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Gaius Julius Caesar

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Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) was an ancient Roman politician, statesman, and military figure.

Today it is generally accepted, based on the majority of ancient authors (Suetonius, Appian, Plutarch, Velleius Paterculus), that Caesar was born in 100 BC, but the German historian Theodor Mommsen believes that this was 102 BC, since Caesar took all his magistracies on average two years earlier; and the French historian Jerome Carcopino points to 101 BC. They also argue about the date of his birth-July 12 or 13.

The noble family of the Julii, according to legend, was descended from the goddess Venus and the Trojan prince Aeneas, who escaped from the lost Troy and settled in Italy on the site of present-day Rome. Among Caesar's ancestors, there was one dictator, one master of cavalry, and one member of the College of Decemvirs, who participated in the drafting of the Laws of the 12 Tables. History of the cognomen “Caesar” is not known for certain, as it was already forgotten in the Roman era. But there is an assumption that this cognomen originated from the Etruscan language, where it meant aisar-god; the Roman names Caesius, Caesonius and Caesennius have a similar origin.

At the beginning of the first century BC, there were two related branches of the Julii Caesarei in Rome, but over time they diverged in political views. Some supported Sulla, while others, Caesar's closest relatives, were supporters Gaius Marius, since Gaius Marius ' wife was Julia, aunt of Gaius Julius Caesar.

On Caesar's mother's side, his relatives belonged to the Roman nobility. Julius Caesar's mother, Aurelia Cotta, was from a noble and well-to-do Aurelian family. My paternal grandmother was descended from the ancient Roman family of the Marcians. Ancus Marcius was the fourth king of Ancient Rome from 640 to 616 BC.

Caesar grew up in the poor Roman district of Subura. His parents took care to give him a decent education: he studied Greek, poetry and public speaking, learned to swim, ride a horse, and did physical exercises. An interesting coincidence: the young Caesar was taught rhetoric by the same teacher who taught Cicero. In 85 BC, Caesar's father died, and after the rite of initiation (initiation into adulthood), he had to lead the entire family of Julius, since there were no older men in the family.

Portrait of Julius Caesar. Fine-grained marble. Rome, Roman National Museum, Palazzo Altemps

Political career

In the 80's BC, Caesar, with the help of Lucius Cornelius Cinna, whose daughter, Cornelia, was married and had a daughter Julia, became a flamin (priest) of Jupiter. In fact, with the help of this marriage, which took place according to the ancient rite of confarreation (a solemn ritual that was carried out mainly in patrician families), Caesar became a flamin: the rite was a prerequisite for a candidate for this position.

Shortly after the civil war between the Sulans and the Marianas, the victor came to power Lucius Cornellius Sulla, and in 82 BC and Rome began proscriptions (executions). Caesar as a relative Gaius Marius and Cinna's son-in-law were included in the disgraced lists, but later, with the help of other relatives, he was deleted from them. There is a legend that when Sulla saw Caesar and pardoned him, he said the following words:”You do not know what the future holds for him and what he will become, but I see and therefore I love him."

After that, Caesar, becoming one of the conturbenals - the children of senators and young horsemen who were trained in military affairs and provincial government under the supervision of the acting magistrate-left for the province of Asia Minor, of which Marcus Minucius Thermus was governor. There, Caesar gained military experience in storming the city of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos, which resisted Roman rule. He was also commissioned by Thermus to persuade the King of Bithynia, Nicomedes IV, to transfer part of his fleet to help the Romans in the war with the Mytilenians. Because of the success of this mission, a rumor began to circulate, started by Caesar's enemies, about his sexual relations with King Nicomedes (see Etienne R. Caesar. The Young Guard. 2003, pp. 86-93. Suetonius. Divine Julius, 49).

After Asia, Caesar briefly fought pirates in Cilicia, and when he learned of Sulla's death in 78 BC, he quickly returned to Rome. Here, in 77-76 BC, he became a lawyer, acting as a prosecutor in the trials of former Sulanians, but did not achieve much success and for some time left for Rhodes to improve his oratory with the famous orator-rhetorician Apollonius Molon, who lived there. Molon was also the mentor of another famous Roman politician and orator of the late first century BC, Marcus Tullius Cicero.

When Caesar was traveling to Rhodes, he was captured by Cilician pirates. Suetonius writes about this: "To the pirates with whom he was a prisoner, he swore that they would die on the cross, but when he captured them, he ordered them to be stabbed first and then crucified.". (Suetonius. The Divine Julius. 74). After escaping from pirate captivity and executing the pirates, Caesar returned to Rome again around 74 BC.

