Gaius Iulius Caesar

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Gaius Iulius Caesar ( German : Gaius Julius Caesar ; * July 13, 100 BC in Rome ; † March 15, 44 BC, ibid.) Was a Roman statesman , general and author who was instrumental in the end of the Roman Republic and contributed to its later transformation into a de facto monocracy .

The patrician family of Julier entstammend, he graduated from the official career and passed through an alliance with the rich Marcus Licinius Crassus and the successful military Pompey in 59 v. To the consulate . In the following years Caesar went as proconsul to the northern provinces of Illyria and Gallia Cis- and Transalpina , from where he lived in the years 58 to 51 BC. BC conquered all of Gaul up to the Rhine . In the subsequent Roman Civil War from 49 to 45 BC BC he prevailed against his former ally Pompey and his followers and achieved sole rule. After being appointed dictator for life, he was assassinated. His great-nephew and main heir Gaius Octavius ​​(later Emperor Augustus ) enforced the principate as the new form of government of the Roman Empire.

The name Caesar became part of the title of all subsequent rulers of the Roman Empire . In late Roman antiquity and in the Byzantine Empire , the title "Caesar" referred to a co-ruler or heir to the throne. In the borrowed forms Kaiser and Tsar , the name later became the title of the rulers of the Holy Roman , Austrian , German , Bulgarian , Serbian and Russian empires .



Gaius Iulius Caesar came from the respected ancient Roman patrician family of Julier (Latin gens Iulia ), which traced its roots to Iulus , the son of the Trojan prince Aeneas , who, according to legend, was the son of the goddess Venus . At the height of his power in 45 BC Caesar had a temple built in honor of Venus in order to emphasize his connection to this goddess.

Caesar's family was not rich by the standards of the Roman nobility. Only a few members of the family had distinguished themselves politically: In the early days of the Roman Republic in the 5th century BC. In the consular lists , the authenticity of which is disputed in research, the name "Iulius" is found more frequently. 451 BC A Gaius Iulius Iullus was a member of the Decemviri , who were to fundamentally reshape the state. For the following centuries there are only two Julian consuls for the years 267 and 157 BC. Proven. Caesar 's father of the same name was 92 BC. Chr. Praetor ; he died in 85 BC Some relatives were consuls and censors . Caesar's origins and family relationships determined his partisanship during the civil wars . So Caesar's aunt was Iulia with the commander Gaius Marius married, the Cimbri and Teutons defeated and repeated as consul the political group of the populares ( populares ) in the Roman Senate led.

Caesar's mother was Aurelia . His sisters Iulia maior and Iulia minor married senators who, however, did not appear politically. Iulia Minor became the grandmother of Gaius Octavius, who later became Emperor Augustus .

First steps into politics

Caesar was 15 years old when he was betrothed to Cossutia by his father . After his untimely death he resolved in 84 BC The engagement with Cossutia. Caesar married in 84 BC. Chr. Cornelia , the daughter of the consul Lucius Cornelius Cinna , who also belonged to the political group of the populares . In the same year he was also appointed flamen Dialis , the high priest of Jupiter . Whether he was actually inaugurated is controversial in research.

The family connection to Cinna and his relatives with Marius brought Caesar into opposition to Sulla's dictatorship , who represented the conservative group of the optimates . Sulla ordered Caesar to divorce Cornelia, but Cornelia resisted and left Rome. At the request of influential friends, he was soon pardoned, but did not return to Rome.

Instead, at the age of 19, he became an officer in the staff of Marcus Minucius Thermus , the propreter and governor of the province of Asia . In order to hasten the siege of the city of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos , Caesar was sent to the court of King Nicomedes IV of Bithynia , whom he should ask for a fleet. Caesar was later said to have had a homosexual relationship with Nicomedes. During the subsequent storming of Mytilenes, Caesar was awarded the Corona civica ("citizen's crown "), which was awarded to those who had saved the life of a Roman citizen in battle.

78 BC Caesar joined the staff of Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus as an officer , who, as proconsul in Cilicia, fought the pirates. He did not stay there long, however, as Sulla's death enabled him to return to Rome, where he continued his political career. As was customary at the time, he began as a public prosecutor and a member of the vigintisexviri , the subordinate magistrate officials of the republic. As a prosecutor, Caesar attracted a great deal of attention through a trial of extortion against Gnaeus Cornelius Dolabella , a supporter of Sulla, and thus once again proved his opposition to the Sulla camp. Despite his defeat in this case, his reputation was not damaged.

In order to avoid hostility from the Sullans, Caesar decided to leave Rome again. It was unusual that he did not volunteer for a military mission to make a name for himself as an officer, but went on a study trip to Rhodes , where he wanted to improve his speaking skills with the rhetorician Molon . On the way to Rhodes he got in 75/74 BC. In the captivity of pirates near the island of Pharmakussa . He allegedly asked her to demand a higher ransom for him because he was worth far more than the asking price. After his release he organized a private naval force, captured the pirates and crucified them as he had announced to them when he was still their prisoner.

Caesar's rise

Early 73 BC Caesar was co-opted into the pontifices priestly college instead of his mother's deceased cousin, Gaius Aurelius Cotta . 69 or 68 BC He finally held the bursary , the lowest level of the politically important offices of the Roman Republic. After holding this office, he was accepted into the Senate . He served as quaestor in Spain under the propaetor Antistius Vetus . But before he could leave for Spain, there were two deaths in his family. His aunt Julia and his wife Cornelia died briefly one after the other.

Portrait head, probably Marcus Licinius Crassus , from the Licinier tomb . Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

After his return from Spain, Caesar married Pompeia , a wealthy granddaughter of Sulla, whose wealth he immediately used for his political ascent: 65 BC. He was a curular aedile and gained great popularity through splendid games through which he got himself heavily in debt. 63 BC He was elected to the important office of Pontifex Maximus , the high priest. This choice is to be seen as Caesar's first extraordinary career leap, since the office of high priest was traditionally reserved for consulars (former consuls). As in his games as aedile , he was financially supported by Marcus Licinius Crassus , who was currently the richest man in Rome, although it is unclear how good Caesar's relationship with Crassus was at that time.

There were repeated rumors that Caesar was part of the Catilinarian conspiracy of 63 BC. Been involved. Although he had previously had contact with Catiline , no involvement in his conspiracy could be proven. In a major speech before the Senate, reproduced by Sallust in De coniuratione Catilinae , Caesar spoke out in the popular tradition against the execution of the arrested conspirators, which violated the right to provocation . The Consul Cicero and the Optimates , especially Cato the Younger , prevailed against him with reference to the senatus consultum ultimum , the state of emergency that had been declared a few weeks earlier. In December 63 BC Caesar became praetor for the year 62 BC. Elected. In 62 BC The " Bona Dea scandal " led to the divorce from Pompeia.

The first important office of Caesar outside Rome was the governorship (Proprätur) in Spain ( Hispania ulterior ) . His creditors threatened to prevent the departure; it was only when Marcus Crassus vouched for Caesar with 830 talents that Caesar could carry out his mission. Caesar's aggressive warfare against the Lusitans in the north of what is now Portugal cemented his reputation as a skilled strategist and helped him to reorganize his finances. This gave him the necessary prerequisites to apply for the highest office of the state, the consulate. In order to get to Rome for the elections in time, he left for Rome shortly before the end of his term as propaetor. Upon entering the city, according to Roman law, he resigned his authority and renounced a prestigious triumphal procession in order to be able to apply for the consulate, since an application in absentia was prevented.

