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CLAS 103 - Julius Caesar Notes.docx

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Department
Classical Studies
Course
CLAS 103
Professor
Robert Porter
Semester
Fall

Description
JC’s personal contribution to literature—commentaries on:  Gallic Wars  Civil War  Alexandrian Wars  African Wars  Spanish Wars Cicero’s letters Historians:  Appian  Dio Cassius  Dionysius  Plutarch  Suetonius  Divus Julius 2ndary sources:  Gelzer (originally in German and had to be translated into English)  Rubicon – by Holland  The Life and Times of Julius Caesar – Canfora  Julius Caesar – Freeman **age difference of AGR and JC JC loved to dress well & expensively Romans were clean-shaven (brought by AGR; first Macedonian to; to look eternally young and god-like) JC liked to appear presentable to his men no matter what (even right before battle) JC not a big drinker or eater Cicero – greatest writer of pros and greatest orator of JC’s day Cicero said that JC was practicing a regiment of emetics (bulimia) JC – very amorous; serial predator of women Quite possible that JC had epilepsy Has 600 competitors (Senators of the Senate); no routine of assassination JC is never afraid to take a risk; stone-cold fearless i.e. no bodyguards (can’t trust them since you don’t know their politics); he had them at an earlier point, but they were Spanish JC fights as an infantry and only when things fall to pieces JC was not an army commander until age 42  9 major battles Romans have to wait until they are 20 before they begin their career, and even then, real career is at age 30 JC followed the rules JC + Iranians (Parthians)  Crassus (best political friend; couldn’t have gotten to where he was w/o Crassus’ financial help; payback was JC’s gratitude and support), Triumvirate: 1) Pompey, 2) Crassus, and 3) Caesar (3-part rule) Crassus had no military prowess, and decides to go after Iran (the Parthians). Led it into Syria, where he was ambushed in desert by Iranian cavalry. Archers fired constant volleys of arrows. Crassus surrounded, and his head was taken. Carrhae 53 BCE (general executed for success against Crassus) Julius avenges Crassus and Crassus’ son (senior marshal in his own campaigns): has 15 legions (1 legion = 5000 heavy infantry) and 10 000 cavalry  March 15 , 44BCE: 1) Balkans; 2) Iran Gnaeus Pompeius: administrative genius; great organizational generals (not a tactical general); ran administrative duties of army much better than JC; had military successes early in his early age; insisted he was great, therefore insisted to make his name Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (in his 20s); had conquests in East in like AGR, conquered Syria and Armenia, but not to the same degree as AGR JC never betrayed a friend or subordinate ally in his life; good political friend right to the end **No AGR, no Roman Imperium—brought near east into western culture Roman consolidation by AGR allowed Christianity a greater route to be spread Important for aristocrats to be bilingual West – Latin East – Greek JC is most notable for: 1. Julian calendar - b/c he became dictator, didn’t have to put up with Pontiffs (high priests) who intercalated about how many extra days to add to the year - had help from Greek astronomer & mathematician th - calendar is a sacred thing; god-like if you are part of it; JC had Quintilis (5 month) offered to be renamed after him (July) 2. His assassination: in parliament by his fellow parliamentarians and betrayal of Brutus (dropped and died at the foot of Pompey’s statue) OR killed in complex of Pompey’s theatre and then the body was dragged to the statue 3. Conquest of Gaul: up until JC’s time, Roman was a Mediterranean empire, but it was JC who directed it northwest and made Rome a continental empire; and by his conquering, settlement of Latin-language base of Roman languages  hence, the many Latin references and words in the English language 4. Love affair with Queen Cleopatra (until Marc Antony takes his place) - Cleopatra always had self interests to forward herself; maybe she wanted to further her political career OR she was enamoured with his prowess 5. Shakespeare’s JC play: not Roman history; inspired by Roman history Not known for: 1. Caesar salad 2. Bloody Caesar 3. Caesarean section Wife: Calpurnia