“All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures”
Gaius Julius Caesar was born in Rome on this day in 100 BC.
He was a soldier, statesman and writer. After impressive victories on the battlefield Caesar turned to politics. He entered into a power sharing governorship, the First Triumvirate with Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey). Caesar proposed social reforms including the distribution of land to the poor (always popular with masses, but not so popular with the ruling class).
He went back to the provinces and looked toward unconquered territory to grow Rome’s (and his own) coffers. He conquered Gaul building a bridge to cross the Rhine and invaded Britain. All the while his popularity with the people grew.
With the death of Crassus the Triumvirate was in trouble. Pompey was appointed sole consul. Caesar was told to disband his army and return to Rome, but if he entered the city with out the immunity of a magistrate he could be prosecuted by his political enemies. Pompey accused him of insubordination and treason. And when Caesar and his 13th Legion crossed the Rubicon the die was cast. Civil war ensued, and Caesar emerged the victor. He was appointed Dictator but after being elected to a second consulship he resigned as dictator.
Pompey had fled to Egypt and Caesar went in pursuit. There he met the beautiful co-regent Cleopatra. The two became romantically involved, but, according to Roman law, could not get married. However their relationship continued for over a decade.
Caesar was assassinated on the floor of the Roman Senate by his political enemies on the Ides of March in 44 Ad.