Essay by babygirlblueCollege, UndergraduateA+, June 2005

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Gaius Julius Caesar was born on July 13, 100 BC. Although patrician descent, Caesar's family had not achieved real prominence. His father, also named Gaius Julius Caesar, was the brother-in-law of Gaius Marius and married Aurelia, who was connected with the prominent Aurelii family; he died about 85 BC, however, before reaching the consulship. In 84, Caesar married Cornelia, daughter of Marius's old partner Lucius Cornelius Cinna. When Lucius Cornelius Sulla ordered him to divorce her, he refused and escaped harm through the intervention of such people as his mother's relative, Gaius Aurelius Cotta. Caesar was then sent to collect a fleet from the Roman ally Nicomedes IV of Bithynia and was honored for conspicuous bravery at the siege of Mytilene. Returning home after Sulla's death , he unsuccessfully prosecuted two Sullans, Gnaeus Cornelius Dolabella and Gaius Antonius Hibrida. He then left Rome for studies in Rhodes but was captured by pirates.

After obtaining ransom, he recruited private troops, captured the pirates, and had them executed in.

His studies on Rhodes were interrupted by the outbreak of war with Mithradates VI of Pontus, against who he gathered a force in 74. During a legateship to help Marcus Antonius Creticus fight piracy, Caesar was made a pontiff at Rome in 73 BC. After his military tribunate and possible service against Spartacus, he sided with those seeking power from outside the circle of nobles who dominated the Senate. He supported restoration of tribunician powers and the recall from exile of those who had supported Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in his revolt of 77. Caesar also advertised his Marian connections: by displaying Marius's effigies at his aunt Julia's funeral; through funeral orations for both Julia and his wife; and by the restoration of Marius' battle trophies on the Capitoline Hill. After a quaestorship...