Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar Many things can be said about great men. You never can tell exactly just what makes a man great. Looks, personality, a strong mind, these are all good qualities to look for in a man. Speaking as a woman, I know women look for all these qualities and then some. Does he have a good job? A fine house? Good credit? Many of these questions plague the minds of women today. Whether you are looking for a life partner, a friend, or a lover, these questions will arise.

Sometimes from you, but mainly from those around you. Needless to say, we are all looking for greatness. In one form or another. On July 13 100 B.C. a great man was born.

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Gaius Julius Caesar walked the face of this earth for 56 years. Some called him a tyrant, a foe, an adversary. Others named him a loyal friend and confidant. I, on the other hand, simply call him great. Journey with me through the life of this great man.

We will walk together through his birth and family, his rise to power, and finally the betrayal that cost him his life. After this, we will meet back here. We will then reflect on the ups, the downs, the sorrows, and the pains of which Caesar would have called his life. As we walk down this road together, you will be awed, challenged and inspired. Come, let’s go.

The journey has already begun… A Star is Born A light shined ever so brightly on the thirteenth day of July 100 B.C. That light was the birth of Gaius Julius Caesar. There was no small stir in the spiritual realm on that day. It seemed as though some mystical force knew what this young babe would later come to be.

For that same mystical force tried to eliminate him at birth. Because of the various complications at birth, he was born through an unusual method for that time period. He was born through the process of what would later become known as a Caesarean Section. Although this process is commonplace for our day and time, at that time, his birth was nothing short of a miracle. This miraculous birth in itself was enough to let us know that this was not an ordinary man and this was not to be an ordinary life. Whatever mystical powers there are that be, tried to extinguish this life from the onset. Maybe this same power knew of the murders, the wars, the savageries, the betrayals that were to come. Maybe this power knew of the great lust for power and thirst for blood that was in this babe’s future.

This evil foreboding, seemed to cast a dim shadow over the remainder of his life. For this babe would grow into a lad and then into a man and yet this same mystical power would be continually petitioning the ultimate power for his life. For whatever reason that was, we cannot tell. However, looking through a dark glass in time we will least able to speculate. The Julian Family was a noble one to say the least.

They were patricians, part of the Roman upper class. It was once rumored that they were direct descendants of the goddess Venus. However, modern scholars seem to believe that the Julian Family began this rumor on their own and it has no actual basis in fact. Descendants of the gods or not, the Julian family was a far cry from where they wanted to be politically, as well as financially. In fact, they were in the second or third rank politically. The highest office the family had reached was the office of Praetor.

This shows they could not have had a great fortune. Caesar’s father also was called Gaius Julius Caesar. His mother was named Aurelia, the daughter of consul Lucius Aurelius Cotta. In those days a Roman noble won distinction for himself and his family by securing election to a series of public offices, which culminated in the consulship, with the censorship possibly to follow. This was a difficult task for even the ablest and most gifted noble unless he was backed by substantial family wealth and influence. Even with all of these seeming disadvantages, every star has a day to shine.

Rise To Power I have often heard people say the power for greatness is in us all. Whether it’s business, sewing, cooking, etc.. we all have a gift. Some of us have multiple gifts. Bottom line is, we all have the power to succeed.

The secret to success is in the not giving up. We all have a season of prosperity that comes into our lives. What we make of that season is up to us. Through wisdom we can cause this season of life to be extended or cut short. We can even have our lives extended or shortened through wise decision making. Wisdom tells us which friends to keep and which ones to let go.

Wisdom often warns us of our enemies. Wisdom tells us which car to buy. Wisdom is that still small voice on the inside that keeps us on track. Solomon boldly declares: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 1 When a star rises, it shoots up fast and shines more brilliantly than all the rest.

Gaius Caesar was that shooting star. Caesar was by all accounts a military genius. He served as officer in Crassus’s army against Spartacus and climbed steadily up in the government by serving as official in the provinces. Using wisdom, he (re) married a wealthy wife and allied with Crassus, then the richest man in Rome. Their contestant was Pompeius Magnus (the Great).

Caesar coveted and gained the lifetime function of Pontifex maximus, high priest of the people of Rome. In 61Bc he received a military post as governor of Spain. He ruthlessly suppressed all resistance and returned as war hero in Rome. The consulate was his next goal. The two consuls held the power of state and were nominated each year.

