Julius Caesar

This essay has a total of 3542 words and 12 pages.

Julius Caesar


A baby was born on July 12 or 13 of 100 BC in Rome. Little did the proud parents of this
baby know that he would rule most of the known world. This baby was born to the name of
Gaius, his personal name, Julius was the name of his family's clan and the name of his
family was Caesar meaning hairy. Caesar was such an amazing man that many people couldn't
believe that he was born the same way as them. Over time stories have arisen about
Caesar's birth. One story says that Caesar was pulled from an incision in his mother's
stomach. This is where the medical term of Cesarean section came from, from Caesar's
birth. Not everyone paid that much attention to the birth of Caesar, it was overshadowed
by exploits of his Uncle Gaius Marius. Marius was a politician, he was a "new man" or a
plebeian politician. He married into the aristocratic Caesar family so he would have a
name to back up his words. Marius did not receive a first-class education or a lot of
other advantages some politicians had. Marius was elected consul in 108 BC, once in office
he proved himself as a brilliant general. He persuaded the senate to send him to Africa
and replace the general in the war there. He took over for General Metellus. Soon he ended
the war that had been dragging on for many years. When he returned to Rome Marius found
another chance for fame. Nomadic German tribes had invaded the north of Italy and winning
a couple battles over Roman armies. Marius took the spotlight away from this little bundle
of joy named Caesar.


No matter what he wanted he was propelled into politics. Many of his relatives were
senators or held other important political offices. He listened to many political
discussions between his family which had substantial influences on him. He was trained to
be a politician by his tutor Antonius Gnipho. He studied Greek and Latin literature,
philosophy, and most important, rhetoric or the art of persuasive argument. At the age of
twelve he was brought to the senate house to watch speeches and debates.


As a kid he wrote numerous poems and plays. Augustus believed that these writings might
tarnish his reputation, when he became emperor he burned all of Caesar works. Caesar was a
very handsome boy and for that matter man too. He dressed in a style all his own. He was
not very strong as boy. All male children were expected to be good athletes. Caesar
acquired skills in running, fencing, and horseback riding. He became capable of physical
feats that would astonish his childhood friends. His health was a bit frail as a kid. At
an early age he became somewhat deaf and after he was thirty he suffered occasionally from
fits of epilepsy. He was rather tall for a man from his time, he grew to be about five
feet eight inches tall.


In Roman tradition the fathers arranged their children's' marriages at an early age.
Caesar's father arranged his marriage with a young woman named Cossutia. Caesar hated this
idea. He wanted to control his own life. He had a strong will of his own. But he had lots
of respect for his father so he agreed to marry Cossutia. The marriage did not last long,
only a few months. Soon after the wedding Caesar divorced his bride. A little later
Caesar's father died. When Caesar was nineteen he fell deeply in love with a woman named
Cornelia. Cornelia was Cinna's daughter and Cinna was Marius' most powerful colleague and
co-consul. This entangled Caesar even more with politics. Having Marius as an uncle and
Cinna as a father-in-law. Soon after the marriage Caesar and Cornelia had a daughter, whom
they named Julia after his aunt and Marius' wife.


Marius and Cinna were elected consuls while Sulla was at war with Mithridates in 86 BC.
Soon after both Cinna and Marius died. It left their party leaderless and could not stop
Sulla from taking control of the republic. When Sulla took control he forced Caesar to
divorce Cornelia as a test of loyalty. He refused to divorce the love of his life. He knew
that men had been killed for far less serious things. He knew his life was in danger, he
avoided execution by leaving Rome for the hilly country side near Rome. Caesar eluded
hunters and police with a small group of his slaves for a few weeks. Then he became weak
and sick from exposure, exhaustion, and a lack of sleep since he had been sleeping on the
ground. While he was sick his slaves carried him around. One night Caesar and his slaves
ran into one of Sulla's men in the hills, even in his state of being he managed to keep
the man from arresting him and bringing him into Rome. Soon after this incident Caesar
found out some of his powerful friends were going to try and get him a pardon. He returned
to Rome. After Cornelia nursed him back to health he was summoned to the forum. He went
there and came face to face with Sulla who with a slight move of hand could have him
executed on the spot. His friends pleaded that he was just a boy; hotheaded, and his
refusal had nothing to do with politics. Sulla granted Caesar a pardon by saying, "You
have made your point, and you can have him, but always bear in mind that one Caesar is
worse than a dozen Mariuses." Even though Caesar had a pardon he knew that he was not safe
in Rome. He would leave the first chance he got.


