Julius Casear

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade April 2001

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Background Julius Caesar was born on the 13th day of the month Quintilis or July in the year of 100 B.C. His full name was Gaius Julius Caesar, the same as his father. Gaius was his given name and Julius was his surname. Caesar was the name of one branch of the Julian family. It's original meaning was "hairy." Caesar's family was not prominent, but they claimed to be descended from Venus. In spite of that fiction, Caesar was well connected through his relatives and received some important government assignments during his youth.

Among other projects, he was sent to bring back a fleet of ships from Nicomedes IV of Bithynia. He was also honored for bravery at the siege of Mytilene when he was only twenty years of age.

Several years later he left Rome to study in Rhodes but was captured by pirates. His relatives paid a ransom and Caesar was return.

He then hired private troops to capture the pirates, and had them executed. Going on to Rhodes, his studies were soon interrupted by the outbreak of war with Mithradates VI of Pontus in 74 B.C. Caesar again gathered a force and fought in that war.

Caesar held a bunch of lower level political offices before becoming a Roman consul in 59 B.C. He then made an alliance now known as the "First Triumvirate" with two strong military leaders, Pompeii and Crassus. This First Triumvirate was very important in Rome's history.

When Crassus died the two remaining triumvirs were at each other's heads. Pompeii had an army in the southern part of the Italian peninsula, including Rome. Caesar was in charge of an army in the north. He took his army across the Rubicon River (the dividing line between their regions) and there by started a...