Julius Caesar

Gaius Julius Caesar (July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a military commander, politician and author at the end of the Roman Republic.

Caesar took power with Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) and Marcus Licinius Crassus. These three men ruled Rome and were called the Triumvirate.  Caesar was the go-between for Crassus and Pompey. They had been at odds for years, but Caesar tried to reconcile them. Between the three of them, they had enough money and political influence to control public business.  Caesar proposed a law for the redistribution of public lands to the poor.

Caesar was the commander of the Roman legions during the Gallic War. Caesar’s conquest of Gaul extended Rome’s territory to the North Sea. In 55 BC he conducted the first Roman invasion of Britain. These achievements got him great military power, and threatened to eclipse Pompey.

In 50 BC, the Senate, led by Pompey, ordered Caesar to disband his army and return to Rome because his term as governor had finished.  Caesar and his army approached Rome and crossed the Rubicon, a shallow river in north-east Italy, in 49 BC. It was the point beyond which no army was supposed to go. The river marked the boundary between Cisalpine Gaul to the north, and Italy proper to the south. Crossing the Rubicon caused a civil war. Pompey, the lawful Consul, and his friends, fled from Rome as Caesar’s army approached.  Caesar defeated Pompey, at the Battle of Pharsalus later that year.  Winning the war, Caesar became Roman dictator for life.

On the Ides of March (15 March) of 44 BC, Caesar was due to appear at a session of the Senate. He was killed by his enemies in Rome.

Later rulers of Rome called themselves “Caesar” and this title was later copied as “Kaiser” and “Tsar”.

{Adapted from Julius Caesar Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia. }