Julius Caesar

Gaius Julius Caesar (Latin: [ˈɡaːiʊs ˈjuːliʊs ˈkae̯sar]; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman general and statesman. A member of the First Triumvirate, Caesar led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before defeating Pompey in a civil war and governing the Roman Republic as a dictator from 49 BC until his assassination in 44 BC. He played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire.

Gaius Julius Caesar
The Tusculum portrait, a marble sculpture of Julius Caesar.
The Tusculum portrait, possibly the only surviving sculpture of Caesar made during his lifetime. Archaeological Museum, Turin, Italy.
Born12 July 100 BC[1]
Died15 March 44 BC (aged 55)
Rome, Italy
Cause of deathAssassination (stab wounds)
Resting placeTemple of Caesar, Rome
Notable work
Parent(s)Gaius Julius Caesar and Aurelia
Military career
Years81–45 BC
AwardsCivic Crown

In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus and Pompey formed the First Triumvirate, a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar rose to become one of the most powerful politicians in the Roman Republic through a string of military victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC, which greatly extended Roman territory. During this time he both invaded Britain and built a bridge across the Rhine river. These achievements and the support of his veteran army threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Caesar openly defied the Senate's authority by crossing the Rubicon and marching towards Rome at the head of an army.[2] This began Caesar's civil war, which he won, leaving him in a position of near unchallenged power and influence.

After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He gave citizenship to many residents of far regions of the Roman Republic. He initiated land reform and support for veterans. He centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed "dictator for life" (dictator perpetuo). His populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites, who began to conspire against him. On the Ides of March (15 March), 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Brutus and Cassius, who stabbed him to death.[3][4] A new series of civil wars broke out and the constitutional government of the Republic was never fully restored. Caesar's great-nephew and adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the last civil war of the Roman Republic. Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began.

Caesar was an accomplished author and historian as well as a statesman; much of his life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns. Other contemporary sources include the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. Later biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are also important sources. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history.[5] His cognomen was subsequently adopted as a synonym for "Emperor"; the title "Caesar" was used throughout the Roman Empire, giving rise to modern cognates such as Kaiser and Tsar. He has frequently appeared in literary and artistic works, and his political philosophy, known as Caesarism, inspired politicians into the modern era.


Early life and career

Gaius Marius, Caesar's uncle

Gaius Julius Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Julus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas, supposedly the son of the goddess Venus.[6] The Julii were of Alban origin, mentioned as one of the leading Alban houses, which settled in Rome around the mid-7th century BC, following the destruction of Alba Longa. They were granted patrician status, along with other noble Alban families.[7] The Julii also existed at an early period at Bovillae, evidenced by a very ancient inscription on an altar in the theatre of that town, which speaks of their offering sacrifices according to the lege Albana, or Alban rites.[8][9][10] The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by Caesarean section (from the Latin verb "to cut", caedere, caes-).[11] The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations: that the first Caesar had a thick head of hair ("caesaries"); that he had bright grey eyes ("oculis caesiis"); or that he killed an elephant during the Punic Wars ("caesai" in Moorish) in battle.[12] Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored the latter interpretation of his name.

Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC.[13] Caesar's father, also called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia,[14] and his sister Julia, Caesar's aunt, married Gaius Marius, one of the most prominent figures in the Republic.[15] His mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesar's childhood.[16]

In 85 BC, Caesar's father died suddenly,[17] making Caesar the head of the family at the age of 16. His coming of age coincided with a civil war between his uncle Gaius Marius and his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Both sides carried out bloody purges of their political opponents whenever they were in the ascendancy. Marius and his ally Lucius Cornelius Cinna were in control of the city when Caesar was nominated as the new flamen dialis (high priest of Jupiter),[18] and he was married to Cinna's daughter Cornelia.[19][20]

Following Sulla's final victory, however, Caesar's connections to the old regime made him a target for the new one. He was stripped of his inheritance, his wife's dowry, and his priesthood, but he refused to divorce Cornelia and was instead forced to go into hiding.[21] The threat against him was lifted by the intervention of his mother's family, which included supporters of Sulla, and the Vestal Virgins. Sulla gave in reluctantly and is said to have declared that he saw many a Marius in Caesar.[16] The loss of his priesthood had allowed him to pursue a military career, as the high priest of Jupiter was not permitted to touch a horse, sleep three nights outside his own bed or one night outside Rome, or look upon an army.[22]

Caesar felt that it would be much safer far away from Sulla should the dictator change his mind, so he left Rome and joined the army, serving under Marcus Minucius Thermus in Asia and Servilius Isauricus in Cilicia. He served with distinction, winning the Civic Crown for his part in the Siege of Mytilene. He went on a mission to Bithynia to secure the assistance of King Nicomedes's fleet, but he spent so long at Nicomedes' court that rumours arose of an affair with the king, which Caesar vehemently denied for the rest of his life.[23]

Hearing of Sulla's death in 78 BC, Caesar felt safe enough to return to Rome. He lacked means since his inheritance was confiscated, but he acquired a modest house in Subura, a lower-class neighbourhood of Rome.[24] He turned to legal advocacy and became known for his exceptional oratory accompanied by impassioned gestures and a high-pitched voice, and ruthless prosecution of former governors notorious for extortion and corruption.[citation needed]

Dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla stripped Caesar of the priesthood.

On the way across the Aegean Sea,[25] Caesar was kidnapped by pirates and held prisoner.[26][27] He maintained an attitude of superiority throughout his captivity. The pirates demanded a ransom of 20 talents of silver, but he insisted that they ask for 50.[28][29] After the ransom was paid, Caesar raised a fleet, pursued and captured the pirates and imprisoned them. He then had them crucified on his own authority, as he had promised while in captivity[30]—a promise that the pirates had taken as a joke. As a sign of leniency, he first had their throats cut. He was soon called back into military action in Asia, raising a band of auxiliaries to repel an incursion from the east.[31]

On his return to Rome, he was elected military tribune, a first step in a political career. He was elected quaestor in 69 BC,[32] and during that year he delivered the funeral oration for his aunt Julia, including images of her husband Marius, unseen since the days of Sulla, in the funeral procession. His wife Cornelia also died that year.[33] Caesar went to serve his quaestorship in Hispania after his wife's funeral, in the spring or early summer of 69 BC.[34] While there, he is said to have encountered a statue of Alexander the Great, and realised with dissatisfaction that he was now at an age when Alexander had the world at his feet, while he had achieved comparatively little. On his return in 67 BC,[35] he married Pompeia, a granddaughter of Sulla, whom he later divorced in 61 BC after her embroilment in the Bona Dea scandal.[36] In 65 BC, he was elected curule aedile, and staged lavish games that won him further attention and popular support.[37]

In 63 BC, he ran for election to the post of pontifex maximus, chief priest of the Roman state religion. He ran against two powerful senators. Accusations of bribery were made by all sides. Caesar won comfortably, despite his opponents' greater experience and standing.[38] Cicero was consul that year, and he exposed Catiline's conspiracy to seize control of the republic; several senators accused Caesar of involvement in the plot.[39]

After serving as praetor in 62 BC, Caesar was appointed to govern Hispania Ulterior (the western part of the Iberian Peninsula) as propraetor,[40][41][42] though some sources suggest that he held proconsular powers.[43][44] He was still in considerable debt and needed to satisfy his creditors before he could leave. He turned to Marcus Licinius Crassus, the richest man in Rome. Crassus paid some of Caesar's debts and acted as guarantor for others, in return for political support in his opposition to the interests of Pompey. Even so, to avoid becoming a private citizen and thus open to prosecution for his debts, Caesar left for his province before his praetorship had ended. In Hispania, he conquered two local tribes and was hailed as imperator by his troops; he reformed the law regarding debts, and completed his governorship in high esteem.[45]

