Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

Gaius Julius Caesar (, July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.

In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus and Pompey formed a political alliance that was to dominate Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power through populist tactics were opposed by the conservative elite within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar's conquest of Gaul, completed by 51 BC, extended Rome's territory to the English Channel and the Rhine. Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both when he built a bridge across the Rhine and conducted the first invasion of Britain.

These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to lay down his military command and return to Rome. Caesar refused, and marked his defiance in 49 BC by crossing the Rubicon with a legion to march on Rome. Civil war resulted, from which he emerged as the unrivaled leader of Rome.

After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He centralised the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed "dictator in perpetuity". But the underlying political conflicts had not been resolved, and on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus. A new series of civil wars broke out, and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power, and the era of the Roman Empire began.

Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns, and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The later biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are also major sources.

Read more about Julius Caesar:  Early Life and Career, Consulship and Military Campaigns, Dictatorship and Assassination, Literary Works, Legend and Legacy, Chronology of His Life, Depictions

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Famous quotes by julius caesar:

    Men’s minds tend to fear more keenly those things that are absent.
    Julius Caesar [Gaius Julius Caesar] (100–44 B.C.)

    I believe that the members of my family must be as free from suspicion as from actual crime.
    Julius Caesar [Gaius Julius Caesar] (100–44 B.C.)

    Fortune, which has a great deal of power in other matters but especially in war, can bring about great changes in a situation through very slight forces.
    Julius Caesar [Gaius Julius Caesar] (100–44 B.C.)

    As a result of a general defect of nature, we are either more confident or more fearful of unusual and unknown things.
    Julius Caesar [Gaius Julius Caesar] (100–44 B.C.)

    It does not disturb me that those whom I pardon are said to have deserted me so that
    they might again bring war against me. I prefer nothing more than that I should be true to
    myself and they to themselves.
    Julius Caesar [Gaius Julius Caesar] (100–44 B.C.)