Assess the Legacy of Caesar
Ancient History Assess the Legacy of Caesar Caesar was one of the most ambitious and determined men to ever rule the Roman Empire. He became a legend in his own right by defeating his highest political threat at his time, Pompey. Taking Rome by storm, Caesar marched his way to power supported by his loyal army and followers claiming his Dictatorship for life. Changes that he made during his time still remain strong in our time such as the Calendar. Gaius Julius Caesar was a man of high prestige, charm and talent.
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His physical appearance and the way he put himself out to the public was a great factor to his iconic ongoing Legacy. He was described as “tall, with a pale complexion, shapely limbs, a rather chubby face and black piercing eyes”(Garland). This distinct description of Caesar gives an iconic symbol to many Romans. His description of a strong male physic can be linked to his military achievements. Caesar was fairly active during war and had a high expectation of winning. In the battle of Gaul in Alesia he served with his men at their weakest point and ended up winning the war.
Political leaders at his time such as Pompey and Vercingetorix would order their army rather then lead them. According to Garland “He marched alongside his legionaries bareheaded in both sun and rain, and made it a point of honour to endure the same hardships” it not only proves the point of his highly physic body but shows his commitment and dedication to his army giving the public the sense of a strong and dedicated leader. He also had statues proving his significance in his lifetime; in fact six marble statues were made of him.
Such great looks and talent came along the idea of Caesar being a “womanizer and a sodomite” (Garland ) as Suetonius describes the reaction of the public to Caesar as being “every woman’s man and every man’s woman” linking to the concept of him being strongly admired by many Roman people at his time. He encountered many relationships at his time including Cleopatra who wasn’t even from the same country at him. His charm had an affect everywhere he went. Caesars ability to work cohesively alongside his army during war and coming up with strategies to win, helped earn his legacy in the Roman Society.
Caesar was a highly respected General though he grew up in the world of politics rather than a military influence. “Caesar was a amateur solider of a genius, neither trained or educated at war” (Fuller). Ceasar developed a knowledge of war by his own personal experience in battle. His first real encounter at war was in his early 20’s where he was kidnapped by pirates overseas whilst returning from studies. He was captured and forced to pay a ransom to be released, he valued to seek revenge to those who captured him which he ended up crucifying till their last breathe.
Since then Caesar has gained experience during battles by learning tactics affective to winning. One of his main and affective tactics was gaining a relationship with his army. All his men were paid soldiers who were trained to fight in war. Caesar ate, slept and trained with them, he even knew all his centurions names by heart from all legions. Through this he gained their trust and motivated them to go on even when times were going rough since battles could take months.
According to Hirtius “not one of his campaigns were adequately prepared or not prepared at all” this motivation was needed so that the soldiers could push forward and remain under Caesar, if not Caesar wouldn’t have that strong army and supporters to back him up hence him even winning or getting past the wars. Even though it was a major risk for him to take an account of setting himself and his army to battles not intended for him to do, if he had never had took the risk he would have never be as recognized as a legend.
Another tactic and strategy used by Caesar was his ability of speed. Since his army was highly trained men they knew exactly what to do on Caesar’s request and worked in sync with it to. Caesar had the ability to make quick decisions but relatively smart ones, his army was incredibly fast and strong which tended to scare of others forcing them to surrender such as The Civil War, Pompey’s men feel intimidated by Caesar and his army so they fled which claimed a victory for Caesar granting him his powerful position of all which was Dictatorship in the Roman Empire.
The main highlights of his Career which formally shaped his legacy in history was through his Political achievements. During his Dictatorship, Caesar enforced changes to pervious reforms in the Roman Empire. His reforms where based on improving the economic stability of Rome by permitting money from all households this provided a flow in the economy. He also opened opportunities to educated men outside of Rome to apply for citizenship to boost Roman’s resources.
Though all his reforms were of a self reflected perspective; he made reforms that alter his needs for example gave solders extra pay to ensure he had a stable army for himself which could benefit Rome as well. This created hate towards his new Autocratic system and evidence of self ignorance was being implied by his reforms. “If Caesar must be judged it is by facts and not by alleged intentions” (Bradley) this is how the Senate and many other haters saw the assassination of Caesar.
Everyone feared him because he was the strongest, most influencal, powerful leader Rome had ever seen and their fear of a self ruled country was out of the picture. Once Caesar was gone, many saw the positive attributes Caesar left behind to Romans which made them respect him even more. Caesar still remains a powerful Legacy from then till now. The Calendar which was formed by Caesar also remains, proving himself as a strong influence. He was not only a statesman, general, writer and orator. He was loved and hated by many for his passion in his work and doing his best for what he believed in.