Caesar was acclaimed imperator in 60 BC (and again later in 45 BC). In the Roman Republic, this was an honorary title assumed by certain military commanders. After an especially great victory, army troops in the field would proclaim their commander imperator, an acclamation necessary for a general to apply to the Senate for a triumph. However, Caesar also wished to stand for consul, the most senior magistracy in the republic. If he were to celebrate a triumph, he would have to remain a soldier and stay outside the city until the ceremony, but to stand for election he would need to lay down his command and enter Rome as a private citizen. He could not do both in the time available. He asked the Senate for permission to stand in absentia, but Cato blocked the proposal. Faced with the choice between a triumph and the consulship, Caesar chose the consulship.[46]

Consulship and military campaigns

A denarius depicting Julius Caesar, dated to February–March 44 BC—the goddess Venus is shown on the reverse, holding Victoria and a scepter. Caption: CAESAR IMP. M. / L. AEMILIVS BVCA

In 60 BC, Caesar sought election as consul for 59 BC, along with two other candidates. The election was sordid—even Cato, with his reputation for incorruptibility, is said to have resorted to bribery in favour of one of Caesar's opponents. Caesar won, along with conservative Marcus Bibulus.[47]

Caesar was already in Marcus Licinius Crassus' political debt, but he also made overtures to Pompey. Pompey and Crassus had been at odds for a decade, so Caesar tried to reconcile them. The three of them had enough money and political influence to control public business. This informal alliance, known as the First Triumvirate ("rule of three men"), was cemented by the marriage of Pompey to Caesar's daughter Julia.[48] Caesar also married again, this time Calpurnia, who was the daughter of another powerful senator.[49]

Caesar proposed a law for redistributing public lands to the poor—by force of arms, if need be—a proposal supported by Pompey and by Crassus, making the triumvirate public. Pompey filled the city with soldiers, a move which intimidated the triumvirate's opponents. Bibulus attempted to declare the omens unfavourable and thus void the new law, but he was driven from the forum by Caesar's armed supporters. His lictors had their fasces broken, two high magistrates accompanying him were wounded, and he had a bucket of excrement thrown over him. In fear of his life, he retired to his house for the rest of the year, issuing occasional proclamations of bad omens. These attempts proved ineffective in obstructing Caesar's legislation. Roman satirists ever after referred to the year as "the consulship of Julius and Caesar".[50]

When Caesar was first elected, the aristocracy tried to limit his future power by allotting the woods and pastures of Italy, rather than the governorship of a province, as his military command duty after his year in office was over.[51] With the help of political allies, Caesar secured passage of the lex Vatinia, granting him governorship over Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy) and Illyricum (southeastern Europe).[52] At the instigation of Pompey and his father-in-law Piso, Transalpine Gaul (southern France) was added later after the untimely death of its governor, giving him command of four legions.[52] The term of his governorship, and thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the usual one.[53][54] When his consulship ended, Caesar narrowly avoided prosecution for the irregularities of his year in office, and quickly left for his province.[55]

Conquest of Gaul

The extent of the Roman Republic in 40 BC after Caesar's conquests

Caesar was still deeply in debt, but there was money to be made as a governor, whether by extortion[56] or by military adventurism. Caesar had four legions under his command, two of his provinces bordered on unconquered territory, and parts of Gaul were known to be unstable. Some of Rome's Gallic allies had been defeated by their rivals at the Battle of Magetobriga, with the help of a contingent of Germanic tribes. The Romans feared these tribes were preparing to migrate south, closer to Italy, and that they had warlike intent. Caesar raised two new legions and defeated these tribes.[57]

In response to Caesar's earlier activities, the tribes in the north-east began to arm themselves. Caesar treated this as an aggressive move and, after an inconclusive engagement against the united tribes, he conquered the tribes piecemeal. Meanwhile, one of his legions began the conquest of the tribes in the far north, directly opposite Britain.[58] During the spring of 56 BC, the Triumvirs held a conference, as Rome was in turmoil and Caesar's political alliance was coming undone. The Lucca Conference renewed the First Triumvirate and extended Caesar's governorship for another five years.[59] The conquest of the north was soon completed, while a few pockets of resistance remained.[60] Caesar now had a secure base from which to launch an invasion of Britain.

In 55 BC, Caesar repelled an incursion into Gaul by two Germanic tribes, and followed it up by building a bridge across the Rhine and making a show of force in Germanic territory, before returning and dismantling the bridge. Late that summer, having subdued two other tribes, he crossed into Britain, claiming that the Britons had aided one of his enemies the previous year, possibly the Veneti of Brittany.[61] His knowledge of Britain was poor, and although he gained a beachhead on the coast, he could not advance further. He raided out from his beachhead and destroyed some villages, then returned to Gaul for the winter.[62] He returned the following year, better prepared and with a larger force, and achieved more. He advanced inland, and established a few alliances, but poor harvests led to widespread revolt in Gaul, forcing Caesar to leave Britain for the last time.[63]

Vercingetorix throws down his arms at the feet of Julius Caesar, painting by Lionel Royer. Musée Crozatier, Le Puy-en-Velay, France.

While Caesar was in Britain his daughter Julia, Pompey's wife, had died in childbirth. Caesar tried to re-secure Pompey's support by offering him his great-niece in marriage, but Pompey declined. In 53 BC Crassus was killed leading a failed invasion of the east. Rome was on the brink of civil war. Pompey was appointed sole consul as an emergency measure, and married the daughter of a political opponent of Caesar. The Triumvirate was dead.[64]

Though the Gallic tribes were just as strong as the Romans militarily, the internal division among the Gauls guaranteed an easy victory for Caesar. Vercingetorix's attempt in 52 BC to unite them against Roman invasion came too late.[65][66] He proved an astute commander, defeating Caesar at the Battle of Gergovia, but Caesar's elaborate siege-works at the Battle of Alesia finally forced his surrender.[67] Despite scattered outbreaks of warfare the following year,[68] Gaul was effectively conquered. Plutarch claimed that during the Gallic Wars the army had fought against three million men (of whom one million died, and another million were enslaved), subjugated 300 tribes, and destroyed 800 cities.[69] The casualty figures are disputed by modern historians.[70]

Civil war

A Roman bust of Pompey the Great made during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), a copy of an original bust from 70 to 60 BC, Venice National Archaeological Museum, Italy

In 50 BC, the Senate (led by Pompey) ordered Caesar to disband his army and return to Rome because his term as governor had finished.[71] There is scholarly disagreement as to the specific reasons why Caesar marched on Rome; the possibility of prosecution for actions in his consulship of 59 was unlikely.[72] His objectives prior to the civil war were to secure himself an immediate second consulship and a triumph, having given up his triumph in 60 BC to stand for his first consulship. Caesar feared that his opponents – then holding both consulships for 50 – would reject his candidacy, refuse to ratify an election result in which he was a victor, or deny him a triumph for Gaul. By the end of the year 50, both Caesar and Pompey were preparing for armed conflict: an attempt to stay off war pushed forward by Cicero in the autumn, in which both Caesar and Pompey would disarm, was vetoed by the Pompeians in the consulship even after Cicero's plan received the overwhelming support of the senate.[73]

On 10 January 49 BC, Caesar crossed the Rubicon river (the frontier boundary of Italy) with only a single legion, the Legio XIII Gemina, and ignited civil war. Upon crossing the Rubicon, Caesar, according to Plutarch and Suetonius, is supposed to have quoted the Athenian playwright Menander, in Greek, "the die is cast".[74] Erasmus, however, notes that the more accurate Latin translation of the Greek imperative mood would be "alea iacta esto", let the die be cast.[75] Pompey and many of the Senate fled to the south, having little confidence in Pompey's newly raised troops. Pompey, despite greatly outnumbering Caesar, who only had his Thirteenth Legion with him, did not intend to fight. Caesar pursued Pompey, hoping to capture Pompey before his legions could escape.[76]

Pompey managed to escape before Caesar could capture him. Heading for Hispania, Caesar left Italy under the control of Mark Antony. After an astonishing 27-day route-march, Caesar defeated Pompey's lieutenants, then returned east, to challenge Pompey in Illyria, where, on 10 July 48 BC in the battle of Dyrrhachium, Caesar barely avoided a catastrophic defeat. In an exceedingly short engagement later that year, he decisively defeated Pompey at Pharsalus, in Greece on 9 August 48 BC.[77]

