The Beginning of an Empire
Date of Birth: Debated, July 12 or 13 in either 100 B.C. or 102 B.C.
Date of Death: The Ides of March (March 15), 44 B.C.
Cause of Death: Stabbed by Brutus and Cassius
Family: From a patrician family that was said to have descended from Romulus, the founder and first ruler of the Roman Republic.
Political History: Ruled the Roman Republic with Crassus and Pompey as a part of the first Triumvirate. Became popular among Roman citizens after leading his armies to conquer Gaul; however, many feared his power and the senate ordered him to return to Rome. He defied them and became the absolute ruler of Rome, marking its change from a republic to an empire.
Accomplishments: Granted Roman citizenship to men living in outlying Roman provinces, made the senate larger, created jobs for the poor, increased soldiers' pay, built colonies where the poor could own land.
Fun Facts: Was rumored to have had many mistresses and a male lover. Caesar's death was mentioned in the movie Mean Girls.
Rebuilding the Empire
The Roman Empire began after the sudden death of Julius Caesar, who is viewed as one of the most successful Roman leaders of all time. He had not named a successor, although he did have an adopted son, Augustus, and a civil war broke out, destroying the rest of the Roman Republic.
Date of Birth: September 23, 63 B.C.
Date of Death: August 19, 14 A.D.
Family: Julius Caesar's adopted son.
History: Caesar was born a plebeian, originally named Octavius, and was adopted by his great-uncle, Julius Caesar, as an adult after he braved treacherous lands to join JC's army. He was given the name Augustus when he was able to restore the Roman Empire to its former glory after war broke out between Egypt and Rome.
Accomplishments: Established community buildings and created a system of civil service, providing citizens with jobs in government affairs.
Fun Facts: Caesar has been described as "unusually handsome" by many historians. Jesus Christ was born during his reign.
*Fun Fact!* Originally, the calendar year only had ten months, with December being the last ("dec" meaning ten), but Julius and Augustus added two months to the year in their honor (hence, the names July and August).
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