In 73 BC, the King was included in the priestly College of pontiffs in place of his deceased uncle Gaius Aurelius Cotta . It is not known exactly when this happened: in 73, 72 or 71 BC. Caesar was elected military tribune (see Gelzer M. Caesar: Politician and Statesman. - Harvard University Press, 1968. - P. 335 and Ross Taylor L . Ceasar’s Early Career //Classical Philology. 1941, Vol. 36, No. 2-P. 120). Sources say little about his military tribunate, but there is a version that he could have taken part in the suppression of the Sparta uprising, at the same time getting acquainted with Marcus Licinius Crassus, with whom he later formed the 1st triumvirate (see fig. Ross Taylor L . Ceasar’s Early Career //Classical Philology. 1941, Vol. 36, No. 2-P. 121).

At the beginning of 69 BC, two tragedies occur in Caesar's life: the death of his wife and child in childbirth and the death of his aunt Julia, the wife of Gaius Marius. In the same year, Caesar became a Quaestor (a Roman official in charge of finances), which guaranteed him entry into the The Senate. He performed his questura in the province of Far Spain. During the questura, he met Lucius Cornelius Balba, who would later become his confidant and friend. On his return from the province in 67 BC, Caesar married Pompeia, Sulla's granddaughter. At the same time, he began to support the interests of Gnaeus Pompey the Great, advocating first for the election of Pompey as head of the campaign against pirates, and then as the new commander-in-chief in the 3rd Mithridatic War.

Moving up the career ladder, Guy in 66 BC. e. became the caretaker of the Appian Way, which he repaired at his own expense (according to A. Goldsworthy, with the financial assistance of Marcus Crassus-A. Goldsworthy. Julius Caesar: commander, Emperor, legend. M. Eksmo. 2007, p. 135), and then in 65 BC he became curial aedile, whose duties included organizing urban construction, transport, trade, daily life in Rome and ceremonial events (usually at the expense of the aedile himself). Along the way, Caesar restored the memory of the services of Gaius Marius, forbidden under Sulla.

While serving as aedile, Gaius held the games in honor of the goddess Kebela (Megalesian Games) in April 65 BC, and in September of the same year – the Roman Games, which their luxury impressed contemporaries.

In 64 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar headed the permanent criminal court for cases of robbery accompanied by murder. As head of the court, despite Sulla's law prohibiting the prosecution of his supporters, Gaius denounced many of Sulla's associates who had profited from his proscriptions.

Portrait of Julius Caesar. Green slate. 10s BC-30s AD Height 41 cm Berlin, State museums, Antique collection
Statue of Caesar in the clothes of the emperor, in a carapace (lorica) and a short military cloak (paludamentum). A plaster cast. Original: Marble, the age of Trajan (98-117 BC). Rome, Museum of Roman Culture
Portrait of Julius Caesar. Lunar marble. Ca. 44 BC Height 33 cm. Turin, Museum of Antiquities

In 63 BC, when a vacancy became vacant due to the death of the previous Grand Pontiff, Caesar was able to be elected to this position by bribery. When Caesar became Grand Pontiff, he removed the restrictions imposed on him by the office of Flamin Jupiter – the ban on participation in military and civil activities. In addition, his election to this position attracted political attention and allowed him to move from the Subura to the very center of Rome on the sacred road, and live in the state house of the Great Pontiff.

Whether Gaius Julius Caesar took part in the Catiline plot in 63 BC is not exactly proven, but it has been debated since ancient times. But it is known for certain that he took part in a meeting of the Senate in December 63 BC.e. at which the fate of the conspirators was decided, and even made a speech about replacing the death penalty for the leaders of the speech with life imprisonment with confiscation of their property. Because of his speech, Caesar incurred the suspicion of being part of a conspiracy, as well as the wrath of the Senate and the people. Marcus Porcius Cato the Younger and Cicero persuaded the Senate not to accept Caesar's proposal, and insisted on the death penalty of the conspirators, which eventually happened.

In January 62 BC, Caesar became praetor. The praetors of ancient Rome were responsible for the administration of municipal justice in civil matters, and when there were no consuls in Rome, all the highest authority passed into the hands of the praetors. In this position, Guy again began to promote the interests ofPompey, for example, offered to give him the reconstruction of the plan of Jupiter Capitoline, but Pompey's interests were opposed by the Senate, and they were not taken into account.

Caesar's reputation was damaged by an incident with his wife Pompeia in December 62 BC. She held a festival at her home in honor of the Good (Good) Goddess, who patronized women, which is why representatives of the fair sex could be present at it. Disguised as a woman, Publius Clodius (later a well-known radical tribune of the Plebs) entered the house to meet Pompeii. Caesar, without waiting for the court, divorced his wife, who also could not bear him children. Related to this episode in Caesar's life is one of the catchphrases he said: "Caesar's wife should be above suspicion." Various sources give many variations of this phrase.

