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Detail of Biography - Julius Caesar
Name :
Julius Caesar
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Birth Date :
01/01/1970
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Rome.
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Biography - Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar was a Roman general. His father Gaius Caesar and uncle Marius were in favor of the Popular Party.[br /]
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Julius Caesar also wanted to enter politics. So, he started from the bottom of the political ladder and in 68 BC he was elected as Quaestor. Moreover, he had married Cornelia, the daughter of Cinna, who was the leader of the Popular Party. It was his election to the post of Quaestor that kickstarted his political career. Caesar, during his term of office, went on a special judicial circuit and discharged his duties with intelligence and tact.[br /]
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Later, in 65 BC, Caesar stood for the post of Consul but was elected as one of the four Aediles of Rome. Caesar, as one of the four Aediles, chose the management of games, as his work area. As part of his work and responsibility, he rebuilt the stadium that was named circus Maximus, so that there would be more room for chariot races and other spectacles. The oval was enlarged, which increased its sides half a mile long and width 200 yards. Caesar also constructed more seats for spectators and foodstalls in the stadium.[br /]
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The stadium was larger than any stadium in America, today. Caesar entertained the Romans with the sports including, foot race, wrestling, boxing, discus throw, chariot races and also gladiators in mortal combat with each other and wild beasts. Caesar did all he could to satisfy the public. Once he created a scene, on the ground with hundreds of gladiators, to imitate a real battle. Caesar had given the public a true Roman holiday and as a result he became popular, which he always wanted. Even after the end of his tenure, his popularity did not wane. To do all these things he had to bear expenses amounting to a quarter of a million dollars, from his own pocket which he borrowed from his friend Crassus.[br /]
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After gaining popularity and devotion of the people, Caesar made his first big political move by becoming the leader of the Popular Party. As a leader Julius Caesar rectified the wrongs done to innocent men by the late tyrant Sulla. This move was welcomed by the Popular Party supporters and the People’s Assembly elected Caesar as Pontifex Maximus, and he moved into the official palace. (Pontifex Maximus or Pope of Rome was the greatest honor that a Roman citizen could aspire).[br /]
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In 62 BC, he prepared for the election of Praetor. At this stage he faced political opposition for the first time. The Senatorial class remembered the words of Sulla, "This youth will some day overthrow the aristocracy. In this young Caesar goes another Marius." Cicero, his childhood friend, who had also entered politics, was afraid of Caesar’s progress. He preceded Caesar in all elections. Belonging to the Senatorial Party and also a consul, he tried to overthrow Caesar. Inspite of that Caesar was elected Praetor. Caesar made friends to gain influence and money. He used money to gain popularity and popularity to gain power. From that time onwards he dedicated his life for the welfare of his country.
The Senate appointed Caesar as Military Governor of Spain after his term of Praetor expired. Now was the time to repay off the debts of Crassus. Caesar also managed to send huge sums of money to Rome.[br /]
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Caesar, not only collected wealth, but he also performed his duties. He began the task of completing the conquest of the peninsula, which had begun in the days of Scipio and Hannibal. He also waged minor campaigns to protect the people from wild hill tribes who were raiding the villages. He also revised the laws, settled quarrels and did many other good things, which were necessary. When his term of office ended, he left behind an well-organized and wealthy province.[br /]
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Now, Caesar ran for Consulship and because of his popularity he was elected as a Consul, when he was 41. As a Consul, Caesar dedicated his life to work for the good of all people and toward the survival of the Roman Empire. The very first act of Caesar was against the corrupt Senate. The democratic law, which he passed, laid down that all the transactions of the Senate must be publicized, as a result there were no more secret decisions or manipulations.[br /]
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As his second task, he took up on himself to find peaceful and less strenuous occupationsfor the soldiers of long wars. He also offered the veterans a piece of fertile land so that he could till the land and earn for the rest of their lives. The Senate opposed Caesar, but in vain. Caesar had decided to return to the democratic method and so he presented his bill directly to the People’s Assembly. Caesar knew that land reforms were compulsory for the survival of Rome and because of his firm will against the Senate, the land bill became law.[br /]
