Julius Caesar was born into one of the most honored families in Rome. His family’s history went so far back that Caesar was thought to be a descent of some of the first Roman kings, and even a goddess (Unstead 19). Caesar was very determined to be a part of the political party in Rome, but was made an outcast by the Roman Senate due to his uncle’s disobedience to the Senate during his time spent in politics (20). Caesar then later led an army and spent the rest of his life in war (21). Although he spent most of his life in war, Caesar also liked to explore the world.
One of the first maps ever created, called Mappa mundi, stated long its border “The world was first measured by Julius Caesar; the whole of the east was measured by Nicodoxus, the north and west by Teodocus, the southern part by Polyclitus. Julius Caesar was a very intelligent man when it came to war, and was honored as one of the greatest war generals to lead an army after his death. When Caesar was young, he wanted to become a politician as he grew older. In Rome, there were two very different political parties, the Senate, which consisted of the upper-class, or the Popular party, which was made up of commoners.
Caesar was born into a family of nobles, which was part of the Senate. Although his family consisted of nobles, Caesar’s uncle by marriage, Marius, was a well-known general who cared greatly about the poor (Unstead 19). Since the lower-class people of Rome still viewed his uncle as a hero, the Senate was very suspicious of Caesar. This was a problem for him, so he took a trip to Rhodes to spend some time away from Rome to stay safe (19-20). When Caesar made his return to Rome, he was viewed as a very intriguing man.
He spent a large amount of money to put on theatrical shows for the homeless, even though he himself had a very small amount of money. Later on in his ifetime, Caesar, with help from Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome, became the Governor of Spain. Not even two years after becoming governor, he returned back to Rome in search for a higher title (20). A year after becoming Consul, Caesar was awarded the Governorship of Gaul. That following March, he left Rome and did not return for nine years. Over the nine years that he was gone, people were shocked by his political speeches.
The Romans never would have never expected Caesar to be able to lead an army, although as soon as he was given the opportunity, he proved himself worthy (21). After the nine years had passed, Caesar began to settle thing in Gaul. He insisted on fair taxes for all of the people of Gaul and made sure that they were collected fairly (27). Since the Roman Government was so powerful, many people attempted to overthrow it. One of those people was a man named Lucius Sergius Catiline, although his plan was discovered and ended (Anderson). Caesar and his army were very strong and won many, if not most of their battles.
They normally traveled on foot, and although they went through many hardships, Caesar was always right there with them (Unstead 22). After fighting battles for two ears, Caesar could finally claim that he had conquered Gaul, which is now known as modern day France. During Caesar’s time, Britain was a remote island that was known to be rich in gold and tin. Caesar got eighty ships, carrying about eight- thousand men each, and sailed across the English Channel to Britain (23). When Caesar and his men arrived, they found the Britons gathered on the beach with weapons ready to defend themselves.
When Caesar saw what they were doing, he told his men to jump into the water to fight on the shore. The Romans fought them until the last few of them fled off into the woods 24-26). After this battle was over, Caesar and his men were exhausted, so they decided to sleep on the beach that night. When they woke up the next morning, some of their ships had gotten carried out into the ocean by the tide. While some of the Romans tried to fix the damaged ships, the rest of them were having to fight off the Britons, who had seen an opportunity to attack them while they were vulnerable.
After about three weeks, the Romans were finally able to return to Gaul. Since losing to the Britons did not sit well with Caesar, he kept his men constantly working. In no time, his army had built a much etter fleet of ships that were designed by Caesar himself (26). After the new ships were complete, Caesar decided to return to Britain. They easily defeated the Britons and caused them to beg for peace, offering the Romans hostages, grains, and tin (26-27). While he was still in Britain, Caesar receives word from back home that a huge rebellion was taking place.
The Romans were rebelling against a Gaul chief whose name was Vercingetorix. He ruined the Romans farmland by scattering waste all over it, which almost caused the Romans to starve. When Caesar returned home to stop the chaos, he rallied down he rebellious Gauls and located their leaders who served Vercingetorix and had them put to death. Caesar did not kill Vercingetorix so that he could cover him in chains and have him walk through the streets of Rome to humiliate him. Later on, Crassus died and Pompey left Caesar and changed to the side of the Senate.
Caesar was ordered to leave his power in Gaul and go back to Rome to live his life as a regular citizen (27). When Caesar received this order, he became very angry. He gathered his army and marched them into Rome, causing Pompey and several Senators to flee to Greece. Caesar and his army went to Spain and easily defeated Pompey’s army of soldiers. Caesar then went to Greece in hopes to find Pompey and kill him himself. However, when he arrived, he received word that Pompey had fled to Egypt. Caesar then led his men through Asia Minor all the way to Alexandria, and when he arrived, he was told that Pompey had been murdered (28).