This mid-1st-century-BC Roman wall painting in Pompeii is probably a depiction of Cleopatra VII as Venus Genetrix, with her son Caesarion as Cupid. Its owner Marcus Fabius Rufus most likely ordered its concealment behind a wall in reaction to the execution of Caesarion on orders of Octavian in 30 BC.[78][79]

In Rome, Caesar was appointed dictator,[80] with Mark Antony as his Master of the Horse (second in command); Caesar presided over his own election to a second consulship and then, after 11 days, resigned this dictatorship.[80][81] Caesar then pursued Pompey to Egypt, arriving soon after the murder of the general. There, Caesar was presented with Pompey's severed head and seal-ring, receiving these with tears.[82] He then had Pompey's assassins put to death.[83]

Caesar then became involved with an Egyptian civil war between the child pharaoh and his sister, wife, and co-regent queen, Cleopatra. Perhaps as a result of the pharaoh's role in Pompey's murder, Caesar sided with Cleopatra. He withstood the Siege of Alexandria and later he defeated the pharaoh's forces at the Battle of the Nile in 47 BC and installed Cleopatra as ruler. Caesar and Cleopatra celebrated their victory with a triumphal procession on the Nile in the spring of 47 BC. The royal barge was accompanied by 400 additional ships, and Caesar was introduced to the luxurious lifestyle of the Egyptian pharaohs.[84]

Caesar and Cleopatra were not married. Caesar continued his relationship with Cleopatra throughout his last marriage—in Roman eyes, this did not constitute adultery—and probably fathered a son called Caesarion. Cleopatra visited Rome on more than one occasion, residing in Caesar's villa just outside Rome across the Tiber.[84]

Late in 48 BC, Caesar was again appointed dictator, with a term of one year.[81] After spending the first months of 47 BC in Egypt, Caesar went to the Middle East, where he annihilated the king of Pontus; his victory was so swift and complete that he mocked Pompey's previous victories over such poor enemies.[85] On his way to Pontus, Caesar visited Tarsus from 27 to 29 May 47 BC (25–27 Maygreg.), where he met enthusiastic support, but where, according to Cicero, Cassius was planning to kill him at this point.[86][87][88] Thence, he proceeded to Africa to deal with the remnants of Pompey's senatorial supporters. He was defeated by Titus Labienus at Ruspina on 4 January 46 BC but recovered to gain a significant victory at Thapsus on 6 April 46 BC over Cato, who then committed suicide.[89]

After this victory, he was appointed dictator for 10 years.[90] Pompey's sons escaped to Hispania; Caesar gave chase and defeated the last remnants of opposition in the Battle of Munda in March 45 BC.[91] During this time, Caesar was elected to his third and fourth terms as consul in 46 BC and 45 BC (this last time without a colleague).

Dictatorship and assassination

While he was still campaigning in Hispania, the Senate began bestowing honours on Caesar. Caesar had not proscribed his enemies, instead pardoning almost all, and there was no serious public opposition to him. Great games and celebrations were held in April to honour Caesar's victory at Munda. Plutarch writes that many Romans found the triumph held following Caesar's victory to be in poor taste, as those defeated in the civil war had not been foreigners, but instead fellow Romans.[92] On Caesar's return to Italy in September 45 BC, he filed his will, naming his grandnephew Gaius Octavius (Octavian, later known as Augustus Caesar) as his principal heir, leaving his vast estate and property including his name. Caesar also wrote that if Octavian died before Caesar did, Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus would be the next heir in succession.[93] In his will, he also left a substantial gift to the citizens of Rome.

Between his crossing of the Rubicon in 49 BC, and his assassination in 44 BC, Caesar established a new constitution, which was intended to accomplish three separate goals.[94] First, he wanted to suppress all armed resistance out in the provinces, and thus bring order back to the Republic. Second, he wanted to create a strong central government in Rome. Finally, he wanted to knit together all of the provinces into a single cohesive unit.[94]

The first goal was accomplished when Caesar defeated Pompey and his supporters.[94] To accomplish the other two goals, he needed to ensure that his control over the government was undisputed,[95] so he assumed these powers by increasing his own authority, and by decreasing the authority of Rome's other political institutions. Finally, he enacted a series of reforms that were meant to address several long-neglected issues, the most important of which was his reform of the calendar.[96]


Green Caesar, posthumous portrait of the 1st century AD, Altes Museum, Berlin
Statue of Julius Caesar, Via dei Fori Imperiali, Rome

When Caesar returned to Rome, the Senate granted him triumphs for his victories, ostensibly those over Gaul, Egypt, Pharnaces, and Juba, rather than over his Roman opponents.[citation needed] When Arsinoe IV, Egypt's former queen, was paraded in chains, the spectators admired her dignified bearing and were moved to pity.[97] Triumphal games were held, with beast-hunts involving 400 lions, and gladiator contests. A naval battle was held on a flooded basin at the Field of Mars.[98] At the Circus Maximus, two armies of war captives, — each of 2,000 people, 200 horses, and 20 elephants — fought to the death. Again, some bystanders complained, this time at Caesar's wasteful extravagance. A riot broke out, and only stopped when Caesar had two rioters sacrificed by the priests on the Field of Mars.[98]

After the triumph, Caesar set out to pass an ambitious legislative agenda.[98] He ordered a census be taken, which forced a reduction in the grain dole, and decreed that jurors could only come from the Senate or the equestrian ranks. He passed a sumptuary law that restricted the purchase of certain luxuries. After this, he passed a law that rewarded families for having many children, to speed up the repopulation of Italy. Then, he outlawed professional guilds, except those of ancient foundation, since many of these were subversive political clubs. He then passed a term-limit law applicable to governors. He passed a debt-restructuring law, which ultimately eliminated about a fourth of all debts owed.[98]

The Forum of Caesar, with its Temple of Venus Genetrix, was then built, among many other public works.[99] Caesar also tightly regulated the purchase of state-subsidised grain and reduced the number of recipients to a fixed number, all of whom were entered into a special register.[100] From 47 to 44 BC, he made plans for the distribution of land to about 15,000 of his veterans.[101]

The most important change, however, was his reform of the calendar. The Roman calendar at the time was regulated by the movement of the moon. By replacing it with the Egyptian calendar, based on the sun, Roman farmers were able to use it as the basis of consistent seasonal planting from year to year. He set the length of the year to 365.25 days by adding an intercalary/leap day at the end of February every fourth year.[96]

To bring the calendar into alignment with the seasons, he decreed that three extra months be inserted into 46 BC (the ordinary intercalary month at the end of February, and two extra months after November). Thus, the Julian calendar opened on 1 January 45 BC.[96][98] This calendar is almost identical to the current Western calendar.

Shortly before his assassination, he passed a few more reforms.[98] He appointed officials to carry out his land reforms and ordered the rebuilding of Carthage and Corinth. He also extended Latin rights throughout the Roman world, and then abolished the tax system and reverted to the earlier version that allowed cities to collect tribute however they wanted, rather than needing Roman intermediaries. His assassination prevented further and larger schemes, which included the construction of an unprecedented temple to Mars, a huge theatre, and a library on the scale of the Library of Alexandria.[98]

He also wanted to convert Ostia to a major port, and cut a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth. Militarily, he wanted to conquer the Dacians and Parthians, and avenge the loss at Carrhae. Thus, he instituted a massive mobilisation. Shortly before his assassination, the Senate named him censor for life and Father of the Fatherland, and the month of Quintilis was renamed July in his honour.[98]

He was granted further honours, which were later used to justify his assassination as a would-be divine monarch: coins were issued bearing his image and his statue was placed next to those of the kings. He was granted a golden chair in the Senate, was allowed to wear triumphal dress whenever he chose, and was offered a form of semi-official or popular cult, with Mark Antony as his high priest.[98]