Triumvir and Consul

Bust of Pompey in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

However, many senators resisted Caesar's ambitions. Therefore he entered into a strategic partnership with Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus . All three wanted to coordinate their respective possibilities of influence: The alliance, which modern historians referred to as the first triumvirate ("three-man alliance"), the scholar Varro as a "three-headed monster", and the historian Titus Livius as a "conspiracy", brought money (Crassus was the richest man in Rome), the military (Pompey was the most successful general ) and political influence (Caesar's political fame and energy) combined. To reinforce the alliance, Pompey married Caesar's daughter Julia .

Due to contradicting sources and an unclear chronology, it is controversial whether Caesar created the informal alliance of power as a consulate applicant because his enemies in the Senate assigned unattractive provinciae to the consuls to be elected, i.e. whether Crassus and Pompeius would choose him as consul for 59 BC. BC, or whether it was only after the election and thus in the second half of 60 BC. BC or even as late as 59 BC Came to the merger. A letter from Cicero from December 1960 could say that Caesar wanted him to be the fourth man to join the covenant that was not yet concluded at the time, but that he had refused. However, it is also said that the alliance was initially kept secret, so maybe Cicero was still clueless.

Caesar was 40 years old when he took office, well below the minimum age for the consulate of 43 years stipulated in Sulla's Lex de magistratibus from the year 81. Because he was too young when he took up his praetur, the historian Theodor Mommsen suspected that Caesar was not 100 BC at all. Born in BC, but already 102: Then he would have reached both offices each year . However, all sources clearly mention the year of birth 100, so that Caesar might have received a privilege like his adopted son Octavian later at the beginning of 43 BC. Chr.

Caesar's office as consul was controversial in the Senate , especially with the influential optimate Cato , who viewed Caesar as an enemy of freedom. In his year as consul, Caesar passed several laws with decisive new regulations: Such a law on the land question, which clarified the settlement of Pompey's veterans ; the ratification of Pompey's decrees in the eastern provinces and client kingdoms that Pompey had created before his return from the east; the resolution of Crassus' problem regarding the estates for tax tenants in Asia and the reform of the laws that were supposed to curb the extortionate activities of the governors in the provinces.

It was not so much these laws that offended Caesar's opponents as their coming into being: Because Caesar had repeatedly disregarded the contradictions and obstructions of a large number of the senators, but in particular the veto of his colleague Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus , with open breaches of the law he can expect charges as soon as he becomes a private citizen again - and, given the legal situation, a conviction. He prevented this for the time being through the unusually long tenure as proconsul in Illyria and Gaul (Cis- and Transalpina) at the age of five , which he obtained thanks to Pompey and Crassus. Before taking office, he married Calpurnia . Shortly before his departure for Gaul, several high-ranking senators tried to reconcile the triumvirs with the optimates by subsequently legalizing all illegitimate laws from Caesar's consulate. Caesar refused, however, because he feared that in this case he would lose the important support from Pompey and Crassus, which would then no longer be needed. He would have been defenseless against the vengeance of his enemies.

There is some evidence that with Caesar's consulate in 59 BC BC and his countless breaches of law (once he and Pompey simply let their opponents beat up from the meeting place), the road to the civil war that broke out 10 years later had already been taken: Since then, Caesar knew that the Optimates and many other senators would bring him to court at any cost wanted to pose and ruin in order to punish him for his constitutional violations and thus preserve the res publica . Caesar, on the other hand, wanted to evade this fate at all costs. His attempt to achieve so much military glory in Gaul that the Senate would be forced to forgive him, but was ultimately doomed to failure.

Proconsul in Gaul

Caesar's campaigns during the Gallic War
The result of the Roman expansion in 40 BC Chr.

In the expectation that a prestigious war was to be expected there, Caesar had initially allowed Illyria to be transferred as provincia ; the governorship in Gaul was only added when the promagistrate originally intended for this purpose died. The proconsulate in Gaul initially meant an important gain in power for Caesar. As a proconsul, he could legally raise troops who were personally sworn to him in the army clientele system . In order to build power and wealth and to make his breaches of law as a consul forgotten, he needed a great war outside the borders of the empire, which he found among the quarreling tribes of Gaul, among which there had been major unrest for several years. When the Helvetii , a tribe from today's Switzerland, endangered the northern border of the Roman Empire , Caesar saw an occasion to intervene militarily. Immediately he raised more legions from his provinces and fought back the Helvetii at Bibracte , sending the survivors of the battle back to their previous homeland to create a buffer zone for the invading Teutons . Then he went against the Suebi , who had invaded Gaul for some time under Ariovistus , and repulsed them across the Rhine . In the second year Caesar was only able to subjugate the Belgians , who were considered the bravest of the Gaulish tribes, in northern Gaul after fierce fighting.

He renewed the triumvirate during the winter break through negotiations with Pompey and Crassus in Ravenna and Luca. The three agreed a joint consulate of Crassus and Pompey for the year 55 BC. As well as the extension of Caesar's proconsulate for another five years. So he was able to stay in Gaul for a total of ten years (58-49 BC) and complete the conquest of the entire free Celtic country up to the Rhine. Many tribes even called him for help against other tribes, and as a result they were often conquered by the ambitious proconsul themselves.

56 BC BC his officer Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus defeated the rebellious Venetians in Brittany , with which Caesar was able to bring most of Gaul under his control. A campaign against the tribes of Menapier and Morini, however, failed because they constantly withdrew into the woods.

55 BC Two Germanic tribes invaded Gaul, the Usipeter and the Tenkerer . Caesar began negotiations with them to settle them as a Rome-friendly bridgehead on the Ubier area on the right bank of the Rhine . During an armistice, a military incident occurred between the Teutons and Caesar's Gallic auxiliaries. Caesar took this as a pretext to arrest the Germanic chiefs who had come to his camp with a plea to apologize and to have the leaderless Germanic tribes mostly slaughtered. The remnants of the Usipeters and Tenkers were pushed back across the Rhine. According to Caesar's own statements, 430,000 people were killed, and the Romans did not have a single death. The ancient historian Luciano Canfora describes this massacre as an "inhuman crime" in modern genocide research , it is seen as an early example of genocide . In Rome, too, people were horrified: Cato applied to the Senate to hand over Caesar to the Teutons and was able to get a commission of inquiry to be set up.

After the end of the Usipeters and Tenkers, Caesar felt compelled to cross the Rhine to Germania in order to conduct a punitive expedition against the Germanic peoples. In the same year he set out for Britain , but did not stay there for long as his fleet was destroyed by a storm and winter began. The following year he led another campaign to Britain , in which he penetrated as far as the Thames, but withdrew again. 53 BC BC he carried out another Rhine crossing to Germania. These companies caused a sensation in Rome, especially in the Senate: As the first Roman general, Caesar carried out military expeditions to these regions, which were largely unknown to the Romans, but renounced a permanent conquest of Germania and Britain.

