Essay about Julius Caesar : The Game Of Roman Politics

Essay about Julius Caesar : The Game Of Roman Politics

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Julius Caesar remains one of history’s best generals and propagandists. However, Caesar rein cam to an end only a few years after its start with his assassination. In contrast his inexperienced nephew, Augustus, succeeded where Caesar failed by establishing his long and successful rule of Rome. While Augustus’ comparative success might appear to result from historical contingencies, a closer examination reveals Augustus as a much shrewder politician than Caesar. Specifically, Augustus dealt more effectively with his enemies than Caesar while at the same presented his assumption of absolute power as consistent with, rather than in opposition of, both the laws and values of the Republic.

Julius Caesar played the game of Roman politics well, however he made fundamental errors that ultimately ended in his death, and failure. After Julius Caesar defeated Pompey and took Rome for himself, he officially ended on of his forms of protection and power, the first triumvirate. While this was always going to happen if Caesar ever wanted to take sole control of the empire, it still was a loss, as Pompey had money, power, and was on better terms with the senate. Caesar recognised the Roman custom of sons having to avenge/ out do their farther. Caesar saw Pompeii sons as a threat and rightfully so, Caesar eliminated one of Pompey son’s and exiled the other. Having all his enemies eliminated, Caesar then made his first mistake; he gave clemency to his enemies, in the hopes that he would appear to be merciful to the senate and the people of Rome. This backfired on Caesar as he thought that showing kindness to his enemies would be enough to subdue them. Unfortunately this act of kindness allowed members of the senate who hated Caesar time to plot ...

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... take over Rome permanently. He had military power, a capacity to lead, adored by the people, and a strong reputation built on his Gallic campaign. However, he failed to recognize the threat of leaving past enemies alive via clemency and the power of Roman opposition to tyranny, both of which led to his demise. Caesar only killed when necessary, while Augustus allowed clemency only after the absolute elimination of his enemies. Additionally, while Caesar pushed aside the constitution to make room for himself, Augustus presented his authority as that of a citizen working with the Senate. This strategy of eliminating enemies and presenting himself as an ordinary citizen strongly differentiated Augustus’ otherwise similar rise to power from Caesar’s. As a result of avoiding Caesar’s mistakes, Augustus was able to avoid his fate and achieve complete rule over Rome

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