But the senate balked his efforts and tried to play Crassus, Pompeius and Caesar against each other. Caesar noticed this and using wisdom did something believed impossible; he created an alliance between him and the other two to share all power. The senate was effectively bypassed and the First Triumvirate was born… This agreement dictated the Roman policy for the next decade. they shared all offices between them and their followers. That is the way Caesar became Governor of Gaul Transalpinia.

He had three legions (15000 men) under his command, but when the Helvetii invaded Gaul and Italy he accidentally got command of an additional army. After he crushed the Helvetii he turned his attention on the Celts. When this part of the drama had been enacted the real struggle began.. With Gallia subjugated, Caesar turned his mind fully to the political arena. In 51Bc, while still fighting some defiant clans, he proposed to the Senate to extend his governership with another 2 years, which allowed him to run for consul in the year 48 B.C. (A consul could only become consul again after 10 years).

He said that he earned it based on his presentations in Gaul and referred to Pompeius whose governership in Spain had been extended the year bef …

Julius Caesar

The story of Julius Caesars assassination has been told both historically and fictionally. Historical sources focus on the facts of the assassination, while fictionary works focus more on the characters and the drama of the story. Because of the different purposes of the sources, there are many differences between the historical and fictional stories. William Shakespeares Julius Caesar adds certain details and dramatic elements to make the story more interesting and to make the play more enjoyable. Historical sources such as Roger Brunss Caesar and Manuel Komroffs Julius Caesar present an more accurate account of the events that occurred on and around the Ides of March. There are however, because all of the sources are telling the same story, even more similarities. Reading all of the sources can give a reader an understanding of not only what really happened and why, but also what the people involved were probably like.
The time before Caesars death has many differences in how events happened rather than if events happened. Both historical accounts record that Caesar had recently returned from a long military campaign that sent him to the far reaches of the Roman Empire. Shakespeares account tells of a recent victory over Pompey but does not say that Caesar returned from a massive campaign. In Komroffs account, The conspirators had planned for much longer than the other authors recorded. Komroff wrote that the conspirators convinced the Senate to offer Caesar the crown. The conspirators then placed a crown on a statue of Caesar that was quickly torn down by Caesars friends. “Then, a few days later, as he was riding through the streets of Rome, a crowd of people who had been led on by the Aristocrats hailed him as King” (Komroff 161-162). The final offer of the crown occurred before a large crowd of Romans, when a crown was placed on Caesars head he took it off and said “The Romans have no kings but their gods” (Komroff 162). Caesar refused the title every time because he knew that the second he did, the people would turn against him. Caesar also knew that the conspirators were behind these offers and was not about to play right into their hands. In both Shakespeares and Brunss works, Mark Antony was the one who offered the crown to Caesar. He did not do it to harm Caesar but out of respect for Caesar. The Number of conspirators is the same in both historical works. Both say that at least sixty men were involved in the conspiracy, most of them senate members. Shakespeares work says that only about eight men were part of the conspiracy, probably to cut down on the number of actors for the play. While there are many differences in the time before Caesars death, there are just as many similarities.
All three sources agree that Caesar fought and killed Pompey. Some of the senators were alarmed at this because Pompey was a Roman and they questioned Caesars honor. Upon Caesars return from battle, many celebrations were held. In Brunss account, a series of “triumphs” or extravagant celebrations were held in Caesars honor, one for each of his triumphs. In Shakespeares account, a large celebration was held in Rome in Caesars honor. The motive for killing Caesar is similar in all three accounts. The conspirators were afraid that Caesar was “ambitious,” that he wanted to become king. The conspirators feared a monarchy because they did not want a heir to gain the throne, they wanted to maintain a republic where leaders were voted into office. Many of the conspirators did not trust Caesar, “Yet, Caesar still provoked in many deep resentment and distrust” (Bruns 102). Because Caesar was a leader of the people, the conspirators, who were of the aristocratic class, “hoped to regain control of the government” (Komroff 163). All of the sources also agree on when Caesar was killed. He was killed on March 15, the Ides of March.
In the time that Caesar was killed many details are different in the two types of accounts. In the historical account of Komroff, The conspirators crowded around Caesar when he was seated at the head of the Senate. The conspirators engaged in conversation with Caesar, “They talked freely together. Some had favors to ask. Others had stories to tell” (Komroff 166). Then the conspirators began to carry out the fatal stage of their plan.
