Julius Caesar is one of the most important people in the history of the world. The fabric of the Roman republic was growing weak -- and had been since the Gracchi, but when Caesar started annexing Europe, caused a civil war, and incited his own assassination (by men lacking Caesar's brains or a backup plan), Caesar broke the tenuous thread, creating a power vacuum that was filled by the first of the emperors of the soon-to-be world-dominating Rome.
Julius Caesar (July 12/13, 100 B.C. - March 15, 44 B.C.) may have been the greatest man of all times. By age 39/40, Caesar had been a widower, divorce, governor (propraetor) of Further Spain, captured by pirates, hailed imperator by adoring troops, quaestor, aedile, consul, and elected pontifex maximus -- a lifelong honor usually reserved for the end of a man's career.
Handy reference to basic facts in Julius Caesar's life, a timeline, summary, pictures of Caesar, and relevant technical terms to know.
G. Ferrero, The Women of the Caesars, New York, 1911. Courtesy of Wikimedia.
Julius Caesar was a great military leader and leader of people. He pulled together two rivals, Crassus and Pompey, to form the first triumvirate, he fixed the badly out-of-synch Roman calendar, he conquered the Gauls, he was the first Roman to invade Britain, he made the deeds of the Roman Senate public, he began a civil war, and he wrote about himself and the goings on around him in the civil and Gallic wars in a lucid, pleasing Latin.
By age 40, Julius Caesar had been a widower, divorce, governor (propraetor) of Further Spain, captured by pirates, hailed imperator by adoring troops, quaestor, aedile, consul, and elected pontifex maximus. He later formed the 1st Triumvirate, had military victories in Gaul, became dictator for life (perpetual), started a civil war, and was most memorably assassinated.
Since he was at the top of the ladder, Caesar had contact with all the major players at the end of the Roman Republic, including his uncle Marius, the dictator Sulla, Cicero, Catiline, Clodius, Pompey, Crassus, and Cleopatra.
Julius Caesar had been the subject of controversy since before he was assassinated. An aristocrat, he appealed to the masses and threatened the security of the Roman nobility. Read the best mostly modern non-fiction works on the life, death, and military and political career of Julius Caesar.
Julius Caesar wrote commentaries on the wars he fought in Gaul between 58 and 52 B.C., in seven books, one for each year. This series of annual war commentaries is referred to by various names, but is commonly called De bello Gallico in Latin, or The Gallic Wars in English. There is also an 8th book.
Caesar's life was full of drama and adventure. At the end of his life, by which time he had taken charge of Rome, there was one last earth-shattering event, the assassination.
Read English versions of famous Julius Caesar quotes from Caesar's Gallic Wars and the bios of Caesar by Plutarch and Suetonius.
Read a public domain translation of Suetonius' gossipy biography of the first of the 12 Caesars.
Read Plutarch's biography of Julius Caesar in this public domain translation.
Find out why it was such a big deal for Julius Caesar.
Just for fun, read books that deal with the May-December affair between Cleopatra and Julius Caesar.
Caesar is attributed with a variety of sayings. Find out why this isn't one of them.
Find out why this urban myth doesn't cut it.