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Julius Caesar Military And Political Strength Essay

, Research Paper

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

Roman priests.

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

to death.

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.


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