Ms. Bergen/ Mrs. Downer
English 10-4/Latin II-6
10 November, 2011
Julius Caesar led the Roman Empire to great success while being general. Other than being a great general Caesar was a statesman for the Roman Empire who was loved by the Roman citizens. Caesar always tried to help the empire as much as he could and was a man constantly at work for the Romans. Julius Caesar (both a general and statesman) affected society by expanding and reforming the Roman Empire.
While Julius Caesar was in consul, he was one of the leading men in the Roman Empire reforming the Empire. Caesar stood atop of the Roman world at this time. At the very beginning of his role in office he made a bill to provide land allotments to Pompeiu’s veterans. As Billow says, “He was determined to be conciliatory, and to accomplish his reforms as far as possible by consensus”(Billows 112). Caesar had a great state of mind that made him confident in what he was doing in the senate. The man that Caesar was he took everything serious and tried his best to get the bill to pass. Pompeius veterans did as much as they possibly could do make the bill pass and to help Caesar pass it. Caesar put out a big display of perverseness against other statesman to pass the bill also. One of the statesman named Cato tried to ignore the bill by talking around it led to Caesar telling him to be quiet. Caesar then ordered Cato to prison but then decided that would be a bad decision so he did not go on with his order. After this incident the bill was later passed because the consul could find no reason to object it. This bill helped change society of the Roman Empire by giving land to needy people and war veterans. To follow this highlight in Caesars lifetime he then wanted to expand the Roman Empire and show the Roman people of what he truly was capable of achieving.
A big part of why Caesar was known for expanding the Roman Empire comes from his conquest of Gaul. Most of the information from this conquest comes from Caesar himself. Caesar most likely kept a record of what he did over the course of the conquest each day while in Gaul. As said by Elizabeth Tappan “setting aside for the time of evidence of Caesar himself and of his contemporaries, one finds few indications in later writers of any definite belief in Caesar’s luck during his own lifetime” (Tappan 3). With or without luck Caesar still did a fantastic job in the conquering of Gaul. What started the conquest was that the Helveti were planning to make a move on Rome and this was a major threat in the eyes of the Romans. After time Caesar was ready to battle the Helveti in Gaul. Here we learn of Caesars quick tactics he used in battles never backing down and moving rapidly. These very good tactics won Caesar the battle and was later congratulated by Gallic Chiefs.
The next part of Caesars conquest of Gaul was the Germans who were in Gaul at the time. News hit the Romans that the Germans were a big threat and this frightened Julius and his army. Caesar reassured his men that they had already defeated the Germans in the past and could defeat them once more. With Caesar’s confident speeches to his men they were able to defeat the Germans. Instead of going back to the Roman province, Caesar and his men stayed in Gaul in the territory of Sequani.
In 54 B.C. Caesar led his legions against the Gallic tribes for Roman domination in Gaul. The Gallic tribes tried to hold this uprising off against the Romans for domination over their territory. When Caesar and his men faced Vercingetorix and his army, Caesar faced 250,000 foot soldiers and 8,000 cavalry. Julius Caesar won the battle by using his excellent natural gifted war tactics. The day after defeat Vercingetorix surrendered to Caesar and was later executed. The conquest of Gaul was now complete. Julius Caesar had done what few have ever done before, conquering an entire Empire and expanding the Roman Empire.
Julius Caesar was a general who never backed down no matter what the consequences were. As said by one author “it should be clear by now that when Caesar paused at the Rubicon on that fateful January day in 49, it was not just his own career, his future and his life were at stake”(Billows 205). When civil war hit the Roman Empire this was great proof that Caesar did not care for consequences. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon River this marked that civil war had begun in the Roman Empire. At this time Caesar had with him an estimated 300 cavalry and 5,000 soldiers. When Pompey heard news that Caesar was approaching Rome he abandoned the city. When Caesar arrived he urged the senate to join his side in governing Rome. Caesar was determined to find Pompey and confront him in Balakns. Caesar took control of the towns Oricum and Apollonia to take control of the Epirote coast where Pompey’s army was expected.
While Caesar was taking control of the Epirote coast Pompey and his army were training in Macedonia. On the way to Epirus for winter, Pompey heard that Caesar and his men were making him change plans and go to Dyrrhachium. From here Caesar and Pompey played a chasing game though out Europe. Pompey then fled to Egypt where Caesar thought was an unusual place to flee. Pompey was later killed by the Egyptian government upon arriving. The civil war showed that Caesar truly wanted the Roman Empire for himself and to keep control of what was his. As put by Canfora “For Caesar, the most urgent imperative each time was to achieve decisive victory on the field of battles, and, immediately or at the same side, to seek a political solution that would re-establish the balance of power” (Canfora 229). That is exactly what Caesar did with the civil war and what made him such a great general. The civil war also showed that Caesar truly loved his Empire and evidence to how he never gave up. Knowing now that Julius Caesar was dedicated for the Roman Empire he later became dictator bringing great change Once the Civil War ended Caesar came back to Rome as a Dictator. The victory of the War had Caesar control of the Roman world. While in dictatorship of Rome, Caesar opened the senate and political career to new men. People who wanted to be part of the political career could. This led to a greater and finer Roman empire by getting people who had a sense of what really needed to be reformed and changed with the Roman Empire. The people of Rome now had a different perspective of Caesar as a generous person. Many of the new senators came from non-traditional background which refilled the senate which lost many men since of the civil war. Also to control the population of Italy he made a rule that people of the ages 20-40 could not reside Italy for more than three consecutive years. Caesars position by 45 BC, was overwhelming with running the senate and empire. Caesar”s assassination was held in Pompey’s meeting room where he was surrounded by conspirators led by Marcus Brutus and stabbed 23 times. Caesars death was very
With Julius Caesar being both a general and statesman it made the Roman Empire had great unity under a man who cared for his Empire and people. Caesar led the Roman Empire to great reformation by making new rules and bills that helped the citizens of Rome. Other than just helping the citizens he was loved by them at the same time. Julius Caesar brought greatness and strength to his empire by expanding and reforming the Roman Empire.
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