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Gaius Julius Caesar

Caesar had more than a mere name and military reputation: his energy
could never rest and his one disgrace was to conquer without war. He was
alert and headstrong; his arms answered every summons of ambition or
resentment; he never shrank from using the sword lightly; he followed up
each success and snatched at the favor of Fortune, overthrowing every
obstacle on his path to supreme power, and rejoicing to clear the way before
him by destruction. --Lucan, Bellum Civile I, 143-150

The Early Years

Born to a not-so-well-off patrician family in

100 BC in a plebeian neighborhood of
After a civil war, Caesar was left penniless
and almost lost his life while still a teenager.
He joined the army at age 18 and serves for
four years.

The (Legal) Rungs of Power

Was elected a Senator at age 30.

At age 34 he was put in charge of public

entertainments. He spent lavishly, and won
great popularity.

Was elected Pontifex Maximus at age 36. This

post was for life, and brought power, wealth, and
prestige (plus a big house in the Forum!)

At age 39, then became military governor in

Spain, where he earned his reputation as a

Was elected Consul, the highest office in Rome,

at age 41.

The First Triumvirate

Wealth, popularity, military

commands are all creating new and
great opportunities for personal
Marcus Licinius Crassus: the
Richest man in Rome
Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus: the most
successful General of the time
Caesar: up-and-coming, popular, and

After his Consulship, Caesar makes sure hes appointed governor

of Illyricum, Italian Gaul, and then Gaul-across-the-Alps.
This gives him the opportunity to command troops again, and to
conquer territory.
This also gives him the opportunity for great wealth.

Through his
Commentaries of the
war, published back in
Rome, he gains even
greater celebrity.


Risking All

Crassus dies in battle in Parthia.

The Senate convinces Pompey to oppose
Caesar rather than work with him.
Caesar, after eight years in Gaul, is ordered
to surrender his armies and return to Rome
(to stand trial!).
Caesar invades Italy with his Legions.

Civil War--Again!

Pompey and the leading Senators flee to

Greece to ready their army.
Caesar easily takes Italy, Rome, and Spain.
Outnumbered two to one, he faces Pompey
in Greece, and crushes him.
Pompey flees to Egypt.

Caesars Coins

Caesar was the first

Roman to have his face
put on a coin while he
was still alive
The Romans believed
only ancestors and gods
could be pictured
Caesar was equating
himself with gods and
Eastern kings

Ego sum Caesar

He has himself appointed Dictator-for-Life.

Caesar now rules alone, using friends,
freedmen, and slaves to govern--ignoring
the Senate. Was Caesar a KING?
Starts wearing an all-purple toga: the
garment of a triumphal general representing
the god Jupiter. Was Caesar a GOD?


Became Queen of Egypt

at the age of 17
Joint Ruler of Egypt with
her brother Ptolomy XII
Egyptian custom meant
that she had to marry him
Ptolomy was aged 12
He died aged 18


Ptolomy and Cleopatra did not

get along.
Ptolomys advisors drove
Cleopatra out into the desert so
Ptolomy XIII could rule alone.
Pompey fled to Egypt after
being defeated by Julius Caesar
Ptolomy had Pompey beheaded
and presented his head to
Julius Casar

Ptolomys Mistake

This was a big miscalculation

Pompey was still Consul of
Rome and Julius Caesars son-inlaw
Julius Caesar demanded that
Pompeys assassins be handed
over to him
Ptolomy refused
Julius Caesar fought against
Ptolomys army.
Ptolomy, weighted by his armor
of gold, drowned in the River
Cleopatras third brother
Ptolomy XIV becomes joint ruler

Julius and Cleopatra

Julius Caesar had Cleopatra

restored to the throne of
Cleopatra became Caesars
Cleopatras son Caesarean
was probably Caesars son
She and Caesarean lived in
Rome with Julius.
Caesar refused to recognize
Caesarean as his heir

The Julian Forum

Julius Caesar
created the Julian
Forum. (named
after himself)

The Forum was needed

because the old forum had
become to small to deal
with the amount of people.

The Ides of March

A group of over fifty Senators decide that enough is

enough--they are not ready to relinquish power and control
of Rome to one man.
They conspire to murder Caesar on March 15, 44 BC.
They invite him to be crowned and declared King of
Rome. He arrives to find 50 Senators with knives hidden
in their togas. They promptly stabbed him to death.

The Aftermath

Caesars body is cremated in a massive

public demonstration in the Forum. A temple
is built to Divine Julius in that spot.
The conspirators are forced to flee.
Civil war again breaks out, with Caesars
right-hand-man, Marc Antony, and his heir,
Octavian, conquering the armies of Brutus,
Cassius, and the Senators.

Caesars Lasting Impact

Caesar provided a blueprint for rising to absolute power

in Rome--a blueprint both Octavian and Antony
His name became one of the titles for the Roman
emperors. The more modern Czar and Kaiser
derive from his name too.
Caesar began the practice of granting Roman citizenship
to conquered peoples. This helped to prolong the
expansion and maintenance of the Roman Empire.

Caesars Lasting Impact

His Commentaries are one of the great pieces

of Latin literature.
He inspired one of Shakespeares most
celebrated plays.
His reform of the calendar has been changed
very little over the past two millenia.
The month July is named for him.