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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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Boy we just can't agree can we Ursus, I am pro-Republic, even though i agree it was doomed to fall after Marius' necessary reforms, so in a way I supported a government that was almost impossible to save after Marius.

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I guess we're on opposite sides of the fence. :-)

 

But, hey, we still both love Rome, even if its different versions of Rome.

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Hello all, Ursus has looked at my review of "The Assassination of Julius Caesar" in the Roman media section, I don't think anyone else has but the whole book is pretty much a discussion of this very topic - from a "No he was not a Tyrant" perspective.

 

P. Clodius - I think you'd really enjoy this book if you haven't already read it. The author, Parenti, seems pretty close to your position.

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Germanicus, that was an excellent review. Given the topic of this thread I'm noticing a lack of "passion" by some of the responses. Could it be that some of you have forgotten your roots? Immigrants from Ireland, Sweden, Germany, indentured surfs from England, political refugees from everywhere and of course ex-slaves. No fence sitting on this subject!!! Caesar fought for YOU!! Are you going to let him languish under the ancient accusations formulated by the priveliged few?

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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

 

Well, acualy the senate offered Ceasar to become king, so why didin't he accept that offer?

 

Anyway, its commonly belived that Ceasar ended the republic, but the republic had been under succesfully under one man control after Sulla.

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Well, acualy the senate offered Ceasar to become king, so why didin't he accept that offer?

 

Anyway, its commonly belived that Ceasar ended the republic, but the republic had been under succesfully under one man control after Sulla.

 

It was offered in a staged (my opinion) event by Marcus Antonius well after Caesar was in supreme control. My best guess is that this was done in order to either

1) Prove he didn't want to be King by refusing it.

or 2) judge the response of the 'mob' on whether or not they would accept it.

 

Sulla's tumultuous dictatorship was certainly a step in the fall of the Republic, but he was in fact a supporter of the complete opposite political agenda. He took the dictatorship not only for his own ego and power, but to stem the growing power of the populares movement. The Republic continued, true in a battered state, but it did continue for another 30 to 60 years (depending on one's definition).

 

Btw, welcome to the forum Perfectimus :(

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I think the one thing Sulla's little rule did was set the stage of possibility for a person to take power. Caeser certainly remembered it and I think it is possible that he wanted to do what Sulla had done only in a different way -- Sulla's was an anti populars movement.

 

Is it possible that Caeser was motivated to do the same thing in an opposite dirrection?

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I'd agree with Ursus: "...the empire could no longer be ruled effectively by a glorified municipal government." Caesar was aware of this and saw that the disfunctional, runaway Republic was going to wipe himself out, thus the Rubicon. He then shared this secret with the upcoming Octavian who, when HE got the power, spent the rest of his long life doing something to correct and replace it all.

 

That the Republic under the Senate/Boni was no longer functional was obvious, but this fact must be matched with the fact that it was also not working when the populares were able to grab the power. To me the really strange thing about the 200 year transition from Republic to Empire was (besides the bloody proscriptions) was the degree of respect that continued to be conferred upon the traditional roles carried out by the Senate and other traditional offices by virtually all parties -- senate, plebs, equites, boni, etc.

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I agree wholeheartedly with you PP, that the offer by Marc Antony of the diadem was staged, I think Caesar knew to an extent just how much the Romans loathed kingship, and he wanted them to know he did not intend to rule as a king. I believe it was offered two or three times on the same occasion - definatly a show for the crowd. Caesar did not want to be king, and it's my unfashionable belief that he would have actually followed the example of Sulla in another way if given the eventual opportunity, that of stepping down from the dictatorship.

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I want to be able to answer "both" to this question. I am in complete agreement with Ursus on this one, and I don't think I usually agree with him. There were two choices 1) advance to empire 2) decline into a banana republic that would eventually be conquered by some marauding horde of barbarians that would totally destroy it. You can argue that that eventually happened anyway, but the deadline was at least postponed. Call me a fool, but I think this choice may come before the United States within my lifetime.

 

I bet a lot of OCONUS people here are unfamiliar with the term "banana republic." I can explain a little, if someone asks.

 

It was Julius who killed the republic, which had to be done, but it was Octavian who made the empire work.

 

Oh, and Julius gave himself the title "Dictator for Life." So the notion that he would give up power is false.

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I think the notion that he would give up power is a matter of opinion, despite the honorific Dictator for life. But as I mentioned - not many would agree with me, I was expecting that kind of response.

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I can't pretend to know what was going on in Caesar's head. I certainly think that anyone would want to be king, even a teensy bit. I don't know if he would have made this move if he didn't have the other reasons as well. I kind of doubt it.

 

Whatever his reasons, he did alot of good for Rome. It is my belief that, if he had become emporer, he would have made it work. The people loved him for a reason.

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Yes, and the ruling class hated him for that very same reason

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As a soldier in the US Army right now, this is how I look at it. I serve the United States of America. The President is my Commander in Chief. I serve him, but not to the detriment of the Constitution. I believe every soldier should serve their country first and their leaders next. I don't know if Rome had a Constitution as it were during Caesar's day, but they had law. He did what he wanted to do without regard to that law. At the least he was a criminal. Maybe a criminal with good intentions, I don't know. Doesn't matter. Eric Rudolph believed he had good intentions when he bombed that abortion clinic. The law is the law. If General Schoomaker ordered me right now to march with him on Washington and take over the city, killing my fellow Americans whom I am serving, I would not do it. The world was a different place back then, but that doesn't make what he did not illegal. He knew the law. Every other power wielding Roman managed to live within this law and so could have he and his buddy Pompeii. Now, If you're only considering how he ruled Rome, I'd say he was not a tyrant. If you're considering how he ran his army, I would say he's not a tyrant. If you're considering how he ruled the empire he absolutely was a tyrant. Some of his acts were no less genocidal than anything Hitler did.

He was not good for the Roman empire. He was an ailment. One that Rome never was able to cure of itself. The corrupt, self-serving emperors that followed him are the reason Rome eventually could not survive. Had the Senate remained in power I do not doubt Rome would've fallen, but probably would've occured at a later date. I believe this because it's possible that the senate would not have alienated the germanic tribes immigrating into its borders. In fact, they might have been given seats in the Senate therefore making them feel more as if they were apart of Rome. Making them less likely to take up arms. Corruption would've remained, but at least there would've been some checks and balances to it. There would have been a great deal more thought put into the everyday runnings of the government concerning economics, development, education and military. Thought that would've possibly enabled Rome to survive longer than it did. Who knows. All I know is Rome was fine before Julius Caesar and it would've still been fine had he never been born.

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