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Gaius Julius Caesar 100 - 44 BC

 

Gaius Julius Caesar 100 - 44 BC

Roman general and statesman Gaius Julius Caesar was energetic, intelligent, and generous.

Image Above

Green basanite [quartz] bust of Julius Caesar. And the British Museum comments:

This portrait is most likely an image of Caesar made fifty years or more after his murder in 44 BC. The stone is from Wadi Hamamat in Upper Egypt, and the facial structure, with high cheekbones and prominent chin, is reminiscent of many Egyptian portraits.

British Museum London


The Russian word czar and the German word kaiser derive from Julius Caesar's name.

Although he was imperator, he never ruled an empire.

See more under Forms of Governments - Empire.


As it was common and accepted in his culture, Caesar was a lover of both genders.

 

Julius Caesar's Life: 100-75 B.C.

Julius was born into a misgoverned and chaotic Rome, its streets filled with revolutions and massacres. Julius's father, Gaius Caesar, died when Julius was 16 years old. His mother's name was Aurelia. Julius decided upon a political career. In the year 84 B.C. Julius married Cornelia. Because Cornelia's folks were known as political radicals, Julius was pressured to divorce her. He refused and thought it would be a good idea to leave Italy for a while. In the year 78 Julius came back to Rome and resumed his political career as a lawyer. He also studied oratory and became an excellent public speaker.

 

Julius Caesar and the Pirates

Julius was a man of enormous pride and courage. One day, while on his way to Rhodes to study oratory, Julius was captured by pirates. Julius was outraged by the low ransom the pirates demanded for his life. So, he made them raise the amount of the ransom and told them that he, once set free, would return to kill them all. And so he did.

 

Gaius Julius Caesar, 100 - 44 B.C.
Gaius Julius Caesar

 

Julius Caesar's Life: 74-59 B.C.

Rome was at odds with  Mithradates, king of Portus. Both factions desired domination over Asia Minor. When Rome was going to annex  Bythantia, Mithradates started the  Third Mithradatic War in 74 B.C. Julius drummed up a private army and joined the fight. The war lasted until the year 63 B.C.

Cornelia died in the year 69 B.C. (or in the year 68 B.C., thanks CP for pointing this out!) and Julius moved on and married Pompeia.

In the year 68 B.C., Julius was elected  Quaestor of Farther Spain. His career took off and in 65 B.C. he was elected as one of the  Curule Aediles, and in 63 B.C. he was elected  Pontifex Maximus.

Julius was on the roll and in 62 B.C. he was elected  Praetor. In the same year he divorced Pompeia. Good things kept coming Julius's way and in the year 61 B.C. he was made Governor of Farther Spain and formed with  Pompey and  Crassus the  First Triumvirate.

Up the career ladder, Julius was made consul in the year 59 B.C. Also in the year 59 B.C. he married Calpurnia.

 

CONQUEST OF GAUL 58 - 50 B.C. - THE GALLIC WARS

In 58 BC Julius Caesar begun his conquest of Gaul.

In 58 BC, he defeated the Helvetii in the Battle of Bibracte.

In 57 BC, the Nervii were defeated at the Battle of the Sambre. Here you can read  Caesar's own account of the year 57 BC.

In 56 BC, Julius Caesar destroyed the huge fleet of the Veneti in  Quiberon Bay.


Gaul
1st Century BC Gaul


Map of Caesar's Campaign Against the Helvetii 58 BC
Map of Caesar's Campaign Against the Helvetii 58 BC


Caesar in Gaul - MAP - 57 BC
September 58 BC - Battle at Mulhouse

Map 57 BC Caesar's Campaign Against the Belgae
57 BC Caesar's Campaign Against the Belgae

57 BC / 56 BC Caesar's Campaign Against the Belgae
57 BC / 56 BC Caesar's Campaign Against the Belgae


Battle of the Sambre 57 BC - MAP
Map of the Battle of the Sambre 57 BC




RAIDS ON BRITAIN   ... and the Gallic Wars continue

In 55 B.C. Julius Caesar led raids on Germany and Britain. In 54 B.C. followed his second raid on Britain on which occasion the Catuvellauni were defeated.

