The Life Of Julius Caesar One Of The Most Famous Figures Of Rome, Julius Caesar Was A Master At Holding Public Games And…

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2. The life of Julius Caesar One of the most famous figures of Rome, Julius Caesar was a master at holding public games and festivals. Plutarch, a Greek writer and historian, wrote The Life of Caesar, presented alongside the life of Alexander the Great in a series of biographies titled Parallel Lives. Plutarch's account of Caesar's life and reign displays some of Caesar's uses of the Roman games. Analyze the following excerpts from Plutarch's Life of Caesar. As you re consider the motives behind Caesar's actions and their effect on the history of Rome. Historical Context - What was life like in the Roman Empire? - What were the main political offices in the Roman Empire? - Who was Julius Caesar? - Who were Marius and Sulla? Parallel Lives: The Life of Caesar by Plutarch (5.1-5) The first proof of the people's good will towards him he received when he competed against Caius Popilius for a military tribuneship and was elected over him; a second and more conspicuous proof he received when, as nephew of Julia the deceased wife of Marius, he pronounced a splendid encomium upon her in the forum, and in her funeral procession ventured to display been pronounced public enemies. When, namely, some cried out against Caesar for this procedure, the people answered them with loud shouts, received Caesar with applause, and admired him for bringing back after so long a time, as it were from Hades, the honours of Marius into the city. Now, in the case of elderly women, it was ancient Roman usage to pronounce funeral orations over them; but it was not customary in the case of young women, and Caesar was the first to do so when his own wife died. This also brought him much favour, and worked upon the sympathies of the multitude, so that they were fond of him, as a man who was gentle and full of feeling. (5.6-9) After the funeral of his wife, he went out to Spain as quaestor under Vetus, one of the praetors, whom he never ceased to hold in high esteem, and whose son, in turn, when he himself was praetor, he made his quaestor. After he had served in this office, he married his third wife, Pompeia, having already by Cornelia a daughter who was afterwards married to Pompey the Great. He was unsparing in his outlays of money, and was thought to be purchasing a transient and short-lived fame at a great price, though in reality he was buying things of the highest value at a small price. We are told, accordingly, that before he entered upon any public office he was thirteen hundred talents in debt. Again, being appointed curator of the Appian Way, he expended upon it vast sums of his own money; and again, during his aedileship, he furnished three hundred and twenty pairs of gladiators, and by lavish provision besides for theatrical performances, processions, and public banquets, he washed away all memory of the ambitious efforts of his predecessors in the office. By these means he put the people in such a humour that every man of them was seeking out new offices and new honours with which to requite him.(20.1-3) After this achievement, Caesar left his forces among the Sequani to spend the winter, while he himself, desirous of giving attention to matters at Rome, came down to Gaul along the Po, which was a part of the province assigned to him; for the river called Rubicon separates the rest of Italy from Cisalpine Gaul. Here he fixed his quarters and carried on his political schemes. Many came to see him, and he gave each one what he wanted, and sent all away in actual possession of some of his favours and hopina for more. And durina all the rest of the time of his campaians in Gaul, unnoticed bv Pompev, he was alternately subduing the enemy with the arms of the citizens, or capturing and subduing the citizens with the money which he got from the enemy. (20.4-10) But when he heard that the Belgae, who were the most powerful of the Gauls and occupied the third part of all their country, had revolted, and had assembled unknown myriads of armed men, he turned back at once and marched thither with great speed. He fell upon the enemy as they were plundering the Gauls that were in alliance with Rome, and so routed and destroyed the least scattered and most numerous of them, after a disgraceful struggle on their part, that the Romans could cross lakes and deep rivers for the multitude of dead bodies in them. All the rebels who dwelt along the ocean submitted without a battle; against the Nervii, however, the most savage and warlike of the people in these parts, Caesar led his forces. The Nervii, who dwelt in dense woods, and had placed their families and possessions in a recess of the forest at farthest remo from the enemy, at a time when Caesar was fortifying a camp and did not expect the battle, fell upon him suddenly, sixty thousand strong. They routed his cavalry, and surrounded the seventh and twelfth legions and slew all their centurions, and had not Caesar snatched a shield, made his way through the combatants in front of him, and hurled himself upon the Barbarians; and had not the tenth legion, at sight of his peril, run down from the heights and cut the ranks of the enemy to pieces, not a Roman, it is thought, would have survived. As it was, however, owing to Caesar's daring, they fought beyond their powers, as the saying is, and even then did not rout the Nervii, but cut them down as they defended themselves; for out of sixty thousand only five hundred are said to have come off alive, and only three of their senators out of four hundred. (21.1-5) The Roman senate, on learning of these successes, decreed sacrifices to the gods and cessation from business, with festival, for fifteen days, a greater number than for any victory before. For the danger was seen to have been great when so many nations at once had broken out in revolt, and because Caesar was the victor, the good will of the multitude towards him made his victory more splendid. Caesar himself, after settling matters in Gaul, again spent the winter in the regions along the Po, carrying out his plans at Rome. For not only did the candidates for office there enjoy his assistance, and win their elections by corrupting the people with money from him, and do everything which was likely to enhance his power, but also most of the men of highest rank and greatest influence came to see him at Luca, including Pompey, Crassus, Appius the governor of Sardinia, and Nepos the proconsul of Spain, so that there were a hundred and twenty lictors in the place and more than two hundred senators. (32.1-3) Now, Caesar had with him not more than three hundred horsemen and five thousand legionaries; for the rest of his army had been left beyond the Alps, and was to be brought up by those whom he had sent