Political reforms

La clémence de César, Abel de Pujol, 1808

The history of Caesar's political appointments is complex and uncertain. Caesar held both the dictatorship and the tribunate, but alternated between the consulship and the proconsulship.[95] His powers within the state seem to have rested upon these magistracies.[95] He was first appointed dictator in 49 BC, possibly to preside over elections, but resigned his dictatorship within 11 days. In 48 BC, he was reappointed dictator, only this time for an indefinite period, and in 46 BC, he was appointed dictator for 10 years.[102]

In 48 BC, Caesar was given permanent tribunician powers,[103][failed verification] which made his person sacrosanct and allowed him to veto the Senate,[103] although on at least one occasion, tribunes did attempt to obstruct him. The offending tribunes in this case were brought before the Senate and divested of their office.[103] This was not the first time Caesar had violated a tribune's sacrosanctity. After he had first marched on Rome in 49 BC, he forcibly opened the treasury, although a tribune had the seal placed on it. After the impeachment of the two obstructive tribunes, Caesar, perhaps unsurprisingly, faced no further opposition from other members of the Tribunician College.[103]

When Caesar returned to Rome in 47 BC, the ranks of the Senate had been severely depleted, so he used his censorial powers to appoint many new senators, which eventually raised the Senate's membership to 900.[104] All the appointments were of his own partisans, which robbed the senatorial aristocracy of its prestige, and made the Senate increasingly subservient to him.[105] To minimise the risk that another general might attempt to challenge him,[102] Caesar passed a law that subjected governors to term limits.[102]

In 46 BC, Caesar gave himself the title of "Prefect of the Morals", which was an office that was new only in name, as its powers were identical to those of the censors.[103] Thus, he could hold censorial powers, while technically not subjecting himself to the same checks to which the ordinary censors were subject, and he used these powers to fill the Senate with his own partisans. He also set the precedent, which his imperial successors followed, of requiring the Senate to bestow various titles and honours upon him. He was, for example, given the title of "Father of the Fatherland" and "imperator".[102]

Coins bore his likeness, and he was given the right to speak first during Senate meetings.[102] Caesar then increased the number of magistrates who were elected each year, which created a large pool of experienced magistrates, and allowed Caesar to reward his supporters.[104]

Caesar even took steps to transform Italy into a province, and to link more tightly the other provinces of the empire into a single cohesive unit. This process, of fusing the entire Roman Empire into a single unit, rather than maintaining it as a network of unequal principalities, would ultimately be completed by Caesar's successor, the Emperor Augustus.

In October 45 BC, Caesar resigned his position as sole consul, and facilitated the election of two successors for the remainder of the year, which theoretically restored the ordinary consulship, since the constitution did not recognize a single consul without a colleague.[104] In February 44 BC, one month before his assassination, he was appointed dictator in perpetuity. Under Caesar, a significant amount of authority was vested in his lieutenants,[102] mostly because Caesar was frequently out of Italy.[102]

Denarius (42 BC) issued by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Lentulus Spinther, depicting the crowned head of Liberty and on the reverse a sacrificial jug and lituus, from the military mint in Smyrna. Caption: C. CASSI. IMP. LEIBERTAS / LENTVLVS SPINT.

Near the end of his life, Caesar began to prepare for a war against the Parthian Empire. Since his absence from Rome might limit his ability to install his own consuls, he passed a law which allowed him to appoint all magistrates, and all consuls and tribunes.[104] This, in effect, transformed the magistrates from being representatives of the people to being representatives of the dictator.[104]


On the Ides of March (15 March; see Roman calendar) of 44 BC, Caesar was due to appear at a session of the Senate. Several Senators had conspired to assassinate Caesar. Mark Antony, having vaguely learned of the plot the night before from a terrified liberator named Servilius Casca, and fearing the worst, went to head Caesar off. The plotters, however, had anticipated this and, fearing that Antony would come to Caesar's aid, had arranged for Trebonius to intercept him just as he approached the portico of the Theatre of Pompey, where the session was to be held, and detain him outside (Plutarch, however, assigns this action of delaying Antony to Brutus Albinus). When he heard the commotion from the Senate chamber, Antony fled.[106]

According to Plutarch, as Caesar arrived at the Senate, Tillius Cimber presented him with a petition to recall his exiled brother.[107] The other conspirators crowded round to offer support. Both Plutarch and Suetonius say that Caesar waved him away, but Cimber grabbed his shoulders and pulled down Caesar's tunic. Caesar then cried to Cimber, "Why, this is violence!" ("Ista quidem vis est!").[108]

The senators encircle Caesar, a 19th-century interpretation of the event by Carl Theodor von Piloty

Casca simultaneously produced his dagger and made a glancing thrust at the dictator's neck. Caesar turned around quickly and caught Casca by the arm. According to Plutarch, he said in Latin, "Casca, you villain, what are you doing?"[109] Casca, frightened, shouted, "Help, brother!" in Greek ("ἀδελφέ, βοήθει", "adelphe, boethei"). Within moments, the entire group, including Brutus, was striking out at the dictator. Caesar attempted to get away, but, blinded by blood, he tripped and fell; the men continued stabbing him as he lay defenceless on the lower steps of the portico. According to Eutropius, around 60 men participated in the assassination. He was stabbed 23 times.[110]

According to Suetonius, a physician later established that only one wound, the second one to his chest, had been lethal.[111] The dictator's last words are not known with certainty, and are a contested subject among scholars and historians alike. Suetonius reports that others have said Caesar's last words were the Greek phrase "καὶ σύ, τέκνον;"[112] (transliterated as "Kai sy, teknon?": "You too, child?" in English). However, Suetonius' own opinion was that Caesar said nothing.[113]

Plutarch also reports that Caesar said nothing, pulling his toga over his head when he saw Brutus among the conspirators.[114] The version best known in the English-speaking world is the Latin phrase "Et tu, Brute?" ("And you, Brutus?", commonly rendered as "You too, Brutus?");[115][116] best known from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, where it actually forms the first half of a macaronic line: "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar." This version was already popular when the play was written, as it appears in Richard Edes's Latin play Caesar Interfectus of 1582 and The True Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke & etc. of 1595, Shakespeare's source work for other plays.[117]

According to Plutarch, after the assassination, Brutus stepped forward as if to say something to his fellow senators; they, however, fled the building.[118] Brutus and his companions then marched to the Capitol while crying out to their beloved city: "People of Rome, we are once again free!" They were met with silence, as the citizens of Rome had locked themselves inside their houses as soon as the rumour of what had taken place had begun to spread. Caesar's dead body lay where it fell on the Senate floor for nearly three hours before other officials arrived to remove it.

Caesar's body was cremated. A crowd which had gathered at the cremation started a fire, which badly damaged the forum and neighbouring buildings. On the site of his cremation, the Temple of Caesar was erected a few years later (at the east side of the main square of the Roman Forum). Only its altar now remains.[119] A life-size wax statue of Caesar was later erected in the forum displaying the 23 stab wounds.

In the chaos following the death of Caesar, Mark Antony, Octavian (later Augustus Caesar), and others fought a series of five civil wars, which would culminate in the formation of the Roman Empire.

Aftermath of the assassination

The result unforeseen by the assassins was that Caesar's death precipitated the end of the Roman Republic.[120] The Roman middle and lower classes, with whom Caesar was immensely popular and had been since before Gaul, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had killed their champion. Antony, who had been drifting apart from Caesar, capitalised on the grief of the Roman mob and threatened to unleash them on the Optimates, perhaps with the intent of taking control of Rome himself. To his surprise and chagrin, Caesar had named his grandnephew Gaius Octavius his sole heir (hence the name Octavian), bequeathing him the immensely potent Caesar name and making him one of the wealthiest citizens in the Republic.[121]

Bust of Mark Antony made during the Flavian dynasty (69–96 AD)
Marc Antony's Oration at Caesar's Funeral by George Edward Robertson

The crowd at the funeral boiled over, throwing dry branches, furniture, and even clothing on to Caesar's funeral pyre, causing the flames to spin out of control, seriously damaging the Forum. The mob then attacked the houses of Brutus and Cassius, where they were repelled only with considerable difficulty, ultimately providing the spark for the civil war, fulfilling at least in part Antony's threat against the aristocrats.[122] Antony did not foresee the ultimate outcome of the next series of civil wars, particularly with regard to Caesar's adopted heir. Octavian, aged only 18 when Caesar died, proved to have considerable political skills, and while Antony dealt with Decimus Brutus in the first round of the new civil wars, Octavian consolidated his tenuous position.

