Sunday, November 13, 2011

The rise and fall of Julius Caesar

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The man who did most to make Rome great was Julius Caesar. He was a nobleman, a lawyer and a politician. Above all he was a great army leader. Julius Caesar planned many of the battles which won land for Rome. Julius Caesar wrote books about how to win battles. Many of these books are still read by soldiers today.

The life of Julius Caesar

In 59 BC Julius Caesar was made a consul in Rome. From 58 to 49 BC he led the Roman
Armies and conquered present-day France, Belgium and parts of Switzerland. In 55 and 54 BC he invaded England but did not try to conquer it. His victories made the Roman people like him more and more. Julius Caesar was the most important politician in Rome.

Some nobles were jealous because Julius Caesar was so successful. Others believed it was bad for one man to have so much power. Many nobles got together to fight Julius Caesar. The nobles had armies in many countries. But Caesar’s soldiers beat them all one by one.

Julius Caesar was now the most powerful man in Rome. He did many good things for the people. He made some good laws. In 46 BC the Senate made him dictator for ten years.
In 44 BC they said he could be dictator for the rest of his life and could say who was to follow him. He was not king, because the Romans would not have kings. But he ruled Rome like a king.

The murder of Julius Caesar

Some nobles thought that Julius Caesar was too powerful and would take away their freedom. In 44 BC a group of them stabbed him to death in the Senate House. The murderers were led by Caesar’s best friend, Brutus.

Octavius and Mark Anthony

The nobles thought that everything would be all right when Julius Caesar was dead. But they soon quarreled among themselves. Julius Caesar’s nephew, Octavius, and Julius Caesar’s friend, Mark Anthony, got an army and fought themselves. They killed the murderers and shared the Roman Empire between themselves.
But then Octavius and Mark Anthony quarreled. Mark Anthony killed himself when Octavius defeated him in a great sea battle in 31 BC.


By 27 BC Octavius was the most powerful man in Rome. The Senate made him ‘Augustus’ which means ‘The Highest One’. He was also given the title ‘Prince’. People pretended that Rome was still ruled by the Senate (and therefore a republic) but really Augustus was an emperor, for he had all the power. He made Rome strong, rich and peaceful. When he died in AD 14 the empire was beginning its greatest time. The month of August is named after Augustus, and July after Julius Caesar.


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