Julius Caesar Julius Caesar Head of Caesar was born on the third day before the Ides of Quintilis (approximately our July 13) in 100 B.C. Caesar’s Family Caesar was Statue of Venus from an old patrician family-it even claimed decent from Venus- but in recent years it had fallen out of favor. Caesar’s Youth Very little is known of Caesar’s youth- Caesar received education from a Greek tutor in Greek, rhetoric, philosophy, and law. Caesar’s Youth Ancient education stressed the physical as well as the mental and the biographer Suetonius tells us that Caesar “handled weapons with great skill, was an excellent rider and had amazing endurance….Nor was his progress held up by rivers: he either swam across them or crossed them on inflated skins.” Caesar’s Appearance Suetonius writes of Caesar: “Caesar is said to have been tall, fair, well-built, with a rather broad face and keen, dark- brown eyes. His health was sound Caesar’s Appearance apart from sudden comas and a tendency to nightmares which troubled him towards the end of his life; but he twice had epileptic fits Caesar’s Appearance while on campaign. He was something of a ‘dandy’, always keeping his head carefully trimmed and shaved. Caesar’s Appearance His baldness was a dis- figurement his enemies harped upon, much to his exasperation, Caesar’s Appearance he used to comb the thin strands of hair forward, and of all the honors voted him by the Senate and People, Caesar’s Appearance none of them pleased him more as wearing the laurel wreath on all occasions-he took full advangtae. The Late Republic To understand Caesar’s career, one must understand the events of the late Republic in Rome. The Late republic was a time in Rome’s history marked by popular uprisings, civil conflicts, and foreign wars as well. The Late Republic Rome’s constitution during this time was unwritten, and the Romans continued to break standard practices to meet new challenges. The Romans set dangerous precedents which Caesar would later take advantage of. The Late Republic People tended to fall into two groups during this time: - “optimates” = “the best men”, conservative, supported the status quo and the senate - “populares”- “men of change” supported change, tried to work around the senate The Late Republic The leader on Head of Marius the side of the Populares was Marius- he had won a great reputation fighting Mithridates (a king in Asia Minor). The Late Republic Later, although forbidden, Marius was elected consul six years in a row to protect Rome from invasions by two Germanic tribes, the Cimbri and Teutoni. The Late Republic Another crucial A Roman Soldier change also happened to the army under Marius. The Late Republic Formerly, there was a property requirement to be in the Roman army. The Late Republic Marius removed this, and opened the chance of military service to the poor. The Late Republic Since many were unemployed and there was a shortage of land for farming, many poor were willing to fight. The Senate, however, refused to pay to support a standing army. The Late Republic Marius and other generals would thus bring in soldiers with promises of high pay and land when they retired. A crucial change occurred which Caesar would later exploit: soldiers became loyal to individual commanders rather than the state. Individuals Romans would seek to build armies loyal to themselves. The Late Republic Sulla, the leader Head of Sulla on the side of the optimates also built up an army fighting Mithridates in the East. The Late Republic As Sulla returned to Rome, he was ordered to disband his army- it was considered an act of war to march on Roman soil with troops- Sulla refused and marched on Rome. The Late Republic In a bloody battle at the Colline gate the optimates under Sulla defeated the ruling populares under Marius. Sulla became dictator for an indefinite amount of time- another dangerous precedent because it was an office only to be held for six monts. The Late Republic Sulla would eventually retire and give control back to the senate, but before he did he instituted a brief “reign of terror.” He started “proscription”- putting enemies names on a list and executing them without a trial- Sulla even nailed up their heads and hands in public. Caesar’s Political Career Caesar’s political career began at this turbulent time: as Marius’ nephew, he was one of the target’s of Sulla’s purges. Caesar was condemned because at age 18 he boldly refused Sulla’s order to divorce his wife Cornelia, the daughter of one of Sulla’s opponents. Caesar’s Political Career Caesar hid out in different homes of Rome’s countryside, but eventually caught malarial fever and was captured. Caesar used one of his most frequently used weapons to escape-bribery-and eventually through his family’s pleas was taken off Sulla’s list. The Start of Caesar’s Career Caesar began his career as a soldier, an officer in the province of Asia. Caesar won fame for himself, saving the life of a fellow citizen and earning the corona civica (“the civic crown”.) Caesar’s Career Caesar then returned to Rome, and went on to study oratory at Rhodes under Apollonius Molon (Cicero’s teacher) and gained a reputation as an orator second only to Cicero. On his way to Rhodes, another famous episode regarding Caesar occurred. Caesar’s Career Suetionius says Caesar’s ship was attacked and boarded by pirates. Caesar was taken hostage and was held for a ransom. Caesar told them while a hostage he would capture and crucify