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A superb general and politician, Julius Caesar (c.100 BC – 44 BC / Reigned 46 – 44 BC) changed the course of Roman history. A reader who has seen through their prosaic purpose can ignore it and appreciate them as splendid works of art. Julius Caesar—facts and information Julius Caesar transformed Rome from a republic to an empire, grabbing power through ambitious political reforms. Gaul, too, would have sunk deeper into barbarism when the Franks overran it, if it had not been associated with the civilized Mediterranean world for more than 500 years as a result of Caesar’s conquest. Cleopatra’s and Antony’s forces were defeated by Octavian at the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE and they killed themselves a year later. Pompey, rather than meet Caesar’s legions in battle, fled to Spain and then to Greece where he was defeated by Caesar’s much smaller force at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BCE. Rather than returning to Rome as ordered, Caesar crossed the Rubicon River with his legions and marched on the city in 49 BCE. His accounts of his wars are subtly contrived to make the unsuspecting reader see Caesar’s acts in the light that Caesar chooses. He ruled without regard to the senate, usually simply telling them which laws he wanted passed and how quickly, in an effort to consolidate and increase his own personal power. At the Battle of Alesia, in 52 BCE, Caesar defeated the Gallic leader Vercingetorix and completed the conquest of Gaul. Caesar’s political achievement was limited. The rumour is credible, though not proved, and was repeated throughout Caesar’s life. to A.D. 476. The concept of appealing to the people for support, rather than seeking approval from the Roman Senate or the other Patricians, would work well for Caesar later in life. Caesar fails to listen to warnings to ‘ beware the Ides of March’ (= 15 March) and is murdered. 2. a title of the Roman emperors from Augustus to Hadrian, and later of the heirs presumptive. Caesar was a prominent politician, military general and leader in Rome, and had a profound impact on its history. Written by Joshua J. Suburra (usually spelled Subura in antiquity) was an area of the city of Rome, Italy located below the Murus Terreus on the Carinae. Mark has lived in Greece and Germany and traveled through Egypt. He turned his funeral orations for his wife and for his aunt to account, for political propaganda. 3. any emperor. In this, as in his time as a soldier, Caesar was successful and, when Sulla died, he decided to return to Rome and try his luck as an orator (a modern-day lawyer). Among the assassins were Marcus Junius Brutus, Caesar’s second choice as heir, and Gaius Cassius Longinus, along with many others (some ancient sources cite as many as sixty assassins). Yet he involved himself at least twice in escapades that might have wrecked his career. Caesar was great beyond—and even in conflict with—the requirements of his political ambition. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. News of Caesar’s great victory reached Egypt before him, however, and the Egyptians, believing that the gods favored Caesar over Pompey, had Pompey killed as he stepped on shore. Born in 100 BC, Caesar inherited his name from a prestigious family with ancient pedigree. Left without means of supporting himself or his family, Caesar joined the army. Mark, Joshua J. Upon his release, however, Caesar made good on that threat. Through a combination of political savvy, charisma and backhanded dealings, he … First, let's dispel the age-old rumor that Caesar was the original, or at … At the battle of Thapsus (near modern Tunisia) Caesar’s legions defeated the forces of the Optimate faction in 46 BCE and, in July of that year, he returned to Rome triumphant. Rise to Power Although he was born into the Julian gens, one of the oldest patrician families in Rome, Caesar was always a member of the democratic or popular party. All Caesar’s speeches and writings, lost and extant, apparently served political purposes. Julius Caesar: Great general; became dictator of Rome: Ides of March 44 B.C. While he was held captive by them, Caesar was treated well and consistently maintained a friendly relationship with the pirates. This determination of Caesar’s, to do exactly what he said he would do, became one of his defining characteristics throughout his life. When he was young, he got great … Back in Rome, however, The First Triumvirate had disintegrated. By allowing her to visit him in Rome in 46 bce, he flouted public feeling and added to the list of tactless acts that, cumulatively, goaded old comrades and amnestied enemies into assassinating him. His full name was … He reformed the calendar, created a police force, ordered the re-building of Carthage, and abolished the tax system, among many other pieces of legislation (of which quite a few were long-time Populare goals). Caesar’s physical vitality perhaps partly accounts for his sexual promiscuity, which was out of the ordinary, even by contemporary Greek and Roman standards. bce, Rome [Italy]—died March 15, 44 bce, Rome), celebrated Roman general and statesman, the