Before his term (he had to serve at the beginning of 61 BC), because of the pressing creditors who demanded payment of numerous debts, Caesar under surety Crassus left as a propraetor for the province of Far Spain.

Here he first punished the discontented inhabitants of the northern part of the province by sending an army there, and then took up the daily issues of governing the province. With the help of expensive gifts from the wealthy inhabitants of southern Spain, Caesar paid off most of his creditors and obtained a reprieve from the remaining ones, after which he prematurely resigned as propraetor in 60 BC and returned to Rome. On the way to Spain or on the way back from it (this is not known for certain), passing through one of the small villages, Caesar allegedly dropped the following phrase:”I would rather be first here than second in Rome." (Plutarch. Caesar, 11).

Caesar's military crackdown on the disaffected inhabitants of the province to the North was passed off as a successful major military operation against the "bandits", and the Senate was ready to grant Caesar a triumph in Spain for this. Such an honor jeopardized the possibility of running for the consulship, because the candidate for the triumph was forbidden to cross the city borders, and to participate in the election , he had to submit his candidacy in Rome. In addition, Caesar passed through all the stages of the magistracy "Cursus Honorum", reaching the minimum age for election to the consulship. Thus Caesar was faced with a choice: either triumph or the consulship. He asked for the possibility of running for the consulship in absentia, as was the case with Pompey in 71 BC, but his enemies did not give him such a chance. In the end, Caesar chose a possible consulate, sacrificing his triumph and entering the city as a private citizen.

Around the same time, shortly before or almost immediately after the election, in 60 BC, a triumvirate was formed on Caesar's initiative, which would later be called the first, and which, in addition to Caesar, also included Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gnaeus Pompey the Great, which made it possible to unite politicians and military leaders. Crassus was a friend and financier who had helped Caesar, and Pompey was a successful general whom Caesar had started supporting some time ago.

Gaius Julius Caesar. Modern work of the 17th or 18th century Rome, Vatican Museums, Chiaramonti Museum, New Wing, 30i. Rome, Vatican Museums, Pius Clement Museum, Bust Gallery.

The Gallic War and the First Triumvirate

The first triumvirate emerged in 60 BC, when Pompey, Crassus and Caesar were not strong enough to take over the state alone. In 59 BC, Caesar, with the support of Pompey and Crassus, was elected consul. The consul's companion in office was Marcus Bibulus, with whom Caesar argued and fought all the time of the consulate. In the end, Bibulus was forced to give up his consular powers in protest at the actions of his colleague. There was a popular joke that it was the year of the Consuls Gaius and Julius. (Suetonius. Caesar. 20).

After completing his consulship and receiving the rank of proconsul in 58 BC, Caesar left for Gaul to carry out the Gallic War. At the same time, he arranged the wedding of Pompey and his daughter Julia. Caesar himself remarried in May 59 BC, this time with Calpurnia, the daughter of Lucius Calpurnia Piso Caesoninus, from a wealthy and influential Plebeian family.

By the time Caesar arrived in Genava (present-day Geneva) in late March 58 BC, the Romans had already captured the southern part of Gaul, where they formed the province of Narbonne Gaul. Caesar was given control of it, as well as Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum, which, as an exception, was transferred to his control not for one year, as was customary, but for the next five years.

Here is how Caesar described Gaul and the Gauls, on the eve of the war with them: "Gaul in its entirety is divided into three parts. In one of them live the Belgae, in another the Aquitanians, and in the third those tribes that are called Celts in their own language and Gauls in our own. All of them differ from each other in their specific language, institutions, and laws. The Gauls are separated from the Aquitanians by the river Garumna [Garonne], and from the Belgae by the Matrona [Marne] and Sequana [Seine]." (Caesar. Notes on the Gallic War, I, 1; translated by M. M. Pokrovsky).

At the beginning of the Gallic War (58-50 BC), Caesar had 20 thousand people at his disposal (4 legions and auxiliary troops). During the war, the number of legions increased to 10. Caesar described his success in detail in his Notes on the Gallic War. They are published in Russian under the editorship of Academician M. M. Pokrovsky. Some authors of antiquity and modernity consider Caesar's plans for the Gallic War to be a kind of rehearsal for the civil war and the seizure of power in Rome, and some say that when he started this war, he dreamed of victories and laurels such as Alexander the Great received.

In addition to Caesar, Dion Cassius tells about the Gallic War, and such ancient authors as Plutarch, Appian, Florus, and Eutropius talk about the same war, but their information is brief and often inaccurate, although they used many sources besides Caesar's notes.

