Julius Caesar: Military and Political Strength
Perhaps no other man in the history of the world symbolizes military
and political strength as much as does Gaius Julius Caesar.This man became a
legend for his military exploits and an almost global setting, his political
manipulations which covered decades of cycles which covered power and loss of
power, and his personal life which to have been played in the most melodramatic
and theatrical manner. It is Caesar whose life, betrayal , and death which have
been immortalized in history and in literature. Caesar who is the focal point
of Shakespeare’s most famous history play the life cycle of Julius Caesar falls
into an obvious organizational scheme. His early life was spent the training
period for his rise to political power; his middle life was devoted to the
obtaining and consolidation of power, and his death was the final contribution
to studies of power and its affect on man kind.
The Early Life of Julius Caesar is a classical study of the history of
power and wealth in early Rome. Caesar was born on July 12, 100 BC. His father
belonged to the prestigious Julian clan. His uncle by marriage was Gaius Marius,
leader of the Populares which supported agrarian reform and was opposed by the
reactionary Optimates. Marius saw to it that Julius Caesar was appointed flamen
dialis which is a archaic priesthood with no power. Caesar marriage in 84 BC to
Cornelia, the daughter of Marius’s associate was a political match. When Lucius
Cornelius Sulla, Marius’s enemy and leader of the Optimates, was made dictator
in 82 BC, he issued a list of enemies to be executed. Caesar was not harmed but
he was ordered by Sulla to divorce Cornelia. Caesar refused that order and left
Rome he did not return until Sulla’s resignation in 78 BC. At the age of 22
Caesar was unable to gain office and went to Rhodes where he studied rhetoric.
In 73 BC he returned to Rome as very persuasive speaker. The year before,
while still absent, he had been elected pontificate, an important college of
Julius Caesar’s Middle Life was full of wars, political intrigue and
shifting of fortunes. Caesar’s first and one of the biggest political moves was
when he helped Pompey take office. In 69 BC Caesar was elected quaestor and in
65 BC curule aedile, gaining great popularity for his lavish gladiatorial games.
When Caesar returned to Rome in 60 BC after a year as governor of Spain, he
joined forces with Crassus and Pompey in a three-way alliance. In 59 BC Caesar
was elected consul, and the year after he was appointed governor of Roman Gaul.
During Caesar’s first year of governorship he marched into Celtic Gaul with six
legions, defeated the Helvetii, and forced them to return to their home. Next,
he crushed Germanic forces under Ariovistus. By 57 BC Rome was in control of
northern Gaul, while Caesar was in Gaul, his agents attempted to dominate
politics in Rome. It was decided that Caesar would continue in Gaul for another
five years, while Pompey and Crassus would both be consuls for 55 BC.
Julius Caesar’s later life shows how noble and great Caesar can be, but
still not trusted by his good friends. Caesar continued to increase his
prestige. He wore the robe, crown, and scepter of a triumphant general and used
the title imperator. He was in total command of the armies, and this remained
the backbone of his power. As a ruler Caesar instituted various reforms. In
provinces he eliminated the highly corrupt tax system extended Roman citizenship,
and sponsored colonies of veterans. His reform of the calendar gave Rome a
rational means of recording time. A number of senatorial families, however,
felt that Caesar threatened their position, and his honors. Republicans feared
that he would become a king. In 44 BC, an assassination plot was hatched by a
group of senators, Gaius Cassius and Marcus Junius Brutus were among these men.
On March 15 of that year, Caesar entered the Senate house, the group stabbed him
Julius Caesar probably the greatest man of his time and the most
successful. No other man could do what he did in the manner of how he operated.
From his early life to his death no other man accomplished as much than he. His
death was a sin that should not of happened and could of been prevented.