A Companion to Julius Caesar by Miriam Griffin

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By Miriam Griffin

A significant other to Julius Caesar includes 30 essays from best students interpreting the existence and after lifetime of this nice polarizing figure.

  • Explores Caesar from various views: army genius, ruthless tyrant, really good baby-kisser, first-class orator, subtle guy of letters, and more
  • Utilizes Caesar’s personal extant writings
  • Examines the viewpoints of Caesar’s contemporaries and explores Caesar’s portrayals by means of artists and writers throughout the ages

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Extra info for A Companion to Julius Caesar

Sample text

This too should not be interpreted as a partisan act (contra: Badian, chapter 2, p. 21). Caesar revived the triumphal tokens of a man whose exploits had rescued the state from its foreign foes – and, of course, he enhanced his own family’s image in the process. Caesar also knew where real power lay. He moved gingerly to associate himself with Rome’s most formidable figure, Pompeius Magnus. Indications of this may be discerned already in the late 70s when Caesar very energetically supported those who advocated the restoration of tribunician powers that Sulla had curtailed (Suet.

Pat. 36a). The influence of Pompey and his friends was surely not irrelevant in Caesar’s success. But Caesar’s rise to eminence involved more than just alliances and alignments. He took strong public stands on a number of controversial issues involving the interests of the state and its citizens from the early years of his career. The aftermath of the Sullan era left a residue of matters that required redress. Caesar’s urging (already noted) that tribunician powers be restored falls into that category.

Caesar’s rhetorical education was producing its effect. (See Kierdorf 1980, especially pp. ) He proceeds to stress the application to himself: cuius gentis (the Iulii) familia est nostra. The speech in its setting is rightly described by Kierdorf as ‘‘well-aimed political propaganda’’ (p. 135). ’’ He must have refrained from using it for political effect, perhaps because the memory of Cinna was unlikely to arouse enthusiasm anywhere; and in any case, there would be no application to himself (familia nostra).

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