Julius Caesar was a Roman general and politician who named himself dictator of the Roman Empire, a rule that lasted less than one year before he was famously assassinated by political rivals in 44 B.C.
Caesar was born on July 12 or 13 in 100 B.C. to a noble family. During his youth, the Roman Republic was in chaos. Seizing the opportunity, Caesar advanced in the political system and briefly became governor of Spain, a Roman province.
Returning to Rome, he formed political alliances that helped him become governor of Gaul, an area that included what is now France and Belgium. His Roman troops conquered Gallic tribes by exploiting tribal rivalries. Throughout his eight-year governorship, he increased his military power and, more importantly, acquired plunder from Gaul. When his rivals in Rome demanded he return as a private citizen, he used these riches to support his army and marched them across the Rubicon River, crossing from Gaul into Italy. This sparked a civil war between Caesar’s forces and forces of his chief rival for power, Pompey, from which Caesar emerged victorious.
Returning to Italy, Caesar consolidated his power and made himself dictator. He wielded his power to enlarge the senate, created needed government reforms, and decreased Rome’s debt. At the same time, he sponsored the building of the Forum Iulium and rebuilt two city-states, Carthage and Corinth. He also granted citizenship to foreigners living within the Roman Republic.
In 44 B.C., Caesar declared himself dictator for life. His increasing power and great ambition agitated many senators who feared Caesar aspired to be king. Only a month after Caesar’s declaration, a group of senators, among them Marcus Junius Brutus, Caesar’s second choice as heir, and Gaius Cassius Longinus assassinated Caesar in fear of his absolute power.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry absolute Noun
something that is complete, certain and reliable.
people or groups united for a specific purpose.
complete confusion and disorder.
member of a country, state, or town who shares responsibilities for the area and benefits from being a member.
to combine or unite.
person with complete control of a government.
Western European civilization that became a major part of ancient Rome.
highest rank of leadership in armies and air forces.
elected or appointed leader of a state or area.
Julius Caesar Noun
(100 BCE-44 BCE) leader of ancient Rome.
person born into a position with a high rank or class.
to rob or steal.
having to do with public policy, government, administration, or elected office.
person who serves as a representative of the citizens of a geographic area to the local, state, or national government.
having to do with the civilization of ancient Rome, including the kingdom, republic, and empire.