“The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans: Caesar” by Plutarch (75 AD)

“The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans: Caesar” by Plutarch

Caesar

I’ll bet you don’t have a haircut named after you… do you, bitch?

  1. Julius Caesar’s wife was Cornelia, Cinna’s daughter. Cinna used to run things in Rome. Then Sulla came along and was the big boss. Sulla stopped Caesar at every attempt to gain some sort of office in Rome. The reason for this is that Julius was Marius’s cousin. Marius and Sulla were on two different sides of a civil war in Rome. It was only natural for the winner to rub his victory in the face of his opponent and his family (“Fuck you and anybody who looks like you!”). Caesar tried to be a priest and Sulla said “nope!” He even thought about having the kid killed but he backed off from that since he didn’t seem to be too attached to his cousin. Soldiers arrested him to have him in case Sulla wanted to do something and Caesar paid his way out of that and ran off to Bithynia (NW Turkey). On his way back, he was captured by pirates in Pharmacusa (a Greek island off the coast of Turkey).

 

  1. The pirates set his ransom at 20 talents not knowing who he was. He sent out for people to give him 50. He was held by them for 38 days, actually enjoying a leisurely life while there. He wrote poems and speeches. The pirates weren’t impressed. He wasn’t impressed that they weren’t impressed. The ransom came from Miletus and he immediately raised a fleet to go after his captors. He took their money and threw the men in a prison in Pergamum (island in NW Turkey). He went to the governor of Asia, Junius and asked for them to be punished. Junius said he’d get around to it. Really he had no plans to do so because the pirates often gave him a good bit of money. Unhappy, Julius went back to Pergamum and crucified all of the pirates.

 

  1. Sulla wasn’t quite the hot shot he was because and Julius’s friends asked him to come back. He went to Rhodes to study rhetoric with Apollonius. He seemed to be a natural at it and even began to slag off the famous orator/general Cicero as something of a hack and begged people to pay no attention to him.

 

  1. He got back to Rome and had Dolabella impeached for bad administration in Greece. The Greeks were completely on board with this. Dolabella got off but the Greeks really liked Caesar for his efforts and asked for help later in a corruption case in Macedonia. All of this got him a lot of praise in Greece and Rome as an advocate of good government. He began to accumulate a lot of influence due to his success and lavish lifestyle. His enemies thought that that would all end once his money ran dry so they just decided to let him go on ruining himself. His money didn’t run dry and all the success and influence began to cement him as a real big wheel in Rome. The only one to see through this façade and see Caesar as an extremely ambitious man was Cicero. He said he had the makings of a tyrant but he didn’t seem like his from his appearance.

 

  1. He competed against Caius Popilius for a military tribuneship. He gave a great “encomium” (praising speech) for his dead aunt, Julia (Marius’s mom), at the forum and at her funeral. Sulla’s people cried out against him for this but the people at that shit up with a spoon. After his wife died, he took a position in Spain as a quaestor (public finance job) under the praetor (governor) there, Vetus. When he became praetor, he made Vetus’s son his quaestor. He married his third wife, Pompeia. He did tend to flash the cash around which led a lot of people to think that he wouldn’t last very long. While he did spend a lot of money, he was actually getting a lot but not paying very much for it. He was appointed the curator of the Via Appia (road from Rome to Brundisium, the heel of Italy). He kept it up well, even pitching in some of his own money. Temples and arenas were built and they held many gladiator fights there. This made him very popular with the people.

 

  1. The two factions of the city (Sulla’s and Marius’s) were at odds with each other. Caesar was ambitious in bringing Marius’s group back to its former prestige. Artworks and monuments popped up overnight making Marius’s group very popular once people realized that it was they who were building them. This ostentatious display of wealth and popularity-seeking led a lot of powerful people to believe that Caesar was a usurper, especially when he was pushing for honorifics and titles that had long ago been forgotten. Marius and his guys were extremely proud of Julius in his ability to win over the people to the detriment of Sulla. Catulus Latatius (not the writer of bawdy poetry) denounced him as someone spending all his money to win the government in favor of his group. Julius defended himself and was able to convince the senate that he was indeed the real deal.

 

  1. Metellus, the high priest died and Isauricus and Catulus announced their candidacy. Caesar couldn’t stop them from being selected on his own, so he announced his candidacy, too. The polls were pretty level but it looked like Catulus was a stronger candidate than Isauricus. Catulus tried to bribe Caesar from running for priest. Caesar’s mother came with him on Election Day and he told her that if he wasn’t elected he would exile himself. He was elected and Piso and Catulus blamed Cicero for going easy on him earlier in the Catiline business. Catiline tried to pull a coup on the constitution and government. It was rumored that Caesar gave him and his men support but it was never verified. Cicero asked the Senate to vote on the matter and give a guilty sentence the death penalty. Caesar gave a long speech against it saying that such a trial was unprecedented and unnecessary.

