World History I
The Man Behind the Name
Caius Julius Caesar was a well-known figure in both Roman and world history. Everywhere around the world the name of Caesar is known, sometimes in a positive light and other times in a negative. In order to understand the man and make our own judgment on what type of individual Caesar was, we must first delve into the life of Caesar.
Caesar's political origin began before he was born. When Caesar was born the leading man in Rome was a man named Caius Marius, who had saved the Roman republic for several years and elected Consul a record seven times. (Duggan 25-6) Marius' connection with the Julius family was very close; Marius was married to the sister of Caesar's father. As a result, Caesar belonged to an influential family who had political ties. In July 100, when Marius' was in his sixth term as Consul, Caius Julius Caesar was born in Rome.
All Romans had three names, the first was to distinguish the person, the second was the clan name and the third was given to a particular Julius clan to help distinguish them from other Julius'. (26-7) Because Caesar was the only son; he was named after his father. Caesar's father also had his hands in the political arena, in the year 92 he was elected praetor, which was equivalent to a magistrate who administers justice. He was also known to be the governor of Asia Minor.
In 91, the "Social War" broke out; this was a war that was against Rome's Italian allies demanding greater citizenship rights. Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Caius Marius, and Pompey Strabo crushed the rebellion, but the allies eventually received enhanced rights. (Cross 1) After the rebellion was crushed, King...