Julius Caesar was a very important part of ancient history. He was a military ruler from Rome whose life was forever memorialized by the Shakespeare play. There are many aspects of this brilliant man’s life that remain unknown, but the things we do know about him are very impressive.
1. He Was a Brilliant Military Leader
Julius Caesar had a brilliant military mind. Born in the year 100 BC, his name was actually Gaius. Very little is known about Cesar’s childhood, but we do know quite a bit about his military career. He was responsible for expanding the Roman empire into Western Europe. Not only did he successfully conquer Gaul, which we know today as France, but he also twice invaded Britain. One of his most famous moves, however, was to form an alliance with Crassus and Pompey. This gave him public support to be in opposition of the Roman Senate.
2. Alimony Was His Thing
What many people don’t realize about Julius Caesar was that he was actually married three times. His first marriage happened when he was 17 years old. Her name was Cornelia and she ended up dying during childbirth around the year 69 BC. Caesar then got married a second time a year or two later, but ended up divorcing his second wife after just six years. He remained married to his third wife until the time of his death.
It wasn’t just the wives with whom Caesar was known to be involved with over the years. He is also known to have had relationships with at least three other women. The most famous of these women was Cleopatra, who was the queen of Egypt. He had a son with Cleopatra whom they called Cesarean. They may have actually gotten married themselves, but couldn’t because under Roman law, only a Roman citizen could marry each other.
3. He Was a Brilliant Author
We still actually have some of the writings of Julius Caesar today. This allows us to know that he was a brilliant public speaker and was able to sway the opinions of those he ruled with just a few passionate words. Only the writing about his military conquests have survived to this day, but we do know that he was a prolific writer. There are many mentioning throughout history of his ability to write in many different forms. This includes poetry.
4. Absolutely Power Corrupts Absolutely
Considering the size of the Roman empire and how much power the Julius Caesar had, this man may have been one of the most powerful men that earthquake ever seen. Because he was a dictator, he had the power to directly veto the Roman Senate. He also was able to be in direct control of all the armies of Rome during his rule. He is also known as being the first Roman who was officially deified. This means that he was given the direct status of a god.
5. That’s a Lot of Stabbing
Eventually the Roman Senate are tired of the control that Julius Caesar had. A large group of Roman senators came together and ended up betraying Caesar at the end. In 44 BC, he was apparently stabbed more than 20 times and it was done so that no one could officially know who had dealt the final deathblow. In the aftermath of his assassination, it took nearly 17 years for the Empire to finally become stabilized. Caesar’s air, Octavian, who would later become named Augustus Caesar, successfully fought a series of civil wars within the Empire and became Rome’s first Emperor.
The group of senators who were involved in the assassination of Julius Caesar were pretty careless. There was probably a very hectic situation in the senators were desperate not to be caught. They were also desperate to make sure that Caesar died because if he did not, there would be serious consequences for them that would likely involve crucifixion or death. It was so crazy, in fact, that Brutus was said to have been stabbed multiple times as well.
6. There Was a Kidnapping
When Julius Caesar was in his mid-20s, he set out from his home in Rome to go to Rhodes, which is an Aegean island at the time, it was a noted center of learning. It was a place where some of the most famous orators of the Roman empire at the time of study. While he was traveling by ship to the island, however, it was hijacked by pirates. His captors named a ransom price for his release and Caesar thought that the number was incredibly low. He demanded that the Pirates request a ransom that was much greater. Eventually they did, the ransom was paid, and Caesar was freed.
Julius Caesar did not forget these events. When he was able to be in power, he sought revenge against his former captors and eventually hunted down and captured them. Instead of demanding a ransom like the Pirates had done, Caesar just have them executed.
7. Blame It On Caesar
Before Julius Caesar came to power, the Roman Empire used a calendar that was based on the moon. This meant that the Roman year had 355 days. As we know today, this lunar cycle system is about 10 1/4 days shorter than a solar year. Roman officials at the time were supposed to add extra days to the lunar calendar, but this was done at their discretion it didn’t always happen and this meant that the calendar could be quite confusing. Eventually the calendar did not align with the seasons and it allowed the politicians to stay in office longer.
The last Julius Caesar wanted was senators in Rome who could stay in office longer and fester hatred toward him. He decided that changing the calendar off of the cycle made sense. The Julian calendar went into effect 45 BC and it was made up of 365 days. The intent was to keep it in sync with the solar cycle, but the it has that extra quarter of a day that couldn’t just be added. To compensate for this extra time, Caesar added an extra day every four years, called a leap year, to make up the difference.
The Julian calendar remained the standard dating calendar for over 1500 years. Even the Gregorian calendar which we use today is based on the Julian calendar. The month of July is named after Julius Caesar.
8. There Were No Last Words
Thanks to Shakespeare, many people believe that the last words of Julius Caesar were “You too, Brutus?” This probably isn’t true. One Roman historian the leaves that the last words were actually a Greek phrase from Caesar that had a direct translation of “You too, Child?” Most Koreans, however, believe that Caesar said nothing during the assassination event. It was probably likely that he was unable to do so with all the stabbing was involved.
Even though he was stabbed over 20 times, there were over 60 senators who were involved in the total plot. The fatal blow was one that was delivered to his chest. No one knows when the fatal blow was delivered. It is very possible that Caesar died a very slow, painful death. Still… Being stabbed multiple times was probably better than the alternative of stoning.
9. He Was a Sick Man
Even though Julius Caesar was assassinated, his time on this planet was probably coming to an end soon. There is a good possibility that Caesar had been infected with malaria and it had reached its advanced stages. There is some evidence to show that he may have had tapeworms as well. It is also believed that Caesar may have had epilepsy. The exact disease or diseases that he had are surrounded in mystery because there were no medical records and it wouldn’t look good for God to be sick. What we do know is that Caesar was sick for many years before he was killed.
10. A God Should Be Religious
At one point, Julius Caesar consented to become a priest. The problem was that he couldn’t leave his city more than three days if he was going to be a priest for the god Jupiter. He chose his military career over his religious career, but that didn’t stop him from being religious. There are many stories told about nights were Caesar would dance around fires, chanting and screaming to the gods. He would also stage battles for animals and people would fight to the death for pure entertainment.
It didn’t take long for the Roman people to get tired of this form of entertainment. They eventually rioted against Caesar. In response, some of the rioters were taken and sacrificed at the Field of Mars. In the end, that is Caesar’s legacy. There are no known living relatives of this infamous dictator.