Length: 1596 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)
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When the name Julius Caesar is heard, it can only trigger the image of a great leader that led Rome into prosperity. Caesar's military excellence brought more power and more land; that lead to the increase of size and strength in Rome. His dictatorship helped the stability and prosperity in Rome. Caesar's assassination lead to a monarchy that was ruled by Octavin. His death lead to a domino effect ending in the ultimate collapse of the Roman Empire. Many people of the 21st century follow the path of Julius Caesar and try to be as great as he was. The assassination of Julius Caesar was a tragedy due to the contributions he made to Rome's prosperity during his life, and the chaos that occurred in Rome after his death. The contributions that Caesar made towards the strength of Rome's success, and the chaos and collapse of Rome after his death made the assassination of Julius Caesar a tragedy.
Julius Caesar was assassinated by his own senate on March 15 44 BC; also known as the Ides of March. As he was walking in to the senate house, a man told him to beware the Ides of March. He ignored this statement and walked into the senate house. At this time some of the Senate members surrounded Caesar in a stealthy manner and tugged on his toga. As he looked around he was stabbed by many of the senate members multiple times. He collapsed to the ground and lay on the marble floor dead, next to the feet of Pompey's statue. (Nardo 94)
Caesar's military eminence helped Rome prosper into one of the greatest and most memorable civilizations in history. His campaigns helped Rome grow larger in size and in power. His victories in Egypt, Pontus, Gaul, Africa, and parts in the Asia Minor were some of Caesar's greatest honors, (Bruns 99) and is considered "the most powerful national leader in history"(Nardo 73) because of his conquests. The major reason for his strong army was due to the fact that the senate favored him. The senate gave him three provinces for the span of five years, instead of one province for one year. With this ruling, he had "a chance to build a stronger personal army"(34). The strategies and tactics used by Caesar made his death even more tragic because of his excellent leadership and planning. Caesar planned wars by legionary battles.
He would not just send his entire army in all at one, but instead send a minimum amount of soldiers in the initial fight. Then he would send relief replacements to support the fighting force and finally reserve troops outside the battlefield for support, or for a final assault with fresh troops. (Fuller 91) With the planning Caesar made, his military campaigns were very successful. Due to Caesar's excellent campaigns, his assassination was a major loss to Rome.
The political power Caesar possessed helped in the prosperity and happiness of Rome. His perception of prosperity in Rome dealt with mostly the Plebeians. He increased the number of senators from five hundred to nine hundred, and to fill the vacant seats he selected many of the plebeians. Due to the new jobs that Caesar gave the poor, they became faithful supporters (Caesar: The causes for his assassination) He also helped the poor by checking the spread of luxury throughout Rome to ensure that no one was living too richly or too poorly. (Fuller 63) The people of Rome loved Caesar, and that was one of the qualities that made him such a powerful leader. Caesar knew how to use the power he had and knew when he was abusing it; his power was used mostly for the good of Rome. An example of the use of his power would be the problem with the veterans. He gave thousands of Veterans pieces of land so that their family could farm and make money. (Fuller 63) This was also another way to make his soldiers fight better, because they had their land, family, and leader to fight for. This is the type of power Caesar used helped the prosperity of Rome. With his power, he also corrupted the Senate. He ordered that all transactions were to be made public, and summaries of all debates and proposed bills were posted in the forum for all to see. (Fuller 65) With this act Caesar made Rome a prosperous, open, and trustworthy place to live. With the political power Caesar possessed, and the way he used it for the benefit Rome, his death was tragic because of the power and leadership Rome lost.
After the assassination of Julius Caesar the Senate lost what they were trying to protect - a democratic society. The outcome of Caesar's death lead to a monarchy lead by the first emperor, Octavin, Caesar's nephew. This was easy for Octavin to obtain, because the people of Rome were looking for a new form of Government, due to the fact that the people thought the Senate was corrupt. Their love for Octavin "gave him more dictatorial power than they would have given Caesar". (The Roman Emperors, 10) With the power Octavin possessed, his ability to control Rome could prove to be prosperous or dangerous. For Octavin, he used his power the same way Julius Caesar used his dictatorial power. In every branch of his empire he created a new Roman Peace, in which all the classes, except for the richest classes, benefited improved communications and flourishing commerce. (The Roman Empire, 15) By doing this "Octavin brought stability, security and prosperity to Rome for over two hundred years." (The Roman Empire, 15) The death of Julius Caesar does not seem to be so tragic if his nephew formed peace in Rome for over two hundred years. Octavin is "generally described as one of the most energetic, talented, and skillful administrators the world has ever known. (The Roman Emperors. 15) With this in mind, Octavin was not far behind the greatness of his Uncle, Julius Caesar. With the death of Julius Caesar, Octavin formed a monarchy and prosperity reigned for many centuries throughout Rome.
Although the monarchy of Octavin's reign proved to be prosperous, the power the people gave to the later emperors made it easy for the Emperors abuse it. The assassination of Julius Caesar started a domino effect, leading to the end of the Roman Civilization. This was due to the fact that the people trusted their Emperors too much. Caligula was the third emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and he was diagnosed with "a case of both mental and physical sickness, noting that the emperor suffered from acute insomnia, was sometimes scarcely able to move his limbs or think". (The Roman Emperors. 28) Even with his illnesses, he still reigned for a four-year period. Now with the monarchy the people asked for, and received what they wanted, Caligula abused the Roman Citizens and his power. (Roman Emperors. 30) Without a council of two people who could veto each other, the emperor could do anything he wanted and had no one could oppose him. The abuse of power grew larger as each emperor reigned, and eventually led to the fall of Rome. The people of Rome wanted a monarchy ruled by Caesar, but received a monarchy ruled by more abusive Emperors. Thus the downfall of Rome was hastened by the people who loved Julius Caesar and wanted to crown him king.
Many leader of the 20th century follow the same path of Julius Caesar. One of the largest icons of politics is Bill Clinton. He leads a life parallel to Caesar. One of the biggest similarities between Caesar and Clinton is the fact the people love him and the politicians hate him. Clinton's army is vast, strong, and is one of the largest in the world. The same properties are seen in Caesar. His army was extremely large and trained to be very strong. The people wanted to claim Carsar king and the Senate wanted him out of the Senate House. Clinton too was nearly impeached so that he would no longer be the leader of the United States. The only reason that he was not was the fact that the people did not want him to go. With this in mind Caesar's death was a tragic loss for Rome, but his reign was proved useful for the many people who still try to live in his footsteps and follow his path of prosperity.
With the death of Julius Caesar, Rome's civilization ended with a domino effect due to the contributions he made during his life and the chaos that occurred after his death. His strength in both military eminence and political strength made Rome prosper into one of the greatest civilizations in history. With the violent way his life ended, his death was the key stone for the end of the Roman civilization. The monarchy formed by Octavin proved to be successful for a short time and slowed down this effect, but the inevitable was eventually going to happen, this being the fall of the Rome. Leaders after Octavin were left with an overwhelming control of power that they could not handle, thus abusing it for their own enjoyment. With the fall of Rome and the lasting impact of Julius Caesar, many leaders of today follow his path of prosperity throughout their own lives. The assassination of Caesar proved to be a tragedy and was one of the biggest losses of Rome, but none the less his death remains a significant mark of the Roman Civilization.