Ancient Rome: Julius Caesar Flashcard Example #77778

What was the early life of Julius Caesar like?
– Born 100 BC to patrician family (but not wealthy)
– Served in the army and held a number of political positions including:
+ Senator
+ Adele (in charge of public entertainment)
+ Pontifex Maximus (high priest)
+ Military Governor in Spain
+ Consul
+ Governor of Illyricum (Croatia), Italian Gaul, and Gaul (France)
Who does Julius Caesar join forces with? What is the name of this alliance?
– Crassus – one of the wealthiest men in Rome
– Pompey- popular general (also Caesar’s son-in-law married to his daughter Julia)

– Triumvirate – rule of three

In his campaign to conquer Gaul, how does Caesar earn his men’s loyalty and devotion?
shared fully in the hardships of war
How do the reports of Caesar’s success in Gaul affect his popularity?
– very popular with the Roman people
– he wrote Commentaries on the Gallic War about his exploits in the third person
– showed his leadership abilities by commanding armies who defeated multiple Gallic tribes, repelled invading Germanic tribes, and invaded Britain.
What does Julius Caesar do that leads to civil war?
– Senate ordered Caesar to disband his armies and return to Rome
– he refused – marched army across the Rubicon River (the southern limit of the area he commanded)
– marched army into Rome in civil war against army led by Pompey
What reforms (changes) did Caesar make in Rome?
– extended citizenship to the provinces
– instituted measures to solve debt crisis in Rome
– expanded the Senate
– created jobs with public construction projects (new Forum and Senate house, diverting the Tiber River to prevent flooding)
– started colonies where poor could own land
– increased pay for soldiers
– plans to create first public library
– fixed the calendar (created calendar very similar to the modern one, known as the Julian Calendar. The month of July is named for him.)
Why did many Senators resent Julius Caesar?
– too popular with the Roman people
– threat to their status and influence
What did they do to stop him?
– plotted assassination
– Marcus Brutus and Gaius Cassius were leaders of plot (60 altogether)
– stabbed 23 times (reports vary) on March 15, 44 BC (Ides of March – middle of the month – a time for settling debts)
– Caesar had been planning on leaving Rome with his legions on March 18 to invade Parthia (modern-day Iran and Iraq) and annex it for the Rome.
– Famous last words (according to Shakespeare), “Et tu, Brute?” which means “Even you, Brutus?”
Who joins forces to take power after Caesar’s death? What are they collectively called?
– Mark Antony – Caesar’s friend and a general
– Octavian – Caesar’s grand-nephew and adopted heir
– Lepidus- powerful politician
– The Second Triumvirate ruled for 10 years – purged government of Caesar’s enemies
How did this alliance end?
– Jealousy and violence
– Lepidus forced out
– Mark Antony took control of east; formed alliance with Cleopatra
– Octavian took control of West
– Civil war broke out between the two
Who eventually becomes the unchallenged ruler of Rome? What titles does he accept?
– Octavian becomes the ruler of Rome
– Accepts titles of
– Augustus “exalted one”,
– imperator – supreme military commander
(from which emperor is derived)
– Caesar – a title all future emperors will
claim and from which later titles like the
Russian czar and German Kaiser are derived
– title of Princeps – first citizen
What does the phrase “Crossing the Rubicon” mean today?
It’s used as an idiom, meaning crossing a point of no return
Why was Brutus convinced to lead the conspiracy against Caesar?
He thought the Roman republic was in great danger. He feared that Caesar would become a tyrannical ruler, and he had to choose between a loving friend and sense of political duty. He succumbed to his sense of greater good, and in his mind he thought what he was doing was right.
Was Brutus a true patriot or an opportunistic traitor?
Has many answers.

True patriot: He believed what he was doing was right. Caesar had claimed control over Rome and had just named himself dictator for life. The roman republic was in danger, and it was possible that Caesar would become a tyrannical ruler.

Opportunistic traitor: He turned his back on a man who helped him in times of great need. Caesar was a great man, and all he had done so far was improve the Roman empire. There was nothing to say that he would become a tyrannical ruler at all.

What was the nature of the relationship between Egypt and Rome before Caesar’s arrival?
Ptolemy’s father had actually acquired a lot of debt from Rome. When Pompey sought refuge in Egypt, Ptolemy killed him and offered his head to Caesar. However, Caesar found the murder unseemly and demanded repayment.
How did Ptolemy’s execution of Pompey inadvertently help Cleopatra come to power?
When Ptolemy killed him, Caesar demanded repayment. Caesar could have annexed Egypt, but Cleopatra convinced him to help her.
What was Octavian’s justification for attacking Marc Antony?
Octavian claimed that Marc Antony was conspiring with Cleopatra behind their backs. People had already frowned on Cleopatra because of the Egyptian religion, which furthered these propaganda claims.

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