conqueror of Gaul (58–50 bce), victor in the civil war of 49–45 bce, and dictator (46–44 bce), who was launching a series of political and social reforms when he was assassinated by a group of nobles in the Senate House on the Ides of March. The name Caesar became the Russian word tsar (or czar) and the German kaiser. Mark "Julius Caesar." Julius Caesar was a Roman general and politician who named himself dictator of the Roman Empire, a rule that lasted less than one year before he was famously assassinated by political rivals in 44 B.C. He prepared his seven books on the Gallic War for publication in 51 bce when he still had serious revolts in Gaul on his hands, and he wrote his books on the civil war and his Anticato in the hectic years between 49 and 44 bce. It was rumoured that during his first visit to the East he had had homosexual relations with King Nicomedes of Bithynia. But if he had not also been something more than this he would not have been the supremely great man that he undoubtedly was. This would mean Caesar could be prosecuted for his actions when he was consul. Last modified April 28, 2011. Caesar's Campaign against the Belgaeby US Military Academy (Public Domain). Roman historian Suetonius, Julius Caesar spoke mainly Greek and not Latin, as was the case with most patricians at the time. For the next 150 years, Cato the martyr continued to be a nuisance, sometimes a menace, to Caesar’s successors. The army of Antony wins, and Brutus and Cassius kill themselves. His generosity to defeated opponents, magnanimous though it was, did not win their affection. He realized that Cato, in giving his life for his cause (46 bce), had made himself posthumously into a much more potent political force than he had ever been in his lifetime. Julius Caesar in 49 bc emphasized his own clemency after his victory in the Roman civil wars by avoiding proscriptions and restoring the sons and grandsons of those proscribed by Sulla to full citizen rights. On March 15, 44 BCE, Caesar was assassinated by the senators in the portico of the basilica of Pompey the Great. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 28 Apr 2011. B.C.–44 B.C., Roman statesman and general. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. The assassins, however, made the mistake of neglecting to plan what they would do following Caesar’s death and, in so doing, mistakenly allowed Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony), Caesar’s cousin and right-hand man, to live. After Octavian consolidated his power as the first emperor of Rome, he had Caesar deified and, as his adopted heir, proclaimed himself a son of god and took the name Augustus Caesar, Emperor. Probably Caesar looked upon these as trivial recreations. He dodged proscription and pirates, changed the calendar and the army. Contrary to popular belief, he never held the title `emperor’. A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Both held to the Populare ideology of Rome which favored democratization of government and more rights for the lower class as opposed to the Optimate factions’ claim of the superiority of the nobility and traditional Roman values which favored the upper classes. Further, Caesar was deeply in debt, both financially and politically, to Crassus, and needed to raise both money and his prestige. Julius Caesar was born in Subura, Rome in the year 100 BC. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Meanwhile the cohesion of the triumvirate had been placed under strain. The First Triumvirate of ancient Rome was an uneasy alliance between the three titans Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus which, from 60 BCE until 53 BCE, dominated the politics of the Roman Republic. https://taylorandjustinnhd.weebly.com/rome-during-caesars-rule.html Mark, J. J. Pompey was now the sole military and political power in Rome and had the senate declare Caesar’s governorship of Gaul terminated and, further, ordered him to return to Rome as a private citizen. Gaius Julius Caesar (/ ˈsiːzər / SEE-zər, Latin : [ˈɡaːi.ʊs ˈjuːli.ʊs ˈkae̯.sar]; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in the … Caesar was stabbed twenty three times and died at the base of Pompey’s statue. Caesar deposed the co-regent, Ptolemy XIII, and aligned himself with Cleopatra, igniting war between Caesar’s legions and the Egyptian army. https://www.ancient.eu/Julius_Caesar/. Caesar, however, named his grandnephew, Gaius Octavius Thurinus (Octavian) heir. The first triumvirate and the conquest of Gaul, Antecedents and outcome of the civil war of 49–45. