Social Studies for 9th EGB
Teacher: Mauricio Torres
• To summarize the life of Julius Caesar, we can state
that he was a:
– Roman general, statesman, Consul and notable author of
• 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".
• Caesar was born into a patrician family in July 100
– 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
– He was known for his oratory skills and his ruthless
persecution of corrupt officials.
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
Julius Caesar, page 40, Philip Freeman, Simon and Schuster, 2008
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
• He was named governor of Hispania
(modern day Spain) and later returned
to Rome to become a Consul.
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
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
*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.
• “If you must break the law, do it to seize
power: in all other cases observe it.”
• In Egypt, he was involved in another civil war. He
sided with Cleopatra and helped her achieve
• 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
• 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
• Back in Rome, he was elected Dictator for ten years
and consul for two more terms.
After the Civil War
• The Senate quickly gave Caesar many honors and
titles, specially because he had chosen to pardon
– By now, he had chosen a successor: his grandnephew
• Caesar was worried because now a chaotic
– 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
• 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
Aftermath of the Assassination
Caesar in History:
• The precipitated collapse of the
• His name became a synonym of
• The middle and lower class in Rome
wanted the murderers to pay for
• He was one of the most brilliant
• Mark Anthony tried to grab power
• 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.