Consul Julius Caesar was one of the greatest rulers of Rome. During his reign, he had set the stage for transferring the Roman Republic into a worldwide empire. Caesar was born in 100 B.C. and ruled Rome for 5 years starting in 49 B.C., which is where he appears on the Bible Timeline with world history.
Gaius Julius Caesar was born to into the gens Julius family that was one of the oldest, wealthiest and most well-known family lines in ancient Rome. This particular family group was supposed to have descended from a god named Iulus, who is supposed to have been a son of the goddess Venus. The name Caesar is derived from caesarian which means “to cut” in Latin. Historians are not clear about Caesar’s childhood but since he was a member of a wealthy patrician clan, it is safe to assume that he was educated in his youth.
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His father was also named Gaius Julius Caesar, and he was a governor of Asia. His mother was named Aurelia Cotta, and she was also a wealthy woman. Caesar had lived a good life during childhood and father died when he turned 16 years old. Caesar was also chosen to be the head priest of the temple of Jupiter.
He had to marry a woman to keep this position, and he married his first wife named Cornelia before he reached 18 years old. A Roman leader named Sulla had become a dictator and decided to eliminate all of his political enemies. Caesar was listed as one of his nemesis because he was the nephew of one of his enemies named Marius. He was stripped of his position as high priest, he lost his inheritance and was forced to divorce his wife. He had to go into hiding until conditions were favorable for his return.
Eventually, Caesar was able to go back to Rome but he turned toward a military career since he lost his priesthood. His early days in the military consisted of typical army related duties such as besieging enemy towns and making alliances with kings. Caesar was also captured by pirates whom he later located and had executed. He was elected military tribune and quaestor by 69 B.C. Some even compared him to Alexander the Great. He had served in Spain as a military commander and when he returned from his duties he became the Pontifex Maximus or Roman high priest.
Caesar had also become involved in the legal field and had helped to persecute corrupt Roman governors. Caesar had six legions under his control, and he used these forces to subdue the barbarian tribes all throughout Europe. Caesar had also managed to become a leading politician in Rome. He was popular with the people, and when he was not fighting against Germanic tribes in the north, he was forming political alliances and dealing with enemies in Rome. He formed an alliance known as the First Triumvirate, and it consisted of Caesar, Pompey and Crassus. The First Triumvirate was a secret alliance of wealthy and politically powerful men who ruled Rome despite the Senate.
Their power ended in 53 B.C. with the death of Crassus and the alliance between Pompey and Caesar fell apart when Caesar’s daughter (who was married to Pompey) died in childbirth. Pompey was elected sole consul of Rome and married the daughter of one of Caesar’s enemies. This move clearly revealed that Pompey no longer desired to be aligned with Caesar. A civil war was about to break out in Rome. Pompey accused Caesar of treason and insubordination and told him to disband his army. Caesar did not comply with his demands. In 49 B.C. Caesar took one of his legions and marched on Rome. Pompey and the Senate who supported him fled Rome even though they had a standing army. Caesar left Mark Antony in charge of Rome and pursued Pompey until he defeated his forces in Greece.
Pompey had managed capture and ended up in Egypt where he was assassinated. Once he arrived in Egypt stopped the civil war between Cleopatra VII and her brother Ptolemy. He favored Cleopatra VII and had an affair with her. She gave him a son that he would not allow to become the heir of Rome.
Caesar had destroyed the last remnants of Pompey’s supporters, and he began to work on transforming the republic into an empire. He centralized a powerful government in Rome, he put down all resistance from conquered territories, and he then brought all of the provinces of Rome together under one central authority that stemmed from Rome. These three steps transformed the republic into an empire.
Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. by people who opposed his reforms. Caesar’s life was full of adventure, intrigue, deception, murder, love, passion and politics. He is forever remembered as one of the greatest rulers of Rome and in the history of the world.