The Legacy of Julius Caesar and the Roman Republic

The Legacy of Julius Caesar and the Roman Republic

The Roman Republic

When we think of Rome, we often think of an ancient empire that dominated the known world and the emergence of Christianity. Rome sprung from the Greeks, and the conqueror of an uncivilized Europe stole as much from others as it gave. Rome is said to have been founded by twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who were fostered by a she-wolf after being abandoned on the Tiber River. One brother would kill the other, much as in the biblical tale of Cain and Abel. Romulus murdered Remus, and the city now bears his name.

Latium, a region in Italy, gave rise to Rome. The Etruscan kings who persecuted the Romans lived in this region. The Etruscans were the ones who first brought Greek civilization to Rome. Rome seized its independence from the Etruscans after a successful uprising. Yet, Rome’s inherited Greek culture and the memory of earlier tyrannical Etruscan kings would permanently mark the Etruscans as a people. From such seeds, the Roman Republic (509 BCE) grew into an empire (27 BCE) lasting more than a thousand years in various incarnations.

Romulus and RemusSource: Wikimedia Commons

Lucius Junius Brutus established the Roman Republic. Under his direction, the Roman Republic constituted an executive, judicial, and legislative branch that shared power. During the Second Punic War in 202 BCE, Hannibal was defeated by the Roman Republic. The American Founding Fathers sought to model their system of government after the Roman Republic.

In reality, America’s capital city would be built with Roman architecture in mind, the country and its states frequently have Latin mottos, and the eagle would serve as a symbol of the country’s glory, just like it did for Rome. The Punic Wars’ victory over the Carthaginians, which secured complete domination in the Mediterranean region, was the Roman Republic’s most significant accomplishment.

Extent of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire between 218BC and 117ADSource: Wikimedia Commons

The Success Of Julius Caesar

In 44 B.C.E., Julius Caesar, a Roman general and politician, declared himself the ruler of the Roman Empire. His rule lasted less than a year until opponents infamously slew him. Caesar was born to a noble family on July 12 or 13 of 100 BCE. He was a young man when the Roman Republic was in disarray. Taking advantage of the chance, Caesar rose through the political ranks and temporarily held the position of governor of the Roman province of Spain.

Julius CaesarSource: Pixabay

Julius Caesar’s Military Successes

At a young age, Caesar joined the Roman military, rapidly distinguished himself as a capable soldier, and was given the civic crown for saving a life in battle. With the help of his persuasive diplomacy skills, he was given the position of governor of Spain. When in Spain, Caesar was able to end tribal warfare and establish peace in the area.

Caesar’s army was devoted. He promoted soldiers based on merit rather than social class and exercised disciplined authority. He fought alongside his men and led them from the front. Thanks to his victories in Spain, he could pay off his obligations, soldiers, and the Roman treasury. Caesar secured his appointment to Gaul after realizing the wealth gained through conquest (France and Belgium).

Southern Gaul was under the shaky rule of Rome. They had maintained a few Roman settlements and formed some partnerships with minor tribes. Caesar started his incursions into Gaul’s center and northern regions in a series of conflicts known as the Gallic Wars. The Battle of Alesia was the Gallic Wars’ most important conflict.

Vercingetorix served as the unifying force among the Gallic tribes. As crafty as Caesar, Vercingetorix was. He formed his men into an effective fighting force by training and disciplining them. At Alesia, the armies of Vercingetorix and Caesar came face to face. Both points had robust defenses in place. Throughout the siege, the Gallic army, which outnumbered the Roman legions, appeared to be winning on multiple occasions. They were unable to overcome the well-prepared Roman army, nevertheless. Caesar’s triumph at the Battle of Alesia solidified Roman rule in the area. The triumph is regarded as Caesar’s most outstanding military achievement.

Caesar had built up a sizable political following and many opponents from the noble class. He was ordered to hand over control of Gaul’s government and his armed forces while he was away. When Caesar and his army crossed the Rubicon River into Rome, he was labeled a criminal. There was a civil war. Caesar’s soldiers pursued and routed his adversaries across Egypt, Greece, and Spain. Compared to his rivals’ vast armies, his little forces appeared unstoppable.

Relief of Gauls fighting RomansSource: World History Encyclopedia

Authorship Of Julius Caesar

Caesar was a renowned Latin author of books and prose and a superb orator. His war commentaries, Commentaries on the Gallic Wars, and Commentaries on the Civil Wars are the only remaining works. The seven books that made up Commentaries of the Gallic Wars were composed in Gaul, and each book covered a year from 58 to 52 in the Gallic Wars. He released a book about his adventures in Gaul every year. It was important for Caesar to win over Rome’s working-class populace. For them, he created the Gallic Wars. Caesar propagandized through his works to win over the Roman people. The Civil War’s various battles against Pompey are described in commentaries published in the years 51 and 50.

Politics Achievements

Caesar benefited from his ability to exercise control over the Roman Senate. He received widespread public support and popularity due to his military campaigns’ successes. Caesar also gained the steadfast loyalty of his troops, who gave him the force he needed to capture power. Establishing the First Triumvirate was one of his most important political moves.

A complex system of checks and balances was built into the Roman Republic’s constitution to prevent any one person from acquiring excessive power. Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus formed a covert alliance where they agreed to support one another in pursuing their political objectives to go beyond the checks and balances provided by the constitution. The First Triumvirate was an alliance between Julius Caesar, General Pompey, and Marcus Crassus, three highly valued political figures in the Roman Republic. They successfully took over the Senate as a group, and Caesar was appointed consul.

The Death Of Caesar

Legend has it that Caesar was stabbed 23 times and tragically died at the feet of Pompey’s statue, his archenemy. Both sides presented their theories of justice at Caesar’s burial, which was more like a trial than a memorial service. His murder, in their opinion, was essential to preserving the Roman Republic. They believed that Caesar would be viewed as a traitor to the Roman Republic while they would be seen as liberators by the populace of Rome.

Rome’s past was less important than what it will develop into. Marcus Junius Brutus, whom Caesar had raised as a son, represented the plotters at his funeral. His justification was straightforward: Caesar had grown overly ambitious; therefore, they killed him to preserve the Roman Republic. Since Brutus was a direct descendant of Lucius Junius Brutus, the founder of the Roman Republic, he loved Rome and the Republic more than Caesar.

About The Author

Rajika Nanayakkara

My name is Rajika Nanayakkara and I am a passionate writer with a deep love for ancient history. With a keen eye for detail and a natural curiosity, I have dedicated myself to exploring the mysteries and wonders of the past. Through my writing, I seeks to bring the stories of ancient civilizations to life, providing a glimpse into the rich and fascinating world of our ancestors. My writings has been featured through

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