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Caesar: Hero Or Villain

Caesar: Hero or Villain?  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think Caesar was

    • 100% Hero
      2
    • 100% Villain
      3
    • More Hero than Villain
      21
    • More Villain than Hero
      5


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I have recently read a series of books documenting the life of Julius Ceasar. They sparked my imagination and i sought to find out more about the tyrranical leader of the Roman Republic. These books were fiction and were based loosely on his life. I was curious about a few facts stated in these books. Ws Caesar a military general who had no equal other than Alexander? Was the collapse of the Republic solyly Ceasar's fault or did he have help in that? How far did he a Brtus go back? And Finally During the Gaelic Wars did Ceasar really kill a million me? I have searched fruitlessly for an answer to these questions and i havent found one convincing enough, can anyone help me???

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I have recently read a series of books documenting the life of Julius Ceasar. They sparked my imagination and i sought to find out more about the tyrranical leader of the Roman Republic. These books were fiction and were based loosely on his life. I was curious about a few facts stated in these books. Ws Caesar a military general who had no equal other than Alexander? Was the collapse of the Republic solyly Ceasar's fault or did he have help in that? How far did he a Brtus go back? And Finally During the Gaelic Wars did Ceasar really kill a million me? I have searched fruitlessly for an answer to these questions and i havent found one convincing enough, can anyone help me???

 

 

if you take a look at the topic titled "greatest roman ever" in the imperium romanum forum you will find lots of arguments for and against the mighty caesar, i would say that nearly every question you have about caesar's career will be in there, its a fascinating read, they are some very knowledgable people on this site!

 

hope this helps :P

 

 

maximus

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He's a flawed hero to me. I find him much more human as a character than Octavian/Augustus; but there are aspects of his character than repel as well as attract.

 

I like his pragmatism; his flexibility; his many-sided talent.

 

I regret the way he died at the hands of purblind, self-interested, shallow, jealous and narrow-minded fools, none of whom came up to the laces of his senatorial boots.

 

Phil

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I think he was wearing the red boots of the Alban kings by then. :P

 

I certainly don't think he was a tyrant, and like you said Phil - a very human character. Bit of a Polymath really.

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I have recently read a series of books documenting the life of Julius Ceasar. They sparked my imagination and i sought to find out more about the tyrranical leader of the Roman Republic. These books were fiction and were based loosely on his life. I was curious about a few facts stated in these books. Ws Caesar a military general who had no equal other than Alexander? Was the collapse of the Republic solyly Ceasar's fault or did he have help in that? How far did he a Brtus go back? And Finally During the Gaelic Wars did Ceasar really kill a million me? I have searched fruitlessly for an answer to these questions and i havent found one convincing enough, can anyone help me???

 

 

This is probably the most debated topic on UNRV. Opinions are sharply divided. There seems to be little of a middle ground though; most people either strongly admire or strongly loathe him.

 

On a personal level, I've always admired this "bit of a polymath" as Germanicus puts it. Not only a gifted general, but a gifted writer and orator as well, and good with the ladies. Heh. Caesar is one of those rare men who is uniquely suited to exploit the time period he lived in.

 

Of all his great talents, choosing a worthy successor ranks among the top. I feel Augustus was the more capable of the two in a political sense, and I probably have more in common with Augustus' coldly calculating strategic vision than Caesar's bravado...

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These books were fiction and were based loosely on his life.

 

The works of Conn Imakeitupasigoalong?

 

 

Wss Caesar a military general who had no equal other than Alexander?

 

I would say yes, as far as ancient times go. Though of course it's a moot point. Nobody would doubt that he was one of history's most prolific and successful generals though.

 

Was the collapse of the Republic solely Ceasar's fault or did he have help in that?

 

It certainly was not his fault alone. Factionalism and the naked pursuit of status and glory was the root. Caesar was far from alone in his pursuit of those things.

 

How far did he a Brutus go back?

 

He'd known Brutus since the latter's youth.

 

And Finally During the Gaelic Wars did Ceasar really kill a million men?

 

His army possibly did. Though if we allow that he commanded about 50 000 men (as a crude average), that'd mean they killed about four Gauls each per year of active campaigning. Not inconceivable.

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I have recently read a series of books documenting the life of Julius Ceasar. They sparked my imagination and i sought to find out more about the tyrranical leader of the Roman Republic. These books were fiction and were based loosely on his life. I was curious about a few facts stated in these books. Ws Caesar a military general who had no equal other than Alexander? Was the collapse of the Republic solyly Ceasar's fault or did he have help in that? How far did he a Brtus go back? And Finally During the Gaelic Wars did Ceasar really kill a million me? I have searched fruitlessly for an answer to these questions and i havent found one convincing enough, can anyone help me???