Roman Britain 410
CAESAR'S ROUTES IN BRITAIN
Click map to enlarge


Here is more on
Roman Britain

 

In 52 B.C. Rome encountered the Gallic crisis, a Gallic revolt led by  Vercingetorix. The Romans lost the Battle of Gergovia, but Julius Caesar had again everything under control later that year after the Siege of Alesia.


54 BC Outbreak of the Gallic Revolt
54 BC Outbreak of the Gallic Revolt

Gallic Revolt 53-52 BC
53-52 BC Gallic Revolt

52 BC Siege of Gergovia - Part One
52 BC Siege of Gergovia - Part One

52 BC Siege of Gergovia - Part Two
52 BC Siege of Gergovia - Part Two

52 BC Siege of Gergovia - Part Three
52 BC Siege of Gergovia - Part Three

52 BC Siege of Gergovia - Part Four
52 BC Siege of Gergovia - Part Four

Map of Gaul in 52 BC: From Gergovia to Alesia
52 BC Gaul: From Gergovia to Alesia

Siege of Alesia 52 BC - MAP
52 BC Siege of Alesia


 

ROMAN CIVIL WAR 49 - 45 B.C

The civil war between Caesar and the Pompeian party.


Roman Civil War - MAP - 49-45 BC
Map of the Roman Civil War 49-45 BC


Julius Caesar was a member of the
 First Triumvirate. However, this political agreement failed him and so did his net of supporters in Rome. In December 50 BC, Senate demanded that Caesar should lay down his command.

Caesar had other plans.

By Roman law a general and his army was not allowed to cross the borders out of his assigned province into the Roman Republic. Julius Caesar was ready to revise this custom, and on January 10, 49 BC, he crossed the tiny river Rubicon with his troops, heading for Rome.

Map Location of the Rubicon River
Map Location of the Rubicon River
Click map to enlarge

 

As expected, Rome saw this as an act of aggression and the Roman Civil War begun.

Caesar drove Pompeius (Pompey) out of Italy, conquered his enemy's forces in Spain by means of his Campaign of Ilerda, and then passed into Greece, where Pompeius and the other aristocratic chiefs had assembled a large army.

48 BC Roman Civil War: Opening Moves
Roman Civil War: Opening Moves 48 BC


Roman Civil War: Antony's Arrival 48 BC
48 BC - March 27- April 3 - Roman Civil War: Antony's Arrival


Roman Civil War: Scipio's Arrival 48 BC
Roman Civil War: Scipio's Arrival 48 BC


Roman Civil War: Movements During April 48 BC
Roman Civil War: Movements During April 48 BC


Roman Civil War: Operations Around Durazzo - July 6, 48 BC
Roman Civil War: Operations Around Durazzo - July 6, 48 BC


Roman Civil War: Battle of Dyrrachium - July 9, 48 BC
Roman Civil War: Battle of Dyrrachium - July 9, 48 BC

 

On August 9, 48 BC, Caesar gave them a decisive defeat at the great Battle of Pharsalia, also called Battle of Pharsalus.


Map of the Moves to Pharsalus - 48 BC
48 BC Roman Civil War: Moves to Pharsalus


Map of the Battle of Pharsalus 48 BC
48 BC Battle of Pharsalus


Roman Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus August 9, 48 BC - Caesar Creates a Fourth Line
Roman Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus August 9, 48 BC - Caesar Creates a Fourth Line


Roman Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus August 9, 48 BC - Initial Advances
Roman Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus August 9, 48 BC - Initial Advances


Roman Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus August 9, 48 BC - Pompey's Cavalry Breaks Through
Roman Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus August 9, 48 BC - Pompey's Cavalry Breaks Through


Roman Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus August 9, 48 BC - Caesar's Counter-Attack
Roman Civil War: Battle of Pharsalus August 9, 48 BC - Caesar's Counter-Attack


Pompeius fled for refuge to Alexandria, where he was assassinated. Caesar, who had followed him, got involved in a war with the Egyptians, in which he was finally victorious.

