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Julius Caesar

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"I came, I saw, I conquered" This was Julius Caesar's account of one of his many conquests and victories. Julius Caesar was a great Roman dictator because he was a strong conqueror, a powerful leader, and a wise ruler.

Julius Caesar conquered many lands for Rome. His main conquests were in Gaul, Britain, and Asia Minor. He brought Gaul under Roman control in 58 B.C. (Matthews, 15) Later, in 49 B.C. he extended Gaul to the river Rhine and the English Channel. (Chisholm/Millard, 201) In 56 B.C. Caesar defeated Britain. (Matthews, 17) He crossed the English Channel with 800 ships, 25,000 soldiers, and 2,000 cavalry. (Dineen, 57) The Roman army fought the British tribes and won. They forced the tribes to pay tribute (Matthews, 17) and send gifts to Rome. (Dineen, 57) On January 10, 49 B.C. (Nardo, 50) Julius Caesar took a famous step towards his power. He and his troops had reached the Rubicon River and the Senate forbade Caesar to cross over it from his provinces into Rome. (Matthews, 18) He knew that if he crossed it would be considered an act of war, but, after trying to negotiate with the Senate, he declared "The die is cast" (Furlong, 82) and marched his troops over the Rubicon into Rome. Fortunately, once he reached Rome most of the people were loyal to him and joined him, preventing civil war. (Matthews, 18) He went to Asia Minor in 47 B.C. and was victorious. He conquered Pharnaces, a rebellious king. This was where he used the famous words, "Veni, Vidi, Vici" or "I came, I saw, I conquered" as his only account of the battle. (McManus, 4)

Later on in his life, Julius Caesar became a very powerful leader. He formed the 1st Triumvirate in 60 B.C. The powerful, political group consisted of Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey. Crassus and Pompey helped Caesar rise to the powerful position of Consul in exchange for his writing illegal bills that gave them more money and land. (Nardo, 31) No one opposed the bills for fear of being taken into custody by Caesar, as one man already had. (Nardo, 32) When Caesar became dictator he took most of the Senate's power, and gave it to himself. He had already taken the power to declare war (Matthews, 25) and the power to choose the senators and governors himself. (Dineen, 11) Some of the Senators thought he was getting to powerful and, on March 15, 44 B.C. They assassinated him. Caesar had called a meeting of the Senate because he wanted to be raised to the position of king, giving him even more power. When he entered the room the Senators leaped up and stabbed him. (Matthews, 26)

Caesar was also a very wise Roman ruler. He made important and needed reformations to the government. Some of them included dividing the Empire into provinces with governors to watch over each province (Dineen, 11) and having the treasury more tightly supervised. (Matthews, 25) He conquered Britain and Gaul, knowing that the countries would benefit the

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