GRAD > CLSICS > 670
The Life and Works of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar has been called "the best-known ancient Roman." Not only was he Rome's greatest general, he has been considered among the finest Latin writers and surpassed by very few Roman orators. Yet he was a man of contradictions who aroused violently different reactions. Born into an ancient aristocratic family, he was associated from the beginning of his career with the interests of the common people. Many of his actions in his Gallic wars have been criticized for their brutality and cruelty, and he was accused of subverting the Roman state. Yet no general of statesman can be found who treated his enemies with more clemency, and every office that he held (except for the last month of his life) was properly constitutional. When he was assassinate don the famous Ides of March in 44 BC, many o f the men holding those bloody knives were close friends, or former enemies whom he had pardoned and even promoted to exalted positions. This course will explore the biography and works of Julius Caesar from several different vantage points and through many different kinds of sources: his own written works; the archeological evidence of his buildings, coinage, and statues; the writings of his contemporaries and successors; the views of modern scholarship; and the poets and playwrights who have given us their own versions of Caesar.