Imperator Gaius Julius Caesar Divus
BornJuly 13 100 B.C.E. , Rome
AccessionOctober, 49 B.C.E.

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DiedMarch 15 44 B.C.E., Rome
SuccessorAugustus Caesar (as roman Emperor)
Spouse(s)1) Cornelia Cinnilla 84 B.C.E. – 68 B.C.E. 2) Pompeia Sulla 68 B.C.E. – 63 B.C.E. 3) Calpurnia Pisonis 59 B.C.E. To 44 B.C.E.
IssueJulia Caesaris (1)
FatherGaius Julius Caesar the Elder
MotherAurelia Cotta
DynastyJulio-Claudian Dynasty

Gaius Julius Caesar (July 13, 100 B.C.E. – march 15, 44 B.C.E.) was a roman inn military and political leader whose function in the transformation of the roman Republic into the roman Empire changed the course of western civilization. His conquest of Gaul expanded the Roman civilization all the method to the Atlantic Ocean, and also he was likewise responsible for the an initial Roman invasion of Britannia (Great Britain), in 55 B.C.E. Caesar is widely thought about to be among the foremost armed forces geniuses of all time, and a brilliant politician and orator.

Caesar fought in a civil battle that left him undisputed grasp of the roman world, and also after assuming manage of the government began extensive reforms of Roman culture and government. He extended Roman citizenship to every within the Empire, introduced measures that safeguarded marriage and the institution of the family, lessened the nationwide debt, and also showed genuine concern for the welfare of plain Romans.

Caesar to be proclaimed dictator because that life, and he heavily central the bureaucracy of the Republic. Ironically, this compelled the hand the a girlfriend of Caesar, Marcus Junius Brutus, that then conspired v others to murder the an excellent dictator and restore the Republic. This dramatic assassination top top the Ides of in march (March 15) in 44 B.C.E. Sparked a brand-new civil war in Rome, bring about the ascension that Caesar Augustus, further consolidation of political power based on recent precedent, and the formal founding of the roman inn Empire.

Caesar"s military campaigns are recognized in information from his own written Commentaries (Commentarii), and many details that his life are videotaped by later on historians, such as Appian, Suetonius, Plutarch, Cassius Dio, and also Strabo. Other information deserve to be gleaned from other modern sources, such together the letters and speeches that Caesar"s political competitor Cicero, the city of Catullus, and also the works of the historian Sallust.


Early life

Julius Caesar was born in Rome, into a patrician family members (gens Julia), which supposedly traced its ancestry to Iulus, the child of the Trojan prince Aeneas (who follow to myth to be the child of Venus).

According to legend, Caesar was born by Caesarean section and is the procedure"s namesake, despite this appears unlikely due to the fact that at the moment the procedure was just performed top top dead women, while Caesar"s mommy lived lengthy after he to be born. This legend is more likely a modern-day invention, as the beginning of the Caesarian ar is in the Latin word for "cut," caedo, -ere, caesus sum. Caesar was increased in a usual apartment building (insula) in the Subura, a lower-class neighborhood of Rome.

Although the impeccable aristocratic patrician stock, the Julii Caesares were not rich by the criter of the roman inn nobility. No member that his household had accomplished any outstanding prominence in current times, though in Caesar"s father"s generation there was a duration of great prosperity. He was the namesake the his dad (a praetor who passed away in 85 B.C.E., and also his mommy was Aurelia Cotta. His elder sister, Julia, to be grandmother come Caesar Augustus. His paternal aunt, likewise known together Julia, married Gaius Marius, a talented general and also reformer the the roman army. Marius ended up being one the the richest men in Rome at the time. As he got political influence, Caesar"s family members gained wealth.

Towards the end of Marius" life in 86 B.C.E., interior politics reached a breaking point. Throughout this period, Roman politicians were generally split into 2 factions: The Populares, which consisted of Marius and were in donate of radical reforms; and the Optimates, which included Lucius Cornelius Sulla and worked to keep the status quo. A cable of disputes between these two factions brought about civil war and also eventually opened up the way to Sulla"s dictatorship. Caesar was tied to the Populares through household connections. Not only was the Marius"s nephew, the was additionally married to Cornelia, the youngest daughter that Lucius Cornelius Cinna, Marius"s greatest supporter and also Sulla"s enemy. To make matters worse, in the year 85 B.C.E., just after Caesar rotate 15, his father came to be ill and also died. Both Marius and also his father had actually left Caesar much of your property and also wealth in their wills.