 

  1. It was a humane speech and anybody who spoke on the subject afterwards against looked like a complete ass and eventually the matter fell into the hands of Cato and Catulus. They suspected Caesar for having given the speech. The men were handed to an executioner and Caesar had to run out of the Senate hiding under Curio’s toga. That’s the story at least. Cicero is thought to have given them mercy out of fear of Caesar’s popularity with the people. Cicero was later blamed for having allowed Caesar to succeed in life when he could have had him put to death right then and there. The Senate reconvened a few days later and the crowd outside were roaring to let Caesar off. Cato decided that the Senate couldn’t risk a verdict contrary to the poor public’s wishes because the shit would really hit the fan because they were already unhappy with how much grain they were able to get. Caesar convinced the Senate to increase the grain allowance and a revolt was avoided.

 

  1. Afterwards, things calmed down in Caesar’s praetorship but there was more shit in coming. A rich man named Publius Clodius fell in love with his wife, Pompeia and she was “not unwilling”. Caesar’s mom, Aurelia, kept a close eye on her and made sure nothing happened. There was a festival of the goddess, Bona at the time where women act out religious ceremonies at the praetor’s house and he is sent away. It’s mostly a girls’ night out, no boys allowed.

 

  1. Clodius shaved his beard off and went into the party dressed as a lute girl. He had a servant woman in on the gag and he him wait in secret. He couldn’t wait long enough to have Pompeia come to him and he started wandering around the house, trying to stay out of the light in order not to be noticed as a man. Aurelia asked him to play with her (the lute, that is) and asked him/her who he/she was and why he/she was there. He answered that he was waiting for Pompeia’s servant and forgot to affect a woman’s voice. The jig was up and the party was over. He hid for a while but was found and everybody learned who he was. The women went to their husbands and told them that Clodius had crashed a women-only party. This was not only seen as sacrilege but insult to the city. Indictments were given, including him committing adultery with his own sister, wife of Lucullus. People come out in support of Clodius and the jurors in his case were terrified of convicting him. Caesar divorced his wife because he didn’t even suspect her of anything and this whole scandal was very embarrassing to him. Clodius was acquitted mostly because the jurors were too afraid of the consequences of a guilty verdict.

 

  1. Caesar was sent to Spain by the government but had a hard time being let go there because his creditors didn’t want him fucking off into the ether. Crassus, one of Caesar’s biggest proponents in government, put an 830 talent guarantee on Caesar’s debts if he was “allowed” to go. As he was traveling there, he crossed the Alps and came into a tiny, poor village. Caesar said he’d rather be the big shot in a shit hole like that than be number two in Rome. When he got to Spain, he spent a lot of time lying around, reading on Alexander. Friends found him crying when he read all that Alexander did at the same age, yet he hadn’t done anything even close to that.

 

  1. He led an army against the Callaici and Lusitani and destroyed them. He went around them all over the peninsula fighting any tribe that wasn’t loyal to Rome. He eventually subdues any and all rebels and set down to enjoy the peace. He smoothed out a lot of the commercial problems between creditors and debtors. The creditor was to take 2/3 of the debtor’s income and the yield of any property would go to pay off the debt until it was paid in full. This seemed to work out very well and he made a lot of money off of it and got a lot of obedience out of it.

 

  1. The law in Rome was that those going after a win for an election position had to stay outside of the city but candidates for consulship had to come into the city to apply. Caesar saw that that was going to be problematic. He went to Rome to put forth his candidacy. Cato tried to manipulate the law to oppose him but saw that Caesar had too many supporters. He was too afraid of stepping on the wrong toes. Julius came into the city and proposed a hatchet burial between Pompeius and Crassus and putting himself as the centerpiece of this peace. It wasn’t the hatred between Caesar and Pompeius that caused civil war but their friendship and dispute over how to put down the nobility. Cato saw through this but nobody seemed to pay attention to him.

