This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series The Roman Empire and other ancient stories

Ten years after the slaughter of the slaves led by Spartacus, the Roman Empire still had internal problems. The longer it expanded, the more patrons and the patricians were getting rich, and the plebe was becoming more and more depressed, and its problems were revealed too late. In the 65 BC, the Roman Republic had been shaken by Catilina’s conspiracy that plotted with some aristocrats to remove the consuls Hybrida and Cicero. Cicero saved the republic, disclosing the plot to the Senate. Even if the plot was defeated, the Republican political regime was dying, and people needed a providential savior to save the empire. Three people appeared on stage to gain supremacy over the empire, but only one would win. title



The first of these was Julius Gaius Caesar, born in the year 100 BC. in a patrician family belonging to the genius Julia (descendant of the goddess Venus and the Eneea hero), but a poor one who lived in an apartment building in Suburba. Caesar’s luck began when aunt married Gaius Marius, the military genius who created the first military army. In the 80 BC. Julius Cezar lived his youth in a tension-filled atmosphere, civil wars between optimates and the folk and bloody dictatorship of Sulla. At the age of 15, Caesar inherited family property after his father’s death and married Cornelia. Sulla was forced to divorce at one point, but Caesar refused and fled Rome. He did military service in Asia Minor, and in 78 BC he debuted as a lawyer in the Roman forum after Sulla’s death, showing his talent as an orator. On his way to the island of Rhodes to study philosophy and oratorio, Caesar was kidnapped by Cyrillic pirates. They have put on their heads a ransom of 20 talents. Caesar ironized them and asked for the increase in the redemption price, proving that he was not the kind to fear. He was released a month later, and returned with a forceful force to capture and crucify him. In 73 BC. became a member of the Pontifical College, and since 72 BC. served as a military tribunal in Crassus’s army when he undertook the operation to repress the Spartacus uprising. In 69 BC, after being a widow following the death of Cornelius, Caesar succeeded the Questor in Hispania where he demonstrated his military qualities in the fighting with the Galician and Lusitans of Hispania. Being an admirer of Alexander the Great, at the sight of a statue he complained because at his age he had no memorable achievements. He was a very ambitious man. He married Pompeia, a grandson of Sulla, to give the appearance that he was joining optimists, but in reality he remained a man of the people. At the same time, he had made friends with Crassus, the richest Roman who borrowed him to pay his debts, and Pompey, who was the greatest general since then. Caesar had Servilia as a mistress, whose son was Marcus Iunius Brutus, a descendant of the great genius Iunia, a great Roman family considered the founder of the republic. As an elder, he borrowed from Crassus to organize horse racing games and races in Circus Maximus. Caesar was a good, ambitious man, a good strategist, a charismatic, a tactical genius and a good orator, but also an obsessed, cruel, narcissistic power with an increased ego and sexual predator. He had advantages but also weaknesses because he was suffering from epilepsy but he was able to fight his rival politicians whom he considered friends to be interested in climbing hierarchy.

Crassus – Tycoon



Born in 115 BC. from a family of senators, has garnered a fortune equivalent to $ 20 billion today, obtained through slavish traffic, profits from silver mining, speculative real estate purchases, and by buying the property confiscated during Sulla’s dictatorship. He began his political ascent after the suppression of Spartacus’s uprising. He was an ambitious, proud, arrogant man, a good strategist, a good negotiator and influential.


Pompey – General



Pompey was born in a wealthy family of Picenum, whose father went to honorum, becoming the quaestor, the pretor and the consul. Pompey served under his father’s command at the end of the social war. Later he supported Gaius Marius. He received the military command during Sulla’s time, being commissioned to maintain Italy’s ceremony in Sicily, and then to fight against Numidia in Africa. He was proclaimed “emperor” by his troops and was recognized as Pompey Magnus. He defeated Tigranes in the Battle of Tigranocerta, and led military campaigns against Cyrillic pirates. He was a good military, a strategist and a tactical genius, a banner around which the legions were gathering at his command, narcissistic, ambitious.


The Gallic Wars – Caesar’s Ascension



In the year of Caesar in 60, he settled the conflicts between the Crassus and General Pompey, propelling a triumvirate coalition in which all three would rule the Republic as consuls. In order to maintain the strengthened alliance with Pompey, he offered his daughter’s daughter, Julia. Caesar won the five-year mandate of governor in three provinces: Gallia Cisalpina, Gallia Transalpina and Illyria. In today’s France he would begin his ascension to the battles with the “barbarian” hordes. At that time, Ariovistus, a leader of the Germans, had migrated from eastern Germany to Marne and Rhine where he met another sequenced population. The Suevians and sequencers allied themselves against the edicts and, after the victory gained, received land for him and his 120,000 men. Meanwhile, Caesar defeated the elves that had prepared an ambush. Reed and many other tribes asked Caesar’s help to defeat Ariovistus and the Germanic threat. As Ariovistus was declared a friend of Rome in 59 BC, Caesar could not fight him, but sent him an ultimatum asking him not to cross the Rhine. As Ariovistus broke his word, Caesar declared war in 58 BC. and began his expedition with his favorite X-legion. After unsuccessful negotiations at Vesontio, Caesar raised the camp to provoke the Suevi to attack. The next day, after bloody cunning in which 35,000 suevians were killed (a true massacre justified to prevent the invasion of Rome), Caesar won his first major victory against Ariovistus, who retired and never crossed the Rhine. In 57 BC. Caesar marched with his forces against the Belgians who had attacked an allied tribe of Rome. Soon they attacked the Nerves, but Caesar suffered a humiliating defeat. Caesar defeated them with difficulty, the Nerves and the Belgians. The following year, in 56 BC, Caesar turned his attention to the Armoric tribes that had organized an anti-Roman coalition. After defeating them, Caesar organized a punitive expedition against the Germans over the Rhine. In the same year, Caesar crossed the English Channel to Britain with two legions where he confronted the Gauls. The adventure ended quickly, however, due to the bad weather and the different fighting methods of the Gauls to use the battle. In the years 55-54 BC. he defeated the cattles and forced them to pay tribute to Rome. In the years 54-53 BC. subjugated galaxies revolted when the ebuvons were armed and mobilized under the command of Ambiorix. Caesar hardly defeated them and carried out punitive expeditions against the ebbons and their allies, exterminating them. Caesar also used intimidation, cutting off the hands of the Gaul prisoners. In the year 52 BC the fate turned against Caesar. The Senate of Rome, worried that Caesar’s power was growing as long as he was in Gaul, overwhelmed Crassus, the protector of Caesar, to organize an expedition to the Party where he was captured in ambush and killed by the parties after casting gold hot in the mouth. Even then, Caesar’s daughter and Pompey’s wife, Julia, had died at birth. Pompey was destroyed. From now on, Caesar was on his own because another problem had begun at that time: in Gaul, a new uprising fired. Vercingetorix’s Arven tribe revolted. Soon, Vercingetorix joined many gauls tribes under his command. He applied the tactic of the scorching earth to stomp on the Roman occupants. Caesar captured Avaricum, but suffered a heavy defeat at Gergovia. But eventually he managed to encircle Vercingetorix and his forces at Alesia, building a double fortification around the fortress. The Arveni population was starved, and the defenders of the fortress had to leave their wives and children leave the fortress to ask the Romans for mercy to let them pass through the fortification. But Caesar refused. The defenders of the city refused women and children to enter the city. Many have died hungry at the border of the two enemy camps until Vercingetorix has crushed and received them back. It was a real war without the sword. But some gauls reinforcements came to attack the Romans. With the help of Germanic people and being a good tactical and disciplined organizer, Caesar rejected them. Vercingetorix, seeing that he had no escape, surrendered to Caesar and Alesia, the last bastion of the Gauls revolt was conquered.  Meantime in Rome, Pompey had departed from him, marrying a senator’s daughter.


Battle between the two titans




In 49 BC. optimists and aristocrats, even Cato the Young, managed to persuade Pompey (who was now called the only consul) to turn against Caesar, designating him as an enemy of Rome. Caesar was forced to hand over the command of the legions, and risked being arrested for revenge, murder and disobedience or even annihilated by his rivals envious of his success and popularity. The dice were thrown to the crossing of the River Rubicon by Caesar and his legions. Pompey and his supporters, having no military forces, fled to Greece. Caesar did not come up with any opposition, entering with his army in Rome. Pompey succeeded in doubling his forces against Caesar’s. The first confrontation took place at Dyrrachium where Caesar was defeated. The final battle was given to Pharsalus in 48 BC. between the nine legions of Caesar and his sub-lieutenant, Marcus Antonius, and the 12 legions of Pompey. Caesar, using his tactical genius, managed to reject Pompey’s cavalry and infantry with a lower numerical army, hiding troops in the last line. Pompey fled to Egypt where he was beheaded by the Egyptian guards of Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII. After taking an expedition to the Orient to defeat Pharnaces II of Pontus at Zela and where he had an intimate relationship with King Bithynia, Caesar followed Pompey in Alexandria and was saddened at his head. He gave him a funeral. There he fell in love with Cleopatra, Ptomeleu’s sister. He supported her in the civil war against her brother, whom he defeated in Alexandria and the Nile, and he ascended to the throne as the full queen of Egypt, also giving her a child called Ptolemy Caesarion. After a short holiday, Caesar continued from 46 BC. to hunt the other opponents optimates. In Africa, at Thapsus, he defeated Mettelus Scipio and Cato’s forces. In Hispania he killed Labienus, the general traitor.



The only leader




Caesar now had the full power. He expanded the empire and was a dictator of the republic. Since 45 BC. he became a life dictator and father of the country. He dedicated himself to a personality cult: celebrations, wearing triumphal robes and crown of laurels, ivory statues and temples in honor, coins with his face. He was considered the liberator of Rome and loved by the population, especially the lower classes. He appointed all the magistrates and governors on his own, pulling strings. The month Quintilis in which he was born was called the month of Julius after his name. He canceled his debts and offered money to the ordinary population. He was preoccupied with the purchase of the grain and distributed land for his veterans. He was chosen for life as Pontifex Maximus. He revised the Roman calendar, setting a 365-day jump every four years, being called the Julian calendar. He initiated architectural projects and infrastructure public works to renovate Rome after decades of civil wars and internal tensions. The conflicts between him and the senatorial aristocrats have deepened. Some of them, Cassius Longinus and even Brutus himself (the adoptive son of Caesar, spared and forgiven by Caesar after having participated with Pompey at the civil war), have conspired a plot to eliminate him. Thus, on March 15, 44, Caesar was stabbed in Senate by several senators. The Roman Empire would endure many years of hostility.



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    1. James Diegel

      Agreed! Excellent in depth account of such an important figure in history. And as CryptosDecrypted noted, the images were great – the first of which actually brought about a ‘wha’ and double blink (lol). Very well done indeed adrianobalan 🙂