caesar received the governorships of Illyricum,

Cisalpine Gaul, and Transalpine Gaul. He was also given control of a large army, which he

used to subjugate Gaul. He gained enormous political strength from the Gallic Wars,

which lasted from 58 to 51 BC.

Although Caesar’s daughter, Julia, married Pompey in 59, strain, encouraged by

Crassus, developed between the two men. The “Triumvirate” was renegotiated at Luca in

56, but the death of Julia in 54 and Crassus in 53 and the phenomenal success of Caesar in

Gaul eventually destroyed Caesar’s relationship with Pompey. In 50 Pompey joined

opponents of Caesar’s bid for a second consulate. Caesar’s offers of compromise were

rejected by the Senate, and on Jan. 10, 49 BC, Caesar precipitated civil war by leading his

army across the Rubicon into Italy proper.

Caesar’s veteran army soon overran Italy, forcing the unprepared Pompey to

withdraw to Greece. In August 49 a lightning campaign secured Spain, and Caesar then

crossed to Greece. At Dyrrhachium he suffered a loss, but his hardened veterans totally

defeated Pompey’s superior numbers at Pharsalus on Aug. 9, 48. Pompey fled to Egypt,

where he was murdered. Following him there, Caesar became involved in the civil war

between Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy XIII. He made Cleopatra his mistress as well

as queen of Egypt.

In 47 BC Caesar went to Anatolia, where he defeated Pompey’s ally Pharnaces,

king of Bosporus, at Zela; this victory occasioned Caesar’s famous boast Veni, vidi, vici

(”I came, I saw, I conquered”). He returned to Rome, but in December 47 he crossed to

North Africa to meet a new threat from the Pompeian forces. After victory at Thapsus, he

returned home to an unprecedented quadruple triumph in 46 BC. Pompey’s sons, however,

organized new resistance in Spain. Caesar’s victory over them at Munda, on Mar. 17, 45,

was the hardest of all.

Caesar was now showered with political powers and honors. He was appointed

dictator , then dictator for 10 years , and finally dictator for life. He was also elected

consul , appointed prefect of morals , awarded tribunician sacrosanctity , and honored by

portrayal on coins and by the erection of a temple to his clemency. Caesar introduced

numerous reforms, such as limiting the distribution of free grain, founding citizen colonies,

introducing the Julian calendar, and enlarging the Senate. At the same time he reduced

debts, revised the tax structure, and extended Roman citizenship to non-Italians. While

meeting genuine needs, these popular reforms also strengthened Caesar’s control of the

state at the expense of his opponents, whom he tried to placate with ostentatious


In 44 BC, Caesar, likening himself to Alexander the Great, began to plan the conquest of

Parthia. Fearing that he would become an absolute king, many whom he had earlier

pardoned conspired to murder him. The conspirators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus and

Gaius Cassius Longinus, stabbed him at a meeting of the Senate in Pompey’s theater on

Mar. 15 (the Ides of March), 44 BC. Falling at the foot of Pompey’s statue, Caesar

addressed Brutus in Greek: “Even you, lad?” Caesar was an accomplished orator and

writer. His two surviving works, On the Gallic War and On the Civil War, introduced the

genre of personal war commentaries. Subtle propaganda for Caesar, they are also lucid

narratives that hold the reader.

Dynamic, witty, urbane, and highly intelligent, Caesar aroused loyalty and

admiration among both contemporaries and later generations. Nevertheless, his immense

ambition and the contempt he displayed for the republican traditions of his opponents

drove them to desperate measures against him. He therefore left Rome’s great problems

for his adopted son and heir, the future Augustus.

Caesar made his way to praetorship by 62 BC and many of the senate felt him a

dangerous, ambitious man. Because of this, they deprived him of a triumph after his

praetorian command in Spain (61-60 BC) and they also did their best to keep him out of

consulship. He finally became consul in 59 BC.

Much of the thanks for this achievement should be given to Gnaeus Pompeius

(Pompey the Great) who had just come back from a campaign which had doubled the

income of the Roman treasury and gained three new provinces to the empire. Because of

this he had popular support and his voice carried great weight with the public at large.

Because of Pompey, however, to become a leading person in Roman politics you had to

have more then just an ordinary triumph.

It was because of this that Caesar, during his consulship, pushed through a special

law giving him a five-year command in Cispine Gaul and Illyricum, both provinces in the

empire covering North Italy and the Adriatic coast of Yugoslavia. Caesar saw this as a

great opportunity to extend the empire either into Gaul or in the Balkins. While in Gaul,

the most important section of the Roman Army, positioned at the German border, was

under his control.

He was a brilliant military leader and lead many campaigns: Such asThe Helvetic

Campaign ,The Belgic Campaign, The Venetic Campaign ,The German Campaign ,The

British Campaign .Because the whole point of these campaigns was to get high public and

political acclaim, he wrote about all the campaigns and sent the books to Rome so people

knew and remembered his name.

Caesar had all the acclaim he could hope for and the triumph to back it up,

however, to get the position he felt his achievements deserved, he had to take his troops

across the River Rubicon and in doing so declare civil war on the state and Pompey.

Pompey, the person who had got Caesar to where he was, was sent to stop him but failed.

General Pompey fled to Egypt while Caesar entered Rome in triumph as Dictator. The

battle for Rome continued for five years of bloody fighting. He was assassinated by a

group of senators, possibly in support of Pompey or possibly for some gain of their own,

on the Ides of March 44 BC, below a statue of Pompey.

As you see, Gaius Julius Caesar was major importance to our history. He single

handidly changed the shape of politics. He also was credited with the calendar, and

something else. A Cesarean Section is a surgical removal of the fetus through incisions in

the abdominal wall and uterus. This operation has been performed since ancient times on

the dead and, probably, dying mothers to save the life of the fetus. According to tradition,

Julius Caesar was born by this method, hence its name. Julius Caesar has made a major

impact on our society today.

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