After the first unrest among the Eburones on the left bank of the Rhine under their King Ambiorix in late autumn 54 BC. BC and the heavy defeat in the Battle of Aduatuca by Caesar's legate Quintus Titurius Sabinus , it was at the beginning of 53 BC. Restless in Gaul. Tribes like the Treverer and Nervier rose against Caesar, where they initially had some success, but were finally overthrown. 52 BC Chr. Rose Vercingetorix , chief of the Arverni , against Roman rule. In him, Caesar grew up a dangerous, militarily equal opponent. His scorched earth tactics brought Caesar in serious trouble. Vercingetorix cut off Caesar's supply routes and was able to beat him for the first time at Gergovia . Every seventh centurion fell. After his victory, Vercingetorix gave up his successful defensive tactics and attacked Caesar's troops, but his poorly organized cavalry suffered a defeat against those Caesars, whereupon he withdrew to Alesia . Caesar immediately began to besiege the city with a rampart about 35 kilometers long, but a Gallic relief army was on the way to free Vercingetorix. In the ensuing battle, in which Caesar had to repel the attempted eruption of the Vercingetorix and repel simultaneous relief attacks, he remained victorious against the numerically far superior Gauls. The Gallic resistance was finally broken, and with this victory over the Gallic coalition, Caesar was able to secure Rome's rule over Gaul for centuries. Vercingetorix, who surrendered outside the walls of Alesia after the lost battle of Caesar, was not granted the grace requested: he was given six years later, after Caesar's triumphal procession in 46 BC. BC, executed in Rome.

In the following year Caesar had to put down some uprisings in Gaul, in which he proceeded with great brutality, especially in the conquest of the city of Uxellodunum . There the hands of all prisoners were cut off and one of the cruelest examples of the entire war was set. He used the enormous spoils of war and the tributes of the conquered to finance his army and for the political power struggle in Rome.

Plutarch states that in Caesar's Gallic War a million Gauls lost their lives and another million people were enslaved . Caesar himself reported in the Commentarii de bello Gallico about his time in Gaul. The writing describes many details from the occupied country, but mainly served to justify his campaigns. In addition, Caesar presented the Gauls and Germanic peoples as two different peoples for the first time and characterized them individually, essentially viewing the Rhine as the boundary between the two peoples. Before that, the Germanic tribes were still considered a Celtic sub-tribe. He also leads the tribes of the Helvetii and the Batavians , whose names live on in the later Latin territorial designations of Switzerland and the Netherlands .

Civil war

53 BC Chr. Crassus was killed on a campaign against the Parthians ; with him the majority of his army of over 40,000 men went under. At the same time, Pompey had moved closer to the Senate because his former junior partner Caesar had become too powerful for him. Caesar's daughter Julia was of great importance for the stability of their relationship . Had died in childbed. The political alliance lost its usefulness for Pompey at the end of the 1950s. The year 50 BC BC was marked by hectic political activity and negotiations. Caesar was of the opinion that a new proconsul could only be sent to Gaul for 48 to replace him, and because of his popularity among the people he wanted to be elected consul in time for 48 in order to remain immune to charges. The optimates in the Senate, however, wanted to prevent Caesar from having a second consulate so that they could finally bring him to justice without the immunity of a public official. It was possible to outmaneuver Caesar by political maneuvers, so that he should lose command of the Gallic legions earlier than planned. Now the Senate has asked Caesar to dissolve his ten legions. Caesar refused, if not at the same time Pompey also disbanded his army. In fact, an overwhelming majority in the Senate recently voted in favor of Curio's proposal that both Caesar and Pompey should lay down their power. The consul of the year 50 BC BC, Caesar's opponent Marcellus, ignored the decision and then authorized Pompey to fight Caesar.

As Caesar himself stated, he went to the coup d'état solely in order to preserve his personal dignitas , his dignity: in order not to be brought to justice, he had to turn to his soldiers for help. Despite the ban on bringing military into Italy against the will of the Senate, he therefore crossed on January 10, 49 BC. With the thirteenth legion ( Legio XIII Gemina ) of about 5,000 men , the Rubicon river , which separated Italy from the province of Gallia cisalpina . On this occasion he is said to have done the then already famous Greek saying “ἀνερρίφθω κύβος” (“be thrown up the dice!”), Which today is known outside of the Greek culture in its Latin translation “alea iacta est”. Pompey, recently proclaimed defender of the republic by the Senate, had boasted that all he had to do was stamp his feet on the ground and troops would rise from the ground: he was referring to his loyal veterans the Eastern campaigns. But in view of Caesar's quick and decisive action, this was far from the reality. Pompey had to quickly realize that he could not raise enough troops in Italy in a short time. So he decided to evacuate Rome and move to Greece to organize the war against Caesar there. This factually correct plan met with fierce opposition from some senators, especially Cato. But Cato also had to accept the hopelessness of the situation. Caesar brought the most important cities of northern Italy under control in forced marches without encountering any resistance worth mentioning and reached Rome; Pompey, however, had already evacuated Rome with most of the anti-Caesar senators and fled to Brindisi . Before Caesar could reach him, he crossed over to Greece.

Caesar decided, because he did not have a fleet to follow Pompey, to defeat the Pompeian legions in Spain first , and then to devote himself to the fight against Pompey. Via southern Gaul, where he besieged Massilia , he invaded Spain and defeated the seven legions of Pompey under his legates Lucius Afranius , Marcus Petreius and Marcus Terentius Varro in a very short time.

When Caesar returned from Spain, bad and good news reached him. Most of his officers had failed in their assigned duties. Only Decimus Brutus achieved some successes against Pompey's fleet in the Adriatic. Pompey and the Republicans had meanwhile used the time to raise a large army.

48 BC Caesar was again elected consul. He crossed the Adriatic with about 15,000 men and moved against Pompey, but suffered a defeat at Dyrrhachium , whereupon he withdrew to Thessaly . On the way there he plundered some cities and allied himself with the rest of his army, which had come across the Adriatic with Mark Antony. Pompey was then, despite his allegedly twice as strong army, on August 9 of the same year in the battle of Pharsalus , after he had been urged to fight by the senators accompanying him; he himself narrowly escaped. After this decisive victory, Caesar controlled most of the eastern Mediterranean and was de facto sole ruler in the Roman Empire. Many of the anti-Caesar senators fled to other parts of the Roman world in order to organize the further uprising against Caesar there, others were pardoned by Caesar. Pompey fled to Egypt after his defeat , where he was ordered by the adviser of King Ptolemy XIII. was killed.

Bust of Cleopatra in the Altes Museum (Berlin)

Caesar followed Pompey to Alexandria , where he was presented with the head of his rival and former ally. However, as a sign of his clementia , the gentleness towards the enemy, Caesar had the mortal remains convicted in full honor, which was not least due to political expediencies. In Alexandria he was drawn into the local political disputes. So he made the acquaintance of the young Queen Cleopatra , Ptolemy 'sister and co-regent. This was the beginning of a passionate love affair, which subsequently caused unrest. Caesar took the side of Cleopatra, who had been expelled from Egypt by her brother, and had to fight the so-called " Alexandrian War " (bellum Alexandrinum) against Ptolemy and his general Achillas . Caesar was trapped in Alexandria and placed on the defensive. Recent research no longer assumes that the famous Alexandria library burned down during the siege . After Caesar had united with the relief army brought by Mithridates from Pergamon , the troops of Achillas were put to flight. Ptolemy drowned while fleeing in the Nile . Cleopatra's position of power was then confirmed. With Cleopatra, Caesar had a child named Ptolemy Kaisarion .

Subsequently, Caesar turned against Pharnakes II of Pontus , who plundered the Roman provinces in Asia Minor . After a five-day campaign, Pharnakes was defeated and driven out of Asia Minor. Caesar's famous saying: “I came, I saw, I won” (“ veni vidi vici ”) was intended to refer to the short campaign against Pharnakes.

