The Italian Almanac

Caio Giulio Cesare
(Julius Caesar)

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Julius Caesar

Caius Julius Caesar - July 13, 100 - March 15, 44 BC

Roman politician of patrician origins whose military genius, as displayed in the Gallic Wars (58-50 BC), enabled Rome to extend her empire permanently to the Atlantic seaboard, but whose ruthless ambition led to the breakdown of the Republican system of government at home. In 60 BC he joined with Pompey and Crassus (the First Triumvirate) to protect his interests in the state, and in 49 BC, to avoid being humbled by his enemies at Rome, he led his army across the river Rubicon into Italy and plunged the state into civil war. Victory over the Pompeian forces at Pharsalus (48 BC), Zela (47 BC), Thapsus (46 BC), and Munda (45 BC) left him in sole control at Rome. He did not disguise his absolute power, taking the title ‘Dictator for Life’ in 44 BC, and allowing himself to be paid extravagant honours which suggested he was aiming at regal and even divine status. This was too much for many Republican-minded Romans, and under the leadership of Brutus and Cassius they conspired to murder him. His brief period of power left him with little time to carry through the many reforms, social, economic, and administrative, that he had intended.