Julius Caesar, in full Gaius Julius Caesar, (born July 1213, 100 BCE, Rome [Italy]—died March 15, 44 BCE, Rome), conqueror of Gaul (58–50 BCE), victor in the civil war of 49–45 BCE, and dictator (46–44 BCE), who was about to launch a series of political and social reforms when he was assassinated by a group of nobles in the Senate House. Most of us will fade without a trace in the cloak of history, and most people who appear in history do so because another person decides to record their achievements for posterity. He was widely regarded as one of history's great men and naturally took care of his personal image. Caesar was a member of the highly patrician Julii family, whose roots dated back to the city's founding. Nonetheless, the Caesar family was an impoverished line of the noble founding clans when he began. In previous generations, no Caesar has held the position of Consul. They were still highly respected but had little political power. His father, Gaius Julius, had also served in the Senate in a respected role but would be remembered mostly for his son's reputation. His mother, Aurelia of the Aurelii Cotta line, appears to have been both a wonderful woman and a significant impact on her son's life.
In his early life, the relationship he made with Marius was a huge influence on the future of Julius Caesar. Their careers have striking parallels, indicating that the uncle had a significant impact on the nephew. More importantly, Caesar benefited greatly from his aristocratic upbringing, which provided him significant advantages over Marius. He was also able to see both triumphs and mistakes and adapt his own future plans accordingly. Prior to Caesar's birth, Marius was the pre-eminent Roman, holding six Consulships, winning the battle against Jugurtha, rebuilding the legions and social order, and protecting Rome from the Germanic Cimbri and Teutone danger. By the time Caesar was a young man, Marius had fallen out of favor, but he was still a notable player. As Caesar launched his own career, he was drawn into the upcoming disputes between Marius and his adversary Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Caesar's development in light of the day's turbulence is significant enough; the fact that he ever lived maybe even more astounding. The political situation in Rome was tumultuous as Julius Caesar approached his teenage years. The enmity between Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla had erupted into a full civil war by 88 BC. Sulla's following march on Rome was inspired by Marius' followers' attempts to overthrow Sulla's order against Mithridates VI of Pontus. Sulla took over the city by force, and many of Marius' allies were slaughtered. Caesar, despite his kinship to Marius, was still a youngster and was therefore exempt from any potential risk for the time being. These occurrences, together with the history of Rome in Caesar's time, must have influenced the young man's growth. From the time of his infancy until his early formative years, all Rome appeared to know was political turmoil, bloodshed, and the unknown. From the social upheaval caused by the Gracchi 30 years before his birth to the profound engagement of his own family in various crises, Caesar's perspective on Roman politics would undoubtedly have a lasting influence. Marius died not long after being elected to his record Consulship. While the young Caesar's personal connection with Marius is mostly unclear, there is no doubt about his bond with his aunt Julia, Marius' wife. As demonstrated by her subsequent funeral oration, she was a powerful presence in his life, and it comes to assume that the uncle was as well. Regardless, he was undoubtedly influenced by the surviving Consul Cinna. He controlled Rome with an iron fist following Marius' death and in the absence of Sulla for the next few years.
In 59 BC, Caesar and Bibulus were elected consuls in a sham election for the post of Roman Emperor. Caesar sought assistance from Cicero and formed an alliance with the rich Lucceius, but the establishment-backed Bibulus. Even Cato, who had a reputation for incorruptibility, is alleged to have bribed Bibulus, who had been aedile with Caesar some years ago. Caesar was already in debt to Crassus, but he made overtures to Pompey, who was fighting the Senate for approval of his eastern towns and farmland for his soldiers. Since they were consuls together in 70 BC, the two men had been at odds, and Caesar knew that if he sided with one, he might lose the support of another. They possessed enough money and political clout between them to govern public affairs. The marriage of Pompey to Caesar's daughter Julia solidified the informal coalition known as the First Triumvirate (rule of three men). Caesar again remarried, this time to Calpurnia, daughter of Lucius Calpountius Piso Caesoninus, who was elected consul the following year. Caesar presented a measure to redistribute public lands to the poor, which was backed by Pompey, using force if necessary, and Crassus, making the triumvirate public. Bibulus sought to pronounce the omens unfavorable, thereby nullifying the new legislation but was chased out of the forum by Caesar's armed allies. His lictors' feces were shattered, two tribunes following him were injured, and Bibulus himself was thrown a bowl of excrement. Fearing for his survival, he retreated to his home for the remainder of the year, delivering infrequent declarations of bad luck. These efforts to oppose Caesar's laws were futile. The year was forever referred to as 'the consulship of Julius and Caesar' by Roman satirists.