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Julius_Caesar/. Deciding that belonging to the priesthood would bring the most benefit to the family, he managed to have himself nominated as the new High Priest of Jupiter. It should be understood that the Optimate and the Populare were not political parties in conflict with each other but, rather, political ideologies which many people shifted toward and from, regardless of class in society. His initiatives were supported by Crassus’ wealth and Pompey’s soldiers, thus solidly aligning The First Triumvirate with the Populare faction. Only his accounts (both incomplete and supplemented by other hands) of the Gallic War and the civil war survive. According to the historian Durant, he then secretly sent for Cleopatra VII, co-regent with Ptolomey XIII who had been deposed and was in exile, who had herself smuggled through enemy lines rolled up inside a carpet (according to other sources, Cleopatra took the initiative herself, recognizing in Caesar her only hope to regain the throne). Web. Julius Caesar, in full Gaius Julius Caesar, (born July 12/13, 100? Its effects were confined to the western end of the Old World and were comparatively short-lived by Chinese or ancient Egyptian standards. He is remembered as being the leader and dictator of Rome during its most prosperous reign and Empire. He initiated many reforms including further land redistribution among the poor, land reform for veterans which eliminated the need to displace other citizens, as well as political reforms which proved unpopular with the senate. He won his soldiers’ devotion by the victories that his intellectual ability, applied to warfare, brought them. Caesar ranked as a masterly public speaker in an age in which he was in competition first with Hortensius and then with Cicero. As a priest not only had to be of patrician stock, but married to a patrician, Caesar broke off his engagement to a plebian girl and married the patrician, Cornelia, daughter of a high profile and influential member of the Populares, Lucius Cinna. Leaving Cleopatra as ruler in Egypt, Caesar led his legions through Asia Minor, defeating the tribes and subjugating the people there, and then turned his attention to his enemies in Rome. Admittedly a womanizer himself, he dismissed his wife for suspicious behavior, wrote (bad) poetry and a third person account of the wars he waged, started a civil war, conquered the area of modern France, and made a stab at Britain. He is said to have repeatedly told them that, upon his release, he would hunt them down and have them crucified for the affront to his family and personal dignity and this threat the pirates understood as a joke. 4. a tyrant or dictator. 1 people chose this as the best definition of caesar: Used as a title and form... See the dictionary meaning, pronunciation, and sentence examples. He had the pirates’ throats slit before crucifixion, however, in a show of leniency owing to their easy treatment of him in captivity. The statesman, philosopher and poet Marcus Tillius Cicero had even exposed a conspiracy led by the prominent senator Lucius Sergius Catiline to overthrow the Roman leadership. By liquidating the scandalous and bankrupt rule of the Roman nobility, he gave the Roman state—and with it the Greco-Roman civilization—a reprieve that lasted for more than 600 years in the East and for more than 400 years in the relatively backward West. Julius Caesar is a name synonymous with Rome. Caesar, arriving in Egypt in pursuit of Pompey, claimed outrage over Pompey’s death, proclaimed martial law, and took over the royal palace. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level. The Chinese state founded by Qin Shi Huang in the 3rd century bce still stands, and its future may be still greater than its past. The accounts are written in the form of terse, dry, factual reports that look impersonal and objective, yet every recorded fact has been carefully selected and presented. Still, he was stripped of his position as priest and his wife’s dowry was confiscated. Caesar was targeted and fled Rome but his sentence was lifted through the intercession of his mother’s family. Later Mark Antony, in a clever speech at Caesar's funeral, turns the Roman people against Brutus and Cassius, and a war begins. Without Caesar’s daughter and his financial and political backer tying him to Pompey, the latter aligned himself with the Optimate faction in Rome which he had long favored. But for this the Hellenic element might not have been present in sufficient strength to make its decisive impact on Christianity and Islam. Roman political order was in chaos. He was born to an aristocratic family that could trace their bloodlines back to the founding of Rome. The prolongation of the life of the Greco-Roman civilization had important historical effects. He Wasn't Born by C-Section. In all these, Caesar was a supreme virtuoso. Mark Antony turned the tide of Roman popular opinion against the conspirators and, allied with Octavian, defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BCE. He proved himself an effective soldier, even being awarded the civic crown for saving a life in battle, and was promoted to the staff of the military legate to Bithynia to secure a fleet of ships. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. Already, from 46. Julius Caesar. Pompey himself escaped from the battle and went to Egypt where he expected to find friends from his time spent there. Yet, though not lovable, Caesar was and is attractive, indeed fascinating. In Egypt, Cleopatra hoped Caesar would recognize and legitimize Caesarion as his son and heir. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. After becoming trapped and besieged at Alesia. He did not succeed, however. During this time he also became friends with the wealthiest man in Rome, Marcus Licinius Crassus. The mark of Caesar’s genius in his writings is that though they were written for propaganda they are nevertheless of outstanding literary merit. He was now effectively the sovereign of the province of Gaul with all the attendant wealth at his disposal. If he had not done this when he did it, Rome and the Greco-Roman world might have succumbed, before the beginning of the Christian era, to barbarian invaders in the West and to the Parthian Empire in the East. Caesar’s description of Britain at the time of his invasions is the first coherent account extant. The lessons in Julius Caesar and Ancient Rome enable students to conquer Shakespeare’s figurative language without paraphrasing it. (The merciless Sulla abdicated and died in his bed.). Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. The Germans understood the message and never invaded. When he was sixteen, his father died and Caesar became the head of the family. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. In doing so, he initiated the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. By dallying with her at Alexandria, he risked losing what he had just won at Pharsalus. Mark, Joshua J. Julius Caesarby Georges Jansoone (CC BY-NC-SA). Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman dictator, politician and military general who played a critical role in the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. Back in Rome, Caesar was elected military tribune and, his wife Cornelia having died, married Pompeia, a wealthy Optimate granddaughter of the Emperor Sulla. Crassus was killed in battle against the Parthians in 54 BCE and, that same year, Julia died in childbirth. This was considered an act of war as the Rubicon was the border between the province of Gaul and Rome. At its height in A.D. 117, Rome controlled all the land from Western Europe to the Middle East. During his reign as dictator from 49-44 BC, Julius Caesar had a number of notable impacts on the city of Rome. Caesar’s most amazing characteristic is his energy, intellectual and physical. He did, however, bring Cleopatra, their son, and her entourage, to Rome and set them up comfortably in a home which he visited frequently, despite the fact that he was already married to Calpurnia. As for the lost Anticato, a reply to Cicero’s eulogy of Caesar’s dead opponent Marcus Porcius Cato, it is a testimony to Caesar’s political insight that he made the time to write it, in spite of the overwhelming military, administrative, and legislative demands on him. While it may have been reassuring to follow Julius Caesar into battle, it … "Julius Caesar." Imperial Rome describes the period of the Roman Empire from 27 B.C. He defeated the tribes of the north and twice invaded Britain (Rome’s first incursion into the British isles). Definition by Joshua J. When the Germanic tribes seemed threatening to invade, Caesar built a bridge over the Rhine River, marched his legions across in a show of force, then marched them back and had the bridge dismantled. Returning to Rome with high honors, Caesar entered into a business/political agreement with Pompey and Crassus, in 60 BCE, dubbed The First Triumvirate by modern scholars and historians (though no one in ancient Rome used that term). Deciding that belonging to the priesthood would bring the most benefit to the family, he managed to have himself nominated as the new High Priest of Jupiter. (Modern historians view the ancient estimate of 4,700 opponents as a gross exaggeration.) The three men together then effectively ruled Rome, Caesar as consul, by pushing through measures favored by Pompey or Crassus in the senate. This cool-headed man of genius with an erratic vein of sexual exuberance undoubtedly changed the course of history at the western end of the Old World. There is no doubt of Caesar’s heterosexual affairs, many of them with married women. How about his life when he started losing his hair? Books In time, the former allies went to war and met in final battle. His parents were well-off, but they weren't rich by Roman standards. At Alexandria, probably aged 53, he saved himself from sudden death by his prowess as a swimmer. Gaius Julius Caesar was born 12 July 100 BCE (though some cite 102 as his birth year). Related Content Julius Caesar was born in Rome, on either the 12 or 13 of July in 100 B.C. Londinium (London) founded, roads constructed. Julius Caesar: see Caesar, Julius Caesar, Julius (Caius Julius Caesar), 100? Mark Antony later allied himself with Cleopatra VII of Egypt following the victory and, Octavian thought, presented a substantial threat to Rome. Caesar and Cleopatra seemed to have become lovers shortly after meeting, perhaps even that very night, and he remained in Egypt with her nine months. For instance, in the winter of 57–56 bce he found time to visit his third province, Illyria, as well as Cisalpine Gaul; and in the interval between his campaigns of 55 and 54 bce he transacted public business in Cisalpine Gaul and went to Illyria to settle accounts with the Pirustae, a turbulent tribe in what is now Albania. Under the Roman Empire the Near East was impregnated with Hellenism for six or