 

  1. Because he had the support of Crassus and Pompeius, he was given consulship along with Calpurnius Bibulus. He set about proposing re-allotment and divisions of land. The Senate resisted this but he courted the public against them pointing to the Senate’s resistance to helping ordinary people. He took the idea to the popular assembly and they approved. (Note: There were 3 components to the government: The Senate representing the aristocracy – 300 rich dudes with a life-long appointment, the Legislative Assemblies representing the commoners and the Consuls – one year term for two people – representing the Monarchy). There were many dead set against this act and willing to take up arms to that effect. Pompeius and Crassus were in his corner. The nobles were annoying by the support of those two but the people were in love with them. He was aiming for support from Crassus, so much so that he had him marry his daughter, Julia. Julia, however, was engaged to Servilius Caepio. Julius proposed a swap: Crassus would marry Julia and Caepio would marry Pompeius’s daughter. However, his daughter was engaged to Faustus, Sulla’s son. Then Caesar married Piso’s daughter Calpurnia and Piso got a consulship the next year. Cato didn’t like this because the whole process was all fucked up due to marriages and promises that had nothing to do with government – essentially armies and politics shouldn’t be controlled by exchanges of women. Bibulus didn’t have much luck slowing down Caesar and basically kept out of view for fear of being killed. Pompeius began to fill the Forum with armed men and gave Caesar support for his laws. Caesar was given for 5 years governorship of Gaul (France) and Illyricum (Albania/Yugoslavia), along with control of 4 legions. Caesar ordered Cato’s imprisonment but Cato said nothing about this. He actually wanted Cato to resist punishing him further but seeing as he didn’t even put up a fight, he just let him go. He was able to patch up everything in Rome by employing Clodius (the guy who stole his wife) in making sure that Cicero was no longer a problem in Italy.

 

  1. His life took a new turn when he moved to Gaul. This is where he really shone as a political leader and a general. To think of conquering just about every town and every village throughout such a large country is remarkable.

 

  1. One of the things that made Caesar’s army so great was his soldiers’ devotion to him. Soldiers would fight when they just had one of their hands cut off or an arrow through the eye. Some feigned surrender only to stab their enemies to death fully knowing they’d probably die for that. Soldiers would beg forgiveness just for losing a shield in battle. Some would even kill themselves rather than be taken prisoner.

 

  1. Caesar loved his soldiers for their devotion. Rewards were given to soldiers of particular bravery out of the battles – booty was passed out for the MVPs. Soldiers were impressed at how little he wore in battle and he he’d overcome his occasional epilepsy. He could have used poor health as an excuse to hide behind his soldiers but he showed them he was no coward and fought through it all. He rested during travels, sleeping in a litter on his way from one garrison to the next. He was able to travel from Rome to the Rhone in 8 days. He was very into sending letters to friends, generals, etc. He didn’t really care too much for big fancy meals and was said to have a very sharp wit. He was not really into opulence and would not put his men out for the sake of his comfort

 

  1. His first campaign in Gaul was against the Helvetii (Ancient Swiss). He torched 12 of their cities and 400 of their villages. Caesar’s deputy laid it on the Tigurini while Caesar was in another place. While he was in that other place, the Helvetii ambushed him. They hunkered down in a defensive position, got their wits about them and attacked. Caesar saved using his horse for the victory parade. It wasn’t an easy victory, but it was a victory. The women and children fought alongside the men, so they were cut down too. Those who did survive were compelled to pledge loyalty and maintain the villages. He didn’t want the Germans to swoop in on the Roman action.

 

  1. The next war in Gaul was defending it from German attack. He had set up an alliance with Ariovistus, the king but they couldn’t help themselves trying to move in on Gaul. Some of Caesar’s officers were a bit chicken shit. They thought they’d come along and rake in the cash while out on patrol with Caesar. He sent them off and went with his crack squad, the 10th legion. Other legions gave their superiors a lot of earache for being sent away for being little bitches. They marched for days and finally got within 200 furlongs (25 miles) of the enemy. Ariovistus was rattled by the mere presence of Julius. He didn’t expect an attack and his army was nervous. Holy German women gave prophetic warnings read in the rivers about not fighting before the new moon. Somehow he got wind of this and leapt at the chance. He attacked them and chased them all the way to the Rhine. Ariovistus got away alive but left 80,000 men dead.

 

  1. Caesar took the winter off and headed down south to find out what had been going on. The boundary of Gaul started along the Po River (Northern Italy). He set up right along the Po River to scheme a while. Nobody, not even Pompeius, was aware of how close he was to Rome without actually being there. Caesar got a lot of support against his enemies by giving away spoils of war. He found out the Belgae (guess where they were from) were stirring up shit in the north of Gaul and he had to knock that on the head. He found them as they were fighting Gauls loyal to the Romans. He took care of the vast majority of their armies so that they wouldn’t really be a problem again. He then heard about the Nervii (N. France, S. Belgium) and went after them. These were some bad muthafuckas. They lived in the woods and their families and villages were in the deepest and most remote parts of the forests. Caesar tried to set up a fortified camp to be ready for them. They attacked him when he wasn’t ready – 60,000 Nervii pounced on him. They took out his cavalry and killed all the centurions of the 7th and 12th legions. Caesar saw red – he didn’t even have time to grab a shield just ran to the enemy. Lucky for him, the 10th legion was right behind him. It definitely was a loss for the Nervii – only 500 of 60,000 survived.