The reason for the invasion of Gaul was a request sent to Caesar from several Gallic tribes, who feared for their safety due to the increasing power of the German leader Ariovistus, who lived in Gaul on part of the Aedui lands. During the Gallic War, Gaius Julius Caesar was able to gradually capture all of Gaul in several military campaigns, suppress a number of revolts of individual Gallic tribes and the general Gallic uprising of 52 BC, which was led by Vercingetorix (Vercingetorig). Also during this time, he twice invaded Germany and Britain to punish their peoples for helping the Gauls and to show the strength and power of Rome. Throughout the Gallic War, the enemy's forces were many times larger than Caesar's, but this did not prevent him from always emerging victorious from these battles, proving himself a brilliant commander, strategist and tactician. This was especially evident in September 52 BC during the siege of Alesia (today a ruin near the modern city of Dijon, France), when Caesar defeated the Gaulish forces both inside and outside the siege ring. The Germans participated in this war under the leadership of Ariovistus, who was invited by part of the Gallic tribes (Arvens and Sequani) to fight the Aedui, whom he defeated in 61 BC and on whose territory he remained to live with his soldiers. Caesar defeated Ariovistus at the Battle of Bizantium (present-day Besancon in eastern France) in 58 BC, and Ariovistus soon died of his wounds.

During this war, Caesar was able to subjugate to the power of Rome the tribes of Helvetii, Belgians, Usepites, Tencters, Trevers, Curiosolites, Venels, Morins, Menapians, Venellians, Lexovians, Carnunts, Senones, etc.

The legates in the Gallic War were: Titus Labienus (later to oppose Caesar in the civil war); Mark Antony (a fellow soldier of Caesar, later was one of the participants of the 2nd triumvirate and died in a power struggle with Octavian Augustus); Publius Licinius Crassus (son of Marcus Crassus, who later recalled his son for his Parthian campaign, in which they both died); Quintus Tullius Cicero (younger brother of Marcus Tullius Cicero, in the Civil war He supported Pompey in the war, was pardoned and returned to Rome, later supported the murderers of Caesar, for which he was executed by Antony and Octavian), etc. During his stay in Gaul, Caesar kept in touch with Rome and, through his proxies in the capital, kept abreast of everything that was happening there. He often interfered in the events and affairs taking place in the capital.

In 53 BC, Marcus Crassus died in Syria and the triumvirate collapsed, Pompey and Caesar gradually began to prepare for a war with each other for power. The relationship between Caesar and Pompey was also severed, as Julia, Pompey's wife and Caesar's daughter, died in childbirth in 54 BC.

While Caesar was suppressing the Gallic revolt led by Vercingetorigs in 53-52 BC, riots broke out in Rome due to the death of the famous politician Clodius. Pompey was temporarily appointed consul with unlimited powers to restore order in the capital. He soon passed laws on violent acts and electoral bribery. At the same time, Pompey and the tribunes of the people passed a decree allowing Caesar to run in absentia for the consulship in 49 BC, which he failed to do in 60 BC. A little later, Pompey passed the law on magistrates, in which there was a clause prohibiting the application for office in the absence of a candidate in Rome. This was a clear message against Caesar, but Pompey soon came to his senses and amended his law, but did so after the law was approved.

Pompey's uncertainty made Caesar's position as consul more difficult, as his opponents wanted to reject Pompey's amendment and require Caesar's presence as a private citizen in Rome to participate in the elections. Caesar seriously feared that after he came to Rome and resigned his immunity, his enemies would bring him to justice as a private citizen. Also, because of the contradictions in the laws, it was not clear by what time the new governor, who was an opponent of Caesar, should arrive in Gaul. Behind-the-scenes wars began over the new legislation.

By 50 BC, the gap between Pompey and Caesar had become apparent. Caesar at that time had considerable military strength, as well as the support of the Roman plebs and part of the nobles (the ruling class of Ancient Rome, which included patricians and rich plebeians), whom he bought for large bribes. Realizing that it was going to war with Pompey, and therefore with the majority of the Senate, Gaius decided to negotiate with them, offering mutual concessions. Although Caesar's opponents became consuls in 49 BC, he was able to lead his men to the tribunes of the people. One of the tribunes from Caesar in 49 BC. Mark Antony.

In January 49 BC, the Senate passed an emergency law calling citizens to arms, which meant abandoning all negotiations. Antony and his colleagues were hinted that they were no longer safe, and they fled Rome. After that, the Senate issued an ultimatum to Caesar: if he did not resign his pro-praetorship, he would be declared an enemy of the state. New governors of Narbonne Gaul and Cisalpine Gaul were also confirmed.

