This was a difficult task for even the ablest and most gifted noble unless he was backed by substantial family wealth and influence. The people of Rome thought he was great, but the leaders in the Senate did not agree. Caesar changed the course of the history of the Greco-Roman world decisively and irreversibly. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The whole Mediterranean world was, in fact, at the mercy of the Roman nobility and of a new class of Roman businessmen, the equites (“knights”), which had grown rich on military contracts and on tax farming. His most infamous affair, was with Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt. Born into not so influential a family, he rose through the ranks in Roman politics to become the most powerful man in Rome, taking the title of dictator in perpetuity.He was a key player in the series of events which led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar was born in Italy around July 100 BC. Like Trump, Julius Caesar was already a … By the first century BCE, the months of the calendar no longer even matched the seasons they were named for. Roman leaders who came after him also called themselves Caesar. Caesar set alternating months of 30 and 31 days with February at 29 days and adding an extra day every four years. 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. Julius Caesar was a famous Roman statesman who was at the forefront of the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He won many battles for Rome and helped the Roman Empire grow. He began working closely with a man named Pompey, a military general, as well as Crassus, a Roman politician. Omissions? This class had been partly dispossessed by an economic revolution following on the devastation caused by the Second Punic War. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Cleopatra and Julius Caesar could not ever get married because she was Egyptian, and he was Roman, and under Roman law, only Roman citizens could get married to each other. In 69 or 68 bce Caesar was elected quaestor (the first rung on the Roman political ladder). Julius Caesar also accomplished several important things in his very active fifty-six years that impacted the world for centuries after his death. Military manpower was supplied by the Roman peasantry. (He came, he saw, he conquered, or in his words, Veni, vedi, vici.) Brilliant and ambitious as a young man, his star was clearly on the rise. In fact, Caesars mother, Aurelia, lived until 54 B.C., nearly half a century after her sons birth. Updates? Caesar then got married a second time a year or two later, but ended up divorcing his second wife after just six years. The small daily bulletin aimed to give to the citizens the news of the empire, especially the happenings around Rome. (North 23) Best known as Julius Caesar, he critically participated in transforming the Roman republic to what became known as the Roman Empire by expanding its geographic reach and establishing its imperial leadership system . Gaius Julius Caesar is known for having been a statesman who changed the course of history. 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 play is not mentioned in the list of Shakespeare's plays published by Francis Meres in 1598. Caesar consequently divorced Pompeia. He joked with them that he would have them executed once he was free. Julius Caesar was murdered in the Roman Senate House by a group of nobles on March 15, 44 BCE. A brilliant military leader who inspired great loyalty among his troops, Julius Caesar conquered Gaul, forced advancing Germanic tribes back after building a bridge over the Rhine river, and invaded Britain twice. Julius Caesar was a famous Roman leader. Per Britannica, he was a general who overthrew the long reign of Roman nobility and replaced it with a dictatorship. Gaius Julius Caesar (/ ˈsiːzər / SEE-zər, Latin : [ˈɡaːi.ʊs ˈjuːli.ʊs ˈkae̯.sar]; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. It finally ceased publication two centuries later. This helped Julius Caesar rise as an important Roman figure. Julius Caesar's family was old Roman nobility, but they were not rich. In spite of the inadequacy of his resources, Caesar seems to have chosen a political career as a matter of course. Rome’s victory over Carthage in the Second Punic War (218–201 bce) had made Rome the paramount power in the Mediterranean basin; an influential Roman noble family’s clients (that is, protégés who, in return, gave their patrons their political support) might include kings and even whole nations, besides numerous private individuals. Julius Caesar was an able administrator and a famous general. He wrote new laws and changed and improved how to rule provinces of the empire. Above all, he was a military genius. Start studying Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar (July 12/13, 100 BCE–March 15, 44 BCE) may have been the greatest man of all times. The Roman republic is prepared to heap him with new honours, causing concern and dismay among some senators who fear that too much power is held by one man. This partial