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Caesar clashed again and again with the Senate but he always won in those bitter battles. Caesar took his proposed laws directly to the People’s Assembly and thus could obtain legislation against sacrilege, bribery during elections, the debasing of the coinage and corrupt state contracts. The laws, which he passed, made a serious offence for the judges to accept bribe and also the governor of provinces were required to have their accounts inspected.[br /]
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Caesar’s tenure was coming to an end but he wanted to serve his country. Caesar knew that the German hordes were crossing into Gaul and would soon threaten the Italian provinces and Rome. So he sought permission from the Senate to give him legions and volunteered to go into lands of Gaul and force the Germans to go back to their own territories. The Senate, at first hesitated to give Caesar legions to command, but fearing a public outcry coupled with the thought of Caesar’s death in the land of Gaul at the hands of German forces, the Senate allowed him the legions. The Senate made Caesar the Governor of Cisalpine Gaul and Illyria, with unlimited freedom. Caesar added four more legions to these legions and equipped them at his own expense. He then invaded Gaul and brought it under the Roman Empire.[br /]
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Under Caesar’s command the Roman army conquered Italy, North Africa, Spain, Greece and the Near East. He then went into the wild and unknown regions of North Alps. In Gaul, Caesar began a military career, which was as equal to that of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Napoleon.[br /]
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His first campaign in Gaul was against the Helvetii because they had occupied a part of Gaul which, today is known as Switzerland. The Helvetii had seen and suffered so many attacks from barbaric Germans that they had decided to leave their homeland and migrate to more peaceful areas. But Caesar knew that the land vacated by Helvetii would be occupied by Germans and pose a threat to Italy and Rome. Caesar had to wage a war against the Helvetians but against the civilized and disciplined Roman army, under his leadership, the Romans won the battle. He became a brilliant military leader in this campaign. The Gauls were astonished and impressed by Caesar’s generous terms for peace. The envoys who came to Caesar told him that one lakh thousand Germans had crossed the Rhine and settled in Gaul. They had occupied some of the lands forcefully. In order to help the Helvetians, Caesar was ready to wage war against Germans. The German leader named Ariovistus was very cruel. He had taken the children of Helvetians as hostages and tortured them. When Caesar came for negotiations, Ariovistus said that certain Roman Senators had contacted and promised him great honors if he killed Caesar. Ariovistus asked Caesar to withdraw his forces but Caesar refused. Both, Caesar and Ariovistus were expecting a war, which was unavoidable. Caesar’s sudden attack surprised the Germans in spite of the latter’s tight security. The Germans were terrified. Ariovistus and his army fled from the battlefield.[br /]
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Ariovistus abandoned his army and his two wives and children. Caesar freed the children of Helvetians taken as hostages. He then left the summer quarters under the command of Labienus for Besancon, the winter quarters. He returned to Cisalpine Gaul to attend to the administration of the province. While he was away he heard the news about Belgian tribes that inhabited present northern France, Belgium and a part of Netherlands. The tribal people were extremely hostile to the Romans and were in league with the Germans.[br /]
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Caesar raised two more legions in Cisalpine Gaul and sent them across the Alps to join Labienus and his other forces. He followed them in spring and they all landed on the river Marne. Because of his sudden attack, the first Belgian tribe immediately surrendered. The Nervii tribe was the fiercest of all Belgian tribes. However, Caesar with his wisdom defeated the Nervii tribes. Owing to the intelligence and discipline of the Roman army, only 500 men out 60,000 of the Nervii army remained. Caesar promised to spare their lives and let them return to their homes, if they would give up their arms. They agreed and laid down their swords and lances. They then opened the gates of the city and formally surrendered. Caesar feared treachery and so did not occupy the city of Namur. He was right. The Germans had not surrendered all their arms. In the middle of the night they entered the city and attacked the sleeping Romans. Fortunately, Caesar had prepared for such an event. He had made his men prepare great piles of brush and wood in convenient places. These were at once set ablaze and by their bright light his legions fought the Germans.[br /]
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After a fierce battle, the barbarians were driven back into the city, leaving 4,000 dead and wounded. Now, Caesar’s term in Gaul was extended to five more years,[br /]