After the victory over Pharnakes II, Caesar went on two campaigns against the remaining Pompeians: In the African War he defeated on April 6, 46 BC. In the battle of Thapsus in the province of Africa the republican Senate troops under Metellus Scipio and Cato the Younger . Cato committed suicide in his fortress of Utica after the military disaster , and Caesar dissolved the Kingdom of Numidia , which had supported the Pompeians. After a short stay in Rome he moved to Hispania and proposed there in 45 BC. In the battle of Munda the sons of Pompeius, of whom only the younger Sextus Pompeius escaped, but who in the eyes of Caesar no longer posed a threat. Thus the last Pompeians or republicans were eliminated and the republic was effectively at an end.


Caesar was the first to be depicted on Roman coins during his lifetime.

Even before the final attainment of sole rule in Rome, Caesar developed extensive legal activities ( Leges Iuliae ) in order to fundamentally reform the Roman state. He planned a codification and revision of the laws, the construction of an extensive library, the construction of a new Senate building and major construction projects on the Martius campus as well as the drainage of the Pontine Marshes . He also introduced an improved calendar with the Julian calendar named after him and through his colonies had revived the cities of Carthage and Corinth , which had been destroyed by the Romans a century earlier.

After his return from Egypt in 46 BC. Caesar had himself appointed dictator for ten years. After his last military success in Spain he was elected by the Senate between 9.2. and 15.2.44 appointed dictator perpetuus (dictator for life). In particular, this last, non-constitutional title as well as the appearance as dictator perpetuus in the old royal costume at the Lupercalia Festival on February 15, 44 aroused the suspicion that Caesar wanted to establish a monarchy. This impression was reinforced by the way in which he expressed himself about the “res publica” and dealt with its institutions: the state was nothing but a bloodless shadow, Sulla was politically illiterate because he had laid down the dictatorship. People would have to start thinking when they talked to him and take his words as law.

The question of whether Caesar really strived for the title of king or wanted to be content with dictatorship concerns historians to this day (also in connection with his Alexander imitation ). It is also disputed whether the “state of Caesar”, which was based on people but not on institutions, was based on a concept at all; much rather suggests that this was not the case. In his influential Caesar biography, Christian Meier pointedly asserted that Caesar only had power within the conditions of the res publica , but not beyond the conditions. What is certain is that Caesar's position was equal to a king, but he could not find a way to introduce monarchy with the consent of the Romans. As if to overcome the dead point (and also to gain additional legitimacy), his decision to launch a major campaign to the east, on which the Parthians were to be subdued. In the meantime, a fairly large group had secretly formed in the Senate under the leaders Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus , determined to kill Caesar. Many of these senators, including Brutus, had been among Caesar's followers and favorites in previous years. However, since his appointment as dictator perpetuus, they no longer believed that he, like Sulla, was simply planning to reshape the republic: Since Caesar has now turned out to be an undeniable tyrant, he would have to die in order to restore freedom to Rome. That this also meant violating basic Roman values ​​such as pietas and amicitia was accepted by the assassins, many of whom were personally indebted to Caesar. Although over 80 senators were privy to the attack plan, there was no traitor.


Reconstruction of the theater of Pompey where Caesar was stabbed

Caesar was born on March 15, 44 BC. Murdered by a group of senators around the just mentioned Marcus Iunius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus during a Senate session in the theater of Pompeius with 23 dagger stabs. About 60 people were involved in the act.

That morning Caesar considered staying away from the Senate session because his wife Calpurnia is said to have anticipated the catastrophe based on nightmares. Decimus Brutus was sent to prevent the failure of the long-planned project and to change the dictator's mind. This also allegedly succeeded through clever mockery of the supposed influence of superstition on Caesar's actions. It should be noted, however, that Cleopatra was in Rome, which is why it is doubtful whether Caesar even spent the night at home. In the end, however, Caesar could not stay away from the Senate meeting. On the one hand, he planned to move to the Parthian War soon, which is why Dolabella should succeed him as consul. Another point to be discussed was, according to rumors, the granting of permission to Caesar to use the title rex outside Rome and Italy , since according to a prophecy only a king could defeat the Parthians.

In front of the Senate building, Caesar met his friend and fellow consul Marcus Antonius , who was distracted by Gaius Trebonius . Even a scroll by the Greek philosophy teacher Artemidoros, which was received on the way and which contained details of the conspiracy, was unable to warn Caesar, because he presented it to a member of the staff to read later. In front of the Senate building, Caesar ran into the seer Spurinna, who had warned him of the Ides of March on an earlier occasion, and, according to Suetonius, disparagingly stated, “The Ides of March are here!”, To which the latter replied: “There they are, but not over yet."

When he was murdered, Caesar is said to have addressed his famous last words in Greek to Marcus Brutus, to whom he had been a kind of fatherly friend despite all political differences: καὶ σὺ τέκνον ( kaì sy téknon, "You too, my son"). Presumably, however, his injuries from the numerous dagger stabs were too severe to allow him to speak. Marcus Tullius Cicero , politically an opponent of Caesar but not involved in the conspiracy, witnessed the crime and later wrote in a letter to his friend Titus Pomponius Atticus that this was the just end of a tyrant. The murder of Caesar is therefore also known as the murder of a tyrant .

Measures after Caesar's death


On the night of March 15-16, Antony of Calpurnia received Caesar's notes and his private fortune, which he had brought to his house. On March 16, Antony persuaded the faithful followers of Caesar, including Lepidus and Balbus , to refrain from revenge. On March 16, the most senior senators came to Antonius' house to consult with him. The next day he reached a compromise: the Senate blessed all past and planned but not yet carried out projects to be found in Caesar's records. Cicero also spoke out in favor of this.

In return, the Caesar murderers received an amnesty. Dolabella became the second consul alongside Antony, as Caesar had planned for the time of his absence in the Parthian War. In another Senate meeting the next day, Antony was honored as a guardian of civil war and Caesar's will was recognized. The opening of the last will took place on March 19 and caused the surprise that Octavian became the main heir and posthumous adoptive son of Caesar. Furthermore, Caesar had determined that a sum of money should be left behind for each Roman, and the city also received Caesar's gardens on the other side of the Tiber. The acceptance of the will by the unpredictable plebs, which Caesar had resented his dispute with the tribunes before his murder, was foreseeable, also for the Caesar murderers, some of whom had to go to Antium before the burial .


The organization of the funeral fell to Atia , Caesar's niece. Caesar's burial took place on March 20, 44 BC. Under tumultuous circumstances. The imperial sources report that Antony's funeral speech, which became famous through Shakespeare's adaptation, stirred up the urban Roman plebs: These include Appian , Plutarch and Cassius Dio . Nikolaos of Damascus , who was much closer to the event and who in his apologetic biography of Augustus took every opportunity to criticize Antonius, does not even mention this in the context of his description. On April 19, Cicero writes that Caesar's death was "lamented in a speech of praise", without mentioning Antonius, while Suetonius only says that Antonius, at the reading of the Senate resolution on the honors for Caesar and the oath of the senators, To protect them, I added a few words of my own accord. Suetonius also reports on the staging of the funeral that stirred up the plebs: In front of the speaker's platform in the Roman Forum , a scaled-down model of the temple of Venus Genetrix built by Caesar , from which Caesar allegedly descended, was placed; in it the blood-soaked clothing of the dictator was shown; the erection of the pyre on the field of Mars took several days, because too many people wanted to place gifts for the dead on it; Elaborate funeral games were held, which also included emotionally stirring stagings of tragedies. So it was perhaps the Caesar family's staging of the funeral rather than Antony's speech that led to the riots.

