Julius Caesar - A True Great Man

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Julius Caesar - A True Great Man

Julius Caesar was undoubtedly a man who changed history. His life and its story have inspired generations of awe and scrupulous study. Many would argue he is the most influential man in recorded history. However, can the great Caesar truly be declared a ‘event-making man’, according to the criteria of the Great Man Theory? Did he truly influence the course of history through his own extraordinary acts of will and leadership? Or was he simply a fortunate man who appeared in the right place at the right time, being only the pawn of a greater scheme? By following and exploring the political ideals and abilities of Caesar, as well as his military ability and prowess, this essay hopes to clearly demonstrate that he was indeed a great ‘event-making man’, possessed of exceptional ambition, incredible intelligence, remarkable cunning, and inordinate bravery.

In order to properly evaluate Caesar as a ‘Great Man’, we must first establish the criteria by which he is to be judged, the criteria of the ‘Great Man’ Theory. According to Russell Hooks, author of an essay on the Great Man Theory, a ‘Great Man’ is an event-making man. A person who, through conscious will and extraordinary shows of leadership skills and intelligence, influences the flow of history. An event-making man does not cause events to happen by chance, such as through inheritance. He purposely alters the flow of history immensely from that which it would have been without his existence1. On the contrary, an eventful man is one who also alters the flow of history, yet did so through no incredible shows of his own talent. He is not unique in any way, and any other man would have done the same in his stead2. This is the difference between an event-making man, and a merely eventful man. So was Julius Caesar a truly great ‘event-making man’? Did he possess intelligence, cunning, and ambition beyond that of normal men? Did he, throughout his life, make conscious decisions to further his own greatness and change history? Yes, Caesar was indeed a great man, and was unique in many aspects.

In the political world of Rome, Caesar was a veritable giant, yet not only did he have power, but an artful intelligence. No matter what his position, he exhibited signs of true leadership. He was patient, knowing that he would one day be the ruler of Rome. He was ruthless...

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...ned and would not accept defeat. He drove his soldiers not with weapons, but with his own will and guidance. He subdued his enemies, and accepted their help where he saw fit. His ingenuity lead him to use his soldiers and other resources in ways never previously thought of. Certainly no other man would have done the same in Caesar’s stead. Truly, he, in the respect of military ability, displayed extraordinary expertise and capability. Leaving behind him a legacy of military victories and trampled enemies, Julius Caesar once again demonstrated he was a true ‘event-making’ man.

Today, Julius Caesar is painstakingly studied and discussed in many historical texts. Many of these works hail his triumphs, and declare him one of the most prominent men to ever walk this earth. Throughout this essay, it has been shown that Caesar became a turning-point in history, not through chance or luck, but through his own conscious actions, and his own ambitious determination. By possession of extraordinary talent in many fields, Caesar rose to become a true great ‘event-maker’. Here was a man who indeed entered history but with one purpose in mind, to leave a lasting legacy of his own triumphs.

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