Julius Caesar

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Julius Caesar

  1. 1. Julius Caesar Social Studies for 9th EGB Teacher: Mauricio Torres
  2. 2. Background • To summarize the life of Julius Caesar, we can state that he was a: – Roman general, statesman, Consul and notable author of Latin prose. • But he is mostly remembered because he played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. • His highlights during his rule could be that: – Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed "dictator in perpetuity".
  3. 3. Early life • Caesar was born into a patrician family in July 100 BC. – His father had been a governor of a province and his aunt married Gaius Marius. • When his father died he became head of the family during the time when his uncle was fighting a civil war against Sulla. – His life was spared by Sulla after the defeat of Marius. • He joined the army and also became a lawyer later on. – He was known for his oratory skills and his ruthless persecution of corrupt officials.
  4. 4. Youthful and vicious enforcer • Here is a small anecdote from his youth: “On the way across the Aegean Sea, Caesar was kidnapped by pirates and held prisoner. He maintained an attitude of superiority throughout his captivity. When the pirates thought to demand a ransom of twenty talents of silver, he insisted they ask for fifty. After the ransom was paid, Caesar raised a fleet, pursued and captured the pirates, and imprisoned them. He had them crucified on his own authority, as he had promised while in captivity—a promise the pirates had taken as a joke.” Julius Caesar, page 40, Philip Freeman, Simon and Schuster, 2008
  5. 5. Early political Career • As Caesar became an adult, he rose through many political ranks with apparent ease. But he was in heavy debt, which forced him to turn to Crassus, the richest man in Rome. – In exchange, Caesar was to support him against Pompeii. • He was named governor of Hispania (modern day Spain) and later returned to Rome to become a Consul.
  6. 6. Consulship • In 60 BC, Caesar sought election as consul for 59 BC, along with two other candidates. The election was a bitter battle between factions– even Cato, with his reputation for incorruptibility, is said to have resorted to bribery in favor of one of Caesar's opponents. But in the end, Caesar won! • To strengthen his position, he reconciled Crassus and Pompeii. He formed an informal alliance called the “Triumvirate” (rule of three men). – This was cemented by marriages between them and their relatives. • Soon, Caesar passed some laws favored and supported by Pompeii (with his soldiers) and Crassus. A rift between him and his co-consul, Bibulus, was opened and he intimidated him into hiding. – After this, it was satirically called the consulship of “Julius and Caesar”.
  7. 7. Governor • When his consulship was over, his was named Governor of the Roman provinces in Gaul. – He used this to enrich himself. • He used his position to conquer the lands outside his province and invade both British and Germanic territory as shows of force. – He was able to finally defeat the Gauls, led by Vercingetorix. The Romans could have subjugated 300 tribes and destroyed 800 cities. He now had more power and glory than anyone else! • During this time, Crassus was killed by the Parthians. Pompeii was named sole consul and he married the daughter of one of Caesar’s opponents. • The Triumvirate ceased to exist.
  8. 8. Civil War: The die is cast! • The senate, led by Pompeii ordered Caesar to disband his army and return to Rome. When he refused, Pompeii accused him of treason. – Then, JC, crossed the Rubicon, Pompeii fled with some senators and the chase was on. – Caesar ruled over Rome as a dictator*, but he chased Pompeii into Hispania, leaving behind Mark Anthony as his second in command. *He was a dictator until he was elected a consul (he then resigned). • He almost lost the war in a battle in Greece, but in the next one, he decisively defeated Pompeii and his allies. Pompeii left for Egypt and he was murdered. – Curios enough, Caesar had all the assassins killed.
  9. 9. • “If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it.” Julius Caesar
  10. 10. Cleopatra • In Egypt, he was involved in another civil war. He sided with Cleopatra and helped her achieve victory. • Soon after, he became romantically involved with her. To the Romans, this was OK, because even though he was already married in Rome to Calpurnia, since Cleopatra was not Roman, it didn’t count! • From here he chased the last supporters of Pompeii, including his son and Cato, who chose to commit suicide, rather than give Julius Caesar the “honor” of pardoning him. • Back in Rome, he was elected Dictator for ten years and consul for two more terms.
  11. 11. After the Civil War • The Senate quickly gave Caesar many honors and titles, specially because he had chosen to pardon his enemies. – By now, he had chosen a successor: his grandnephew Octavian. • Caesar was worried because now a chaotic Republic: – Imperialism broke it down – Central government was powerless – Provinces were almost independent kingdoms – The army was now a political tool – Corruption was out of control
  12. 12. Murder of Caesar The Ides of March
  13. 13. Assassination • A month before he was murdered, he was appointed dictator for life. He also had tribunal powers (such as the power to veto senatorial laws). – He had amassed many powers unto himself. • During the Ides of March, Caesar was going to appear at the Senate. – Mark Anthony found out too late about the plot and was unable to reach the Senate in time to save him. • A senator, Casca, launched the first assault. Caesar grabbed him, and in no time as many as 60 senators were stabbing him (23 times), including his close friend Brutus.
  14. 14. Aftermath of the Assassination Immediate Effects Caesar in History: • The precipitated collapse of the Republic. • His name became a synonym of power. • The middle and lower class in Rome wanted the murderers to pay for their crime. • He was one of the most brilliant generals ever. • Mark Anthony tried to grab power for himself. • A shrewd politician who stopped at nothing to achieve his goals. • Octavian rose as his successor (becoming the first emperor). • Once in power, he looked for the best interests of his people. • They, along with Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate.

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