The final part about the reign of Julius Caesar in Rome from which you will learn about how Caesar became a dictator, how much time he spent in Egypt, fascinated by Cleopatra, under what circumstances the famous Library of Alexandria burned, the history of the winged Latin phrase Veni. Vedi. Vici, as Caesar received the title of Father of the Fatherland and the Emperor, and also about the circumstances under which the life of glorious Julius Caesar ended.
Veni . Vedi . Vici
The defeat of Pompey at Farsalos, his inglorious death, as well as a riot of plebs on the streets of Rome (the crowd broke the statues of Sulla and Pompey) finally led the stubborn Senate to Caesar’s side. Generous senators proclaimed him an indefinite dictator and gave him the right to unrestrictedly control the fate of Roman citizens. Thinking, the Senate even bestowed on Caesar – that’s from the heart! – The right to a future triumph in a future war against Numidia.
But Caesar, instead of rushing to Rome so favorably disposed towards him, was stuck in Egypt and began to settle cases of succession between the beauty Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy. This, for legitimate reasons, provoked the discontent of the Egyptians in Alexandria, which grew into an uprising against the Romans. In the ensuing fire, the famous Alexandria Library burned down. Caesar was forced to swim away from the royal palace. The Romans sat under siege until reinforcements from Asia arrived. Finally, everything was settled, and Cleopatra, with the help of Roman swords, took the throne, but Egypt was now under Roman patronage. Caesar, fascinated by Cleopatra, spent nine months in Alexandria, abandoning all state and military affairs.
However, the situation in Rome and the provinces forced him to return to harsh reality. There was a threat to the consolidation of Pompeyans in Africa, Illyric, and Spain. The son of the Parthian king Mithridates Farnak conquered Pontus and threatened to take Asia Minor away from Rome. In Italy, too, was restless – even veterans of Caesar rebelled. Caesar himself opposed Farnak on August 2, 47 BC. e. broke it, sending to Rome a short message about such an easy victory: “I came. Had seen. Won”. (“Veni. Vedi. Vici”.) In Spain and Illyric, his legates succeeded.
In September 47 BC e. Caesar finally arrived in Rome, wherewith his presence he calmed all the unrest. It was enough for him to turn to his soldiers not “warriors”, but “citizens”, so that they immediately asked to forgive them and take them with them to the war.
Returning to Rome, Caesar, as if making up for what was lost (after all, he refused the triumph in 60 BC), made a quadruple triumph: Gallic, Farnak, Egyptian and Numidian. In front of the chariot of triumph were his victorious legions, in chains passed noble captives: Virtsingetoriks – the defeated leader of the Gauls, Arsinoe – the rebellious sister of Cleopatra, the little son of Tsar Yuba. They carried captured banners and military booty. The total value of the captured treasures was 65 thousand talents (talent is a monetary unit in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome). Among them were 2822 gold wreaths weighing about 8 tons, donated to Caesar by various governments and cities. And in the middle of all this splendor, the triumphant himself rode four times, tall, with a manly face, dressed in a white tunic embroidered with a pattern of palm leaves, and a purple embroidered toga. His chariot was accompanied by lictors, trumpeters and senators. And four times the slave held the highest award over his head – a golden wreath of triumph (corona triumphalis).
When distributing the booty, not a single resident of Rome was forgotten. 22 thousand tables with refreshments awaited citizens. Spectacles and games involving infantry, cavalry, and even fighting elephants shocked the Romans.
Imperator Gaius Iulius Caesar
Nothing seemed to stop Caesar from enjoying the fullness of power now. He is a lifelong dictator. The title “emperor” is added to his name, which becomes part of the name (Imperator Gaius Iulius Caesar). He receives the honorary title of Father of the Fatherland (Parens Patriae) and Liberator (Liberator). Caesar is regularly elected consul. Almost royal honors are shown to him. His generic name is the month in which he was born – July. Temples are built in his honor, his images are set among the gods. An oath in the name of Caesar becomes binding in the courts.
With such enormous powers, Caesar pursues a number of important reforms: expands the Senate and increases the number of magistrates at the expense of its legionnaires, thereby weakening the power of both the Senate and the magistrates. He is carrying out agrarian reform and is developing a new code of laws (“Lex Iulia de vi et de majestate”). Caesar is reforming the calendar to stop political fraud due to disputes about the calculation of time (see the article “Ancient Rome”). This calendar has since been called Julian. Caesar has great plans for the future: to build a new theater, the temple of Mars, open Greek and Roman libraries, pacify the Dacians and Parthians. However, these plans were not destined to materialize.
Despite the clementia policy that Caesar has steadily pursued, discontent is ripening against his power. Caesar forgave and returned the former Pompeians. Even after the battle of Farsalus, he burned down all of Pompey’s correspondence, demonstrating that he was not interested in who supported his opponent, and announced that everyone who addressed him would receive forgiveness. However, such mercy ended badly for him.
Rumors began circulating throughout Rome that Caesar was striving to become king, that he would soon transfer the capital from Rome to Asia Minor. Many bypassed with ranks and titles, as well as those who sincerely feared for the Roman Republic, formed a conspiracy in which about 60 people were involved. Reaching the pinnacles of power and power, the divine Julius suddenly found himself in political isolation.
March 15 (the famous “March Ides”) 44 BC. e. Caesar in the Senate was assassinated by conspirators, led by former Pompeians – Mark Junius Brutus and Caius Cassius Longinus, as well as former Caesarian Decimus Junius Brutus. 23 wounds were inflicted on the omnipotent dictator by the conspirators who rushed to him, who in the bustle overtook each other. And only one wound was fatal. But Rome, after the removal of Caesar, could not turn back, and all the efforts of the conspirators to return the old republic were in vain. Soon they themselves died.
Caesar was one of the most significant figures in the history of Rome. It was with him that the Roman Empire, which lasted another five centuries, began its first steps.
None of the subsequent Roman emperors could compare with the bright and amazing personality of Guy Caesar of the Julian family, who sometimes with reckless frivolity made recklessness, but with incomprehensible firmness went to the heights of power. Caesar is much more human than all the rulers of late Rome. He was capable of love and sincere mercy. It is this, and not the arrogant stone statue and the embodied code of laws, that appears before us Gaius Julius Caesar – a writer and a talented diplomat, a brilliant commander and omnipotent dictator of Rome, who did so little and so much to ensure that his name remains for centuries.