financial recovery enabled him, after his return to Rome in 60 bce, to stand for the consulship for 59 bce. Caesar's uncle was Gaius Marius, a famous war hero known for reorganizing the Roman army. These have obviously captivated the hearts of many, even in today’s modern era. He then went to Rhodes to study oratory under a famous professor Molon. In 60 BC Julius Caesar along with his colleagues formed the First Triumvirate, a political alliance … The requirements and the costs of a Roman political career in Caesar’s day were high, and the competition was severe; but the potential profits were of enormous magnitude. The Plot . In our mind’s eye, Julius Caesar is forever a stern middle-aged man, with a halo of hair crowning an imperial bald spot. Caesar refused and came close to losing not only his property (such as it was) but his life as well. After the suppression of Catiline’s conspiracy in 63 bce, Caesar, as well as the millionaire Marcus Licinius Crassus, was accused of complicity. Gaius Julius Caesar was a politically adept and popular military leader of the Roman Republic. Julius Caesar was originally published in the First Folio of 1623, but a performance was mentioned by Thomas Platter the Younger in his diary in September 1599. The Julii Caesares traced their lineage back to the goddess Venus, but the family was not snobbish or conservative-minded. Julius Caesar, in full Gaius Julius Caesar, (born July 12/13, 100? Toward the end of the year of his praetorship, a scandal was caused by Publius Clodius in Caesar’s house at the celebration there of the rites, for women only, of Bona Dea (a Roman deity of fruitfulness, both in the Earth and in women). Julius Caesar became very popular and was recognized as a hero from his time serving in the military. His father died when he was 16, but he received significant support from his mother. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience and for our, Writing the First Long-Lived Extortion Law, Important Events in the Life of Julius Caesar, Februarius - Month of February in the Roman Calendar, A Collection of Articles About Julius Caesar. While Caesar had a glowing career in both politics and as a military commander, he was only leader of the Roman Empire for a year before he was assassinated by political enemies. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Caesar served his quaestorship in the province of Farther Spain (modern Andalusia and Portugal). One of the perquisites of the praetorship and the consulship was the government of a province, which gave ample opportunity for plunder. 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). 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. A Roman noble won distinction for himself and his family by securing election to a series of public offices, which culminated in the consulship, with the censorship possibly to follow. After Crassus's death, Caesar led his army into Italy, defeated Pompey, and claimed the title of dictator. A Look at the Lives of the First 12 Roman Emperors, Ancient Egypt: Birthplace of the Modern Calendar, Biography of Cleopatra, Last Pharaoh of Egypt, Publishing the First Political News Sheet, M.A., Linguistics, University of Minnesota. The Roman governing class had consequently come to be hated and discredited at home and abroad. The first triumvirate and the conquest of Gaul, Antecedents and outcome of the civil war of 49–45, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Julius-Caesar-Roman-ruler, Old and Sold - Biography of Julius Caesar, Public Broadcasting Service - Biography of Julius Caeser, Social Studies for Kids - Biography of Julius Caesar, Spartacus Educational - Biography of Julius Caesar, Heritage History - Julius Caesar - Ada Russell, The History Learning Site - Biography of Julius Caesar, History World - Biography of Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Julius Caesar - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Julius Caesar (100—44 BCE) changed Rome forever. They laughed, but Caesar had the last laugh when he later captured them and had them killed. 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 penalty, which the consul Cicero was asking for the arrested conspirators. There is evidence, however, that the Julii Caesares, though patricians, had already committed themselves to the antinobility party. Bust of Julius Caesar © Caesar was a politician and general of the late Roman republic, who greatly extended the Roman empire before seizing power and making himself dictator of … His first target, Gnaeus Cornelius Dolabella, was defended by Quintus Hortensius, the leading advocate of the day, and was acquitted by the extortion-court jury, composed exclusively of senators. At the age of 16, Julius Caesar's father passed away. Julius Caesar therefore, is one man unique and evidently genuine of his kind. William Shakespeare - William Shakespeare - Julius Caesar: Written in 1599 (the same year as Henry V) or 1600, probably for the opening of the Globe Theatre on the south bank of the Thames, Julius Caesar illustrates similarly the transition in Shakespeare’s writing toward darker themes and tragedy. Director of Studies, Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 1925–55. In 84 bce Caesar committed himself publicly to the radical side by marrying Cornelia, a daughter of Lucius Cornelius Cinna, a noble who was Marius’s associate in revolution. 