During the funeral ceremony, the population snatched the body laid out, spontaneously erected a new pyre from the furniture, clothes and weapons of Caesar's soldiers and cremated the beloved dictator in the forum. The mob then tried to storm the houses of the Caesar murderers in order to lynch them. The tribune and neoteric poet Gaius Helvius Cinna was beaten to death by the mob in the street because his name was confused with L. Cornelius Cinna , who had recently made derogatory comments about the dead man. Brutus, Cassius and the other conspirators, who had actually expected to be celebrated as the liberators and restorers of the republic, had already escaped to safety.

Further development

The death of Caesar was followed by further internal turmoil and civil wars that lasted up to 30 BC. Should last. Marcus Antonius (Caesar's consul 44 BC), Caesar's great-nephew, adoptive son and main heir Gaius Octavius , who was called "Gaius Iulius Caesar Octavianus" after the adoption, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus formed the second triumvirate , whose lists of prosecutors, senators and dignitaries were many such as Cicero when Caesar's enemies fell victim; their property was confiscated. In the Battle of Philippi in Greece, Antony and Octavian defeated the conspirators around Brutus and Cassius.

Then Octavian eliminated his colleagues as competitors. His former partner, Mark Antony, who was in romance with Cleopatra in Egypt, was able to defeat Octavian in the Battle of Actium . He was from 31 BC. Chr. Sole ruler.

Octavian avoided any appearance of wanting to establish a monarchy , even spoke of the "restoration of the republic" and called himself modestly princeps , "first citizen". He followed the political conception of Pompey (such as the transfer of far-reaching powers by the Senate) and significantly not that of his adoptive father Caesar, but kept all the important levers of power in his hand. Under the honorary name of Augustus (the Sublime) , which was given to him by the Senate, he founded the Roman Empire ( principate ) and finally buried the Roman Republic . The Roman Empire flourished under his reign, known as the Golden or Augustan Age.

Already at the beginning of the second triumvirate Caesar was raised as Divus Iulius to the official god and the triumvirs vowed to build a temple at the place of Caesar's Ustrinum on the forum. Octavian has called himself Divi filius (“Son of the Divine”) and consecrated on August 18, 29 BC. The temple of Divus Iulius in the Roman Forum .

Caesar as a writer

Commentarii de Bello Gallico et Civili . Joint edition of Caesar's most important writings from 1783.

Suetonius gives an interesting historical and literary summary of Caesar's literary work. Caesar had extensive literary and rhetorical training and distinguished himself as both a great speaker and a writer. In his youth he was influenced literarily by his highly educated mother Aurelia and his great-uncle Gaius Iulius Caesar Strabo Vopiscus . At this early stage of life, Marcus Antonius Gnipho was his grammar teacher. In Rhodes he later received lessons to improve his speaking from the rhetor Molon , who rejected the Asian style.

Caesar's autobiographical-historical treatises on his from 58 BC onwards are almost completely preserved. Wars waged BC. He wrote about his campaign in Gaul in seven books, the Commentarii de bello Gallico ("Commentaries on the Gallic War"), which may have been based on the annual service reports to the Senate. The Commentaries are still (limited vocabulary of about 1300 words) because of their simple and clear language a standard work for the initial reading in the school Latin class. In the work, Caesar vividly describes the battles and intrigues during the first seven of the nine years in which he destroyed the Gallic tribes that offered resistance. The numerous remarks on the living conditions of the Gauls, Teutons and Britons are also of interest. An eighth book about the last two years of the war no longer comes from Caesar, but from his officer Aulus Hirtius .

In the work Commentarii de bello Gallico , Caesar describes the Gaul of his time. The famous first sentence is:

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur.

“Gaul in its entirety is divided into three parts. One is inhabited by the Belgians , another by the Aquitans , and the third by those who call themselves Celts but are called Gauls in our language. "

The Commentarii , which were probably published as a uniformly written complete work after the end of his term of office in Gaul, primarily served to justify Caesar's campaigns and thus to defend his measures during his term of office against his numerous critics in the Roman Senate. Gaius Asinius Pollio , who himself fought on Caesar's side, criticized Caesar's portrayal in some of his histories (lost today, but used by several later authors) .

In addition, Caesar wrote a work on the first phase of the civil war, the Commentarii de bello civili , which are also a justification and interpret the events in the sense of Caesar. Some smaller historical writings dealing with later phases of the civil war and which have come down in connection with the Bellum civile do not come from Caesar; the authors of this so-called "little bella " are unknown.

The rest of Caesar's writings have only survived in fragments. In his youth he wrote several poems, such as a Praise of Hercules (Laudes Herculis) and a tragedy Oedipus . He also put together a collection of apophthegmata . By order of Caesar's adoptive son and successor Octavian, none of these works were allowed to be published, so that they are completely lost today. During the Civil War, Caesar wrote at the end of 46 BC. The poem Iter ("The Journey") and described his 24-day march from Rome to Spain, where he had to face his last battles against the Pompeians. According to Pliny the Younger, Caesar also rhymed love poems.

Either 55 or 54 BC When Caesar crossed the Alps from northern Italy and returned to his army in Gaul, he wrote two books De analogia , dedicated to Cicero , in which he theoretically expressed himself on grammatical linguistic as the basis of rhetoric. Aulus Gellius and later grammarians have preserved some fragments from it, which contain information on spelling, inflection or the correct choice of words . An astronomical work that was created in the course of the calendar reform (46 BC) and found its way into the 18th book of the Naturalis historia of the older Pliny , is unlikely to have come from Caesar himself, but was only edited under his name; the real author was probably the Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes .

In response to Cicero's and Marcus Brutus' encomies on Cato, which arose after his suicide (April 46 BC), Caesar wrote in 45 BC Around the time of the Battle of Munda two books Anticatones , an invective directed against his former sharp political opponent . In a clear understatement of his rhetoric, the dictator asked not to critically compare his crude, soldiery expression with the enchanting language of a gifted speaker.

Suetonius was familiar with letters from Caesar to the Senate, as well as collections of private (sometimes encrypted ) letters from Caesar to his close friends and to Cicero. Six such letters are preserved in Cicero's correspondence with his friend Atticus. From these it can be seen that Caesar's letter style was short and sweet. In them he also emphasized his forbearance with political opponents and endeavored graciously to be friendly with Cicero.

Caesar did not care about the preservation of a corpus of his speeches and edited only a few of them in writing himself. Cicero offered flattering praise for Caesar's rhetorical skills. As early as 77 BC Caesar had attracted attention as a court speaker through his indictment of Sulla's former partisan Gnaeus Cornelius Dolabella for blackmail. In its 68 BC Chr. Held laudatio funebris on his deceased aunt Julia, from which Suetonius received a larger fragment, Caesar underlined the supposedly royal and divine ancestry of his family. Inauthentic speeches by Caesar also circulated; Augustus, for example, considered an address to the soldiers in Spain ascribed to his adoptive father to be inauthentic. The words put into Caesar's mouth by ancient historians are of course not taken from real speeches, but they sometimes correctly reflect his position in terms of content.


The controversial bust found in 2007

The only inscribed portrait of Caesar that was made during his lifetime is preserved on coins that were minted in the last year of his life. They show a lean person with a high forehead and a long, wrinkled neck. On the basis of the coin images, a marble head found in Tusculum, now in Turin, was identified as a contemporary portrait of Caesar. Posthumous representations can be found on coins from 42 BC. BC, which corresponds to a head in the Vatican. The portrait is much more ideal than the one created during his lifetime. The idealization of the portrayal of the divus Iulius continued in Augustan times. A portrait head made of green slate (diabase) in the Berlin Collection of Antiquities is independent .