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when he received the news of revolt in Brittany. The Veneti, of the coastal tribes were revolting to free themselves from the Roman domain. They were well equipped with war boats and were masters of the sea. Caesar wanted to punish them and so he ordered a fleet of galleys to be built at once along the banks of the Loire. A special force of oarsmen, seamen and pilots were also sent. In the spring he left Cisalpine Gaul and joined his forces. Then a great sea battle was fought. It lasted from 10 in the morning until sunset. Decimus Brutus, a young able officer, was in command of the Roman fleet. The Romans had difficulty while fighting against the expert Veneti sea warriors. But the Romans brought out sickles attached to long poles, and sweeping swiftly alongside of the enemy ships, they cut the ropes, which held the leather sail. As a result, the sails fell and the ships were helpless so the Romans boarded the vessels, killed and captured all on board. To warn all Gauls against revolts, Caesar dealt very brutally with the brave Venetians. He killed their leaders and sold the entire tribe into slavery.[br /]
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Still there was no peace in Gaul. In winter, dangerous immigration of barbarian Germans’ into Gaul took place. So during the spring Caesar led his troops against them. The Germans begged to be allowed to stay where they were, because, they were driven out of Rhine against their will. Caesar knew about the truth but even then he brought his legions forward. The Germans tried to fight back, but on seeing their terror-stricken women and children, they fled in panic towards the Rhine. The Germans were overtaken by Romans and were mercilessly slaughtered. A record four hundred and thirty thousand perished in a day.[br /]
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In the beginning of August, he decided to cross the Channel to visit Britain. Caesar wanted to know the size of the land, names and strength of the main tribes and also the military and civil organization. Caesar took with him 80 galleys and 18 barges to transport two legions and a division of cavalry. He sailed on a warm summer evening. There he saw a great mass of Britons who were fully armed. When theycame closer to the shore the Britons moved towards the shore. The wild Britons fiercely attacked them. But the disciplined Romans quickly formed battle lines on the beach and attacked the Britons. The Britons were forced to retreat. They sent envoys to Caesar seeking peace, and Caesar agreed to it.[br /]
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One day, a violent storm damaged many of Caesar’s ships. Caesar immediately ordered his men to repair the damaged ships. He ordered some of his men to harvest as much as was needed.[br /]
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The Britons, on the other hand, taking advantage of the misfortune of the Romans, charged a band of Romans who were collecting grain in the fields. Suddenly Caesar noticed a cloud of dust in the distance and realized what was happening. He immediately sent reinforcements. The Romans could barely escape the fierce attack of the Britons. Caesar was deeply impressed by British war chariots and the new type of war fire, which no Roman had ever encountered. The Romans were repeatedly attacked by the British chariots, but Caesar combining his cavalry with foot soldiers, was finally able to win. Now, it was the fall of the year and Caesar decided to set sail for Gaul before the weather changed.
Caesar had decided to return to Britain again after a year the following summer. So, in winter he gave orders that a fleet of ships, large enough to carry several legions and divisions of cavalry be built. These were to be broad beamed to accommodate more troops and they were to have flat bottoms so that they could be beached close to the shore. Then, leaving a strong force under Labienus his trusted general, to watch over Gaul, he sailed for Britain on July 20, 54 BC.[br /]
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With great difficulty, they reached Britain and they had landed a year before. Fortunately, for them they were not attacked by the Britons. Caesar now advanced inland about 12 miles where he met and engaged some Britons in battle. He won but there was bad news from the camp. The great Roman armada was wrecked by a storm. Caesar, on hearing this, was disturbed because he feared that the Britons would take advantage of the situation as they had done earlier. He returned to the camp with a small guard and inspected the wrecked ships and found them in an unbelievably bad condition. He set his best craftsmen to work at once to repair them. After 10 days the task was over and Caesar returned to his troops. Caesar’s fears came true. As soon as Caesar joined his legions, they were attacked by the Britons from all sides. However, the Romans won the war. The encounter took place at the Thames. That was perhaps the last encounter during his stay in Britain.[br /]