Civil War of 49-45 BC

Caesar had begun assembling troops on the Italian border as early as 50 BC, although by January 49 BC he had only soldiers of the XIII Legion and about 300 cavalrymen at his disposal, but he decided to act anyway. Caesar and his army crossed the border river Rubicon around January 10, thus starting a civil war, since according to Roman law, a general who reached this river, that is, to the borders of Italy, had to disband his troops and enter Italy as a private person, otherwise it would be considered a mutiny.

According to legend, while crossing the Rubicon River, Caesar said one of his catch phrases "The die is cast" (Latin: Alea iacta est) – "the decision is made" or "there is no turning back".

This war brought together the forces of Caesar on the one hand and the forces of Pompey and the Senate on the other. Pompey, not expecting such a rapid advance of Caesar, began to retreat from Italy to Greece, as he counted on the support of the eastern provinces, where his influence had been great since the 3rd Mithridatic War.

Thanks to the policy of forgiving the least active enemies and encouraging those who remained neutral or hesitated to choose sides, Caesar made rapid progress from the very beginning of the war and met with little resistance. As Suetonius writes: "While Pompey declared all those who would not stand up for the republic to be his enemies, Caesar declared that those who would abstain and join no one would be considered friends." (Suetonius. Divine Julius, 75).

Caesar could not immediately move to Greece, and Pompey gathered the entire fleet under his command. In addition, Pompey's legates had been in Spain since 54 BC, in the rear of Caesar, where the latter went with his troops to protect himself. Gaius appointed Mark Antony to govern Italy, giving him the powers of propraetor. However, he left Rome itself to the care of the praetor Marcus Lepidus (a future member of the second triumvirate) and the remaining senators. By the end of August 49 BC, Caesar had neutralized Pompey's forces in Spain.

While Caesar was fighting the Pompeians in Spain, in Rome, Marcus Lepidus secured Caesar's appointment as dictator, which Caesar learned about on his way from Spain to Italy, at the walls of the city of Massilia (modern Gordo Marseille, France), which was besieged by his troops. When Caesar arrived in Rome and took advantage of the dictator's powers, he organized the election of magistrates for the following year.

Caesar himself and Publius Vatia Isauricus became consuls, while other posts were mostly held by Caesar's supporters. While Caesar was fighting in Spain and making laws in Rome, his generals suffered a series of defeats from Pompey's generals in Africa and the Adriatic coast, which forced Caesar to cross to Greece now only by sea. In January 48 BC, he sent part of his forces to Greece. Caesar was at great risk, as the sea was a stormy season, there was a shortage of food and ships, and the sea was controlled by Pompey's fleet. However, he himself crossed with some troops in January, and the remaining troops, led by Mark Antony, were not able to join him until April 48 BC.

The first major battle between Pompey and Caesar took place near the city of Dyrrachium in July 48 BC.e. Caesar lost and retreated. For unknown reasons, Pompey did not pursue Caesar. According to the ancient historians Plutarch and Appian, Caesar said the following words after this battle:”Today, the victory would remain with the opponents, if they had someone to win." (Plutarch. Caesar. 39. Appian. Civil Wars II, 62.).

Caesar retreated from Dyrrarchium to Thessaly to replenish food supplies and restore troops. This was where the decisive battle between Caesar and Pompey took place in August 48 BC.Caesar saw through Pompey's plan to hit his infantry on the right flank with cavalry and took countermeasures. As a result, the battle ended in an absolute victory for Caesar, and Pompey fled through Cyprus to Egypt, because he believed that the pharaoh Ptolemy XII, who owed him the throne, would support him in the fight against Caesar. However, the pharaoh's advisers persuaded him to refuse Pompey, lured him into a trap and killed him. Caesar, pursuing Pompey, soon arrived in Egypt, where he was presented with Pompey's head and right hand with the seal. In addition to the persecution, in Egypt, Caesar wanted to solve his financial problems by collecting from Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII part of the old debt (when his father, Ptolemy XII, wanted to ascend the throne, he was going to give the consul-Caesar a bribe to recognize the will of the deceased Ptolemy XI, but was able to transfer only part of the money). While in Egypt, Caesar became infatuated with Cleopatra. Initially, he was going to mediate a dispute over who would rule Egypt – Ptolemy XIII or his half-sister Cleopatra, but then he submitted to Cleopatra's charms and took her side. This led to a military conflict between Caesar and Ptolemy XIII.

Soon Caesar and Cleopatra were besieged in the royal palace of the city of Alexandria, but the arrival of reinforcements helped decide the outcome of the war in favor of Caesar. The armies of Ptolemy XIII were defeated, and Cleopatra became the ruler of Egypt.

