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Julius Caesar and the Gallic Wars

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  1. Julius Caesar and the Gallic Wars

  2. Caesar’s early years • 102/100 BCE: Gaius Julius Caesar was born • c. 82 BCE age 18 he married Cornelia • she later bore him his only legitimate child, a daughter, Julia • Sulla proscribed him and Caesar went into hiding • Caesar's influential friends and relatives eventually got him a pardon

  3. Caesar’s early career • c. 79 BCE: Caesar, on the staff of a military legate, was awarded the civic crown • sent him on an embassy to Nicomedes, the king of Bithynia, to obtain a fleet of ships

  4. Caesar back in Rome • When Sulla died in 78, Caesar returned to Rome and began a career as a orator/lawyer • 75 BCE: While sailing to Greece for further study, Caesar was kidnapped by Cilician pirates and held for ransom

  5. Caesar’s Life cont’d • 72 BCE: Caesar was elected military tribune. • 68/67 BCE: Caesar was elected quaestor and obtained a seat in the Senate • he married Pompeia, a granddaughter of Sulla

  6. Caesar and Pompey • Caesar supported Gnaeus Pompey and helped him get an extraordinary generalship against the Mediterranean pirates, later extended to command of the war against King Mithridates in Asia Minor.

  7. Other Offices • 65 BCE: He was elected curule aedile and spent lavishly on games • 63 BCE: Caesar spent heavily in a successful effort to get elected pontifex maximus (chief priest) • in 62 he was elected praetor • 61 he was sent to the province of Further Spain as propraetor.

  8. Commemorative coin of Julius Caesar, Late Republican era, ca. 43 BC • 60 BCE: He returned from Spain and joined with Pompey and Crassus in a loose coalition called by modern historians “The First Triumvirate”

  9. Julius Caesar AV Aureus. 46BC, issue of Aulus Hirtius. C CAESAR COS TER, veiled head of Vesta right / A HIRTIVS PR, lituus, jug and axe. • 59 BCE: Caesar was elected consul against heavy Optimate opposition led by Marcus Porcius Cato • Caesar married his only daughter, Julia, to Pompey to consolidate their alliance; he himself married Calpurnia

  10. 58 BCE: Caesar left Rome for Gaul; conquered most of what is now central Europe, opening up these lands to Mediterranean civilization

  11. Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War (De Bellum Gallico) • Caesar's personal record of the Gallic War included seven books on the campaigns from 58 to 52 BC. • the only report by a military commander of antiquity describing his own campaigns. • ending with the defeat of Vercingetorix. • an eighth book was later added by Aulus Hirtius after Caesar's death, linking events of the Gallic War to those of the Civil War (50-48 BC).

  12. De Bellum Gallico • provide a uniquely in-depth account of Gaul and its people. • cultural descriptions are secondary to military matters in Caesar's campaigns • However, the reader gains a familiarity with settings, tribes, and personalities unavailable in Strabo, Tacitus, or other ancient writers. • the only primary source on the Celts of Gaul, Germany and Britain during the 1st century BC • compares with Tacitus' account Germania, written in AD 98.

  13. coin issued by Caesar depicting military trophy • 56 BCE: Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus met in Caesar's province to renew their coalition. Pompey and Crassus were to be consuls again, and Caesar's command in Gaul was extended until 49 BCE.

  14. Julius Caesar Denarius. 46-45 BC, Spanish mint. Diademed head of Venus right, Cupid on her shoulder / CAESAR below Gallia & Gaulish captive seated beneath trophy of Gallic arms.

  15. Caesar in Gaul and Britain • Caesar led a three-month expedition to Britain but he did not establish a permanent base there. • Julia died in childbirth in 54; Crassus killed in Parthia in 53 BCE

  16. Triumphal Arch, Reims, France • Caesar set up an efficient provincial administration to govern the vast territories; he published his history The Gallic Wars. • Optimates in Rome attempted to cut short Caesar's term as governor of Gaul

  17. 49 BCE Caesar led his armies across the Rubicon River (the border of his province), which was automatic civil war.

  18. The Rubicon River

  19. Julius Caesar Denarius. 47-46 BC, mint in Africa. Diademed head of Venus right / CAESAR, Aeneas walking left, carrying Anchises and the Palladium.

  20. Battle of Pharsalus 48 BCE – Caesar defeats Pompey at Pharsalus - it is estimated that Pompey had 46,000 men to Caesar's 21,000 -by brilliant generalship, Caesar was victorious, though the toll was great on both sides -Caesar arrives in Egypt to find Pompey slain

  21. Bust of Cleopatra

  22. Julius Caesar AV Aureus. 46BC, issue of Aulus Hirtius. C CAESAR COS TER, veiled head of Vesta right / A HIRTIVS PR, lituus, jug and axe. • July 25, 46 BCE: The victorious and now unchallenged Caesar arrived back in Rome and celebrated four splendid triumphs • Holding the position of dictator, Caesar governed autocratically within Republican forms

  23. Julius Caesar denarius. January to February 44 BC, CAESAR IMP M Laureate head right, crescent moon behind / L AEMILIVS BVCA, Venus standing left. • Program involved: resolution of the worst of the debt crisis, resettlement of veterans abroad without dispossessing others, reform of the Roman calendar, regulation of the grain dole, strengthening of the middle class, enlargement of the Senate to 900

  24. Coin of Caesar’s fourth dictatorship, emphasizes his age

  25. Julius Caesar denarius. April 44 BC, PARENS PATRAIE . . . Veiled head right. / C COS SVTIVS AARDIANVS across fields, A A A FF around • October, 45 BCE: Caesar, back in Rome, celebrated a triumph over Gnaeus Pompey • Caesar was virtually appointing all major magistrates • borrowing some of the customs of the ruler cults of the eastern Hellenistic monarchies

  26. Caesar the dictator • February, 44 BCE: Caesar was named dictator perpetuus • On February 15, at the feast of Lupercalia, Caesar wore his purple garb for the first time in public • Antony offered him a diadem (symbol of the Hellenistic monarchs), but Caesar refused it

  27. Theatre built by Pompey the Great; scene of Caesar’s assassination

  28. coin of Marcus Junius Brutus of the Ides of March with a pair of daggers and a cap of liberty (the type of headgear that was given to slaves when they were freed); the front of the coin depicts the head of Brutus.