 

  1. The Roman Senate heard about the success and declared a 15 day festival – the biggest ever. Caesar spent the winter again along the Po River and got back to business about his plans for Rome. There he was able to help a lot of candidates for office when he was in Luca, including: Pompeius, Crassus, Appius of Sardinia, Nepos. The council he held wanted Pompeius and Crassus as consuls and Caesar would stay another five years in Gaul. Cato, who was definitely not there, was sent off to Cyprus on some snipe hunt so that he wouldn’t get in the way.

 

  1. Once he was back with his army in Gaul, more German tribes, Usipes and Tenteritae were lurking around the Rhine. Under the protection of a truce with the Romans, they marched up to his troops and took out his cavalry but they were held off. He then chased them down for breaking the truce. Some 400,000 were butchered and the few who did get away went to the Sugambri nation. This violated the terms he had with them so he took his army across the Rhine (first Roman to do so). He had to build a bridge and got it down in 10 days.

 

  1. Nobody on the German side dared oppose him. He ravaged the area of the Sugambri nation and went back into Gaul after 18 days lighting fires. He turned his eyes to the Britanni (3 guesses where they were from). He built a fleet launch across the sea. He really did not know what he was getting into with that. It was way bigger than he was expecting. Stories about this jaunt aren’t really reliable but he did cross the Channel twice to fight the natives and won both times. But he found that there wasn’t anything of any interest to him so he left it pretty much as it was imposing tributes and keeping hostages from the king there. He received some letters once he was back in Caul about the death of his daughter, Julia, the one he flung at Pompeius, who died in childbirth. It was a sad time in the Caesar camp. The baby died too. Julia was buried in the Campus Martius.

 

  1. His army in Gaul was so big that he could send them out to various garrisons throughout the country while he stayed by the Po. Suddenly, all of Gaul was in revolt and started attacking the winter quarters. Abriorix was able to smash the armies of Titurius and Cotta, and Cicero’s army was under siege by 60,000 Gauls. Caesar learned this and had to go back up to TCB. The enemy were aware of his arrival and set out to stop him at once rather than letting him linger. Julius kept avoiding battle and delayed until he could find a place suitable to build a fortified camp. When the enemy showed up, they attacked and were soundly beaten.

 

  1. Julius stopped the long stays down in Italy during the winter. This led to the constant revolts in Gaul failing on the regular. He also got some replacements for the legions that were getting smaller from all the fighting. The winters in some parts made fighting revolt leaders like Vercingetorix very difficult.

 

  1. Vercingetorix divided his armies into smaller parts to make the Romans chase them around in the wilderness. He was able to unite many of the smaller regions and tribes to fight the Romans together. He would’ve succeeded if he had waited a little bit when Caesar was involved in a civil war down in Italy. Caesar came out as soon as he heard of these revolts. Some groups who had always been friendly to the Romans were convinced by Vercingetorix to band together and fight them. He seemed to be able to withstand the waves of fighting the rebels were able to send his way.

 

  1. Many Barbarians were able to escape to the walled city of Alesia. Caesar laid siege to the city. Other Barbarians came from behind him and squeeze him against the city walls, which forced him to build two walls for his own protection against the two forces, one facing the city walls and one behind them. This was the biggest and best organized resistance he had faced up to this point but they managed to win out. Vercingetorix surrendered himself to Caesar in person.

 

  1. Caesar and Pompeius had been making plans to get rid of each other. Crassus was waiting on the sidelines to see who would win that fight and then fight the wounded winner. But he died fighting the Parthians (Iraq/Iran area). Pompeius felt it should be easy to put down someone he made big. Caesar was aware of this mutual hatred and took advantage of being in Gaul for so many years. He built up his troops and got a lot of fame and public support for his cause when he was ready to take him on. Things were getting pretty grim in Rome. A lot of blood was spilled over politics, often at the hands of hitmen. A lot of people were calling for a monarchy as the only solution to the violence and chaos in the city. Cato got Pompeius elected as sole Consul, instead of just one. He was also allowed to hold onto his provinces of Spain and Africa, which allowed him to get more cash and allies.

 

  1. Julius was looking again for a consulship. He was also to hold on to his provinces. All of this was a play for time to accumulate power and later have it out with Pompeius. He was being blocked by Marcellus and Lentulus. Many inhabitants of Caesar’s territory were being deprived of citizenship by those two. They were not very fond of non-Romans being involved in Roman politics. Caesar was loyal to those who were loyal to him, especially in Gaul. There was an overall fear of monarchy in Rome and the way Caesar ran Gaul played into those fears. He didn’t come back to Rome to ask for an extension of his rule because he would probably have been arrested.

