Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas, supposedly the son of the goddess Venus.The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor who was born by caesarean section The Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations: that the first Caesar had a thick head of hair that he had bright grey eyes or that he killed an elephahant in battle.Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name.
Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC.Caesar's father, also called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia, and his sister Julia, Caesar's aunt, married Gaius Marius, one of the most prominent figures in the Republic. His mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesar's childhood
Caesar left Rome and joined the army, where he won the Civic Crown for his part in an important siege. On a mission to Bithynia to secure the assistance of King Nicomedes's fleet, he spent so long at his court that