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pompeius magnus

Gaius Julius Caesar

Was Caesar justified in his march on Rome  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. Was Caesar justified in his march on Rome

    • Yes he had good reason to march on Rome.
      25
    • No he was attepting to conquer it and become king.
      11


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This idea spawned from an idea in the conversation between me and Germanicus about Pompey. Was Caesar justified in his march on Rome, or like the generals before him, was he just going after supreme power?

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He had every reason to cross the Rubicon. His political enemies would not have been satisfied utill his execution had been carried out.

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Agreed, in balancing his 'options' he considered his personal diginity (and perhaps life) as outweighing that of the Roman 'state.' Anti-Roman in sentiment, surely, but regardless of the societal code that existed in the ancient world, its difficult to say that choosing his own life over potential death and at least complete ruin is not 'justifiable'.

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Well we can Monday morning quarterback all we want but there was a grander picture. Ancient and some modern historians have condemed the actions of Caesar as selfish but Caesar was more than Caesar. He had made himself through his legislative and military agendas the defacto leader of the popularist cause. A fact that after his death the Populares ceased to exist and became the Caesarian movement.

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Now, I don't know if he wanted to be king but he certainly wanted to be the Man. If he had followed tradition he would have been killed and he would have been remembered as the guy who got slaughtered for Rome.

 

Personally he had nothing to gain from going home peacefully -- I think the Republic should have welcomed him home to save the Republic. If Pompey had been alive greating him home instead of meeting him in battle things would have had a very different end.

 

I think Caeser just was acting in his own interests like so many politicians before him -- he had to do what he did to save himself from destruction. The problem is that it spelled doom on the Republic in the end, but I don't think it was all his fault --- the seeds for that were sown by Sulla, Caeser just reaped the harvest.

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Was Caesar justified in his march on Rome?

Yes he had good reason to march on Rome.

No he was attepting to conquer it and become king.

 

Are these two options mutually exclusive with respect to the question?

 

To put it in another way - if Caesar wanted to be King all along, was he not justified in that?

 

The Republic has always been a bit romanticized for my tastes. The "freedoms" of the Republic were largely the freedoms of a parochial band of Roman oligarchs. The government of the republic was simply not equipped to deal with the reality of empire. I abhor the absolutism of the later empire, but I really do think some type of profound system change was necessary, concentrating more resources of the state in a man of vision and will. Given how firmly the Senatorial oligarchy was entrenched, it simply wasn't possible for change to come about except by military coup.

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your poll wuestion has me stumped. a bit. i think he wanted to make rome more... republic and that he wanted to set it right. he might have seen being king as a way to do that. he was thinking of the state. But why be king? Dictator is better. king has to answer to a population andsenate and etc (according to roman law and tradition) but dictator is immune from all represiosls... (spelling)

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Just take what the context of the question is, for example was he justified in making his march, or was he unjustified, meaning that he wanted to have supreme power, as Sulla wanted and Marius, whether it be dictator, king.

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I think he was totally justified, and in a sense, a march on Rome to preserve his dignitas is completely Roman, Dignitas being a Romans most important quality among his peers. I think he did probably want surpreme power, at least for a period, to push reforms he wanted onto the agenda, but his clemency (ultimately costing him his life) shows that he only followed the example of Sulla in terms of the march, not in terms of a reign of terror after the fact. He was just misguided in his expectation that the oligarchs would "come around".

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Haha, Ursus finaly unveils his populares self. Welcome fellow scum, you earned free bread, and lifetime membership to a guild of your choice.

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Ursus I agree with your statement about the republic not equipped to handle the changes that were needed. Try a different angle, place yourself in the senate of Republican Rome, take a stance either with or against Caesar. There are two sides. I would stand on the Boni sides, being a conservative man and not want change, even though it is necessary as change is as welcome a guest as death is. I would have labeled Caesar trying to gain power, not as hell bent on bringing him down as the Boni, but instead wanted to talk some sense into him. Pompey could have been influence either way, but with Caesar away the Boni had his ear. Dignitus like you guys are talking about was very important, but at the cost of Rome, I think not, even though it is a true statement that some romans thought of it that way.

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I would have labeled Caesar trying to gain power, not as hell bent on bringing him down as the Boni, but instead wanted to talk some sense into him.

 

There was never a man with his head screwed firmly to his shoulders in ancient Rome than was Caesar's. I bet it would have been Caesar who talked some sense into you and won you to the cause!

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I would not sway that easily, I am stubborn once I find a view. Although, as is very common in Rome, a certain object that Caesar had a lot of might fog my views. Today its looked down upon, but in Roman days bribing was just a part of the government, can you say corruption.

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The descision is very hard because it is both answers.

 

He probably secretly wanted to become some sort of King and take over Rome, yet he was also trying to deffend himself against the Senate....I think he used the Senate as a scape goat to gain power for himself, the Senate's declaration of War upon him was his pretext to finnally end the corrupt game of the Oligarchs.

 

Zeke

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Heh, P. Clodius. Don't know if I'm especially pro -populares. I'm just pro-empire, and the empire could no longer be ruled effectively by a glorified municipal government. ;-)

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