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The ancient world as we know it was a very hostile environment. Large empires ruled the lands, but many of them had eventual downfalls. One of these empires was the Roman Republic, whose last ruler of the Republic was a man named Julius Caesar, a loved and hated leader turned dictator, one of the most powerful men in Europe before he died. Julius Caesar rose to power in Rome because of his magnificent charm and popularity, and his extraordinary military prowess.
Since he was a young man, Caesar’s peculiar attitude and personality gained him many friends and allies, some of which held high positions and helped in bringing him to power. Caesar was a highly renowned speaker, and easily took many positions in the republic. One such was his case of trying out for the Pontifex Maximus after being removed from priesthood. He won in a landslide, having more votes than his two opponents combined. When he was Praetor, after being suspended from his position, still doing his duties and then going home so that he wouldn’t get hurt, the “…populace on the following day flocked to Caesar…” They offered to help him get his position back, but he simply told them no. The Senate was surprised by this so much that they gave him the position back and thanked him strongly. At times when he was in trouble, Caesar would often use his charm and speaking skills to get himself out of the situation. In one instance, he was going to be impeached by Lucius Antistius, and hastily appealed to the whole college that he should not be impeached because he was doing other things somewhere else, and then painfully proceeded to make sure he only supported candidates who were loyal to him. In other instances, he is described as one of the best orators, both elegant and grand, picturesque and with strong diction. Julius Caesar is also described as a good looking fellow, being tall and muscular, always being sure to take care of his body, and always wearing nice clothes. To go with his speaking skills and looks, he also was known to charm many women, and men. Specifically, the queens and kings, or their daughters. He was described in one of elder Curio’s speeches as, “every woman’s man and every man’s woman”. This is one of the reason’s he became so powerful, because of his charm on people, and his ability to work with the populace, who all loved him, even the poor, and especially his army.
Speaking of the army, another thing that brought Caesar to be the most powerful man in Rome at one point was his military prowess. Eventually controlling all of the armies and even most of the citizens, Caesar used his own might and intelligence to guide them. It is said that even Caesar himself was one of the best fighters there was, stating that, “Caesar was highly skilled in arms and horsemanship, and of incredible powers of endurance”. He is even known to send a messenger to a city to foretell of his arrival, and then arrive there before them. He joined in all the battles, typically at the front, and rallied all of his troops. At one point when troops were running away from the fight, he stood behind them and turned them back around, even grabbing some by the throats and turning them towards the enemy. Sometimes he would even let the horses go, including his own, so that the army would have less of a motive to run away. He was well renowned as a military commander, and this only made him more powerful to his enemies. With his allies, he gained their trust by speaking to them as friends, as allies, not simple soldiers. People joined his ranks simply because they wanted to follow him, and to prove to him that they could be counted on. He would fight by their sides, or even charge into the battle first before them. During the Gallic war, his army did not mutiny once during the ten years it went on. Most amazingly of all, is the day of his assassination, when he was first stabbed under the neck by surprise, he simply grabbed the man’s arm and stabbed him with a quill. Caesar tried to get up, but was stabbed again, and instead of screaming, he simply put his head in his robes, and covered his lower body with his robes, then supposedly made so sound except for a single groan at the first stab. All of Caesar’s military strength and knowledge led him to be the most powerful man in Rome.
The most significant quality I believe was his charms and his wits. He could gather an army in an instant to take on the world, and he would be in the front starting the fight himself. He was able to take such high positions because of his popularity with the people and his friends, because of his niceties and public mannerisms, especially once he had more money. He was able to take down an enemy during the war, despite being outnumbered, simply because of how powerful he was known to be. Caesar got his way most of the time, and he became very powerful quite quickly because of it, eventually leading to his downfall unexpected assassination.
To conclude the essay, though Julius Caesar was murdered, and the Republic came to end because of his actions, his memory still lived on in the populace and a lot of Europe. His murderers did not survive more than three years, some of them even killed by their own blade that had slain Caesar himself. He had reached the heavens with his power and was torn down because of it.
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