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. To create a new calendar for Rome, Caesar used the Egyptian system of chronological time keeping. He was instrumental in the Roman change in government from a Republican form to one where an individual (in Rome's case, an emperor or "caesar") ruled for life. 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. N.S. Julius Caesar is best remembered today as a politician, innovator and the conqueror or Gaul. The Egyptian and new Roman calendars each had 365.25 days, closely approximating the earth's spin. 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). In 78 BCE Caesar started preparing for his political career by acting as a prosecuting advocate in Rome. He decided to join the military at the age of 19. In 78 bce, after Sulla’s death, he returned to Rome and started on his political career in the conventional way, by acting as a prosecuting advocate—of course, in his case, against prominent Sullan counter-revolutionaries. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Julius Caesar was a famous and important leader in ancient Rome during the Roman Republic, shortly before Roman government was taken over by Roman emperors. 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. It was also not rich or influential or even distinguished. Caesar raised his ransom, raised a naval force, captured his captors, and had them crucified—all this as a private individual holding no public office. He defeated the Germans, the Helvetians, and the Nervi. Caesar was once kidnapped by pirates while still a young man. Caesar’s calendar, the Julian calendar, is still partially in force in the Eastern Orthodox Christian countries, and the Gregorian calendar, now in use in the West, is the Julian, slightly corrected by Pope Gregory XIII. And no wonder: the calendar was based on an unreliable lunar system that superstitiously avoided even numbers. Julius Caesar is one of the most renowned names from ancient Rome. 02 of 04 Fixing a Broken Calendar Gaius Julius Caesar arrived in the world on July 13, 100 B.C., but, contrary to popular belief, its unlikely he was born by caesarean section. It is well known that Caesar took many mistresses and lovers throughout his many marriages. In 69 or 68 Caesar began his … Gaius Julius Caesar was born in the small town of Subura, Rome in July 100 BC. Julius Caesar had a son with Cleopatra named Caesarion, or "little Caesar". Caesar originally named the giraffe "camelopard" since it resembled a camel and a leopard. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. He obtained the governorship of Farther Spain for 61–60 bce. Caesar banned driving carriages on city streets during the first ten hours of daylight. He was elected pontifex maximus in 63 bce by a political dodge. Caesar afterward married Pompeia, a distant relative of Pompey. It was true that Sextus Caesar, who was perhaps the dictator’s uncle, had been one of the consuls for 91 bce; and Lucius Caesar, one of the consuls for 90 bce, was a distant cousin, whose son and namesake was consul for 64 bce. In 74 bce, when Mithradates VI Eupator, king of Pontus, renewed war on the Romans, Caesar raised a private army to combat him. Caesar's Lex Iulia De Repetundis (The Extortion Law of the Julians) was not the first law against extortion: that is generally cited as the Lex Bembina Repetundarum, and usually attributed to Gaius Gracchus in 95 BCE. A co-conspirator, Decmius Brutus, was Caesar's second heir in his will. How Were Julius Caesar and His Successor Augustus Related? Julius Caesar is one of those people whose name we should all recognize. Sulla set about purging Rome of his enemies. Trump himself would undoubtedly relish any characterisation as the American Caesar, but that comparison is more damning than he might like. In his own time he was known for his military conquests and his attempted political reforms. Whoever had been consul in this critical year would have had to initiate such legislation, whatever his personal political predilections. Julius Caesar (c. July 12 or 13, 100 BC to March 15, 44 BC) was a politically adept and popular leader of the Roman Republic who significantly transformed what became known as the Roman Empire by greatly expanding its geographic reach and establishing its imperial system. He remained married to his third wife until the time of his death. What is Julius Caesar mostly known for in history? Caesar now worked to undo the Sullan constitution in cooperation with Pompey (Gnaeus Pompeius), who had started his career as a lieutenant of Sulla but had changed sides since Sulla’s death. Known for initiating two centuries of peace in Rome, Augustus Caesar’s rise to political power was anything but amicable. He dodged proscription and pirates, changed the calendar and the army. The Greco-Roman society has been extinct for so long that most of the names of its great men mean little to the average, educated modern person. Gill is a Latinist, writer, and teacher of ancient history and Latin. Few Romans would have chosen young Julius Caesar (ca 100–44 B.C.) Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Julius Caesar was a massively powerful Roman general and politician, and he won many battles for Rome, expanding the Roman empire. The Julian calendar remained in place until it too had grown out of step with reality, replaced by the Gregorian calendar in the 16th century CE. A month in the calendar is named after him - July, for Julius Caesar. However, he was known as a young man for his foppish beauty. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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. Regarded as ‘the greatest man of all ages’ by many, Julius Caesar is one of the most fascinating figures in history. He triumphed in the Roman Civil War but was assassinated by those who believed that he was becoming too powerful. Although the procedure existed at the time, it was usually fatal to the mother and therefore only performed when a pregnant woman was dead or dying, in an effort to save a child. Julius Caesar has returned to Rome triumphant from the war against Pompey. Even people who know nothing of Caesar as a historic personality are familiar with his family name as a title signifying a ruler who is in some sense uniquely supreme or paramount—the meaning of Kaiser in German, tsar in the Slavonic languages, and qayṣar in the languages of the Islamic world. 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. July is his namesake. He found it advisable to remove himself from Italy and to do military service, first in the province of Asia and then in Cilicia. So far I've got: He became the emperor of the Gaul. What was left for his remaining years? In public funeral orations in their honour, Caesar found opportunities for praising Cinna and Marius. He was a politician and a diplomat who was passionate about whatever he did. She has been featured by NPR and National Geographic for her ancient history expertise. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The Julii Caesares did not seem to be in the running. 9) One of Julius Caesar’s Assassins May Have Been His Son While Julius Caesar was married many times (see #8), but that does not mean he had a faithful marriage with any of them. He was a very talented general and statesman, known for his exceptional skills at writing Latin prose. His creditors did not let him leave Rome until Crassus had gone bail for a quarter of his debts; but a military expedition beyond the northwest frontier of his province enabled Caesar to win loot for himself as well as for his soldiers, with a balance left over for the treasury. But when he led his troops across the … In the uproar in the Senate, Caesar’s motion was defeated. By the age of 40, Caesar had been a widower, divorcé, governor (propraetor) of Further Spain, captured by pirates, hailed imperator by adoring troops, acted as quaestor, aedile, and consul, and was elected pontifex maximus. Caesar’s gens (clan) name, Julius (Iulius), is also familiar in the Christian world, for in Caesar’s lifetime the Roman month Quintilis, in which he was born, was renamed “July” in his honour. It wasn’t just the wives with whom Caesar was known to be involved with over the years. They were concerned that Julius Caesar ignored t… Caesar’s gens, the Julii, were patricians—i.e., members of Rome’s original aristocracy, which had coalesced in the 4th century bce with a number of leading plebeian (commoner) families to form the nobility that had been the governing class in Rome since then. Julius Caesar is known to have been involved with three other women in his lifetime. Learn how Julius Caesar and the Roman army created an empire. Julius Caesar crafted an alliance with Marcus Licinius Crassus and Pompey to form the First Triumvirate and challenge the power of the Roman Senate. 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. The famous events for which Julius Caesar is most well-known include the Triumvirate, military victories in Gaul, the dictatorship, civil war, and, finally, assassination at the hands of his political enemies. First published in 59 BCE, the Acta was circulated to the rich and powerful in the empire, and each issue was also posted in public places for citizens to read. Julius Caesar, in full Gaius Julius Caesar, (born July 12/13, 100? The date of Caesar the dictator’s birth has long been disputed. The exact date is not known. This name has survived, as has Caesar’s reform of the calendar. An aunt of the future dictator had married Gaius Marius, a 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. Learning about Caesar is a core part of children's history lessons because he was an extremely influential and important figure within history. Admittedly a womanizer himself, he dismissed his wife for suspicious behavior, wrote (bad) poetry and a third person