In July 47 BC, Cleopatra gave birth to a son named Caesarion. But Caesar's paternity was questioned in ancient times, so Caesarion was not officially declared Caesar's heir. Caesar, leaving three legions in Egypt to maintain order, went back to Rome. But at this time, several eastern provinces decided to secede from Rome in the storm of civil war, and Caesar had to go there, and then to Africa, to defeat the supporters of Pompey who had settled there.

In the east, Caesar defeated the army of Pharnaces II, son of Mithridates VI, in just three days, and then said: "I have come, I have seen, I have conquered” (Latin Veni, vidi, vici).

By April 46 BC, Caesar was able to destroy Pompey's supporters in Africa (the Battle of Thapsus), but some of them fled to Spain, where a new hotbed of resistance to Caesar emerged. Despite this, Caesar returned to Rome, where he celebrated four consecutive triumphs: for defeating the Gauls, the Egyptians, Pharnaces and Juba. Together with the victory over Juba, the triumph also celebrated the victories of the Roman Caesar over other Romans, supporters of Pompey.

In November 46 BC, Caesar went to Spain to eliminate the last hotbed of civil war. Here, at the Battle of Munda in March 45 BC, Caesar was able to defeat the Pompeians and returned to Rome. Only the son of Pompey the Great, Sextus, who later settled on the island of Sicily and later outlived Caesar himself, was able to leave Spain alive.

In Rome, Caesar celebrated his fifth triumph, which was the first in Roman history to celebrate the victory of the Romans over the Romans.

Denarius, silver. Date of minting: 49-48 BC Mint: Gaul (mint that moved with Caesar)

Caesar's dictatorship and its reforms

Before 45 BC, Caesar was extended as dictator three times, and in 45 BC, he was elected dictator for 10 years at once. By this time, Caesar held simultaneously the posts of dictator, proconsul, consul, tribune of the people and” prefect of morals " – censor, as well as the post of Grand Pontiff.

In 44 BC, Caesar added to his name the title “emperor”, which at that time referred to a successful general in Rome, and now bore the name of the Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar (Latin: Imperator Gaius Iulius Caesar). And in February 44 BC, the dictator's master's degree was legally assigned to him for life.

Many expected that Caesar would pass the desired laws and resign in a year, just as Sulla, who also received the post of dictator indefinitely, carried out his reforms in a few years, resigned and became a private man. But Caesar declared that he would rule in this position for the rest of his life. In honor of the goddess Venus, he built a temple in the Forum, popularizing the legend of his descent from this goddess.

At the beginning of 44 BC, the Senate and the People's Assembly, with the help of Mark Antony, issued a series of laws that completed the deification of Caesar and the creation of his cult in Rome:

In 44 BC, Caesar took several steps to bring his image closer to that of former Roman kings – he could sit on the throne without getting up from it when senators approached him, and also constantly wear a laurel wreath and the clothes of a triumphant. Several times he was openly offered the title of king, but Caesar did not accept it. It was probably Caesar's own idea to make such an offer, in order to see the reaction of Roman society.

During and after the civil war, Caesar used his power and bribery to carry out a series of reforms in 49-44 BC. e. It is impossible to say exactly which of his reforms were adopted, since we only know about them from later authors who wrote during the Roman Empire, and the calendar reform in 45 BC complicated matters. Contrary to tradition, Caesar himself made many laws, although it was officially declared that they were passed by him with the consent and approval of the Senate, in addition, foreign policy issues were now decided not by the senate, but by Caesar himself alone.

Caesar's reforms as dictator:

1. Ban on raising interest rates on loans (6% per year)

2. Creation of the central administrative office

3. Distribution of land plots to veterans, including in the provinces

4. Changes in the composition of the Senate (expanded it to 900 people, introduced many of its supporters)

5. Minting coins with your own image

6. Cancellation of rent arrears

7. Provision of a number of benefits for residents of the provinces. Roman citizenship was granted only to the cities of the western provinces, while the cities of Greece and Asia Minor did not receive such privileges.

8. New Roman colonies were established in the provinces under the leadership of Caesar's veterans

9. The amount of free bread distributed has been reduced

10. Unemployment was reduced due to Caesar's extensive urban planning policy

11. In the provinces of Asia and Syria, taxes from the farm-out system were transferred to direct taxes

12. New anti-luxury laws were passed: pearl jewelry, personal stretchers, fancy decoration of tombstones were prohibited; the sale of refined products was regulated.

13. For a number of crimes, the penalty was imposed in the form of exile, and the rich Romans were confiscated half of their wealth.

14. In 46 BC, the calendar was reformed. Instead of the old lunar calendar, a solar calendar was introduced, developed by the Alexandrian scientist Sozigen and consisting of 365 days with one additional day every four years.

