Julius Caesar was a strong leader for the Romans who changed
the course of the history of the Greco - Roman world decisively and
irreversibly. With his courage and strength he created a strong
empire. What happened during his early political career? How did he
become such a strong dictator of the Roman Empire? What events led up
to the making of the first triumvirate? How did he rise over the
other two in the triumvirate and why did he choose to take over? What
happened during his reign as dictator of Rome? What events led up to
the assassination of Caesar? What happened after he was killed?

Caesar was a major part of the Roman Empire because of his strength
and his strong war strategies.

Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman whose
dictatorship was pivotal in Rome’s transition from republic to empire.

When he was young Caesar lived through one of the most horrifying
decades in the history of the city of Rome. The city was assaulted
twice and captured by Roman armies, first in 87 BC by the leaders of
the populares, his uncle Marius and Cinna. Cinna was killed the year
that Caesar had married Cinna’s daughter Cornelia. The second attack
upon the city was carried our by Marius’ enemy Sulla, leader of the
optimates, in 82 BC on the latter’s return from the East. On each
occasion the massacre of political opponents was followed by the
confiscation of their property. The proscriptions of Sulla, which
preceded the reactionary political legislation enacted during his
dictatorship left a particularly bitter memory that long survived.

Caesar left Rome for the province of Asia on the condition
that he divorce his wife because Sulla would only allow him to leave
on that condition. When he heard the news that Sulla had been killed
he returned to Rome. He studied rhetoric under the distinguished
teacher Molon.

In the winter of 75-74 BC Caesar was captured by pirated and,
while in their custody awaiting the arrival of the ransom money which
they demanded, threatened them with crucifixion , a threat which he
fulfilled immediately after his release. He then returned to Rome to
engage in a normal political career, starting with the quaetorship
which he served in 69-68 BC in the province of Further Spain.

In the Roman political world of the sixties the dominance of
the optimates was challenged by Pompey and Crassus. The optimates,
led by Quintus Lutatius Catulus and Lucius Licinius Lucullus , were
chiefly men whose careers had been made by Sulla. Pompey and Crassus
were consuls in 70 BC and had rescinded the most offensively
reactionary measures of Sulla’s legislation. During Pompey’s absence
from 67 to 62 BC during his campaigns against the Mediterranean
pirates, Mithridates, and Crassus, his jealous rival. Caesar married

Ponpeia after Cornelia’s death and was appointed aedile in 65 BC As
aedile, Caesar returned to Marius’ trophies to their former place of
honor in the Capitol, thus laying claim to leadership of the
populares.

When Caesar was a praetor, he supported a tribune who wanted

Pompey recalled to restore order in Rome. As a result, Caesar was
suspended from office for a period and antagonized Catulus. Before
leaving Rome to govern Further Spain for a year, Caesar divorced his
wife Pompeia because of the allegation that she had been implicated in
the offense of Publius Clodius. The latter was then awaiting trial
for breaking into Caesar’s house the previous December disguised as a
woman at the festival of the Bona Dea, which no man is allowed to
attend.

After his return from a successful year administrating Spain

Caesar was elected consul for 59 BC through political alliance with

Pompey and Crassus . This alliance was called the first triumvirate.

Caesar’s purpose was to gain a big military command. Pompey for his
part sought the ratification of his Eastern settlement and land
allotments for his discharged troops. Crassus sought a revision of
the contract for collecting taxes in the province of Asia. An
agrarian bill authorizing the purchase of land for Pompey’s veterans
was passed in January of 59 BC at a disorderly public assembly which

Caesar’s fellow consul Calpurnius Bibulus, was thrown from the
platform and his consular insignia were broken. Bibulus tried to stop

Caesar and his supporters from passing any further law but was only
able to postpone the creation of the new laws by saying that the skies
would not permit it because there was stormy weather and they were
very superstitious. Caesar disregarded Bibulus’ behavior and the
remainder of the legislative program of the triumvirate was carried
through. As a result of this action Caesar and his friends incurred
bitter attacks. Their political