To combat Brutus and Cassius, who were massing an enormous army in Greece, Antony needed soldiers, the cash from Caesar's war chests, and the legitimacy that Caesar's name would provide for any action he took against them. With the passage of the lex Titia on 27 November 43 BC,[123] the Second Triumvirate was officially formed, composed of Antony, Octavian, and Caesar's loyal cavalry commander Lepidus.[124] It formally deified Caesar as Divus Iulius in 42 BC, and Caesar Octavian henceforth became Divi filius ("Son of the divine").[125]

Because Caesar's clemency had resulted in his murder, the Second Triumvirate reinstated the practice of proscription, abandoned since Sulla.[126] It engaged in the legally sanctioned killing of a large number of its opponents to secure funding for its 45 legions in the second civil war against Brutus and Cassius.[127] Antony and Octavian defeated them at Philippi.[128]

Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, Caesar's adopted heir

Afterward, Mark Antony formed an alliance with Caesar's lover, Cleopatra, intending to use the fabulously wealthy Egypt as a base to dominate Rome. A third civil war broke out between Octavian on one hand and Antony and Cleopatra on the other. This final civil war, culminating in the latter's defeat at Actium in 31 BC and suicide in Egypt in 30 BC, resulted in the permanent ascendancy of Octavian, who became the first Roman emperor, under the name Caesar Augustus, a name conveying religious, rather than political, authority.[129]

Julius Caesar had been preparing to invade Parthia, the Caucasus, and Scythia, and then march back to Germania through Eastern Europe. These plans were thwarted by his assassination.[130] His successors did attempt the conquests of Parthia and Germania, but without lasting results.


Julius Caesar was the first historical Roman to be officially deified. He was posthumously granted the title Divus Iulius (the divine/deified Julius) by decree of the Roman Senate on 1 January 42 BC. The appearance of a comet during games in his honour was taken as confirmation of his divinity. Though his temple was not dedicated until after his death, he may have received divine honours during his lifetime:[131] and shortly before his assassination, Mark Antony had been appointed as his flamen (priest).[132] Both Octavian and Mark Antony promoted the cult of Divus Iulius. After the death of Caesar, Octavian, as the adoptive son of Caesar, assumed the title of Divi Filius (Son of the Divine).

Personal life

Health and physical appearance

Bust of Julius Caesar, posthumous portrait in marble, 44–30 BC, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican Museums

Based on remarks by Plutarch,[133] Caesar is sometimes thought to have suffered from epilepsy. Modern scholarship is sharply divided on the subject, and some scholars believe that he was plagued by malaria, particularly during the Sullan proscriptions of the 80s.[134] Other scholars contend his epileptic seizures were due to a parasitic infection in the brain by a tapeworm.[135][136]

Caesar had four documented episodes of what may have been complex partial seizures. He may additionally have had absence seizures in his youth. The earliest accounts of these seizures were made by the biographer Suetonius, who was born after Caesar died. The claim of epilepsy is countered among some medical historians by a claim of hypoglycemia, which can cause epileptoid seizures.[137][138][139]

In 2003, psychiatrist Harbour F. Hodder published what he termed as the "Caesar Complex" theory, arguing that Caesar was a sufferer of temporal lobe epilepsy and the debilitating symptoms of the condition were a factor in Caesar's conscious decision to forgo personal safety in the days leading up to his assassination.[140]

A line from Shakespeare has sometimes been taken to mean that he was deaf in one ear: "Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf".[141] No classical source mentions hearing impairment in connection with Caesar. The playwright may have been making metaphorical use of a passage in Plutarch that does not refer to deafness at all, but rather to a gesture Alexander of Macedon customarily made. By covering his ear, Alexander indicated that he had turned his attention from an accusation in order to hear the defence.[142]

Francesco M. Galassi and Hutan Ashrafian suggest that Caesar's behavioral manifestations—headaches, vertigo, falls (possibly caused by muscle weakness due to nerve damage), sensory deficit, giddiness and insensibility—and syncopal episodes were the results of cerebrovascular episodes, not epilepsy. Pliny the Elder reports in his Natural History that Caesar's father and forefather died without apparent cause while putting on their shoes. These events can be more readily associated with cardiovascular complications from a stroke episode or lethal heart attack. Caesar possibly had a genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease.[143]

Suetonius, writing more than a century after Caesar's death, describes Caesar as "tall of stature with a fair complexion, shapely limbs, a somewhat full face, and keen black eyes".[144]

Name and family

The name Gaius Julius Caesar

Using the Latin alphabet of the period, which lacked the letters J and U, Caesar's name would be rendered GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR; the form CAIVS is also attested, using the older Roman representation of G by C. The standard abbreviation was C. IVLIVS CÆSAR, reflecting the older spelling. (The letterform Æ is a ligature of the letters A and E, and is often used in Latin inscriptions to save space.)

In Classical Latin, it was pronounced [ˈɡaː.i.ʊs ˈjuːl.i.ʊs ˈkae̯sar]. In the days of the late Roman Republic, many historical writings were done in Greek, a language most educated Romans studied. Young wealthy Roman boys were often taught by Greek slaves and sometimes sent to Athens for advanced training, as was Caesar's principal assassin, Brutus. In Greek, during Caesar's time, his family name was written Καίσαρ (Kaísar), reflecting its contemporary pronunciation. Thus, his name is pronounced in a similar way to the pronunciation of the German Kaiser.

In Vulgar Latin, the original diphthong [ae̯] first began to be pronounced as a simple long vowel [ɛː]. Then, the plosive /k/ before front vowels began, due to palatalization, to be pronounced as an affricate, hence renderings like [ˈtʃeːsar] in Italian and [ˈtseːzar] in German regional pronunciations of Latin, as well as the title of Tsar. With the evolution of the Romance languages, the affricate [ts] became a fricative [s] (thus, [ˈseːsar]) in many regional pronunciations, including the French one, from which the modern English pronunciation is derived.

Caesar's cognomen itself became a title; it was promulgated by the Bible, which contains the famous verse "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's". The title became, from the late first millennium, Kaiser in German and Tsar or Czar in the Slavic languages. The last Tsar in nominal power was Simeon II of Bulgaria, whose reign ended in 1946. This means that for approximately two thousand years, there was at least one head of state bearing his name.


Julio-Claudian family tree
Reliefs of Cleopatra and her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion, at the Temple of Dendera
Roman painting from the House of Giuseppe II, Pompeii, early 1st century AD, most likely depicting Cleopatra VII, wearing her royal diadem, consuming poison in an act of suicide, while her son Caesarion, also wearing a royal diadem, stands behind her[145]

Suspected Children

  • Marcus Junius Brutus (born 85 BC): The historian Plutarch notes that Caesar believed Brutus to have been his illegitimate son, as his mother Servilia had been Caesar's lover during their youth.[146] Caesar would have been 15 years old when Brutus was born.
  • Junia Tertia (born ca. 60s BC), the daughter of Caesar's lover Servilia was believed by Cicero among other contemporaries, to be Caesar's natural daughter.
  • Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus (born ca. 85–81 BC): On several occasions Caesar expressed how he loved Decimus Brutus like a son. This Brutus was also named an heir of Caesar in case Octavius had died before the latter. Ronald Syme argued that if a Brutus was the natural son of Caesar, Decimus was more likely than Marcus.[147]

Grandchild from Julia and Pompey, dead at several days, unnamed.[148]

Notable relatives

Rumors of passive homosexuality

Roman society viewed the passive role during sexual activity, regardless of gender, to be a sign of submission or inferiority. Indeed, Suetonius says that in Caesar's Gallic triumph, his soldiers sang that, "Caesar may have conquered the Gauls, but Nicomedes conquered Caesar."[149] According to Cicero, Bibulus, Gaius Memmius, and others (mainly Caesar's enemies), he had an affair with Nicomedes IV of Bithynia early in his career. The stories were repeated, referring to Caesar as the Queen of Bithynia, by some Roman politicians as a way to humiliate him. Caesar himself denied the accusations repeatedly throughout his lifetime, and according to Cassius Dio, even under oath on one occasion.[150] This form of slander was popular during this time in the Roman Republic to demean and discredit political opponents.

