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Julius Caesar History

QUESTION: Julius Caesar History – What are the major points of History?


Gaius Julius Caesar was born on July 13, 100 BC in Rome, Italy to Gaius Julius Caesar the Elder and his wife, Aurelia. He had two sisters, both named Julia Major and Julia Minor. The Romans spelled his name as CAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR, but was later known universally as CAESAR. Gaius was his personal name, and Julius was a family name. The Roman men usually had two first names and the third name developed over time to distinguish such men.

Caesar’s height was 5 foot 7 inches high. He had dark brown eyes with soft white skin. He kept himself neatly shaven, and was balding prematurely which he disliked, and he became very sensitive to any mention of his hairless head. He liked to wear a tunic with a fringed sleeve. He suffered from headaches and migraines, but the most serious illness he acquired was epilepsy, which was known then as the “falling sickness.” Other than that, Caesar was remarkably healthy and energetic. It is said that he drank very little wine which accounted for much of his successes because he could think clearly. He was also a very self-serving man, and used opportunities to the fullest. This accounts for his self-confidence and charisma, making him a natural leader.

Caesar’s family was not considered very rich or influential. The gens Julia family was one of the least recognized Patrician families, which was a political handicap at that time. The descendants of the old Plebian families had the power, but if one married a member of the Patrician families, then you become nobility. Caesar became a nobleman, since his aunt married one of the most influential Plebeians.

If you wanted to bring distinction into your family, a Roman nobleman sought election to public office, which is exactly what Caesar did. He was appointed Flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter, who held the same role in Roman mythology as Zeus did in the Greek pantheon). However, there is no power involved in this position but it identified Caesar with extremist politics. At 17 years of age, he married Cornelia, whose father was consul four different times.

Following a civil war, Lucius Cornelius Sulla was appointed dictator. Caesar came out on the losing end of this war and lost everything. He escaped Rome to serve in military duty in Asia and Cilicia. He returned to Rome when Sulla died and began his political career as a prosecuting advocate. He traveled to Rhodes to study rhetoric, and while on his journey there, was captured by pirates. He convinced his captors to raise his ransom from twenty talents of gold to fifty while he was in captivity and that gesture increased his prestige. Once the ransom was paid and he was freed, he raised a naval force, captured the pirates, and had them crucified.

Caesar was then elected quaestor (one of two subordinates of consuls serving as public prosecutors in certain criminal cases). His wife died shortly thereafter, and as a political maneuver, Caesar praised his uncle and father-in-law during the funeral orations for his deceased wife. He then married Pompeia, who was a relative of Pompey, a Roman general and political leader. He quickly climbed the ladder of success within the political arena, but following a scandal, he divorced Pompeia.

Following the scandal, Caesar became governor of Farther Spain. He later returned to Rome where he joined forces with Crassus and Pompey to form the first triumvirate (a group of three men responsible for public administration or civil authority). Pompey then married Julia, Caesar’s only child.

Caesar was ultimately elected consul and married Calpurnia. The following year, he was appointed governor. He was then instructed by the Senate to lay down his command because Pompey was appointed sole consul, and since his wife Julia died, this broke the family ties between Pompey and Caesar. On March 15, 44 BC, a day known as the Ides of March, he dies at the hands of two members of the Senate during an assassination plot.

There was no such thing as Christianity during the time of Caesar. During this time, the Romans were considered pagans and those in power, such as Caesar, set themselves up as gods. It was not until AD 30, when Jesus came upon the scene and spoke in Judea, a province of Rome, and Christianity began to take a stand as He gathered a group of followers. At that time, the Romans allowed the Jews to practice their faith and did not force them to worship Roman gods.

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