 

  1. Caesar asked Pompeius that he promised to lay down his arms to negotiate that Pompeius should do the same. Taking away his army but not Pompeius’s wouldn’t avoid the monarchy/tyranny issue. Caesar’s proposal was popular with the people, as well as Antony. The Senate was less enthusiastic. They threatened him with the title of “Biggest Asshole in Rome” if he didn’t leave his army. They also didn’t want Pompeius to leave his. Scipio (Pompeius’s father-in-law) upset the apple cart as soon as Antony was able to convince many that both should leave their armies.

 

  1. Then Caesar then asked to keep the troops of the region of the Cisalpine and Illyricum while he was running for consul. Cicero tried to get more out of Caesar, fewer troops at his command as long as Pompeius was willing to do the same. Lentulus, consul, wasn’t having it. He ran the two peacemakers, Antony and Curio, out of the Senate. This only made Caesar’s soldiers more loyal to him.

 

  1. Caesar now had 300 horsemen and 5000 legionaries. The rest of his soldiers remained at their stations in Gaul. He didn’t really need the rest at the moment and wanted them to remain ready when needed. His smaller army occupied the city of Ariminum without any fighting. He sent out messages to his friends in Rome to join him there in secret. He sat at the Rubicon river and thought able what he was to do next. He finally decided that he would try his hand at attack. “Let the die be cast” he said. He went back to Ariminum and took possession of it. That night he had a naughty dream about his mother.

 

  1. His official taking of Ariminum caused a great deal of panic down in Rome. Many ran around as if the sky was falling and many cheered this move. A lot of senators blamed Pompeius as well as Lentulus for allowing this to happen. Although Pompeius had a much larger army than Caesar, nobody in Rome would let him use it as he wanted to.

 

  1. The consuls skipped town, as did most of the Senate. All the panic happening in Rome played in Caesar’s hands, the only one who seemed to have any idea of what he was doing. Labienus was sent his kit and kaboodle by Caesar. Domitius held on to a stronghold in Corfinium with 30 men. Domitius was advised that Caesar treated prisoners really well and he surrendered. Later, he ran off to fight Caesar with Pompeius.

 

  1. Caesar took Domitius’s troops and started looking for Pompeius and his troops. Pompeius ran off down south to Brundisium (heel of the boot of Italy) and sent his army to Dyrrhachium (in Albania today). Caesar wanted to follow him but didn’t have any ships to bring his troops over there, so he decided to move towards Rome. He had conquered Italy. He found it to be more peaceful than he imagined. He offered peace to Pompeius but nobody answered. The tribune (plebeian representative) Metellus tried to stop Caesar raiding the coffers of the state. Caesar told him to fuck off because there was a war going on and that rules and procedures don’t apply during a war. Metellus ran off in fear. Caesar had full access to Rome’s money.

 

  1. Julius then went to Spain to take care of Pompeius’s men there, Afranius and Varro. It was a dangerous trip. It exposed his forces to ambush and hunger but felt that he had to take care of Pompeius’s men before they had time to organize. He took care of the armies and resistance but the two men got away.

 

  1. Back in Rome now, his father-in-law, Piso told him he should try to make peace. Isauricus, his pet dictator of the Senate didn’t like that. There were too many wrongs to make right before pursuing Pompeius. Civic rights had to be returned to those stripped of them, as well other things. He sent 5 legions and 600 horsemen to take the cities of Oricum and Apollonia (W. Greece). All of this action in such a short time wore out a lot of his troops and they dragged their asses on the way to Brundisium to join him in Greece.

 

  1. He sailed off to Greece ahead of his half of his troops. Crossing the Ionian Sea in winter was crazy enough but it was also crawling with the enemy. Fortunately for Caesar, it was difficult for the enemy too and he was able to get across whole and unscathed. However, he was reluctant to press on without the rest of his troops.

 

  1. When they arrived, he was still reluctant, having no supplies. They ate whatever they could find and laid siege to Pompeius. Pompeius was also running out of food but didn’t want to eat the garbage Caesar’s men were eating. The fighting happened but at a small scale. Most of skirmishes were won by Caesar except one that nearly killed him. One of his soldiers was running from the enemy. Caesar tried to stop him and the soldier swung a sword at him and took of his shield-bearer’s arm. He began to get depressed. This city was important because he wanted access to the sea for himself and to remove it for the enemy. They left and headed towards Macedonia to fight Scipio. This would either draw out Pompeius or split Pompeius and Scipio. Either way, it seemed like a good plan.