In October 2007, on the bottom of the Rhone near 46 BC. In Arles, founded by Caesar in the 4th century BC, a bust was found which, according to French archaeologists who announced the find in May 2008, is said to be a portrait of Caesar made during his lifetime. The identification is contested by other professionals.

Suetonius described Caesar as tall, his skin color was white, he had strong limbs, a slightly too full face and black, lively eyes. He went bald early and had body hair plucked out. In addition, Caesar suffered (not necessarily with today on epilepsy to interpretive) epilepsia . Caesar's baldness was also the subject of contemporary songs of mockery (see songs of mockery during the triumphal procession ).

In 2018 archaeologist Maja d'Hollosy made a controversial 3-D reconstruction for the Dutch Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (National Museum of Antiquities).

The name "Caesar"

Coin with elephant

After the Roman writer Pliny , the name "Caesar" is derived from the past participle of the Latin word caedere ("cut out"), caesus ("cut"). In the context of the Roman law lex regia or lex caesarea, after the pregnant women who died during childbirth, the child should be cut out, the name is interpreted as "the one cut out of the womb". However, this has nothing to do with today's caesarean section , because the aim of this operation was less to save the child than to be able to bury it separately from the mother. It could then be assumed that an early ancestor of Gaius Julius Caesar was connected to such an intervention and that the name is derived from this.

Another thesis assumes that the name Caesar is related to the lost Carthaginian word for elephant . One of Caesar's ancestors earned this nickname during the Punic Wars . This is supported by the fact that Caesar's heraldic animal is the elephant, which is also depicted on the reverse of the coins embossed with his face.

The suffix -ar is otherwise completely unknown in the Latin naming context. It is also possible that the entire cognomen "Caesar" is not of Latin origin at all.

The "C" in Latin was the time of Caesar as a non-flavored "K" [⁠ k ⁠] pronounced that "ae" as [ ai ], not as "ä" [ ɛː ]. This results in the following Latin pronunciation of the word Caesar: / 'kaɪ̯sar /. It was only through sound changes in late antiquity that the pronunciation / 'tsɛːzar / "Zäsar" emerged, which has become commonplace in German.

For the spelling of the first name as Caius see the article Gaius .


The title Caesar

The title Caesar was part of the name and title of the Roman rulers since Augustus. Since the time of Emperor Hadrian , Caesar was the title of second in the hierarchy , the designated successor of the " Augustus " titled Emperor.

Slightly varied, it became a title of ruler in many languages. The German word Kaiser and the Slavic Tsar are derived from "Caesar".

Caesar cipher

The Caesar cipher is a simple text encryption method that is said to have been used by Caesar. Letters from the plain text are replaced by a letter that is a certain number, for example 3, places later in the alphabet.

Calendar reform

In 46 BC Caesar introduced the Egyptian solar calendar instead of the old Roman lunar calendar . He probably relied on calculations by the astronomer Sosigenes from Alexandria . After Caesar's death, the month of his birth, the mensis Quintilis, originally the fifth month of the Roman year, was renamed mensis Iulius, German " July ". The Julian calendar named after him was valid in Catholic countries until the 16th century, when it was replaced by the more precise Gregorian calendar . Most Protestant states kept the Julian calendar until the 18th century, and Orthodox Russia even until 1918.

Caesar in the arts

Caesar's death by Carl Theodor von Piloty (1865)
The Death of Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini (1798)
Both historical paintings show how painters in the 18th and 19th centuries imagined the murder of Caesar.

Numerous artists and writers have chosen Caesar as the subject of pictures, dramas and novels.

In Dante Alighieri's Divina Commedia , Brutus and Cassius, the two conspirators against Caesar, the first god-willed emperor, are tormented alongside Judas , the traitor to Jesus , in the innermost circle of hell .

The play by William Shakespeare is best known , see Julius Caesar .

Georg Friedrich Händel composed an opera Giulio Cesare .

Caesar is depicted in innumerable dramas and historical novels as well as in popular art:

  • Mirko Jelusich published the novel Caesar in 1929 , in which the title figure is described as a highly idealized leader figure.
  • With The Ides of March (1948; German: Die Iden des März ) Thornton Wilder wrote a fictitious collection of sources that illuminates Caesar's character and performance from different perspectives.
  • Bertolt Brecht wrote a fragmentary novel The Business of Mr. Julius Caesar (published 1957), in which he describes the political intrigues of the time very vividly, but quite freely using the example of the Catiline affair.
  • In the television play The Conspiracy (1966), Walter Jens drew an interesting picture of the old Caesar: In a political situation from which he no longer sees a meaningful way out, he stages the conspiracy he is supposed to fall victim to, in order not to resign in glorious ways .
  • Caesar enters the Asterix - Comics by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny , who play in the period shortly after the Gallic Wars, on a regular basis.
  • Colleen McCullough wrote the Masters of Rome novel series from 1990 to 2007 about the last hundred years of the Roman Republic. Caesar's life is retold - with some embellishments - in favorites of the gods , Caesar's wives , Rubicon and Caesar's legacy .

Movies and television


Completely preserved works

Several continuations have come down to us with Caesar's Commentarii ( Corpus Caesarianum ), but they do not come from him:

Works preserved in fragments

  • Talk:
    • Orationes in cn. Cornelium Dolabellam
    • Suasio Legis Plautiae
    • Laudation Iuliae amitae
    • Ad milites in Africa
    • Apud milites de commodis eorum
    • Per bithynis
  • De analogia ad M. Tullium Ciceronem
  • Anticatonis Libri II
  • Carmina et prolusiones
  • Epistulae ad Ciceronem
  • Epistulae ad familiares


In addition to Caesar's own writings, the biographies Suetons and Plutarch should be mentioned in particular . Cassius Dio reports quite extensively on Caesar in his Roman History (from Book 37), as does Appian in his work on the civil war. Cicero's various speeches and letters provide valuable information . Gaius Asinius Pollio covered the period from 60 to (probably) 42 BC. In its histories , of which only a few fragments have survived. The civil war was also dealt with by Marcus Annaeus Lucanus in his Pharsalia .