The celebrated  Cleopatra was made Queen of Egypt and in the year 48 B.C. while in Alexandria, Egypt, Julius Caesar and Cleopatra became real good friends.

In 47 BC, Caesar marched into Pontus, and defeated the son of  Mithridates, Pharnaces II, who had taken part in the war against him at the Battle of Zela.

He then went back to Rome and afterwards proceeded to the Roman province of Africa, where some of the Pompeian chiefs had established themselves, aided by Juba, a native prince.

In 46 BC, Caesar overthrew them at the  Battle of Thapsus and went back home to Rome. He was again obliged to lead an army into Spain, where the sons of Pompeius had collected the wrecks of their father's party.

On March 17, 45 BC, Caesar crushed the last of his enemies at the Battle of Munda, which ended the Civil War.

Julius won the Roman Civil War and became ruler of the Roman Republic in the fashion of dictator.

 

Julius Caesar's Assassination, Death & Legacy

A conspiracy among several aristocrats resulted in the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar. He was stabbed to death on the Ides of March (March 15) 44 B.C. in the Senate House.

 What in the world are the ides?


Some of the conspirators were his closest friends, for instance Brutus.

 Check out Assassinations in History.


After Julius's assassination, his nephew and adopted son
 Augustus Caesar (Gaius Octavius) became the first Roman Emperor. Not until after Augustus's death succeeding Roman rulers named themselves Caesar and used it as a title.

Cæsar was used as a title of emperors down to Hadrian, who died in 138 A.D.

After Julius' death, the Civil wars are soon renewed, Brutus and Cassius being at the head of the aristocratic party, and the party of Caesar being led by  Mark Antony and Octavianus Caesar, afterwards Augustus.

Then in 42 BC - the defeat and death of Brutus and Cassius at Philippi. Dissensions soon break out between Octavianus Caesar and Antony.

 

Julius Caesar's Children

Julius had a daughter named Julia by Cornelia. He also had a son named Caesarion (the later Ptolemy XV) by  Cleopatra VII.

 

Rome's Expansion

Here is the map:

Rome's Expansion 264 BC - 180 AD
MAP BEFORE AND AFTER GAIUS JULIUS CAESAR
Click to enlarge


 

Julius Caesar and the Calendar

In Julius's honor, the Roman calendar month Quintilis was renamed July, as it was the month of his birth. Was this done during his lifetime or after his death? Historians can't agree.

Julius also made calendar reforms. We are still using the Julian calendar today but  Pope Gregory XIII made some amendments in the year 1582 A.D. Thus, we are calling it the  Gregorian calendar.


 

Caesar Salad
 

Julius was not responsible for our Caesar Salad.

Allegedly, the salad was invented by a Mexican Restaurant owner. Here is a  good looking Caesar salad recipe.



Julius Caesar's Writings

 You can read Julius's writings online for free in Latin and English (De bello Gallico also in French)

Caesar wrote De bello Gallico and De bello civili.

The Bellum Alexandrinium, on the wars of 47 BC, De bello Africo, and De bello Hispaniensi are all anonymous but contemporary with Caesar and usually included with his works.

 

Julius Caesar Quoted

“Veni, vidi, vici” ("I came, I saw, I conquered") is Julius's description of the short Battle of Zela, which he fought against a local king in Anatolia in 47 B.C.

"Et tu, Brute?" ("You too, Brutus?") were Caesar's famous last words when he realized that his close companion was involved in the plot to assassinate him.
Please note - this is a legendary quote, which means Caesar probably didn't actually say these exact words. But Shakespeare decided he did. See Act 3, Scene I, of Julius Caesar. Thanks John for your request to clarify this!

 

Julius Caesar and Shakespeare

In AD 1599,  Shakespeare wrote a tragedy in five acts, named Julius Caesar, which you can read online for free on this site.

 

Julius Caesar and the Opera

In 1724, German born composer  Georg Friedrich Händel presented his opera Julius Caesar in Egypt.

 

Julius Caesar's timeline.

 



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