Catullus wrote two poems suggesting that Caesar and his engineer Mamurra were lovers,[151] but later apologised.[152]

Mark Antony charged that Octavian had earned his adoption by Caesar through sexual favors. Suetonius described Antony's accusation of an affair with Octavian as political slander. Octavian eventually became the first Roman Emperor as Augustus.[153]

Literary works

Julii Caesaris quae exstant (1678)

During his lifetime, Caesar was regarded as one of the best orators and prose authors in Latin —even Cicero spoke highly of Caesar's rhetoric and style.[154] Only Caesar's war commentaries have survived. A few sentences from other works are quoted by other authors. Among his lost works are his funeral oration for his paternal aunt Julia and his Anticato, a document written to defame Cato in response to Cicero's published praise. Poems by Julius Caesar are also mentioned in ancient sources.[155]


A 1783 edition of The Gallic Wars
  • The Commentarii de Bello Gallico, usually known in English as The Gallic Wars, seven books each covering one year of his campaigns in Gaul and southern Britain in the 50s BC, with the eighth book written by Aulus Hirtius on the last two years.
  • The Commentarii de Bello Civili (The Civil War), events of the Civil War from Caesar's perspective, until immediately after Pompey's death in Egypt.

Other works historically have been attributed to Caesar, but their authorship is in doubt:

These narratives were written and published annually during or just after the actual campaigns, as a sort of "dispatches from the front". They were important in shaping Caesar's public image and enhancing his reputation when he was away from Rome for long periods. They may have been presented as public readings.[156] As a model of clear and direct Latin style, The Gallic Wars traditionally has been studied by first- or second-year Latin students.



The texts written by Caesar, an autobiography of the most important events of his public life, are the most complete primary source for the reconstruction of his biography. However, Caesar wrote those texts with his political career in mind, so historians must filter the exaggerations and bias contained in it.[157] The Roman emperor Augustus began a cult of personality of Caesar, which described Augustus as Caesar's political heir. The modern historiography is influenced by the Octavian traditions, such as when Caesar's epoch is considered a turning point in the history of the Roman Empire. Still, historians try to filter the Octavian bias.[158]

Many rulers in history became interested in the historiography of Caesar. Napoleon III wrote the scholarly work Histoire de Jules César, which was not finished. The second volume listed previous rulers interested in the topic. Charles VIII ordered a monk to prepare a translation of the Gallic Wars in 1480. Charles V ordered a topographic study in France, to place The Gallic Wars in context; which created forty high-quality maps of the conflict. The contemporary Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent catalogued the surviving editions of the Commentaries, and translated them to Turkish language. Henry IV and Louis XIII of France translated the first two commentaries and the last two respectively; Louis XIV retranslated the first one afterwards.[159]


Julius Caesar is seen as the main example of Caesarism, a form of political rule led by a charismatic strongman whose rule is based upon a cult of personality, whose rationale is the need to rule by force, establishing a violent social order, and being a regime involving prominence of the military in the government.[160] Other people in history, such as the French Napoleon Bonaparte and the Italian Benito Mussolini, have defined themselves as Caesarists.[161][162] Bonaparte did not focus only on Caesar's military career but also on his relation with the masses, a predecessor to populism.[163] The word is also used in a pejorative manner by critics of this type of political rule.


Battle record

Date War Action Opponent/s Type Country (present day) Outcome
58 BC Gallic Wars Battle of the Arar Helvetii Battle France Victory

58 BC Gallic Wars Battle of Bibracte Helvetii, Boii, Tulingi, Rauraci Battle France Victory

58 BC Gallic Wars Battle of Vosges Suebi Battle France Victory

57 BC Gallic Wars Battle of the Axona Belgae Battle France Victory

57 BC Gallic Wars Battle of the Sabis Nervii, Viromandui,

Atrebates, Aduatuci

Battle France Victory

55 and 54 BC Gallic Wars Julius Caesar's invasions of Britain Celtic Britons Campaign England Victory

54 BC–53 BC Gallic Wars Ambiorix's revolt Eburones Campaign Belgium, France Victory

52 BC Gallic Wars Avaricum Bituriges, Arverni Siege France Victory

52 BC Gallic Wars Battle of Gergovia Gallic tribes Battle France Defeat
September 52 BC Gallic Wars Battle of Alesia Gallic Confederation Siege and Battle Alise-Sainte-Reine, France Decisive Victory

51 BC Gallic Wars Siege of Uxellodunum Gallic Siege Vayrac, France Victory

June–August 49 BC Caesar's Civil War Battle of Ilerda Optimates Battle Catalonia, Spain Victory