Julius Caesar, the Roman commander, conducted the Gallic Wars against the peoples of Gaul between 58 BC and 50 BC and in present-day France, and Belgium, along with parts of Germany and the United Kingdom. Gallic, Germanic, and British tribes struggled to protect their territory from an offensive Roman onslaught. The Wars ended in the pivotal Battle of Alesia in 52 BC when a total Roman victory resulted in the Roman Republic's conquest throughout all of Gaul. Though the Gallic force was as formidable as the Romans', internal differences among the Gallic tribes aided Caesar's victory. The effort by Gallic ruler Vercingetorix to unify the Gauls under a single flag took too long. Caesar characterized the attack as a protective and preventive strike, but historians believe that he fought the Wars largely to further his career in politics and pay his debts. Conquering Gaul gave Rome control of the Rhine's natural boundary. The Wars began in 58 BC with strife over the Helvetii's movement, which drew in surrounding tribes and the Germanic Suebi. Caesar had intended to conquer all of Gaul by 57 BC. He commanded wars in the east, where he was nearly beaten by the Nervii. Caesar beat the Veneti in a sea battle in 56 BC and secured control of much of northwest Gaul. Caesar attempted to improve his public persona in 55 BC. When Caesar returned from Britain, Rome celebrated him as a hero, despite the fact that he had accomplished little more than arriving because his force was too little. He returned the following year with a real army and captured most of Britain. Tribes popped up on the continent, and the Romans were humiliated. A draconian expedition was launched against the Gauls in an attempt to pacify them in 53 BC. This failed, and in 52 BC, the Gauls organized a great insurrection commanded by Vercingetorix. The Gallic alliance gained a significant victory at the Battle of Gergovia, but the Romans' unbreakable siege walls at the Battle of Alesia shattered the Gallic coalition. There was minimal opposition in 51 BC and 50 BC, and Caesar's men were simply sweeping up. Gaul was conquered, although it did not become a Roman province until 27 BC, and resistance lasted until 70 AD. There is no definitive end date for the conflict, however, Caesar's army withdrew in 50 BC due to the impending Roman Civil War. Caesar's spectacular victories in the war made him rich and gave him legendary status. The Gallic Wars aided Caesar's ability to win the Civil War and declare himself dictator, resulting in the end of the Roman Republic and the formation of the Roman Empire.
The Senate, commanded by Pompey, ordered Caesar to dissolve his force and come to Rome in 50 BC when his tenure as Proconsul had expired. Furthermore, the Senate barred Caesar from running for a second consulship in absentia. Caesar feared that if he reached Rome alone without the protection of a Consul or the force of his troops, he would be punished and politically marginalized. Pompey accused Caesar of disobedience and treason. On January 10, 49 BC, Caesar crossed the Rubicon River (the Italian border) with only one army, igniting a civil war. Plutarch claims that after passing the Rubicon, Caesar paraphrased the Athenian playwright Menander in Greek, saying anerrhiphth? kudos (let the dice be tossed). The Optimates retreated to the south, having little faith in the freshly recruited armies, especially after many places in northern Italy had freely yielded. A consular legion's fight at Samarium resulted in the consul being given up by the defenders and the legion withdrawing without much combat. Despite vastly outmatching Caesar, who was only carrying his Thirteenth Legion, Pompey had no intention of fighting. Caesar chased Pompey to Brindisium in the hopes of capturing him before the imprisoned Senate and legions could flee. Pompey eluded Caesar by sailing out of the harbor before Caesar could smash through the barriers. Caesar opted to embark for Hispania, despite the fact that Pompey had already combed the coastlines of all ships for evacuation of his soldiers. Leaving Marcus Aemilius Lepidus as prefect of Rome and the remainder of Italy under the tribuneship of Mark Antony, Caesar conducted an incredible 27-day long march to Hispania, reuniting two of his Gallic legions and defeating Pompey's commanders. He subsequently headed east to confront Pompey in Greece, where on 10 July 48 BC, at Dyrrhachium, Caesar narrowly averted a disastrous disaster when the fortress line was breached. Despite Pompey's number advantage, he easily beat him at Pharsalus in a very brief encounter in 48 BC. He pursued Pompey to Alexandria, where he was slain by a former Roman soldier stationed in King Ptolemy XIII's court.
On the Ides of March 44 BC, Julius Caesar was killed by a group of senators at a Senate hearing at the Curia of Pompey of the Theatre of Pompey in Rome, when the senators stabbed Caesar 23 times. At least 60 senators were involved in the plot, which was directed by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. They said they were acting out of concern that Caesar's enormous consolidation of power during his dictatorship would undermine the Roman Republic. Despite Caesar's murder, the conspirators were unable to restore the Republic's institutions. The aftermath of the killing resulted in the Liberators' civil war and, eventually, the Roman Empire's Principate period.