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Julius Caesar
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Julius Caesar
By Chris Musoma

 

Julius Caesar was born on 13th July 100 B.C.E at a time when there was a lot of chaos in the roman history which had occurred due to the rapid expansion of the rapid expansion of the Roman Empire.

Until he was 20 years, Rome was typified by wrangles between the Senate and the Assembly.

     When Consul Sulla returned to Rome in 83 B.C he campaigned to get rid of his enemies, and more a lot of senators and other officials were murdered, and had the senate declare him Dictator for life. Caesar was jailed for helping his father-in-law escape, of which he was to be punished by death, for his freedom he was asked by Sulla to divorce his wife, however Caesar refused to do so. To escape Sulla’s wrath Caesar moved to Bithynia in 81 B.C.E to work for Minurius Thermas.

     When Caesar heard of Sulla’s death he came back to Rome where honed his skills as a lawyer, and studied under Appollonius Molon in Rhodes. On his way to Rhodes he was captured by pirates and kept hostage for some time, but he vowed to come back and crucify them of which he did upon his release.

     Upon his return to Rome Caesar was elected as a quaestor, and made Aedile to Crassus’ censor there after at this time, Caesar threw magnificent games for the masses, which made him very popular with the people. In 62 B.C he was made proprietor of Spain his first military command and a Governor when he retuned to Rome. Caesar leaned that a Swiss tribe was about to invade his new territory Gaul and successfully defeated the Swiss tribe  

     He was involved in many battles against some German and Germanic tribes and spent the next few years putting down rebellions and extending the Roman Empire 

 The Battle of Gaul

     Gaul was made of different states of different ethnic origins, and their cultures had started to resemble each other due to the process of trade and exchange. The Gallic warriors had invaded and captured Rome before, and the people of Italy were afraid of a new Gaulish invasion.

     Caesar united his armies and managed to block Vercingetorix in Alesia fortress. Because the walls were too high and it would be disastrous if they tried to storm in, Caesar built a wall around it so as to cut their supplies and to starve them, then another wall to defend themselves against 240,000 Gaulish rescue worriers that was besieging the besiegers. In the end Vercingetorix surrendered. 

     Back in Rome General Pompey was elected sole consul following the political violence where the senate was burned to the ground and many of its members murdered. Caesar saw the opportunity to take control of Rome and furthermore he knew that he had the support of the people behind him. He was successful in launching an attack against Pompey, forcing him to flee. Caesar pursued Pompey, across the continent into Egypt where he was beheaded by King Ptolemy XIII. And know Caesar was supreme ruler of the Roman Empire. After quelling down his army rebellions and Pompey’s two sons revolt he returned to Rome an all conquering hero.

Others despised his Absolute power and plned to kill him. On the 15th of March, 44 B.C.E he was asked to attend the senate, and that’s when the conspirators killed stabbed hi to death.

Caesars leadership Strengths 

   Caesar was very ambitious in, and wanted his name to be remembered for ages in Gades he saw the statue of Alexander the grate and remarked that he hadn’t done any memorable act. For Caesar to be elected pontifex maximus he paid large bribes, this determination was also evident in the way he got his other positions. He has been quoted saying ‘If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it’ just an indication to show that he was ready to do what it took.

     To capture the support of the people, Caesar uses his Imaginative ability and intelligence to gain people support, this was by throwing great games, making him a true popularis. His triumph over Gaul seamed impossible as he was out numbered but his tack ticks proved to be superior.

 Caesar invaded the region along the Rhone and Saone, because he knew if he was able to defeat the roaming Germans, he could impress the Senate, and so he did.

     Caesar took risk in many occasions, when the senate wish for him and Pompey to lay down their extraordinary commands before the consular elections, Pompey did so as he knew he would gain favour with the senate, and also feared prosecution. On the other hand Caesar was defiant as he new he had the people support, and as a result he gained more power. His taking risks was also clear in the battle of Gaul, but knew the reward (fame) would be great if he concurred Gaul 

     As a leader Caesar was able to solve problems before they occur. When he forced Pompey to flee Caesar knew he had to go after him before Pompey managed to get reinforcement and come back to invade Rome. Caesar said “As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can” in essence this meant it was better to take control of the uncertain. The Romans were afraid of  that the Gaul may invade Rome, and to make sure this dint happen he went after Gaul.

       Caesar rewarded soldiers and people. After the battle of Gaul, Pompey gave the Roman people free corn doles, he ordered new cities like Corinth to be rebuilt and founded new towns where the poor Romans were offered new life. The soldiers received farms, and his own soldiers were paid additional 21kg of silver. This way of rewarding also acted as a motivating tool, and managed to keep his support.

     Caesar was compassionate and a Fair-minded a leader when he retuned to Rome from Gaul, Caesar pardoned his enemies, he also was after Pompey not to kill him but to pardon him and gain his support. Caesar also gave Roman citizenship to a lot of the tribe he had concurred.

    Among the things Caesar is remembered for is his Good communication skill. As he was growing he didn’t have good skills but this changed with time as he gained more experience. Caesar is remembered for using Quotes like ‘Veni, vidi, vici’. 'I came, I saw, I conquered.'

 

Weaknesses

        Caesar was power hungry he quotes “If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it” to achieve his positions in the government he bribed his way to the top. He was so he allowed his daughter to get married to Pompey so that he could gain favour with Pompey and use Pompey’s legions in hi battle.

    Caesar was an Authoritarian leader, it maybe agued that as a leader you got to have total control. At times in the Senate he would get his guards to drag anyone protesting against him and taken to jail. When Cato protested to of Caesar's proposals, Caesar had him dragged from the Senate's building and taken off to prison. 





http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/caesar.html Retrieved on 16/01/07