Caesar fought and won a civil war which left him undisputed master of the Roman world, and began extensive reforms of Roman society and government. He became dictator for life, and heavily centralized the already faltering government of the weak republic. His dramatic assassination on the Ides of March became the catalyst of a second set of civil wars which became the twilight of the Roman Republic and the dawn of the Roman Empire under Caesar's grand-nephew and adopted son, Caesar Augustus.
Though some of the most powerful noble families were patrician, patrician blood was no longer a political advantage; it was actually a handicap, since a patrician was debarred from holding the paraconstitutional but powerful office of tribune of the plebs.
The Julii Caesares traced their lineage back to the goddess Venusbut the family was not snobbish or conservative-minded.
It was also not rich or influential or even distinguished. This was a difficult task for even the ablest and most gifted noble unless he was backed by substantial family wealth and influence.
One of the perquisites of the praetorship and the consulship was the government of a provincewhich gave ample opportunity for plunder.
Military manpower was supplied by the Roman peasantry. This class had been partly dispossessed by an economic revolution following on the devastation caused by the Second Punic War. The Roman governing class had consequently come to be hated and discredited at home and abroad.
From bce onward there had been a series of alternate revolutionary and counter-revolutionary paroxysms. It was evident that the misgovernment of the Roman state and the Greco-Roman world by the Roman nobility could not continue indefinitely and it was fairly clear that the most probable alternative was some form of military dictatorship backed by dispossessed Italian peasants who had turned to long-term military service.
The traditional competition among members of the Roman nobility for office and the spoils of office was thus threatening to turn into a desperate race for seizing autocratic power. The Julii Caesares did not seem to be in the running. Whoever had been consul in this critical year would have had to initiate such legislation, whatever his personal political predilections.
There is evidence, however, that the Julii Caesares, though patricians, had already committed themselves to the antinobility party. An aunt of the future dictator had married Gaius Mariusa self-made man novus homo who had forced his way up to the summit by his military ability and had made the momentous innovation of recruiting his armies from the dispossessed peasants.
The day was July 12 or 13; the traditional and perhaps most probable year is bce; but if this date is correct, Caesar must have held each of his offices two years in advance of the legal minimum age. His father, Gaius Caesar, died when Caesar was but 16; his mother, Aurelia, was a notable woman, and it seems certain that he owed much to her.
In spite of the inadequacy of his resources, Caesar seems to have chosen a political career as a matter of course. From the beginning, he probably privately aimed at winning office, not just for the sake of the honours but in order to achieve the power to put the misgoverned Roman state and Greco-Roman world into better order in accordance with ideas of his own.
It is improbable that Caesar deliberately sought monarchical power until after he had crossed the Rubicon in 49 bce, though sufficient power to impose his will, as he was determined to do, proved to mean monarchical power. In 83 bce Lucius Cornelius Sulla returned to Italy from the East and led the successful counter-revolution of 83—82 bce; Sulla then ordered Caesar to divorce Cornelia.
Caesar refused and came close to losing not only his property such as it was but his life as well. He found it advisable to remove himself from Italy and to do military service, first in the province of Asia and then in Cilicia. His first target, Gnaeus Cornelius Dolabella, was defended by Quintus Hortensiusthe leading advocate of the day, and was acquitted by the extortion-court jury, composed exclusively of senators.
Caesar then went to Rhodes to study oratory under a famous professor, Molon. En route he was captured by pirates one of the symptoms of the anarchy into which the Roman nobility had allowed the Mediterranean world to fall.
Caesar raised his ransom, raised a naval forcecaptured his captors, and had them crucified—all this as a private individual holding no public office.
In his absence from Rome, Caesar was made a member of the politico-ecclesiastical college of pontifices ; and on his return he gained one of the elective military tribuneships.
In 69 or 68 bce Caesar was elected quaestor the first rung on the Roman political ladder. In public funeral orations in their honour, Caesar found opportunities for praising Cinna and Marius. Caesar afterward married Pompeia, a distant relative of Pompey. Caesar served his quaestorship in the province of Farther Spain modern Andalusia and Portugal.
Caesar was elected one of the curule aediles for 65 bce, and he celebrated his tenure of this office by unusually lavish expenditure with borrowed money. He was elected pontifex maximus in 63 bce by a political dodge.
By now he had become a controversial political figure. It seems unlikely that either of them had committed himself to Catiline; but Caesar proposed in the Senate a more merciful alternative to the death penaltywhich the consul Cicero was asking for the arrested conspirators.
Caesar was elected a praetor for 62 bce. Caesar consequently divorced Pompeia. He obtained the governorship of Farther Spain for 61—60 bce.Gaius Julius Caesar, was born on July 12th or 13th, BC in Rome into a patrician family; his father, also called Gaius Julius Caesar, was governor of the province of Asia, while his mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family.
Julius Caesar biography and related resources.
Gaius Julius Caesar (July 13, BC - March 15, 44 BC) was a Roman military and political leader whose conquest of Gallia Comata extended the Roman world all the way to the Oceanus Atlanticus and introduced Roman influence into modern France, an accomplishment whose direct consequences are visible to this day.
Watch video · Caesar Augustus, or Octavian, became the first emperor of the Roman Empire after Julius Caesar died. The country was peaceful under Augustus's nationwidesecretarial.com: Aug 19, Gaius Julius Caesar, one of the world’s greatest military leaders, was born into a senatorial, patrician family and was the nephew of .
Watch video · Julius Caesar Biography Dictator, General (c. BCE–44 BCE) Roman general and statesman Julius Caesar turned the Roman Republic into the powerful Roman Empire. Oct 27, · Gaius Julius Caesar, one of the world’s greatest military leaders, was born into a senatorial, patrician family and was the nephew of another famous Roman general, Marius.