  • Ernst Baltrusch : Caesar and Pompey. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2004, ISBN 3-534-16490-3 (introduction).
  • Ernst Baltrusch (Ed.): Caesar. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2007, ISBN 978-3-534-20111-2 .
  • Luciano Canfora : Caesar. The democratic dictator. Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-46640-0 .
  • Karl Christ : Caesar. Approaches to a dictator. Beck, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-406-47288-5 (Representation of the Caesar image since antiquity in science and art).
  • Karl Christ: Caesar. In: Manfred Clauss (Ed.): The Roman Emperors. 55 historical portraits from Caesar to Justinian. 2nd Edition. Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-42727-8 , pp. 13-25.
  • Werner Dahlheim : Julius Caesar. The honor of the warrior and the plight of the state. Schöningh, Paderborn 2005, ISBN 3-506-71981-5 (very legible biography that conveys a very critical image of Caesar).
  • Stephan Elbern: Caesar. Statesman, general, writer. Zabern, Mainz 2008, ISBN 978-3-8053-3826-4 .
  • Matthias Gelzer : Caesar. The politician and statesman. Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-515-09112-1 (reprint of the 1983 edition; first in 1921; classic, still valuable today due to its proximity to the sources).
  • Helga Gesche : Caesar (= income from research. Volume 51). Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1976, ISBN 3-534-05333-8 (detailed research report that processes around 2000 studies from 50 years).
  • Adrian Keith Goldsworthy : Caesar. The Life of a Colossus. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 2006, ISBN 0-297-84620-5 (useful illustration especially with regard to Caesar's military operations).
  • Ulrich Gotter : The dictator is dead! Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 1996 (deals with the time immediately after Caesar's murder and the development that led to it).
  • Miriam Griffin (Ed.): A Companion to Julius Caesar. Blackwell, Oxford et al. 2009 (contains brief but informative contributions on biography, historiography and aftermath).
  • Luca Grillo, Christopher B. Krebs (Eds.): The Cambridge Companion to the Writings of Julius Caesar . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge; New York 2018, ISBN 978-1-107-67049-5 .
  • Martin Jehne : Caesar. 4th updated edition. Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-41044-4 (introduction).
  • Martin Jehne: The big trend, the little practical necessity and the acting individual. Caesar's choices. dtv, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-423-24711-5 (problem-oriented, easily readable study).
  • Martin Jehne: The state of the dictator Caesar (= Passau historical research. Volume 3). Cologne et al. 1987, ISBN 3-412-06786-5 (a standard work to this day).
  • Wolfgang Kofler : Caesar. In: Peter von Möllendorff , Annette Simonis, Linda Simonis (ed.): Historical figures of antiquity. Reception in literature, art and music (= Der Neue Pauly . Supplements. Volume 8). Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2013, ISBN 978-3-476-02468-8 , Sp. 207–228.
  • Christian Meier : The impotence of the almighty dictator Caesar. Three biographical sketches. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1980, ISBN 3-518-11038-1 .
  • Christian Meier: Caesar. 4th edition. dtv, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-30593-2 (first Berlin 1982; influential and stylistically excellent illustration).
  • Mischa Meier : Caesar and the problem of the monarchy in Rome (= writings of the philosophical-historical class of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. Volume 52). Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2014, ISBN 978-3-8253-6248-5 .
  • Markus Schauer : The Gallic War. History and Deception in Caesar's Masterpiece. CH Beck, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-68743-3 (covers clearly the intentions in Caesar's literary work).
  • Barry Strauss: The Ides of March. Protocol of a murder. Translated from the English by Cornelius Hartz. Theiss, Darmstadt 2016, ISBN 3-8062-3266-0 (deals meticulously with the murder of Caesar, the consequences and previous developments).
  • Wolfgang Will : Julius Caesar. A balance sheet. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart et al. 1992, ISBN 3-17-009978-7 (with a focus on financial aspects).
  • Wolfgang Will: Veni, vidi, vici. Caesar and the art of self-expression (= story told. Volume 11). Primus, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 978-3-89678-333-2 .
  • Wolfgang Will: Caesar. Primus, Darmstadt 2009, ISBN 978-3-89678-671-5 (series Gestalten der Antike ).

Web links

Wikisource: Gaius Iulius Caesar  - Sources and full texts
Wikisource: Gaius Iulius Caesar  - Sources and full texts (Latin)
Commons : Gaius Iulius Caesar  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files


