Julius Caesar lived a fascinating life full of conquest, lust and betrayal. Julius Caesar was born in July, 100 BC in Rome. His parents were Gaius Julius Caesar and Aurelia Cotta. Julius’ full name was also Gaius Julius Caesar, like his father. Little is known about ildhood, but it is known that he became head of the family in 85 BC when his father died. Gaius Julius Caesar was born to into the Julius family that was one of the oldest, wealthiest and most well-known family lines in ancient Rome. He won many battles for Rome and helped the Roman Empire grow. He had been married 3 times, his real love and the most famous relationship was Egyptian queen Cleopatra. They had been lovers for 14 years, having a son together too. He loved her so much that he even ordered to put a beautiful resembling statue of her in the Temple of Goddess Venus.
Caesar Created The Julian Calendar
The Julian calendar was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BC. It was in common use until the late 1500s, when countries started changing to the Gregorian calendar. However, some countries (for example, Greece and Russia) used it into the early 1900s, and the Orthodox church in Russia still uses it, as do some other Orthodox churches. The Julian calendar is important to historians because it was used worldwide for over 16 centuries, and in various parts of the world for another three centuries after that. And it’s important to genealogists because it was used to record events in many countries as recently as the early 1900s.
Julius Caesar Was Kidnapped by Pirates
In 75 BCE, Julius Caesar was captured by Cilician pirates, who infested the Mediterranean sea. According to Plutarch, when the pirates asked for a ransom of 20 talents of silver (approximately 620 kg of silver, or $600,000 in today’s silver values), Caesar laughed at their faces. According to Plutarch, rather than send his associates off to gather the silver, he instead laughed at the pirates and demanded they ask for 50 (1550 kg of silver), as 20 talents of silver was too small of a ransom for himself.
The pirates, of course, agreed and Caesar sent some of his associates off to gather the silver, which took 38 days to accomplish. When the ransom was paid and he was released, Caesar raised a fleet, pursued and eventually captured the pirates and had them crucified.
The Education of Julius Caesar
At around the age of six, Gaius began his education. He learned how to read and write. Later then Caesar was trained by some of the greatest of his day. First was Marcus Antonius Gnipho, one of the foremost teachers of rhetoric in Rome. Gnipho was actually one of the teachers of Cicero, widely regarded as Rome’s greatest orator. Later, in order to perfect his skills in oratory, Caesar travelled to Rome to study under the Greek rhetorician, Apollonius Molon (who was also a former teacher of Cicero).
Julius’ Face Was Depicted on Roman Coins
Roman coins were first produced in the late 4th century BCE in Italy and continued to be minted for another eight centuries across the empire. Caesar’s pride and vanity are a popular laughingstock for e.g. the author of the comic strip on the adventures of Asterix and Obelix.
He was indeed the first living Roman who dared to depict his own portrait on some of his coins. By doing so he wanted to make clear to all his subordinates that he was the sole ruler of Rome. He thus saw coins not only as a means of payment but also as a means of propaganda when hardly any other media were available.
Julius Caesar was married three times
Caesar married his first wife, Cornelia, in 84 B.C., when he was a teenager. In the beginning, this marriage was seen as a key to the doors of success in Caesar’s career. However, with time this beautiful and loving woman became much more than just a political alliance. Cornelia was the daughter of Cornelius Cinna. Cinna and Marius (Julius Caesar’s uncle) were powerful leaders of Rome. First Marius was killed and then Sulla started a vendetta against Marius’ supporters. He even banished Julius Caesar from Rome, but later succumbed to pressure and allowed him to return. Cornelia gave birth to Caesar’s only legitimate child, Julia. She died when Julia was seven.
Julius Caesar then married Pompeia (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) in 59 BC. This marriage was very important for political reasons. Ironically, Pompeia was the grand daughter of Sulla… the same Sulla who had banished Caesar from Rome. Pompeia wasn’t a good wife for Caesar, and their marriage ended quickly and with a huge scandal. About a year after becoming Caesar’s wife, Pompeia hosted a Bona Dea festival. It was a celebration related to fertility and chastity in women, so no man was allowed to attend the private ceremonies. However, a young man named Publius Clodius Pulcher tried to use this celebration to see the women and seduce Pompeia. He was caught, but there was no evidence that Pompeia betrayed her husband. Nevertheless, Caesar decided to divorce her. He famously explained that his wife “must be above suspicion.”
Caesar’s last wife was Calpurnia, the daughter of another prominent Senator called Piso. It was during his marriage to Calpurnia that Caesar fathered a child with the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.
Assassination of Julius Caesar
The assassination of Julius Caesar, which occurred on this day in 44 B.C., known as the Ides of March, came about as a result of a conspiracy by as many 60 Roman senators. Led by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus, they fatally stabbed Caesar in Rome, near the Theatre of Pompey.
Caesar had been recently named “dictator in perpetuity” of the Roman Republic. On the ides of March (March 15, 44, B.C.), a month after he proclaimed himself Dictator for Life, 55-year-old Caesar was assassinated on the floor of the Senate by Brutus and Cassius, an event recounted in a famous Shakespeare play. The assassination was a display of contempt against Caesar ruthless impoundment of power and rumors that he was planning to the rule the empire with Cleopatra from Alexandria. Brutus, a close friend of Caesar, and Cassius, the mastermind of the conspiracy, recruited 20 Senators and 40 other conspirators, including many people who had been loyal to Caesar. They ones that planned to participate in the killing carried daggers concealed under their cloaks.
The two sisters and the daughter of Julius Caesar were called Julia
Julius Caesar had two sisters named Julia: Julia Caesaris Maior (the elder) and Julia Caesaris Minor (the younger), and he called his daughter Julia Caesaris (meaning: Julia, daughter of Caesar).
Meaning of Caesar
“Caesar” was a family name. Now, in various forms, it is a generic term for “ruler” or “emperor.” The word Czar, which English speakers use to refer to the Russian emperors, entered the Russian language as Tsar, the Old Slavic version of Caesar: tsesari. The spelling Czar is a respelling of the Russian word with the letters of the Latin alphabet. The spelling with cz was common in European languages because that was how it was spelled the first time it appeared in a European book in 1549, but the French adopted the spelling tsar in the 19th century and the London Times prefers it. In German it is spelled Zar.
No One is Descended From Julius Caesar
There are no known living ancestors of Caesar today. It is believed that all the children that were born to Caesar’s wives or girlfriends died either as infants or before they could have children of their own.
Julius Caesar is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His most famous achievement came in the Gallic Wars, a series of military campaigns against the feared native tribes in the region of Gaul. The Gallic War (58-51 B.C.) was the conflict in which Julius Caesar first emerged as a great military leader, after an earlier career as an impoverished populist politician. A conflict that began with an attempt to preserve stability on the borders of the Roman province of Transalpine Gaul soon turned into a war of conquest.
July Was Named in Honour of Julius Caesar
The month of July, unlike June, is named for a mortal, albeit one who devised and ruled an empire. Julius Caesar was a Roman general, statesman, and historian who conquered Gaul (what is now part of Italy, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands). July was named in honour of Julius Caesar after his death in 44 BC, July being the month of his birth. Previously, July was called “Quintilis,” which is Latin for “fifth.”