A scroll was then placed in Caesars hand and as he unrolled it and began to read its contents, his toga was suddenly grabbed and torn from his shoulders. He was stabbed in the throat by a dagger.
He rose to his feet with a cry and caught the arm of the one who struck him. Then he was stabbed again by another. He looked around and saw that he was surrounded by a ring of daggers. There was no chance of escape. He lifted the folds of his toga over his head. The daggers struck him from every side (Komroff 166-167).
In Shakespeares account a man named Metellus was petitioning Caesar to repeal the banishment of his brother. Caesar refused, saying, “…I am constant as the northern star…” (Shakespeare, 715). The conspirators used this as an excuse to get closer to Caesar. The conspirators came close to Caesar to plead for Metellus case, first Brutus and Cassius then the rest of the conspirators joined them as Caesars side, all but Casca who was waiting behind Caesar. “Speak, hands, for me!” (Shakespeare 716). This was Cascas cry as he dealt the first blow to Caesar. The others then set upon Caesar and all but Brutus stabbed Caesar. Caesar tried to fight the conspirators but when he saw Brutus about to stab him he surrendered. “Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar!” (Shakespeare 716). The historical account says that the conspirators were already right next to Caesar but the fictionary account says that the conspirators needed an excuse, Metellus, to creep up to Caesar. History records that Caesar was stabbed 23 times, fiction says that Caesar was stabbed “thirty and three” times or 33 times. The differences during Caesars death show the different purposes of the author but the similarities show the reader the facts of the story.
In all of the accounts Caesar receives warnings about his death. The same soothsayer who warned him the first time warned him again with the phrase, “Beware of the Ides of March” (Komroff 166). Caesar ignores this warning and heads on to the senate. Artemidorus hands Caesar a scroll with the names of the men in the conspiracy and the details of the plot. Caesar places the scroll in a pile of petitions that he was to review at the senate thinking that it was another petition when it was really a scroll that could have saved his life. “If thou read this, O Caesar, thou mayest live; if not, the Fates with traitors do contrive” (Shakespeare 711). History and Fiction also agree that Caesar fell dead at the base of a statue of Pompey, the one whom Caesar had conquered and killed. The time after Caesars death was a dramatic time in Roman history. Because of the already tense situation, few things needed to be changed for Shakespeares play.
In Shakespeares account Brutus spoke to the Roman people and for a time they were sided with him but in Komroffs record the people did not side with the conspirators at all, in fact they were against the conspirators. On the night of Caesars death, the conspirators met to talk and scheme. Their plan that had seemed so perfect the night before had fallen apart and they had lost the support of the people that they needed so desperately so as not to seem like senseless murderers. In Shakespeares story, the conspirators spoke to the people only hours after Caesars death and after Antony turned the people against the conspirators they were forced to leave right away and did not even have time to meet that night because they were all either fleeing or dead. There are many more similarities in the time after Caesars than differences.
Immediately after Caesars death was a time of panic and fear. The senate, after seeing the murder of Caesar, was panicked and they ran from the senate house in fear that they were next. The conspirators surrounded Caesars body and raised their hands in victory proclaiming that “Liberty is now restored” (Komroff 167). In both accounts the conspirators address the Roman people to try to gain their support and approval. When Mark Antony speaks to the people he rallies them against the conspirators. He shows the people Caesars body and Shakespeare wrote that Antony even pointed out the place that each of the conspirators stabbed Caesar to give the people a picture of the murder. Antony read Caesars will to the people to make the people feel personally involved in the situation. The people were so riled by Antony that they began to march through the streets of Rome calling for the death of the conspirators. Shakespeare wrote that the mob even killed a man who had the same name as one of the conspirators. This goes to show how angry the people were and how hungry they were for revenge. In all of the accounts the conspirators were hunted down and killed, thus avenging the murder of Julius Caesar.
When Shakespeare presented the story of Julius Caesars death he made it entertaining because, as a playwright, it was his job to present a story in an entertaining fashion. He added elements that may or may not have had any part in what actually happened. Historical authors like Komroff and Bruns have to make their works historically accurate to give readers the real story. They do not have to make history sound exciting by adding elements or by developing characters. Because these authors had different purposes so they wrote the story from different perspectives. This causes differences in the storys development and the effect it leaves on a reader or viewer.