When Sulla arised as the winner the this civil war and also began his regimen of proscriptions, Caesar, not yet twenty years old, was in a negative position. Now dictator, Sulla bespeak Caesar to divorce Cornelia in 82 B.C.E., yet Caesar refused and prudently fled Rome come hide. Sulla later on pardoned Caesar and also his family and allowed him to go back to Rome. In a prophetic moment, Sulla was stated to comment on the dangers of letting Caesar live. According to Suetonius, the dictator in relenting top top Caesar"s proscription said, "He whose life friend so much desire will at some point be the overthrow of the component of nobles, whose reason you have sustained v me; for in this one Caesar, you will find countless a Marius."

Despite Sulla"s pardon, Caesar walk not stay in Rome and left because that military service in Asia and also Cilicia. As soon as the Romans set siege come Mytilene, ~ above the island that Lesbos, he was dispatched to Bithynia, ~ above the southern shore of the black Sea, to sway King Nicomedes IV Philopator to do his fleet available to Marcus Minucius Thermus in the Aegean Sea. The King agreed to dispatch the fleet, though the ease through which Caesar secured the fleet led part to think that it remained in return for sexual favors. The idea the a patrician play the role of a masculine prostitute stirred increase a scandal back in Rome. His adversaries later accused him of this affair on many occasions, and it haunted him because that his whole political career.

In 80 B.C.E., if still serving under Marcus Minucius Thermus, Caesar play a pivotal duty in the siege the Miletus. Throughout the course of the battle, Caesar verified such personal bravery in conserving the lives of legionaries that he was later on awarded the corona civica (oak crown). The award, the second highest (after the corona graminea—Grass Crown) Roman army honor, to be bestowed for saving the life of another soldier, and also when worn in public, even in the visibility of the roman Senate, every were forced to stand and applaud his presence. It to be to be worn one day, and thereafter ~ above festive occasions, and Caesar take it full advantage of it, as he began balding. The oak crown was accompanied by a small badge, which can be worn permanently together a symbol of the recipient"s courage.

After 2 years the unchallenged power, Sulla acted together no other dictator has since. The disbanded his legions, re-established consular government (in accordance to his very own rules, that stood for and also was elected consul in 80 B.C.E.), and also resigned the dictatorship. The dismissed his lictors and also walked unguarded in the forum, providing to offer account the his plot to any type of citizen. This lesson in can be fried confidence, Caesar later on ridiculed—"Sulla walk not know his political ABC"s." In retrospect, of the two, Sulla to be to have the last laugh, together it was he, "lucky" come the end, who died in his own bed. ~ his second Consulship, he retract to his coastal villa to create his memoirs and indulge in the pleasures of exclusive life. He passed away two years later of liver failure lugged on, evidently, by the pleasures of exclusive life. His funeral to be stupendous, unmatched until the of Augustus in 14 C.E.

In 78 B.C.E., on hear of Sulla"s death, Caesar feel it would be safe for the to go back to Rome and he started his politics career together an support for the populares. He became known because that his outstanding oratory, accompanied by impassioned gestures and also a high-pitched voice, and ruthless prosecution of previous governors notorious for extortion and corruption. The an excellent orator Cicero even commented, "Does anyone have the capability to speak far better than Caesar?" Although he was fantastic politician, Caesar to be unimpressed through the leader of the populares, and also aiming at greater rhetorical mastery, traveled to Rhodes in 75 B.C.E. For philosophical and also oratorical research studies with the famed teacher, Apollonius Molon, who was previously the instructor that Cicero himself.

Kidnapping through pirates

On the way across the Aegean Sea, Caesar was kidnapped by Cicilian pirates, above whom he controlled to keep superiority even throughout his captivity. Follow to Plutarch"s retelling of this incident, as soon as the pirates said Caesar they would certainly ransom him for 20 talents of gold, Caesar laughed and also told castle he to be worth at the very least 50 (12,000 yellow pieces). Plutarch suggests this to it is in an act come decrease the peril of gift killed; still, plenty of historians have understood it as a humorous event that anticipates his self-confidence, displayed in his future acts together a consul. Caesar also increased his defense by joining v the crews and also acting like one of them, even scolding a few when they confirmed a little sign of skip him.

After the ransom to be paid, Caesar gathered a fleet, and captured the pirates. Once the branch of Asia Minor district did not mete the end justice to his satisfaction, Plutarch reports, "Caesar left him to his very own devices, checked out Pergamum, took the robbers out of prison, and crucified them all, simply as he had regularly warned castle on the island that he would do, as soon as they believed he to be joking."

Elections and also growing prominence

In 63 B.C.E., Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius, who had been appointed to the article of Pontifex Maximus by Sulla, died. In a interlocutor move, Caesar put his name up for choice to the post. He ran against two of the most an effective members of the boni, the consulars Quintus Lutatius Catulus and also Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus. There to be accusations of bribery by every sides in the contest, but Caesar arised as the victor. The choice to the short article of Pontifex Maximus was an extremely important come Caesar’s career. The write-up held substantial political and religious authority and firmly put Caesar in the general public eye for the remainder the his career.

