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Julius Caesar as Dictator.docx

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Kevin Wilkinson

Julius Caesar as Dictator Political Situation in Rome During the Civil War (49-46 BCE)  Normal political process was disrupted with the outbreak of civil war in 49  Even disrupted before the war o Street gangs led by leading politicians disrupted the voting process o In two or three years during the 50s, normal elections were postponed leaving a short period of time in which offices were unfilled o Pompey was made sole consul twice during the 50s  Essentially, he was a dictator  A majority of the magistrates went to Greece with pompey, and a few senators joined up with Caesar - included Mark Antony  In 49 after Caesar overcame pompey's legions in Spain, and while he was on his way to Greece, Caesar stopped in Rome and had himself declared dictator o This office was only held once by Sulla in 81 BCE in the last 150 years o Was used as an emergency measure for the elections the following years o Had himself declared consul, and then gave up his dictatorship  In 48 after his victory over Pompey, Caesar was installed as dictator again, this time for a year  Caesar tried to conduct himself within a republican framework even though it was irregular in some ways  After his victory over the remaining pompeians in Africa in 46, he took a ten year dictatorship, and also consul every year from 46 onwards Caesar the Man  Caesar was known above all for his ability as a military commander  During his stay in Egypt of the winter of 48-47, he was involved in a small but dangerous civil war between the royal family of Egypt  This civil war led to cleopatra being installed as queen of Egypt  His victory in Pontus was a simple one. He mocked the dead Pomoey for claiming enemies as weak as these  In Africa and in Spain involved battles with all of caesar's strength and luck  Went down in history with one of the greatest generals in the ancient world, alongside Alexander the Great, Scipio Africanus and Hannibal  Wasn't vindictive when fighting other Romans, and gave them their freedom if they survived battle  Never gave conscription so after defeating his enemies  Very few images of him in his own lifetime.  Spent time at the court of Bithinya o Rumored that the king and Caesar had a sexual affair o Rumor led Bibulus and Cato to call him the Queen of Bithynia  Had three wives in addition to his affair with cleopatra o Possibly had affairs with the wives of Pompey and Crassus  Apparently avoided alcohol  Caesar was well educated, and had a reputation of being one of the greatest public speaker of his time  Wrote commentaries on the Gallic and Civil wars. Accomplishments as Dictator  Foundation of colonies and expansion of citizenship o Colonies were settled by veterans of his army and poor roman citizens o Most of these colonies were outside of Italy.  Was one way of established roman presence throughout the Mediterranean  Also so Italian land wasn't taken away which would cause problems o Founded new colonies at Carthage and Corinth, and repopulated them with Romans. The cities would become important cities once again. o Also expanded roman citizenship. After the social war, citizenship was granted to all of Italy. Caesar extended this to include parts of Gaul and Spain. o Both the aggressive foundation of colonies and expansion of citizenship led to the romanization of the Mediterranean world  Economic policies o Caesar faced an economic crisis after the civil war o People were defaulting on their loans, couldn't pay back their debts o As a result, people with money refused to give away any new lo
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