of Piso family Periods of Roman History 1. Monarchy 753-509 BCE - this period has a great impact on JC’s life; gave both potential and disaster to JC - kings of Roman were not just hereditary (many seemed to be elected) - 509 BCE: last king was driven out of Roman because of this king’s son who raped a Roman matron and b/c Romans were ready for a new government—Oligarchy (hard to maintain; system whereby wealthiest and most powerful men cooperate to control the state; Romans developed a system to share power amongst the upper class; not a society that welcomes a lot of new blood where only talent and luck can allow others to be a part of; very exclusive government) 2. Republic 509-31 BCE - Res publica (republic) – government belonged to the people collectively - only allowed 1 year in government as chief executive; 2 consuls elected and both have veto power; power does not fall under one person evident in Roman republic; political campaigns before assembly to choose consuls (however upper class needs blessing of lower class to be elected) - 31 BCE: this system dies (battle between Augustus and Marc Antony, where Antony lost and sole rule fell on Augustus) 3. Empire 31 BCE-476 AD JC born 100 BCE (born 650 years after the foundation of Roman history) Republican Government 1. Annually elected boards of officials—Magistrates, Chief Magistrates, 2 consuls 2. WHEN you hold high office, you get a seat in the senate. The council of 300-600 aristocrats. Life appointment to the senate - strictly speaking, an advisory council (advise annually elected council); passes decrees (they are not laws; in theory, just advice BUT reality: in office only for a year, but senator will always be a senator therefore do what was advised) - by JC’s time, expanded from 300 to 600 senators - back benchers of senate would hardly have any influence and hardly opened their mouths; hence, must climb to top of ladder and be consul - senators not appointed until they are 30 3. The popular assemblies of the Roman citizens - primitive government; women are not included - meet only in city of Roman - by JC’s day, citizens lived all around the empire (i.e. North Africa, Spain) - don’t vote unless you go to Rome itself (written and spoken ballots; most secretly written at this time) - elect executives of the state - pass laws of the state: in theory, binding on executives and senate - are a leges = legislation - rich have a stronger vote than the poor - freedom of aristocrats to compete with one another for top honour of the state—liberty—by using bribery of money or physical means (i.e. gangs beat you if you vote the wrong way ) BUT threatened by JC when he tried to abolish this The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (49-44BCE) With power, JC had little time on his own The more powerful a Roman becomes, the more clients you have (you = patron)  have to protect your clients (he goes down, his people go down with him) Power and Rationality VS Crabbiness and Impatience (as he gets older; personality decline) Kinds of Power Hard Power: - Imperium (gives power to order others around)—only when you are this do you get red/purple band on your toga (a tunica—long shirt—goes under the toga)  extend imperium  pro-imperium—by senatorial decree - Potestas (lesser power given to tribunes of plebs, junior officers, etc.) Soft Power: - Auctoritas (influence; don’t even have to be a senator or have lictors) - Dignitas (sense of worth) Enhancers: - Gloria (glory; usually in battle) - Opes (riches) *extended term (pro-_____) has less power than actual term Lictors: ~body guards / symbolism of Roman power; carried fasces (½ a dozen or so rods with an axe stuck in the middle; it was the power of life and death  i.e. pro-consul may use it to beat/chop off the head of those opposed to him); clear statement of Roman power  pro-praetors has 6  pro-consuls had 12 Curule chair – only officers with high imperium; official chair; desire to boldly show where power lay JC was:  ―consul‖ (president) in 59, 48, 46, 45 (w/o a colleague) and 44—5 times  ―proconsul‖ as well - extended imperium in Gaul  Election dictator in 49  General dictator in 48 Oct-Dec, 46 for 10 yrs - **nobody can veto him; cannot elect other consuls for the Republic - he is superior to the senate and normal executives  Dictator Perpetuus in 44 