10 July 48 BC Caesar's Civil War Battle of Dyrrhachium (48 BC) Optimates Battle Durrës, Albania Defeat

9 August 48 BC Caesar's Civil War Battle of Pharsalus Pompeians Battle Greece Decisive Victory

47 BC Caesar's Civil War Battle of the Nile Ptolemaic Kingdom Battle Alexandria, Egypt Victory

2 August 47 BC Caesar's Civil War Battle of Zela Kingdom of Pontus Battle Zile, Turkey Victory

4 January 46 BC Caesar's Civil War Battle of Ruspina Optimates, Numidia Battle Ruspina Africa Defeat

6 April 46 BC Caesar's Civil War Battle of Thapsus Optimates, Numidia Battle Tunisia Decisive Victory

17 March 45 BC Caesar's Civil War Battle of Munda Pompeians Battle Andalusia Spain Victory


See also


  1. ^ For 13 July being the wrong date, see Badian in Griffin (ed.) p.16
  2. ^ Keppie, Lawrence (1998). "The approach of civil war". The Making of the Roman Army: From Republic to Empire. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-8061-3014-9.
  3. ^ Suetonius (121). "De vita Caesarum" [The Twelve Caesars]. University of Chicago. p. 107. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. More than sixty joined the conspiracy against [Caesar], led by Gaius Cassius and Marcus and Decimus Brutus.
  4. ^ Plutarch. "Life of Caesar" . University of Chicago. p. 595. Archived from the original on 13 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2021. ... at this juncture Decimus Brutus, surnamed Albinus, who was so trusted by Caesar that he was entered in his will as his second heir, but was partner in the conspiracy of the other Brutus and Cassius, fearing that if Caesar should elude that day, their undertaking would become known, ridiculed the seers and chided Caesar for laying himself open to malicious charges on the part of the senators ...
  5. ^ Tucker, Spencer (2010). Battles That Changed History: An Encyclopedia of World Conflict . ABC-CLIO. p. 68 . ISBN 9781598844306.
  6. ^ Froude, James Anthony (1879). Life of Caesar . Project Gutenberg e-text. p. 67. Archived from the original on 9 December 2007. See also: Suetonius, Lives of the Twelve Caesars: Julius 6 Archived 30 May 2012 at; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.41 ; Virgil, Aeneid
  7. ^ Livy, Ab urbe condita, 1:28–30
  8. ^ Dionysius, iii. 29.
  9. ^ Tacitus, Annales, xi. 24.
  10. ^ Niebuhr, vol. i. note 1240, vol. ii. note 421.
  11. ^ Pliny the Elder, Natural History 7.7 . The misconception that Julius Caesar himself was born by Caesarian section dates back at least to the 10th century (Suda kappa 1199 ). Julius was not the first to bear the name, and in his time the procedure was only performed on dead women, while Caesar's mother Aurelia lived long after he was born.
  12. ^ Historia Augusta: Aelius 2 .
  13. ^ Goldsworthy, p. 32 .
  14. ^ Suetonius, Julius 1 Archived 30 May 2012 at; Plutarch, Caesar 1 , Marius 6 ; Pliny the Elder, Natural History 7.54 ; Inscriptiones Italiae, 13.3.51–52
  15. ^ Plutarch, Marius 6
  16. ^ a b Plutarch, Caesar 1 ; Suetonius, Julius 1 Archived 30 May 2012 at
  17. ^ Suetonius, Julius 1 Archived 30 May 2012 at; Pliny the Elder, Natural History 7.54
  18. ^ Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.22 ; Florus, Epitome of Roman History 2.9
  19. ^ "Julius Caesar" . Archived from the original on 22 March 2012.
  20. ^ Suetonius, Julius 1 Archived 30 May 2012 at; Plutarch, Caesar 1 ; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.41
  21. ^ Canfora, p. 3
  22. ^ William Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities: Flamen
  23. ^ Suetonius, Julius 2–3 Archived 30 May 2012 at; Plutarch, Caesar 2–3 ; Cassius Dio, Roman History 43.20
  24. ^ Suetonius, Julius 46 Archived 30 May 2012 at
  25. ^ Again, according to Suetonius's chronology (Julius 4 Archived 30 May 2012 at Plutarch (Caesar 1.8–2 ) says this happened earlier, on his return from Nicomedes's court. Velleius Paterculus (Roman History 2:41.3–42 ) says merely that it happened when he was a young man.
  26. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 1–2
  27. ^ "Plutarch • Life of Caesar" .
  28. ^ Thorne, James (2003). Julius Caesar: Conqueror and Dictator. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 15.
  29. ^ Freeman, 39
  30. ^ Freeman, 40
  31. ^ Goldsworthy, 77–78
  32. ^ Freeman, 51
  33. ^ Freeman, 52
  34. ^ Goldsworthy, 100
  35. ^ Goldsworthy, 101
  36. ^ Suetonius, Julius 5–8 Archived 30 May 2012 at; Plutarch, Caesar 5 ; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.43
  37. ^ Mouritsen, Henrik, Plebs and Politics in the Late Roman Republic, Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p 97. ISBN 0-521-79100-6 For context, see Plutarch, Julius Caesar, 5.4.
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  39. ^ Sallust, Catiline War 49
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  42. ^ Suetonius (2004). Lives of the Caesars . Barnes and Noble Library of Essential Reading Series. Translated by J. C. Rolfe. Barnes & Noble. p. 258. ISBN 9780760757581. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  43. ^ T.R.S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (American Philological Association, 1952), vol. 2, pp. 180 and 173.
  44. ^ Colegrove, Michael (2007). Distant Voices: Listening to the Leadership Lessons of the Past . iUniverse. p. 9. ISBN 9780595472062. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
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  46. ^ Plutarch, Julius 13 ; Suetonius, Julius 18.2 Archived 30 May 2012 at
  47. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 13–14 ; Suetonius 19 Archived 30 May 2012 at
  48. ^ Cicero, Letters to Atticus 2.1, 2.3, 2.17; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2.44 ; Plutarch, Caesar 13–14 , Pompey 47 , Crassus 14 ; Suetonius, Julius 19.2 Archived 30 May 2012 at; Cassius Dio, Roman History 37.54–58
  49. ^ Suetonius, Julius 21 Archived 30 May 2012 at
  50. ^ Cicero, Letters to Atticus 2.15, 2.16, 2.17, 2.18, 2.19, 2.20, 2.21; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 44.4 ; Plutarch, Caesar 14 , Pompey 47–48 , Cato the Younger 32–33 ; Cassius Dio, Roman History 38.1–8
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  52. ^ a b von Ungern-Sternberg, Jurgen (2014). "The Crisis of the Republic". In Flower, Harriet (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic (2 ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 91. doi:10.1017/CCOL0521807948 . ISBN 9781139000338.
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  56. ^ See Cicero's speeches against Verres for an example of a former provincial governor successfully prosecuted for illegally enriching himself at his province's expense.
  57. ^ Cicero, Letters to Atticus 1.19; Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 1; Appian, Gallic Wars Epit. 3 ; Cassius Dio, Roman History 38.31–50
  58. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 2; Appian, Gallic Wars Epit. 4 ; Cassius Dio, Roman History 39.1–5
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  61. ^ Black, Jeremy (2003). A History of the British Isles. Palgrave MacMillan. p. 6.
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  66. ^ "Julius Caesar: The first triumvirate and the conquest of Gaul" . Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 15 February 2015. Indeed, the Gallic cavalry was probably superior to the Roman, horseman for horseman. Rome's military superiority lay in its mastery of strategy, tactics, discipline, and military engineering. In Gaul, Rome also had the advantage of being able to deal separately with dozens of relatively small, independent, and uncooperative states. Caesar conquered these piecemeal, and the concerted attempt made by a number of them in 52 bce to shake off the Roman yoke came too late.
  67. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 7; Cassius Dio, Roman History 40.33–42
  68. ^ Aulus Hirtius, Commentaries on the Gallic War Book 8
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  83. ^ Plutarch, Pompey 77–79
  84. ^ a b Salisbury, Joyce E (2001). "Cleopatra VII". Women in the ancient world . Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 52 . ISBN 978-1-57607-092-5.
  85. ^ Suetonius, Julius 35.2 Archived 30 May 2012 at
  86. ^ Caesar: a history of the art of war among the Romans down to the end of the Roman empire, with a detailed account of the campaigns of Caius Julius Caesar, page 791, Theodore Ayrault Dodge, Greenhill Books, 1995. ISBN 9781853672163
  87. ^ Paul: The Man and the Myth, page 15, Studies on personalities of the New Testament Personalities of the New Testament Series, Calvin J. Roetzel, Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999. ISBN 9780567086983
  88. ^ Julius Caesar, page 311, Philip Freeman, Simon and Schuster, 2008. ISBN 9780743289535
  89. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 52–54
  90. ^ Martin Jehne, Der Staat des Dictators Caesar, Köln/Wien 1987, p. 15–38. Technically, Caesar was not appointed dictator with a term of 10 years, but he was appointed annual dictator for the next 10 years in advance.
  91. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 56
  92. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 56.7–56.8
  93. ^ Appian, The Civil Wars 2:143.1
  94. ^ a b c Abbott, 133
  95. ^ a b c Abbott, 134
  96. ^ a b c Suetonius, Julius 40 Archived 30 May 2012 at
  97. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History 43.19.2–3; Appian, Civil Wars 2.101.420
  98. ^ a b c d e f g h i J.F.C. Fuller, Julius Caesar, Man, Soldier, Tyrant, Chapter 13
  99. ^ Diana E. E. Kleiner. Julius Caesar, Venus Genetrix, and the Forum Iulium (Multimedia presentation). Yale University.
  100. ^ Mackay, Christopher S. (2004). Ancient Rome: A Military and Political History. Cambridge University Press. p. 254.
  101. ^ Campbell, J. B. (1994). The Roman Army, 31 BC–AD 337. Routledge. p. 10.
  102. ^ a b c d e f g Abbott, 136
  103. ^ a b c d e Abbott, 135
  104. ^ a b c d e Abbott, 137
  105. ^ Abbott, 138
  106. ^ Huzar, Eleanor Goltz (1978). Mark Antony, a biography By Eleanor Goltz Huzar . Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 79–80 . ISBN 978-0-8166-0863-8.
  107. ^ "Plutarch—Life of Brutus" . Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  108. ^ "Suetonius, 'Life of the Caesars, Julius', trans. J C Rolfe" . Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  109. ^ Plutarch, Life of Caesar, ch. 66: "ὁ μεν πληγείς, Ῥωμαιστί· 'Μιαρώτατε Κάσκα, τί ποιεῖς;'"
  110. ^ Woolf Greg (2006), Et Tu Brute?—The Murder of Caesar and Political Assassination, 199 pages—ISBN 1-86197-741-7
  111. ^ Suetonius, Julius, c. 82.
  112. ^ Suetonius, Julius 82.2
  113. ^ From the J. C. Rolfe translation of 1914: "...he was stabbed with three and twenty wounds, uttering not a word, but merely a groan at the first stroke, though some have written that when Marcus Brutus rushed at him, he said in Greek, 'You too, my child?".
  114. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 66.9
  115. ^ Stone, Jon R. (2005). The Routledge Dictionary of Latin Quotations . London: Routledge. p. 250 . ISBN 978-0-415-96909-3.
  116. ^ Morwood, James (1994). The Pocket Oxford Latin Dictionary (Latin-English) . Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-860283-5.
  117. ^ Dyce, Alexander (1866). The Works of William Shakespeare. London: Chapman and Hall. p. 648. Quoting Malone
  118. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 67
  119. ^ "Temple of Caesar" . 2 July 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  120. ^ Florus, Epitome 2.7.1
  121. ^ Suetonius, Julius 83.2
  122. ^ "Suetonius, Life of Caesar, Chapters LXXXIII, LXXXIV, LXXXV" . 29 October 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  123. ^ Osgood, Josiah (2006). Caesar's Legacy: Civil War and the Emergence of the Roman Empire. Cambridge University Press. p. 60.
  124. ^ Suetonius, Augustus 13.1 ; Florus, Epitome 2.6
  125. ^ Warrior, Valerie M. (2006). Roman Religion. Cambridge University Press. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-521-82511-5.
  126. ^ Florus, Epitome 2.6.3
  127. ^ Zoch, Paul A. (200). Ancient Rome: An Introductory History . University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 217–218 . ISBN 978-0-8061-3287-7.
  128. ^ Florus, Epitome 2.7.11–14 ; Appian, The Civil Wars 5.3
  129. ^ Florus, Epitome 2.34.66
  130. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 58.6
  131. ^ Cicero, Philippic ii.110: Cicero refers to the divine honours of : "...couch, image, pediment, priest" given to Caesar in the months before his assassination.
  132. ^ According to Dio Cassius, 44.6.4.
  133. ^ Plutarch, Caesar 17, 45, 60; see also Suetonius, Julius 45.
  134. ^ Ronald T. Ridley, "The Dictator's Mistake: Caesar's Escape from Sulla," Historia 49 (2000), pp. 225–226, citing doubters of epilepsy: F. Kanngiesser, "Notes on the Pathology of the Julian Dynasty," Glasgow Medical Journal 77 (1912) 428–432; T. Cawthorne, "Julius Caesar and the Falling Sickness," Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 51 (1957) 27–30, who prefers Ménière's disease; and O. Temkin, The Falling Sickness: A History of Epilepsy from the Greeks to the Beginnings of Modern Neurology (Baltimore 1971), p 162.
  135. ^ Bruschi, Fabrizio (2011). "Was Julius Caesar's epilepsy due to neurocysticercosis?" . Trends in Parasitology. Cell Press. 27 (9): 373–374. doi:10.1016/ . PMID 21757405 . Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  136. ^ McLachlan, Richard S. (2010). "Julius Caesar's Late Onset Epilepsy: A Case of Historic Proportions" . Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences Inc. 37 (5): 557–561. doi:10.1017/S0317167100010696 . PMID 21059498 . Retrieved 11 May 2013.
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  138. ^ Gomez J, Kotler J, Long J (1995). "Was Julius Caesar's epilepsy due to a brain tumor?". The Journal of the Florida Medical Association. 82 (3): 199–201. PMID 7738524 .
  139. ^ H. Schneble (1 January 2003). "Gaius Julius Caesar" . German Epilepsy Museum. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
  140. ^ Hodder, Harbour Fraser (September 2003). "Epilepsy and Empire, Caveat Caesar" . Accredited Psychiatry & Medicine. Harvard, Boston: Harvard University. 106 (1): 19.
  141. ^ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar I.ii.209.
  142. ^ Plutarch, Alexander 42; Jeremy Paterson discussing Caesar's health in general in "Caesar the Man," A Companion to Julius Caesar (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), p. 130 online.
  143. ^ Galassi, Francesco M.; Ashrafian, Hutan (29 March 2015). "Has the diagnosis of a stroke been overlooked in the symptoms of Julius Caesar?". Neurological Sciences. 36 (8): 1521–1522. doi:10.1007/s10072-015-2191-4 . PMID 25820216 . S2CID 11730078 .
  144. ^ Suetonius, Life of Caesar 45 Archived 30 May 2012 at excelsa statura, colore candido, teretibus membris, ore paulo pleniore, nigris vegetisque oculis.
  145. ^ Roller, Duane W. (2010), Cleopatra: a biography , Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 178–179 , ISBN 978-0-19-536553-5.
  146. ^ Plutarch, Brutus 5
  147. ^ Ronald Syme, "Bastards in the Roman Aristocracy," pp. 323–327. Thomas Africa thought Syme had recanted this view; see "The Mask of an Assassin: A Psychohistorical Study of M. Junius Brutus," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 8 (1978), p. 615, note 28, referring to Syme's book Sallust (Berkeley, 1964), p. 134. This would appear to be a misreading, given Syme's fuller argument twenty years later in "No Son for Caesar?" Historia 29 (1980) 422–437, pp. 426–430 regarding the greater likelihood that Decimus would be the Brutus who was Caesar's son.
  148. ^ Ramon L. Jiménez (1 January 2000). Caesar Against Rome: The Great Roman Civil War . Praeger. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-275-96620-1.
  149. ^ Suetonius, Julius 49 Archived 30 May 2012 at
  150. ^ Suetonius, Julius 49 Archived 30 May 2012 at; Cassius Dio, Roman History 43.20
  151. ^ Catullus, Carmina 29 , 57
  152. ^ Suetonius, Julius 73 Archived 30 May 2012 at
  153. ^ Suetonius, Augustus 68 , 71
  154. ^ Cicero, Brutus, 252.
  155. ^ Edward Courtney, The Fragmentary Latin Poets (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), pp. 153–155 and 187–188. See also Poems by Julius Caesar.
  156. ^ T.P. Wiseman, "The Publication of De Bello Gallico," Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter (Classical Press of Wales, 1998).
  157. ^ Canfora, pp. 10–11
  158. ^ Canfora, p. 10
  159. ^ Canfora, pp. 11–12
  160. ^ Caesarism, Charisma, and Fate: Historical Sources and Modern Resonances in the Work of Max Weber. Transaction Publishers. 2008. p. 34.
  161. ^ Brown, Howard G. (29 June 2007). "Napoleon Bonaparte, Political Prodigy". History Compass. Wiley. 5 (4): 1382–1398. doi:10.1111/j.1478-0542.2007.00451.x .
  162. ^ Hartfield, James (28 September 2012). Unpatriotic History of the Second World War . John Hunt Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 9781780993799.
  163. ^ Canfora, pp. 12–13