Caesar was elected to the post of praetor in 62 B.C.E. After ~ his praetorship, Caesar was allotted Hispania Ulterior (Outer Iberian peninsula) together his province. Caesar’s governorship was a military and also civil success and he was able to expand Roman rule. Together a result, he was hailed together Imperator by his soldiers, and gained support in the Senate to approve him a triumph. However, upon his go back to Rome, Marcus Porcius Cato (known as Cato the Younger) blocked Caesar’s request to was standing for the consulship the 60 B.C.E. (or 59 B.C.E.) in absentia. Faced with the choice between a Triumph and also consulship, Caesar decided the consulship.

First consulship and an initial triumvirate

In 60 B.C.E. (or 59 B.C.E.), the Centuriate Assembly chosen Caesar senior Consul the the roman inn Republic. His junior companion was his political adversary Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, one Optimate and also son-in-law the Cato the Younger. Bibulus" first act as Consul was to retire from every political task in stimulate to find the skies for omens. This reportedly pious decision to be designed to make Caesar"s life daunting during his Consulship. Roman inn satirists ever before after referred to the year together "the consulship of Julius and Caesar," together Romans expressed the time period by the consuls that were elected. Caesar necessary allies and also he found them wherein none the his adversaries expected.

The leading general of the day, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great), to be unsuccessfully fighting the Senate for farmlands for his veterans. A former Consul, Marcus Licinius Crassus, accused the richest male in Rome, was likewise having difficulties in obtaining relief for his publicani clients, the tax-farmers that were in charge of collecting roman tributes. Caesar desperately required Crassus"s money and also Pompey"s influence, and an informal alliance shortly followed: The an initial Triumvirate (rule by three men). To check the alliance, Pompey married Julia, Caesar"s just daughter. Regardless of their distinctions in age and also upbringing, this political marital relationship proved to it is in a love match.

Gallic wars

Caesar to be then appointed come a 5 year term together Proconsular branch of Transalpine Gaul (current southerly France) and also Illyria (the coast of Dalmatia). Not content v an idle governorship, Caesar released the Gallic wars (58 B.C.E.–49 B.C.E.) in which the conquered every one of Gaul (the remainder of current France, with most of Switzerland and Belgium, efficiently western mainland Europe native the Atlantic come the Rhine) and also parts that Germania and annexed them come Rome. Among his legates were his cousins, Lucius Julius Caesar and also Mark Antony, Titus Labienus and also Quintus Tullius Cicero, the younger brother of Caesar"s political opponent, Cicero.

Caesar defeated the Helvetii (in Switzerland) in 58 B.C.E., the Belgic confederacy and also the Nervii in 57 B.C.E. And also the Veneti in 56 B.C.E. On august 26, 55 B.C.E., he attempted an invasion of britain and, in 52 B.C.E. He beat a union that Gauls led through Vercingetorix in ~ the battle of Alesia. He videotaped his very own accounts that these campaigns in Commentarii de Bello Gallico ("Commentaries ~ above the Gallic War").

According come Plutarch and also the works of scholar Brendan Woods, the whole project resulted in 800 conquered cities, 300 subdued tribes, one million men sold right into slavery, and another three million dead in battle. Ancient historians notoriously exaggerated numbers of this kind, but Caesar"s occupation of Gaul was certainly the best military invasion because the projects of Alexander the Great. The success was likewise far much more lasting than those the Alexander"s: Gaul never ever regained its Celtic identity, never attempted another nationalist rebellion, and also remained faithful to Rome till the loss of the Western empire in 476 C.E.

Fall of the an initial triumvirate

Despite his successes and the benefits to Rome, Caesar continued to be unpopular among his peers, specifically the conservative faction, that suspected him of wanting to it is in king. In 55 B.C.E., his partners, Pompey and also Crassus, were elected consuls and honored their commitment with Caesar by expanding his proconsul-ship for one more five years. This to be the critical act that the an initial Triumvirate.

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In 54 B.C.E., Caesar"s daughter Julia died in childbirth, leave both Pompey and also Caesar heartbroken. Crassus was killed in 53 B.C.E. During his project in Parthia. There is no Crassus or Julia, Pompey drifted towards the Optimates. Quiet in Gaul, Caesar tried to secure Pompey"s assistance by providing him among his nieces in marriage, but Pompey refused. Instead, Pompey married Cornelia Metella, the daughter the Caecilius Metellus, among Caesar"s best enemies.