them. Suetonius says that after he was freed Caesar raised a fleet and did. Caesar’s Career Caesar’s 1st position was as military tribune- he likely fought against the slave revolt led by Spartacus (72-70 B.C). Caesar was next elected quaestor (judicial/financial official) in Spain. Caesar’s Career Before he left, Cornelia died- he delivered a very touching funeral oration which won the favor and sympathy of the people. Caesar then married Pompeia, the granddaughter of Sulla, who was very wealthy. Caesar’s Career Caesar then became aedile (in charge of public works and games). Caesar put on the most lavish games Rome had ever seen- he won popularity, but also racked up huge debts and the senate even placed limits on games. Caesar’s Career Caesar than won election to the prominent position of pontifex maximus (chief priest). Again, he won it through bribery. On the day of the election he supposedly told his mother “he would be home as chief priest or not be home at all” because he’d be fleeing his creditors. Caesar’s Career Caesar was then appointed governor in Spain- he had taken care of his debts by aligning himself with Marcus Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome. While in Spain, Caesar was said to have stood in front of a statue of Alexander the Great and lamented how little he had done- Alexander had already conquered the whole world. Caesar’s Career Caesar used his Curiassed Statue governorship to of Statue build his reputation so that he could run for consul and gain plunder to pay his debts. Caesar’s Career Caesar gained an army with the province- he subdued a riot in what is now Portugal and was even voted a triumph. Caesar’s Career Caesar, however, decided to turn down his triumph so that he could run for consul (Caesar’s nemesis, the younger Cato, filibustered in the senate so he could not have it). Caesar, again relying heavily on bribery, managed to get elected but his rival Bibulus was co-consul. Caesar’s Career Knowing he still did not have enough support, Caesar formed what was called the First Triumvirate- an unofficial agreement of three men where each would help the other. Caesar’s Career The triumvirate Pompey consisted of Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus. Crassus Caesar would pass policies favorable to them in turn for support. Caesar’s Career Pompey in return Pompey was the foremost military general and Crassus was Crassus the wealthiest man in Rome. Caesar’s Career Caesar managed to get these policies passed through threats, bullying, and bribery. One time Caesar even had his henchmen dump a bucket of dung over Bibulus’ head when he tried to veto a law, beat up his guards, and had his opponents dragged out,. Caesar’s Career People in Rome even began to remark that it was the consulship of “Julius” and “Caesar”. Caesar’s actions were clearly illegal, but as long as held office he could not be prosecuted. Caesar’s Career To protect himself, Caesar saw to it that he be appointed governor of Gaul as soon as his consulship ended. Caesar’s Career Caesar now had control of two legions in the two provinces closest to Rome: Caesar now could build a group of soldiers loyal to himself and could build his reputation. Caesar In Gaul Caesar also instantly found a reason to fight: a tribe called the Helvetii, who lived in what is now modern Switzerland, announced they would abandon this land and march into Western Gaul and settle there. Caesar in Gaul The Romans still remembered the invasions of Germanic tribes earlier, and so the Senate allowed Caesar to recruit additional troops. This was the start of a nine year campaign fighting the Gauls (the normal period for a governorship was one year). Caesar in Gaul Caesar now The Dying Gaul commanded Cisalpine Gaul (“Nearer Gaul”), Transalpine Gaul (Gaul Across the Alps), and Illyricum. Caesar in Gaul Although Caesar was away in Gaul, Caesar still wielded in influence through bribery, threats from his gangs of men, by controlling who was consul (for example, Mark Anthony) or who was tribune (for example, Publius Clodius). Caesar in Gaul While in Gaul, Caesar’s intent was to eventually return to Rome: - he wants to win a triumph so he will have the favor of the people - he write Commentarii De Bello* Gallico* to try to sway public opinion in his favor Caesar in Gaul - he also writes Manuscript of the Commentarii Gallic Wars De Bello* Gallico* to try to sway public opinion in his favor Caesar in Gaul Caesar, however, faced a problem: - if he was not holding office, he would no longer be immune from prosecution and would be tried for his crimes as consul Caesar in Gaul Caesar wished to run for consul so he would have the protection of holding office. However, there was a law that said you had to be present in Rome to run for consul. Caesar in Gaul Caesar attemtps to get the senate to pass a law to allow him to run for consul in absentia*. The senate never totally agrees to this- Pompey changes his mind several times. Caesar in Gaul Caesar’s imperium in Gaul ran out in 49 B.C. Caesar faced two choices: 1.) Enter Rome as a private citizen, but he was sure to be tried. 