Why was Julius Caesar important

Who was Gaius Julius Caesar?


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Who was Gaius Julius Caesar?

Gaius Julius Caesar is not only known as a laurel-crowned general from "Asterix". Here you can learn more about one of the most powerful men of ancient Rome. One of the most famous rulers of Rome was Gaius Julius Caesar. His life was shaped by the unconditional will to power.

He was born in Rome in 100 BC, the only son of a noble family. He is said to have been a good speaker and very intelligent and very ambitious. Even as a teenager he wanted to become a politician and he made his dream come true. So he went through the usual official career in the Roman Republic.

Although his family was respected, it was neither powerful nor particularly wealthy compared to other patricians. To make himself popular with the people, he spent huge sums of money. He let the very popular chariot races and gladiator fights take place. In this way he also got important honorary posts.

As a general, he and his troops conquered Gaul, parts of what is now France and Belgium. He then moved into Rome in a triumphal procession and became the most powerful man in Rome.

However, he made a mistake: he called himself dictator for life, which meant that he wanted to rule alone and without the approval of the Senate. Some senators wanted to prevent that. They planned a conspiracy and decided to kill him.

On the morning of March 15th in 44 BC. The Senate, the most important political body of the Roman Empire, gathered in the hall of the Pompey Theater in Rome. Gaius Julius Caesar, recently dictator, i.e. supreme ruler of the Roman Empire, did not feel well that day. His wife tried to persuade him to cancel the meeting because of premonitions. But Caesar's confidante Brutus finally persuaded the ruler to attend the meeting.

No sooner had Caesar taken his seat in the Senate than a group of senators surrounded him. Unexpectedly, they drew their daggers and stabbed. Brutus, whom Caesar had loved like a son, was one of the assassins. While he was still dying, Caesar shouted the famous sentence You too, Brutus? and then collapsed covered in blood.

You can find out more in our WAS IST WAS TV episode: Ancient Rome.

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