Gaius Julius Caesar. Consul 59, 48, 46-44; dictator 49-44 BC Proconsul Gaius Vibius Pansa. AE 24, copper. Date of minting: 47-46 BC Mint: Nike

The Conspiracy and Assassination of Caesar

There were several attempts on Caesar's life prior to the 44 BC plot, but all of them were discovered long before they were carried out. At the beginning of 44 BC, when Caesar was preparing to march on Parthia, and rumors of his coronation were circulating in Rome, a conspiracy against Caesar developed among the Roman nobility. The conspirators feared the growing influence of Caesar, as well as rumors in the capital that Caesar would soon be declared king.

The leaders of the conspiracy were Marcus Junius Brutus (a relative of the same Marcus Brutus who overthrew the power of kings in Rome and established a republic in it) and Gaius Cassius Longinus (one of the few who was able to return to Rome alive from Crassus ' unsuccessful campaign in Parthia). The conspiracy included both former Pompeians and many supporters of Caesar. The number of conspirators increased after an attempt to place the royal diadem on Caesar during the festival of Lupercalia, which he did not immediately, but refused.

The plot was set to be implemented on March 15-the Ides of March (a day in the middle of the month), when the Senate should be sitting in the curia of Pompeii. According to ancient authors, shortly before the Ides of March, Caesar's supporters tried several times to warn about the plot, but by coincidence he did not listen to them or did not believe their words.

According to the plan, the conspirators were supposed to distract Mark Antony from the Senate, who could come to Caesar's defense. This was done by one of the conspiratorial senators, who, under a far-fetched pretext, took Antony out of the curia building for a while. Then Caesar would be surrounded by a group of opponents, from which Lucius Cimbri would come forward with a petition for clemency for his brother, and when Caesar began to read the document presented to him, the conspirators would attack him from all sides. Almost all of this happened, but Caesar only had a glimpse of the document and Cimbrough had to signal for action by pulling the toga off Caesar's neck. Caesar was assaulted from all sides by the blows of styluses and pugios, which the enemies were able to carry under the folds of their togas to the senate meeting.

Publius Casca was the first to strike Caesar in the neck. Caesar resisted, but when he saw Marcus Brutus among the assassins, he stopped resisting and only said, " And you, child."

Plutarch describes the last moments of Caesar's life as follows:"Gaius at the sight of Brutus fell silent and stopped resisting." The same author notes that Caesar's body accidentally ended up near the statue of Pompey standing in the room, or was deliberately moved there by the conspirators themselves. A total of 23 wounds were found on Caesar's body. Gaius ' corpse was burned by the crowd in the forum after funerary games and several speeches, using the shops and tables of market vendors for a funeral pyre. (Plutarch. Caesar. 66.68).

Suetonius described Caesar's funeral as follows:: "Some were offering to burn it in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, others in the Curia Pompeii, when suddenly two unknown men appeared, belted swords, brandishing javelins, and set fire to the building with wax torches. Immediately, the surrounding crowd began to drag dry sticks, benches, judges ' chairs, and everything that had been brought as gifts into the fire. Then the flautists and actors tore off the triumphal garments they had put on for such a day, and, tearing them apart, threw them into the flames; the old legionaries burned the weapons with which they had decorated themselves for the funeral, and many of the women — their headdresses that they were wearing, the bulls and the dresses of the children.” (Suetonius. The Divine Julius. 84).

According to the will, Caesar allocated 300 sesterces to each Roman from his fortune, and the gardens above the Tiber were transferred to public use. (Suetonius. Divine Julius, 83).

Also unexpectedly for everyone, especially for Mark Antony, his great-nephew was declared Caesar's heir Gaius Octavian, later called Augustus, received three-quarters of Caesar's fortune.

Later, a second triumvirate will be concluded between Octavian and Antony , which will include Marcus Lepidus, and eventually Octavian, having defeated Marcus and removed Lepidus from power, will become the sole ruler of Rome and complete the transformation process that has begun .Of the Roman Republic in The Roman Empire, becoming its first emperor.

After Caesar's death, his literary works remained, many of which were translated into Russian.

The image of Caesar in culture

Caesar's contemporaries had different opinions: his political opponents ridiculed him and accused him of immorality, while his supporters praised him in every possible way.

By the first century A.D., through the efforts of Octavian, who emphasized his continuity with Caesar, the main provisions of the myth of the divine Julius — a great politician and general-were generally developed, and many shared the official point of view.

In the Middle Ages, up to the fourteenth century, when the Renaissance began, Caesar was seen as a just conqueror and an unquestionable military authority, but later he was seen as a tyrant. At the same time, the contradictory assessment of Caesar did not affect the popularity of his works.

In the 16th century, Caesar's fame as a general was supplemented by his reputation as a military theorist, which was facilitated by the increasing role of infantry in European armies.

