By Mike Diaz (3115905)
American Public University
22 January 2014
HIST121 Western Civilization before the Thirty Years War
Professor Kelly Jernigan
Julius Caesar was a strong leader for the Empire and changed the course of the history of the Romans. His ideas, ambition and drive led him to the power he so craved. What events/actions created the avenue of which he took in his rise to the top? How did he become such a strong dictator of the Roman Empire? What events led up to the assassination of Caesar?
Our tyrant deserved to die. Here was a man who wanted to be king of the Roman people and master of the whole world. Those who agree with an ambition like this must also accept the destruction of existing laws and freedoms. It is not right or fair to want to be king in a state that used to be free and ought to be free today. 1(Cicero)
Many who served for or under Julius Caesar have been cited as not believing in or trusting him. He was considered to be, self centered, a war monger, and a power driven dictator. He also had a following especially in his earlier days that believed him to be the savior of Rome. Either way he was one of the most important figures in Roman history and had a great impact on the world and the Roman Empire.
In 100 BCE, Gaius Julius Caesar was born into an aristocratic Roman family that were said to be descendants of Venus.
In the year 82 BCE, Caesar had joined the Roman Army and had traveled to Asia and Cilicia. Caesar as a general won his loyalty with his troops. They were inspired by his boldness and successes. 2 (2012 pg 164) One highly regarded trait as a leader; he never led his armies into a situation where they could be ambushed. His treatment towards his soldiers was also quite notable; everyone was treated equally and recognized more for their skill than by character. During one of his many battles, he used the famous words, "Veni, Vedi, Vicci", which meant, "I came, I saw, I conquered". 3 (Ancient History) As a politician – Caesar was credited with introducing numerous changes within the Empire. Some of these were the distribution of free grain, new colonies for citizens; he introduced the Julian calendar, and believed in a larger senate. A popular move of the people was the reduction of their debts and tax reform. He believed that by meeting the needs of lower class he could strengthen his control of the state; power by numbers. In the areas conquered, he appointed new governors and held them strictly accountable, eliminating the plundering of their people of all their wealth.
Upon his return to Rome in 78 BCE, Caesar had entered government service as a prosecuting attorney and tried a case against an associate of Sulla. Even the great Caesar can’t win them all; the court acquitted the defendant. Through the next 13 years (73-60 BCE) Julius Caesar’s political career was gaining steam. From being a member of the College of Pontifices, being elected a Quaestor, then an Aedile, Pontfex Maxiums, and Governor of Farther Spain. Caesar returned to Rome in 60 BCE to again further his career as a politician; he ran for Consul.
While en-route to the Island of Rhodes to escape from being killed, he was taken hostage by pirates and held for ransom. After ensuring his ransom was paid and he was release, Caesar then assembled a small military force and went after the pirates. Upon their successful capture, he had them all executed. 4 (2012 Pg 162)
Was this the early days of Blackwater? In 74 BCE he had put the components together of a private Army. They were used in the defense of the Roman Empire and the King of Pontus. Diving back the forces of Pharnaces II in a battle near Zela, is where Caesar is recorded to have made the statement “Veni, Vedi, Vicci". In the readings of this week’s lessons and compared to the book, they all discuss in great detail of the power struggle between Caesar and the Senate. However, the main…