seven more centuries. Another field in which Caesar’s genius went far beyond the requirements of his political ambition was his writings. In 60 BC, Caesar… In this, too, he proved a success and became well known as an eloquent speaker. In Spain, Caesar defeated the warring rival tribes, brought stability to the region, and won the personal allegiance of his troops through his skill on the battlefield. (2011, April 28). In 49 bce he marched, within a single campaigning season, from the Rubicon to Brundisium and from Brundisium to Spain. Caesar was right, from his point of view, to try to put salt on Cato’s tail. His political achievement required ability, in effect amounting to genius, in several different fields, including administration and generalship besides the minor arts of wire pulling and propaganda. In ancient Roman times, it was a crowded lower-class area that was also notorious as a pleasure district. Caesar married Calpurnia, the daughter of a wealthy and powerful Populare senator, and married his daughter Julia to Pompey to further cement their arrangements. When he was sixteen, his father died and Caesar became the head of the family. The Republic was in dire straits. If he did in fact have an affair with Pompey’s wife, Mucia, he was risking his entente with Pompey. Julius Caesar - Julius Caesar - Antecedents and outcome of the civil war of 49–45 bce: During his conquest of Gaul, Caesar had been equally busy in preserving and improving his position at home. Julius Caesar conquered Gaul between 58 and 50 bce and invaded Britain in 55 or 54 bce, thereby bringing the island into close contact with the Roman world. Mark, published on 28 April 2011 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Of these, his speeches, letters, and pamphlets are lost. License. According to the 1st century C.E. His time as dictator is generally regarded as a prosperous one for Rome but the senators, and especially those among the Optimate faction, feared he was becoming too powerful and could soon abolish the senate entirely to rule absolutely as a king. When the Roman ruler Sulla declared himself dictator, he began a systematic purge of his enemies and particularly of those who held to the Populare ideology. In keeping with the high opinion he had of himself, it is said that when the pirates told him he would be ransomed for twenty talents, Caesar claimed he was worth at least fifty. The great conspiracy against Julius Caesar - Kathryn Tempest. Recognizing the wealth to be gained through conquest, Caesar left Rome with his legions and went to Gaul in 58 BCE. As a priest not only had to be of patrician stock, but married to a patrician, Caesar broke off his engagement to a plebian girl and married the patrician, Cornelia, daughter of a high profile and influential … He defeated the tribes there just as he had done in Spain and secured the borders of the provinces. Caligula "Little Boots" Known as "Caligula" ('Little Boots'), Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was … In 62 he was elected praetor, divorced Pompeia after a scandal she was implicated in with another man, and sailed for Spain in 61 as Propraetor (governor) of Hispania. The first Roman emperor was Augustus Caesar, who came to power after the assassination of Julius Caesar, his great-uncle.Augustus helped restore the city of Rome and secured its frontiers during his reign. Many believed that it was only a matter of time before the Republic would fall. To some the Roman citizenry was falling victim to moral decay. He Was A Vicious Opponent. Julius Caesar is one of the most important figures in the history of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. Caesar substituted for the Roman oligarchy an autocracy that could never afterward be abolished. 13 Dec 2020. Yet, even if Caesar should prove to be of lesser stature than this Chinese colossus, he would still remain a giant by comparison with the common run of human beings (see also ancient Rome). Besieged in the palace by the Egyptians under Achillas, Caesar and Cleopatra held out for six months until reinforcements arrived in March of 47 BCE and the Egyptian army was defeated. In the last year of his life, Caesar developed personal control of the coinage to a point at which it lay ready to hand for Augustus to use later as a fully imperial instrument. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Although the senate seemed incensed by this indiscretion (as the bigamy laws in Rome were strictly enforced) Caesar was granted the title Dictator Perpetuus (dictator for life) in 44 BCE. The historian Suetonius writes, he “often feasted with Cleopatra till daybreak and would have gone through Egypt with her in her royal barge almost to Ethiopia had not his soldiers threatened mutiny.” In 47 BCE, Cleopatra gave birth to a son, Ptolemy Caesar (known as Caesarion) and proclaimed him her heir and successor to the throne. Gaius Julius, c100–44 B.C., Roman general, statesman, and historian. The general and dictator Julius Caesar helped to build ancient Rome into a mighty empire. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Ancient History Encyclopedia. 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