Julius Caesar is one of those rare persons, whose image does not tarnish with time and whose fame is not fading during many centuries. He was an outstanding military leader, no less eminent statesman, a versatile genius, and a great example for the future generations. In the frame of such epithets and his own splendor, Caesar made history.
A rich literary heritage of Cicero shows a great interest in Caesar’s personality giving an important assessment of his deeds. In different periods of his creation, Cicero represented Caesar from positive and negative sides.
It seems impossible to imagine a huge power and influence of a man who is separated from the current time for more than a dozen centuries. However, there is a lot of information about Caesar presented in the small, but colorful details. First of all, this is because of the fact that his personality was, apparently, so bright and impressive that stories about him were numerous. Thus, only the aphorisms attributed to Caesar were passing from mouth to mouth. All of them consisted of more and more new colorful details and came to his distant descendants.
Caesar, according to Suetonius, was a tall, well-built man with a full face, light skin, black eyes. He looked lively and had a superb health. However, at the end of life, Caesar experienced a sudden fainting and suffered two epileptic seizures. Caesar had a weak constitution, and only continuous hikes, good nutrition and permanent stay in the open air were able to strengthen it. Caesar kept a wary eye on his appearance, namely his hair cut and the way of dressing. He even dressed in a special way. Caesar usually wore a senatorial tunic with fringe on the sleeves and a girdle. Finally, Suetonius describes Caesar’s character features, namely ambitiousness.
Caesar was a professionally trained, experienced military commander, a skilled schemer, and political activist. As a soldier, he was accustomed not to break down from the failures. As a diplomat, Caesar was flexible and cunning. Only as a statesman, he had neither time nor practice or experience. A “public figure” is a profession, which requires a huge practical experience in addition to the natural qualities and inclinations.
Concerning his historical significance, it makes sense to mention that Caesar took care of the economic interests of the Roman people. He continued distribution of bread, but reduced the number of people receiving it, making them permanent government retirees.
As for colonization, Caesar allowed it in the grand scale and brought settlers in the province. Caesar’s first province in the Roman history was a subject of public concern. His law introduced accountability in the management of the province. The province of Rome was systematically merged. The whole city or region received the right of the Roman citizenship. The provincials became senators and consuls. Caesar’s policy concerning provincials manifested attention and appreciation for the services rendered as well as the general idea of the unity of the state and its welfare.
Caesar thought about codification of the Roman law, however, it was realized only many years later. He began a cadastral inventory of the entire state. Caesar mandated three famous geometries by using the Alexandrian astronomer. He corrected the calendar, which still remains accepted by the Orthodox Church. He was going to dig through the Isthmus of Corinth; he struck up a public library and the patron of science.
In addition to that, Caesar formed the triumvirate. In fact, he was the sole consulate. Later, Caesar became an appointed governor of Elyria, Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul, but he ruled for five years instead of the traditional one year.
There is no doubt that Caesar changed the Roman history. He was the first dictator since the period of king of Alba Longa. Before Caesar, Rome was a republic ruled by the senators. They were the older men with a high status and a huge amount of money. They did not like Caesar because he was from a poor family. Nevertheless, he took control over the whole Rome, and simple citizens loved him very much.
Moreover, Caesar made a plenty of reforms. In all of them, he clearly pointed out two main ideas. The first one was the need for unification of the Roman state into a whole, as well as the need to equal differences between the national and provincial host-slave and mitigate ethnic strife. The other idea, which was closely related to the first one, was streamlining of the administration, close contact with the subjects of the state, eliminating middlemen, and a strong central government. Both of these ideas affected all Caesar’s reforms, despite the fact that he made them quickly and hastily, trying to use a short period of his stay in Rome. Because of this random sequence of individual steps, each time Caesar took up what seemed to him the most necessary. Comparison of these steps, regardless of chronology, can capture the essence of his reforms and discern a coherent system in their conduct.
The most important achievement of Caesar is creation of the Roman Empire and ruling it. His name can mark not only a great personality, but also a huge historical period.