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Caesar completed his second expedition when he was 46. He had spent four years in Gaul. He now wanted to turn Gaul into a Roman province. Caesar planned to contest the election for Consul once again. But during the voting the opposite parties made conditions worse, and no elections were held. Pompey was offered the dictatorship, but he refused. He wanted to be the sole Consul. As a second Consul he chose Metellus Scipio, one of the Senators instead of Caesar. While Caesar’s political future in Rome was shattered; he had to face difficulties in Gaul as well. Rumors of civil strife in Rome inspired the people of Gaul to drive out Caesar and his legions. The rebellion was led by Vercingetorix, a young man of noble birth. Even as a youth he constantly plotted against the Romans. His feeling was so intense that even his family declared him an outcast. That intensified his feeling. Now, he got a chance to fight Caesar. Vercingetorix divided his forces. He stationed one half in south Gaul to block Caesar’s path and other half in the north to attack Roman legions near Paris. Caesar came to know about Vercingetorix. However, no difficulty was great for Caesar. He ordered Decimus Brutus to destroy the whole city. Caesar, now with a small troop of cavalry, crossed Gaul at a gallop, unrecognized and unharmed. In the midst of March he was at the head of his whole army, 11 legions in all. Caesar had now 35,000 men. Vercingetorix was misled as Caesar crossed Gaul. So Vercingetorix returned into the territory of Bituriges with a small army of about 8,000 horses and an equal number of infantry. On the other hand, Caesar attacked Vellaunodunum and burnt Orleans. He crossed the Loire and entered Bituriges, where he laid a seige on Soissons. Caesar won and the whole town was about to surrender when suddenly Vercingetorix marched up from Gorgobina. A fierce battle ensued. Vercingetorix adopted guerilla warfare.[br /]
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Vercingetorix wanted to isolate Caesar by burning the villages and towns, cutting his communications and allowing Caesar no relief day and night. Though his tactics were excellent, they required a nation of firm determination. At first the Bituriges accepted the demand. Caesar advanced through a devastated country, seeing the smoke going up from burning villages on the horizon and relentlessly harassed by Vercingetorix.[br /]
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The Bituriges were proud of their prosperous city and were not ready to sacrifice the city for the cause of Vercingetorix. At last, Vercingetorix agreed to spare them. Caesar was thus able to attack the city, which was defended by the Bituriges. Caesar kept his soldiers busy throughout the early days of spring. The attacks of Vercingetorix often kept the Roman army without bread. In spite of cold and hunger, the city was completely taken over by the Roman army towards the end of April. After a month with the arrival of better weather, Caesar intended to invade the territory of Arverni and bring the war to an end. Meanwhile, Vercingetorix reached the banks of the Allier. Month after month passed by with many ups and downs. Vercingetorix falsified the expectations of Caesar. Vercingetorix always maintained a short distance from the Roman army. He kept himself in the Sheller of forest and marshes. Caesar decided to withdraw and march off, to join Labienus in the North. The decision of Caesar was wise. To many this first open confession of failure on Caesar’s part seemed the beginning of the end.[br /]
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In Caesar’s own words, "It was now mid winter… My troops accomplished the unbelievable feat of cutting a road through drifts up to six feet deep… the range was considered impassable even for single travelers." The war was a very tough one. The Romans were faced with famine. When Caesar asked his men to retreat, they insisted on fighting. They said, "To give up at such a time, would be unworthy of Romans." The brave Romans fought till the end. However Vercingetorix did not surrender. The Gauls fought with more courage and killed 47 officers and hundreds of Romans. This was the only defeat the Romans suffered. But once again the discipline and organization of the Romans bagged them success. Finally Gaul joined the Roman Empire.[br /]
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The last battle fought by was that of Pharsalia. The battle was important because the aristocrats of Rome fought in defence of their corrupt methods. The two armies included Senators on one hand and followers of democracy on the other. The former was led by Pompey and the latter by Caesar. Caesar won. Thus, after a long series of battles Caesar was finally able to organize and reform the Roman Empire. By this time Caesar was officially declared a dictator for 10 years.[br /]
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Though, he led a life of a simple democratic leader, Caesar did not accept Democracy outrightly. In a public celebration a crown was placed upon his head. The Senators said, "The people give you this." Caesar removed the crown and replied, "The Romans have no kings but their gods."[br /]
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Inspite of his generosity and modesty, Julius Caesar met a tragic end and was betrayed by those, whom he had forgiven for all their misdeeds.[br /]