account of the wars he waged, started a civil war, conquered the area of modern France, and made a stab at Britain. The day was July 12 or 13; the traditional (and perhaps most probable) year is 100 bce; but if this date is correct, Caesar must have held each of his offices two years in advance of the legal minimum age. By now he had become a controversial political figure. The first was Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, with whom he had a son called Caesarion. bce, Rome [Italy]—died March 15, 44 bce, Rome), celebrated Roman general and statesman, the conqueror of Gaul (58–50 bce), victor in the civil war of 49–45 bce, and dictator (46–44 bce), who was launching a series of political and social reforms when he was assassinated by a group of nobles in the Senate House on the Ides of March. I'm working on an essay and I needed to if there was something about Julius Caesar that I missed that was huge. By Caesar’s time, the number of surviving patrician gentes was small; and in the gens Julia the Caesares seem to have been the only surviving family. The Acta Diurna ("Daily Gazette" in Latin), also known as the Acta Diurna Populi Romani ("Daily Acts of the Roman People"), was a daily report of the ongoings of the Roman senate. Written in 59 BCE, the law restricted the number of gifts that a magistrate could receive during his term in a province and ensured that governors had their accounts balanced when they left. Julius Caesar was a political and military genius who overthrew Rome’s decaying political order and replaced it with a dictatorship. More so, Julius Caesar is famous because despite being in the middle of both physical and emotional strife, he never failed to express his thoughts through writing literary pieces. In 90 bce, Rome’s Italian allies had seceded from Rome because of the Roman government’s obstinate refusal to grant them Roman citizenship, and, as consul, Lucius Caesar had introduced emergency legislation for granting citizenship to the citizens of all Italian ally states that had not taken up arms or that had returned to their allegiance. Caesar was known in his day for a lot of things including his brilliance as a general and as a politician (which, in those days, were often one and the same), the Julian calendar and for completely upending the way things were done in Rome at the time. Hundreds were killed or exiled, and Caesar was on the list. At sixteen he was the head of his family, and soon came under threat as Lucius Cornelius Sulla became Roman dictator. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. At the time of his rule, the Roman calendar tracking days and months of the year was a confused mess, exploited by politicians who added days and months at will. The ​Acta included the actions and speeches of prominent Romans, gave accounts of the progress of trials, judgments of the court, public decrees, proclamations, resolutions, and catastrophic events. The old Roman calendar was inaccurate and manipulated for political purposes. Caesar then went to Rhodes to study oratory under a famous professor, Molon. Caesar's extortion law remained a fundamental guide for the conduct of Roman magistrates for at least the next five centuries. Written on papyri, few fragments of the Acta exist, but the Roman historian Tacitus used them as a source for his histories. Interesting Facts about Julius Caesar. The assassination plot was led by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus. In the same year his wife, Cornelia, and his aunt Julia, Marius’s widow, died. But Caesar’s name, like Alexander’s, is still on people’s lips throughout the Christian and Islamic worlds. as the man most likely to succeed on a grand scale and dominate their world. Caesar was stabbed many times during his murder but the physician Antistius determined that only one stab wound was fatal. The famous events for which Julius Caesar is most well-known include the Triumvirate, military victories in Gaul, the dictatorship, civil war, and, finally, assassination at the hands of his political enemies. What was Julius Caesar most known for? 10 Little-Known Facts About Julius Caesar by What a Life Tours, When you hear the name Julius Caesar a few things may come to mind, whether it be the name of a salad dressing, a man in a toga and laurel crown, or the iconic Roman dictator who was tragically murdered over 2,000 years ago. bce, Rome [Italy]—died March 15, 44 bce, Rome), celebrated Roman general and statesman, the conqueror of Gaul (58–50 bce), victor in the civil war of 49–45 bce, and dictator (46–44 bce), who was launching a series of political and social reforms when he was assassinated by a group of nobles in the Senate House on the Ides of … In the marble palaces of power, Julius Caesar was anything but ordinary. Caesar raised his ransom, raised a naval force, captured his captors, and had them crucified—all this as a private individual holding no public office. From 133 bce onward there had been a series of alternate revolutionary and counter-revolutionary paroxysms. Caesar was elected a praetor for 62 bce.