The Life And Death Of Julius Caesar

The Life And Death of Gaius Julius Caesar

In my opinion, no other man in the history of the world symbolizes military

and political strength as much as Julius Caesar does. Caesar was born on July 12,

100 BC in Rome, Italy (Encarta 2000). His father belonged to the prestigious

Julian clan (Internet Explorer) His uncle by marriage was Gaius Marius, leader of

the Populares which supported agrarian reform and opposed the Optimates

(Comptons Encyclopedia). Marius saw to it that Julius Caesar was appointed

flamen dialis which is a archaic priesthood with no power. Caesar\'s marriage in 84
BC to Cornelia, the daughter of Marius\'s associate was a political Match (Lindsay

Salo). When Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Marius\'s enemy and leader of the Optimates,

was made dictator in 82 BC, he issued a list of enemies to be executed. Caesar was
not harmed but he was ordered by Sulla to divorce Cornelia. Caesar refused that

order and left Rome to join the army (Lindsay Salo) (Comptons Encyclopedia).

This was the beginning of an astonishing military career. He became second
in command of the province Asia (Turkey) (Lindsay Salo). In two years he proved

his bravery and superior skills at arms. After these years and Sulla\'s resignation in

78 BC, Julius decided to return to Rome. There he served as an officer in Crassus\'s
army against Spartacus, Caesar climbed steadily in the government by serving as

an official in many provinces (Internet Explorer). After the death of his wife
Cornelia, Julius remarried a wealthy wife and allied with Crassus, who was the

richest man in Rome at the time (Internet Explorer). Their opponent was Pompeius
Magnus (the Great). Caesar wanted to become part of the consulate. The

consulate was a governmental position where two consuls, nominated each year,

held the power of the state. Caesar was hoping that he and Crassus would become
the powerful consuls of the Roman Empire. However, the Senate tried to stop his

efforts by pitting Crassus, Pompeius and Caesar against each other. Caesar noticed
this and did something believed impossible. Julius created an alliance among

himself, Crassus, and Pompeius (Encarta 2000). The alliance made it possible for

them all to share power. This three way consulship was called a Triumvirate

(Internet Explorer). This agreement dictated the Roman policy for the next decade.
They shared all offices between them and their followers and that\'s the way Caesar
became Governor of Gaul Transalpinia (Encarta 2000). He had three legions

(15,000 men) under his command. Julius Caesar then marched into Celtic Gaul,

defeated the Helvetii, and forced them to return to their home (Encarta 200). Next,

he crushed Germanic forces under Ariovistus and further proved his excellent


Julius Caesar now turned his mind completely on politics. In 51 BC, while

still fighting some resistant clans, he proposed to the Senate to extend his

governor-ship for another two years, which allowed him to run for consul in the
year 48 BC (A consul could only become consul again after 10 years). He said that
he earned it based on his presentations in Gaul and referred to Pompeius whose

governor ship in Spain had been extended the year before. But the senate

hesitated. In the year 50 BC, Caesar still tried to extend his governor ship, but to

ensure the loyalty of his army he doubled their pay. Other huge sums went into

public funds and the creation of his own silver coins: "CAE" on one side and

"SAR" on the other, and a kneeling Vercingetorix before him (Encarta 2000). The

two consuls of 50 BC were hostile to him, but he managed to bribe one of them.

This caused a stalemate in the Senate. Then, late in the fall, the senate decide that

Caesar and Pompeius were to relinquish control of their armies and provinces.

Caesar\'s followers tried to veto it, but the hostile consul ordered Pompeius to

defend the Republic with two Legions at Capua and the authority to raise more.

Caesar thereupon gathered his own armies and went south. Both commanders

were still on speaking terms and Caesar made another proposal. The proposal was

that he would relinquish control of all but two of his legions and The province of

Cisalpine Gaul (the part of