Who was Julius Caesar?

Gaius Julius Caesar, born in Rome in July 100 BC, was a Roman general and dictator. Caesar was notable for bringing down the Roman Republic

Growing Up

Julius Caesar was born in a place within Rome called Subura. Caesar was born to an aristocratic family, a family in which that could track their bloodlines back to the founding of Rome. 

Caesar began his education at the age of 6, he was taught by a private tutor, Marcus Antonius Gnipho. His tutor had taught him how to read and write. Caesar also learned about the Roman law and how to speak and present himself in public.

Adulthood and Early Career

After the death of his father, Caesar became the head of his family at the age of 16, being responsible for his mother Aurelia and his sister Julia. By the age of 17 he was married to the daughter of a politician in Rome, Cornelia.

Caesar soon found himself in a difficult situation as he was stuck in the middle of a power struggle between two factions in the Roman government. Sulla (The current dictator of Rome at that time), was enemies with Caesar’s uncle and father in-law. In order to avoid trouble from Sulla and his allies, Caesar joined the army and left Rome. After the death of Sulla, Caesar had returned to Rome as a military hero, quickly moving up in the Roman Government and making powerful alliances with Pompey the Great and Crassus. 

Becoming Consul and Governor of Gaul.

Julius Caesar was elected to consul at the age of 40. The consul was the highest rank in the Roman Republic, however they only served for one year. At the end of his term as consul, Caesar took up the governorship of Gaul.

Since he was the governor of Gaul, Caesar was given the command of four Roman legions. Caesar soon conquered all of Gaul, as he was a very effective governor and general. This gained Caesar respect and honor from his army, soon being considered alongside Pompey as the greatest general in Roman history.

The Civil War

During his stay in Gaul, many senators and leaders in Rome became increasingly hostile and jealous towards Caesar. Soon Caesar’s ally, Pompey became jealous, making them rivals. In this rivalry Caesar had the support of the Roman people and Pompey had the support of the aristocrats and the senate.

Caesar had intentions of returning to Rome and becoming consul again, however the senate replied that he should give up the command of his army first, Caesar refused and the senate had declared Caesar as a traitor to the republic.

Caesar marched to Rome, alongside his army, taking control in 49 BC. Caesar spent the next 18 months fighting Pompey, defeating him and chasing him all the way to Egypt. Upon reaching Egypt, the Pharaoh, Ptolemy VII had killed Pompey and had presented his head to Caesar as a gift.

Assassination

Caesar returned to Rome in 46 BC, as the most powerful man in the world. Caesar was made dictator for life by the senate. Caesar made numerous changes to Rome:  constructing new buildings and temples and changing the calendar to 365 days with a leap year, known as the Julian calendar.

Despite all his power and glory, some people in Rome felt that Caesar was far too powerful, worrying that his reign would put an end to the republic Cassius and Brutus had plotted to kill Caesar. On the 15th of March, 44 BC, Caesar was stabbed 23 times as he entered the senate building.

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