 

  1. Pompeius’s men were excited by this apparent victory. He thought about pursuing them while their backs were turned and had suffered an apparent defeat.

 

  1. Pompeius chose not to follow him because he thought fighting only invigorated Caesar’s men. He thought the retreat was a fake, and he had also had enough of fighting at this point. Many of his troops and supporters chided him for that because he was supposed to get rid of Caesar once and for all, not worry about the inevitable deaths of soldiers. After all the weighing and deliberating, Pompeius decided to follow Caesar. Caesar’s march to Macedonia was difficult and soldiers began to grumble about him and the recent defeat. But as soon as they took the city of Gomphi, they were well fed and in a much better mood.

 

 

  1. The two armies approached each other at Pharsalus. Pompeius dreamt that night of the glory of his future victory against Caesar. His officers became confident to the point of arrogance about a victory against Julius that he began to prepare for the aftermath in Rome, taking Caesar’s titles and possessions. Caesar had 22000 men to Pompeius’s 45000.

 

  1. Caesar rallied his troops. He reminded them there that Corfinius was nearby with 2 legions and 15 cohorts (60-80 soldiers each) of reinforcements were in Athens and Megara. He put it to a vote: “Should we take our chances now against Pompeius or wait for the reinforcements to arrive?” Almost unanimously, the troops were ready for immediate action. He consulted a seer about what the outcome of an attack would be. The seer told Caesar that he himself had a better picture of what would happen but a big change was going to come. He decided that he should move on to Scotussa.

 

  1. As soon as they picked up their gear, scouts warned him that the enemy was approaching for battle. He was excited by this and split his legionaries into three divisions, commanded by himself, Domitius Calvinus and Antony. Pompeius’s men were divided up under Pompeius himself, Domitius and Scipio. They thought stacking the cavalry on one side would break one of Caesar’s divisions. Caesar ordered the troops to wait until the enemy was close enough to be hit by javelins. Then they were to run at the enemy gaining the momentum of an attack.

 

  1. Caesar’s troops on the right were ordered to attack the legs of the cavalry, which would be scary to the unseasoned soldier. Then the javelins were thrown on the cavalry’s second pass and were destroyed. When Pompeius saw this, he completely broke down mentally. He lost all ability to control his men and panic set in in his troops. He ran off looking for shelter.

 

  1. Caesar felt no pity on Pompeius and his men. They would have cut him down in courts after all the peace and glory he brought to Rome. He took what remained of Pompeius’s army and incorporated it into his own. Brutus, one of Pompeius’s men, was among these new soldiers.

 

  1. A statue of Caesar in Tralles (W. Turkey) was seen to have a palm tree shoot up from under it at the Temple of Victory. In Patavium (Padua, Italy), a seer was sitting in a special spot and suddenly jump up and said “Caesar is a winner!” at the same time that Caesar won the battle.

 

  1. To celebrate the victory, he gave Thessalians freedom. He chased Pompeius eastward and when he got to Asia (Turkey), he freed the Cnidians. This pleased a lot of people and the areas gave Rome 1/3 of their taxes. He got to Alexandria just after Pompeius died. Theodotus brought him the head of Pompeius, which grossed him out. When he got his seal-ring, he began to cry. Caesar was very kind and forgiving to Pompeius’s people after it was all over. His involvement in Egypt’s war was probably not a good idea but it was mostly out of his lust for Cleopatra. She ran off and began to plot against him. Potheinus was also began to insult him openly because of Caesar’s lack of interest in having Egyptians as advisors.

 

  1. Cleopatra took Apollodorus and approached the palace where Caesar was staying. She was rolled up in a carpet to be brought into the same room as Caesar. He was taken by her flirtatiousness and brought her back to the throne of Egypt. Caesar’s barber slave (no name given for the man who created a haircut that has stood the test of time) overhear Achillas and Potheinus planning against Caesar. Julius caught wind of this and had Potheinus put to death. Achillas got away though. Caesar almost was cut off from the water by the enemy blocking the canals and ports. He was able to fight this by setting fire to everything, including the docks and the Great Library. In a battle at Pharos, he was force to escape through tunnels to a small boat to join his men but the Egyptians pulled up in their boats all around him. He got away by swimming. He had important papers with him and swam with one arm and holding the papers in the other. He was able to come back and finish the Pharoah’s army, making Cleopatra the sole ruler of Egypt. He left and went to Syria.