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Julius Caesar was born on July 13, 100 BC, in Rome. Born in one of the well known and oldest families of Rome, the history of his family can be traced back to Aeneas, the mortal son of goddess Venus. Julius Caesar was named after Julius, the son of Aeneas.[br /]
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Son of rich parents, his upbringing was modest. Julius Caesar, unlike other boys of his time, knew no luxury like jewels, expensive clothing and exotic food. His education was also different from that of other boys of his time. Generally Roman boys were tutored by Greek slaves bought by their parents. However, Caesar’s father, Gaius Caesar and mother Aurelia wanted Caesar to be tutored by a freeman. Gnipho, a gentle scholar was appointed as his tutor. He was a Gaul. From him Caesar learnt Latin, Greek, history, literature and mathematics. He also learnt the language and ways of the people of Gaul. The young Gaul Caesar did not know that he would one day conquer and make it a part of the great Roman empire.[br /]
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In the form of stories, Gnipho narrated the history of Rome to the young Caesar. When he was 12 years old, a civil war broke out. His uncle Marius was forced to escape to Africa.[br /]
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At a very early age Caesar witnessed great suffering and misery. Sulla, a Roman general took over Italy. Sulla sided with the rich. According to Sulla, the Senate and the House of Aristocrats was to rule, instead of the people. Sulla and his troops left for Asia Minor. Caesar’s uncle, Marius returned and restored the popular government in Italy. Marius and Cinna another famous leader were elected as consuls. Under their leadership, peace and prosperity reigned in Rome for the next few years.[br /]
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Caesar spent his days happily, studying and playing with his friend, Marcus Cicero. Three important events occurred in his life. When he was 14, his uncle, Marius appointed Caesar as priest of Jupiter and member of the Sacred College. Caesar was very happy but his joy was short lived. His uncle died suddenly and two years later Caesar lost his father. After his father’s death, Caesar found a companion in his mother Aurelia. She was a woman of great wisdom and strong character. She devoted herself to the upbringing and betterment of her child and watched his career grow with pride.[br /]
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Suddenly the peace was shattered and the rule of the Popular Party came to an end. Sulla, with 40,000 troops landed at Brindisi located at the heel of the Italian boot on the Adriatic coast to march into Rome. He was determined to take revenge against the people and Popular Party for overthrowing his government. Sulla was victorious and entered Rome with his army, where he was proclaimed democrat by his friends in the Senate. Sulla wanted to wipe out the leaders and supporters of the Popular Party, so he embarked on a reign of terror. Each informer was promised half of the victim’s confiscated property. Many people joined in the hunt. They roamed the streets of Rome seeking victims. During this period, almost 5,000 people were killed and Sulla’s aim was complete. The Popular Party was wiped out. However, one young man, whose family had popular sympathies escaped the witch-hunt. He was Julius Caesar.[br /]
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At 17, he had fallen in love with Cornelia, daughter of Cinna and married her. Sulla thought that the young man could become a leader, so he summoned him and asked him to divorce Cornelia. He insisted that Caesar marry another girl whom Sulla had chosen for Caesar. But Caesar boldly refused.[br /]
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Sulla was angry at what he thought was the arrogance of Caesar, but because of his family’s popularity, fame and prestige Sulla didn’t order his killing. Instead he divested him of his priesthood, confiscated Cornelia’s dowry and his inherited estates and properties. In spite of these measures, Caesar refused to obey Sulla, so Sulla ordered his men to kill Caesar. Fortunately Caesar had many friends all over Rome who forewarned him, so he disguised himself and escaped to the mountains where he lived in caves. Soon his hideout was discovered when two thugs located him. Using his charisma and skilful oratory, he convinced the thugs that they had successfully completed a tough task in locating him, though they were being paid too little for their troubles. He then promised to pay them handsomely, provided they smuggled him safely to Rome. The thugs were convinced and helped him reach his mother, wife and daughter Julia in Rome under the cover of darkness.[br /]
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Thereafter, his friends and relatives pleaded his case with Sulla and finally he was pardoned. Despite being pardoned, Caesar felt unsafe, so between 81 and 79 BC he went to Asia Minor and joined the Roman army. Caesar had planned to stay in Asia Minor, until the death of Sulla. Here, Caesar was sent on a diplomatic mission. Termus sent him to Bithynia to the old king for demanding ships, which would be helpful in their siege. Publius Servilius, a proconsul of Cilicia, undertook a campaign against the pirates of Lycia and Pamphylia. Caesar joined Servilius and held a subordinate command in the campaign.
