Gaius Julius Caesar was an incredibly motivated man that thrived on power no matter how strong the opposition. He was a powerful leader and general in the Roman army. He was power hungry and rose up the ranks until he was king of all of Rome.
According to legend Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by two brothers, Romulus and Remus . After many years and the death of one bother the Tarquin kings came to power. The first Tarquin king was a Greek noble who emigrated to Rome with his Etruscan wife and rose high in Roman society. Further generations were plagued by murders. Eventually Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (Tarquin the Proud)and Tullia came to power after they killed Tullia’s father and her sister. The couple had a son named Sextus who brought about the downfall of the Tarquin dynasty when he raped a virtuous noble woman named Lucretia.. Disgusted the Romans revolted and kicked the ruling Tarquin family out of Rome. The Tarquins were the first to be thrown from power and this started the Roman republic. With the setting up of the Republic the stage was set for Gaius Julius Caesar.
From a young age Caesar lived a life of controversy as his family belonged to the agrarian faction and was constantly fighting against the populares. Caesar became a sort of priest but soon left Rome, as he was opposed to the leaders. He could not stay away long however, and later returned and became governor of Roman Gaul despite much opposition. He played a key part in the Gallic wars where he was able to soundly defeat the Helvetii, and forced them to return to their home area. Next, he fought against Germanic forces and then the Nervii .A last revolt by the Gauls was also quickly suppressed .All these victories and this his first venture onto the war fields! It became obvious that Caesar had much potential as a military general and had the ambition needed to succeed in anything he put his mind to.
In 71 BC Pompey the Great returned to Rome, having defeated the rebellious Populares general, Sertorius, in Spain. At the same time Marcus Licinius Crassus, a rich patrician, suppressed in Italy the slave revolt led by Spartacus. Pompey and Crassus both ran for the consulship, an office held by two men, in 70 BC. Pompey was technically ineligible, but with Caesar’s help he won the office. Crassus then lent Caesar money to pay for some gladiatorial games that he was hosting in an effort to become curule aedile, which was a high leadership position. This united the two men, who also found they had ideas in common with Pompey. When Caesar returned to Rome in 60 BC after a year as governor of Spain, he joined forces with Crassus and Pompey in a three-way alliance known as the First Triumvirate. Caesar was elected consul in 59 BC despite hostility, and the year after he was appointed governor of Roman Gaul.
Caesar continued to win battles and eventually there was only one man between him and the full power of Rome. The last remaining man with power was his friend Pompey but being no fool himself and after having carefully watched Caesar he thought that by acting quickly he could remove Caesar from Rome. He did not act quickly enough and Caesar took the opportunity to strike against Pompey. However, Pompey had many more soldiers and many more politicians on his side. Caesar came up with a brilliant plan to quickly defeat Pompey’s scattered forces and gain control of Rome. Caesar’s plan worked incredibly well and within a few weeks it was Pompey who was running from Rome. Caesar was not content with this and his forces took Spain and then a key port in Massalia.
Caesar installed himself as dictator of Rome. It had not taken Caesar long at all to reach this incredibly powerful position and he was not going to give it up without a fight. For years he continued his struggle to keep his power and to conquer new lands. He traveled to Egypt and there visited Cleopatra who he had met earlier .He had to quickly return to Rome but it was not before he learned that Cleopatra was going to have his child.
Caesar returned to Rome to find that there was some trouble in the East and immediately conducted one of his lighting marches North and crushed the rebel Pharnaces at Zela . On his return Caesar reported to the senate “Veni, Vidi, Vici.” This translates into “I came, I saw, I conquered.” The words were true and no one could doubt Caesar’s power.
Caesar began to make several reforms to the government and even introduced a new calendar. Various powerful senatorial families began to feel threatened by Caesar and decided that he had too much power. An assassination plot was hatched by a group of senators and on March 15, Caesar was killed. Caesar really impressed me because he seemed unstoppable. His attitude towards obstacles was incredible, for him they didn’t exist. He treated his soldiers well and they fought with him and for him. He was a remarkable man that lived his life to the fullest.