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Julius Caesar. 100? — 44 B.C. His Name. Gaius Julius Caesar. Julius was the family name. The name of Gaius ’ branch of the Julius family was “ Caesar, ” which originally meant “ hairy. ”. Gaius was his given name, one of only eight names which could be given to boys. Hair.

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Julius Caesar

100? — 44 B.C.


His Name

Gaius Julius Caesar

Julius was the family name.

The name of Gaius’ branch of the Julius family was “Caesar,” which originally meant “hairy.”

Gaius was his given name, one of only eight names which could be given to boys.



The Julius family claimed to be descended from Romulus, Aeneas, and Venus, which would make them all partly divine.

However, his immediate family was anything but godlike.

Although patricians, the Caesars were so poor that they lived among the plebeians in an insula (bad apartment) in the Subura, a very poor part of Rome.


Young Caesar would have associated with both plebeians and patricians.

The Caesars had a good name among the upper class, but that was all.

Thus he would have been ambitious, but would have realized that one needs both the senate and the people to become truly powerful.

For all of his political ties, there had been no consul in Caesar’s immediate family for years.


He did have some very prominent relatives, however.

Marius’ fame and fortune would help to get the Caesars back on track.

His uncle by marriage was none other than six time consul Gaius Marius.

Uncle Marius


The teenage Julius Caesar was named Flamen Dialis, high priest of Jupiter, for life.

This is an extremely prestigious position, full of wealth and ritual.

However, the Flamen Dialis could not touch metal, ride a horse, or see a corpse; so obviously Caesar didn’t stay long.


Caesar married Cinna’s (an ally of Marius’)daughter, Cornelia, making him the son in law of Sulla’s worst enemy.

Caesar was in a dangerous position. With Marius dead, he would have to be careful and protect himself from Sulla.


When Sulla came to power, demanded publicly that Caesar divorce Cornelia. Caesar refused. Sulla stripped Caesar of the title Flamen Dialis and impounded Cornelia’s dowry.

Caesar’s friends and relatives among the Vestal Virgins persuaded Sulla not to kill Caesar.

Although Sulla reportedly said:

“In releasing Julius Caesar, the world will one day find him more dangerous than Gaius Marius.”


Although officially pardoned, Caesar thought it wise to leave Italy.

Caesar joined the army in Asia Minor, where he earned the corona civica, the highest personal honor attainable by a legionnaire.

He was given many public honors, such as being allowed to wear a laurel crown on all occasions and to sit on the senate without age restriction.


Caesar returned to Rome and slowly began to climb the cursus honorem.

In 77 B.C., Caesar successfully prosecuted the ex-consul Dolabella for extortion during his governorship.

It was said of him that he was second only to Cicero in eloquence.

Caesar had begun to make a name for himself in Rome


And now a story to illustrate the type of man Caesar had become.


Capture Caesar!!



On his way to Rhodes to study rhetoric in 76 B.C., Caesar was captured by pirates.

While waiting for the ransom money to arrive, he was friendly with his captors.

Immediately on his release Caesar saw to it that the pirates were hunted down and crucified.