Julius Caesar, Life of

Julius Caesar was a strong leader for the Romans who changed the course
of the history of the Greco - Roman world decisively and irreversibly.
With his courage and strength he created a strong empire . What
happened during his early political career? How did he become such a
strong dictator of the Roman Empire? What events led up to the making
of the first triumvirate? How did he rise over the other two in the
triumvirate and why did he choose to take over? What happened during
his reign as dictator of Rome? What events led up to the assassination
of Caesar? What happened after he was killed? Caesar was a major part
of the Roman Empire because of his strength and his strong war
strategies.
Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman whose dictatorship was
pivotal in Rome’s transition from republic to empire. When he was young
Caesar lived through one of the most horrifying decades in the history
of the city of Rome. The city was assaulted twice and captured by Roman
armies, first in 87 BC by the leaders of the populares, his uncle Marius
and Cinna. Cinna was killed the year that Caesar had married Cinna’s
daughter Cornelia. The second attack upon the city was carried our by
Marius’ enemy Sulla, leader of the optimates, in 82 BC on the latter’s
return from the East. On each occasion the massacre of political
opponents was followed by the confiscation of their property. The
proscriptions of Sulla, which preceded the reactionary political
legislation enacted during his dictatorship left a particularly bitter
memory that long survived.
Caesar left Rome for the province of Asia on the condition that he
divorce his wife because Sulla would only allow him to leave on that
condition. When he heard the news that Sulla had been killed he
returned to Rome. He studied rhetoric under the distinguished teacher
Molon.
In the winter of 75-74 BC Caesar was captured by pirated and, while in
their custody awaiting the arrival of the ransom money which they
demanded, threatened them with crucifixion , a threat which he fulfilled
immediately after his release. He then returned to Rome to engage in a
normal political career, starting with the quaetorship which he served
in 69-68 BC in the province of Further Spain.
In the Roman political world of the sixties the dominance of the
optimates was challenged by Pompey and Crassus. The optimates, led by
Quintus Lutatius Catulus and Lucius Licinius Lucullus , were chiefly men
whose careers had been made by Sulla. Pompey and Crassus were consuls
in 70 BC and had rescinded the most offensively reactionary measures of
Sulla’s legislation. During Pompey’s absence from 67 to 62 BC during
his campaigns against the Mediterranean pirates, Mithridates, and
Crassus, his jealous rival. Caesar married Ponpeia after Cornelia’s
death and was appointed aedile in 65 BC As aedile , Caesar returned to
Marius’ trophies to their former place of honor in the Capitol, thus
laying claim to leadership of the populares.
When Caesar was a praetor, he supported a tribune who wanted Pompey
recalled to restore order in Rome. As a result, Caesar was suspended
from office for a period and antagonized Catulus. Before leaving Rome
to govern Further Spain for a year, Caesar divorced his wife Pompeia
because of the allegation that she had been implicated in the offense of
Publius Clodius. The latter was then awaiting trial for breaking into
Caesar’s house the previous December disguised as a woman at the
festival of the Bona Dea, which no man is allowed to attend.
After his return from a successful year administrating Spain Caesar was
elected consul for 59 BC through political alliance with Pompey and
Crassus . This alliance was called the first triumvirate. Caesar’s
purpose was to gain a big military command. Pompey for his part sought
the ratification of his Eastern settlement and land allotments for his
discharged troops. Crassus sought a revision of the contract for
collecting taxes in the province of Asia. An agrarian bill authorizing
the purchase of land for Pompey’s veterans was passed in January of 59
BC at a disorderly public assembly which Caesar’s fellow consul
Calpurnius Bibulus, was thrown from the platform and his consular
insignia were broken. Bibulus tried to stop Caesar and his supporters
from passing any further law but was only able to postpone the creation
of the new laws by saying that the skies would not permit it because
there was stormy weather and they were very superstitious. Caesar
disregarded Bibulus’ behavior and the remainder of the legislative
program of the