Caesar - Rome - Ancient History

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#1
By faint public demand and a continuation of a discussion started here.
 
#2
Were people really getting peed off with the hijacking of the thread? I thought it was tradition for threads to deviate? :)
 
#3
I agree. I think we've just killed it.

edited to add: we'd only be boring people who'd bothered to read that far- who presumably weren't that bored, therefore.
 
#4
But it gave longevity to a thread destined to a maximum of two pages.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#5
Not that I noticed. I thought it may have a longer lifespan outwith the Naafi where the threat of the Hole is ever present.

Happy to continue there though.


Edit: That was at the post above yours, Pike. Not yours ;)
 
#6
No matter how we question what sources there are available, the fact remains that Caesar was a great man. I would argue that he saw the writing on the wall before anyone else, that Rome had to be ruled by one man. Having survived Sulla's proscriptions aand known that the Senate intended to clip his wings what other choice could there be? His great mistake was allowing hints that he wished to be king and allowing a man from such a famous family as Brutus to be close to him at the same time. Augustus certainly took the lesson from this by using the title Princeps and maintaining a figurehead Senate.
Could Rome have survived (and thrived) as a Republic?
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#7
So, to recap.

Sources - none really contemporary or primary but probably Suetonius being the closet we have.

Caesar - deified only possibly but we all agree he was heading for King/Emperor status thus leading to his death?
 
#8
Biggest mistake he made was dismissing his bodyguard! :roll: He was appointed Lifetime Dictator by the senate who rightly feared his intentions. Where the senators scared more by the threat of the loss of there powers?
He is one leader I would of followed to hell and back! :D
 
#9
Sixty said:
So, to recap.

Sources - none really contemporary or primary but probably Suetonius being the closet we have.

Caesar - deified only possibly but we all agree he was heading for King/Emperor status thus leading to his death?
Not sure about Suetonius really. He is not the most serious of the major historians is he - a little 'racy' with all that bedroom and dining room stuff. I go for Plutarch.
Caesar - wanted to be king. Actually nobody has mentioned the fact (it's only just occurred to me) that the Julian family considered themselves decendants of Venus, so he probably already considered himself 'divine' in part.
 
#10
btw, does anyone know if Antony assumed God-king status in Egypt avec la Cleopatra? if so, was that considered extra provocation by SPQ of R?

or did they feel that what happened in the east, stayed in the east, as it were;
that as long as a prospective dictator/king didn't try to assume kingly/divine privileges in the city itself, then they could do what they like in the east as long as they accepted the honours on behalf of Rome, rather than personally?

Maybe this would account for ambivalence re Caesar's status?

edited to add: one thing Suetonius has over Plutarch is in only writing about 'real' people. By including mythical characters (in his Athenian lives) Plutarch begs the question as to how reliable his sources are.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#11
Having given myself a slap I guess Cicero, whilst not a historian, is probably the closest to a primary source you'll get. It's he who records the offering of the crown by Antony being rebuffed several times.
 
#12
Caesar was lifetime dictator of Rome so he did not need to be king. Granted the senate could of censored him but could they have stopped him achieving whatever he wanted? The elections were rigged, Caesar appointed many people who he showed clemency to during the civil war to the senate and allowed them to rise to high positions.
He was king in all but name....
Its a pity Caesar never got the opportunity to go east and face the Parthains
 
#13
ostvic said:
Biggest mistake he made was dismissing his bodyguard! :roll: He was appointed Lifetime Dictator by the senate who rightly feared his intentions. Where the senators scared more by the threat of the loss of there powers?
He is one leader I would of followed to hell and back! :D
All of the senate would have lived through the Marian/Sullan civil war and seen the butchery that went on after Sulla's proscriptions. I can imagine among the Senate a climate of fear that the same thing could easily happen again and an unspoken compact that it shouldn't happen again. Caesar, having luckily survived this era, probably thought the same and didn't consider himself a man like Sulla: look at the way he reacted to the murder of Pompey. Sadly for Caesar, Sulla and the office of Dictatorcast a long shadow.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#14
ostvic said:
Caesar was lifetime dictator of Rome so he did not need to be king. Granted the senate could of censored him but could they have stopped him achieving whatever he wanted? The elections were rigged, Caesar appointed many people who he showed clemency to during the civil war to the senate and allowed them to rise to high positions.
He was king in all but name....
Its a pity Caesar never got the opportunity to go east and face the Parthains

But he did affect many aspects of the Kings in numeous accounts I'm too tired to dig out but will do tomorrow.

He had ulimate power but presented himself to the populace as needing more.
 
#15
I agree,though I doubt Caesar would of followed in Sulla's footsteps. Funny how the senate and Rome reacted to Octavian who did become Emperor. Did they feel guilty in any way?
 
#16
ostvic said:
I agree,though I doubt Caesar would of followed in Sulla's footsteps. Funny how the senate and Rome reacted to Octavian who did become Emperor. Did they feel guilty in any way?
I agree that Caesar would not have become the butcher that Sulla was.
Augustus was clever enough to know his own limitations. He kept smart people like Agrippa and Maecenas around him who could see the lie of the land. By retaining only Tribunician power and claiming that Rome was still a Republic who could gainsay the 'first citizen'. The Senate would have all been scrabbling for a nice juicy province to squeeze cash out (IMHO).
 
#17
Augustus, a title voted for him by the senate! Yes he knew how to use the right people and buy the loyalty of the legions. I think, one of the few Emperors who was truly loved by all Romans.
While I'm not quoting direct from contemporary sources I am using info from A Goldsworthy books so one step removed and with more baggage added! :lol:
 
#18
Rumpelstiltskin said:
btw, does anyone know if Antony assumed God-king status in Egypt avec la Cleopatra? if so, was that considered extra provocation by SPQ of R?

or did they feel that what happened in the east, stayed in the east, as it were;
that as long as a prospective dictator/king didn't try to assume kingly/divine privileges in the city itself, then they could do what they like in the east as long as they accepted the honours on behalf of Rome, rather than personally?
I don't remember ever reading of Antony claiming divinity. I think that he had become something of a joke/embarrasment figure to Rome by forsaking the toga for native dress and stinking of perfume.
Augustus didn't need much more provocation after Antony sent Octavia back to Rome so he could get it on with Cleo.
 
#19
A Roman official was supposed to act like a king when in foreign parts - that is he was suppposed to consider himself greater than any local potentate - but he could never go native!!
The Republican system collapsed because power and wealth became concentrated. Compare what happened when Scipio Africanus (I think)achieved greart renown and then had his wings clipped as a result. By 1st cent BCE that was no longer possible.
 
#20
I just thought that, considering the Ptolemids claimed divine descent/privileges (up to the point of inbreeding so as not to dilute the stock), then perhaps it would have been necessary, or at least preferable, to claim them for Cleo's Roman consort(s), at least for domestic Egyptian consumption. Considering this obsession with divine bloodline, and that Cleo's son with JC, Caesarion, would have been claimed as 1/2 divine from his mother's side anyway, it would surely have been politic, at least in Egypt, to make up the other half.

Supposition, i suppose, but ISRC (can't remember where though, sorry) Romans in the Seleucid successor kingdoms (maybe Syria or Asia Minor) accepting divine honours on conquering them. I think by that point that may even been have been necessary for the sake of legitimacy.

While this would have been seen as rolling-eyes-worthy Oriental flattery on one hand, it could also have been portrayed as a short step to Asiatic tyranny.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top