 

  1. After leaving, he learned that Domitius had been whomped by Pharnaces and ran from Pontus (Turkey). Pharnaces secured the area around Armenia by causing revolts against local lords. Caesar marched up with three legions against him and fought with him at Zela (N. Turkey). Julius defeated his army and ran him off. Here he stated how quickly and authoritatively brushed off the enemy, “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

 

  1. He went back to Rome. He was chosen again to be dictator for the second straight year. The next year he was made consul. Some his soldiers killed 2 praetorians (generals), Galba and Cosconius, they were censured and given 1000 drachmas and a bit of land in Italy. Caesar was wrongly accused of Dolabella’s madness, Amantius’s greed and Antony’s drinking. Romans didn’t like these traits but they seemed to be useful to Caesar in his rule.

 

  1. After the defeat at Pharsalus, Cato and Scipio fucked off to Africa and stayed with King Juba. They managed to drum up a lot of support down there. Caesar heard about this decided to put a stop to it before it started. He went down with troops through Sicily around the winter solstice and waited for the right sea conditions and went to sea with 30000 and some horsemen. They landed on the beach completely unseen. He heard that an oracle told the enemy that the Scipio family were to be rulers of Africa. He decided to use this news against Scipio, who was a bit arrogant about it. The oracle said someone by the name ‘Scipio’ would be victorious, so Caesar found a local man named ‘Scipio Sallustio’ and made him join his army. The trip wasn’t well planned. They had no food and were forced to eat seaweed. The local Numidians seemed in control of their territory. Caesar’s horsemen were tricked and ambushed by the enemy.

 

  1. Scipio decided to engage Caesar in battle to take advantage of the circumstances. He built a camp near the lake of the city of Thapsus (Tunisia) as a place to jump out into and to retreat from battle. While Scipio was busy with this, Caesar rushed through the woods and attacked the unprepared enemy. Juba ran off and Afranius was captured. Some say that Caesar wasn’t actually in this battle but he was sick in bed while it was going on. Many high-ranking officers were put to death afterwards.

 

  1. He wanted to capture Cato alive and made for Utica, where Cato was supposed to be holed up. He had just missed him. This really pissed him off. He wanted him alive to avenge himself of all the shit that Cato put him through over the years. Cato died before Caesar was able to get his hands on him. Caesar was annoyed by anyone who even thought about anything nice about him.

 

  1. Caesar went back to Rome and celebrated his victories in Egypt, Pontus and Africa. He gave his soldiers a lot of the spoils of the wars. Feasts and celebrations were set up for all of Rome to enjoy.

 

  1. Afterwards, he was declared consul for the 4th time. He went off to Spain to fight Pompeius’s son. They were young but seemed to gather quite a following. They fought at Munda (S. Spain). Caesar’s men seemed fairly weak in battle against those led by boys. After a while of losing many men, the tide turned and Caesar was able to wipe out the rebellion of 30000 men. The victory was on the festival of Bacchus. One of the sons was captured. This was the last war that Caesar waged. This was the end of the Roman Civil War.

 

  1. After all of the civil wars and heavy shit that came before all this, the Romans allowed the inevitable, they made him dictator-for-life. Cicero was the one who laid the honors on him and then added more and more honors (What bigger honor is there beyond ‘dictator-for-life’?) on him. This led to him making a lot of enemies – the appearance that his shit didn’t stink. On the other hand, he was very forgiving of his enemies from the civil war. Brutus and Cassius were appointed praetors. He allowed the remaining statues of Pompeius to stay up. He refused bodyguards because he believed having them was living life expecting to be murdered. He made himself popular with his festivals and food distributions throughout the populace.

 

  1. Nobles were promised consulships and praetorships, as well as honors in order to make the ruled happy. When the consul, Maximus died, he made Caninius Revilius consul for the one day left in the term. Being the big boss didn’t slow Caesar down one bit. His successes only led him to be more ambitious for more glory. He made plans to fight the Parthians (Persians) and won. Then went up north by the Caspian Sea to invade Scythia. Then he went over to Germany and took care of business there. From there, he went back to Italy. He wanted to dig a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth and divert the Tiber below the city toward Terracina to make merchant ships’ voyages to Rome safer. Marshes were set to be drained and roads were to be built.

 

  1. The Calendar was also to be changed. The solar year and the lunar year didn’t exactly line up: 12*28 ≠(doesn’t equal 365 (or 365.25). Seasonal festivals started showing up in the wrong seasons. People were confused by this and only the priests had an idea of how to compute the calendar. Two extra months had to be added to the calendar. This calendar more or less is the same one we have today.

 

  1. The main reason he made enemies was his thirst for the monarchy. People were also confused by his status as king but the lack of the title. He commanded a lot of respect in the people but little happiness or joy in the people. His failure to acknowledge the Senate as an important part of the government of Rome also ruffled a few feathers. Caesar realized this made gestures to atone for his behavior. He also claimed his disease was responsible for his bad behavior. Not rising to accept the Senate’s honors was due to his illness not arrogance. Or so he claimed.

