Julius Caesar Hannah-louise anderson

Born in July 100 BC Gaius Julius Caesar lived to be one of the most influential dictators of the Roman Republic and transformed it to be what is known today as the Roman Empire.

Political Structure: Prior to the existence of the Roman Empire, Rome lived under a Republican structure that had been transformed from a monarchy in roughly 6th Century BC, with Rome then conquering a large portion of the Mediterranean and all of the Italian Peninsula. After at least five centuries and under the reign of Caesar, civil war plagued the civilisation leading to the social and government structures to change again from a Republic to that of an Empire with prior political leaders losing influence and power over the population.

Early Life: It was estimated that Gaius Julius Caesar was born in mid July of 100BC in Rome. Little is known of his childhood, however, there is quite a lot of knowledge of his family history. It was speculated that Caesar was a descendant Lulus, son of the Trojan prince Aeneas, supposedly the son of the goddess Venus. His mother Aurelia was born into a high class family, however neither his mother nor father's family had much political influence.

Rome during Caesar's childhood was in a state of political disrupt. Disarray within the republic had led to the disbelief in the ability of the civilizations leaders to maintain control over it's vast territory. When his father passed away Caesar made the decision to side with the country's upper class and later married Cornelia who was the daughter of a noble. The marriage had angered Rome's dictator of the time Sulla. He ordered Caesar to divorce Cornelia or risk great loss, however Caesar refused and found refuge within the military where he served in Asia and Cilicia. When Sulla died, Caesar came back to Rome to pursue a career in politics as a prosecuting advocate and in 69 BC his wife Cornelia died. He resided in Rhodes for a short period of time where he studied philosophy, however, during his journey he was taken by a group of pirates. When he was rescued by an organised group of naval personnel the pirates were arrested and executed.

Rise to Power: When Caesar returned to Rome he formed a relationship with a past lieutenant Pompey who had defected following Sulla's death. His reputation was further improved in 74 BC when he put together a private army and combated Mithradates VI Eupator, king of Pontus, who had declared war on Rome. Caesar's rise to power continued and in 61-60 BC he was governor of the Roman province of Spain. He also continued his close personal and political relationship with Pompey and was selected as Consul in 59 BC.

'First Triumvirate': Caesar was in great debt to a man named Crassus', but he also made overtures to Pompey. Pompey and Crassus had been in a dispute for decades so Caesar decided to form a great political friendship between the three of them. The three men had enough money and political influence and a considerable amount of control over businesses. This alliance was known as the 'First Triumvirate' and was solidified by the marriage of Pompey to Caesar's daughter Julia. Caesar also remarried to another powerful senators daughter Calpurnia.

Relationships: With his power he went on to take control of now European provinces such as Berlin and France. His army respected him for his relentless nature and admired the determination he had. With the huge political steps Caesar was taking and it's influence on his reputation Pompey began to be jealous of Caesar and his personal feelings toward him lead to political and social disruption within Rome and throughout it's controlled land. As well as Pompey and unlike his army, the Roman senates relationship with Caesar was always one of conflicting beliefs and opinions and was made up of necessary tolerance. This was a result of the ignorance Caesar showed towards the Senate in his military days.

Dictatorship: After following his new rival Pompey to Egypt, Caesar, recently victorious in a civil war closer to home, became interested in the Alexandrine civil war after his rival, Pompey was killed by King Ptolemy XIII in an attempt to please Caesar.

From August 48 BC until January 47 BC, Caesar was under Siege in Alexandria, Egypt with an estimated 4000 other men. He was attempting to resolve the conflict between Ptolemy XIII and his sister Cleopatra. When Plotemy realised Caesar preffered Cleopatra over him, he became angry and was captured by Caesar. He was later released. After his win in Egypt, Caesar was declared dictator for life and earned him the title of Father of his Country.

Assassination: The assassination of Julius Caesar was the result of his conflict with the Roman senators. Led by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus, Julius Caesar was stabbed to death near the Theatre of Pompey on the Ides of March 15th 44 BC.

Evaluation: Although he was a dictator and he was responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, Caesar as a ruler accomplished quite a lot when he was in power. BY changing the political system and expanding the lands under Rome's control, he further solidified the reputation of Rome and established it in a place of high esteem and power. In a period of 55 years he angered the senate and other power layers within and without Rome and expanded the lands under Rome's control, not to mention he changed the entire political and social structure following his death. As a dictator he was smart and ruthless but his character was merciless and power mad.


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