  1. Caesar's official birthday celebration was postponed from July 13th to 12th due to the collision with the main holiday of the ludi Apollinares after his consecration in the Roman festival calendar , since according to a Sibylline oracle no other god could be worshiped on the feast day of Apollo ( Cassius Dio , Roman History 47,18,6 ). Cf. inter alia Georg Wissowa : Religion und Kultus der Römer , 2nd edition, reprint Munich 1971 = Munich 1912; Matthias Gelzer : Caesar. The politician and statesman , 6th, exp. Edition, Wiesbaden 1960; Stefan Weinstock: Divus Julius , reprint Oxford 2004 = Oxford 1971.
  2. He was either engaged to the not further known Cossutia (Suetonius, Caesar 1,1) or even married, as Plutarch, Caesar 5,7 implies.
  3. See last Jörg Rüpke, Anne Glock: Fasti sacerdotum 1–3. The members of the priesthoods and the sacred functional staff of Roman, Greek, Oriental and Judeo-Christian cults in the city of Rome from 300 BC. To 499 AD, Stuttgart 2005, p. 1057 f. (with further research).
  4. So in Plutarch, Caesar 2 , according to which Caesar increased the required amount of twenty talents of silver to fifty talents; Suetonius, Divus Iulius 4 , however, reports that Caesar was willing to pay the required fifty talents.
  5. ^ Ernest Badian: From the Iulii to Caesar. In: Miriam Griffin (ed.): A Companion to Julius Caesar, Oxford et al. 2009, p. 19.
  6. Cicero, ad Atticum 2.24.3; 12,21,1; Suetonius, Divus Iulius 14.1; Plutarch, Caesar 8.7; Cicero 23.1; Cato minor 27.1; Cassius Dio, Roman History 37,44,1 ; see Luciano Canfora: Caesar. The democratic dictator , Munich 2001, p. 38.
  7. Erich S. Gruen: Caesar as a Politician. In: Miriam Griffin (Ed.): A Companion to Julius Caesar, Oxford et al. 2009, p. 30.
  8. Erich S. Gruen: Caesar as a Politician. In: Miriam Griffin (ed.): A Companion to Julius Caesar, Oxford et al. 2009, p. 31.
  9. Mentioned in Appian, Civil Wars 2.9.
  10. Livy, Periochae 103.
  11. ^ So Suetonius , Divus Iulius 19.
  12. ^ Cicero, Ad Atticum 2,3.
  13. ^ Livy, Periochae 103; Cassius Dio, Roman History 37,58,1 .
  14. ^ Theodor Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht , Vol. 1, 2nd edition, Leipzig 1876, p. 551, note 1
  15. ^ Ernest Badian: From the Iulii to Caesar. In: Miriam Griffin (ed.): A Companion to Julius Caesar, Oxford et al. 2009, p. 19 where Mommsen's view is directly rejected.
  16. ^ Krešimir Matijević: Marcus Antonius. Consul - Proconsul - public enemy. The politics of the years 44 and 43 BC Chr., Rahden, Westfalen 2006, pp. 277–299.
  17. ^ Caesar, De bello Gallico 4.15.
  18. Luciano Canfora: Caesar. The democratic dictator , Munich 2001, p. 116 f.
  19. Ben Kiernan: Blood and soil. A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur, New Haven et al. 2007, p. 58; similar to Michael Grant : Julius Caesar , McGraw-Hill, Columbus 1969, p. 115.
  20. ^ Karl Christ: Crisis and Downfall of the Roman Republic, Darmstadt 1979, p. 337.
  21. Plutarch, Caesar 15.5 .
  22. Appianus, civil wars 2,119; Plutarch, Pompey 58.
  23. Plutarch, Caesar 32: 7–8; Pompey 60. Caesar apparently quotes a passage from Menander's Ἀρρηφόρος ή Ἀυλητρίς ("Arrephoros or Auletris"), in which the dice are thrown up several times.
  24. Manfred Clauss: Cleopatra , 2., through. Edition, Munich 2000, p. 30; Christoph Schäfer: Cleopatra , Darmstadt 2006, pp. 66–69.
  25. ^ Krešimir Matijević: Marcus Antonius. Consul - Proconsul - public enemy. The politics of the years 44 and 43 BC Chr., Rahden, Westfalen 2006, p. 396.
  26. ^ Suetonius, Divus Iulius 77 ; accordingly his jumping around with the tribunes and the farce of the 11-hour consul Gaius Caninius Rebilus . Cf. Matthias Gelzer: Caesar. The politician and statesman, 6th, exp. Edition, Wiesbaden 1960, pp. 286, 288, 295 f.
  27. Cf. Christian Meier: Caesar , 5th edition, Munich 2002, p. 30 f.
  28. For the planned Parthian War see Jürgen Malitz : Caesars Partherkrieg . In: Historia 33, 1984, pp. 21-59.
  29. For Brutus and his motifs see Ulrich Gotter : Marcus Iunius Brutus - or: the nemesis of the name. In: Karl-Joachim Hölkeskamp , Elke Stein-Hölkeskamp (ed.): From Romulus to Augustus. Great figures of the Roman Republic, Munich 2000, pp. 328–339.
  30. Wolfgang Will: Caesar, Darmstadt 2009, p. 179; Werner Dahlheim: Julius Caesar. The honor of the warrior and the need of the state, Paderborn 2005, p. 240 (over 60).
  31. Erich Gruen: Cleopatra in Rome. Facts and Fantasies. In: David Braund, Christopher Gill (Eds.): Mythe, History and Culture in Republican Rome. Studies in honor of TP Wiseman, Exeter 2003, pp. 257-274.
  32. ^ Krešimir Matijević: Marcus Antonius. Consul - Proconsul - public enemy. The politics of the years 44 and 43 BC Chr., Rahden, Westphalia 2006, p. 41 f. (with the sources).
  33. Suetonius , Divus Iulius 81 : Spurinnamque irridens et ut falsum arguens, quod sine ulla sua noxa Idus Martiae adessent: quamquam is venisse quidem eas diceret, sed non praeterisse.
  34. See Suetonius, Divus Iulius 82 , who considers the latter to be more likely.
  35. Cicero, Ad Atticum 14,14,4.
  36. ↑ On this Krešimir Matijević, Marcus Antonius: Consul - Proconsul - Public Enemy. The politics of the years 44 and 43 BC. , Rahden, Westfalen 2006, pp. 61–64 (with the sources).
  37. ↑ On this, Krešimir Matijević, Cicero, Antonius and the acta Caesaris . In: Historia 55, 2006, pp. 426-450.
  38. Cassius Dio, Römische Geschichte 44: 23,1–33; Plutarch, Cicero 42; Velleius Paterculus, Roman History 2,58,4.
  39. Plutarch, Brutus 19; Caesar 67.
  40. See Hans Kloft, Caesar and the removal from office of the tribunes in 44 BC. Chr. In: Historia 29, 1980, 315–334.
  41. Appianus, civil wars 2,147; Plutarch, Cicero 42; Brutus 20; Nikolaos of Damascus 17.50; see. Cicero, Ad Atticum 14,7,1 (from April 15, 44). The next letter (14.8.2 of April 16, 1944) mentions the presence of Brutus in Rome again.
  42. Nikolaos of Damascus 17.48.
  43. Appian, Civil Wars 2,143–148; Cassius Dio, Roman History 44,35,4–49; Plutarch, Antonius 14; Brutus 20; Cicero 42; see. Tacitus, Annals 1,8,5.
  44. Nikolaos of Damascus 17.48.
  45. Cicero, Ad Atticum 14,10,1.
  46. ^ Suetonius, Divus Iulius 84 f.
  47. For the development after Caesar's death up to the achievement of sole rule by Octavian see Josiah Osgood: Caesar's Legacy. Civil War and the Emergence of the Roman Empire, Cambridge 2006.
  48. Suetonius, Divus Iulius 55 f.
  49. ^ Suetonius, De grammaticis 7.
  50. Plutarch, Caesar 3; Suetonius, Divus Iulius 4.1 .
  51. Suetonius, Divus Iulius 56.5-7.
  52. Pliny the Younger, Epistulae 5,3,5.
  53. ^ Suetonius, Divus Iulius 56.5.
  54. Plutarch, Caesar 54; Suetonius, Divus Iulius 56.5 ; Appian, Civil Wars 2.99.
  55. Plutarch, Caesar 3, 4.
  56. ^ Suetonius, Divus Iulius 56.6.
  57. Cicero, Ad Atticum 9.6a; 9.7c; 9.13a; 9.14.1; 9.16; 10.8b.
  58. Cicero, Brutus 261 f .; Suetonius, Divus Iulius 55.1 ; Caesar was also an important speaker for Quintilian ( Institutio oratoria 10,1,114).
  59. ^ Suetonius, Divus Iulius 6 .
  60. ^ Suetonius, Divus Iulius 55.4.
  61. For the portrait of Caesar see Volker Michael Strocka: Caesar, Pompeius, Sulla. In: Freiburger Universitätsblätter 163, 2004, pp. 60–66 ( PDF, 7.4 MB ).
  62. ^ Goettingen Virtual Museum of Antiquities: Late Republic . See coins depicting Caesar on
  63. Goettingen Virtual Antique Museum: Portrait of Iulius Caesar .
  64. Volker Michael Strocka: Caesar, Pompeius, Sulla. In: Freiburger Universitätsblätter 163, 2004, pp. 57–58 with figs. 13 and 18–19.
  65. Volker Michael Strocka: Caesar, Pompeius, Sulla. In: Freiburger Universitätsblätter 163, 2004, p. 58 with fig. 17 and 20.
  66. Berthold Seewald: Bust found - This is what Caesar really looked like . In: , May 16, 2008.
  67. Paul Zanker : The real one was more energetic, more distant, more ironic . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , May 26, 2008; Wolfgang Will : The bust from the Rhône. Curls on Caesar's bald head . In:, May 27, 2008; “That cannot be Caesar”. The archaeologist Luca Giuliani on the portrait find of Arles, authentic pictures and the wishes of the audience . In:, May 30, 2008; see. also Mary Beard : The face of Julius Caesar? Come off it! ( Memento of March 21, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) In:, May 14, 2008.
  68. ^ Suetonius, Divus Iulius 45 .
  69. ^ Suetonius, Divus Iulius 45 ; Plutarch, Caesar 17 . In addition, the following work by two doctors in detail: Francesco Maria Galassi, Hutan Ashrafian: Julius Caesar's Disease. A New Diagnosis , Barnsley 2017, ISBN 978-1-4738-7078-9 .
  70. A new look at Julius Caesar and 3D-reconstructie Julius Caesar , but also criticism of the reliability of this reconstruction . The magazine Stern published a significantly different facial reconstruction in 2020 .
  71. Both etymologies are controversial, for two further explanations cf. Hans Georg Gundel : Caesar. In: The Little Pauly . Volume 1, Munich 1964, Col. 996 f.
  72. ^ Matthias Gelzer: Caesar. The politician and statesman , 6th, exp. Edition, Wiesbaden 1960, p. 268.
  73. The older examples are collected by Friedrich Gundolf : Caesar: Geschichte seine Ruhms , Berlin 1924 (reprint Wiss. Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1968).
  74. Historical novels about Caesar . In:
  75. For the representation of Caesar in the Asterix comics see characters from Asterix # Julius Caesar ; also Martin Jehne: Asterix and Caesar . In: Kai Brodersen (Ed.): Asterix and his time. The big world of the little Gaul , Munich 2001, pp. 58–71.
  76. Online editions: Latin – English at, Latin – German at Wikibooks .
  77. Online edition: Latin – English at
  78. A more detailed overview of the most important sources is provided by the relevant Caesar biographies and the relevant contributions in Griffin, Companion .
  79. See the review by Martin Jehne. In: Historische Zeitschrift 263, 1996, pp. 444-446.
  80. See the review by Hans Kloft. In: Historische Zeitschrift 230, 1980, pp. 135-137.
  81. See the review by Martin Jehne. In: Historische Zeitschrift 260, 1995, p. 178 f.
  82. See the review by Andreas Klingenberg in: H-Soz-u-Kult , January 18, 2010 ( online ).
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on May 26, 2005 .