for the purpose. He saw, however, that the beginning of his enterprise and its initial step did not require a large force at present, but must take advantage of the golden moment by showing amazing boldness and speed, since he could strike terror into his enemies by an unexpected blow more easily than he could overwhelm them by an attack in full force. He therefore ordered his centurions and other officers, taking their swords only, and without the rest of their arms, to occupy Ariminum, a large city of Gaul, avoiding commotion and bloodshed as far as possible; and he entrusted this force to Hortensius. (32.4-9) He himself spent the day in public, attending and watching the exercises of gladiators; but a little before evening he bathed and dressed and went into the banqueting hall. Here he held brief converse with those who had been invited to supper, and just as it was getting dark and went away, after addressing courteously most of his guests and bidding them await his return. To a few of his friends, however, he had previously given directions to follow him, not all by the same route, but some by one way and some by another. He himself mounted one of his hired carts and drove at first along another road, then turned towards Ariminum. When he came to the river which separates Cisalpine Gaul from the rest of Italy (it is called the Rubicon), and began to reflect, now that he drew nearer to the fearful step and was agitated by the magnitude of his ventures, he checked his speed. Then, halting in his course, he communed with himself a long time in silence as his resolution wavered back and forth, and his purpose then suffered change after change. For a long time, too, he discussed his perplexities with his friends who were present, among whom was Asinius Pollio, estimating the great evils for all mankind which would follow their passage of the river, and the wide fame of it which they would leave to posterity. But finally, with a sort of passion, as if abandoning calculation and casting himself upon the future, and uttering the phrase with which men usually prelude their plunge into desperate and daring fortunes, "Let the die be cast," he hastened to cross the river; and going at full speed now for the rest of the time, before daybreak he dashed into Ariminum and took possession of it. It is said, moreover, that on the night before he crossed the river he had an unnatural dream; he thought, namely, that he was having incestuous intercourse with his own mother. (33.1-7) After the seizure of Ariminum, as if the war had opened with broad gates to cover the whole earth and sea alike, and the laws of the state were confounded along with the boundaries of the province, one would not have thought that men and women, as at other times, were hurrying through Italy in consternation, but that the very cities had risen up in flight and were rushing one through another; while Rome herself, deluged as it were by the inhabitants of the surrounding towns who were fleeing from their homes, neither readily obeying a magistrate nor listening to the voice of reason, in the surges of a mighty sea narrowly escaped being overturned by her own internal agitations. For conflicting emotions and violent disturbances prevailed everywhere. Those who rejoiced did not keep quiet, but in many places, as was natural in a great city, encountered those who were in fear and distress, and being filled with confidence as to the future came into strife with them; while Pompey himself, who was terror-stricken, was assailed on every side, being taken to task by some for having strengthened Caesar against himself and the supreme power of the state, and denounced by others for having permitted Lentulus to insult Caesar when he was ready to yield and was offering reasonable terms of settlement. Favonius bade him stamp on the ground; for once, in a boastful speech to the senate, he told them to take no trouble or anxious thought about preparations for the war, since when it came he had but to stamp upon the earth to fill Italy with armies. (33.6) However, even then Pompey's forces were more numerous than Caesar's; but no one would suffer him to exereise his own judgment; and so, under the influence of many false and terrifying reports, believing that the war was already close at hand and prevailed everywhere, he gave way, was swept along with the universal tide, issued an edict declaring a state of anarchy, and forsook the city, commanding the senate to follow, and forbidding any one to remain who preferred country and freedom to tyranny. (55.1-4) But to resume, when Caesar came back to Rome from Africa, to begin with, he made a boastful speech to the people concerning his victory, asserting that he had subdued a country large enough to furnish annually for the public treasury two hundred thousand Attic bushels of grain, and three million pounds of olive oil. Next, he celebrated triumphs, an Egyptian, a Pontic, and an African, the last not for his victory over Scipio, but ostensibly over Juba the king. On this occasion, too, Juba, a son of the king, a mere infant, was carried along in the triumphal procession, the most fortunate captive ever taken, since from being a Barbarian and a Numidian, he came to be enrolled among the most learned historians of Hellas. After the triumphs, Caesar gave his soldiers large gifts and entertained the people with banquets and spectacles, feasting them all at one time on twenty thousand dining-couches, and furnishing spectacles of gladiatorial and naval combats in honour of his daughter Julia, long since dead. (55.5-6) After the spectacles, a census of the people was taken, and instead of the three hundred and twenty thousand of the preceding lists there were enrolled only one hundred and fifty thousand. So great was the calamity which the civil wars had wrought, and so large a portion of the people of Rome had they consumed away, to say nothing of the misfortunes that possessed the rest of Italy and the provinces. Source: Plutarch, Parallel Lives: Julius Caesar, trans. Bernadotte Perrin (Harvard University Press, 1923), Loeb Classical Library, vol. 99. Which of the following were ways that Caesar used his personal money in the document? Check all that apply. Rebuilt public roads Bribed people Supported neighboring nations Donated money to public office Supported neighboring nations Donated money to public office In order to understand better the personality of a historical figure such as Julius Caesar, it is important to look at each source to analyze his actions According to the events described in Plutarch's The Life of Caesar, which of the following personality traits is best illuminated when Caesar crosses Rubicon (32.4-9)? Stupid Brave Ingenious Decisive True or False: There were usually multiple motives for games and festivals. False True

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