Roman Dictator - Julius Caesar
Caesar was the cognomen (an ancient Roman's personal name or epithet, as in Marcus Tullius CICERO, Publius Cornelius Scipio AFRICANUS) of the Roman dictator Gaius Julius CAESAR. Such was his influence and reputation that thereafter it was used as a title for Roman emperors from Augustus to Hadrian. Centuries later the names Czar and Kaiser of Russia and Germany were derivatives of the name Caesar.
Conn Iggulden has crafted a sensational story weaved through a framework of fact in describing Caesar's career in Spain, his election to Consul, the expansion into Gaul and the invasion of Briton. Fantastic reading that had me fully immersed in the first century BC. If you enjoyed the HBO series Rome, and enjoy a good read, you will love this novel.
Roman General, Statesman and Patrician
Born an aristocrat, Caesar began his rise to power in 78 BC. The Roman leader is regarded as one of history's greatest military commanders.
His career got off to a strong start when he became quaestor in Spain in 68.
Caesar allied himself with the popular party, and when elected to the office of aedile 65, he nearly ruined himself with lavish amusements for the Roman populace. Although a free thinker, he was elected chief pontiff in 63 BC and appointed governor of Spain in 61 BC.
Returning to Rome in 60 BC he formed an alliance with Pompey, the commander-in-chief of the army, and Crassus, the richest man in Rome, as the First Triumvirate. Which was a joint dictatorship.
In 58 BC, Caesar was appointed military commander in Gaul, where his victories in the Gallic Wars (58 - 49 BC) established his military reputation.
As governor of Gaul, he was engaged in its subjugation 58-50, defeating the Germans under Ariovistus and selling thousands of the Belgic tribes into slavery.
In 55 he crossed into Britain, returning for a further campaigning visit 54. A revolt by the Gauls under Vercingetorix 52 was crushed in 51.
His governorship of Gaul ended in 49 and after the death of Crassus, Pompey became his rival.
Caesar's success alarmed both Pompey and the Roman Senate; in 49 BC, the Senate called on him to disband his army or be declared an enemy of the people.
In defiance Caesar and declaring "the die is cast", then led his army across the Rubicon and advanced into Italy to meet the army raised against him by Pompey. Pompey fled and Caesar pursued him to Greece - defeating him at Pharsalus in 48 BC - and then to Egypt, where Pompey was assassinated, thus becoming dictator. Caesar preserved power by cultivating the support of the plebians and the army, and by initiating a great programme of public works.
After successful campaigns in Egypt, Syria and Africa, Caesar returned to Rome in triumph.
In 46 BC he was awarded a ten-year dictatorship, and with his final victory over the sons of Pompey at Munda in Spain in 45 he was awarded dictatorship for life in 44 BC. His pretensions aroused resentment among many politicians, and in the same year he was assassinated on the Ides of March (15 March) by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Brutus and Cassius Longinus. Stabbed to death by conspirators at the foot of Pompey's statue in the Senate house.
- Caesar reformed the Roman calendar.
- Improved the empire's administration
- Instituted Roman citizenship for communities outside Italy.
- Wrote detailed accounts of the civil war and his Gallic campaigns.
- Reduced debt and changed taxes.
- Built the Forum Iulium
- He met the common peoples needs which strengthened his control of the state.
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