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Gaius Julius Caesar. The rise and rule of Caesar’s dictatorship. Timeline of events. 70's - spent avoiding the Sullans 60's - Cursus Honorum - Caesar is mainly a popularis . He is connected to Marius through marriage of his aunt 69 quaestor in Spain,

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gaius julius caesar

Gaius Julius Caesar

The rise and rule of Caesar’s dictatorship

timeline of events
Timeline of events
  • 70's - spent avoiding the Sullans
  • 60's- Cursus Honorum - Caesar is mainly a popularis. He is connected to Marius through marriage of his aunt
  • 69 quaestor in Spain,
  • 65 curule aedile (spent lots of money on public spectacles/games),
  • 63 pontifex maximus,
  • 62 praetor,
  • 61 governor of Spain, where he goes on an improper offensive beyond the provincial borders, so he needs to seek public office to avoid prosecution
  • 60 - forms the first Triumvirate (with Pompey and Crassus)
  • 50's - Consul in 59 BCE; then governor of Gaul: Gallic Wars, conquest of Gaul
  • 40's - Dictatorship
  • 49-45 BCE - Civil War with Pompey after crossing the Rubicon river.
  • 44 BCE - named Dictator Perpetuus - Dictator for Life
  • Ides of March, 44 BCE - stabbed to death by Senators weary of his power
the civil war of 49 45 bce
The Civil War of 49-45 BCE
  • Crassus loses 40,000 men in battle against Parthia, with only about 10,000 surviving.
  • Break up of First Triumvirate: Pompey vs. Caesar
    • Julia, the daughter of Caesar and wife of Pompey, dies in childbirth,
    • Family tie between the two is therefore severed.
  • Caesar crosses the Rubicon river boundary between Italy and province of Cisalpine Gaul on January 10, 49 BCE. What other choices did he have to preserve his dignity?
battle of pharsalus 48 bce a crushing defeat for pompey
Battle of Pharsalus, 48 BCE: a crushing defeat for Pompey
  • Pompey had 47,000 troops
  • Caesar had 27,000
  • 15,000 of Pompey's troops killed, 24,000 captured
    • Pompey fled to Egypt, hoping for asylum with Ptolemaic King and Queen Cleopatra.
    • He spent 7 months there, putting Cleopatra in power over her brother.
    • Pompey was murdered near Alexandria, Egypt.
    • Cato the Younger was defeated in North Africa, committing suicide rather than living under Caesar's rule.
caesar s reforms
Caesar's Reforms
  • The overall effect was to reduce the absolute dominance of the city of Rome and to integrate Rome with Italy and Italy with provinces.
  • Enlarged the Senate from 600 to 900; included Romanized provincials (Gaul and Spain), increased acceptance of Roman rule.
  • Socio-economic reforms:
    • Public works projects: temples, libraries, theaters, roads, and harbors
    • Colonies of Roman citizens in provinces
    • Roman citizenship for intellectuals - teachers, scholars, doctors, and librarians
    • He even founded schools and public libraries in the Western provinces.
    • Municipal reform in Italy, Julian Municipal Law - greater uniformity of local civic administration throughout Italy
  • Julian Calendar
further reforms at the height of power
Further reforms at the height of Power
  • Increasing the criminal penalties.
  • Granting citizenship and all its benefits to doctors and teachers, many of who were Greek.
  • Dealing with Rome’s uncompromising debt problems, which have been troubling both debtors and creditors alike, more effectively than any politicians before him.
  • Re-regulating the free distribution of grain, which halved the total number of people eating at state expense.
  • Abolishing the tax system at that time, which was exploited by corrupted tax collectors, who would siphon tax money into their own pockets. It was replaced by a tribune system instead.
  • Revising Roman laws to make them more manageable. The laws were contradictory and ungainly before he revised them.
ides of march 44 bce
Ides of March, 44 BCE
  • Many believed Caesar had aspirations to monarchy - wearing purple, although he famously refused the crown from Antony.
  • He named a month after himself, put his image on coins, and put up many statues of himself.
  • 60-80 senators (of 900) were involved in the plot, led by Brutus and Cassius.
  • It occurred days before planned campaigns would have taken him out of Rome.
the failure of the liberators to return to the pre caesar republic
The Failure of the liberators to return to the pre-Caesar Republic
  • They did not have a plan for re-instituting the Republic, but thought rather it would return automatically.
  • They did not account for Caesar's popularity with the people.
  • Caesar had powerful supporters, eg. Marc Antony, with great power, who kept the "liberators" from undoing Caesar's reforms.
  • Populares- The people or the people’s party, in ancient Rome, as opposed to the optimates.
  • Plebeians- The common people of ancient Rome
  • Optimates- The nobility or aristocracy of ancient Rome, as opposed to the populares.
  • Equities- Loosely translated as the knights and the merchant class of ancient Rome
  • Tribune- any of various administrative officers, especially one of ten officers elected to protect the interests and rights of the plebeians from the patricians.
review for caesar s reforms
Review for Caesar’s Reforms
  • Please review pages 387-393 in Ancient Rome: Using Evidence, Bradley