Very soon in 78 BC Sulla died. Caesar got the news of Sulla’s death. Caesar now left for Italy, as he was feeling safe. He started a career as a criminal lawyer. In 75 BC, he went to Rhodes for studying oratory from his friend Marcus Cicero’s old teacher Molo, which would help him in politics. But he was captured by pirates and they demanded $ 50,000 for his release. Caesar lived for 40 days with the pirates like a prince among his slaves. He also joined in their sports and offered to read them his own poems.[br /]
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When Caesar was released, he did not continue his way but went to Miletus, a nearby city collected armed vessels and attacked the pirates. He then, crucified them all and went to Rhodes.[br /]
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But he had to discontinue his studies on hearing the news about revolts in the countries bordering the Black Sea, where he had served in the Roman army. He organized a small group of volunteers and raised an army at his own expense and reached in time to put down the revolts.[br /]
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In 68 BC, he was elected as a Quaestor and served in Andalusia. During this time Marius’s widow died and Caesar gave a funeral speech praising his aunt and her family. In this way he claimed Marius’ inheritance.[br /]
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In 65 BC, he was elected Aedile. Two years later, Caesar was elected Pontifex Maximus or high priest. After his election as a Pontifex Maximus, Caesar’s enemies including Cicero feared his progress. Once, a childhood friend, Cicero of the Senatorial Party tried his best to derail Caesar’s career. However, Caesar was also elected as a Praetor. In the meantime General Pompey, who had been waging a war against Asia Minor, returned victorious. The aristocrats thought that like Sulla, Pompey would also take Italy and Rome by force and become a democrat. But they were wrong. Pompey was accompanied only by the captive princes and no wealth of the Asia Minor. Except for Caesar, the whole of Rome was confused and stunned by his modesty. Knowing that Pompey would not seek political power, Caesar acted quickly. December 62 BC marked a turning point in his career.[br /]
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After Caesar’s term as Praetor expired, the Senate appointed him Military Governor of Spain. In this capacity, he gained personal fortune. Besides that, he collected large amounts of money, which he sent to Rome. He never neglected his official duties. He revised laws, settled quarrels and abolished certain barbaric customs and conferred honors and privileges upon those who were worthy. At the end of the term of his office he left behind an well-orga nized and healthy province. He immediately returned to Rome for the election of consulship, which he won.[br /]
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As a Consul his first act was to make public, the corruption of the Senate. His next step was to help the experienced soldiers by finding peaceful jobs for them. He brought about many favorable changes for the people, but the same were equally unfavorable for the Senators. He also won many wars and finally rose to the status of a democratic leader. He became well known and famous but also made many enemies. Decimus Brutus, an officer who served him faithfully during his wars was designated as Governor of Cisalpine Gaul. Caesar was quite close to Brutus. Brutus too, valued Caesar’s friendship. However, the shrewd aristocrats and Senators convinced Brutus that Caesar was a tyrant. A plot was hatched to murder Caesar. There were 60 members of the Senate who were involved in the plot. They wanted to kill him, because of personal and political enmity. Caesar had pardoned their illegitimate acts, against the people of Rome and himself. The senators resented the fact that they owed their lives and position to their generous enemy. Their egos and pride were hurt. They believed that the Aristocrats should rule. They considered their act not as an indication of treachery and disloyalty or disaffection to Rome but as a noble deed befitting a patriot. They chose March 15, 44 BC as the day for carrying out their sinister plot[br /]
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Unfortunately, the day was soon to arrive. The would be killers dined on March 14 to discuss the final details. On March 15, Caesar had a premonition of impending doom and felt ill at ease. So did his wife. She told him, "I saw your body covered with blood and I was weeping over you." On her insistence, Caesar agreed to remain at home, but Brutus convinced Caesar to accompany him to the Senate. Caesar finally agreed. While going to the Senate, his statue fell to the floor and broke, which made Caesar uneasy. On entering the premises of the Senate he was greeted by the conspirators. Caesar walked to the front of the chamber and sat in his golden chair. Pretending friendliness the Senators gathered around him. Caesar was then given a parchment, which he began to read. At that moment his toga was suddenly grabbed and torn from his shoulders. He was stabbed in the throat by a dagger. Caesar, with all his strength, caught the arm of that man. He was stabbed again by another man. A ring of daggers surrounded him. He covered his face with the folds of his toga. But the daggers struck him from every side. Then, they drew back. After taking a few faltering steps, Caesar fell dead at the feet of Pompey’s statue. Brutus lifted his blood stained dagger and shouted, "Liberty is now restored!" The last words of Caesar were, "Et tu Brutus", "Oh Brutus ! Thou too !" It was on March 15, 44 BC.[br /]
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[b]JULIUS CAESAR[/b][br /]
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"Veni, Vidi, Vici."[br /]
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"I came, I saw, I conquered !"[br /]
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The strength of character, strong will and courage of the most ambitious person of his time are expressed in these three words. Credited with the conquest of Gaul and the invasion of Britain, he was a great orator and politician who under his able leadership restored discipline, peace and prosperity throughout the vast Roman Empire.[br /]
