The Online Library of Knowledge

Famous leaders

Julius Caesar

A statue of Julius Caesar in ViennaA statue of Julius Caesar in Vienna Gaius Julius Caesar (100–44 BC) was a Roman general and statesman. He led his Roman soldiers in a successful campaign (58–51 BC) to conquer all of Gaul (modern-day France), and emerged as the victor in a bitter civil war (49–45 BC) with his rival for power in Rome, Pompey. In the short time that he ruled the Roman world as dictator he proved himself to be a brilliant political and social reformer. Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate on the Ides of March (15th March) 44 BC. It was one of the most famous murders in history.

Marcus Porcius Cato addresses the SenateMarcus Porcius Cato addresses the Senate

The Roman Republic

Early Rome was ruled by kings, but in 509 BC the people decided to establish a republic. The Roman Republic was ruled by a government called the Senate. Members of the Senate, called senators, were solely men from noble Roman families.

Each year, the senators and a section of the citizens elected two consuls from among the Senate. The consuls governed Rome for one year, in agreement with each other, and advised by the Senate. The principle was that each consul was a check and guide to the other consul. If a consul abused his power, he could be prosecuted after his term in office was over.


The Roman Lex Caesarea (imperial law) required that the baby of a mother who died in childbirth be cut from her womb. This is the origin of the word “Caesarean”, when a baby is delivered through an incision in its mother's abdomen. It is doubtful that Caesar himself was born in this way.

© 2020 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile