Gaius Julius Caesar was born in the year 100 BC into a patrian family who claimed decendancy from the kings of Alba Langa and through them, Aeneas of Troy whose mother was the goddess Venus. Caesar's name Julius comes from Iulius, the family name. This comes from Iulus, the name of Venus' son. At the time of his birth, Rome was still a republic and the empire was only really beginning. The senators ruled, motivated by the greed of power in the hope of becoming either a consul or a praetor, the two senior posts which carried imperium, the legal right to command an army. From these posts it was possible to, with the help of the army at your command, conquer new territories and so gain a triumph and the pleasure of knowing that your name would be remembered forever in statues and inscribed monuments, paid for by the spoils of the war.
Caesar made his way to praetorship by 62 BC and many of the senate felt him a dangerous, ambitious man. Because of this, they deprived him of a triumph after his praetorian command in Spain (61-60 BC) and they also did their best to keep him out of consulship. He finally became consul in 59 BC.
Much of the thanks for this achievement should be given to Gnaeus Pompeius (Pompey the Great) who had just come back from a campaign which had doubled the income of the Roman treasury and gained three new provinces to the empire. Because of this he had popular support and his voice carried great weight with the public at large. Because of Pompey, however, to become a leading person in Roman politics you had to have more then just an ordinary triumph.
It was because of this that Caesar, during his consulship, pushed through a special law giving him a five-year command in Cispine Gaul and Illyricum, both provinces in the empire covering North Italy and the Adriatic coast of Yugoslavia. Caesar saw this as a great opportunity to extend the empire either into Gaul or in the Balkins. While in Gaul, the most important section of the Roman Army, positioned at the German border, was under his control.
He was a brilliant military leader and lead many campaigns:
· 58 BC -The Helvetic Campaign
· 57 BC -The Belgic Campaign
· 56 BC -The Venetic Campaign
· 55 BC -The German Campaign
· 54 BC -The British Campaign
Because the whole point of these campaigns was to get high public and political acclaim, he wrote about all the campaigns and sent the books to Rome so people knew and remembered his name.
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Gaius Julius Caesar biography
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