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Though a ruler, he led a modest life till his murder in 44 BC. This great and charismatic democratic leader, born in Rome, was none other than Gaius Julius Caesar.[br /]
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July 13, 100 BC. Julius Caesar was born in Rome.[br /]
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84 BC. His father, Gaius Caesar died.[br /]
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83 BC. Julius Caesar married Cornelia, daughter of Cinna.[br /]
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75 BC. Caesar was captured by pirates.[br /]
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69 BC. He was elected Quaestor (first grade Roman political leader).[br /]
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67 BC. He married Pompeia.[br /]
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65 BC. Julius Caesar was elected the Curule Aedile.[br /]
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63 BC. Caesar was elected Pontifex Maximus.[br /]
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62 BC. He was elected a Praetor.[br /]
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61 BC. He became the governor of Farther Spain. He divorced Pompeia.[br /]
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60 BC. Along with Crassas and Pompey, Julius Caesar formed the First Triumvirate. He also became a Consul.[br /]
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59 BC. The consulship was shared by Julius Caesar and Bibulus. Rome was divided into three parts.[br /]
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58 BC. The Gallic Wars began. Julius Caesar defeated Germans and Helvetians.[br /]
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52 BC. He defeated Vercingetorix.[br /]
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49 BC. Caesar crossed the Rubicon. Civil War began.[br /]
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47 BC. Caesar conquered Ptolmey, King of Egypt.[br /]
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45 BC. Caesar defeated sons of Pompey at Munda.[br /]
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March 15, 44 BC. Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March.[br /]
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"Veni, Vidi, Vici. I came, I saw, I conquered."[br /]
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"Be careful, there’s no need to use force !"[br /]
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"The vindictiveness of my enemies can be seen in their refusal to submit themselves to the demands they made of someone else, and in their readiness to cause a universal upheaval rather thangive up control of their armies. I was wronged, by the confiscation of two of my legions; I was insulted and outraged by the interference with the rights of the tribunes; yet I offered terms, I asked for a meeting – and I was refused. Therefore I earnestly ask you to join with me now in taking over the government of Rome; if timidity makes you shrink from the task, I shall not trouble you – I shall govern myself… My aim is to outdo others in justice and equity."[br /]
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"As long as I live I shall be my own master – master of all matters, which concern me. Cornelia is my wife and she shall remain my wife as long as she lives."[br /]
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"Here I am 32 years old. At this age, you, Alexander, had already conquered Egypt, Persia and India. Half the world lay at your feet. And I? What have I accomplished ? Hardly anything."[br /]
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"After all that I had done for my country, I would have been condemned by them as a criminal, if I had not appealed to my army."[br /]
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"My method of conquest shall be a new one; I will fortify myself with compassion and generosity."[br /]
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"It has been my endeavor to excel as a man of action; I wish now to prove that I am second to none in sense of justice and of equity."[br /]
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Caesar, a young boy had to escape the wrath of the tyrant democrat Sulla. Sulla had taken all power for the defence of the Republic and killed almost all of his enemies. However, Caesar was lucky to be pardoned. Sulla had pardoned Caesar but predicted that the boy would become dangerous. Caesar was educated in rhetoric, philosophy and law. At the age of 18 he decided to join the army, thus beginning an astonishing military career.[br /]
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Caesar made two friends namely Pompey and Crassus. These were the two generals, who had succeeded in subduing the slave revolt, under the leadership of Spartacus. Caesar knew that Pompey was an honest person and his popularity would be lasting. He also knew that Crassus was the richest in Rome and had great influence among the rich businessmen of Rome. Caesar knew that his money would be useful at each and every step in politics. Caesar felt that he would never fail with two such friends, and so he accepted their friendship.[br /]
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In 68 BC Caesar was elected as Quaestor. He was assigned the province of Spain to aid the Governor. He used the funeral of his aunt Julia in order to impress the Roman public and his will to serve the democratic cause. Julia was the widow of great Marius. As per Caesar’s order all the war trophies of Marius were carried in the funeral procession. He also spoke at length of Marius’ glorious services to his country and on hearing his speech, the soldiers who had fought under his uncle, were moved to tears.[br /]
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Julia’s funeral was followed by another, which was of Cornelia, Caesar’s wife. A public funeral was given to her in which Caesar delivered a moving speech and reminded the public that his beloved Cornelia was the daughter of their last great democratic leader Cinna.[br /]