c. Feb. (accepted title of dictator for life, meaning no more Republic)  was murdered on the IDES of March 44 BCE –regicide? Magistracy (Cursus Honorum—ladder of honours) Senate (300-600 members) appoints interim king  Consuls (2) …appoints  Dictator Praetors (8) Censors (2) Curulian Aediles* (4) Popular Tribunes (10) Quaestors (20) Plebian Aediles* Comitia Curiata (3 tribes; 30 Curiae)  consuls Comitia Tributa (4 urban & 17 (31) rural tribes)  Curulian Aediles & Quaestors Consuls, Praetors, Censors  Comita Centuriata (5 classes; 193 centuries) Plebian Tribal Assembly (up arrow)  Plebian Aediles and Popular Tribunes The Roman People Optional to be Aediles after you are Quaestor (2C + 2P = 4A) OR Tribunes Praetors looked after Criminal civil justice system for 1 year - senior praetor = city praetor - get a 2ndrate province after praetorship - time of payback; to get back your money Consuls get fattest, richest province **JC always #1 in election polls The Life of Caesar (Suetonius)  Said to be tall  Broad face  Keen dark brown eyes  Caesaries = full head of hair  Caesius = Sharp eyed / gray eyed  Always keeping his head carefully trimmed and shaved  Accused of having certain other hairy parts of his body with tweezers  gossip? That he is slightly feminine  Comb hair to the front of his head—comb over  No honours pleased him more than to wear his Triumphal wreath  Seems his dress was unusual: - had added wrist-length sleeves with fringes to his purple-striped imperium toga - instead of tightening the belt of the toga, he wore it loosely so that toga dragged along the dirt  Showed surprising power of endurance i.e. bare-headed in sun; often arrived at his destination before the messages he sent ahead arrived  Passion for distinction  No danger that he didn’t willingly expose himself to  Prone to epilepsy (1 attack in Spain)  Constantly driving himself mercilessly  Enjoyed coarse diet (nothing fancy)  Pushed himself beyond measures to strengthen his body against all attacks  Didn’t have a pampered, aristocratic life  Good example for the men who followed him (not demoralizing at all like GB generals who sat back in comfort while soldiers dug trenches, got malaria, etc.) Toga  Must wear toga on all assemblies (visiting patron, meetings in the senate, etc.)  Romans thought themselves as the togati—people of the toga  3 kinds of basic tunics: - senators wore one with a broad red stripe - rich but not in senate = 2ndary aristocracy; called the equites (some may have more money than those in senate); get a narrow red stripe on their tunic - ordinary citizen = no stripe at all Class Society in Republic Senatorial Order  Ca. 600 men  ―Nobiles‖—nobles  Office holders  Property: 1 000 000 sesterces (min.)  Mark: broad red stripe on tunic Equestrians  Non political aristocracy  Ca. 1000s  Property: 400 000 sesterces (min.)  Mark: narrow red stripe on tunic; gold ring Curiales  Municipal aristocracy  Ran small towns of Italy Plebs  Commoners  Ca. hundreds of thousands  Proletarii; the baby makers; real lower class = headcount  don’t own anything  Mark: toga of citizenship The Clothing Distinctions  Toga virilise – of manhood  Toga candida – candidates ―whitered‖  Toga praetexta – purple edge; for children  Toga pulla – mourning; dark brown/grey Ancient Rome: no male heir, may adopt i.e. Julius Caesar—he adopted Octavius Julius Caesar  Mediterranean dominated before JC born  Romans could have dominated Egypt anytime they wanted (didn’t control Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Asia Minor)  150BCE: Rome no longer faced with external conflict; oligarchies turn inward against each other  BUT there were the Germans (sort of like the Celts; tribal people; misunified)  Born 100 BCE; July  Senatorial family BUT with no money  equestrian level as far as wealth was concerned  Laid on sheepskin and in order to be legitimized, must be picked up by father  can in fact be killed child is not legitimized  Not named for nine days b/c of infant mortality  When named, purification of the house  Romans have 3 names: - Praenomen (1 dozen to choose from; Marcus, Gaius, Septimius, etc.)(all girls of Julian family are Julia)—ruthless robotic race seen in name system (little individuality)(JC is Gaius b/c his dad was) - Nomen (of Julian clan, t
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