 

  1. At the festival of Lupercalia, the “Arcadian naked shepherd help a pregnant lady” festival, Caesar was watching the festivities. Antony, now consul, presented a laurel wreath to Caesar. Caesar refused it but the crowded applauded, urging him on. Again, he refused. He had the wreath carried to the Capitol to be put on statues but they were already covered in royal wreaths. Two tribunes pulled off the royal wreaths and had those who put them there in prison. These two were called the ‘Brutuses’ because he was the one who ended the royal line and brought power to the Senate and people. Caesar was pissed off about this and threw the two out of their offices. This angered some people.

 

  1. Many people began to think about Marcus Brutus, related to the earlier Brutus and nephew to Cato. He wanted to carry on the tradition of his family and keep Rome from falling back into a monarchy. However, he felt a great deal of loyalty to Caesar for sparing his life in the Civil War and allowing him back into civil honors ahead of Cassius. When rumors of Brutus’s involvement in a conspiracy against Caesar were circulating, Caesar wouldn’t listen. Many people told him, “Watch out, those Brutuses, they’re king-killers.” Antony and Dolabella were accused of plotting something too but Caesar said he was more afraid of “thin ghouls” (Brutus and Cassius) than “fat-asses and shaggy-headed assholes” (Antony and Dolabella). Apparently he heard the rumors so often that he began to believe them.

 

  1. It seems that the signs were all around. Bad omens, crashing sounds, people on fire, sacrifice victims not having hearts. A seer came to see him to warn him about shit going down on the Ides of March (15th). When the day came, he gave him a good railing about the whole thing. The seer told him the day wasn’t over yet. Just the day before someone asked him what the best death was. He answered “an unexpected one”. Also Calpurnia, his wife, had a dream about his death.

 

  1. At this point in time, Decimus Brutus (Albinus) was his number 2. However, he was in cahoots with Brutus and Cassius. They felt the pressure to act on the Ides of March in order to fulfill a prophecy that this is something that the gods wanted to happen. There was a vote on that he should be considered ‘king’ in all the lands of the empire beyond Italy. They had to have good timing because they wanted to kill him as a tyranny and bad man, and not kill him when he’s been displayed as popular everywhere. Albinus tried to convince Caesar to ignore the warning and go see about the vote in person. Brutus took Caesar by the hand to lead him. Then a slave boy came out asking something. Brutus had to deal with this shit before getting around to doing the deed.

 

  1. Artemidorus claimed that was hurried in signing papers and was surrounded by many people.

 

  1. Most of the events up to this point were very likely independent of the conspiracy. There was a statue of Pompeius in the room. Cassius looked at the statue before the attack but was unlikely to have ‘received any sign’ from it because he was not a believer in the supernatural. Antony was held outside the room by Albinus in a conversation to keep him away. Many participants stood around Caesar while he was sitting in a chair. Caesar received a petition to allow one participant’s brother to return from exile. He tried to refuse all the paperwork but Tullius grabbed his toga and pulled it down and ripped it off. All of the sudden every fucker in the room stabbed him. Caesar tried to grab one hand but it was over before it began. Those not involved began to panic at the nasty murder of Caesar. Brutus stabbed Caesar in the groin. His body was left at the foot of the statue of Pompeius. He received 23 stabs.

 

  1. The senators ran out of the building and hid. Even Antony and Lepidus ran off to hide. Brutus and his buddies left the Senate and walked around as if nothing happened. People who had nothing to do with the murder acted as if they were a part of the group. They’d pay for that later. The next day, Brutus addressed the people. They felt pity for Caesar but also respected Brutus. The Senate provided amnesty for the murderers and gave divine honors to Caesar.

 

  1. The will of Caesar was opened. He gave the citizens of Rome great gifts. Afterwards, his body was carried around the city to show everyone what had happened. This is when the shit hit the fan. People burned pretty much anything that would catch fire. Caesar’s friend, Cinna had dreams that he was at dinner with Caesar. He tried to go to the toilette but Caesar kept trying to stop him. They burned the body of Caesar at the Forum. Everyone wondered what would happen next.

 

  1. Caesar was 56 when he died. He outlasted Pompeius for 4 years. He never really had the chance to appreciate all that he had accomplished and acquired throughout his life. His friends were so loyal to him that they went to the ends of the earth to avenge him. Cassius killed himself with the same dagger he used on Caesar. Brutus was haunted by the ghost of Caesar for the rest of his life. He was hunted down and killed a couple years later.

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