 

Two threads that will answer your questions: 'Julius Caesar.. Good and Bad Points' & 'Greatest Roman Figure'. You will find a lot of arguments for and against the questions you posed.

 

Caesar is obviously a hero. Rome benefited greatly from his military achievements and adopted his name for the Emperors to come.

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i think Julius Ceasar was a villian, don't get me wrong a smart great man but no hero. In the eyes of most of rome he was a hero. But look at all the cities he distroyed, all the people he killed because they were in his way and if someone tryed to stop him he did everything in his power to kill them. chase them across the sea to egypt and have his head waiting for him when he got there (he never killed him with his hands but he is the reason hes dead). in my mind he is right beside hilter and all the other mass murders and killers. a great man but just because a person is great doesnt make them a hero

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I would have to agree with the poster above. Caesar was a great politician, general and statesman - but he was no hero. He conquered the Gauls, slaughtered a lot of people just to get some glory. A lot can be learned from his battles and wars, and I enjoy reading about his battle techniques. But in my opinion, I think Gaul was better off without Caesar conquering it, and it was a sad day for the world when he did.

 

So for me he is a smart villain, who you can learn a lot from.

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I fully agree with the 2 posts above...

 

"chase them across the sea to egypt and have his head waiting for him when he got there (he never killed him with his hands but he is the reason hes dead)"

 

I don't think Pompeius "Magnus" (:huh:) was any better then Julius Caesar, they both (and many others in their time) acted mostly out of self interest and a pathetic need for glory of their own. I even started to dislike Cicero for that reason...

The good old Republic was long that by that time.

Edited by Macerinus

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It also depends on political viewpoint. In the ages of feudalism and absolute monarchy Caesar cut more of a sympathetic figure. Hopefully most of us in modern democracies don't look forward to a Caesar coming across the Rubicon at us! Certainly the questions: "Was Caesar good or bad?" and "Was Brutus's actions treachery or patriotism?" provided dramatic fodder for Shakespeare. And they definitely dwelt on both themes for the "Rome" TV series. My my we've come a long way towards answering this question!

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For me, Caesar was neither a hero, nor villain (yep, that's sitting on the fence!). I think that he was a great man, in the sense of possessing intelligence, charm, strategic ability, and sense of authority, and that in any political system, great men will rise to the top. But such men are a function of their times, not specifically of some innate character trait. The latter argument is perhaps the one that Shakespeare paints, and is one that tends to be formulated from commentators living in a society where an hereditary monarchy holds political sway - the need is there to generate history as the work of great men, rather than results of many complex social, economic and political forces. Caesar used all his abilities to the full to rise to the top, but he did nothing that previous significant Romans had also done - the seeds of the destruction of the Republic for me, lie not in any one man's hands, but in the system itself. Systems have a momentum once they start moving, and rather than men seek to adapt those systems, they tend to bend their will to make the most of the situation. Caesar gambled many times, and did so with the knowledge that the system would strengthen his position. Ultimately, the dynamics of the triumvirate (both before and after it's official formation) would become a mutually reinforcing cycle. Roman society and economy in the Late Republic was militarily expansionist, the political system reflected and supported this process. To achieve political success, military success was a necessity. Did Caesar simply play the game, and play it very well, or was he uniquely evil in his approach to conquering subject nations? That is the heart of the question. I don't see it is possible to suggest that Caesar is uniquely evil, and to that end, I don't think therefore that a picture of him as a villain makes much sense. However it is also the case that there is little in the way of heroic qualities that can be attributed to Caesar either. He was essentially just another politician on the grubby path to power, that naturally meant men who succeeded did so in a manner which was perceived as glorious (for Rome), but in all conquering hero's stories, there are always many casualties. Caesar is complex because he is such a rounded character - the polymath referred to - and that makes him very interesting, indeed his story stands out above all others from any era of Roman history - he's a great story to tell. But he is not a hero.

 

Cheers

Richard

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I don't think Caesar was a hero - not because he killed and conquered - but because none of his actions were paradigm changing. Killing and establishing the Roman boarder were what a noble was supposed to do - and he did it well. That would actually be an argument to make him a hero; unless we judge him by our times and morals. Which I wouldn't.

 

Marius and Sulla changed the paradigm of the military. Caesar was a very good general who used this change to his advantage. I don't think he was evil - just towards the end too greedy and corrupt which was to become par for the course.

 

Augustus changed the paradigm of rulers for Rome - he took small steps; just at the military was changed a step at a time .... then those that followed Augustus took it further.

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