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Julius Caesar Background. It is history, tragedy, and political commentary. Scholars and others debate the relative merits of democracy, republic, monarchy, oligarchy, and socialism. None function perfectly. History is replete with both nefarious and admirable examples of each.

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julius caesar background

Julius Caesar Background

It is history, tragedy, and political commentary.

various kinds of governments

Scholars and others debate the relative merits of democracy, republic, monarchy, oligarchy, and socialism.

  • None function perfectly.
  • History is replete with both nefarious and admirable examples of each.
Various Kinds of Governments
roman government

Until 509 B.C.E., Rome was a monarchy; in that year the Brutus family drove the king from power and Rome was established as a republic.

  • It was soon evident, however, that rule by a king had simply been replaced with rule by a group or wealthy Romans called patricians.
Roman Government
roman government1

By 100 B.C.E., Rome was in form a moderate democracy; in practice, the Senate was in control.

  • Julius Caesar was a patrician, but he cast his lot with the people.
  • He gained much support by spending money for public entertainment and freeing farmers and tradesmen from heavy taxes.
Roman Government
julius caesar

In 60 B.C.E., a triumvirate was formed: Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey governed Rome.

  • In 58 B.C.E., Caesar was made governor of Gaul – an area in southern France and northern Italy.
  • At age 44 Caesar began his military career and seemed to want to conquer everything.
Julius Caesar
julius caesar1

Crassus was killed in a military campaign, thus the trouble began between Caesar and Pompey.

  • Caesar invades Rome; Pompey flees and is later murdered in Egypt.
  • Meanwhile, Caesar made himself absolute dictator of Rome.
  • In 45 B.C.E. Caesar defeated Pompey’s sons at Munda, Spain.
Julius Caesar
julius caesar the play

Caesar’s return form Munda marks the beginning of Shakespeare’s play.

  • Act I depicts Caesar as the undisputed leader and master of the entire Roman world.
  • Fearing dictatorship, a group of conspirators, including Cassius and Brutus, planned the assassination of Caesar and carried it out March 15, 44 B.C.E.
Julius Caesar – The Play
julius caesar the play1

Caesar’s death led to the formation of a second triumvirate consisting of Octavius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus.

  • Eventually, at the Battle of Philippi, the triumvirate avenged the murder of Caesar by defeating the forces of Brutus, who committed suicide rather than be taken prisoner.
Julius Caesar – The Play
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