Primary sources

Own writings

Ancient historians' writings

Secondary sources

  • Wiseman, T. P. (1998). The Publication of De Bello Gallico," Julius Caesar as Artful Reporter. Classical Press of Wales.
  • Weber, Max (2008). Caesarism, Charisma, and Fate: Historical Sources and Modern Resonances in the Work of Max Weber. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 978-1412812146.
  • Warrior, Velerie M. (2006). Roman Religion. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-82511-3.
  • Zoch, Paul A. (2000). Ancient Rome: An Introductory History . University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3287-6.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Lucius Afranius
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer
Roman consul
59 BC
With: Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus
Succeeded by
Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus
Aulus Gabinius
Preceded by
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Crus
Gaius Claudius Marcellus
Roman consul
48 BC
With: Publius Servilius Isauricus
Succeeded by
Quintus Fufius Calenus
Publius Vatinius
Preceded by
Quintus Fufius Calenus
Publius Vatinius
Roman consul
46 BC
With: Marcus Aemilius Lepidus
Succeeded by
without colleague
Preceded by
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus
Roman consul
January–September 45 BC
Succeeded by
Mark Antony
Preceded by
without colleague
Roman consul
44 BC
With: Mark Antony
Succeeded by
Publius Cornelius Dolabella
Religious titles
Preceded by
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius
Pontifex maximus of the Roman Religion
63–44 BC
Succeeded by
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus


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