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In this way Caesar implanted in the minds of people that their rights would be restored under a new leader. To strengthen his relationship with Pompey and Crassus, he now married Pompey’s cousin Pompeia. During his term he accomplished his duties with intelligence and tact.[br /]
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In 65 BC Caesar become one of the Aediles of Rome out of the four Aediles. Caesar, in order to establish a close contact with the public, chose the management of the games. However, personally he did not enjoy the brutal displays but in order to popularize his name with the common people, he launched his new job with all his enthusiasm. Caesar did everything to satisfy the public demand, even at his own expense. At the end of his term as Aedile he became the most popular person in Rome.[br /]
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The public was in favor of Caesar and he was popular in the whole country. Taking advantage of this situation he became the leader of the Popular Party. He brought about many reforms for the public and especially for the supporters of the Popular Party. The people were very pleased with Caesar and the People’s Assembly elected Caesar as Pontifex Maximus. It was the greatest honor, which a Roman citizen could aspire. With this great honor under his belt, Caesar ran for and was elected Praetor in 62 BC.[br /]
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Caesar had sometimes used unethical methods. But whatever unethical methods he used, were only a means towards an end, an end that was greater than everything. His dream was to take over the government from the corrupt senators and to establish a democratic rule. He had dedicated his life for the welfare of his country.[br /]
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Now, Caesar’s year as Praetor had expired and he was appointed as Military Governor of Spain, by the Senate. Here he turned his attention towards ruling. He revised laws, settled quarrels, abolished certain barbaric customs and conferred honors and privileges upon those who were worthy.[br /]
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Now, Caesar had obtained the high office of Consul. Caesar was determined to bring about reforms. He did many things. He directly passed the land bill in the Public’s Assembly and made the bill, a law. By his order the Senate became more representative and responsible to the people. Caesar also helped the soldiers and gave them land to cultivate, so they could lead a happy life in their old age.[br /]
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As Caesar’s term as Consul was coming to an end the Senators were planning to repeal all his reforms and laws. Caesar came to know of this and did everything to ensure the election of two members of the Popular Party as the next Consuls. In order to strengthen his bonds and relationship with Pompey he gave his daughter Julia in marriage.[br /]
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Caesar’s first campaign in Gaul was against Helvetii, a mountain tribe. Though the Romans won, Caesar treated the conquered Helvetii with kindness and wisdom. He did not capture anyone, but simply asked them to go back to their own land. They were even supplied with sufficient food grains to last until the next harvest. Caesar’s generous term of peace astonished and impressed the Gauls. Each and every tribe in Gaul sent envoys to thank Caesar and to vow eternal friendship. The friendship was accepted and he did everything, he could, to help his friends.[br /]
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In 54 BC Caesar went to Britain. Here he had to face a tough battle but as usual the Romans won. Caesar had come to Britain only to know about the land and its people, so instead of conquering he gathered as much information he could. He learned its dimension and shape and about the small islands towards the north, where the winter sun barely rose above the horizon. He also found that Britain had tin mines and deposits of iron. Caesar observed that midsummer nights in Britain were shorter than in southern Gaul and Italy. He learned about the public, their culture, their ways of farming and fighting. Caesar was the first to reach Britain and he left a detailed account of his explorations and adventures, which proved of great help even after a century. Caesar’s wars in Gaul had not cost Rome a cent; they had paid their own way.[br /]
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Caesar was also successful in annexing all of Egypt under Rome. Egypt was a rich country. He decided to go to Alexandria, to claim as consul, the right of settling the difference between Ptolmey and Cleopatra brother and sister. He had only some soldiers with him, but after his previous successes he thought that the matter would be finished off quickly and without serious difficulty. He therefore sent orders to Cleopatra and her brother to dismiss their armies and submit themselves to his judgment, installed himself in the royal palace and imposed a tribute upon the inhabitants of Alexandria.[br /]
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The king’s ministers were haggling with Caesar and trying to persuade him to leave the city when Roman soldiers began rioting. But there was a single woman who carried the day against them all. Cleopatra, the young queen slipped secretly into town and entered the palace now occupied by Caesar. She persuaded him in a single interview, that her cause was just. Ptolemy then realized that his cause was lost and urged his generals to go to Alexandria to fight the Romans, but the Romans, under the leadership of Caesar won the battle.
Equal in valor to Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar was also very ambitious. The love for his country was evident in his reforms and laws. Unfortunately, his ambition and success made him many enemies. Betrayed of his own countrymen he met with a very tragic death.[br /]
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