Julius Caesar

Topics: Julius Caesar, Roman Republic, Gallic Wars Pages: 9 (3295 words) Published: May 19, 2011
Dave Jones

Julius Caesar
Throughout the course of history there have been many great men who are known by many in the books that people read today. Julius Caesar is one man still regarded by historians as the greatest of all time. This paper will be focusing on the life of Julius Caesar and his key accomplishments.

Julius Caesar was born on July 13 100 BC in Rome, Italy. He was the son of Aurelia and Caius Julius Caesar (Goldsworthy 30). During the time Julius was born, elite families would engrave the message that they were the descendants of the elite and that they would one day be amongst the highest ranks in society. While growing up, Julius Caesar was often surrounded by people who had already established themselves in Roman society. Boys of prominent families, as early as the age of seven would often attend business meetings, greet senators and listen to debates with their father (38). Julius was also the nephew of a highly respected man by the name of Gaius Marius. Marius Gaius gained political power in Rome by the way of being a prominent general in the Roman army and consul of Rome (99). This relationship would serve as a great benefit to Julius later in his life. With this form of upbringing, and his close connection to men with high regard, it can be understood why Julius grew up to be one of the greatest humans known even today.

At sixteen, Julius took lead over his family after the death of his father (48). That same year he also married his first wife, Cornelia. Cornelia was the daughter of Cinna, the most powerful consul in Rome from 87bc - 84bc (49). Two years later, when Julius was eighteen, Sulla, a dictator and then leader of a Roman army, ordered Julius to divorce his wife. When Caesar refused, he was forced to leave Rome and hide. He would not return to Rome until the dictator died in 78BC (57).

Caesar would get his first real experience in the political world at the age of nineteen while he served under the first governor of Asia, Marcus Minucius Thermus (Lendering 3). Ironically, his family name was already respected in Asia because his father was the governor of the same territory a decade earlier. Caesar admired Thermus; he paid close attention to how Thermus led his subordinates. Through observation Caesar gained integral leadership skills (Goldsworthy 65). While in Asia, he would earn the Corona Civica, a crown he was awarded as result of the bravery he exhibited during warfare when the city of Mytilene was taken over by the army he led (Lendering 3).

In 78 BC, Julius Caesar was captured by pirates while traveling to Rhodes to study under Apollonius (Plutarch 1 ). Even though he had been captured by pirates, he was still treated with respect and even wrote poems for the pirates. Caesar was held at ransom for thirty-eight days until 50 talents could be raised for his release (Goldsworthy 75). When finally released, Caesar immediately attacked the pirates; after getting his revenge, he eventually reached Rhodes to study with Apollonius Mollo. In 75 BC Caesar went back to Rome where he would be an advocate in the Roman courts. This would be the official start to Julius Caesar’s political career. Julius Caesar put his authority to use immediately by prosecuting Cnaeus Cornelius Dolabella for extortion. During Dolabella’s term as consul, it is believed that he enriched himself by abusing his powers, and using his position to get whatever he wanted. The severity of Dolabella’s corruption was disconcerting because he was presumed a strong advocate of Sulla when he was ruling Rome (Goldsworthy 71).

In 72BC, Caesar was elected one of only twenty-four military tribunes in Rome. His first task of being a military tribune was to join forces with Crassus to defeat Spartacus, a former slave who rebelled against the Roman Government and had won a handful of battles against the Roman army (Goldsworthy 79). Together, Crassus and Caesar, successfully defeated Spartacus in...
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