The personality of Gaius Julius Caesar has always attracted the attention of researchers of ancient history, estimates of his reign were different. Many books and scientific monographs were written about Caesar and his life – Momzen, Utchenko, etc.

Related topics

Roman Republic, The first Triumvirate, Gnaeus Pompey the Great, Marcus Licinius Crassus, Mark Antony, Octavian Augustus


Ancient authors:

1. Plutarch. Comparative biographies. Caesar.

2. Suetonius. Divine Julius, 88.

3. Appian. Civil Wars, II, 149.

4. Vellei Paterkul. Roman history

5. A brief description of the wars from the books of the Caesarievs with some notable signs about those wars, with a special conversation about the war. Moscow, 1711. (translation of the book by Henri de Rohan - "pale reflection" of Caesar[522])

6. Caius Julius Caesar notes on his campaigns in Gaul. Translated by S. Voronov. St. Petersburg, 1774. 340 p.

7. Works of K. Yu. Caesar. Everything that has come down to us from him or under his name. With an appendix of his biography, written by Suetonius. / From Lat. translated and published by A. Klevanov, Moscow, 1857.

Tsch. 1. Notes on the Gallic War. LIV, 214 p.

Tsch. 2. Notes on the internal war and other campaigns of Caesar. 265 p. (pp. 240-265. The Spanish War).

8. Shramek I. F. Detailed dictionary to the Notes of K. Julius Caesar on the Gallic War. St. Petersburg, 1882. 276 stb.

9. Notes on the Gallic War. Translated by V. E. Rudakov. St. Petersburg, 1894. 196 p.

10. Notes on the internecine war. Translated by I. Kelberin. Kiev-Kharkiv, 1895. 384 p.

11. Notes on the Gallic War. / Lowercase and lit. translation, syntactic turns, words. / Comp. by A. Novikov. St. Petersburg, Classics for students. 1909. Issues 1-7.

12. Seven books of Notes on the Gallic War. / Translated by M. Greenfeld. Odessa, 1910?. 322 p.

13. Notes of Julius Caesar and his successors on the Gallic War, on the Civil War, on the Alexandrian War, on the African War / Translated by M. M. Pokrovsky. (Series "Literary monuments") M.-L., Publishing House of the USSR Academy of Sciences, 1948, 560 p. 5000 copies. (there are reprints).

14. Pseudo-Caesar. The Spanish War. Translated by Yu. B. Tsirkin. / Tsirkin Yu. B. Antichnye i rannesrednevekovye istochniki po istorii Espanyi [Ancient and early Medieval sources on the history of Spain]. SPb.: SPbSU Publishing House, 2006, 360 p.-pp. 15-31.

15. Divide and conquer!: Notes of the triumphator / Translated from Latin-Moscow: Eksmo, 2012. - 480 p.

Modern literature:

1. Utchenko S. L. Yuli Tsezar — Moscow: Mysl', 1976.

2. Grant M. Julius Caesar: Priest of Jupiter, Moscow: Tsentrpoligraf Publ., 2003.

3. Tom Stevenson. Julius Caesar and the Transformation of the Roman Republic . 2014.

4. Mommsen T. Istoriya Rima [History of Rome], Vol. 3, St. Petersburg: Nauka Publ., 2005.

5. Grabar-Passek M. E. Julius Caesar and his successors / History of Roman literature. Edited by S. I. Sobolevsky, M. E. Grabar-Passek, and F. A. Petrovsky, vol. 1, Moscow: Publishing House of the USSR Academy of Sciences, 1959.

6. Goldsworthy A. Tsezar. - Moscow: Eksmo, 2007. - 672 p.

7. Etienne R. Caesar, Moscow: Molodaya gvardiya Publ., 2009, 304 p.

8. Kornilova E. N. "The Myth of Julius Caesar" and the idea of dictatorship: Historiosophy and fiction of the European Circle, Moscow: MGUL Publishing House, 1999.

9. Durov V. S. Julius Caesar. Man and Writer, Leningrad: LSU Publishing House, 1991, 208 p.

10. Billows R. Julius Caesar: The Colossus of Rome. — London; New York: Routledge, 2009. — 312 p.

11. Carcopino J. César. — Paris: PUF, 1936. — 590 p.

12. Gelzer M. Caesar: Der Politiker und Staatsmann. Aufl. 6. Wiesbaden, 1960; English translation-Gelzer M. Caesar: Politician and Statesman. — Harvard University Press, 1968. — 359 p.

13. Meier Ch. Caesar. - Munich: DTV Wissenschaft, 1993. - 663 S. English translation-Meier C. Caesar. — New York: Basic Books, 1995. — 544 p.