On September 28th, 48 BC, Pompey was stabbed to death by two Roman officers that were his former servants. The Senate was very upset about Pompey’s death since they had been allies. They blamed Caesar for his death and called him a traitor. This event was one of the ain reasons for the start of the Roman Civil War. After Pompey’s death, several of his men fled to Africa. With Juba, King of Numidia’s, help, the men started an army that was big enough to eventually invade the Italian peninsula and take over Rome. A man named Publius Sittius, a former Roman knight, was also in Africa at the same time as Caesar.
During Sittius’ time there, he gathered a large number of high-skilled soldiers and created an army, serving as its leader. Sittius offered his men’s help to King Bocchus, who was the king of Mauretania, which was also a huge rival of King Juba. Caesar them became llies with Sittius, and they both worked together to defeat the Pompeians. With the help of Sittius, Caesar was able to hold off the Pompeians until the rest of his army arrived. Caesar was also able to separate the Pompeian forces so that they were much easier to attack.
Although he got a little behind in Ruspina, Caesar would later on launch a huge attack on his enemies and weaken them greatly. Sittius played a tremendous role in Caesar’s success. During the scandal with Catiline, Sittius was accused of being a conspirator. After this, he sold everything he owned and went into exile to Mauritania. People are not sure if he left Rome because of these accusations or if it was to simply get away from all of the debt he owed. One day while Caesar and his men went out to gather some wheat, Titus Labienus, one of Caesar’s old friends, gathered his army and surrounded Caesar and his men.
Titus’ army was very large and it caught Caesar by surprise. Caesar was very desperate at this moment, so he ordered his men to form an orbis, which was a circular move the people do in war whenever they are completely surrounded. Since neither of the armies were gaining any territory against one another, Labienus decided to go up to Caesar’s outer line of defense to intimidate them. Then, one of Caesar’s men threw a javelin at Labienus in hopes to strike him, but missed him and struck his horse.
This caused Labienus to fall to the ground and become injured, causing his men to have to carry him away. Caesar used this as an advantage and separated his men, sending half of them one way, and the other half the other. They barely escaped, but when they did, Labienus’ men chased them. They continued to fight, allowing Caesar to barely escape. After this defeat, Caesar and his men were very vulnerable, but once again, luck was on their side. Sittius led his soldiers to Numidia and attacked Cirtia, the wealthiest city in Juba’s kingdom, and easily defeated them.
Sittius then attacked two more towns and killed all of its people. While Sittius continued to attack, Juba decided to leave Scipio, who was the supreme commander of the Pompeian forces after Pompey was killed. The king took all of his troops with him and left Scipio with only 30 war elephants, making him even more vulnerable to Caesar. Sittius continued to attack cities in Numidia and several of Caesar’s men were traveling from Sicily to help. Scipio was so vulnerable, he begged Juba to come back nd help him, leading to Juba returning with three large armies.
Even with the help of the King, Scipio still did not attack Sittius, which allowed the rest of Caesar’s soldiers to come to Numidia to help. Both Caesar’s and Scipio’s armies were very large. Very few of Scipio’s men could compare to Caesar’s army. Since Juba had given Scipio several war elephants, he placed them at the front line of his defense, trying to intimidate Caesar and his men. Caesar however had placed several missile launchers in front of his men. Whenever the missiles were launched, it scared the elephants, causing them to stampede through Scipio’s left ing of soldiers.
After the left wing was gone, Scipio’s right wing knew that they did not stand a chance so they fled, allowing all of Caesar’s enemies to escape. Since Publius Sittius had been such a faithful ally of Caesar’s, Caesar gave him land near a city in Rome called Cirta. Sittius used this land as a Roman Settlement for his men (Anderson). Caesar cheated death several times during his life, but when death finally came upon him, it was very tragic. Back in Numidia, the man that King Juba left in charge, Saburra, had been killed and his army was defeated by Sittius and his men.
Since theres no one left to fight, Sittius left and went to Mauretania. While he was there, he ran into two of Caesar’s rivals, Faustus and Afranius, and captured them and took them to Caesar, who had them both killed. While Scipio was trying to sail to Spain, Sittius followed him with his own fleet of ships and attacked them. Scipio committed suicide before Sittius was able to reach him. King Juba and another man named Petreius also committed suicide during a duel (Anderson). For the next few years, after defeating the Pompeians and making his love, Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, Caesar maintained his power and became dictator of Rome.
The people were very fond of Caesar, although the Senate was not. Two men named Brutus and Longinus, who were both senators, made a plan to prevent Caesar from becoming King. On March 15, 44BC, the two men stabbed Caesar several times as he walked into the Senate House. He died at the foot of Pompey’s statue. The day that Caesar was stabbed is now called the “Ides of March. ” Several Roman Emperors adopted Caesar’s name to honor him. The people were very angry about Caesar’s death and they started many riots throughout Rome. This did not end until a man named Augustus Caesar took power and started a new period of Roman history (McGill).