2.) Enter Roman territory (ager Romanus) with his troops and be considered an outlaw. The Civil War The point where the Ager Romanus began was the Rubicon River. Caesar chose to cross the Rubicon, and supposedly said “Alea iacta est! (“the die has been cast!). The Civil War Pompey, the leader of the Senate’s forces had taken his troops to Greece. Pompey outnumbered Caesar by about 48,000 to 20,000- but Pompey cannot directly control his troops, he must take orders from the senate. The Civil War Caesar, on the other hand, was known for the swiftness with which he moved his troops and with which he made decisions. The Civil War He defeated Map of Greece Pompey at Pharsalus, and Pompey fled to Egypt. The Civil War Others were captured- but Caesar displayed another characteristic for which he became known, his clementia. He pardoned these men, among whom was Brutus, later one of his murderers. The Civil War When Caesar arrived in Egypt, he was brought Pompey’s head- Caesar, although his enemy was eliminated was said to have wept. Caesar and Cleopatra When Caesar came to Egypt, the situation was unstable: Ptolemy XIII (who was only 13) and Cleopatra (who was only 21) both were granted the kingdom. For all purposes it was ruled by courtiers. Caesar and Cleopatra Cleopatra had been exiled to Syria, but wanted to try to regain the kingdom. Caesar decided he would settle this conflict- Cleopatra decided she must meet Caesar. Caesar and Cleopatra According to Head of Cleopatra Plutarch, one night a Greek arrived to visit Caesar who was carrying a large bag- inside was Cleopatra. Caesar and Cleopatra Plutarch tells us that Caesar was charmed by this and from this time on was won over by the queen. Caesar and Cleopatra Caesar then aided Cleoptra, jeopardizing the safety of his men in very dangerous battles. Caesar finally won, and even spent several months sailing down the Nile with Cleopatra, even though the remnants of Pompey’s army were not yet defeated nor was Rome stabililzed. Caesar and Cleopatra Caesar even later invited Cleoptra to Rome and had a son with her, whom he acknowledged and named after himself- such relations with a foreign queen would have been alarming to Romans. The End of the Civil War Caesar finally left- at Zela he encountered Pharnaces –the battle ended so quickly Caesar supposedly said his famous words, “Veni, Vidi, Vici!” Caesar eventually defeats the remnants of Pompey’s forces at Thapsus, Utica, and Munda. Caesar in Rome Caesar returned to Rome and celebrated four triumphs (over Gaul, Egypt, Pontos, and Africa- Pompey was omitted). Caesar in Rome Caesar also launched a huge building program: he builit is own forum (Forum Julium), a basilica (Basilica Julia), a senate house (Curia Julia), the Temple to Venus Genetrix (the “Conquerer”), began construction on what became the Theatre of Marcellus and had plans for a great library. Caesar in Rome Caesar undertook political reforms as well: he had plans to codify all Roman law, settled his veterans on land, reformed law courts, limited the terms of provincial governors, instituted other social reforms and introduced the Julian calendar (Rome was formerly on a lunar calendar, a month had to be added every two years). Caesar in Rome Caesar also had huge honors heaped upon him by the senate. Among some of them were: a statue of Caesar was placed in the temple of Quirinius (the deified Romulus) with the inscription, “to the undefeated God, a statue of Cleopatra stood in the temple of Venus, Caesar in Rome and was granted the title of pater patriae (which was only given once before. There was, however, one title he never received, rex. Despite his political reforms, Caesar never made clear his intent for the republic. Caesar in Rome Caesar became Head of Anthony consul in 44 B.C. with Mark Anthony. In February of that month, he became dictator for life. Caesar in Rome Rumors abounded that Caesar would become king- but each time the title was offered to Caesar he wisely refused- the most famous instance was when Anthony offered him the diadem at the festival of the Lupercalia. Caesar in Rome Finally, a group Denarius of Brutus of senators fearing Caesar’s plan plotted his assassination- foremost was Brutus, whom Ceasar had pardoned. Caesar’s Death The sources contain eerie stories of foreshadowing Caesar’s death: -on the night before Caesar at the house of Lepidus and the conversation turned to the question of the most pleasant death: Caesar said one that was sudden and unexpected Caesar’s Death - a man named Artemidoros of Knidos, who knew, was said to approach Caesar with a scroll and said “Caesar, you must read it, alone and quickly!” – But in his usual manner, Caesar never read what was handed to him. Caesar’s Death The augur Spurinna was also said to have predicted disaster fo78 Caesar on the ides of March. Spurinna was standing by the door and, Caesar, with an air of superiority said the Ides had come and nothing had happened. Spurinna supposedly said, “They have come, but they’re not over.” Caesar’s Death One senator Caesar’s Death approached Caesar about business, then pulled on Caesar’s toga. Caesar’s Death All twenty- three conspirators each agreed to stab Caesar once. Caesar’s Death Caesar fought back at first, but then pulled his toga over his head. Caesar’s death was later romanticized- he likely never uttered the famous words, “Et Tu, Brute!” Caesar’s Death No one will ever no what Caesar intended to do. Cicero commented of his murder that it was “done with the courage of men, but the foolishness of boys.” Caesar’s Death They said they Denarius Honoring the Ides, picturing did it for scabbards and the freedom, but had cap of freedom no new plan of government. Civil War would remain until the victory of Augustus.
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