Conflicting Perspectives Essay Julius Caesar

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Caesar’s compassion and leniency is well accounted for in The Civil War, ‘they…begged for their lives.

He reassured them, told them to get up, and spoke briefly to them about his own leniency…He spared them all’ (Caesar The Civil War 3.98 – translation by Gardener 1967).

The name Julius Caesar summons imagery of an assassination that was so momentous that it has been immortalised by William Shakespeare.

However, Caesar was more than the victim of a conspiratorial group; he was a politician, military commander and dictator.

However, Caesar, like Sulla before him, changed the approach to appointing senators using his dictatorial authority to place whomever he wanted within the Senate (Wiseman, 190).

Caesar’s use of the dictatorial power to subvert the route normally required for such an appointment may have been an abuse of his authority.

Most of the evidence used is not contemporary to Caesar so there will be limitations in establishing its accuracy and validity.

Where possible accounts of other authors and contemporaries of Caesar’s will support assertions made.

Canfora (204-5) provides an example of such propaganda; Caesar in The Civil War states that his actions were a defence of the tribunes but this hides the truth that had he not invaded Rome he would have been prosecuted for crimes committed whilst consul in 59 BC.

Caesar was immune from prosecution whilst consul of Rome and proconsul of Gaul, as he retained imperium.


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