“I would rather be first in a village than second in Rome.” The man who said this was clearly very ambitious, because he refused to be second. He preferred to be above everyone else in an inferior place than to have someone else above him in a great city like Rome. This determination led to him becoming a famous ancient Roman military commander, dictator, general, statesman and author. Back in ancient Roman times, he had nearly as much power as any king. This man’s name was Julius Caesar. He was a great leader because he was very strategic, ambitious and an inspiring speaker, his accomplishments provided security for the Roman Empire for over five hundred years.
Julius Caesar was extremely ...view middle of the document...
He was incredibly strategic and cunning; all his conquests had purpose and were a stepping stone to ultimate power. In particular, the defeat of Gaul not only increased the Roman Republic, but it also cemented Caesar’s reputation as a military leader. The ancient Romans valued military success so his achievement won him a lot of respect. Without this victory he would never have achieved his status and become popular with the Roman people. This eventually lead to him becoming dictator of Rome and was followed by other notable achievements including the invasion of Britain in 55 B.C., the introduction of laws concerning extortion and other social evils. He also he wrote several journals that described his military campaigns (he called them Commentaries) and received the title “Flamen Dialis”, also known as the “High Priest of Jupiter”. Lastly, he reformed the calendar, naming the month of ‘July’ after himself.
Opinions on Julius Caesar varied depending on where an individual was in the ancient Roman social scale. A poor soldier in his army probably loved him; he led them fearlessly into battles, but it was a different story for the senators and nobles. Because of Caesar, their powers were significantly reduced. His ambition to basically become a “king” and not acknowledge the power of the senate caused them considerable frustration and anger. This fact is dramatically demonstrated when he was assassinated in 44 BC by members of the senate. After Caesar’s death, Cicero (a Roman author of the time) said, "Our tyrant deserved to die. Here was a man who wanted to be king of the Roman people and master of the whole world. Those who agree with an ambition like this must also accept the destruction of existing laws and freedoms. It is not right or fair to want to be king in a state that used to be free and ought to be free today."
Despite the nature of his demise, his legacy is enduring. Even though he lived over 2000 years ago and had a relatively short life of 55 years, Julius Caesar’s name is still known in society today. He was a great leader because he was very driven, tactical and an effective motivator; his achievements and victories provided over five hundred years of security for the Roman Empire. The opinion of his people and the way in which history recalls his methods are divided, but is unquestioned that he was a brilliant, strategic and cunning leader who changed the course of Roman history. His confidence, absolute determination and skill is shown through his own famous words: Veni, Vidi, Vici which means, “I came, I saw, I conquered”.
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* Brainy Quotes. 2011. Julius Caesar Quotes. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/julius_caesar.html. [Accessed 14 November 12].
* Elizabeth Kidd. 2010. Ancient History - Julius Caesar....