Ancient Rome Biography of Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar was born in Rome in the year 100 BC to an aristocratic family. A private tutor taught him Roman law and public speaking, important skills he would need later as a leader of Rome.

Caesar joined the army to avoid a power struggle between two factions in the government, in which some family members were involved. He returned years later as a military hero. He quickly rose through the ranks in the Roman government, making allies with powerful men such as the general Pompey the Great and the wealthy Crassus. The people of Rome loved him.

At the age of 40 Julius Caesar was elected to consul, the highest-ranking position in the Roman Republic. At the end of his year as consul, Caesar became governor of the province of Gaul, in charge of four Roman legions. He was an effective governor and general. He conquered all of Gaul, gained respect and honor from his army, and was considered alongside Pompey as the greatest general in the Roman army.

Politics in Rome became increasingly hostile while Caesar was in Gaul. Many of the leaders were jealous of Caesar. Even his ally Pompey became jealous, and soon they became rivals. Caesar had the support of the people and Pompey had the support of the aristocrats. Caesar announced his return to Rome in order to run for consul again. The Roman Senate replied that he must first give up the command of his army. Caesar refused and the Senate labeled him a traitor. Caesar marched his army to Rome, taking control of the city in 49 BC. It took him 18 months to defeat Pompey. After chasing Pompey to Egypt, Caesar fell in love with the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra. He helped her to become pharaoh and they had a son named Caesarion.

Caesar had become the most powerful man in the world. The Senate made him dictator for life, and he ruled like a king. He made many changes to Rome, putting his own supporters in the Senate, building new buildings and temples, and changing the calendar to the now famous Julian calendar with 365 days and a leap year.

Some people in Rome felt that Caesar was too powerful. They worried that his rule would put an end to the Roman Republic. Cassius and Brutus led a plot to assassinate Caesar. Several men snuck up behind Caesar in the Senate and stabbed him.

Source: Ancient Rome Biography of Julius Caesar
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