In 81 BC he got his chance. He was offered a spot on the staff of proconsul Thermus. He
immediately excepted the offer. Thermus was going to Asia Minor to control the rebellious
Mytileneans. Soon after arriving in Asia Minor Caesar was sent to make sure Nicomedes,
king of Bithynia on the Black Sea, had kept his promise to bring his fleet of ships to
help Thermus control the Mytileneans. When Caesar arrived in Bithynia he was astonished by
the king's luxuries. The king really showed off his wealth. On Caesar's first night in
Bithynia he slept on a bed of gold and on the second he was the guest of honor at a
banquet. Caesar and Nicomedes became close friends and the king gave his young friend who
he had come to admire gifts of money. Caesar did not forget his mission and the ships were
sent to Thermus' aid. Caesar had to leave Bithynia and return to his duties in the army,
which he did reluctantly. Mytilene was taken by storm and Caesar won the civic crown,
Rome's highest award for courage. Caesar was kept busy with administrative duties in Asia
Minor. Caesar was going to join up with the navy to stop the pirates in the eastern
Mediterranean until he got word that Sulla was dead.


Caesar was now twenty-two and he would start his political career. He returned to Rome and
had a joyous reunion with his wife and daughter. He refused to ally himself with the Sulla
or the Marius political party. He decided not to be a politician just yet. For the time
being he wrote poetry and touched down in science. He through huge parties that plunged
him in to debt. Many money lenders felt that Caesar would be in a position to pay them
back many times over.


Caesar knew he could make a name for himself by prosecuting or defending an official who
had committed crimes while in office. Caesar decided he would prosecute the former
governor of Macedonia, Gnaeus Dolabella, who had used public funds greedily. Caesar's
speeches and case was well organized and made a good impression on the judges but Caesar
lost the case. Dolabella had hired two of the best lawyers in Rome. Caesar's debts were
growing and his career was baffled again. He decided to leave Rome again. He boarded a
ship for the East.


His ship was nearing the coast of Asia Minor when pirates attacked the ship and took
Caesar prisoner. They demanded a ransom of about thirty thousand dollars but Caesar
bitterly told the pirates he was worth seventy-five thousand dollars. The pirates happily
changed the ransom. Caesar's friends quickly set out to raise the money. Caesar was held
hostage by his captors for thirty-eight days. During those five weeks Caesar acted as if
the pirates were his body guards and not captors. He wrote verses and speeches and the
pirates that did not admire his speeches and verses, he called them illiterate to their
faces. He would often threaten to hang them they attributed this to a boyish playfulness.
They were very wrong. As soon as the ransom arrived he scurried off to make a force of men
from nearby towns offering them all the money and possessions they could get off the ship.
He apprehended all of the pirates and carried out the threat he made while prisoner, he
hung every one of them there and then. He continued to his original destination, he island
of Rhodes. On the island he studied rhetoric with the famous teacher Apollonius Molon. He
soon found out that his mother's brother, Cotta, the priest, had died and now there was an
open spot in the College of Priests. The seat was being held for Caesar. This post was
important because it could lead to the office of High Priest of Rome. In 74 BC, the
twenty-six year old, Caesar, went back to Rome to try and jump-start his career again.


Caesar had four wives. His first wife was Cossutia. The marriage was arranged by Caesar's
father. The marriage only lasted a couple months and then they were divorced. His second
wife was Cornelia, Cinna's daughter. Caesar fell deeply in love with her when he was
nineteen. Cornelia died while Caesar was quaestor. His third wife was Pompeia she was
Sulla's grand-daughter. He married into the family of one of his enemies. A festival that
was being held by Pompeia excluded all men from the holy festival. Men were not even
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